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Biochemistry. 2002 Jan 29;41(4):1137-48.

Three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship study of the inhibition of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase by cardiotonic steroids using comparative molecular field analysis.

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Department of Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0575, USA.


Na(+),K(+)-ATPase is a transmembrane protein that transports sodium and potassium ions across cell membranes during an activity cycle that uses the energy released by ATP hydrolysis. Cardiotonic steroids (digitalis) inhibit this activity and consequently produce a positive inotropic response in the heart. To identify the structural features of the steroids that are important for this inhibition, we have tested the inhibitory properties of 47 cardiotonic and hormonal steroids and developed a three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) model for the inhibition of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase using comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA). We also developed a 3D-QSAR model for the binding of digoxin to the murine anti-digoxin monoclonal antibody (mAb) 26-10 because we have previously shown that the environment of the binding sites of 26-10 and the enzyme are similar (Kasturi et al. (1998) Biochemistry 37, 6658-6666). These statistically predictive 3D-QSAR models indicate that both binding sites are about 20 A long and have a close fit or complementarity about the beta side of the lactone ring of digitalis. Furthermore, steric bulk about the lactone ring and the alpha sugar may be critical for drug binding. However, the binding site of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase differs from that of mAb in that it has a greater number of electrostatic interactions along the alpha-sugar, steroid, and lactone moieties. In addition, the availability of the structure of the 26-10 Fab-digoxin complex (Jeffrey et al. (1993) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 90, 10310-10314) enabled us to compare the CoMFA-derived contour maps with the known locations for amino acid residues comprising the mAb ligand binding site.

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