Binding pattern analysis and structural insight into the inhibition mechanism of Sterol 24-C methyltransferase by docking and molecular dynamics approach
Sterol 24-C methyltransferase (SMT) plays a major role during the production of steroids, especially in the biosynthesis of ergosterol, which is the major membrane sterol in leishmania parasite, and the etiological basis of leishmaniasis. Mechanism-based inactivators bind irreversibly to SMT and interfere with its activity to provide leads for the design of antileishmanial inhibitors. In this study, computational methods are used for studying enzyme–inhibitor interactions. fifty-seven mechanism-based inactivators are docked using 3 docking/scoring approaches (FRED, GoldScore, and ChemScore). A consensus is generated from the results of different scoring functions which are also validated with already reported experimental values. The most active compound thus obtained is subjected to molecular dynamics simulation of length 20 ns. Stability of simulation is analyzed through root-mean-square deviation, beta factor (B-factor), and radius of gyration (Rg). Hydrogen bonds and their involvement in the structural stability of the enzyme are evaluated through radial distribution function. Newly developed application of axial frequency distribution that determines three-particle correlation on frequency distributions before and after simulation has provided a clear evidence for the movement of the inhibitor into active pocket of the enzyme. Results yielded strong interaction between enzyme and the inhibitor throughout the simulation. Binding of the inhibitor with enzyme has stabilized the enzyme structure; thus, the inhibitor has the potential to become a lead compound.