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Open AccessArticle

Allosteric Binding Sites On Nuclear Receptors: Focus On Drug Efficacy and Selectivity

Computational Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020534
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 29 December 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Nuclear Receptors 2.0)
Nuclear receptors (NRs) are highly relevant drug targets in major indications such as oncologic, metabolic, reproductive, and immunologic diseases. However, currently, marketed drugs designed towards the orthosteric binding site of NRs often suffer from resistance mechanisms and poor selectivity. The identification of two superficial allosteric sites, activation function-2 (AF-2) and binding function-3 (BF-3), as novel drug targets sparked the development of inhibitors, while selectivity concerns due to a high conservation degree remained. To determine important pharmacophores and hydration sites among AF-2 and BF-3 of eight hormonal NRs, we systematically analyzed over 10 μ s of molecular dynamics simulations including simulations in explicit water and solvent mixtures. In addition, a library of over 300 allosteric inhibitors was evaluated by molecular docking. Based on our results, we suggest the BF-3 site to offer a higher potential for drug selectivity as opposed to the AF-2 site that is more conserved among the selected receptors. Detected similarities among the AF-2 sites of various NRs urge for a broader selectivity assessment in future studies. In combination with the Supplementary Material, this work provides a foundation to improve both selectivity and potency of allosteric inhibitors in a rational manner and increase the therapeutic applicability of this promising compound class.
Keywords: nuclear receptor; allosteric site; molecular dynamics; docking; computational chemistry nuclear receptor; allosteric site; molecular dynamics; docking; computational chemistry
MDPI and ACS Style

Fischer, A.; Smieško, M. Allosteric Binding Sites On Nuclear Receptors: Focus On Drug Efficacy and Selectivity. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 534.

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