Single-molecule theory of enzymatic inhibition predicts the emergence of inhibitor-activator duality
Tal Robin, Shlomi Reuveni, and Michael Urbakh
Received: 26th October 17
The classical theory of enzymatic inhibition aims to quantitatively describe the effect of certain molecules—called inhibitors—on the progression of enzymatic reactions, but growing signs indicate that it must be revised to keep pace with the single-molecule revolution that is sweeping through the sciences. Here, we take the single enzyme perspective and rebuild the theory of enzymatic inhibition from the bottom up. We find that accounting for multi-conformational enzyme structure and intrinsic randomness cannot undermine the validity of classical results in the case of competitive inhibition; but that it should strongly change our view on the uncompetitive and mixed modes of inhibition. There, stochastic fluctuations on the single-enzyme level could give rise to inhibitor-activator duality—a phenomenon in which, under some conditions, the introduction of a molecule whose binding shuts down enzymatic catalysis will counter intuitively work to facilitate product formation. We state—in terms of experimentally measurable quantities—a mathematical condition for the emergence of inhibitor-activator duality, and propose that it could explain why certain molecules that act as inhibitors when substrate concentrations are high elicit a non-monotonic dose response when substrate concentrations are low. The fundamental and practical implications of our findings are thoroughly discussed.
Read in full at bioRxiv.
This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.