Send to

Choose Destination
Protein Sci. 2000 Oct;9(10):1857-65.

Successful molecular dynamics simulation of the zinc-bound farnesyltransferase using the cationic dummy atom approach.

Author information

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.

Erratum in

  • Protein Sci 2000 Dec;9(12):2583.


Farnesyltransferase (FT) inhibitors can suppress tumor cell proliferation without substantially interfering with normal cell growth, thus holding promise for cancer treatment. A structure-based approach to the design of improved FT inhibitors relies on knowledge of the conformational flexibility of the zinc-containing active site of FT. Although several X-ray structures of FT have been reported, detailed information regarding the active site conformational flexibility of the enzyme is still not available. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of FT can offer the requisite information, but have not been applied due to a lack of effective methods for simulating the four-ligand coordination of zinc in proteins. Here, we report in detail the problems that occurred in the conventional MD simulations of the zinc-bound FT and a solution to these problems by employing a simple method that uses cationic dummy atoms to impose orientational requirement for zinc ligands. A successful 1.0 ns (1.0 fs time step) MD simulation of zinc-bound FT suggests that nine conserved residues (Asn127alpha, Gln162alpha, Asn165alpha, Gln195alpha, His248beta, Lys294beta, Leu295beta, Lys353beta, and Ser357beta) in the active site of mammalian FT are relatively mobile. Some of these residues might be involved in the ligand-induced active site conformational rearrangement upon binding and deserve attention in screening and design of improved FT inhibitors for cancer chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center