How Does Agonist and Antagonist Binding Lead to Different Conformational Ensemble Equilibria of the κ-Opioid Receptor: Insight from Long-Time Gaussian Accelerated Molecular Dynamics Simulation

Xiaoli An, Qifeng Bai, Zhitong Bing, Shuangyan Zhou, Danfeng Shi, Huanxiang Liu, Xiaojun Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The opioid receptors belong to the class A seven transmembrane-spanning (7TM) G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The κ-opioid receptor (KOR) is a subfamily of four opioid receptors. The endogenous peptide and a variety of selective agonists and antagonists of KOR have been developed. The structurally similar ligands at the same site cause completely opposite biological functions and induce different conformational changes. To shed light on the conformation ensembles and conformational dynamics in activation and deactivation processes of KOR, we performed all-atom, long-time Gaussian accelerated molecular dynamics simulation (GaMD) on KOR binding with agonist epoxymorphinan MP1104 and antagonist JDTic, respectively. Our results revealed different conformation ensembles of KOR binding with agonist and with antagonist. Agonist binding stabilizes the active state of key motifs including DYYNM motif and CWxP motif, and biases the conformation equilibria toward the active state. Antagonist binding will not destroy inactive conformation equilibria, by keeping the stable inactive state of these crucial motifs. We found that the inactive apo form of KOR is the most stable state, while the active apo form relaxes readily to inactive state. Our results also revealed a stable intermediate (I), which is attributed to the hydrophobic interactions between Tyr246 5.58 and TM6, as well as the steric hindrance of them. Our results not only show the conformation equilibria bias of KOR by binding with agonist and antagonist, but also provide the structural information for the design and discovery of potential ligands with different functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1575-1584
Number of pages10
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gaussian accelerated molecular dynamics simulation
  • agonist
  • antagonist
  • conformational change
  • κ-opioid receptor

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