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# Nucler receptor's helix 12 mobility: comparison between molecular dynamics simulations and fluorescence anisotropy experiments.

 Grant number: 11/03993-5 Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012 Effective date (End): February 28, 2013 Field of knowledge: Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Molecular Biophysics Principal Investigator: Leandro Martinez Grantee: Mariana Raquel Bunoro Batista Host Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil Abstract Nuclear Hormone Receptors comprise a protein superfamily responsible for regulation of gene expression. Structurally, they are composed by three domains: a variable N-terminal domain, a highly conserved DNA-binding domain (DBD), and a less conserved C-terminal domain, known as ligand binding domain (LBD). Many experiments have shown that the interaction with ligands affects the structure and the mobility of nuclear receptor<92>s C-terminal helix (LBDs Helix 12), being the main mechanism of transcription activation and repression. The first nuclear receptor LBDs structures revealed important differences between ligand bound (holo) and apo-structures concerning the position of the H12: in apo structures, H12 adopted an open conformation, exposing the ligand binding pocket, whereas in holo structures, the H12 was closed, packed over the body of the LBD, burying completely the ligand. This difference suggested a mechanism for ligand entry and exit from the binding pocket called mouse-trap model", however this model has several inconsistencies and has been discredited. Recent experimental and theoretical studies have shown that H12 is more labile in the absence of ligand, but these studies don<92>t provide evidences that the increase in the mobility is associated with the detachment of H12 from the body of the LBD as suggested by the mouse-trap model. Although it<92>s clear that H12 is more flexible in the absence of ligands, the size of the conformational changes undergone by H12 is not yet clear. In this work we seek to construct a definitive model for the range of motions that H12 may undergo in the presence or absence of ligand using molecular dynamics simulations. Through direct comparison between molecular dynamics simulations and time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy experiments, we show that experimental observation can only be explained by conformations where the fluorescent probe is interacting with the surface of the PPAR$\gamma$ surface. We also show that simulations with anisotropy decay rates comparable to the experimental decay are associated with small helix 12 conformational changes. Simulations with two models of {\it apo}-PPAR$\gamma$ with H12 detached from the body of the LBD and with crystallographic structures of {\it apo}-RXR and {\it apo}-ER, where the H12 also is in an open conformation, display anisotropy decay rates significantly faster than the experimental ones. These results imply a model for the molecular mobility of the LBD where H12 undergoes local conformational changes and should exhibitdynamic properties less dramatic than proposed by the mouse trap model.