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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Only subtle protein conformational adaptations are required for ligand binding to thyroid hormone receptors: Simulations using a novel multipoint steered molecular dynamics approach

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Martinez, Leandro [1] ; Polikarpov, Igor [2] ; Skaf, Munir S. [1]
Total Authors: 3
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, Inst Chem, BR-13084862 Campinas, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Fis Sao Carlos, BR-13560970 Sao Carlos, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: Journal of Physical Chemistry B; v. 112, n. 34, p. 10741-10751, AUG 28 2008.
Web of Science Citations: 49

Thyroid hormone receptors (TR) are hormone-dependent transcription regulators that play a major role in human health, development, and metabolic functions. The thyroid hormone resistance syndrome, diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer are just a few examples of important diseases that are related to TR malfunctioning, particularly impaired hormone binding. Ligand binding to and dissociation from the receptor ultimately control gene transcription and, thus, detailed knowledge of binding and release mechanisms are fundamental for the comprehension of the receptor's biological function and development of pharmaceuticals. In this work, we present the first computational study of ligand entry into the ligand binding domain (LBD) of a nuclear receptor. We report molecular dynamics simulations of ligand binding to TRs using a generalization of the steered molecular dynamics technique designed to perform single-molecule pulling simulations along arbitrarily nonlinear driving pathways. We show that only gentle protein movements and conformational adaptations are required for ligand entry into the LBDs and that the magnitude of the forces applied to assist ligand binding are of the order of the forces involved in ligand dissociation. Our simulations suggest an alternative view for the mechanisms ligand binding and dissociation of ligands from nuclear receptors in which ligands can simply diffuse through the protein surface to reach proper positioning within the binding pocket. The proposed picture indicates that the large-amplitude protein motions suggested by the apo- and holo-RXR alpha crystallographic structures are not required, reconciling conformational changes of LBDs required for ligand entry with other nuclear receptors apo-structures that resemble the ligand-bound LBDs. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 06/06831-8 - Molecular dynamics simulations of thyroid hormone receptors
Grantee:Leandro Martinez
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 06/00182-8 - Structural biophysics of nuclear receptors and related proteins
Grantee:Igor Polikarpov
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants