Allostery, which is one of the most direct and efficient methods to fine-tune protein functions, has gained increasing recognition in drug discovery. However, there are several challenges associated with the...
Dual-targeting therapeutics by coadministration of allosteric and orthosteric drugs is drawing increased attention as a revolutionary strategy for overcoming the drug-resistance problems. It was further observed that the occupation of orthosteric sites by therapeutics agents has the potential to enhance allosteric ligand binding, which leads to improved potency of allosteric drugs. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), as one of the most critical anti-cancer targets belonging to the receptor tyrosine kinase family, represents a quintessential example. It was revealed that osimertinib, an ATP-competitive covalent EGFR inhibitor, remarkably enhanced the affinity of a recently developed allosteric inhibitor JBJ-04-125-02 for EGFRL858R/T790M. Here, we utilized extensive large-scale molecular dynamics simulations and the reversed allosteric communication to untangle the detailed molecular underpinning, in which occupation of osimertinib at the orthosteric site altered the overall conformational ensemble of EGFR mutant and reshaped the allosteric site via long-distance signaling. A unique intermediate state resembling the active conformation was identified, which was further stabilized by osimertinib loading. Based on the allosteric communication pathway, we predicted a novel allosteric site positioned around K867, E868, H893, and K960 within the intermediate state. Its correlation with the orthosteric site was validated by both structural and energetic analysis, and its low sequence conservation indicated the potential for selective targeting across the human kinome. Together, these findings not only provided a mechanistic basis for future clinical application of the dual-targeting therapeutics, but also explored an innovative perception of allosteric inhibition of tyrosine kinase signaling.
Metastasis is the major cause of death in colorectal cancer and it has been proven that inhibiting an interaction between adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 4 (Asef) efficaciously restrain metastasis. However, current inhibitors cannot achieve a satisfying effect in vivo and need to be optimized. In the present study, we applied molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and extensive analyses to apo and holo APC systems in order to reveal the inhibitor mechanism in detail and provide insights into optimization. MD simulations suggested that apo APC takes on a broad array of conformations and inhibitors stabilize conformation selectively. Representative structures in trajectories show specific APC-ligand interactions, explaining the different binding process. The stability and dynamic properties of systems elucidate the inherent factors of the conformation selection mechanism. Binding free energy analysis quantitatively confirms key interface residues and guide optimization. This study elucidates the conformation selection mechanism in APC-Asef inhibition and provides insights into peptide-based drug design.
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