Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) was used to determine the thermodynamic driving force for inhibitor binding to the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from Escherichia coli. 1,4-Bis-{[N-(1-imino-1-guanidino-methyl)]sulfanylmethyl}-3,6-dimethyl-benzene (1) binds DHFR:NADPH with a K(d) of 13±5 nM while the related inhibitor 1-{[N-(1-imino-guanidino-methyl)]sulfanylmethyl}-3-trifluoromethyl-benzene (2) binds DHFR:NADPH with a K(d) of 3.2±2.2 μM. The binding of these inhibitors has both a favorable entropy and enthalpy of binding. Additionally, we observe positive binding cooperativity between both 1 and 2 and the cofactor NADPH. Binding of compound 1 to DHFR is 285-fold tighter in the presence of the NADPH cofactor than in its absence. We did not detect binding of 2 to DHFR in the absence of NADPH. The backbone amide (1)H and (15)N NMR resonances of DHFR:NADPH and both DHFR:NADPH inhibitor complexes were assigned in order to better understand the binding of these inhibitors in solution. The chemical shift perturbations observed with the binding of 1 were greatest at residues closest to the binding site, but significant perturbations also occur away from the inhibitor location at amino acids in the vicinity of residue 58 and in the GH loop. The pattern of chemical shift changes observed with the binding of 2 is similar to that seen with 1. The main differences in chemical shift perturbation between the two inhibitors are in the Met20 loop and in residues at the interface between the inhibitor and NADPH.


Batruch I, Javasky E, Brown ED, Organ MG, Johnson PE.


Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Dec 15;18(24):8485-92. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2010.10.048. Epub 2010 Oct 26.