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Chem Commun (Camb). 2017 Mar 30;53(27):3830-3833. doi: 10.1039/c7cc00318h.

The mechanism of aquaporin inhibition by gold compounds elucidated by biophysical and computational methods.

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School of Chemistry, Cardiff University, Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK.
Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal. and Dept. Bioquímica e Biologia Humana, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal.
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, David Keir Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast, BT9 5AG, UK.
Dip. di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche, Chimiche e Farmaceutiche (STEBICEF), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze Ed. 17, 90128, Palermo, Italy.


The inhibition of water and glycerol permeation via human aquaglyceroporin-3 (AQP3) by gold(iii) complexes has been studied by stopped-flow spectroscopy and, for the first time, its mechanism has been described using molecular dynamics (MD), combined with density functional theory (DFT) and electrochemical studies. The obtained MD results showed that the most effective gold-based inhibitor, anchored to Cys40 in AQP3, is able to induce shrinkage of pores preventing glycerol and water permeation. Moreover, the good correlation between the affinity of the Au(iii) complex to Cys binding and AQP3 inhibition effects was highlighted, while no influence of the different oxidative character of the complexes could be observed.

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