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Exploration of the Ca2+ interaction modes of the nifedipine calcium channel antagonist.

  • Liu, Huichun
  • Zhang, Liang
  • Li, Ping
  • Cukier, Robert I
  • Bu, Yuxiang
Published Article
Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry
Publication Date
Feb 02, 2007
PMID: 17177225


A comprehensive study is carried out using quantum chemical computation and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to gain insight into the interaction between Ca(2+) ions and the most important class of calcium channel antagonists--nifedipine. First, the chelating structures and energetic characters of nifedipine-Ca(2+) in the gas phase are explored, and 25 isomers are found. The most favorable chelating mode is a tridentate one, that is, Ca(2+) binds to two carbonyl O atoms and one nitryl O atom, where Ca(2+) is above the plane of the three O atoms to form a pyramidal structure. Accurate geometric structures, relative stabilities, vertical and adiabatic binding energies, and charge distributions are discussed. The differences in the geometries and energies among these isomers are analyzed from the contributions of chelating sites, electrostatics and polarizations, steric repulsions, and charge distributions. The interconversions among isomers with similar geometries and energies are also investigated because of the importance of the geometric transformation in the biological system. Furthermore, certain numbers of water molecules are added to the nifedipine-Ca(2+) system to probe the effect of water. A detailed study is performed on the hydrated geometries on the basis of the most stable isomer 1. Stepwise hydration can weaken the nifedipine-Ca(2+) interaction, and the chelating sites of nifedipine are gradually replaced by the added water molecules. Hexacoordination is found to be the most favorable geometry no matter how many water molecules were added, which can be verified by the MD simulations. The transfer of water molecules from the inner shell to the outer shell is also supported by MD simulations of the hexahydrated complexes.

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