Exothermicity Is Not a Necessary Condition for Enhanced Diffusion of Enzymes

Pierre Illien, Xi Zhao, Krishna K. Dey, Peter J. Butler, Ayusman Sen, Ramin Golestanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Recent experiments have revealed that the diffusivity of exothermic and fast enzymes is enhanced when they are catalytically active, and different physical mechanisms have been explored and quantified to account for this observation. We perform measurements on the endothermic and relatively slow enzyme aldolase, which also shows substrate-induced enhanced diffusion. We propose a new physical paradigm, which reveals that the diffusion coefficient of a model enzyme hydrodynamically coupled to its environment increases significantly when undergoing changes in conformational fluctuations in a substrate concentration dependent manner, and is independent of the overall turnover rate of the underlying enzymatic reaction. Our results show that substrate-induced enhanced diffusion of enzyme molecules can be explained within an equilibrium picture and that the exothermicity of the catalyzed reaction is not a necessary condition for the observation of this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4415-4420
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 12 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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