Theoretical estimation of contribution of the electrostatic interactions to pre-orientation
of ribonuclease subunits in process of complex formation was carried out. The subunit was considered as a multipole consisting of partial charges of all...

Theoretical estimation of contribution of the electrostatic interactions to pre-orientation
of ribonuclease subunits in process of complex formation was carried out. The subunit was considered as a multipole consisting of partial charges of all atoms of the molecule. The object of investigation was a system of two subunits with their centers of gravity fixed at some distance in vacuum. It was proposed that each subunit independently could rotate freely around its fixed center of gravity. The relative orientation states of the subunits in such system were searched at which the system has electrostatic energy minima (equilibrium states). In first approximation the equilibrium states were found using especially designed approximate method for electrostatic interaction energy calculation, which permitted to calculate and compare the energies of the system in 245 (~ 8 106) states with different mutual orientation of subunits. The angular coordinates of the found
equilibrium states were further specified by calculation with gradient sliding method.
Angular coordinates of the equilibrium states and the shapes of energy surface cuts along each coordinate angle were calculated also for the intersubunits distances diminished down to 50 Å. The dispersions of the angular coordinates of equilibrium states caused by heat movement (at T=300º) and their changes with shortening the distance between centers of gravity of subunits were estimated. Mutual orientation of subunits in the equilibrium states of the system under consideration was found to be similar to their mutual orientations in complex. Also it was found that relaxation time of the system, caused by electrostatic interaction of subunits, after removing the system from an equilibrium state, is much less in vacuum than the mean time between their Brownian collisions at room temperature.
It follows from these results that in the case of ribonuclease in vacuum the electrostatic
interactions of its subunits must be strong enough to realize the effictive pre-orientation
of subunits during their Brownian approach from distances of the order 100 Å. Preliminary consideration taking into account the effect of surrounding water molecules on the electrostatic interactions of ribonuclease subunits showed that weakening of the interaction must be much less than in the case when one uses in its calculation the macroscopic dielectric permeability value equal to 80. So the results obtained for vacuum seem to be true for water solution also.

*J. Biomol. Structure & Dynamics, 2004, 22 (1), 111-118.*