Exploring the A22-Bacterial Actin MreB Interaction through Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Yaw Awuni, Shimin Jiang, Robert C. Robinson, Yuguang Mu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


MreB is an actin-like cytoskeleton protein that plays a vital role in the maintenance of the rod-shaped morphology of many bacteria. S-(3,4-Dichlorobenzyl) isothiourea (A22) is an antibiotic-like small molecule that perturbs the rod cell shape and has been suggested to inhibit MreB by targeting ATP hydrolysis. However, without the elucidation of the structure of the ATP-bound state of MreB in the presence of A22, the mechanism of A22 inhibition is still not clear. Here we apply conventional molecular dynamics simulations to explore the dynamics of the active site of MreB in complex with A22 and different nucleotides. We observe that hydrogen bonding between A22 and the catalytic Glu140 residue is not favored in the ATP-A22-bound state of MreB. Water dynamics analysis in the MreB active site reveals that in the presence of A22 water molecules are able to occupy positions suitable for ATP hydrolysis. Overall, our results are consistent with a mechanism in which A22 affects MreB polymerization/depolymerization dynamics in part through slowing phosphate release rather than by inhibiting ATP hydrolysis. These data can be incorporated in the design/development of the next generation of MreB inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9867-9874
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - Sept 22 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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