Molecular modeling study of the testosterone metabolizing enzyme UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B17
The dominant sex hormone testosterone is mainly metabolized by liver enzymes belonging to the uridine-diphospho (UDP) glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) family. These enzymes are the main phase II enzymes, and they have an important role in the detoxification of endogenous and exogenous compounds in humans. The aim of the present study was to improve the understanding of the binding properties of UGT2B17. A homology modelling procedure was used to generate models of the UGT2B17 enzyme based on templates with known crystal structures. Molecular docking of inhibitors was performed to gain further insights in the interactions between ligand and binding site, and to determine which of the models had the best accuracy. ROC curves were made to evaluate the ability of the models to differentiate between binders (inhibitors) and non-binders (decoys). When comparing the four models, which were based on four different crystal structures, the model based on the 4AMG crystal structure was the most accurate in distinguishing between true binders and non-binders. Investigating pharmacological UGT2B17 inhibition may provide novel treatment for patients with low testosterone levels. Such treatment may elevate endogenous testosterone levels and provide a more predictable increase in serum concentrations rather than un-physiological elevation of serum levels through direct treatment with testosterone, and this could be favorable both for giving a predictable treatment regime with reduced chances of serious adverse effects. The present study may serve as a tool in the search for novel drugs aiming for increasing testosterone levels.