3D-QSAR pharmacophore-based virtual screening, molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation toward identifying lead compounds for NS2B-NS3 protease inhibitors.J Recept Signal Transduct Res. 2017 Oct; 37(5):481-492.JR
NS2B-NS3 protease has been identified to serve as lead drug design target due to its significant role in West Nile viral (WNV) and dengue virus (DENV) reproduction and replication. There are currently no approved chemotherapeutic drugs and effective vaccines to inhibit DENV and WNV infections. In this work, 3D-QSAR pharmacophore model has been developed to discover potential inhibitory candidates. Validation through Fischer's model and decoy test indicate that the developed 3D pharmacophore model is highly predictive for DENV inhibitors, which was then employed to screen ZINC chemical library to obtain reasonable hits. Following ADMET filtering, 15 hits were subjected to further filter through molecular docking and CoMFA modeling. Finally, top three hits were identified as lead compounds or potential inhibitory candidates with IC50 values of ∼0.4637 µM and fitness of ∼57.73. It is implied from CoMFA modeling that substituents at the side site of benzotriazole such as a p-nitro group (e.g. biphenyl head) and a carbonyl (e.g. carboxylate function) at the side site of furan or amino group may improve bioactivity of ZINC85645245, respectively. Molecular dynamics simulations (MDS) were performed to discover new interactions and reinforce the binding modes from docking for the hits also. The QSAR and MDS results obtained from this work should be useful in determining structural requirements for inhibitor development as well as in designing more potential inhibitors for NS2B-NS3 protease.