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Biochimie. 2006 Aug;88(8):1061-73. Epub 2006 Jun 22.

A molecular dynamics simulation study of an aminoglycoside/A-site RNA complex: conformational and hydration patterns.

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  • 1Institut de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire du CNRS, modélisation et simulations des acides nucléiques, UPR 9002, 15, rue René-Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg cedex, France.


Aminoglycoside antibiotics interfere with the translation mechanism by binding to the tRNA decoding site of the 16S ribosomal RNA. Crystallographic structures of aminoglycosides bound to A-site systems clarified many static aspects of RNA-ligand interactions. To gain some insight on the dynamic aspects of recognition phenomena, we conducted molecular dynamics simulations of the aminoglycoside paromomycin bound to a eubacterial ribosomal decoding A-site oligonucleotide. Results from 25 ns of simulation time revealed that: (i) the neamine part of the antibiotic represents the main anchor for binding, (ii) additional sugar rings provide limited and fragile contacts, (iii) long-resident water molecules present at the drug/RNA interface are involved in the recognition phenomena. The combination of MD simulations together with systematic structural information offers striking insights into the molecular recognition processes underlying RNA/aminoglycoside binding. Important methodological considerations related to the use of medium resolution starting structures and associated sampling problems are thoroughly discussed.

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