Nanoscale Catalyst Chemotaxis Can Drive the Assembly of Functional Pathways.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.1c04498
Recent experiments demonstrate molecular chemotaxis or altered diffusion rates of enzymes in the presence of their own substrates. We show here an important implication, namely, that if a nanoscale catalyst A produces a small-molecule ligand product L which is the substrate of another catalyst B, the two catalysts will attract each other. We explore this nonequilibrium producer recruitment force (ProRec) in a reaction-diffusion model. The predicted cat-cat association will be the strongest when A is a fast producer of L and B is a tight binder to it. ProRec is a force that could drive a mechanism (the catpath mechanism) by which catalysts could become spatially localized into functional pathways, such as in the biochemical networks in cells, which can achieve complex goals.