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Exploring resistance mechanisms of HCV NS3/4A protease mutations to MK5172: insight from molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations



Exploring resistance mechanisms of HCV NS3/4A protease mutations to MK5172: insight from molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations



Molecular Biosystems 11(9): 2568-2578



Mutations at a number of key positions (Ala156, Asp168 and Arg155) of the HCV NS3/4A protease can induce medium to high resistance to MK5172. The emergence of the resistant mutations seriously compromises the antiviral therapy efficacy to hepatitis C. In this study, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, free energy calculations and free energy decomposition were used to explore the interaction profiles of MK5172 with the wild-type (WT) and four mutated (R155K, D168A, D168V and A156T) HCV NS3/4A proteases. The binding free energies predicted by Molecular Mechanics/Generalized Born Solvent Area (MM/GBSA) are consistent with the trend of the experimental drug resistance data. The free energy decomposition analysis shows that the resistant mutants may change the protein-MK5172 interaction profiles, resulting in the unbalanced energetic distribution amongst the catalytic triad, the strand 135-139 and the strand 154-160. Moreover, umbrella sampling (US) simulations were employed to elucidate the unbinding processes of MK5172 from the active pockets of the WT HCV NS3/4A protease and the four mutants. The US simulations demonstrate that the dissociation pathways of MK5172 escaping from the binding pockets of the WT and mutants are quite different, and it is quite possible that MK5172 will be harder to get access to the correct binding sites of the mutated proteases, thereafter leading to drug resistance.

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Accession: 057838984

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26219385

DOI: 10.1039/c5mb00394f


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