All Publications

in year '2018'

November 01, 2018
In the present work, this approach is expanded to include a more rigorous treatment of the entire structure, including the ligand(s), the associated active site(s) and the entire protein, using a fully automated, mixed quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics (QM/MM) Hamiltonian recently implemented in the DivCon package. This approach was validated through the automatic treatment of a population of 80 protein–ligand structures chosen from the Astex Diverse Set. Across the entire population, this method results in an average 3.5-fold reduction in ligand strain and a 4.5-fold improvement in MolProbity clashscore, as well as improvements in Ramachandran and rotamer outlier analyses. Overall, these results demonstrate that the use of a structure-wide QM/MM Hamiltonian exhibits improvements in the local structural chemistry of the ligand similar to Region-QM refinement but with significant improvements in the overall structure beyond the active site.
September 05, 2018
The rapid development of molecular structural databases provides the chemistry community access to an enormous array of experimental data that can be used to build and validate computational models. Using radial distribution functions collected from experimentally available X-ray and NMR structures, a number of so-called statistical potentials have been developed over the years using the structural data mining strategy. These potentials have been developed within the context of the two-particle Kirkwood equation by extending its original use for isotropic monatomic systems to anisotropic biomolecular systems.... Different from the current statistical potentials that mimic the “knowledge-based” PMF based on the 2-particle Kirkwood equation, the graphical-model-based structure-derived potential developed in this study focuses on the generation of lower-dimensional Boltzmann distributions of atoms through reduction of dimensionality. We have named this new scoring function GARF, and in this work we focus on the mathematical derivation of our novel approach followed by validation studies on its ability to predict protein–ligand interactions.
April 02, 2018
Obtaining a detailed description of how active site flap motion affects substrate or ligand binding will advance structure-based drug design (SBDD) efforts on systems including the kinases, HSP90, HIV protease, ureases, etc. Through this understanding, we will be able to design better inhibitors and better proteins that have desired functions. Herein we address this issue by generating the relevant configurational states of a protein flap on the molecular energy landscape using an approach we call MTFlex-b and then following this with a procedure to estimate the free energy associated with the motion of the flap region. To illustrate our overall workflow, we explored the free energy changes in the streptavidin/biotin system upon introducing conformational flexibility in loop3–4 in the biotin unbound (apo) and bound (holo) state. The free energy surfaces were created using the Movable Type free energy method, and for further validation, we compared them to potential of mean force (PMF) generated free energy surfaces using MD simulations employing the FF99SBILDN and FF14SB force fields. We also estimated the free energy thermodynamic cycle using an ensemble of closed-like and open-like end states for the ligand unbound and bound states and estimated the binding free energy to be approximately −16.2 kcal/mol (experimental −18.3 kcal/mol). The good agreement between MTFlex-b in combination with the MT method with experiment and MD simulations supports the effectiveness of our strategy in obtaining unique insights into the motions in proteins that can then be used in a range of biological and biomedical applications.
February 26, 2018
Here we report a fast, knowledge-based movable-type (MT)-based approach to estimate the absolute and relative free energy of binding as influenced by mutations in a small-molecule binding site in a protein. We retrospectively validate our approach using mutagenesis data for retinoic acid binding to the Cellular Retinoic Acid Binding Protein II (CRABPII) system and then make prospective predictions that are borne out experimentally. The overall performance of our approach is supported by its success in identifying mutants that show high or even sub-nano-molar binding affinities of retinoic acid to the CRABPII system.