Interaction mechanism exploration of R-bicalutamide/S-1 with WT/W741L AR using molecular dynamics simulations

Hongli Liu, Xiaoli An, Shuyan Li, Yuwei Wang, Jiazhong Li, Huanxiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


R-Bicalutamide is a first generation antiandrogen used to treat prostate cancer, which inhibits androgen action by competitively binding to the androgen receptor (AR). However, R-bicalutamide was discovered to exhibit some agonistic properties in clinical application. According to reports, the W741L AR mutation may lead to resistance towards R-bicalutamide. But the mechanism of the R-bicalutamide switch from an antagonist to an agonist due to the mutation of AR W741L is still not so clear. Another molecule, S-1, owing to a very similar structure to R-bicalutamide, is always agonistic to both the wild type and W741L AR. The main difference between these two chemicals is that S-1 has an ether linkage while R-bicalutamide has a sulfonyl group. To study the drug-resistant mechanism caused by W741L mutation and the opposite effects arising from subtle structure differences, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA) calculations were employed to explore the interaction mechanisms between R-bicalutamide/S-1 and WT/W741L AR. The calculated binding free energies are in accordance with the reported experimental values. The obtained results indicate that M895 and W741 are vital amino acids in the antagonism of R-bicalutamide. The bulkier substitution of sulfonyl and tryptophan push aside M895, together with helix 12 (H12), to expose the ligand-binding domain resulting in the antagonistic conformation of the AR. If W741 is mutated to L741, the B-ring of these two chemicals would shift toward L741. At the same time, M895 dragging helix H12, would also move closer to L741. So H12 tends to cover the AR ligand-binding domain to a certain degree, changing the androgen receptor from an antagonistic to an agonistic conformation, which may explain the agonism of R-bicalutamide to the mutant W741L AR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3347-3354
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular BioSystems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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