Cytochrome P450 14α-sterol demethylase (CYP51), the key enzyme in sterol biosynthesis pathway, is an important target protein of cholesterol-lowering agents, antifungal drugs, and herbicides. CYP51B enzyme is one of the CYP51 family members. In the present study, we have chosen four representative inhibitors of CYP51B: diniconazole (Din), fluconazole (Flu), tebuconazole (Teb), and voriconazole (Vor), and launched to investigate the binding features of CYP51B-inhibitor and gating characteristics via molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The results show that the ranking of binding affinities among these inhibitors is Din > Teb > Vor > Flu. Din shows the strongest binding affinity, whereas Flu shows the weakest binding affinity. More importantly, based on the calculated binding free energy results, we hypothesize that the nonpolar interactions are the most important contributors, and three key residues (Thr77, Ala258, and Lys454) play crucial role in protein-inhibitor binding. Besides, residue Phe180 may play a molecular switch role in the process of the CYP51B-Teb and CYP51B-Vor binding. Additionally, Tunnel analysis results show that the major tunnel of Din, Flu, and Teb is located between helix K, FG loop, and β4 hairpin (Tunnel II).The top ranked possible tunnel (Tunnel II) corresponds to Vor exits through helix K, F and helix J. This study further revealed the CYP51B relevant structural characteristics at the atomic level as well as provided a basis for rational design of new and more efficacious antifungal agents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology