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    Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is involved in physiological and pathological processes. Different pharmacological agents have been developed to block IL-6 deleterious effects and to recover homeostatic IL-6 signaling. One of the proposed nanostructures in pre-clinical investigations which reduced IL-6 concentrations is polyglycerol dendrimer, a nano-structure with multiple sulfate groups. The aim of the present study was to uncover the type of binding between critical positions in the human IL-6 structure available for binding dPGS and compare it with heparin sulfate binding. We studied these interactions by performing docking simulations of dPGS and heparins with human IL-6 using AutoDock Vina. These molecular docking analyses indicate that the two ligands have comparable affinities for the positively charged positions on the surface of IL-6. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations (MD) employing Gromacs were used to explore the binding sites and binding strengths. Results suggest two major binding sites and show that the strengths of binding are similar for heparin and dPGS (-5.5-6.4 kcal/ mol). dPGS or its analogs could be used in the therapeutic intervention in sepsis and inflammatory disorders to reduce unbound IL-6 in the plasma or tissues and its binding to the receptors. We propose that analogs of dPGS could specifically block IL-6 binding in the desired signaling mode and would be valuable new probes to establish optimized therapeutic intervention in inflammation.


    Željka Sanader Maršić, Dušica Maysinger, Vlasta Bonačić-Kouteckỳ. Insights into Interactions between Interleukin-6 and Dendritic Polyglycerols. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Feb 28;22(5)

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    PMID: 33670858

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