Prediction of GluN2B-CT1290-1310/DAPK1 interaction by protein–peptide docking and molecular dynamics simulation

Gao Tu, Tingting Fu, Fengyuan Yang, Lixia Yao, Weiwei Xue, Feng Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The interaction of death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) with the 2B subunit (GluN2B) C-terminus of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of depression and is considered a potential target for the structure-based discovery of new antidepressants. However, the 3D structures of C-terminus residues 1290–1310 of GluN2B (GluN2B-CT1290-1310) remain elusive and the interaction between GluN2B-CT1290-1310 and DAPK1 is unknown. In this study, the mechanism of interaction between DAPK1 and GluN2B-CT1290-1310 was predicted by computational simulation methods including protein–peptide docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Based on the equilibrated MD trajectory, the total binding free energy between GluN2B-CT1290-1310 and DAPK1 was computed by the mechanics generalized born surface area (MM/GBSA) approach. The simulation results showed that hydrophobic, van der Waals, and electrostatic interactions are responsible for the binding of GluN2B-CT1290–1310/DAPK1. Moreover, through per-residue free energy decomposition and in silico alanine scanning analysis, hotspot residues between GluN2B-CT1290-1310 and DAPK1 interface were identified. In conclusion, this work predicted the binding mode and quantitatively characterized the protein–peptide interface, which will aid in the discovery of novel drugs targeting the GluN2B-CT1290-1310 and DAPK1 interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3018
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 19 2018


  • Binding free energy
  • DAPK1-GluN2B peptide
  • Hotspot
  • MD simulation
  • Protein–peptide docking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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