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YEAR : 2022

Structural Basis of Botulinum Toxin Type F Binding to Glycosylated Human SV2A: In Silico Studies at the Periphery of a Lipid Raft

AUTHORS : Azzaz F, Hilaire D, Fantini J.

JOURNAL : Biomolecule
Botulinum neurotoxins are the deadliest microbial neurotoxins in humans, with a lethal dose of 1 ng/kg. Incidentally, these neurotoxins are also widely used for medical and cosmetic purposes. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that control binding of botulinum neurotoxin type F1 (BoNT/F1) to its membrane receptor, glycosylated human synaptic vesicle glycoprotein A (hSV2Ag). To elucidate these mechanisms, we performed a molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) study of initial binding kinetics of BoNT/F1 to SV2A. Since this toxin also interacts with gangliosides, the simulations were performed at the periphery of a lipid raft in the presence of both SV2A and gangliosides. Our study suggested that interaction of BoNT/F1 with SV2A is exclusively mediated by N-glycan moiety of SV2A, which interacts with aromatic residues Y898, Y910, F946, Y1059 and H1273 of this toxin. Thus, in contrast with botulinum neurotoxin A1 (BoNT/A1), BoNT/F1 does not interact with protein content of SV2A. We attributed this incapability to a barrage effect exerted by neurotoxin residues Y1132, Q1133 and K1134, which prevent formation of long-lasting intermolecular hydrogen bonds. We also provided structural elements that suggest that BoNT/F1 uses the strategy of BoNT/A1 combined with the strategy of botulinum neurotoxin type E to bind N-glycan of its glycoprotein receptor. Overall, our study opened a gate for design of a universal inhibitor aimed at disrupting N-glycan-toxin interactions and for bioengineering of a BoNT/F1 protein that may be able to bind protein content of synaptic vesicle glycoprotein for therapeutic purposes.