Computational DNA binding studies of (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate

<p>The catechin family of molecules that are present in the leaves of green tea has been under investigation since the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tea were discovered. Among multiple proposed therapeutic targets of these molecules, the direct interaction with nucleic acids has been proposed and experimentally observed but without clear knowledge about the potential binding modes between these ligands and DNA. One of these catechin structures, (–)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has three aromatic rings that could interact with double-stranded DNA via terminal base-pair stacking, intercalation, or through groove binding. Using enhanced sampling techniques and molecular dynamics simulations, we have found a stable complex between the EGCG ligand and DNA through intercalation of the trihydroxybenzoate aromatic ring and an ApC step. Moreover, we have calculated the absorption spectra of four possible binding modes and compared these to absorption profiles reported in the literature, and explored the possible DNA sequence preference for the EGCG ligand to bind. Our results suggest that an intercalative mode of interaction through the major groove is possible between the EGCG ligands and DNA with apparently very little DNA sequence selectivity.</p>