The ab initio fragment molecular orbital calculations were performed for molecular interactions of the whole estrogen receptor (ER) ligand-binding domain with a natural ligand, 17β-estradiol (EST). The interaction energies of the ligand at the residue level were calculated using HF and MP2 methods with several basis sets. The charge-transfer (CT) interactions were also analyzed based on configuration analysis for fragment interaction. Strong electrostatic interactions were observed between the EST and surrounding charged/polarized residues, Glu353, Arg394, His524, and Thr347. Weak electrostatic and significant van der Waals dispersion interactions were observed between the EST and the many surrounding hydrophobic residues. Together with the experimental interpretations, both interactions equally contributed to the total binding energies, and it was found that the inclusion of electron correlation was essential to obtain an appropriate picture of the interaction. The strongest interaction energy was observed between Glu353 and the EST, and the CT interactions from the lone-pair orbital of the carbonyl oxygen of Glu353 to the σ*OH orbital of the hydroxyl group of EST were found to be important. The CT interactions from the lone-pair orbital of EST to the σ*NH of Arg394 and from the lone-pair orbital of EST to the σ*NH of His524 were also observed. These CT interactions occurred through the hydrogen-bond networks between the ER and EST. Therefore, electron donations from the ER to the EST and electron back-donations from EST to the ER were characteristic of ER-ligand binding. Our approach provides a powerful tool to understanding detailed molecular interactions at the quantum mechanical level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry