Generation of a 3D model for human GABA transporter hGAT-1 using molecular modeling and investigation of the binding of GABA
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A three-dimensional model of the human Na+/Cl−-dependent γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter hGAT-1 was developed by homology modeling and refined by subsequent molecular modeling using the crystal structure of a bacterial homologue leucine transporter from Aquifex aeolicus (LeuTAa) as the template. Protein structure quality checks show that the resulting structure is particularly suited for the analysis of the substrate binding pocket and virtual screening experiments. Interactions of GABA and the substrate binding pocket were investigated using docking studies. The difference of 6 out of 13 substrate interacting side chains between hGAT-1 and LeuTAa lead to the different substrate preference which can be explained using our three-dimensional model of hGAT-1. In particular the replacement of serine 256 and isoleucine 359 in LeuTAa with glycine and threonine in hGAT-1 seems to facilitate the selection of GABA as the main substrate by changing the hydrogen bonding pattern in the active site to the amino group of the substrate. For a set of 12 compounds flexible docking experiments were performed using LigandFit in combination with the Jain scoring function. With few exceptions the obtained rank order of potency was in line with experimental data. Thus, the method can be assumed to give at least a rough estimate of the potency of the potential of GABA uptake inhibitors.
KeywordsDocking Homology modeling GABA GABA transporter GAT-1
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