Insights into the influence of 5-HT2c aminoacidic variants with the inhibitory action of serotonin inverse agonists and antagonists

Roberta Galeazzi, Luca Massaccesi, Francesco Piva, Giovanni Principato, Emilioano Laudadio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Specific modulation of serotonin 5-HT2C G protein-coupled receptors may be therapeutic for obesity and neuropsychiatric disorders. The different efficacy of drugs targeting these receptors are due to the presence of genetic variants in population and this variability is still hard to predict. Therefore, in order to administer the more suitable drug, taking into account patient genotype, it is necessary to know the molecular effects of its gene nucleotide variations. In this work, starting from an accurate 3D model of 5-HT2C, we focus on the prediction of the possible effect of some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) producing amino acidic changes in proximity of the 5-HT2C ligand binding site. Particularly we chose a set of 5-HT2C inverse agonists and antagonists which have high inhibitory activity. After prediction of the structures of the receptor-ligand complexes using molecular docking tools, we performed full atom molecular dynamics simulations in explicit lipid bilayer monitoring the interactions between ligands and trans-membrane helices of the receptor, trying to infer relations with their biological activity. Serotonin, as the natural ligand was chosen as reference compound to advance a hypothesis able to explain the receptor inhibition mechanism. Indeed we observed a different behavior between the antagonists and inverse agonist with respect to serotonin or unbounded receptor, which could be responsible, even if not directly, of receptor's inactivation. Furthermore, we analyzed five aminoacidic variants of 5HT 2C receptor observing alterations in the interactions between ligands and receptor which give rise to changes of free energy values for every complex considered.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Molecular Modeling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Membrane bilayer
  • Molecular docking
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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