Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a key enzyme implicated in various physiological processes such as vasodilation, thrombosis and platelet aggregation. The enzyme's Heme-Nitric oxide/Oxygen (H-NOX) binding domain is the only sensor of nitric oxide (NO) in humans, which on binding with NO activates sGC to produce the second messenger cGMP. H-NOX is thus a hot target for drug design programs. BAY60-2770 and BAY58-2667 are two widely studied activators of sGC. Here we present comparative molecular dynamics studies to understand the molecular details characterizing the binding of BAY60-2770 and BAY58-2667 with the human H-NOX (hH-NOX) and bacterial H-NOX (bH-NOX) domains. HartreeFock method was used for parametrization of both the activators. A 50 ns molecular dynamics (MD) simulation was run to identify the functionally critical regions of the H-NOX domains. The CPPTRAJ module was used for analysis. BAY60-2770 on binding with bH-NOX, triggered rotational movement in signaling helix F and significant dynamicity in loops α and β, but in hH-NOX domain the compound showed relatively lesser aforementioned structural fluctuations. Conversely, hH-NOX ligated BAY58-2667 experienced highest transitions in its helix F due to electrostatic interactions with D84, T85 and R88 residues which are not conserved in bH-NOX. These conformational transformations might be essential to communicate with downstream PAS, CC and cyclase domains of sGC. Comparative MD studies revealed that BAY bound bHNOX dynamics varied from that of hH-NOX, plausibly due to some key residues such as R40, F74 and Y112 which are not conserved in bacteria. These findings will help to the design of novel drug leads to cure diseases associated to human sGC.
Keywords: molecular dynamics simulation; quantum calculation; sGC activator compounds; soluble guanylate cyclase.