Virtual screening for the discovery of bioactive natural products
ABSTRACT In this survey the impact of the virtual screening concept is discussed in the field of drug discovery from nature. Confronted by a steadily increasing number of secondary metabolites and a growing number of molecular targets relevant in the therapy of human disorders, the huge amount of information needs to be handled. Virtual screening filtering experiments already showed great promise for dealing with large libraries of potential bioactive molecules. It can be utilized for browsing databases for molecules fitting either an established pharmacophore model or a three dimensional (3D) structure of a macromolecular target. However, for the discovery of natural lead candidates the application of this in silico tool has so far almost been neglected. There are several reasons for that. One concerns the scarce availability of natural product (NP) 3D databases in contrast to synthetic libraries; another reason is the problematic compatibility of NPs with modern robotized high throughput screening (HTS) technologies. Further arguments deal with the incalculable availability of pure natural compounds and their often too complex chemistry. Thus research in this field is time-consuming, highly complex, expensive and ineffective. Nevertheless, naturally derived compounds are among the most favorable source of drug candidates. A more rational and economic search for new lead structures from nature must therefore be a priority in order to overcome these problems. Here we demonstrate some basic principles, requirements and limitations of virtual screening strategies and support their applicability in NP research with already performed studies. A sensible exploitation of the molecular diversity of secondary metabolites however asks for virtual screening concepts that are interfaced with well-established strategies from classical pharmacognosy that are used in an effort to maximize their efficacy in drug discovery. Such integrated virtual screening workflows are outlined here and shall help to motivate NP researchers to dare a step towards this powerful in silico tool.
- SourceAvailable from: Mamoon Ur Rashid
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- "Suramin, used as a standard drug against T.b. brucei, has shown variable efficacy against the early acute stage of infection and failure in the chronic phase of infection as well as being associated with adverse effects of toxicity (Ene et al., 2009). The development of drug-resistant parasites is producing additional major problems (Koehn & Carter, 2005; Rollinger et al., 2008). These facts emphasize the urgent need for the design and discovery of novel, nontoxic, cheap, and easy-to-administer pharmacophores for the treatment of T.b. brucei infection. "
ABSTRACT: Abstract Context: Trypanosoma brucei brucei (T.b. brucei) infection causes death in cattle, while the current treatments have serious toxicity problems. However, natural products can be used to overcome the problems associated with parasitic diseases including T.b. brucei. Objective: Artemisia elegantissima Pamp (Asteraceae) was evaluated phytochemically for its constituents and antitrypanosomal potential against T.b. brucei for the first time. Scopoletin isolated from A. elegantissima has shown better potential then the standard drug suramin, used against T.b. brucei. Materials and methods: The ethanol extract of the aerial parts of A. elegantissima was fractionated by column and preparative thin-layer chromatography into six fractions (A-F) yielding 13 compounds, these were evaluated for their antitrypanosomal activity against T.b. brucei at different concentrations. Results: Thirteen compounds were isolated from A. elegantissima: (Z)-p-hydroxy cinnamic acid, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, betulinic acid, bis-dracunculin, dracunculin, scopoletin, apigenin, dihydroluteolin, scoparol, nepetin, bonanzin, and 3',4'-dihydroxy bonanzin. The fractions D-F were found to be active at the concentration of 20 µg/ml and three compounds isolated from these fractions, scopoletin (MIC ≤0.19 µg/ml), 3',4'-dihydroxy bonanzin (MIC = 6.25 µg/ml) and bonanzin (MIC = 20 µg/ml), were found to be highly active. Discussion and conclusion: Artemisia elegantissima was phytochemically and biologically explored for its antitrypanosomal potential against T.b. brucei. The number and orientation of phenolic hydroxyl groups play an important role in the antitrypanosomal potential of coumarins and flavonoids. The compounds 3',4'-dihydroxy bonanzin and scopoletin with low MIC values, hold potential for use as antitrypanosomal drug leads.Pharmaceutical Biology 03/2014; 52(8). DOI:10.3109/13880209.2013.874534 · 1.24 Impact Factor
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- "Accessed 2012) to identify novel inhibitors of HpPPAT that could serve as lead compounds for the design of antibiotics that target H. pylori infection. The vHTS computational screening technique automatically and individually docks compounds from a specified database into the active site of a target protein, and estimates the binding affinity of the target protein toward the docked compound by using scoring functions [25–27]. Two docking programs, CDOCKER  and LigandFit , were used to screen a large number of compounds that are available in the PubChem compound database. "
ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori is a major etiologic agent associated with the development and maintenance of human gastritis. The goal of this study was to develop novel antibiotics against H. pylori, and we thus targeted H. pylori phosphopantetheine adenylyltransferase (HpPPAT). PPAT catalyzes the penultimate step in coenzyme A biosynthesis. Its inactivation effectively prevents bacterial viability, making it an attractive target for antibacterial drug discovery. We employed virtual high-throughput screening and the HpPPAT crystal structure to identify compounds in the PubChem database that might act as inhibitors of HpPPAT. d-amethopterin is a potential inhibitor for blocking HpPPAT activity and suppressing H. pylori viability. Following treatment with d-amethopterin, H. pylori exhibited morphological characteristics associated with cell death. d-amethopterin is a mixed inhibitor of HpPPAT activity; it simultaneously occupies the HpPPAT 4'-phosphopantetheine- and ATP-binding sites. Its binding affinity is in the micromolar range, implying that it is sufficiently potent to serve as a lead compound in subsequent drug development. Characterization of the d-amethopterin and HpPPAT interaction network in a docked model will allow us to initiate rational drug optimization to improve the inhibitory efficacy of d-amethopterin. We anticipate that novel, potent, and selective HpPPAT inhibitors will emerge for the treatment of H. pylori infection.PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e74271. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0074271 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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- "Going forward, docking studies and in silico screening can be performed against virtual libraries of glycans . This is already an integral part of the industrial drug discovery process for other proteins . "
ABSTRACT: It is important to understand the roles of C-type lectins in the immune system due to their ubiquity and diverse range of functions in animal cells. It has been observed that currently confirmed C-type lectins share a highly conserved domain known as the C-type carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD). Using the sequence profile of the CRD, an increasing number of putative C-type lectins have been identified. Hence, it is highly needed to develop a systematic framework that enables us to elucidate their carbohydrate (glycan) recognition function, and discover their physiological and pathological roles. Presented herein is an integrated workflow for characterizing the sequence and structural features of novel C-type lectins. Our workflow utilizes web-based queries and available software suites to annotate features that can be found on the C-type lectin, given its amino acid sequence. At the same time, it incorporates modeling and analysis of glycans - a major class of ligands that interact with C-type lectins. Thereafter, the results are analyzed together with context-specific knowledge to filter off unlikely predictions. This allows researchers to design their subsequent experiments to confirm the functions of the C-type lectins in a systematic manner. The efficacy and usefulness of our proposed immunoinformatics workflow was demonstrated by applying our integrated workflow to a novel C-type lectin -CLEC17A - and we report some of its possible functions that warrants further validation through wet-lab experiments.BMC Bioinformatics 12/2011; 12 Suppl 14(Suppl 14):S5. DOI:10.1186/1471-2105-12-S14-S5 · 2.58 Impact Factor