Insights on P-Glycoprotein’s Efflux Mechanism Obtained by Molecular Dynamics Simulations

P-Glycoprotein (P-gp) is often involved in multidrug resistance (MDR) to the pharmacological action of a wide number of anticancer agents. In this article, a series of molecular dynamics simulations of murine’s P-gp were developed, elucidating the importance of the lipid membrane and linker sequence in the protein structure stability. The behavior of several molecules inside the drug-binding pocket revealed a striking difference between substrates or modulators, and motion patterns were identified that could be correlated with conformational alterations due to substrate binding, corresponding to the initial step in the efflux mechanism. Only one “entrance gate” to the drug-binding pocket was found and, in the presence of a substrate, leads to changes in the motion patterns of the transporter into an efflux-like movement.

Ricardo J. Ferreira, Maria-José U. Ferreira, and Daniel J. V. A. dos Santos*

Research Institute for Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences (iMed.UL), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal

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