The grail of protein science is the connection between structure and function. For myoglobin (Mb) this goal is close. Described as only a passive dioxygen storage protein in texts, we argue here that Mb is actually an allosteric enzyme that can catalyze reactions among small molecules. Studies of the structural, spectroscopic, and kinetic properties of Mb lead to a model that relates structure, energy landscape, dynamics, and function. Mb functions as a miniature chemical reactor, concentrating and orienting diatomic molecules such as NO, CO, O2, and H2O2 in highly conserved internal cavities. Reactions can be controlled because Mb exists in distinct taxonomic substates with different catalytic properties and connectivities of internal cavities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 27 2001|
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