Conformational change

Change in the shape of a macromolecule, often induced by environmental factors / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In biochemistry, a conformational change is a change in the shape of a macromolecule, often induced by environmental factors.

Conformational changes can elicit the motion of a protein complex. Kinesin walking on a microtubule is a molecular biological machine using protein domain dynamics on nanoscales

A macromolecule is usually flexible and dynamic. Its shape can change in response to changes in its environment or other factors; each possible shape is called a conformation, and a transition between them is called a conformational change. Factors that may induce such changes include temperature, pH, voltage, light in chromophores, concentration of ions, phosphorylation, or the binding of a ligand. Transitions between these states occur on a variety of length scales (tenths of Å to nm) and time scales (ns to s), and have been linked to functionally relevant phenomena such as allosteric signaling[1] and enzyme catalysis.[2]