Development of 3D-QSAR Model for Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors Using a Combination of Fingerprint, Molecular Docking, and Structure-Based Pharmacophore Approaches.Toxicol Sci. 2015 Nov; 148(1):60-70.TS
Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a serine hydrolase vital for regulating the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in animals, has been used as a target for drugs and pesticides. With the increasing availability of AChE crystal structures, with or without ligands bound, structure-based approaches have been successfully applied to AChE inhibitors (AChEIs). The major limitation of these approaches has been the small applicability domain due to the lack of structural diversity in the training set. In this study, we developed a 3 dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) for inhibitory activity of 89 reversible and irreversible AChEIs including drugs and insecticides. A 3D-fingerprint descriptor encoding protein-ligand interactions was developed using molecular docking and structure-based pharmacophore to rationalize the structural requirements responsible for the activity of these compounds. The obtained 3D-QSAR model exhibited high correlation value (R(2) = 0.93) and low mean absolute error (MAE = 0.32 log units) for the training set (n = 63). The model was predictive across a range of structures as shown by the leave-one-out cross-validated correlation coefficient (Q(2) = 0.89) and external validation results (n = 26, R(2) = 0.89, and MAE = 0.38 log units). The model revealed that the compounds with high inhibition potency had proper conformation in the active site gorge and interacted with key amino acid residues, in particular Trp84 and Phe330 at the catalytic anionic site, Trp279 at the peripheral anionic site, and Gly118, Gly119, and Ala201 at the oxyanion hole. The resulting universal 3D-QSAR model provides insight into the multiple molecular interactions determining AChEI potency that may guide future chemical design and regulation of toxic AChEIs.