Due to an urgent security update we need to shut down the project today. The down-time shouldn't last longer than an hour so you shouldn't notice any significant impact on your crunching efforts. We're going to start as soon as we're ready and we'll post here when we're done.
- Noelia's study of ions binding to the myo-inositol monophosphatase enzyme: Molecular recognition is rarely a two-body protein-ligand problem, as it often involves the dynamic interplay of multiple molecules that together control the binding process. Myo-inositol monophosphatase (IMPase), a drug target for bipolar disorder, depends on 3 Mg2+ ions as cofactor for its catalytic activity. Although the crystallographic pose of the pre-catalytic complex is well characterized, the binding process by which substrate, cofactor and protein cooperate is essentially unknown. Here, we have characterized cofactor and substrate cooperative binding by means of large-scale molecular dynamics. Our study showed the first and second Mg2+ ions identify the binding pocket with fast kinetics whereas the third ion presents a much higher energy barrier. Substrate binding can occur in cooperation with cofactor, or alone to a binary or ternary cofactor-IMPase complex, although the last scenario occurs several orders of magnitude faster. Our atomic description of the three-body mechanism offers a particularly challenging example of pathway reconstruction, and may prove particularly useful in realistic contexts where water, ions, cofactors or other entities cooperate and modulate the binding process.
- Nathan's study of S1PR1 receptor: The binding process through the membrane bilayer of lipid-like ligands to a protein target is an important but poorly explored recognition process at the atomic level. In this work we succeeded in resolving the binding of the lipid inhibitor ML056 to the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1P1R) using unbiased molecular dynamics simulations with an aggregate sampling of over 800 μs. The binding pathway is a multi-stage process consisting of the ligand diffusing in the bilayer leaflet to contact a “membrane vestibule” at the top of TM 7, subsequently moving from this lipid-facing vestibule to the orthosteric binding cavity through a channel formed by TMs 1 and 7 and the N-terminal of the receptor. Unfolding of the N-terminal alpha-helix increases the volume of the channel upon ligand entry, helping to reach the crystallographic pose that also corresponds to the predicted favorable pose. The relaxation timescales of the binding process show that the binding of the ligand to the “membrane vestibule” is the rate-limiting step in the multi microseconds timescale. We comment on the significance and parallels of the binding process in the context of other binding studies.
Edit: The Science page does not contain the new papars yet, but you will find them in your profile page. WU names were respectively like 1mgx1, 1mgx2, 3mgx1, 3mgx2, 5MG, 20MG, 20MG2, INSP, INS1P (Noelia's) and RPS1 (Nate's).