HPR, while A722G was introduced into elePR. IC50 values were

HPR, while A722G was introduced into elePR. IC50 values were measured as in (C). Data are presented as average IC50 values+SEM of at least three independent experiments. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050350.gmutated receptor increased the RBA of DHP 2-fold suggesting a key role in the change of elephant PR specificity (Figure 2B). To verify whether the effect was solely due to the G722A 1948-33-0 web exchange or a combination of several mutations, we introduced the mutation in the hPR alone and measured individual IC50 values for progesterone and DHP. While the G722A substitution only had a minor effect on the affinity of 15900046 progesterone, the IC50 for DHP decreased 2-fold equaling a 2-fold increase in affinity (Figure 2D, left). We next cloned the elephant PR LBD from elephant vagina cDNA and performed the reverse mutation by exchanging Ala722 to Gly (Figure 2D, right). While the exchange did not affect progesterone affinity, the IC50 of DHP doubled. We therefore propose that the altered specificity of the elephant PR towards favored binding of DHP is solely due to the G722A exchange, whereas the other five exchanges do not have an effect on the receptor specificity. Notably, by comparing the affinity of the G722A-mutated hPR with elePR for either progesterone or DHP, we observed a 2.3-fold higher affinity for elePR in both cases (Figure 2C, 2D). Therefore, apart from having an altered specificity, the elephant PR LBD also has an overall increased ligand affinity compared to hPR, which is likely mediated by additional amino acid differences between both species.Different Positioning of the A-ring Affects Hydrogen Bond NetworkThe correct position of the A-ring in the binding pocket has a crucial impact on ligand binding. Tyr777, Phe778, Arg766, and Gln725 form a tight binding site for the A-ring of the ligand [14,16]. Arg766 in H5 and Gln725 in H3 form a hydrogenbonding network with O3 of the ligand and one water molecule. As reported earlier for PR and other steroid receptors, we found this water molecule to exchange with the bulk solvent [15,26]. Additionally, Ne and Ng2 of Arg766 are hydrogen-bonded to the backbone carbonyls of Tyr777 and Phe778 in the b-turn. These hydrogen bonds form a clamp between the H5 helix and the bturn of the receptor and are responsible for the positions of both the Arg766 guanidine group and the side chain of Phe778. The phenyl ring of the latter interacts with the A-ring of the ligand. Because of the two attachment points in the b-turn, the guanidine group can shift along an axis, allowing a certain tolerance in the optimal binding geometry. The altered position of the DHP A-ring in the hPR complex had two effects on the binding pocket. First, the orientation of the Triptorelin chemical information carbonyl group of the A-ring was less favorable for the hydrogen bond with Arg766 (Figure 4). While for the elePR-DHP complex we observed a H-bond probability between Arg766 and the O3 group of 39 , in the human receptor it only was present in 27 of all recorded frames. As a consequence of the lower H-bond population, the guanidine group of Arg766 in the hPR-DHP complex was shifted to a position very close to the backbone carbonyl group of Tyr777 and thus partially balanced the altered position of the A-ring carbonyl. Secondly, the shifted orientation of the DHP A-ring in the hPR led to a destabilization of the hydrogen bond network between helix 5 and the b-turn. Considering the populations of the hydrogen bonds between Ng2 of Arg766 and the backbone carbonyls o.HPR, while A722G was introduced into elePR. IC50 values were measured as in (C). Data are presented as average IC50 values+SEM of at least three independent experiments. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050350.gmutated receptor increased the RBA of DHP 2-fold suggesting a key role in the change of elephant PR specificity (Figure 2B). To verify whether the effect was solely due to the G722A exchange or a combination of several mutations, we introduced the mutation in the hPR alone and measured individual IC50 values for progesterone and DHP. While the G722A substitution only had a minor effect on the affinity of 15900046 progesterone, the IC50 for DHP decreased 2-fold equaling a 2-fold increase in affinity (Figure 2D, left). We next cloned the elephant PR LBD from elephant vagina cDNA and performed the reverse mutation by exchanging Ala722 to Gly (Figure 2D, right). While the exchange did not affect progesterone affinity, the IC50 of DHP doubled. We therefore propose that the altered specificity of the elephant PR towards favored binding of DHP is solely due to the G722A exchange, whereas the other five exchanges do not have an effect on the receptor specificity. Notably, by comparing the affinity of the G722A-mutated hPR with elePR for either progesterone or DHP, we observed a 2.3-fold higher affinity for elePR in both cases (Figure 2C, 2D). Therefore, apart from having an altered specificity, the elephant PR LBD also has an overall increased ligand affinity compared to hPR, which is likely mediated by additional amino acid differences between both species.Different Positioning of the A-ring Affects Hydrogen Bond NetworkThe correct position of the A-ring in the binding pocket has a crucial impact on ligand binding. Tyr777, Phe778, Arg766, and Gln725 form a tight binding site for the A-ring of the ligand [14,16]. Arg766 in H5 and Gln725 in H3 form a hydrogenbonding network with O3 of the ligand and one water molecule. As reported earlier for PR and other steroid receptors, we found this water molecule to exchange with the bulk solvent [15,26]. Additionally, Ne and Ng2 of Arg766 are hydrogen-bonded to the backbone carbonyls of Tyr777 and Phe778 in the b-turn. These hydrogen bonds form a clamp between the H5 helix and the bturn of the receptor and are responsible for the positions of both the Arg766 guanidine group and the side chain of Phe778. The phenyl ring of the latter interacts with the A-ring of the ligand. Because of the two attachment points in the b-turn, the guanidine group can shift along an axis, allowing a certain tolerance in the optimal binding geometry. The altered position of the DHP A-ring in the hPR complex had two effects on the binding pocket. First, the orientation of the carbonyl group of the A-ring was less favorable for the hydrogen bond with Arg766 (Figure 4). While for the elePR-DHP complex we observed a H-bond probability between Arg766 and the O3 group of 39 , in the human receptor it only was present in 27 of all recorded frames. As a consequence of the lower H-bond population, the guanidine group of Arg766 in the hPR-DHP complex was shifted to a position very close to the backbone carbonyl group of Tyr777 and thus partially balanced the altered position of the A-ring carbonyl. Secondly, the shifted orientation of the DHP A-ring in the hPR led to a destabilization of the hydrogen bond network between helix 5 and the b-turn. Considering the populations of the hydrogen bonds between Ng2 of Arg766 and the backbone carbonyls o.

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