Simulations of Biased Agonists in the β2 Adrenergic Receptor with Accelerated Molecular Dynamics

Irina G Tikhonova, Balaji Selvam, Anthony Ivetac, Jeff Wereszczynski, J Andrew McCammon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The biased agonism of the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), where in addition to a traditional G protein-signalling pathway a GPCR promotes intracellular signals though ß-arrestin, is a novel paradigm in pharmacology. Biochemical and biophysical studies have suggested that a GPCR forms a distinct ensemble of conformations signalling through the G protein and ß-arrestin. Here we report on the dynamics of the ß2 adrenergic receptor bound to the ß-arrestin and G protein biased agonists and the empty receptor to further characterize the receptor conformational changes caused by biased agonists. We use conventional and accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) simulations to explore the conformational transitions of the GPCR from the active state to the inactive state. We found that aMD simulations enable monitoring the transition within the nanosecond timescale while capturing the known microscopic characteristics of the inactive states, such as the ionic lock, the inward position of F6.44, and water clusters. Distinct conformational states are shown to be stabilized by each biased agonist. In particular, in simulations of the receptor with the ß-arrestin biased agonist, N-cyclopentylbutanepherine we observe a different pattern of motions in helix 7 when compared to simulations with the G protein biased agonist, Salbutamol that involves perturbations of the network of interactions within the NPxxY motif. Understanding the network of interactions induced by biased ligands and the subsequent receptor conformational shifts will lead to development of more efficient drugs. © 2013 American Chemical Society
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5593-5603
Number of pages11
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Simulations of Biased Agonists in the β2 Adrenergic Receptor with Accelerated Molecular Dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this