Multiple Ligand Simultaneous Docking (MLSD): Orchestrated Dancing of Ligands in Binding Sites of Protein

Chenglong Li
Medicinal Chemistry, The Ohio State University

(April 22, 2010 11:30 AM - 12:18 PM)

Multiple Ligand Simultaneous Docking (MLSD): Orchestrated Dancing of Ligands in Binding Sites of Protein

Abstract

Present docking methodologies simulate only one single ligand at a time during docking process. In reality, the molecular recognition process always involves multiple molecular species. Typical protein-ligand interactions are, for example, substrate and cofactor in catalytic cycle; metal ion coordination together with ligand(s); and ligand binding with water molecules. In order to simulate the real molecular binding processes, we propose a novel multiple ligand simultaneous docking (MLSD) strategy which can deal with all the above processes, vastly improving docking sampling and binding free energy scoring. The work also compares two search strategies: Lamarckian Genetic Algorithm and Particle Swarm Optimization, which have respective advantages depending on the specific systems. The methodology proves robust through systematic testing against several diverse model systems: E. coli PNP complex with two substrates, SHP2NSH2 complex with two peptides and Bcl-xL complex with ABT-737 fragments. In all cases, the final correct docking poses and relative binding free energies were obtained. In PNP case, the simulations also capture the binding intermediates and reveal the binding dynamics during the recognition processes, which is consistent with the proposed enzymatic mechanism. In the other two cases, conventional single ligand docking fails due to energetic and dynamic coupling among ligands, whereas MLSD results in the correct binding modes. These three cases also represent potential applications in the areas of exploring enzymatic mechanism, interpreting noisy X-ray crystallographic maps, and aiding fragment-based drug design, respectively.