The Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) belongs to the neurothrophins protein family involved in the survival of neurons in the nervous system. The interaction of NGF with its high-affinity receptor TrkA mediates different cellular pathways related to Alzheimer's disease, pain, ocular dysfunction, and cancer. Therefore, targeting NGF-TrkA interaction represents a valuable strategy for the development of new therapeutic agents. In recent years, experimental studies have revealed that peptides belonging to the N-terminal domain of NGF are able to partly mimic the biological activity of the whole protein paving the way towards the development of small peptides that can selectively target specific signaling pathways. Hence, understanding the molecular basis of the interaction between the N-terminal segment of NGF and TrkA is fundamental for the rational design of new peptides mimicking the NGF N-terminal domain. In this study, molecular dynamics simulation, binding free energy calculations and per-residue energy decomposition analysis were combined in order to explore the molecular recognition pattern between the experimentally active NGF(1-14) peptide and TrkA. The results highlighted the importance of His4, Arg9 and Glu11 as crucial residues for the stabilization of NGF(1-14)-TrkA interaction, thus suggesting useful insights for the structure-based design of new therapeutic peptides able to modulate NGF-TrkA interaction.

Computational Insights into the Sequence-Activity Relationships of the NGF(1–14) Peptide by Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Gervasoni, Silvia;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) belongs to the neurothrophins protein family involved in the survival of neurons in the nervous system. The interaction of NGF with its high-affinity receptor TrkA mediates different cellular pathways related to Alzheimer's disease, pain, ocular dysfunction, and cancer. Therefore, targeting NGF-TrkA interaction represents a valuable strategy for the development of new therapeutic agents. In recent years, experimental studies have revealed that peptides belonging to the N-terminal domain of NGF are able to partly mimic the biological activity of the whole protein paving the way towards the development of small peptides that can selectively target specific signaling pathways. Hence, understanding the molecular basis of the interaction between the N-terminal segment of NGF and TrkA is fundamental for the rational design of new peptides mimicking the NGF N-terminal domain. In this study, molecular dynamics simulation, binding free energy calculations and per-residue energy decomposition analysis were combined in order to explore the molecular recognition pattern between the experimentally active NGF(1-14) peptide and TrkA. The results highlighted the importance of His4, Arg9 and Glu11 as crucial residues for the stabilization of NGF(1-14)-TrkA interaction, thus suggesting useful insights for the structure-based design of new therapeutic peptides able to modulate NGF-TrkA interaction.
2022
MM-GBSA
Nerve Growth Factor
TrkA
molecular dynamics
per-residue energy decomposition
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
cells-11-02808.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: versione editoriale
Dimensione 5.26 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
5.26 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/395286
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact