The three-dimensional structure of acetylated virginiamycin M(1) (acetylated VM1) in chloroform and in a water/acetonitrile mixture (83:17 v/v) have been established through 2D high resolution NMR experiments and molecular dynamics modeling and the results compared with the conformation of the antibiotic VM1 in the same and other solvents. The results indicated that acetylation of the C-14 OH group of VM1 caused it to rotate about 90 degrees from the position it assumed in non-acetylated VM1. The conformation of both VM1 and acetylated VM1 appear to flatten in moving from a nonpolar to polar solvent. However, the acetylated form has a more hydrophobic nature. The acetylated VM1 in chloroform and in water/acetonitrile solution had a similar configuration to that of VM1 bound to 50S ribosomes and to the Vat(D) active sites as previously determined by X-ray crystallography. Docking studies of VM1 to the 50S ribosomal binding site and the Vat(D) gave conformations very similar to those derived from X-ray crystallographic studies. The docking studies with acetylated VM1 suggested the possibility of a hydrogen bond from the acetyl carbonyl group oxygen of acetylated VM1 to the 2' hydroxyl group of ribose of adenosine 2538 at the ribosomal VM1 binding site. No hydrogen bonds between acetylated VM1 and the Vat(D) active sites were found; the loss of this binding interaction partly accounts for the release of the product from the active site.