Study of the affinity between the protein kinase PKA and homoarginine-containing peptides derived from kemptide: Free energy perturbation (FEP) calculations

Karel Mena-Ulecia, Fabian Gonzalez-Norambuena, Ariela Vergara-Jaque, Horacio Poblete, William Tiznado, Julio Caballero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Protein kinases (PKs) discriminate between closely related sequences that contain serine, threonine, and/or tyrosine residues. Such specificity is defined by the amino acid sequence surrounding the phosphorylatable residue, so that it is possible to identify an optimal recognition motif (ORM) for each PK. The ORM for the protein kinase A (PKA), a well-known member of the PK family, is the sequence RRX(S/T)X, where arginines at the −3 and −2 positions play a key role with respect to the primed phosphorylation site. In this work, differential affinities of PKA for the peptide substrate Kemptide (LRRASLG) and mutants that substitute the arginine residues by the unnatural peptide homoarginine were evaluated through molecular dynamics (MD) and free energy perturbation (FEP) calculations. The FEP study for the homoarginine mutants required previous elaboration of a CHARMM “arginine to homoarginine” (R2B) hybrid topology file which is available in this manuscript as Supporting Information. Mutants substituting the arginine residues by alanine, lysine, and histidine were also considered in the comparison by using the same protocol. FEP calculations allowed estimating the free energy changes from the free PKA to PKA-substrate complex (ΔΔGE→ES) when Kemptide structure was mutated. Both ΔΔGS→ES values for homoarginine mutants were predicted with a difference below 1 kcal/mol. In addition, FEP correctly predicted that all the studied mutations decrease the catalytic efficiency of Kemptide for PKA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-992
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Computational Chemistry
Volume39
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • cAMP-dependent kinase
  • free energy perturbation
  • homoarginine
  • PKA
  • protein kinases
  • unnatural amino acid modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Computational Mathematics

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