The ensemble nature of allostery


Allostery is the process by which biological macromolecules (mostly proteins) transmit the effect of binding at one site to another, often distal, functional site, allowing for regulation of activity. Recent experimental observations demonstrating that allostery can be facilitated by dynamic and intrinsically disordered proteins have resulted in a new paradigm for understanding allosteric mechanisms, which focuses on the conformational ensemble and the statistical nature of the interactions responsible for the transmission of information. Analysis of allosteric ensembles reveals a rich spectrum of regulatory strategies, as well as a framework to unify the description of allosteric mechanisms from different systems.

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Figure 1: Structure-based views of allostery.
Figure 2: The dynamic continuum of allosteric phenomena.
Figure 3: Allosteric systems from the dynamic continuum.


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This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant MCB1330211 and by National Institutes of Health grants GM63747 and T32-GM008403.

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V.J.H. conceived the manuscript; H.N.M., J.O.W., J.L. and V.J.H. wrote and edited the manuscript.

Correspondence to Vincent J. Hilser.

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Motlagh, H., Wrabl, J., Li, J. et al. The ensemble nature of allostery. Nature 508, 331–339 (2014).

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