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    Molecular dynamics simulations indicate an induced-fit mechanism for LSD1/CoREST-H3-histone molecular recognition.

    BMC Biophys 2013 Nov 25;6(1):15. Epub 2013 Nov 25.
    Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, and The Henry Eyring Center for Theoretical Chemistry, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5820, USA.
    Background: Lysine Specific Demethylase (LSD1 or KDM1A) in complex with its co-repressor protein CoREST catalyzes the demethylation of the H3 histone N-terminal tail and is currently one of the most promising epigenetic targets for drug discovery against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Models of non-covalent binding, such as lock and key, induced-fit, and conformational selection could help explaining the molecular mechanism of LSD1/CoREST-H3-histone association, thus guiding drug discovery and design efforts. Here, we quantify the extent to which LSD1/CoREST substrate binding is consistent with these hypothetical models using LSD1/CoREST conformational ensembles obtained through extensive explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulations.

    Results: We find that an induced-fit model is the most representative of LSD1/CoREST-H3-histone non-covalent binding and accounts for the local conformational changes occurring in the H3-histone binding site. We also show that conformational selection - despite in principle not ruled out by this finding - is minimal, and only relevant when global properties are considered, e.g. the nanoscale motion of the LSD1/CoREST clamp.

    Conclusion: The induced-fit mechanism revealed by our MD simulation study will aid the inclusion of protein dynamics for the discovery and design of LSD1 inhibitors targeting the H3-histone binding region. On a general basis, our study indicates the importance of using multiple metrics or selection schemes when testing alternative hypothetical mechanistic models of non-covalent binding.
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