Ligand Docking Methods to Recognize Allosteric Inhibitors for G-Protein-Coupled Receptors

Bioinform Biol Insights. 2021 Oct 28:15:11779322211037769. doi: 10.1177/11779322211037769. eCollection 2021.


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are membrane proteins which play an important role in many cellular processes and are excellent drug targets. Despite the existence of several US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved GPCR-targeting drugs, there is a continuing challenge of side effects owing to the nonspecific nature of drug binding. We have investigated the diversity of the ligand binding site for this class of proteins against their cognate ligands using computational docking, even if their structures are known already in the ligand-complexed form. The cognate ligand of some of these receptors dock at allosteric binding site with better score than the binding at the conservative site. Interestingly, amino acid residues at such allosteric binding site are not conserved across GPCR subfamilies. Such a computational approach can assist in the prediction of specific allosteric binders for GPCRs.

Keywords: AutoDock; G-protein-coupled receptors; Tanimoto co-efficient; allosteric ligands; cognate ligands.