Probing a water channel near the A-ring of receptor-bound 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 with selected 2α-substituted analogues

Shinji Hourai, Toshie Fujishima, Atsushi Kittaka, Yoshitomo Suhara, Hiroaki Takayama, Natacha Rochel, Dino Moras

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The crystal structure of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in complex with 1α,25(OH)2D3 revealed the presence of several water molecules near the A-ring linking the ligand C-2 position to the protein surface. Here, we report the crystal structures of the human VDR ligand binding domain bound to selected C-2α substituted analogues, namely, methyl, propyl, propoxy, hydroxypropyl, and hydroxypropoxy. These specific replacements do not modify the structure of the protein or the ligand, but with the exception of the methyl substituent, all analogues affect the presence and/or the location of the above water molecules. The integrity of the channel interactions and specific C-2α analogue directed additional interactions correlate with the binding affinity of the ligands. In contrast, the resulting loss or gain of H-bonds does not reflect the magnitude of HL60 cell differentiation. Our overall findings highlight a rational approach to the design of more potent ligands by building in features revealed in the crystal structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5199-5205
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug 24


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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