Allosteric discrimination at the NADH/ADP regulatory site of glutamate dehydrogenase

Omneya M. Nassar, Ka Yiu Wong, Gillian Lynch, Thomas J. Smith, B. Montgomery Pettitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) is a target for treating insulin-related disorders, such as hyperinsulinism hyperammonemia syndrome. Modeling native ligand binding has shown promise in designing GDH inhibitors and activators. Our computational investigation of the nicotinamide adenine diphosphate hydride (NADH)/adenosine diphosphate (ADP) site presented in this paper provides insight into the opposite allosteric effects induced at a single site of binding inhibitor NADH versus activator ADP to GDH. The computed binding free-energy difference between NADH and ADP using thermodynamic integration is −0.3 kcal/mol, which is within the −0.275 and −1.7 kcal/mol experimental binding free-energy difference range. Our simulations show an interesting model of ADP with dissimilar binding conformations at each NADH/ADP site in the GDH trimer, which explains the poorly understood strong binding but weak activation shown in experimental studies. In contrast, NADH showed similar inhibitory binding conformations at each NADH/ADP site. The structural analysis of the important residues in the NADH/ADP binding site presented in this paper may provide potential targets for mutation studies for allosteric drug design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2080-2088
Number of pages9
JournalProtein Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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