Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS Comput Biol. 2011 Oct;7(10):e1002193. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002193. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Ligand-induced modulation of the free-energy landscape of G protein-coupled receptors explored by adaptive biasing techniques.

Author information

  • 1Department of Structural and Chemical Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America.


Extensive experimental information supports the formation of ligand-specific conformations of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as a possible molecular basis for their functional selectivity for signaling pathways. Taking advantage of the recently published inactive and active crystal structures of GPCRs, we have implemented an all-atom computational strategy that combines different adaptive biasing techniques to identify ligand-specific conformations along pre-determined activation pathways. Using the prototypic GPCR β2-adrenergic receptor as a suitable test case for validation, we show that ligands with different efficacies (either inverse agonists, neutral antagonists, or agonists) modulate the free-energy landscape of the receptor by shifting the conformational equilibrium towards active or inactive conformations depending on their elicited physiological response. Notably, we provide for the first time a quantitative description of the thermodynamics of the receptor in an explicit atomistic environment, which accounts for the receptor basal activity and the stabilization of different active-like states by differently potent agonists. Structural inspection of these metastable states reveals unique conformations of the receptor that may have been difficult to retrieve experimentally.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (5)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk