Exploring The Conformational Landscape Of Bioactive Small Molecules

TitleExploring The Conformational Landscape Of Bioactive Small Molecules
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsZivanovic, Sanja, Colizzi Francesco, Moreno David, Hospital Adam, Soliva Robert, and Orozco Modesto
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Date Published08/2020
ISBN Number1549-9618

By using a combination of classical Hamiltonian Replica Exchange with high-level quantum mechanical calculations on more than one hundred drug-like molecules we explored here the energy cost associated with binding of drug-like molecules to target macromolecules. We found that, in general, the drug-like molecules present bound to proteins in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) can access easily the bioactive conformation and in fact for 73% of the studied molecules the “bioactive” conformation is within 3kbT from the most stable conformation in solution as determined by DFT/SCRF calculations. Cases with large differences between the most stable and the “bioactive” conformations appear in ligands recognized by ionic contacts, or very large structures establishing many favorable interactions with the protein. There are also a few cases where we observed a non-negligible uncertainty related to the experimental structure deposited in PDB. Remarkably, the rough automatic force-field used here provides reasonable estimates of the conformational ensemble of drugs in solution. The outlined protocol can be used to better estimate the cost of adopting the bioactive conformation.

Short TitleJ. Chem. Theory Comput.