Allosteric pocket of the dengue virus (serotype 2) NS2B/NS3 protease: In silico ligand screening and molecular dynamics studies of inhibition.J Mol Graph Model. 2014 Jul; 52:103-13.JM
The allosteric pocket of the Dengue virus (DENV2) NS2B/NS3 protease, which is proximal to its catalytic triad, represents a promising drug target (Othman et al., 2008). We have explored this binding site through large-scale virtual screening and molecular dynamics simulations followed by calculations of binding free energy. We propose two mechanisms for enzyme inhibition. A ligand may either destabilize electronic density or create steric effects relating to the catalytic triad residues NS3-HIS51, NS3-ASP75, and NS3-SER135. A ligand may also disrupt movement of the C-terminal of NS2B required for inter-conversion between the "open" and "closed" conformations. We found that chalcone and adenosine derivatives had the top potential for drug discovery hits, acting through both inhibitory mechanisms. Studying the molecular mechanisms of these compounds might be helpful in further investigations of the allosteric pocket and its potential for drug discovery.