Structure-activity relationships of thiostrepton derivatives: implications for rational drug design
The bacterial ribosome is a major target of naturally occurring thiopeptides antibiotics. Studying thiopeptide (e.g. thiostrepton) binding to the GAR's 23S·L11 ribosomal subunit using docking methods is challenging. Regarding the target, the binding site is composed of a flexible protein-RNA nonbonded interface whose available crystal structure is of medium resolution. Regarding the ligands, the thiopeptides are chemically complex, flexible, and contain macrocycles. In this study we developed a combined MD-docking-MD workflow that allows us to study thiopeptide-23S·L11 binding. It is shown that docking thiostrepton-like ligands to an MD-refined receptor structure instead of the medium resolution crystal leads to better convergence to the native-like docking pose and a better reproduction of experimental binding affinities. By applying an energy decomposition analysis, we identify key structural binding elements within GAR's rRNA-protein binding site and within the ligand structures.
Kirschner, Karl N.