The Binding Mode of Progesterone to its Receptor from Molecular Dynamics Simulations

An unambiguous understanding of the binding mode of human progesterone to its receptor still eludes experimental search. According to the X-ray structure of the ligand-binding domain, only one (O3) of the two keto-groups at the ligand ends (O3 and O20) should play a role. This contrasts chemical intuition and the results of site-directed mutagenesis experiments. Here we report on classical molecular dynamics simulations that reveal the dynamic nature of the binding in solution, elucidate the reasons why X-ray studies failed to determine the role of O20 and clarify the effects of the mutations. The predictive power of the force-field is ensured by the consistent introduction of a first-principles representation of the ligand.

By: Tiziana Mordasini, Alessandro Curioni, Roberta Bursi and Wanda Andreoni

Published in: ChemBioChem, volume 4, (no 2-3), pages 155-61 in 2003

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