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J Comput Aided Mol Des ; 36(9): 653-675, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2048385


Angiotensin-(1-7) re-balance the Renin-Angiotensin system affected during several pathologies, including the new COVID-19; cardiovascular diseases; and cancer. However, one of the limiting factors for its therapeutic use is its short half-life, which might be overcome with the use of dendrimers as nanoprotectors. In this work, we addressed the following issues: (1) the capacity of our computational protocol to reproduce the experimental structural features of the (hydroxyl/amino)-terminated PAMAM dendrimers as well as the Angiotensin-(1-7) peptide; (2) the coupling of Angiotensin-(1-7) to (hydroxyl/amino)-terminated PAMAM dendrimers in order to gain insight into the structural basis of its molecular binding; (3) the capacity of the dendrimers to protect Angiotensin-(1-7); and (4) the effect of pH changes on the peptide binding and covering. Our Molecular-Dynamics/Metadynamics-based computational protocol well modeled the structural experimental features reported in the literature and our double-docking approach was able to provide reasonable initial structures for stable complexes. At neutral pH, PAMAM dendrimers with both terminal types were able to interact stably with 3 Angiotensin-(1-7) peptides through ASP1, TYR4 and PRO7 key amino acids. In general, they bind on the surface in the case of the hydroxyl-terminated compact dendrimer and in the internal zone in the case of the amino-terminated open dendrimer. At acidic pH, PAMAM dendrimers with both terminal groups are still able to interact with peptides either internalized or in its periphery, however, the number of contacts, the percentage of coverage and the number of hydrogen bonds are lesser than at neutral pH, suggesting a state for peptide release. In summary, amino-terminated PAMAM dendrimer showed slightly better features to bind, load and protect Angiotensin-(1-7) peptides.

COVID-19 , Dendrimers , Amino Acids , Angiotensin I , Dendrimers/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptide Fragments , Peptides