Source:The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 183:210-220, 2018
The mechanism through which nuclear receptors respond differentially to structurally distinct agonists is a poorly understood process. We present a computational method that identifies nuclear receptor amino acids that are likely involved in biological responses triggered by ligand binding. The method involves tracing how structural changes spread from the ligand binding pocket to the sites on the receptor surface, which makes it a good tool for studying allosteric effects. We employ the method to the vitamin D receptor and verify that the identified amino acids are biologically relevant using a broad range of experimental data and a genome browser. We infer that surface vitamin D receptor residues K141, R252, I260, T280, T287 and L417 are likely involved in cell differentiation and antiproliferation, whereas P122, D149, K321, E353 and Q385 are linked to carcinogenesis.