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The vitamin D receptor ligand-binding domain (VDR-LBD) undergoes conformational changes upon ligand binding. In this nuclear receptor family, agonistic or antagonistic activities are controlled by the conformation of the helix (H)12. However, all crystal structures of VDR-LBD reported to date correspond to the active H12 conformation, regardless of agonist/antagonist binding. To understand the mechanism of VDR-LBD regulation structurally, conformational samplings of agonist- and antagonist-bound rat VDR-LBD were performed using the generalized replica exchange with solute tempering (gREST) method. The gREST simulations demonstrated different structural responses of rat VDR-LBD to agonist or antagonist binding, whereas in conventional molecular dynamics simulations, the conformation was the same as that of the crystal structures, regardless of agonist/antagonist binding. In the gREST simulations, a spontaneous conformational change of H12 was observed only for the antagonist complex. The different responses to agonist/antagonist binding were attributed to hydrophobic core formation at the ligand-binding pocket and cooperative rearrangements of H11. The gREST method can be applied to the examination of structure-activity relationships for multiple VDR-LBD ligands.


Toru Ekimoto, Takafumi Kudo, Tsutomu Yamane, Mitsunori Ikeguchi. Mechanism of Vitamin D Receptor Ligand-Binding Domain Regulation Studied by gREST Simulations. Journal of chemical information and modeling. 2021 Jul 26;61(7):3625-3637

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PMID: 34189910

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