Conformational dynamics of the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier: a simulation study.
Johnston JM., Khalid S., Sansom MSP.
The mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier is a six helix bundle membrane transport protein, which couples the exit of ATP from the mitochondrial matrix to the entry of ADP. Extended (4x20 ns) molecular dynamics simulations of the carrier, in the presence and absence of bound inhibitor (carboxyatractyloside), have been used to explore the conformational dynamics of the protein in a lipid bilayer environment, in the presence and absence of the carboxyatractyloside inhibitor. The dynamic flexibility (measured as conformational drift and fluctuations) of the protein is reduced in the presence of bound inhibitor. Proline residues in transmembrane helices H1, H3 and H5 appear to form dynamic hinges. Fluctuations in inter-helix salt bridges are also observed over the time course of the simulations. Inhibitor-protein and lipid-protein interactions have been characterised in some detail. Overall, the simulations support a transport mechanism in which flexibility about the proline hinges enables a transition between a 'closed' and an 'open' pore-like state of the carrier protein.