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, 41 (24), 4777-89

Conformational Analysis and Automated Receptor Docking of Selective Arylacetamide-Based Kappa-Opioid Agonists

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Conformational Analysis and Automated Receptor Docking of Selective Arylacetamide-Based Kappa-Opioid Agonists

G Subramanian et al. J Med Chem.

Abstract

The three-dimensional structure, dynamics, and binding modes of representative kappa-opioid agonists of the arylacetamide class (U50, 488; U69,593; U62,066; CI-977; ICI199,441; ICI197,067; BRL52,537; and BRL52,656) have been investigated using molecular modeling techniques. Systematic exploration of the conformational space of the ligand combined with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in water revealed consistent conformational preferences for all the kappa-agonists in this series. The results were further compared with available X-ray and 1D- and 2D-NMR data to identify potential "lead" conformers for molecular docking. Ligand binding modes were initially determined using automated docking of two of the ligands (U50,488 and BRL52,537) to the kappa-opioid receptor. Extrapolation of the predicted binding mode to other members in this ligand series revealed similar docking preferences, with each ligand docked along the receptor helical axis. The binding modes were further refined using MD simulations of the receptor-ligand complexes. The results show a that salt bridge is formed between the amino proton of the ligands and the carboxylate group of Asp138 in TM3. This interaction most likely serves as a key anchoring point for the agonist association. Additional ligand contacts were noted with kappa-specific residues Ile294, Leu295, and Ala298, which may, in part, explain the kappa-selectivity in this series. In comparing the arylacetamides with opiate-based ligands, no evidence was found to link these classes through a common binding motif (except for the ion pair). The binding site model was also applied to explain the enantiomeric preference of U50,488 and to provide insight to the mu/kappa-selectivity of representative ligands in this series. Overall, the results provide a structure-based rationale for ligand recognition that is consistent both with site-directed mutagenesis experiments and structure-function relationship data.

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