Molecular dynamics and free energy analyses of cathepsin D-inhibitor interactions: Insight into structure-based ligand design

Shuanghong Huo, Junmei Wang, Piotr Cieplak, Peter A. Kollman, Irwin D. Kuntz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we compare the calculated and experimental binding free energies for a combinatorial library of inhibitors of cathepsin D (CatD), an aspartyl protease. Using a molecular dynamics (MD)-based, continuum solvent method (MM-PBSA), we are able to reproduce the experimental binding affinity for a set of seven inhibitors with an average error of ca. 1 kcal/mol and a correlation coefficient of 0.98. By comparing the dynamical conformations of the inhibitors complexed with CatD with the initial conformations generated by CombiBuild (University of California, San Francisco, CA, 1995), we have found that the docking conformation observed in an X-ray structure of one peptide inhibitor bound to CatD (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1993, 90, 6796-6800) is in good agreement with our MD simulation. However, the DOCK scoring function, based on intermolecular van der Waals and electrostatics, using a distance-dependent dielectric constant (J. Comput. Chem. 1992, 13, 505-524), poorly reproduces the trend of experimental binding affinity for these inhibitors. Finally, the use of PROFEC (J. Comput.-Aided Mol. Des. 1998, 12, 215-227) analysis allowed us to identify two possible substitutions to improve the binding of one of the better inhibitors to CatD. This study offers hope that current methods of estimating the free energy of binding are accurate enough to be used in a multistep virtual screening protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1412-1419
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume45
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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