Dynamics of Ca2+-saturated calmodulin D129N mutant studied by multiple molecular dynamics simulations

Vladimir A. Likić, Emanuel E. Strehler, Paul R. Gooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Fifteen independent 1-nsec MD simulations of fully solvated Ca 2+ saturated calmodulin (CaM) mutant D129N were performed from different initial conditions to provide a sufficient statistical basis to gauge the significance of observed dynamical properties. In all MD simulations the four Ca2+ ions remained in their binding sites, and retained a single water ligand as observed in the crystal structure. The coordination of Ca2+ ions in EF-hands I, II, and III was sevenfold. In EF-hand IV, which was perturbed by the mutation of a highly conserved Asp129, an anomalous eightfold Ca2+ coordination was observed. The Ca2+ binding loop in EF-hand II was observed to dynamically sample conformations related to the Ca2+-free form. Repeated MD simulations implicate two well-defined conformations of Ca2+ binding loop II, whereas similar effect was not observed for loops I, III, and IV. In 8 out of 15 MD simulations Ca2+ binding loop II adopted an alternative conformation in which the Thr62 〉C = O group was displaced from the Ca2+ coordination by a water molecule, resulting in the Ca2+ ion ligated by two water molecules. The alternative conformation of the Ca2+ binding loop II appears related to the "closed" state involved in conformational exchange previously detected by NMR in the N-terminal domain fragment of CaM and the C-terminal domain fragment of the mutant E140Q. MD simulations suggest that conformations involved in microsecond exchange exist partially preformed on the nanosecond time scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2215-2229
Number of pages15
JournalProtein Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Ca binding
  • CaM
  • Calmodulin
  • Dynamics
  • EF-hands
  • Multiple MD simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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