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J Phys Chem B ; 125(36): 10273-10281, 2021 Sep 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34472354


The excited state proton transfer (ESPT) reaction from the photoacid 8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid (HPTS or pyranine) to an acetate molecule has been investigated in explicit aqueous solution via excited state ab initio molecular dynamics simulations based on hybrid quantum/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) potentials. In all the trajectories, the direct proton transfer has been observed in the excited state within 1 ps. We find that the initial structural configuration extracted from the ground state distribution strongly affects the ESPT kinetics. Indeed, the relative orientation of the proton donor-acceptor pair and the presence of a water molecule hydrogen bonded to the phenolic acid group of the pyranine are the key factors to facilitate the ESPT. Furthermore, we analyze the vibrational fingerprints of the ESPT reaction, reproducing the blue shift of the acetate CO stretching (COac), from 1666 to 1763 cm-1 testifying the transformation of acetate to acetic acid. Finally, our findings suggest that the acetate CC stretching (CCac) is also sensitive to the progress of the ESPT reaction. The CCac stretching is indeed ruled by the two vibrational modes (928 and 1426 cm-1), that in the excited state are alternately activated when the proton is shared or bound to the donor/acceptor, respectively.

Biomolecules ; 11(7)2021 07 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34356672


In the search for new therapeutic strategies to contrast SARS-CoV-2, we here studied the interaction of polydatin (PD) and resveratrol (RESV)-two natural stilbene polyphenols with manifold, well known biological activities-with Spike, the viral protein essential for virus entry into host cells, and ACE2, the angiotensin-converting enzyme present on the surface of multiple cell types (including respiratory epithelial cells) which is the main host receptor for Spike binding. Molecular Docking simulations evidenced that both compounds can bind Spike, ACE2 and the ACE2:Spike complex with good affinity, although the interaction of PD appears stronger than that of RESV on all the investigated targets. Preliminary biochemical assays revealed a significant inhibitory activity of the ACE2:Spike recognition with a dose-response effect only in the case of PD.

Enzima de Conversão de Angiotensina 2/metabolismo , COVID-19/tratamento farmacológico , Glucosídeos/farmacologia , Resveratrol/farmacologia , SARS-CoV-2/efeitos dos fármacos , Glicoproteína da Espícula de Coronavírus/metabolismo , Estilbenos/farmacologia , COVID-19/metabolismo , Descoberta de Drogas , Medicamentos de Ervas Chinesas/farmacologia , Inibidores Enzimáticos/farmacologia , Interações Hospedeiro-Patógeno/efeitos dos fármacos , Humanos , Simulação de Acoplamento Molecular , Ligação Proteica/efeitos dos fármacos , SARS-CoV-2/metabolismo
Front Mol Biosci ; 7: 569990, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33195416


The Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is a widely studied chemical system both for its large amount of applications and the complexity of the excited state proton transfer responsible of the change in the protonation state of the chromophore. A detailed investigation on the structure of the chromophore environment and the influence of chromophore form (either neutral or anionic) on it is of crucial importance to understand how these factors could potentially influence the protein function. In this study, we perform a detailed computational investigation based on the analysis of ab-initio molecular dynamics simulations, to disentangle the main structural quantities determining the fine balance in the chromophore environment. We found that specific hydrogen bonds interactions directly involving the chromophore (or not), are correlated to quantities, such as the volume of the cavity in which the chromophore is embedded and that it is importantly affected by the chromophore protonation state. The cross-correlation analysis performed on some of these hydrogen bonds and the cavity volume, demonstrates a direct correlation among them and we also identified the ones specifically involved in this correlation. We also found that specific interactions among residues far in the space are correlated, demonstrating the complexity of the chromophore environment and that many structural quantities have to be taken into account to properly describe and understand the main factors tuning the active site of the protein. From an overall evaluation of the results obtained in this work, it is shown that the residues which a priori are perceived to be spectators play instead an important role in both influencing the chromophore environment (cavity volume) and its dynamics (cross-correlations among spatially distant residues).

J Comput Chem ; 41(26): 2228-2239, 2020 10 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32770577


Solute-solvent interactions are proxies for understanding how the electronic density of a chromophore interacts with the environment in a more exhaustive way. The subtle balance between polarization, electrostatic, and non-bonded interactions need to be accurately described to obtain good agreement between simulations and experiments. First principles approaches providing accurate configurational sampling through molecular dynamics may be a suitable choice to describe solvent effects on solute chemical-physical properties and spectroscopic features, such as optical absorption of dyes. In this context, accurate energy potentials, obtained by hybrid implicit/explicit solvation methods along with employing nonperiodic boundary conditions, are required to represent bulk solvent around a large solute-solvent cluster. In this work, a novel strategy to simulate methanol solutions is proposed combining ab initio molecular dynamics, a hybrid implicit/explicit flexible solvent model, nonperiodic boundary conditions, and time dependent density functional theory. As case study, the robustness of the proposed protocol has been gauged by investigating the microsolvation and electronic absorption of the anionic green fluorescent protein chromophore in methanol and aqueous solution. Satisfactory results are obtained, reproducing the microsolvation layout of the chromophore and, as a consequence, the experimental trends shown by the optical absorption in different solvents.

Metanol/química , Modelos Químicos , Simulação de Dinâmica Molecular , Solventes/química , Água/química , Proteínas de Fluorescência Verde/química , Solubilidade
J Comput Chem ; 41(20): 1835-1841, 2020 07 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32500950


Electrons and protons are the main actors in play in proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions, which are fundamental in many biological (i.e., photosynthesis and enzymatic reactions) and electrochemical processes. The mechanism, energetics and kinetics of PCET reactions are strongly controlled by the coupling between the transferred electrons and protons. Concerted PCET reactions are classified according to the electronical adiabaticity degree of the process. To discriminate among different mechanisms, we propose a new analysis based on the use of electron density based indexes. We choose, as test case, the 3-Methylphenoxyl/phenol system in two different conformations to show how the proposed analysis is a suitable tool to discriminate between the different degree of adiabaticity of PCET processes. The very low computational cost of this procedure is extremely promising to analyze and provide evidences of PCET mechanisms ruling the reactivity of many biological and catalytic systems.

Elétrons , Fenóis/química , Prótons , Transporte de Elétrons , Fenóis/metabolismo
Biopolymers ; 109(10): e23225, 2018 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30091460


Fe(III)-Mimochrome VI (MC6) is a recently reported artificial heme-peptide conjugate system with a high peroxidase-like activity. By design, its structure features a five-coordinated Fe(III)-deuteroporphyrin active site, embedded in a compact α-helix-heme-α-helix "sandwich" motif. Up to now, no detailed MC6 structural characterization is available. In this work we propose a theoretical investigation based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) optimizations, aimed to shed light on several Fe(III)-MC6 structural features and to validate the de novo designed fold. Key structural elements were analyzed to achieve indirect insight relevant to understand Fe(III)-MC6 catalytic performances in solution. Extensive MD simulations showed a partial stability of the "sandwich" fold in water solution. The smaller peptide chain bonded to the heme revealed a high conformational freedom, which promoted the exposition of the heme distal side to the solvent. Regarding the accessibility of water molecules, even in Fe(III)-MC6 "closed" structure the heme cavity appeared hydrated, suggesting an easy accessibility by exogenous ligands. Fe(III)-MC6 structure in both high and low spin states was then further characterized through hybrid QM/MM optimizations. In particular, an accurate description of the active site structure was obtained, allowing a direct comparison of Fe(III)-MC6 coordination environment with that observed in the Horseradish Peroxidase crystal structures. Our results suggest a structural similarity between Fe(III)-MC6 and the natural enzyme. This study supports the interpretation of data from experimental Fe(III)-MC6 structural and functional characterization and the rational design of new artificial mimics with improved catalytic performances.

Heme/química , Heme/metabolismo , Modelos Moleculares , Peroxidases/química , Peroxidases/metabolismo , Ligação de Hidrogênio , Ferro/química , Simulação de Dinâmica Molecular , Peptídeos/química , Estrutura Secundária de Proteína , Teoria Quântica , Água/química