Quantifying electronic effects in enzyme catalysis

We have developed two new methods that help to quantify when electronic effects matter in enzyme active sites to help guide a systematic approach to multi-scale modeling (i.e., QM/MM simulation). First, in the charge shift analysis (CSA) method, we probe the reorganization of electron density when core active site residues are removed completely, as determined by large-QM region QM/MM calculations. Second, we introduce the highly parallelizable Fukui shift analysis (FSA), which identifies how core/substrate frontier states are altered by the presence of an additional QM residue in smaller initial QM regions. We demonstrate that the FSA and CSA approaches are complementary and consistent on three test case enzymes: catechol O-methyltransferase, cytochrome P450cam, and hen eggwhite lysozyme. We also introduce validation strategies and test the sensitivities of the two methods to geometric structure, basis set size, and electronic structure methodology. Both methods represent promising approaches for the systematic, unbiased determination of quantum mechanical effects in enzymes and large systems that necessitate multiscale modeling.

Check out our recent publication in JCTC here!

About Us

The Kulik group focuses on the development and application of new electronic structure methods and atomistic simulations tools in the broad area of catalysis.

Our Interests

We are interested in transition metal chemistry, with applications from biological systems (i.e. enzymes) to nonbiological applications in surface science and molecular catalysis.

Our Focus

A key focus of our group is to understand mechanistic features of complex catalysts and to facilitate and develop tools for computationally driven design.

Contact Us

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