NYMC Faculty Publications

Mechanism of Fully Reversible, pH-Sensitive Inhibition of Human Glutamine Synthetase by Tyrosine Nitration

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Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation

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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Glutamine synthetase (GS) catalyzes an ATP-dependent condensation of glutamate and ammonia to form glutamine. This reaction-and therefore GS-are indispensable for the hepatic nitrogen metabolism. Nitration of tyrosine 336 (Y336) inhibits human GS activity. GS nitration and the consequent loss of GS function are associated with a broad range of neurological diseases. The mechanism by which Y336 nitration inhibits GS, however, is not understood. Here, we show by means of unbiased MD simulations, binding, and configurational free energy computations that Y336 nitration hampers ATP binding but only in the deprotonated and negatively charged state of residue 336. By contrast, for the protonated and neutral state, our computations indicate an increased binding affinity for ATP. p

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