Conformational control of cofactors in nature – the influence of protein-induced macrocycle distortion on the biological function of tetrapyrroles

  • Mathias O. Senge, Stuart A. MacGowan, Jessica M. O'Brien
  • Chemical Communications, January 2015, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • DOI: 10.1039/c5cc06254c

Molecular fine-tuning of protein cofactors

What is it about?

What makes porphyrins and other tetrapyrroles so special? How can it be that basically the same molecule can do so many different things as a cofactor in protein complexes? Porphyrins have proven to be extremely versatile and adaptable molecules which can function in many different biological roles. It all comes down to "conformational control". The apoprotein changes the 3D structure of the cofactor. As a result of these alterations in shape the chemical and physical properties are changes to suit a specific biological function. Over 20 years in the making the paper summarizes our own work in the past decades on porphyrins and chlorophylls and puts it into the context of other contemporary studies. The picture that now emerges is that conformational control is a general principle of how nature fine-tunes the molecular properties of small molecules to a specific task.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Mathias O. Senge