The bacterial replisome is a target for the development of new antibiotics to combat drug resistant strains. The ?(2) sliding clamp is an essential component of the replicative machinery, providing a platform for recruitment and function of other replisomal components and ensuring polymerase processivity during DNA replication and repair. A single binding region of the clamp is utilized by its binding partners, which all contain conserved binding motifs. The C-terminal Leu and Phe residues of these motifs are integral to the binding interaction. We acquired three-dimensional structural information on the binding site in ?(2) by a study of the binding of modified peptides. Development of a three-dimensional pharmacophore based on the C-terminal dipeptide of the motif enabled identification of compounds that on further development inhibited ?-?(2) interaction at low micromolar concentrations. We report the crystal structure of the complex containing one of these inhibitors, a biphenyl oxime, bound to ?(2), as a starting point for further inhibitor design.
Nuclear hormone receptors, such as the ecdysone receptor, often display a large amount of induced fit to ligands. The size and shape of the binding pocket in the EcR subunit changes markedly on ligand binding, making modelling methods such as docking extremely challenging. It is, however, possible to generate excellent 3D QSAR models for a given type of ligand, suggesting that the receptor adopts a relatively restricted number of binding site configurations or attractors. We describe the synthesis, in vitro binding and selected in vivo toxicity data for gamma-methylene gamma-lactams, a new class of high-affinity ligands for ecdysone receptors from Bovicola ovis (Phthiraptera) and Lucilia cuprina (Diptera). The results of a 3D QSAR study of the binding of methylene lactams to recombinant ecdysone receptor protein suggest that this class of ligands is indeed recognised by a single conformation of the EcR binding pocket.
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