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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Mar;103(3-5):357-60. Epub 2007 Jan 22.

Steps towards flexible docking: modeling of three-dimensional structures of the nuclear receptors bound with peptide ligands mimicking co-activators' sequences.

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Faculty of Chemistry, Warsaw University, Pasteura 1, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland.


We developed a fully flexible docking method that uses a reduced lattice representation of protein molecules, adapted for modeling peptide-protein complexes. The CABS model (Carbon Alpha, Carbon Beta, Side Group) employed here, incorporates three pseudo-atoms per residue-Calpha, Cbeta and the center of the side group instead of full-atomic protein representation. Force field used by CABS was derived from statistical analysis of non-redundant database of protein structures. Application of our method included modeling of the complexes between various nuclear receptors (NRs) and peptide co-activators, for which three-dimensional structures are known. We tried to rebuild the native state of the complexes, starting from separated components. Accuracy of the best obtained models, calculated as coordinate root-mean-square deviation (cRMSD) between the target and the modeled structures, was under 1A, which is competitive with experimental methods, such as crystallography or NMR. Forthcoming modeling study should lead to better understanding of mechanisms of macromolecular assembly and will explain co-activators' effects on receptors activity, especially on vitamin D receptor and other nuclear receptors.

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