ResearchPad - electrostatic-bonding https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The role of the C<sub>2</sub>A domain of synaptotagmin 1 in asynchronous neurotransmitter release]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14623 Following nerve stimulation, there are two distinct phases of Ca2+-dependent neurotransmitter release: a fast, synchronous release phase, and a prolonged, asynchronous release phase. Each of these phases is tightly regulated and mediated by distinct mechanisms. Synaptotagmin 1 is the major Ca2+ sensor that triggers fast, synchronous neurotransmitter release upon Ca2+ binding by its C2A and C2B domains. It has also been implicated in the inhibition of asynchronous neurotransmitter release, as blocking Ca2+ binding by the C2A domain of synaptotagmin 1 results in increased asynchronous release. However, the mutation used to block Ca2+ binding in the previous experiments (aspartate to asparagine mutations, sytD-N) had the unintended side effect of mimicking Ca2+ binding, raising the possibility that the increase in asynchronous release was directly caused by ostensibly constitutive Ca2+ binding. Thus, rather than modulating an asynchronous sensor, sytD-N may be mimicking one. To directly test the C2A inhibition hypothesis, we utilized an alternate C2A mutation that we designed to block Ca2+ binding without mimicking it (an aspartate to glutamate mutation, sytD-E). Analysis of both the original sytD-N mutation and our alternate sytD-E mutation at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction showed differential effects on asynchronous release, as well as on synchronous release and the frequency of spontaneous release. Importantly, we found that asynchronous release is not increased in the sytD-E mutant. Thus, our work provides new mechanistic insight into synaptotagmin 1 function during Ca2+-evoked synaptic transmission and demonstrates that Ca2+ binding by the C2A domain of synaptotagmin 1 does not inhibit asynchronous neurotransmitter release in vivo.

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<![CDATA[Construction of an integrated database for hERG blocking small molecules]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a289e463d7e4513b8980e

The inhibition of the hERG potassium channel is closely related to the prolonged QT interval, and thus assessing this risk could greatly facilitate the development of therapeutic compounds and the withdrawal of hazardous marketed drugs. The recent increase in SAR information about hERG inhibitors in public databases has led to many successful applications of machine learning techniques to predict hERG inhibition. However, most of these reports constructed their prediction models based on only one SAR database because the differences in the data format and ontology hindered the integration of the databases. In this study, we curated the hERG-related data in ChEMBL, PubChem, GOSTAR, and hERGCentral, and integrated them into the largest database about hERG inhibition by small molecules. Assessment of structural diversity using Murcko frameworks revealed that the integrated database contains more than twice as many chemical scaffolds for hERG inhibitors than any of the individual databases, and covers 18.2% of the Murcko framework-based chemical space occupied by the compounds in ChEMBL. The database provides the most comprehensive information about hERG inhibitors and will be useful to design safer compounds for drug discovery. The database is freely available at http://drugdesign.riken.jp/hERGdb/.

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<![CDATA[Role of non-native electrostatic interactions in the coupled folding and binding of PUMA with Mcl-1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf411

PUMA, which belongs to the BH3-only protein family, is an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP). It binds to its cellular partner Mcl-1 through its BH3 motif, which folds upon binding into an α helix. We have applied a structure-based coarse-grained model, with an explicit DebyeHückel charge model, to probe the importance of electrostatic interactions both in the early and the later stages of this model coupled folding and binding process. This model was carefully calibrated with the experimental data on helical content and affinity, and shown to be consistent with previously published experimental data on binding rate changes with respect to ionic strength. We find that intramolecular electrostatic interactions influence the unbound states of PUMA only marginally. Our results further suggest that intermolecular electrostatic interactions, and in particular non-native electrostatic interactions, are involved in formation of the initial encounter complex. We are able to reveal the binding mechanism in more detail than is possible using experimental data alone however, and in particular we uncover the role of non-native electrostatic interactions. We highlight the potential importance of such electrostatic interactions for describing the binding reactions of IDPs. Such approaches could be used to provide predictions for the results of mutational studies.

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<![CDATA[Inhibition and Larvicidal Activity of Phenylpropanoids from Piper sarmentosum on Acetylcholinesterase against Mosquito Vectors and Their Binding Mode of Interaction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f7ab0ee8fa60b70a17

Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus are vectors of dengue fever and West Nile virus diseases. This study was conducted to determine the toxicity, mechanism of action and the binding interaction of three active phenylpropanoids from Piper sarmentosum (Piperaceae) toward late 3rd or early 4th larvae of above vectors. A bioassay guided-fractionation on the hexane extract from the roots of Piper sarmentosum led to the isolation and identification of three active phenylpropanoids; asaricin 1, isoasarone 2 and trans-asarone 3. The current study involved evaluation of the toxicity and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition of these compounds against Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. Asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 were highly potent against Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus larvae causing up to 100% mortality at ≤ 15 μg/mL concentration. The ovicidal activity of asaricin 1, isoasarone 2 and trans-asarone 3 were evaluated through egg hatching. Asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 showed potent ovicidal activity. Ovicidal activity for both compounds was up to 95% at 25μg/mL. Asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 showed strong inhibition on acetylcholinesterase with relative IC50 values of 0.73 to 1.87 μg/mL respectively. These findings coupled with the high AChE inhibition may suggest that asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 are neuron toxic compounds toward Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus. Further computational docking with Autodock Vina elaborates the possible interaction of asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 with three possible binding sites of AChE which includes catalytic triads (CAS: S238, E367, H480), the peripheral sites (PAS: E72, W271) and anionic binding site (W83). The binding affinity of asaricin 1 and isoasarone 2 were relatively strong with asaricin 1 showed a higher binding affinity in the anionic pocket.

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<![CDATA[An Electrostatic Funnel in the GABA-Binding Pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab3ab0ee8fa60bac047

The γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAA-R) is a major inhibitory neuroreceptor that is activated by the binding of GABA. The structure of the GABAA-R is well characterized, and many of the binding site residues have been identified. However, most of these residues are obscured behind the C-loop that acts as a cover to the binding site. Thus, the mechanism by which the GABA molecule recognizes the binding site, and the pathway it takes to enter the binding site are both unclear. Through the completion and detailed analysis of 100 short, unbiased, independent molecular dynamics simulations, we have investigated this phenomenon of GABA entering the binding site. In each system, GABA was placed quasi-randomly near the binding site of a GABAA-R homology model, and atomistic simulations were carried out to observe the behavior of the GABA molecules. GABA fully entered the binding site in 19 of the 100 simulations. The pathway taken by these molecules was consistent and non-random; the GABA molecules approach the binding site from below, before passing up behind the C-loop and into the binding site. This binding pathway is driven by long-range electrostatic interactions, whereby the electrostatic field acts as a ‘funnel’ that sweeps the GABA molecules towards the binding site, at which point more specific atomic interactions take over. These findings define a nuanced mechanism whereby the GABAA-R uses the general zwitterionic features of the GABA molecule to identify a potential ligand some 2 nm away from the binding site.

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<![CDATA[Computational Investigation of the Interplay of Substrate Positioning and Reactivity in Catechol O-Methyltransferase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa9ab0ee8fa60ba8d05

Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a SAM- and Mg2+-dependent methyltransferase that regulates neurotransmitters through methylation. Simulations and experiments have identified divergent catecholamine substrate orientations in the COMT active site: molecular dynamics simulations have favored a monodentate coordination of catecholate substrates to the active site Mg2+, and crystal structures instead preserve bidentate coordination along with short (2.65 Å) methyl donor-acceptor distances. We carry out longer dynamics (up to 350 ns) to quantify interconversion between bidentate and monodentate binding poses. We provide a systematic determination of the relative free energy of the monodentate and bidentate structures in order to identify whether structural differences alter the nature of the methyl transfer mechanism and source of enzymatic rate enhancement. We demonstrate that the bidentate and monodentate binding modes are close in energy but separated by a 7 kcal/mol free energy barrier. Analysis of interactions in the two binding modes reveals that the driving force for monodentate catecholate orientations in classical molecular dynamics simulations is derived from stronger electrostatic stabilization afforded by alternate Mg2+ coordination with strongly charged active site carboxylates. Mixed semi-empirical-classical (SQM/MM) substrate C-O distances (2.7 Å) for the bidentate case are in excellent agreement with COMT X-ray crystal structures, as long as charge transfer between the substrates, Mg2+, and surrounding ligands is permitted. SQM/MM free energy barriers for methyl transfer from bidentate and monodentate catecholate configurations are comparable at around 21–22 kcal/mol, in good agreement with experiment (18–19 kcal/mol). Overall, the work suggests that both binding poses are viable for methyl transfer, and accurate descriptions of charge transfer and electrostatics are needed to provide balanced relative barriers when multiple binding poses are accessible, for example in other transferases.

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<![CDATA[Striking HIV-1 Entry by Targeting HIV-1 gp41. But, Where Should We Target?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf0ab0ee8fa60bc0d26

HIV-1 gp41 facilitates the viral fusion through a conformational switch involving the association of three C-terminal helices along the conserved hydrophobic grooves of three N-terminal helices coiled-coil. The control of these structural rearrangements is thought to be central to HIV-1 entry and, therefore, different strategies of intervention are being developed. Herewith, we describe a procedure to simulate the folding of an HIV-1 gp41 simplified model. This procedure is based on the construction of plausible conformational pathways, which describe protein transition between non-fusogenic and fusogenic conformations. The calculation of the paths started with 100 molecular dynamics simulations of the non-fusogenic conformation, which were found to converge to different intermediate states. Those presenting defined criteria were selected for separate targeted molecular dynamics simulations, subjected to a force constant imposing a movement towards the gp41 fusogenic conformation. Despite significant diversity, a preferred sequence of events emerged when the simulations were analyzed in terms of the formation, breakage and evolution of the contacts. We pointed out 29 residues as the most relevant for the movement of gp41; also, 2696 possible interactions were reduced to only 48 major interactions, which reveals the efficiency of the method. The analysis of the evolution of the main interactions lead to the detection of four main behaviors for those contacts: stable, increasing, decreasing and repulsive interactions. Altogether, these results suggest a specific small cavity of the HIV-1 gp41 hydrophobic groove as the preferred target to small molecules.

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<![CDATA[The Hinge Region Strengthens the Nonspecific Interaction between Lac-Repressor and DNA: A Computer Simulation Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa5ab0ee8fa60ba7708

LacI is commonly used as a model to study the protein-DNA interaction and gene regulation. The headpiece of the lac-repressor (LacI) protein is an ideal system for investigation of nonspecific binding of the whole LacI protein to DNA. The hinge region of the headpiece has been known to play a key role in the specific binding of LacI to DNA, whereas its role in nonspecific binding process has not been elucidated. Here, we report the results of explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulation and continuum electrostatic calculations suggesting that the hinge region strengthens the nonspecific interaction, accounting for up to 50% of the micro-dissociation free energy of LacI from DNA. Consequently, the rate of microscopic dissociation of LacI from DNA is reduced by 2~3 orders of magnitude in the absence of the hinge region. We find the hinge region makes an important contribution to the electrostatic energy, the salt dependence of electrostatic energy, and the number of salt ions excluded from binding of the LacI-DNA complex.

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