Computer simulation studies of the molecular basis for ligand migration in proteins allow the description of key events such as the transition between docking sites, displacement of existing ligands and solvent molecules, and open/closure of specific "gates", among others. In heme proteins, ligand migration from the solvent to the active site preludes the binding to the heme iron and triggers different functions. In this work, molecular dynamics simulations, a Markov State Model of migration and empirical kinetic equations are combined to study the migration of O2 and NO in two truncated hemoglobins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mt-TrHbN and Mt-TrHbO). For Mt-TrHbN, we show that the difference in the association constant in the oxy and deoxy states relies mainly in the displacement of water molecules anchored in the distal cavity in the deoxy form. The results here provide a valuable approach to study ligand migration in globins.
This work describes an example of using Markov State Modeling in kinetic calculations.
The following methods are also used: