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Theoretical Studies on the Susceptibility of Oseltamivir against Variants of 2009 A/H1N1 Influenza Neuraminidase

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journal contribution
posted on 22.10.2012, 00:00 by Lin Li, Youyong Li, Liling Zhang, Tingjun Hou
The outbreak and high speed global spread of the new strain of influenza A/H1N1 virus in 2009 posed a serious threat to global health. It is more likely that drug-resistant influenza strains will arise after the extensive use of anti-influenza drugs. Consequently, the identification of the potential resistant sites for drugs in advance and the understanding of the corresponding molecular mechanisms that cause drug resistance are quite important in the design of new drug candidates with better potency to combat drug resistance. Here, we performed molecular simulations to evaluate the potency of oseltamivir to combat drug resistance caused by the mutations in 2009 A/H1N1 neuraminidase (NA). We examined three representative drug-resistant mutations in NA, consisting of H274Y, N294S, and Y252H. First, a theoretical structure of A/H1N1 NA in complex with oseltamivir was constructed using homology modeling. Then, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, molecular mechanics/Poisson–Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) calculations, and MM/GBSA free energy decomposition were used to characterize the binding of oseltamivir with the wild type (WT) and three mutated NAs. Our predictions show that N294S and H274Y, two popular drug-resistant mutations in different variants of NA, still cause significant resistance to oseltamivir. However, the Y252H mutation does not impair the interactions between oseltamivir and A/H1N1 NA. An examination of individual energy components shows that the loss of polar interactions is the key source for the resistance of the studied mutations to oseltamivir. Moreover, free energy decomposition analysis and structural analysis reveal that the N294S or H274Y mutation triggers the large-scale conformational changes of the binding pocket and then impairs the affinity of oseltamivir. We expect that our results will be useful for the rational design of NA inhibitors with high potency against drug-resistant A/H1N1 mutants.