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Binding of biguanides to β-lactoglobulin: molecular-docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies

Mehdi Sahihi and Yousef Ghayeb

Department of Chemistry, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, 81746-73441, Iran



Abstract: Biguanides are a class of drugs derived from biguanide and they are the most widely used drugs for diabetes mellitus or pre-diabetes treatment. An investigation of their interaction and a transport protein such as β-lactoglobulin (BLG) at atomic level could be a valuable factor in controlling their transport to biological sites. Molecular-docking and molecular dynamics simulation methods were used to study the interaction of metformin, phenformin and buformin as biguanides and BLG as transport protein. The molecular-docking results revealed that these biguanides bind to BLG and that the BLG affinity for binding the biguanides decreases in the following order: phenformin — buformin — metformin. The docking results also show the hydrophobic interactions to have a significant role in the BLG-biguanides complex stability. Analysis of molecular dynamic simulation trajectories shows that the root mean square deviation of various systems attained equilibrium and fluctuated around the mean value at various times. The time evolution of the radius of gyration and the total solvent-accessible surface of the protein showed that BLG and BLG-biguanide complexes became stable at approximately 2500 ps and that there was not any conformational change in the BLG-biguanide complexes. In addition, the profiles of atomic fluctuations show the rigidity of the ligand-binding site during the simulation.

Keywords: biguanides – β-lactoglobulin – binding affinity – molecular-docking – molecular dynamics simulation

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-014-0598-7


Chemical Papers 68 (11) 1601–1607 (2014)

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