The majority of biomolecular motors are powered by nucleoside triphosphate (NTP), especially adenosine triphosphate (ATP). These motors consist of a β-sheet with highly conserved motifs and the nucleotide binding domain around it. The highly conserved protein folds are the engines of these motors, which convert the energy of NTP hydrolysis cycle to mechanical work. Although functions of molecular motors are widely diverse, (including cargo movement, DNA unwinding, protein degradation, ion pumping, etc), the nucleotide binding domains are very similar. In the binding site, NTP undergoes a hydrolysis cycle
E+NTPE·NTPENTP
ENDPPiENDP+Pi
E+NDP+Pi
where E is the enzyme (motor protein), the small dot represents the docking of NTP, and the large dot represents the tightly-bound states. The hydrogen bond network formed in the NTP binding step, as shown in Figure 1 [1], deforms the β-sheet and adjacent structures. The local deformation propagates to conformational changes of functional residues to do mechanical work or to change the affinity to the substrate [2]. For multimeric motor proteins, we must also consider the stress paths among subunits which control the sequence and the activity of the protein. Stress trajectories emanating from a binding site either passes through a circumferential stress loop or a stress loop through the substrate.
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