Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Whalen KL, Spies MA.
J Chem Inf Model. 2013 Sep 23;53(9):2349-59. doi: 10.1021/ci400244x. Epub 2013 Sep 6.
- PMID: 24111836 [PubMed - in process]
Glutamate racemase (GR) is a cofactor independent amino acid racemase that has recently garnered increasing attention as an antimicrobial drug target. There are numerous high resolution crystal structures of GR, yet these are invariably bound to either D-glutamate or very weakly bound oxygen-based salts. Recent in silico screens have identified a number of new competitive inhibitor scaffolds, which are not based on D-Glu, but exploit many of the same hydrogen bond donor positions. In silico studies on 1-H-benzimidazole-2-sulfonic acid (BISA) show that the sulfonic acid points to the back of the GR active site, in the most buried region, analogous to the C2-carboxylate binding position in the GR-d-glutamate complex. Furthermore, BISA has been shown to be the strongest nonamino acid competitive inhibitor. Previously published computational studies have suggested that a portion of this binding strength is derived from complexation with a more closed active site, relative to weaker ligands, and in which the internal water network is more isolated from the bulk solvent. In order to validate key contacts between the buried sulfonate moiety of BISA and moieties in the back of the enzyme active site, as well as to probe the energetic importance of the potentially large number of interstitial waters contacted by the BISA scaffold, we have designed several mutants of Asn75. GR-N75A removes a key hydrogen bond donor to the sulfonate of BISA, but also serves to introduce an additional interstitial water, due to the newly created space of the mutation. GR- N75L should also show the loss of a hydrogen bond donor to the sulfonate of BISA, but does not (a priori) seem to permit an additional interstitial water contact. In order to investigate the dynamics, structure, and energies of this water-mediated complexation, we have employed the extended linear response (ELR) approach for the calculation of binding free energies to GR, using the YASARA2 knowledge based force field on a set of ten GR complexes, and yielding an R-squared value of 0.85 and a RMSE of 2.0 kJ/mol. Surprisingly, the inhibitor set produces a uniformly large interstitial water contribution to the electrostatic interaction energy (<V(el)>), ranging from 30 to >50%, except for the natural substrate (D-glutamate), which has only a 7% contribution of <V(el)> from water. The broader implications for predicting and exploiting significant interstitial water contacts in ligand-enzyme complexation are discussed.
Address (URL): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24111836