Allosteric Regulation and Catalysis Emerge Via a Common Route

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Allosteric regulation of protein function is a mechanism by which an event in one place of a protein structure causes an effect at another site, much like the behavior of a telecommunications network in which a collection of transmitters, receivers and transceivers communicate with each other across long distances. For example, ligand binding or an amino acid mutation at an allosteric site can alter enzymatic activity or binding affinity in a distal region such as the active site or a second binding site. The mechanism of this site-to-site communication is of great interest, especially since allosteric effects must be considered in drug design and protein engineering. In this review, conformational mobility as the common route between allosteric regulation and catalysis is discussed. We summarize recent experimental data and the resulting insights into allostery within proteins, and we discuss the nature of future studies and the new applications that may result from increased understanding of this regulatory mechanism.



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