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Structural Insights into Phylloquinone (Vitamin K1), Menaquinone (MK4, MK7), and Menadione (Vitamin K3) Binding to VKORC1

Chatron, Nolan, Hammed, Abdessalem, Benoît, Etienne, Lattard, Virginie
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.1
blood coagulation, calcification, energy metabolism, enzyme activity, hydrogen bonding, hydroquinone, in vitro studies, liver, menadione, menaquinones, molecular models, phylloquinone, prediction, proteins, tissue distribution, tissues, vitamin K epoxide reductase
Vitamin K family molecules—phylloquinone (K1), menaquinone (K2), and menadione (K3)—act as γ-glutamyl carboxylase (GGCX)-exclusive cofactors in their hydroquinone state, activating proteins of main importance for blood coagulation in the liver and for arterial calcification prevention and energy metabolism in extrahepatic tissues. Once GGCX is activated, vitamin K is found in the epoxide state, which is then recycled to quinone and hydroquinone states by vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKORC1). Nevertheless, little information is available concerning vitamin K1, K2, or K3 tissue distribution and preferential interactions towards VKORC1. Here we present a molecular modeling study of vitamin K1, menaquinones 4, 7 (MK4, MK7), and K3 structural interactions with VKORC1. VKORC1 was shown to tightly bind vitamins K1 and MK4 in the epoxide and quinone states, but not in the hydroquinone state; five VKORC1 residues were identified as crucial for vitamin K stabilization, and two other ones were essential for hydrogen bond formation. However, vitamin MK7 revealed shaky binding towards VKORC1, induced by hydrophobic tail interactions with the membrane. Vitamin K3 exhibited the lowest affinity with VKORC1 because of the absence of a hydrophobic tail, preventing structural stabilization by the enzyme. Enzymatic activity towards vitamins K1, MK4, MK7, and K3 was also evaluated by in vitro assays, validating our in silico predictions: VKORC1 presented equivalent activities towards vitamins K1 and MK4, but much lower activity with respect to vitamin MK7, and no activity towards vitamin K3. Our results revealed VKORC1’s ability to recycle both phylloquinone and some menaquinones, and also highlighted the importance of vitamin K’s hydrophobic tail size and membrane interactions.