Structure-Based Virtual Screening, Molecular Dynamics and Binding Free Energy Calculations of Hit Candidates as ALK-5 Inhibitors


Araujo, Sheila C. [1] ; Maltarollo, Vinicius G. [2] ; Almeida, Michell O. [3] ; Ferreira, Leonardo L. G. [4] ; Andricopulo, Adriano D. [4] ; Honorio, Kathia M. [1, 5]



Activin-like kinase 5 (ALK-5) is involved in the physiopathology of several conditions, such as pancreatic carcinoma, cervical cancer and liver hepatoma. Cellular events that are landmarks of tumorigenesis, such as loss of cell polarity and acquisition of motile properties and mesenchymal phenotype, are associated to deregulated ALK-5 signaling. ALK-5 inhibitors, such as SB505154, GW6604, SD208, and LY2157299, have recently been reported to inhibit ALK-5 autophosphorylation and induce the transcription of matrix genes. Due to their ability to impair cell migration, invasion and metastasis, ALK-5 inhibitors have been explored as worthwhile hits as anticancer agents. This work reports the development of a structure-based virtual screening (SBVS) protocol aimed to prospect promising hits for further studies as novel ALK-5 inhibitors. From a lead-like subset of purchasable compounds, five molecules were identified as putative ALK-5 inhibitors. In addition, molecular dynamics and binding free energy calculations combined with pharmacokinetics and toxicity profiling demonstrated the suitability of these compounds to be further investigated as novel ALK-5 inhibitors.


1   CCNH, Federal University of ABC, Santo Andre, SP 09210-580, Brazil

2   Department of Pharmaceutical Products, Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG 31270-901, Brazil

3   IQSC-USP, Sao Carlos, SP 13563-120, Brazil

4   Laboratory of Medicinal and Computational Chemistry, Physics Institute of Sao Carlos, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Carlos, SP 13563-120, Brazil

5   EACH, University of São Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP 03828-000, Brazil


Link to article:    https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/2/264