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Kinetics of diffusion-controlled enzymatic reactions with charged substrates

  • Author(s): Lu, Benzhuo
  • McCammon, J Andrew
  • et al.

Abstract The Debye-Hückel limiting law (DHL) has often been used to estimate rate constants of diffusion-controlled reactions under different ionic strengths. Two main approximations are adopted in DHL: one is that the solution of the linearized Poisson-Boltzmann equation for a spherical cavity is used to estimate the excess electrostatic free energy of a solution; the other is that details of electrostatic interactions of the solutes are neglected. This makes DHL applicable only at low ionic strengths and dilute solutions (very low substrate/solute concentrations). We show in this work that through numerical solution of the Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations, diffusion-reaction processes can be studied at a variety of conditions including realistically concentrated solutions, high ionic strength, and certainly with non-equilibrium charge distributions. Reaction rate coefficients for the acetylcholine-acetylcholinesterase system are predicted to strongly depend on both ionic strength and substrate concentration. In particular, they increase considerably with increase of substrate concentrations at a fixed ionic strength, which is open to experimental testing. This phenomenon is also verified on a simple model, and is expected to be general for electrostatically attracting enzyme-substrate systems. PACS Codes: 82.45.Tv, 87.15.Vv MSC Codes: 92C30

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