ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0318.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; three-finger toxins; acetylcholine binding protein; protein – protein docking; computational modeling
Online: 14 August 2020 (09:57:35 CEST)
Three finger toxins (3FTX) are a group of peptides that affect multiple receptor types. One group of proteins affected by 3FTX are nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Structural information on how neurotoxins interact with nAChR is limited and are confined to a small group of neurotoxins. Therefore, in silico methods are valuable in understanding the interactions between 3FTX and different nAChR subtypes, but there are no established protocols to model 3FTX – nAChR interactions. We developed a homology modeling and protein docking protocol to address this issue and tested its success on three different systems. First, neurotoxin peptides co-crystallized with acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) were re-docked to assess whether Rosetta protein – protein docking can reproduce the native poses. Second, experimental data on peptide binding to AChBP was used to test whether the docking protocol can qualitatively distinguish AChBP-binders from non-binders. Finally, we docked eight peptides with known α7 and muscle-type nAChR binding properties to test whether the protocol can explain the differential activities of the peptides at the two receptor subtypes. Overall, our docking protocol succeeded in predicting both qualitative and specific aspects of 3FTX binding to nAChR and shed light on some unknown aspects of 3FTX binding to different receptor subtypes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0046.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: voltage-gated sodium channels; cardiac sodium channels; SCN5A; veratridine; toxins; molecular docking; Rosetta; electrophysiology; site-directed mutagenesis
Online: 5 January 2022 (18:02:52 CET)
The cardiac sodium ion channel (NaV1.5) is a protein with four domains (DI-DIV), each with six transmembrane segments. Its opening and subsequent inactivation results in the brief rapid influx of Na+ ions resulting in the depolarization of cardiomyocytes. The neurotoxin veratridine (VTD) inhibits NaV1.5 inactivation resulting in longer channel opening times, and potentially fatal action potential prolongation. VTD is predicted to bind at the channel pore, but alternative binding sites have not been ruled out. To determine the binding site of VTD on NaV1.5, we performed docking calculations and high-throughput electrophysiology experiments. The docking calculations identified two distinct binding regions. The first site was in the pore, close to the binding site of NaV1.4 and NaV1.5 blocking drugs in experimental structures. The second site was at the “mouth” of the pore at the cytosolic side, partly solvent-exposed. Mutations at this site (L409, E417, and I1466) had large effects on VTD binding, while residues deeper in the pore had no effect, consistent with VTD binding at the mouth site. Overall, our results suggest a VTD binding site close to the cytoplasmic mouth of the channel pore. Binding at this alternative site might indicate an allosteric inactivation mechanism for VTD at NaV1.5.