Novel hybrid virtual screening protocol based on molecular docking and structure-based pharmacophore for discovery of methionyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitors as antibacterial agents.
ABSTRACT: Methione tRNA synthetase (MetRS) is an essential enzyme involved in protein biosynthesis in all living organisms and is a potential antibacterial target. In the current study, the structure-based pharmacophore (SBP)-guided method has been suggested to generate a comprehensive pharmacophore of MetRS based on fourteen crystal structures of MetRS-inhibitor complexes. In this investigation, a hybrid protocol of a virtual screening method, comprised of pharmacophore model-based virtual screening (PBVS), rigid and flexible docking-based virtual screenings (DBVS), is used for retrieving new MetRS inhibitors from commercially available chemical databases. This hybrid virtual screening approach was then applied to screen the Specs (202,408 compounds) database, a structurally diverse chemical database. Fifteen hit compounds were selected from the final hits and shifted to experimental studies. These results may provide important information for further research of novel MetRS inhibitors as antibacterial agents.
Project description:AIM: This study was conducted to compare the efficiencies of two virtual screening approaches, pharmacophore-based virtual screening (PBVS) and docking-based virtual screening (DBVS) methods. METHODS: All virtual screens were performed on two data sets of small molecules with both actives and decoys against eight structurally diverse protein targets, namely angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), androgen receptor (AR), D-alanyl-D-alanine carboxypeptidase (DacA), dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), estrogen receptors alpha (ERalpha), HIV-1 protease (HIV-pr), and thymidine kinase (TK). Each pharmacophore model was constructed based on several X-ray structures of protein-ligand complexes. Virtual screens were performed using four screening standards, the program Catalyst for PBVS and three docking programs (DOCK, GOLD and Glide) for DBVS. RESULTS: Of the sixteen sets of virtual screens (one target versus two testing databases), the enrichment factors of fourteen cases using the PBVS method were higher than those using DBVS methods. The average hit rates over the eight targets at 2% and 5% of the highest ranks of the entire databases for PBVS are much higher than those for DBVS. CONCLUSION: The PBVS method outperformed DBVS methods in retrieving actives from the databases in our tested targets, and is a powerful method in drug discovery.
Project description:Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a tyrosine kinase that functions as a key orchestrator of signals leading to invasion and metastasis. In the current study, the multicomplex-based pharmacophore (MCBP)-guided method has been suggested to generate a comprehensive pharmacophore of FAK kinase based on seven crystal structures of FAK-inhibitor complexes. In this investigation, a hybrid protocol of virtual screening methods, comprising of pharmacophore model-based virtual screening (PB-VS) and docking-based virtual screening (DB-VS), is used for retrieving new FAK inhibitors from commercially available chemical databases. This hybrid virtual screening approach was then applied to screen several chemical databases, including the Specs (202,408 compounds) database. Thirty-five compounds were selected from the final hits and should be shifted to experimental studies. These results may provide important information for further research of novel FAK inhibitors.
Project description:S6K1 has emerged as a potential target for the treatment for obesity, type II diabetes and cancer diseases. Discovery of S6K1 inhibitors has thus attracted much attention in recent years. In this investigation, a hybrid virtual screening method that involves pharmacophore hypothesis, genetic function approximation (GFA) model, and molecular docking technology has been used to discover S6K1 inhibitors especially with novel scaffolds. The common feature pharmacophore hypothesis and GFA regression model of S6K1 inhibitors were first developed and applied in a virtual screen of the Specs database for retrieving S6K1 inhibitors. Then, the molecular docking method was carried out to re-filter these screened compounds. Finally, 60 compounds with promising S6K1 inhibitory activity were carefully selected and have been handed over to the other group to complete the follow-up compound synthesis (or purchase) and activity test.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rhoptry protein 18 (ROP18) is a key virulence factor of Toxoplasma gondii. The host's immune responses mediated by immune-related GTPases (IRGs) could be blocked by ROP18's kinase activity. ROP18 also interacts with various substrates, such as activating transcription factor 6 beta (ATF6β) and affects multiple physiological functions within host cells, thereby inducing intense virulence. In this study, competitive inhibitors targeted to ROP18 were subjected to virtual screening based on the principle of structure-based drug design (SBDD). METHODS:The preparation of the ROP18 structure was conducted using the "Structure Prepare" function of Molecular Operating Environment (MOE) software. The ATP-binding pocket was selected as the starting point for virtual screening. Construction of the pharmacophore model used Extended Hückel Theory (EHT) half-quantitative measurement and construction, as well as the characteristics of Type I kinase inhibitors. The pharmacophore model of ROP18 was imported into the Specs database for small molecule similarity screening using EHT pharmacophore measurement. Hit compounds were selected using the functions of London dG and generalized-born volume integral/weighted surface area (GBVI/WSA) scoring. The top 100 hits were analyzed by molecular docking and structure activity relationships (SAR) analysis. RESULTS:The final pharmacophore comprised three typical characteristics: three hydrogen bond acceptors/donors, two ring aromatic features occupying the hydrophobic core, and one cation group feature targeted to the terminus of ATP. A total of 1314 hit compounds analogous to ROP18 pharmacophore were passed through the Specs. After two rounds of docking, 25 out of 100 hits were identified as belonging to two main scaffold types: phthalimide ring structure, thiazole ring and styrene structure. Additionally, the screen also identified 13 inhibitors with distinct scaffold types. The docking models and SAR analysis demonstrated that these hits could engage in multiple hydrogen bonds, salt bridges halogen bonds, and hydrophobic interactions with ROP18, and para-position halo substituents on the benzene ring may enhance their affinity scoring. CONCLUSIONS:A pharmacophore against the ROP18 ATP-binding pocket was successfully constructed, and 25 representative inhibitors from 15 scaffold clusters were screened using the Specs database. Our results provide useful scaffold types for the chemical inhibition of ROP18 or alternative conformations to develop new anti-toxoplasmosis drug leads.
Project description:Cortisol synthase (CYP11B1) is the main enzyme for the endogenous synthesis of cortisol and its inhibition is a potential way for the treatment of diseases associated with increased cortisol levels, such as Cushing's syndrome, metabolic diseases, and delayed wound healing. Aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) is the key enzyme for aldosterone biosynthesis and its inhibition is a promising approach for the treatment of congestive heart failure, cardiac fibrosis, and certain forms of hypertension. Both CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 are structurally very similar and expressed in the adrenal cortex. To facilitate the identification of novel inhibitors of these enzymes, ligand-based pharmacophore models of CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 inhibition were developed. A virtual screening of the SPECS database was performed with our pharmacophore queries. Biological evaluation of the selected hits lead to the discovery of three potent novel inhibitors of both CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 in the submicromolar range (compounds 8-10), one selective CYP11B1 inhibitor (Compound 11, IC50 = 2.5 ?M), and one selective CYP11B2 inhibitor (compound 12, IC50 = 1.1 ?M), respectively. The overall success rate of this prospective virtual screening experiment is 20.8% indicating good predictive power of the pharmacophore models.
Project description:Coagulation Factor Xa (FXa) is the crucial enzyme at the convergent point of the intrinsic and extrinsic coagulation pathways. The inhibition of FXa is an effective approach against thrombotic diseases. In the present study, a specific strategy is reported to discover 10 novel FXa inhibitors based on ligand-based (pharmacophore) virtual screening and molecular docking analysis from a dataset of specs(containing 220000 molecules). The binding modes analysis provide insights into the contribution of particular structural moieties of the compounds towards their activity against FXa, and 10 novel structural compounds were discovered as potent candidate molecules. This work could be helpful in further design and development of FXa inhibitors.
Project description:Improved therapies for the treatment of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of the neglected tropical disease human African trypanosomiasis, are urgently needed. We targeted T. brucei methionyl-tRNA synthetase (MetRS), an aminoacyl-tRNA synthase (aaRS), which is considered an important drug target due to its role in protein synthesis, cell survival, and its significant differences in structure from its mammalian ortholog. Previous work using RNA interference of MetRS demonstrated growth inhibition of T. brucei, further validating it as an attractive target. We report the development and implementation of two orthogonal high-throughput screening assays to identify inhibitors of T. brucei MetRS. First, a chemiluminescence assay was implemented in a 1536-well plate format and used to monitor adenosine triphosphate depletion during the aminoacylation reaction. Hit confirmation then used a counterscreen in which adenosine monophosphate production was assessed using fluorescence polarization technology. In addition, a miniaturized cell viability assay was used to triage cytotoxic compounds. Finally, lower throughput assays involving whole parasite growth inhibition of both human and parasite MetRS were used to analyze compound selectivity and efficacy. The outcome of this high-throughput screening campaign has led to the discovery of 19 potent and selective T. brucei MetRS inhibitors.
Project description:Incorporation of noncanonical amino acids into cellular proteins often requires engineering new aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase activity into the cell. A screening strategy that relies on cell-surface display of reactive amino acid side-chains was used to identify a diverse set of methionyl-tRNA synthetase (MetRS) mutants that allow efficient incorporation of the methionine (Met) analog azidonorleucine (Anl). We demonstrate that the extent of cell-surface labeling in vivo is a good indicator of the rate of Anl activation by the MetRS variant harbored by the cell. By screening at low Anl concentrations in Met-supplemented media, MetRS variants with improved activities toward Anl and better discrimination against Met were identified.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen problematic in causing nosocomial infections and is highly susceptible to development of resistance to multiple antibiotics. The gene encoding methionyl-tRNA synthetase (MetRS) from P. aeruginosa was cloned and the resulting protein characterized.MetRS was kinetically evaluated and the KM for its three substrates, methionine, ATP and tRNAMet were determined to be 35, 515, and 29 ?M, respectively. P. aeruginosaMetRS was used to screen two chemical compound libraries containing 1690 individual compounds.A natural product compound (BM01C11) was identified that inhibited the aminoacylation function. The compound inhibited P. aeruginosa MetRS with an IC50 of 70 ?M. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of BM01C11 was determined against nine clinically relevant bacterial strains, including efflux pump mutants and hypersensitive strains of P. aeruginosa and E. coli. The MIC against the hypersensitive strain of P. aeruginosa was 16 ?g/ml. However, the compound was not effective against the wild-type and efflux pump mutant strains, indicating that efflux may not be responsible for the lack of activity against the wild-type strains. When tested in human cell cultures, the cytotoxicity concentration (CC50) was observed to be 30 ?g/ml. The compound did not compete with methionine or ATP for binding MetRS, indicating that the mechanism of action of the compound likely occurs outside the active site of aminoacylation.An inhibitor of P. aeruginosa MetRS, BM01C11, was identified as a flavonoid compound named isopomiferin. Isopomiferin inhibited the enzymatic activity of MetRS and displayed broad spectrum antibacterial activity. These studies indicate that isopomiferin may be amenable to development as a therapeutic for bacterial infections.
Project description:AIM: To construct a quantitative pharmacophore model of tubulin inhibitors and to discovery new leads with potent antitumor activities. METHODS: Ligand-based pharmacophore modeling was used to identify the chemical features responsible for inhibiting tubulin polymerization. A set of 26 training compounds was used to generate hypothetical pharmacophores using the HypoGen algorithm. The structures were further validated using the test set, Fischer randomization method, leave-one-out method and a decoy set, and the best model was chosen to screen the Specs database. Hit compounds were subjected to molecular docking study using a Molecular Operating Environment (MOE) software and to biological evaluation in vitro. RESULTS: Hypo1 was demonstrated to be the best pharmacophore model that exhibited the highest correlation coefficient (0.9582), largest cost difference (70.905) and lowest RMSD value (0.6977). Hypo1 consisted of one hydrogen-bond acceptor, a hydrogen-bond donor, a hydrophobic feature, a ring aromatic feature and three excluded volumes. Hypo1 was validated with four different methods and had a goodness-of-hit score of 0.81. When Hypo1 was used in virtual screening of the Specs database, 952 drug-like compounds were revealed. After docking into the colchicine-binding site of tubulin, 5 drug-like compounds with the required interaction with the critical amino acid residues and the binding free energies < -4 kcal/mol were selected as representative leads. Compounds 1 and 3 exhibited inhibitory activity against MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in vitro. CONCLUSION: Hypo1 is a quantitative pharmacophore model for tubulin inhibitors, which not only provides a better understanding of their interaction with tubulin, but also assists in discovering new potential leads with antitumor activities.