Molecular dynamics simulations of human DNA methyltransferase 3B with selective inhibitor nanaomycin A

Thomas Caulfield, José L. Medina-Franco

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42 Scopus citations


DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) are involved in epigenetic regulation of the genome and are promising targets for therapeutic intervention in cancer and other diseases. Until now, very limited information is available concerning the molecular dynamics of DNMTs. The natural product nanaomycin A is the first selective inhibitor of DNMT3B that induce genomic demethylation. Herein we report long (>100. ns) molecular dynamics simulations for human DNMT3B bound to nanaomycin A with and without the presence of the cofactor S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM). We concluded that SAM favors the binding of nanaomycin A to DNMT3B. Key interactions of nanaomycin A with DNMT3B involve long lasting interactions with Arg731, Arg733, Arg832, and the catalytic Cys651. Results further support the previous hypothesis that nanaomycin A has key interactions with amino acid residues involved in the mechanism of methylation. This work represents one of the first molecular dynamics studies of DNMT3B. Results of this work shed light on the structure and binding recognition process of a key epigenetic enzyme with a small molecule inhibitor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011



  • Cancer
  • DNA methylation
  • DNMT3B
  • Enzyme
  • Epigenetics
  • Inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology

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