Native State Volume Fluctuations in Proteins as a Mechanism for Dynamic Allostery

Academic Article


  • Allostery enables tight regulation of protein function in the cellular environment. Although existing models of allostery are firmly rooted in the current structure-function paradigm, the mechanistic basis for allostery in the absence of structural change remains unclear. In this study, we show that a typical globular protein is able to undergo significant changes in volume under native conditions while exhibiting no additional changes in protein structure. These native state volume fluctuations were found to correlate with changes in internal motions that were previously recognized as a source of allosteric entropy. This finding offers a novel mechanistic basis for allostery in the absence of canonical structural change. The unexpected observation that function can be derived from expanded, low density protein states has broad implications for our understanding of allostery and suggests that the general concept of the native state be expanded to allow for more variable physical dimensions with looser packing.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Law AB; Sapienza PJ; Zhang J; Zuo X; Petit CM
  • Start Page

  • 3599
  • End Page

  • 3602
  • Volume

  • 139
  • Issue

  • 10