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J Med Chem. 2001 May 24;44(11):1729-40.

Homology modeling using multiple molecular dynamics simulations and docking studies of the human androgen receptor ligand binding domain bound to testosterone and nonsteroidal ligands.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, The University of Tennessee-Health Science Center, 847 Monroe Avenue, Room 327, Memphis, Tennessee 38163, USA.


To facilitate the rational design of novel and more potent androgen receptor ligands, three-dimensional models for the human androgen receptor ligand binding domain bound to testosterone have been developed. These models of the androgen receptor were based on the crystal structure of the highly homologous human progesterone receptor ligand binding domain. The homology modeled androgen receptor was refined using unrestrained multiple molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent. Key H-bonding partners with the 17-hydroxy group and 3-keto group of testosterone are Asn705 and Thr877, and Gln711 and Arg752, respectively. These models show the presence of a unique unoccupied cavity within the androgen receptor binding pocket which may be valuable in the development of novel selective androgen receptor ligands. A qualitative analysis of amino acid mutations within the hAR binding pocket that affect ligand binding are consistent with these androgen receptor models. In addition to testosterone, the binding modes of several hydroxyflutamide-like nonsteroidal ligands for the androgen receptor are investigated using flexible docking with FlexX followed by refinement of the initial complexes with molecular dynamics simulations. These docking studies indicate that Asn705 is an important determinant in binding hydroxyflutamide and its derivatives by participating in H-bond interactions with the alpha-hydroxy moiety of these ligands. In addition, the nitro functionality mimics the 3-keto group of the natural ligand testosterone and is involved in H-bonding interactions with Gln711 and Arg752. From these docking studies, we suggest a mechanism for the enantioselective binding of chiral hydroxyflutamide derivatives and expand upon the previously reported structure-activity relationship for hydroxyflutamide and its derivatives.

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