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J Med Chem. 2002 Jan 3;45(1):72-89.

Hierarchy of simulation models in predicting structure and energetics of the Src SH2 domain binding to tyrosyl phosphopeptides.

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Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., A Pfizer Company, 10777 Science Center Drive, San Diego, California 92121-1111, USA.


Structure and energetics of the Src Src Homology 2 (SH2) domain binding with the recognition phosphopeptide pYEEI and its mutants are studied by a hierarchical computational approach. The proposed structure prediction strategy includes equilibrium sampling of the peptide conformational space by simulated tempering dynamics with the simplified, knowledge-based energy function, followed by structural clustering of the resulting conformations and binding free energy evaluation of a single representative from each cluster, a cluster center. This protocol is robust in rapid screening of low-energy conformations and recovers the crystal structure of the pYEEI peptide. Thermodynamics of the peptide-SH2 domain binding is analyzed by computing the average energy contributions over conformations from the clusters, structurally similar to the predicted peptide bound structure. Using this approach, the binding thermodynamics for a panel of studied peptides is predicted in a better agreement with the experiment than previously suggested models. However, the overall correlation between computed and experimental binding affinity remains rather modest. The results of this study show that small differences in binding free energies between the Ala and Gly mutants of the pYEEI peptide are considerably more difficult to predict than the structure of the bound peptides, indicating that accurate computational prediction of binding affinities still remains a major methodological and technical challenge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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