Pharmacophore-based screening and drug repurposing exemplified on glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitors
The current study was conducted to elaborate a novel pharmacophore model to accurately map selective glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) inhibitors, and perform virtual screening and drug repurposing. Pharmacophore modeling was developed using PHASE on a data set of 203 maleimides. Two benchmarking validation data sets with focus on selectivity were assembled using ChEMBL and PubChem GSK-3 confirmatory assays. A drug repurposing experiment linking pharmacophore matching with drug information originating from multiple data sources was performed. A five-point pharmacophore model was built consisting of a hydrogen bond acceptor (A), hydrogen bond donor (D), hydrophobic (H), and two rings (RR). An atom-based 3D quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) model showed good correlative and satisfactory predictive abilities (training set R2 = 0.904; test set: Q2 = 0.676; whole data set: stability s = 0.803). Virtual screening experiments revealed that selective GSK-3 inhibitors are ranked preferentially by Hypo-1, but fail to retrieve nonselective compounds. The pharmacophore and 3D QSAR models can provide assistance to design novel, potential GSK-3 inhibitors with high potency and selectivity pattern, with potential application for the treatment of GSK-3-driven diseases. A class of purine nucleoside antileukemic drugs was identified as potential inhibitor of GSK-3, suggesting the reassessment of the target range of these drugs.