[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunological response induced by small amino peptide has attracted much recent attention in the field of immunotherapy. Wilms' tumor (WT1) protein is one of the potent tumor antigens inducing immunological response in mouse and human, because WT1 is over expressed in many types of leukemia and various kinds of solid tumors. A 9-mer peptide encoded in WT1 protein (CMTWNQMNL; amino acid 235-243) is known to serve as antigenic peptide for human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*2402 molecule. It was reported that the replacement of the second amino residue, which is deeply responsible for the peptide binding to HLA, induced strong immunological response compared to the natural peptide. In this study, 19 kinds of single amino substitutions were introduced at position 2 of this 9-mer WT1 peptide. We performed molecular dynamics simulation on the complex of each of WT1 epitope peptides and HLA-β2 micro globulin (β2m) molecule, and subsequently estimated the binding affinity using molecular mechanics/generalized-Born surface area method combined with normal mode analysis. Our computation indicated that the peptide containing M2Y or M2W mutation showed high binding affinity to the HLA-β2m molecule as well as the natural peptide. We have also examined the role of the residue at position 2 in peptide binding to HLA-β2m. The calculation showed that van der Waals interaction between the side chain of the residue at position 2 and hydrophobic residues inside B-pocket of HLA are important. These findings will be helpful to search other potent peptides that will enhance strong immunological response specific to HLA-A*2402 molecule.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To raise the accuracy of the force field for nucleic acids, several parameters were elaborated, focusing on the rotation around chi torsion axis. The reliability of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was significantly increased by improving the torsion parameters at C8--N9--C1'--X (X = H1', C2', O4') in A, G and those at C6--N1--C1'--X in C, T, and U. In this work, we constructed small models representing the chemical structure of A, G, C, T, and U, and estimated energy profile for chi-axis rotation by executing numerous quantum mechanical (QM) calculations. The parameters were derived by discrete Fourier transformation of the calculated QM data. A comparison in energy profile between molecular mechanical (MM) calculation and QM one shows that our presently derived parameters well reproduce the energy surface of QM calculation for all the above torsion terms. Furthermore, our parameters show a good performance in MD simulations of some nucleic acids. Hence, the present refinement of parameters will enable us to perform more accurate simulations for various types of nucleic acids.