All-atom structural models for complexes of insulin-like growth factors IGF1 and IGF2 with their cognate receptor.
ABSTRACT Type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R) is a membrane-spanning glycoprotein of the insulin receptor family that has been implicated in a variety of cancers. The key questions related to molecular mechanisms governing ligand recognition by IGF1R remain unanswered, partly due to the lack of testable structural models of apo or ligand-bound receptor complexes. Using a homology model of the IGF1R ectodomain IGF1RDeltabeta, we present the first experimentally consistent all-atom structural models of IGF1/IGF1RDeltabeta and IGF2/IGF1RDeltabeta complexes. Our explicit-solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of apo-IGF1RDeltabeta shows that it displays asymmetric flexibility mechanisms that result in one of two binding pockets accessible to growth factors IGF1 and IGF2, as demonstrated via an MD-assisted Monte Carlo docking procedure. Our MD-generated ensemble of structures of apo and IGF1-bound IGF1RDeltabeta agrees reasonably well with published small-angle X-ray scattering data. We observe simultaneous contacts of each growth factor with sites 1 and 2 of IGF1R, suggesting cross-linking of receptor subunits. Our models provide direct evidence in favor of suggested electrostatic complementarity between the C-domain (IGF1) and the cysteine-rich domain (IGF1R). Our IGF1/IGF1RDeltabeta model provides structural bases for the observation that a single IGF1 molecule binds to IGF1RDeltabeta at low concentrations in small-angle X-ray scattering studies. We also suggest new possible structural bases for differences in the affinities of insulin, IGF1, and IGF2 for their noncognate receptors.
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ABSTRACT: The serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT) plays an important role in the termination of 5-HT-mediated neurotransmission by transporting 5-HT away from the synaptic cleft and into the presynaptic neuron. In addition, SERT is the main target for antidepressant drugs, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The three-dimensional (3D) structure of SERT has not yet been determined, and little is known about the molecular mechanisms of substrate binding and transport, though such information is very important for the development of new antidepressant drugs. In this study, a homology model of SERT was constructed based on the 3D structure of a prokaryotic homologous leucine transporter (LeuT) (PDB id: 2A65). Eleven tryptamine derivates (including 5-HT) and the SSRI (S)-citalopram were docked into the putative substrate binding site, and two possible binding modes of the ligands were found. To study the conformational effect that ligand binding may have on SERT, two SERT-5-HT and two SERT-(S)-citalopram complexes, as well as the SERT apo structure, were embedded in POPC lipid bilayers and comparative molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed. Our results show that 5-HT in the SERT-5-HT(B) complex induced larger conformational changes in the cytoplasmic parts of the transmembrane helices of SERT than any of the other ligands. Based on these results, we suggest that the formation and breakage of ionic interactions with amino acids in transmembrane helices 6 and 8 and intracellular loop 1 may be of importance for substrate translocation.Journal of Molecular Modeling 06/2011; 18(3):1073-85. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Brain metastasis is a common cause of mortality in cancer patients, yet potential therapeutic targets remain largely unknown. The type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR) is known to play a role in the progression of breast cancer and is currently being investigated in the clinical setting for various types of cancer. The present study demonstrates that IGF-IR is constitutively autophosphorylated in brain-seeking breast cancer sublines. Knockdown of IGF-IR results in a decrease of phospho-AKT and phospho-p70s6k, as well as decreased migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231Br brain-seeking cells. In addition, transient ablation of IGFBP3, which is overexpressed in brain-seeking cells, blocks IGF-IR activation. Using an in vivo experimental brain metastasis model, we show that IGF-IR knockdown brain-seeking cells have reduced potential to establish brain metastases. Finally, we demonstrate that the malignancy of brain-seeking cells is attenuated by pharmacological inhibition with picropodophyllin, an IGF-IR-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Together, our data suggest that the IGF-IR is an important mediator of brain metastasis and its ablation delays the onset of brain metastases in our model system.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e73406. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Insulin regulates blood glucose levels in higher organisms by binding to and activating insulin receptor (IR), a constitutively homodimeric glycoprotein of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) superfamily. Therapeutic efforts in treating diabetes have been significantly impeded by the absence of structural information on the activated form of the insulin/IR complex. Mutagenesis and photo-crosslinking experiments and structural information on insulin and apo-IR strongly suggest that the dualchain insulin molecule, unlike the related single-chain insulin-like growth factors, binds to IR in a very different conformation than what is displayed in storage forms of the hormone. In particular, hydrophobic residues buried in the core of the folded insulin molecule engage the receptor. There is also the possibility of plasticity in the receptor structure based on these data, which may in part be due to rearrangement of the so-called CT-peptide, a tandem binding element of the IR. These possibilities provide opportunity for large-scale molecular modeling to contribute to our understanding of this system. Using various atomistic simulation approaches, we have constructed all-atom structural models of hormone/receptor complexes in the presence of CT in its crystallographic position and a thermodynamically favorable displaced position. In the "displaced-CT" complex, many more insulin-receptorcontacts suggested by experiments are satisfied, and our simulations also suggest that R-insulin potentially represents the receptor-bound form of hormone. The results presented in this work have further implications for the design of receptorspecific agonists/antagonists. Proteins 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 01/2013; · 3.34 Impact Factor