Benefits of statistical molecular design, covariance analysis, and reference models in QSAR: a case study on acetylcholinesterase.
ABSTRACT: Scientific disciplines such as medicinal- and environmental chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology deal with the questions related to the effects small organic compounds exhort on biological targets and the compounds' physicochemical properties responsible for these effects. A common strategy in this endeavor is to establish structure-activity relationships (SARs). The aim of this work was to illustrate benefits of performing a statistical molecular design (SMD) and proper statistical analysis of the molecules' properties before SAR and quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis. Our SMD followed by synthesis yielded a set of inhibitors of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) that had very few inherent dependencies between the substructures in the molecules. If such dependencies exist, they cause severe errors in SAR interpretation and predictions by QSAR-models, and leave a set of molecules less suitable for future decision-making. In our study, SAR- and QSAR models could show which molecular sub-structures and physicochemical features that were advantageous for the AChE inhibition. Finally, the QSAR model was used for the prediction of the inhibition of AChE by an external prediction set of molecules. The accuracy of these predictions was asserted by statistical significance tests and by comparisons to simple but relevant reference models.
Project description:A set of 25 novel, silicon-based carbamate derivatives as potential acetyl- and butyrylcholinesterase (AChE/BChE) inhibitors was synthesized and characterized by their in vitro inhibition profiles and the selectivity indexes (SIs). The prepared compounds were also tested for their inhibition potential on photosynthetic electron transport (PET) in spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) chloroplasts. In fact, some of the newly prepared molecules revealed comparable or even better inhibitory activities compared to the marketed drugs (rivastigmine or galanthamine) and commercially applied pesticide Diuron®, respectively. Generally, most compounds exhibited better inhibition potency towards AChE; however, a wider activity span was observed for BChE. Notably, benzyl N-[(1S)-2-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-[(2-hydroxyphenyl)carbamoyl]ethyl]-carbamate (2) and benzyl N-[(1S)-2-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-[(3-hydroxyphenyl)carbamoyl]ethyl]-carbamate (3) were characterized by fairly high selective indexes. Specifically, compound 2 was prescribed with the lowest IC50 value that corresponds quite well with galanthamine inhibition activity, while the inhibitory profiles of molecules 3 and benzyl-N-[(1S)-2-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-[(4-hydroxyphenyl)carbamoyl]ethyl]carbamate (4) are in line with rivastigmine activity. Moreover, a structure-activity relationship (SAR)-driven similarity evaluation of the physicochemical properties for the carbamates examined appeared to have foreseen the activity cliffs using a similarity-activity landscape index for BChE inhibitory response values. The 'indirect' ligand-based and 'direct' protein-mediated in silico approaches were applied to specify electronic/steric/lipophilic factors that are potentially valid for quantitative (Q)SAR modeling of the carbamate analogues. The stochastic model validation was used to generate an 'average' 3D-QSAR pharmacophore pattern. Finally, the target-oriented molecular docking was employed to (re)arrange the spatial distribution of the ligand property space for BChE and photosystem II (PSII).
Project description:In this study, pharmacophore based 3D QSAR models for human acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors were generated, with good significance, statistical values (r2training?=?0.73) and predictability (q2training?=?0.67). It was further validated by three methods (Fischer's test, decoy set and Güner-Henry scoring method) to show that the models can be used to predict the biological activities of compounds without costly and time-consuming synthesis. The criteria for virtual screening were also validated by testing the selective AChE inhibitors. Virtual screening experiments and subsequent in vitro evaluation of promising hits revealed a novel and selective AChE inhibitor. Thus, the findings reported herein may provide a new strategy for the discovery of selective AChE inhibitors. The IC50 value of compounds 5c and 6a presented selective inhibition of AChE without inhibiting butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) at uM level. Molecular docking studies were performed to explain the potent AChE inhibition of the target compounds studies to explain high affinity.
Project description:The human apical sodium dependent bile acid transporter (hASBT) reabsorbs gram quantities of bile acid daily and is a potential prodrug target to increase oral drug absorption. In the absence of a high resolution hASBT crystal structure, 3D-QSAR modeling may prove beneficial in designing prodrug targets to hASBT. The objective was to derive a conformationally sampled pharmacophore 3D-QSAR (CSP-SAR) model for the uptake of bile acid conjugates by hASBT. A series of bile acid conjugates of glutamyl chenodeoxycholate were evaluated in terms of K(m) and normalized V(max) (normV(max)) using hASBT-MDCK cells. All monoanionic conjugates were potent substrates. Dianions, cations and zwitterions, which bound with a high affinity, were not substrates. CSP-SAR models were derived using structural and physicochemical descriptors, and evaluated via cross validation. The best CSP-SAR model for K(m) included two structural and two physiochemical descriptors, where substrate hydrophobicity enhanced affinity. A best CSP-SAR model for K(m)/normV(max) employed one structural and three physicochemical descriptors, also indicating hydrophobicity enhanced efficiency. Overall, the bile acid C-24 region accommodated a range of substituted anilines, provided a single negative charge was present near C-24. In comparing uptake findings to prior inhibition results, increased hydrophobicity enhanced activity, with dianions and zwitterions hindering activity.
Project description:DL0410, containing biphenyl and piperidine skeletons, was identified as an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) inhibitor through high-throughput screening assays, and further studies affirmed its efficacy and safety for Alzheimer's disease treatment. In our study, a series of novel DL0410 derivatives were evaluated for inhibitory activities towards AChE and BuChE. Among these derivatives, compounds 6-1 and 7-6 showed stronger AChE and BuChE inhibitory activities than DL0410. Then, pharmacophore modeling and three-dimensional quantitative structure activity relationship (3D-QSAR) models were performed. The R² of AChE and BuChE 3D-QSAR models for training set were found to be 0.925 and 0.883, while that of the test set were 0.850 and 0.881, respectively. Next, molecular docking methods were utilized to explore the putative binding modes. Compounds 6-1 and 7-6 could interact with the amino acid residues in the catalytic anionic site (CAS) and peripheral anionic site (PAS) of AChE/BuChE, which was similar with DL0410. Kinetics studies also suggested that the three compounds were all mixed-types of inhibitors. In addition, compound 6-1 showed better absorption and blood brain barrier permeability. These studies provide better insight into the inhibitory behaviors of DL0410 derivatives, which is beneficial for rational design of AChE and BuChE inhibitors in the future.
Project description:??-Tubulin colchicine site inhibitors (CSIs) from four scaffolds that we previously tested for antiproliferative activity were modeled to better understand their effect on microtubules. Docking models, constructed by exploiting the SAR of a pyrrole subset and HINT scoring, guided ensemble docking of all 59 compounds. This conformation set and two variants having progressively less structure knowledge were subjected to CoMFA, CoMFA+HINT, and CoMSIA 3D-QSAR analyses. The CoMFA+HINT model (docked alignment) showed the best statistics: leave-one-out q(2) of 0.616, r(2) of 0.949, and r(2)pred (internal test set) of 0.755. An external (tested in other laboratories) collection of 24 CSIs from eight scaffolds were evaluated with the 3D-QSAR models, which correctly ranked their activity trends in 7/8 scaffolds for CoMFA+HINT (8/8 for CoMFA). The combination of SAR, ensemble docking, hydropathic analysis, and 3D-QSAR provides an atomic-scale colchicine site model more consistent with a target structure resolution much higher than the ~3.6 Å available for ??-tubulin.
Project description:DNA methylation, an epigenetic modification, is mediated by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), a family of enzymes. Inhibitions of these enzymes are considered a promising strategy for the treatment of several diseases. In this study, a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) modeling was employed to understand the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of currently available non-nucleoside DNMT1 inhibitors (i.e., indole and oxazoline/1,2-oxazole scaffolds). Two QSAR models were successfully constructed using multiple linear regression (MLR) and provided good predictive performance (R2 Tr = 0.850-0.988 and R2 CV = 0.672-0.869). Bond information content index (BIC1) and electronegativity (R6e+) are the most influential descriptors governing the activity of compounds. The constructed QSAR models were further applied for guiding a rational design of novel inhibitors. A novel set of 153 structurally modified compounds were designed in silico according to the important descriptors deduced from the QSAR finding, and their DNMT1 inhibitory activities were predicted. This result demonstrated that 86 newly designed inhibitors were predicted to elicit enhanced DNMT1 inhibitory activity when compared to their parent compounds. Finally, a set of promising compounds as potent DNMT1 inhibitors were highlighted to be further developed. The key SAR findings may also be beneficial for structural optimization to improve properties of the known inhibitors.
Project description:As part of our research for new leads against human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), we report on a 3D-QSAR study for antitrypanosomal activity and cytotoxicity of aminosteroid-type alkaloids recently isolated from the African medicinal plant Holarrhena africana A. DC. (Apocynaceae), some of which are strong trypanocides against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (Tbr), with low toxicity against mammalian cells. Fully optimized 3D molecular models of seventeen congeneric Holarrhena alkaloids were subjected to a comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA). CoMFA models were obtained for both, the anti-Tbr and cytotoxic activity data. Model performance was assessed in terms of statistical characteristics (R², Q², and P² for partial least squares (PLS) regression, internal cross-validation (leave-one-out), and external predictions (test set), respectively, as well as the corresponding standard deviation error in prediction (SDEP) and F-values). With R² = 0.99, Q² = 0.83 and P² = 0.79 for anti-Tbr activity and R² = 0.94, Q² = 0.64, P² = 0.59 for cytotoxicity against L6 rat skeletal myoblasts, both models were of good internal and external predictive power. The regression coefficients of the models representing the most prominent steric and electrostatic effects on anti-Tbr and for L6 cytotoxic activity were translated into contour maps and analyzed visually, allowing suggestions for possible modification of the aminosteroids to further increase the antitrypanosomal potency and selectivity. Very interestingly, the 3D-QSAR model established with the Holarrhena alkaloids also applied to the antitrypanosomal activity of two aminocycloartane-type compounds recently isolated by our group from Buxus sempervirens L. (Buxaceae), which indicates that these structurally similar natural products share a common structure?activity relationship (SAR) and, possibly, mechanism of action with the Holarrhena steroids. This 3D-QSAR study has thus resulted in plausible structural explanations of the antitrypanosomal activity and selectivity of aminosteroid- and aminocycloartane-type alkaloids as an interesting new class of trypanocides and may represent a starting point for lead optimization.
Project description:The vast majority of marketed drugs are orally administrated. As such, drug absorption is one of the important drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics parameters that should be assessed in the process of drug discovery and development. A nonlinear quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model was constructed in this investigation using the novel machine learning-based hierarchical support vector regression (HSVR) scheme to render the extremely complicated relationships between descriptors and intestinal permeability that can take place through various passive diffusion and carrier-mediated active transport routes. The predictions by HSVR were found to be in good agreement with the observed values for the molecules in the training set (n = 53, r2 = 0.93, q CV 2 = 0.84, RMSE = 0.17, s = 0.08), test set (n = 13, q2 = 0.75-0.89, RMSE = 0.26, s = 0.14), and even outlier set (n = 8, q2 = 0.78-0.92, RMSE = 0.19, s = 0.09). The built HSVR model consistently met the most stringent criteria when subjected to various statistical assessments. A mock test also assured the predictivity of HSVR. Consequently, this HSVR model can be adopted to facilitate drug discovery and development.
Project description:Small-molecule compounds that have promising activity against macromolecular targets from Trypanosoma cruzi occasionally fail when tested in whole-cell phenotypic assays. This outcome can be attributed to many factors, including inadequate physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. Unsuitable physicochemical profiles usually result in molecules with a poor ability to cross cell membranes. Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis is a valuable approach to the investigation of how physicochemical characteristics affect biological activity. In this study, artificial neural networks (ANNs) and kernel-based partial least squares regression (KPLS) were developed using anti-T. cruzi activity data for broadly diverse chemotypes. The models exhibited a good predictive ability for the test set compounds, yielding q2 values of 0.81 and 0.84 for the ANN and KPLS models, respectively. The results of this investigation highlighted privileged molecular scaffolds and the optimum physicochemical space associated with high anti-T. cruzi activity, which provided important guidelines for the design of novel trypanocidal agents having drug-like properties.
Project description:Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) enzyme regulates major cell activities, and its activation offers lucrative therapeutic potentials for aging diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Regarding the global aging society, continual attention has been given to various chemical scaffolds as a source for the discovery of novel SIRT1 activators since the discovery of the pioneer activator, resveratrol. Understanding structure-activity relationship (SAR) is essential for screening, designing as well as improving the properties of drugs. In this study, an <i>in silico</i> approach based on quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) modeling, was employed for understanding the SAR of currently available SIRT1 fused-aromatic activators (i.e., imidazothiazole, oxazolopyridine, and azabenzimidazole analogs). Three QSAR models constructed using multiple linear regression (MLR) provided good predictive performance (<i>R</i> <i><sup>2</sup></i> <i><sub>LOOCV</sub></i> = 0.729 - 0.863 and RMSE <i><sub>LOOCV</sub></i> = 0.165 - 0.325). An additional novel set of 181 structurally modified compounds were rationally designed according to key descriptors deduced from the QSAR findings and their SIRT1 activities were predicted using the constructed models. In overview, the study provides insightful SAR findings of currently available SIRT1 activators that would be useful for guiding the rational design, screening, and development of further potent SIRT1 activators for managing age-related clinical conditions. A series of promising compounds as well as important scaffolds and molecular properties for potent SIRT1 activator were highlighted. This study demonstrated the efficacious role of QSAR-driven structural modification for the rational design of novel leads.