Unintentionally released in the environment as by-products of industrial activities, dioxins, exemplified by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), represent a primary concern for human health. Exposure to these chemicals is known to produce a broad spectrum of adverse effects, including cancer. The main mechanism of action of TCDD in humans involves binding to the Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR). Although qualitatively established, TCDD capture by the AhR remains poorly characterized at the molecular level. Starting from a recently developed structural model of the human AhR PAS-B domain, in this work we attempt the identification of viable TCDD access pathways to the human AhR ligand binding domain by means of molecular dynamics. Based on the result of metadynamics simulations, we identify two main regions that may potentially serve as access paths for TCDD. For each path, we characterize the residues closely interacting with TCDD, thereby suggesting a possible mechanism for TCDD capture. Our results are reviewed and discussed in the light of the available information about Human AhR structure and functions.

Identification of viable TCDD access pathways to human AhR PAS-B ligand binding domain

Casalegno M.;Raos G.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Unintentionally released in the environment as by-products of industrial activities, dioxins, exemplified by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), represent a primary concern for human health. Exposure to these chemicals is known to produce a broad spectrum of adverse effects, including cancer. The main mechanism of action of TCDD in humans involves binding to the Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR). Although qualitatively established, TCDD capture by the AhR remains poorly characterized at the molecular level. Starting from a recently developed structural model of the human AhR PAS-B domain, in this work we attempt the identification of viable TCDD access pathways to the human AhR ligand binding domain by means of molecular dynamics. Based on the result of metadynamics simulations, we identify two main regions that may potentially serve as access paths for TCDD. For each path, we characterize the residues closely interacting with TCDD, thereby suggesting a possible mechanism for TCDD capture. Our results are reviewed and discussed in the light of the available information about Human AhR structure and functions.
Computational modelling
Dioxin
Ligand binding domain
Molecular dynamics
Protein-ligand interaction
Toxicity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1167249
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