Multiple conformational selection and induced fit events take place in allosteric propagation

Ruth Nussinov*, Buyong Ma, Chung Jung Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The fact that we observe a single conformational selection event during binding does not necessarily mean that only a single conformational selection event takes place, even though this is the common assumption. Here we suggest that conformational selection takes place not once in a given binding/allosteric event, but at every step along the allosteric pathway. This view generalizes conformational selection and makes it applicable also to other allosteric events, such as post-translational modifications (PTMs) and photon absorption. Similar to binding, at each step along a propagation pathway, conformational selection is coupled with induced fit which optimizes the interactions. Thus, as in binding, the allosteric effects induced by PTMs and light relate not only to population shift; but to conformational selection as well. Conformational selection and population shift take place conjointly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical Chemistry
StatePublished - Feb 2014


FundersFunder number
Center for Cancer Research
National Institutes of HealthHHSN261200800001E
National Cancer InstituteZIABC010441


    • Allosteric
    • Allostery
    • Binding
    • Conformational selection
    • Induced fit
    • Molecular recognition


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