[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recognition and association of donepezil with acetylcholinesterase (AChE) has been extensively studied in the past several decades because of the former's use as a palliative treatment for mild Alzheimer disease. Herein we examine the conformational properties of donepezil and we re-examine the donepezil-AChE crystal structure using combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) X-ray refinement tools. Donepezil's conformational energy surface was explored using the M06 suite of density functionals and with the MP2/complete basis set (CBS) method using the aug-cc-pVXZ (X = D and T) basis sets. The donepezil-AChE complex (PDB 1EVE) was also re-refined through a parallel QM/MM X-ray refinement approach based on an in-house ab initio code QUICK, which uses the message passing interface (MPI) in a distributed SCF algorithm to accelerate the calculation via parallelization. In the QM/MM re-refined donepezil structure, coordinate errors that previously existed in the PDB deposited geometry were improved leading to an improvement of the modeling of the interaction between donepezil and the aromatic side chains located in the AChE active site gorge. As a result of the re-refinement there was a 93% reduction in the donepezil conformational strain energy versus the original PDB structure. The results of the present effort offer further detailed structural and biochemical inhibitor-AChE information for the continued development of more effective and palliative treatments of Alzheimer disease.
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 12/2013; 9(3):1686-1693. · 5.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NphB is an aromatic prenyltransferase that catalyzes the attachment of a 10-carbon geranyl group to aromatic substrates. Importantly, NphB exhibits a rich substrate selectivity and product regioselectivity. A systematic computational study has been conducted in order to address several question associated with NphB-catalyzed geranylation. The reaction mechanism of the prenylation step has been characterized as a S(N)1 type dissociative mechanism with a weakly stable carbocation intermediate. A novel π-chamber composed of Tyr121, Tyr216, and 1,6-DHN is found to be important in stabilizing the carbocation. The observed difference in the rates of product formation from 5- and 2-prenylation arises from the differing orientations of the aromatic substrate in the resting state. 4-Prenylation shares the same resting state with 5-prenylation, but the lower free energy barrier for carbocation formation makes the latter reaction more facile. The high free energy barrier associated with 7-prenylation is caused by the unfavorable orientation of 1,6-DHN in active site pocket, along with the difficulty of proton elimination after the prenylation step. A water-mediated proton transfer facilitates the loss of hydrogen at the prenylation site to form the final prenylated product. Interestingly, the same crystallographically observed water molecule has been found to be responsible for proton loss in all three experimentally identified products. After proton transfer, the relaxation of the final product from a sp(3) carbon center to a sp(2) center triggers a "spring-loaded" product release mechanism which pushes the final product out of the binding pocket toward the edge of the active site. The hydrogen bond interactions between the two hydroxyl groups of the aromatic product and the side chains of Ser214 and Tyr288 help to "steer" the movement of the product. In addition, mutagenesis studies identify these same two side chains as being responsible for the observed regioselectivity, particularly 2-prenylation. These observations provide valuable insights into NphB chemistry, offering an opportunity to better engineer the active site and to control the reactivity in order to obtain high yields of the desired product(s). Furthermore, the S(N)1 reaction mechanism observed for NphB differs from the prenylation reaction found in, for example, the farnesyltransferase, which proceeds via an S(N)2-like reaction pathway. The spring-loaded release mechanism highlighted herein also offers novel insights into how enzymes facilitate product release.