Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) belong to the Cys-loop receptor family and are important drug targets for the treatment of neurological diseases. However, the precise determinants of the binding efficacies of ligands for these receptors are unclear. Therefore, in this study, the binding energy profiles of various ligands (full agonists, partial agonists, and antagonists) were quantified by docking those ligands with structural ensembles of the α7 nAChR exhibiting different degrees of C-loop closure. This approximate treatment of interactions suggested that full agonists, partial agonists, and antagonists of the α7 nAChR possess distinctive binding energy profiles. Results from docking revealed that ligand binding efficacy may be related to the capacity of the ligand to stabilize conformational states with a closed C loop.
Journal of Molecular Modeling – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 2, 2017
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