G-quadruplexes (G4s) are higher-order DNA structures typically present at promoter regions of genes and telomeres. Here, the G4 formation decreases the replicative DNA at each cell cycle, finally leading to apoptosis. The ability to control thismitotic clock, particularly in cancer cells, is fascinating and passes through a rational understanding of the ligand/G4 interaction. We demonstrate that an accurate description of the ligand/G4 binding mechanism is possible using an innovative free-energy method called funnel-metadynamics (FM), which we have recently developed to investigate ligand/protein interaction. Using FM simulations, we have elucidated the binding mechanism of the anticancer alkaloid berberine to the human telomeric G4 (d[AG(3)(T(2)AG(3)) (3)]), computing also the binding free-energy landscape. Two ligand binding modes have been identified as the lowest energy states. Furthermore, we have found prebinding sites, which are preparatory to reach the final binding mode. In our simulations, the ions and the water molecules have been explicitly represented and the energetic contribution of the solvent during ligand binding evaluated. Our theoretical results provide an accurate estimate of the absolute ligand/DNA binding free energy (Delta G(b)(0) = -10.3 +/- 0.5 kcal/mol) that we validated through steady-state fluorescence binding assays. The good agreement between the theoretical and experimental value demonstrates that FM is a most powerful method to investigate ligand/DNA interaction and can be a useful tool for the rational design also of G4 ligands.
|Titolo:||Ligand binding to telomeric G-quadruplex DNA investigated by funnel-metadynamics simulations|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|