In Silico Identification of JMJD3 Demethylase Inhibitors

Posted by
C. Esposito
on 12 09 2019

In the search for new demethylase inhibitors, we have developed a multistep protocol for in silico screening. Millions of poses generated by high-throughput docking or a 3D-pharmacophore search are first minimized by a classical force field and then filtered by semiempirical quantum mechanical calculations of the interaction energy with a selected set of functional groups in the binding site. The final ranking includes solvation effects which are evaluated in the continuum dielectric approximation (finite-difference Poisson equation). Application of the multistep protocol to JMJD3 jumonji demethylase has resulted in a dozen lowmicromolar inhibitors belonging to five different chemical classes. We have solved the crystal structure of JMJD3 inhibitor 8 in the complex with UTX (a demethylase in the same subfamily as JMJD3) which validates the predicted binding mode. Compound 8 is a promising candidate for future optimization as it has a favorable ligand efficiency of 0.32 kcal/mol per nonhydrogen atom.

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