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#35950997   2022/08/11 To Up

Functional Loop Dynamics and Characterization of the Inactive State of the NS2B-NS3 Dengue Protease due to Allosteric Inhibitor Binding.

Dengue virus, a flavivirus that causes dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever, is currently prevalent worldwide. A two-component protease (NS2B-NS3) is essential for maturation, representing an important target for designing anti-flavivirus drugs. Previously, consideration has been centered on developing active-site inhibitors of NS2B-NS3pro. However, the flat and charged nature of its active site renders difficulties in developing inhibitors, suggesting an alternative strategy for identifying allosteric inhibitors. The allosterically sensitive site of the dengue protease is located near Ala125, between the 120s loop and 150s loop. Using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, we have explored the protease's conformational dynamics upon binding of an allosteric inhibitor. Furthermore, characterization of the inherent flexible loops (71-75s loop, 120s loop, and 150s loop) is carried out for allosteric-inhibitor-bound wild-type and mutant A125C variants and a comparison is performed with its unbound state to extract the structural changes describing the inactive state of the protease. Our study reveals that compared to the unliganded system, the inhibitor-bound system shows large structural changes in the 120s loop and 150s loop in contrast to the rigid 71-75s loop. The unliganded system shows a closed-state pocket in contrast to the open state for the wild-type complex that locks the protease into the open and inactive-state conformations. However, the mutant complex fluctuates between open and closed states. Also, we tried to see how mutation and binding of an allosteric inhibitor perturb the connectivity in a protein structure network (PSN) at contact levels. Altogether, our study reveals the mechanism of conformational rearrangements of loops at the molecular level, locking the protein in an inactive conformation, which may be useful for developing allosteric inhibitors.
Nisha Amarnath Jonniya, Parimal Kar

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