Quantum mechanical free energy barrier for an enzymatic reaction

Thomas Rod, Ulf Ryde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (SciVal)


We discuss problems related to in silico studies of enzymes and show that accurate and converged free energy changes for complex chemical reactions can be computed if a method based on a thermodynamic cycle is employed. The method combines the sampling speed of molecular mechanics with the accuracy of a high-level quantum mechanics method. We use the method to compute the free energy barrier for a methyl transfer reaction catalyzed by the enzyme catechol O-methyltransferase at the level of density functional theory. The surrounding protein and solvent are found to have a profound effect on the reaction, and we show that energies can be extrapolated easily from one basis set and exchange-correlation functional to another. Using this procedure we calculate a barrier of 69 kJ/mol, in excellent agreement with the experimental value of 75 kJ/mol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138302-1-138302-4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Theoretical Chemistry (S) (011001039)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Theoretical Chemistry


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