Dynamic geometry design of cyclic peptide architectures for RNA structure†
Designing inhibitors for RNA is still challenging due to the bottleneck of maintaining the binding interaction of inhibitor-RNA accompanied by subtle RNA flexibility. Thus, the current approach usually needs to screen thousands of candidate inhibitors for binding. Here, we propose a dynamic geometry design approach to enrich the hits with only a tiny pool of designed geometrically compatible scaffold candidates. First, our method uses graph-based tree decomposition to explore the complementarity rigid binding cyclic peptide and design the amino acid side chain length and charge to fit the RNA pocket. Then, we perform an energy-based dynamical network algorithm to optimize the inhibitor-RNA hydrogen bonds. Dynamic geometry-guided design yields successful inhibitors with low micromolar binding affinity scaffolds and experimentally competes with the natural RNA chaperone. The results indicate that the dynamic geometry method yields higher efficiency and accuracy than traditional methods. The strategy could be further optimized to design the length and chirality by adopting nonstandard amino acids and facilitating RNA engineering for biological or medical applications.