The Ran GTPase protein is a guanine nucleotide-binding protein (GNBP) with an acknowledged profile in cancer onset, progression and metastases. The complex mechanism adopted by GNBPs in exchanging GDP for GTP is an intriguing process and crucial for Ran viability. The successful completion of the process is a fundamental aspect of propagating downstream signalling events. QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations were employed in this study to provide a deeper mechanistic understanding of the initiation of nucleotide exchange in Ran. Results indicate significant disruption of the metal-binding site upon interaction with RCC1 (the Ran guanine nucleotide exchange factor), overall culminating in the prominent shift of the divalent magnesium ion. The observed ion drifting is reasoned to occur as a consequence of the complex formation between Ran and RCC1 and is postulated to be a critical factor in the exchange process adopted by Ran. This is the first report to observe and detail such intricate dynamics for a protein in Ras superfamily.
|Journal||Theoretical Chemistry Accounts: Theory, Computation, and Modeling|
|Early online date||29 Jul 2016|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2016|