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RSS FeedsMolecules, Vol. 27, Pages 8236: Pharmacophore Mapping Combined with dbCICA Reveal New Structural Features for the Development of Novel Ligands Targeting α4β2 and α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors (Molecules)

 
 

25 november 2022 15:58:36

 
Molecules, Vol. 27, Pages 8236: Pharmacophore Mapping Combined with dbCICA Reveal New Structural Features for the Development of Novel Ligands Targeting α4β2 and α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors (Molecules)
 


The neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) belong to the ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC) group, presenting a crucial role in several biological processes and neuronal disorders. The α4β2 and α7 nAChRs are the most abundant in the central nervous system (CNS), being involved in challenging diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorder, as well as alcohol and nicotine dependencies. In addition, in silico-based strategies may contribute to revealing new insights into drug design and virtual screening to find new drug candidates to treat CNS disorders. In this context, the pharmacophore maps were constructed and validated for the orthosteric sites of α4β2 and α7 nAChRs, through a docking-based Comparative Intermolecular Contacts Analysis (dbCICA). In this sense, bioactive ligands were retrieved from the literature for each receptor. A molecular docking protocol was developed for all ligands in both receptors by using GOLD software, considering GoldScore, ChemScore, ASP, and ChemPLP scoring functions. Output GOLD results were post-processed through dbCICA to identify critical contacts involved in protein-ligand interactions. Moreover, Crossminer software was used to construct a pharmacophoric map based on the most well-behaved ligands and negative contacts from the dbCICA model for each receptor. Both pharmacophore maps were validated by using a ROC curve. The results revealed important features for the ligands, such as the presence of hydrophobic regions, a planar ring, and hydrogen bond donor and acceptor atoms for α4β2. Parallelly, a non-planar ring region was identified for α7. These results can enable fragment-based drug design (FBDD) strategies, such as fragment growing, linking, and merging, allowing an increase in the activity of known fragments. Thus, our results can contribute to a further understanding of structural subunits presenting the potential for key ligand-receptor interactions, favoring the search in molecular databases and the design of novel ligands.


 
50 viewsCategory: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Molecular Biology
 
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