Molecular Engineering

, Volume 5, Issue 1–3, pp 143–156 | Cite as

Molecular dynamics simulations of phenylimidazole inhibitor complexes of cytochrome P450 cam

  • Dan L. Harris
  • Yan-Tyng Chang
  • Gilda H. Loew


Molecular dynamics simulations have been performed on three phenylimidazole inhibitor complexes ofP450cam, utilizing the X-ray structures and the AMBER suite of programs. Compared to their corresponding optimized X-ray structures, very similar features were observed for the 1-phenylimidazole (1-PI) and 2-phenylimidazole (2-PI) complexes during a 100 ps MD simulation. The 1-PI inhibitor binds as a Type II complex with the imidazole nitrogen as a ligand of the heme iron. Analysis of the inhibitor-enzyme interctions during the MD simulations reveals that electrostatic interactions of the imidazole with the heme and van der Waals interactions of the phenyl ring with nearby hydrophobic residues are dominant. By contrast, 2-PI binds as a Type I inhibitor in the substrate binding pocket, but not as a ligand of the iron. The interactions of this inhibitor are qualitatively different from that of the Type II 1-PI, being mainly electrostatic/H-bonding interactions with a bound water and polar residues. Although the third compound, 4-PI, in common with 1-PI, also binds as a Type II inhibitor, with one nitrogen of the imidazole as a ligand to the iron, the MD average binding orientation deviates significantly from the X-ray structure. The most important changes observed include: (1) the rotation of the imidazole ring of this inhibitor by about 90° to enhance electrostatic interactions of the imidazole NH group with the carbonyl group of LEU244, and (2) the rotation of the carbonyl group of ASP251 to form a H-bond with VAL254. An analysis of the H-bonding network surrounding this substrate in the optimized crystal structure revealed that there is no H-bonding partner either for the free polar NH group in the imidazole ring of 4-phenylimidazole or for the polar carbonyl group of the nearby ASP251 residue. The deviation of the dynamically averaged inhibitor-enzyme structure of the 4-PI complex from the optimized crystal structure can therefore be rationalized as a consequence of the optimization of the electrostatic interactions among the polar groups.

Key words

P450cam phenylimidazole inhibitor molecular dynamics simulation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan L. Harris
    • 1
  • Yan-Tyng Chang
    • 1
  • Gilda H. Loew
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Research InstitutePalo AltoUSA

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