O2 migration pathways are not conserved across proteins of a similar fold

Jordi Cohen, Klaus Schulten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in computational biology have made it possible to map the complete network and energy profile of gas migration pathways inside proteins. Although networks of O2 pathways have already been characterized for a small number of proteins, the general properties and locations of these pathways have not been previously compared between proteins. In this study, maps of the O2 pathways inside 12 monomeric globins were computed. It is found that, despite the conserved tertiary structure fold of the studied globins, the shape and topology of O2 pathway networks exhibit a large variability between different globins, except when two globins are nearly identical. The locations of the O2 pathways are, however, found to be correlated with the location of large hydrophobic residues, and a similar correlation is observed in two unrelated protein families: monomeric globins and copper-containing amine oxidases. The results have implications for the evolution of gas pathways in proteins and for protein engineering applications involving modifications of these pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3591-3600
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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