Send to

Choose Destination
Proteins. 2012 Jul;80(7):1798-809. doi: 10.1002/prot.24076. Epub 2012 May 10.

The Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-12 nuclear receptor: structure, dynamics, and interaction with ligands.

Author information

Departamento de Química Orgánica and UMYMFOR, CONICET-UBA, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


A structure for the ligand binding domain (LBD) of the DAF-12 receptor from Caenorhabditis elegans was obtained from the X-ray crystal structure of the receptor LBD from Strongyloides stercoralis bound to (25R)-Δ(7)-dafachronic acid (DA) (pdb:3GYU). The model was constructed in the presence of the ligand using a combination of Modeller, Autodock, and molecular dynamics (MD) programs, and then its dynamical behavior was studied by MD. A strong ligand binding mode (LBM) was found, with the three arginines in the ligand binding pocket (LBP) contacting the C-26 carboxylate group of the DA. The quality of the ceDAF-12 model was then evaluated by constructing several ligand systems for which the experimental activity is known. Thus, the dynamical behavior of the ceDAF-12 complex with the more active (25S)-Δ(7)-DA showed two distinct binding modes, one of them being energetically more favorable compared with the 25R isomer. Then the effect of the Arg564Cys and Arg598Met mutations on the (25R)-Δ(7)-DA binding was analyzed. The MD simulations showed that in the first case the complex was unstable, consistent with the lack of transactivation activity of (25R)-Δ(7)-DA in this mutant. Instead, in the case of the Arg598Met mutant, known to produce a partial loss of activity, our model predicted smaller effects on the LBM with a more stable MD trajectory. The model also showed that removal of the C-25 methyl does not impede the simultaneous strong interaction of the carboxylate with the three arginines, predicting that 27-nor-DAs are putative ceDAF-12 ligands.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center