Abstract: The efficacy and mechanisms of therapeutic action are largely described by atomic bonds and interactions local to drug binding sites. Here we introduce global connectivity analysis as a high-throughput computational assay of therapeutic action – inspired by the Google page rank algorithm that unearths most “globally connected” websites from the information-dense world wide web (www). We execute short timescale (30 ps) molecular dynamics simulations with high sampling frequency (0.01 ps), to identify amino acid residue hubs whose global connectivity dynamics are characteristic of the ligand or mutation associated with the target protein. We find that unexpected allosteric hubs – up to 20Å from the ATP binding site, but within 5Å of the phosphorylation site – encode the Gibbs free energy of inhibition (ΔGinhibition) for select protein kinase-targeted cancer therapeutics. We further find that clinically relevant somatic cancer mutations implicated in both drug resistance and personalized drug sensitivity can be predicted in a high-throughput fashion. Our results establish global connectivity analysis as a potent assay of protein functional modulation. This sets the stage for unearthing disease-causal exome mutations and motivates forecast of clinical drug response on a patient-by-patient basis. We suggest incorporation of structure-guided genetic inference assays into pharmaceutical and healthcare Oncology workflows.
Venky Soundararajan, Murali Aravamudan