American Chemical Society
ci7b00152_si_004.xlsx (26.37 kB)

Exploring the Relationship between Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Ligand Size, Efficiency, Efficacy, and C‑Loop Opening

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posted on 2017-07-18, 00:00 authored by Qianyun Ma, Han-Shen Tae, Guanzhao Wu, Tao Jiang, Rilei Yu
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels mediating fundamental physiological activities in the nervous system and have become important targets for drug design. For a long time, the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) has been used as a surrogate to study the nAChR structure–function. Taking advantage of more than 100 AChBP crystal structures in the Protein DataBank (PDB), we explored the relationship between the size, efficiency, and efficacy of nAChR ligands and the C-loop movement. We found that the size of the ligand is correlated with the opening of the C-loop, which can be used in selecting AChBP crystal structures with appropriate C-loop opening to be used for nAChR ligand docking. Ligand size and C-loop opening are reversely correlated with the ligand efficiency rather than the binding affinity. Ligand efficiency could be accurately predicted using simple computational docking, giving a correlation coefficients (R2) up to 0.73. The efficacy of nAChR ligands might be related to ligand size, C-loop opening, and ligand efficiency. Results from this study are useful for engineering the binding affinity and efficacy of nAChR ligands.