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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of deuteration on receptor-ligand binding Lee, Anna


In this thesis, we use a particle coupled to a phonon bath to accurately model biological and chemical reactions. The path decomposition expansion (PDX) formalism is used to determine the tunneling dynamics of the particle. By decomposing the potential energy landscape into the classically allowed and classically forbidden regions, we can calculate the path integrals associated with each region and connect them to evaluate the full Green's function. We will also discuss how deuteration of ligand molecules may affect enzyme-substrate binding in GPCR systems. It has been theorized that binding may be dependent on a molecular vibrational component. We investigate this in the β-adrenergic receptor system using the deuterated and non-deuterated forms of the ligand epinephrine. The measurement for successful binding is determined by the amounts of second messenger cyclic-AMP produced. However, our results proved inconclusive and a discussion of possible problems as well as recommendations is included.

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