Video_3_In silico Description of LAT1 Transport Mechanism at an Atomistic Level.MPG (14.68 MB)

Video_3_In silico Description of LAT1 Transport Mechanism at an Atomistic Level.MPG

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posted on 24.08.2018, 04:09 by Luca Palazzolo, Chiara Parravicini, Tommaso Laurenzi, Uliano Guerrini, Cesare Indiveri, Elisabetta Gianazza, Ivano Eberini

The molecular mechanism of transport mediated by LAT1, a sodium-independent antiporter of large neutral amino acids, was investigated through in silico procedures, specifically making reference to two transported substrates, tyrosine (Tyr) and leucine methyl ester (LME), and to 3,5-diiodo-L-tyrosine (DIT), a well-known LAT1 inhibitor. Two models of the transporter were built by comparative modeling, with LAT1 either in an outward-facing (OF) or in an inward-facing (IF) conformation, based, respectively, on the crystal structure of AdiC and of GadC. As frequently classic Molecular Dynamics (MD) fails to monitor large-scale conformational transitions within a reasonable simulated time, the OF structure was equilibrated for 150 ns then processed through targeted MD (tMD). During this procedure, an elastic force pulled the OF structure to the IF structure and induced, at the same time, substrates/inhibitor to move through the transport channel. This elastic force was modulated by a spring constant (k) value; by decreasing its value from 100 to 70, it was possible to comparatively account for the propensity for transport of the three tested molecules. In line with our expectations, during the tMD simulations, Tyr and LME behaved as substrates, moving down the transport channel, or most of it, for all k values. On the contrary, DIT behaved as an inhibitor, being (almost) transported across the channel only at the highest k value (100). During their transit through the channel, Tyr and LME interacted with specific amino acids (first with Phe252 then with Thr345, Arg348, Tyr259, and Phe262); this suggests that a primary as well as a putative secondary gate may contribute to the transport of substrates. Quite on the opposite, DIT appeared to establish only transient interactions with side chains lining the external part of the transport channel. Our tMD simulations could thus efficiently discriminate between two transported substrates and one inhibitor, and therefore can be proposed as a benchmark for developing novel LAT1 inhibitors of pharmacological interest.