[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding of multidrug binding at the atomic level would facilitate drug design and strategies to modulate drug metabolism, including drug transport, oxidation, and conjugation. Therefore we explored the mechanism of promiscuous binding of small molecules by studying the ligand binding domain, the PAS-B domain of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Because of the low sequence identities of PAS domains to be used for homology modeling, structural features of the widely employed HIF-2α and a more recent suitable template, CLOCK were compared. These structures were used to build AhR PAS-B homology models. We performed molecular dynamics simulations to characterize dynamic properties of the PAS-B domain and the generated conformational ensembles were employed in in silico docking. In order to understand structural and ligand binding features we compared the stability and dynamics of the promiscuous AhR PAS-B to other PAS domains exhibiting specific interactions or no ligand binding function. Our exhaustive in silico binding studies, in which we dock a wide spectrum of ligand molecules to the conformational ensembles, suggest that ligand specificity and selection may be determined not only by the PAS-B domain itself, but also by other parts of AhR and its protein interacting partners. We propose that ligand binding pocket and access channels leading to the pocket play equally important roles in discrimination of endogenous molecules and xenobiotics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) lack a stable tertiary structure, but their short binding regions termed Pre-Structured Motifs (PreSMo) can form transient secondary structure elements in solution. Although disordered proteins are crucial in many biological processes and designing strategies to modulate their function is highly important, both experimental and computational tools to describe their conformational ensembles and the initial steps of folding are sparse. Here we report that discrete molecular dynamics (DMD) simulations combined with replica exchange (RX) method efficiently samples the conformational space and detects regions populating α-helical conformational states in disordered protein regions. While the available computational methods predict secondary structural propensities in IDPs based on the observation of protein-protein interactions, our ab initio method rests on physical principles of protein folding and dynamics. We show that RX-DMD predicts α-PreSMos with high confidence confirmed by comparison to experimental NMR data. Moreover, the method also can dissect α-PreSMos in close vicinity to each other and indicate helix stability. Importantly, simulations with disordered regions forming helices in X-ray structures of complexes indicate that a preformed helix is frequently the binding element itself, while in other cases it may have a role in initiating the binding process. Our results indicate that RX-DMD provides a breakthrough in the structural and dynamical characterization of disordered proteins by generating the structural ensembles of IDPs even when experimental data are not available.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABCG2 is an important multidrug transporter involved also in urate transport, thus its mutations can lead to the development of gout and may also alter general drug absorption, distribution and excretion. The frequent ABCG2 polymorphism, Q141K, is associated with an elevated risk of gout and has been controversially reported to reduce the plasma membrane expression and/or the transport function of the protein. In the present work we examined the stability and cellular processing of the Q141K ABCG2 variant, as well as that of the ΔF142 ABCG2, corresponding to the ΔF508 mutation in the CFTR (ABCC7) protein, causing cystic fibrosis. The processing and localization of full length ABCG2 variants were investigated in mammalian cells, followed by Western blotting and confocal microscopy, respectively. Folding and stability were examined by limited proteolysis of Sf9 insect cell membranes expressing these ABCG2 constructs. Stability of isolated nucleotide binding domains, expressed in and purified from bacteria, was studied by CD spectroscopy. We find that the Q141K variant has a mild processing defect which can be rescued by low temperature, a slightly reduced activity, and a mild folding defect, especially affecting the NBD. In contrast, the ΔF142 mutant has major processing and folding defects, and no ATPase function. We suggest that although these mutations are both localized within the NBD, based on molecular modeling their contribution to the ABCG2 structure and function is different, thus rescue strategies may be devised accordingly.
No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications