Complex structures between the N-type calcium channel (CaV2.2) and ω-Conotoxin GVIA predicted via molecular dynamics

Rong Chen*, Shin Ho Chung

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    The N-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel CaV2.2 is one of the important targets for pain management. ω-Conotoxins isolated from venoms of cone snails, which specifically inhibit CaV2.2, are promising scaffolds for novel analgesics. The inhibitory action of ω-conotoxins on CaV2.2 has been examined experimentally, but the modes of binding of the toxins to this and other related subfamilies of Ca2+ channels are not understood in detail. Here molecular dynamics simulations are used to construct models of ω-conotoxin GVIA in complex with a homology model of the pore domain of CaV2.2. Three different binding modes in which the side chain of Lys2, Arg17, or Lys24 from the toxin protrudes into the selectivity filter of CaV2.2 are considered. In all the modes, the toxin forms a salt bridge with an aspartate residue of subunit II just above the EEEE ring of the selectivity filter. Using the umbrella sampling technique and potential of mean force calculations, the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values are calculated to be 1.5 and 0.7 nM for the modes in which Lys2 and Arg17 occlude the ion conduction pathway, respectively. Both IC50 values compare favorably with the values of 0.04-1.0 nM determined experimentally. The similar IC 50 values calculated for the different binding modes demonstrate that GVIA can inhibit CaV2.2 with alternative binding modes. Such a multiple-binding mode mechanism may be common for ω-conotoxins.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3765-3772
    Number of pages8
    Issue number21
    Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013


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