Oxidation of methionine residues in aqueous solutions: Free methionine and methionine in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor

Jhih-Wei Chu, Bernard R. Brooks, Bernhardt L. Trout*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

The free energy barriers and a mechanism of the oxidation of the amino acid methionine in water and in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) are analyzed via combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) methods, constrained molecular dynamics, and committor probability calculations. The computed free energy barrier of free methionine amino acid is very close to the measured value (14.7 ± 1.2 versus 15.5 ± 0.02 kcal/mol). The reaction coordinate was found to be the difference between the O-O bond of H2O2 and the S-O bond, where the S is the sulfur atom of the methionine residue. It was confirmed by computing the committor probability distribution and the distribution of constrained forces that this coordinate is not coupled to the activation of other degrees of freedom. The computed free energies of the oxidation of methionine residues in G-CSF indicate that the protein environment has insignificant effects on the reaction barriers of oxidation. This result further validates our proposal that the access of solvent to methionine sites, as measured by the two-shell water coordination number, governs the kinetics of the oxidation reaction of methionine groups in a protein molecule. We also found that the number of hydrogen bonds between the distal oxygen of H2O2 and the water molecules near the methionine increases along the reaction coordinate as oxidation progresses, indicating that the charge separation developed during the oxidation by H2O 2 is stabilized by specific interactions with water molecules, such as hydrogen bonding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16601-16607
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume126
Issue number50
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2004

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