Unbinding of fluorinated oxime drug from the AChE gorge in polarizable water: a well-tempered metadynamics study†
Despite the fact that fluorination makes a drug more lipophilic, the molecular level understanding of protein–fluorinated drug interactions is very poor. Due to their enhanced ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier, they are suitable for reactivation of organophosphorus inactivated acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the central nervous system. We systematically studied the unbinding of fluorinated obidoxime (FOBI) and non-fluorinated obidoxime (OBI) from the active site gorge of the serine hydrolase AChE in mean field polarizable water by employing all atom molecular dynamics simulations. It is observed that the unbinding process is strongly influenced by cation–π, hydrogen bond (HB) and water bridge interactions. The FOBI drug interacts more strongly with the protein residues than OBI and this is also verified from quantum mechanical calculations. Distinct unbinding pathways for FOBI and OBI are observed as evident from the 1D and 2D potential of mean force of the unbinding profiles. The present study suggests that the FOBI drug is held more firmly in the gorge of AChE in comparison to OBI and may lead to higher reactivation efficiency of the inactivated enzyme.