Identification of novel HBV/HDV entry inhibitors by pharmacophore- and QSAR-guided virtual screening

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Kirstgen , M , Müller , S F , Lowjaga , K A A T , Goldmann , N , Lehmann , F , Alakurtti , S , Yli-Kauhaluoma , J , Baringhaus , K-H , Krieg , R , Glebe , D & Geyer , J 2021 , ' Identification of novel HBV/HDV entry inhibitors by pharmacophore- and QSAR-guided virtual screening ' , Viruses-Basel , vol. 13 , no. 8 , 1489 .

Title: Identification of novel HBV/HDV entry inhibitors by pharmacophore- and QSAR-guided virtual screening
Author: Kirstgen, Michael; Müller, Simon Franz; Lowjaga, Kira Alessandra Alicia Theresa; Goldmann, Nora; Lehmann, Felix; Alakurtti, Sami; Yli-Kauhaluoma, Jari; Baringhaus, Karl-Heinz; Krieg, Reimar; Glebe, Dieter; Geyer, Joachim
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Helsinki, Divisions of Faculty of Pharmacy
Date: 2021-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 20
Belongs to series: Viruses-Basel
ISSN: 1999-4915
Abstract: The hepatic bile acid transporter Na+/taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP) was identified in 2012 as the high-affinity hepatic receptor for the hepatitis B and D viruses (HBV/HDV). Since then, this carrier has emerged as promising drug target for HBV/HDV virus entry inhibitors, but the synthetic peptide Hepcludex (R) of high molecular weight is the only approved HDV entry inhibitor so far. The present study aimed to identify small molecules as novel NTCP inhibitors with anti-viral activity. A ligand-based bioinformatic approach was used to generate and validate appropriate pharmacophore and QSAR (quantitative structure-activity relationship) models. Half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) for binding inhibition of the HBV/HDV-derived preS1 peptide (as surrogate parameter for virus binding to NTCP) were determined in NTCP-expressing HEK293 cells for 150 compounds of different chemical classes. IC50 values ranged from 2 mu M up to >1000 mu M. The generated pharmacophore and QSAR models were used for virtual screening of drug-like chemicals from the ZINC(15) database (similar to 11 million compounds). The 20 best-performing compounds were then experimentally tested for preS1-peptide binding inhibition in NTCP-HEK293 cells. Among them, four compounds were active and revealed experimental IC50 values for preS1-peptide binding inhibition of 9, 19, 20, and 35 mu M, which were comparable to the QSAR-based predictions. All these compounds also significantly inhibited in vitro HDV infection of NTCP-HepG2 cells, without showing any cytotoxicity. The best-performing compound in all assays was ZINC000253533654. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that virtual compound screening based on NTCP-specific pharmacophore and QSAR models can predict novel active hit compounds for the development of HBV/HDV entry inhibitors.
Subject: BETULIN
entry inhibitor
virtual screen
317 Pharmacy
11832 Microbiology and virology

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