Quantum chemical studies of biochemical reaction mechanisms

SNIC 2018/3-5


SNAC Medium

Principal Investigator:

Per Siegbahn


Stockholms universitet

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10407: Theoretical Chemistry




This application concerns computer resources for studying mechanisms of redox active enzymes. During the past period, the studies have been performed in about equal parts at the Ferlin cluster at PDC and at Triolith at NSC. Using hybrid density functional theory and active site models of 100-400 atoms, potential energy surfaces for different mechanisms are calculated. The computed results are compared to experimental reaction rates and other observations. There have been three major projects the past decade. The first one is water oxidation in photosystem II, for which results superior to experiments for both structures and mechanisms have ben obtained. The second one is ammonia formation in nitrogenase. The third one is oxygen reduction and proton pumping in cytochrome c oxidase in the respiratory chain. During recent years a mechanism has been obtained, which so far is the only one that stands all experimental observations. During the past year, new very conclusive experimental studies have been published in Science and JACS, by leading experimental groups in this area. The mechanism proposed by our group is confirmed in utmost detail. Other examples of enzyme redox mechanisms have been described in a recent comprehensive review in Chemical Reviews last year. It is of utmost importance that these projects, which are at the top of similar projects in the world, continues to be substantially supported by computer funding.