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Niu Y.,Lanzhou University | Pan D.,Lanzhou University | Shi D.,Lanzhou University | Bai Q.,Lanzhou University | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

As a promising target for the treatment of lung cancer, the MutT Homolog 1 (MTH1) protein can be inhibited by crizotinib. A recent work shows that the inhibitory potency of (S)-crizotinib against MTH1 is about 20 times over that of (R)-crizotinib. But the detailed molecular mechanism remains unclear. In this study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and free energy calculations were used to elucidate the mechanism about the effect of chirality of crizotinib on the inhibitory activity against MTH1. The binding free energy of (S)-crizotinib predicted by the Molecular Mechanics/Generalized Born Surface Area (MM/GBSA) and Adaptive biasing force (ABF) methodologies is much lower than that of (R)-crizotinib, which is consistent with the experimental data. The analysis of the individual energy terms suggests that the van der Waals interactions are important for distinguishing the binding of (S)-crizotinib and (R)-crizotinib. The binding free energy decomposition analysis illustrated that residues Tyr7, Phe27, Phe72 and Trp117 were important for the selective binding of (S)-crizotinib to MTH1. The adaptive biasing force (ABF) method was further employed to elucidate the unbinding process of (S)-crizotinib and (R)-crizotinib from the binding pocket of MTH1. ABF simulation results suggest that the reaction coordinates of the (S)-crizotinib from the binding pocket is different from (R)-crizotinib. The results from our study can reveal the details about the effect of chirality on the inhibition activity of crizotinib to MTH1 and provide valuable information for the design of more potent inhibitors. © 2015 Niu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Zan W.,Lanzhou University | Geng W.,Lanzhou University | Liu H.,Lanzhou University | Liu H.,Separating Scientific Institute of Lanzhou | Yao X.,Lanzhou University
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2016

Vertical heterostructures of MoS2/h-BN/graphene have been successfully fabricated in recent experiments. Using first-principles analysis, we show that the structural and electronic properties of such vertical heterostructures are sensitive to applied vertical electric fields and strain. The applied electric field not only enhances the interlayer coupling but also linearly controls the charge transfer between graphene and MoS2 layers, leading to a tunable doping in graphene and controllable Schottky barrier height. Applied biaxial strain could weaken the interlayer coupling and results in a slight shift of graphene's Dirac point with respect to the Fermi level. It is of practical importance that the tunable electronic properties by strain and electric fields are immune to the presence of sulfur vacancies, the most common defect in MoS2. © the Owner Societies 2016. Source

Wang Q.,Lanzhou University | Zhou S.,Lanzhou University | Wei W.,Lanzhou University | Yao X.,Lanzhou University | And 3 more authors.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2015

The aggregation of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) is closely related with the occurrence of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Natural flavonoid morin was confirmed to not only inhibit the amyloid formation of hIAPP, but disaggregate its preformed amyloid fibrils. In this study, with the goal of elucidating the molecular mechanism of inhibition and destabilization of morin on the full-length hIAPP1-37 oligomer, molecular dynamics simulations were performed for hIAPP1-37 pentamer in the presence and absence of morin. The obtained results show that during the protein-inhibitor interaction, morin can notably alter the structural properties of hIAPP1-37 pentamer, such as morphology, solvent accessible surface area and secondary structure. Moreover, we identified three possible binding sites of morin on hIAPP, all of which located near the amyloidogenic region of this protein. From the binding free energy calculations, we found that Site II was the most possible one. Further conformational analysis together with energy decomposition showed that the residues His18, Phe23 and Ile26 play a key role in the binding with morin by hydrogen bond, π-π and hydrophobic interactions. The proposal of the theoretical mechanism of morin against hIAPP aggregation will provide valuable information for the development of new drugs to inhibit hIAPP aggregation. © the Owner Societies 2015. Source

Liu H.,Lanzhou University | An X.,Lanzhou University | Li S.,Lanzhou University | Wang Y.,Lanzhou University | And 2 more authors.
Molecular BioSystems | Year: 2015

R-Bicalutamide is a first generation antiandrogen used to treat prostate cancer, which inhibits androgen action by competitively binding to the androgen receptor (AR). However, R-bicalutamide was discovered to exhibit some agonistic properties in clinical application. According to reports, the W741L AR mutation may lead to resistance towards R-bicalutamide. But the mechanism of the R-bicalutamide switch from an antagonist to an agonist due to the mutation of AR W741L is still not so clear. Another molecule, S-1, owing to a very similar structure to R-bicalutamide, is always agonistic to both the wild type and W741L AR. The main difference between these two chemicals is that S-1 has an ether linkage while R-bicalutamide has a sulfonyl group. To study the drug-resistant mechanism caused by W741L mutation and the opposite effects arising from subtle structure differences, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA) calculations were employed to explore the interaction mechanisms between R-bicalutamide/S-1 and WT/W741L AR. The calculated binding free energies are in accordance with the reported experimental values. The obtained results indicate that M895 and W741 are vital amino acids in the antagonism of R-bicalutamide. The bulkier substitution of sulfonyl and tryptophan push aside M895, together with helix 12 (H12), to expose the ligand-binding domain resulting in the antagonistic conformation of the AR. If W741 is mutated to L741, the B-ring of these two chemicals would shift toward L741. At the same time, M895 dragging helix H12, would also move closer to L741. So H12 tends to cover the AR ligand-binding domain to a certain degree, changing the androgen receptor from an antagonistic to an agonistic conformation, which may explain the agonism of R-bicalutamide to the mutant W741L AR. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015. Source

Li J.,Lanzhou University | Li J.,Separating Scientific Institute of Lanzhou | Bai F.,Lanzhou University | Liu H.,Lanzhou University | Gramatica P.,University of Insubria
Chemical Biology and Drug Design | Year: 2015

The concept of ligand efficiency is defined as biological activity in each molecular size and is widely accepted throughout the drug design community. Among different LE indices, surface efficiency index (SEI) was reported to be the best one in support vector machine modeling, much better than the generally and traditionally used end-point pIC50. In this study, 2D multiple linear regression and 3D comparative molecular field analysis methods are employed to investigate the structure-activity relationships of a series of androgen receptor antagonists, using pIC50 and SEI as dependent variables to verify the influence of using different kinds of end-points. The obtained results suggest that SEI outperforms pIC50 on both MLR and CoMFA models with higher stability and predictive ability. After analyzing the characteristics of the two dependent variables SEI and pIC50, we deduce that the superiority of SEI maybe lie in that SEI could reflect the relationship between molecular structures and corresponding bioactivities, in nature, better than pIC50. This study indicates that SEI could be a more rational parameter to be optimized in the drug discovery process than pIC50. We expanded the application of the ligand efficiency SEI to MLR and CoMFA modeling to investigate the relationships between the hydantoin derivatives and AR antagonist activities. The obtained results indicate that the SEI-based models outperform the pIC50-based models with higher stability, robustness, and predictive abilities. We put forward our opinion that SEI can incarnate the relationships between bioactivities and molecular structures better than pIC50, in nature. SEI could be a more rational parameter to be optimized in the drug discovery. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

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