Difference of binding modes among three ligands to a receptor mSin3B corresponding to their inhibitory activities

Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 17;11(1):6178. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-85612-9.


A preceding experiment suggested that a compound, which inhibits binding of the REST/NRSF segment to the cleft of a receptor protein mSin3B, can be a potential drug candidate to ameliorate many neuropathies. We have recently developed an enhanced conformational sampling method, genetic-algorithm-guided multi-dimensional virtual-system-coupled canonical molecular dynamics, and in the present study, applied it to three systems consisting of mSin3B and one of three compounds, sertraline, YN3, and acitretin. Other preceding experiments showed that only sertraline inhibits the binding of REST/NRSF to mSin3B. The current simulation study produced the spatial distribution of the compounds around mSin3B, and showed that sertraline and YN3 bound to the cleft of mSin3B with a high propensity, although acitretin did not. Further analyses of the simulation data indicated that only the sertraline-mSin3B complex produced a hydrophobic core similar to that observed in the molecular interface of the REST/NRSF-mSin3B complex: An aromatic ring of sertraline sunk deeply in the mSin3B's cleft forming a hydrophobic core contacting to hydrophobic amino-acid residues located at the bottom of the cleft. The present study proposes a step to design a compound that inhibits competitively the binding of a ligand to its receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Protein Binding
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors