Design, synthesis, biological evaluation and computational investigation of novel inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase of opportunistic pathogens

publication · 10 years ago
by Nilesh R. Tawari, Mariam S. Degani, Seema Bag, Sherry F. Queener (Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Indiana University School of Medicine)
The present work deals with design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel, diverse compounds as potential inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from opportunistic microorganisms; Pneumocystis carinii (pc), Toxoplasma gondii (tg) and Mycobacterium avium (ma). A set of 14 structurally diverse compounds were designed with varying key pharmacophoric features of DHFR inhibitors, bulky distal substitutions and different bridges joining the distal part and 2,4-diaminopyrimidine nucleus. The designed compounds were synthesized and evaluated in enzyme assay against pc, tg and ma DHFR. The rat liver (rl) DHFR was used as mammalian standard. As the next logical step of the project, flexible molecular docking studies were carried out to predict the binding modes of these compounds in pcDHFR active site and the obtained docked poses were post processed using MM-GBSA protocol for prediction of relative binding affinity. The predicted binding modes were able to rationalize the experimental results in most cases. Of particular interest, both the docking scores and MM-GBSA predicted Delta G(bind) were able to distinguish between the active and low active compounds. Furthermore, good correlation coefficient of 0.797 was obtained between the IC(50) values and MM-GBSA predicted Delta G(bind). Taken together, the current work provides not only a novel scaffold for further optimization of DHFR inhibitors but also an understanding of the specific interactions of inhibitors with DHFR and structural modifications that improve selectivity.
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