Fast, metadynamics-based method for prediction of the stereochemistry-dependent relative free energies of ligand–receptor interactions



The computational approach applicable for the molecular dynamics (MD)-based techniques is proposed to predict the ligand–protein binding affinities dependent on the ligand stereochemistry. All possible stereoconfigurations are expressed in terms of one set of force-field parameters [stereoconfiguration-independent potential (SIP)], which allows for calculating all relative free energies by only single simulation. SIP can be used for studying diverse, stereoconfiguration-dependent phenomena by means of various computational techniques of enhanced sampling. The method has been successfully tested on the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) binding the four fenoterol stereoisomers by both metadynamics simulations and replica-exchange MD. Both the methods gave very similar results, fully confirming the presence of stereoselective effects in the fenoterol-β2-AR interactions. However, the metadynamics-based approach offered much better efficiency of sampling which allows for significant reduction of the unphysical region in SIP. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.