Screening of terpenoids as potential therapeutics against Zaire ebolavirus infection through pharmacophore-based drug design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ebola virus disease (EVD) has spread to various countries in the world and has caused many deaths. Five different virus species can cause EVD, but the most virulent is Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV). The genome of EBOV includes seven genes that encode proteins playing essential roles in the virus lifecycle. Among these proteins, VP24 plays a vital role in the inhibition of the host cells’ immune system. Therefore, VP24 is a potential target for EVD therapy. In the present study, a potential inhibitor of EBOV VP24 activity was identified through pharmacophore-based drug design.

Methods: This research was a in silico study, using pharmacophore based molecular docking simulation to obtain inhibitor candidates.

Result: Terpenoids were used as VP24 inhibitor candidates. In particular, 55,979 terpenoids were obtained from the PubChem database. An initial screening based on the toxicity prediction test was performed with DataWarrior software: 3,353 ligands were shown tohave a favorable toxicity profile, but only 1,375 among them had suitable pharmacophore features. These ligands were used for pharmacophore-based rigid and flexible molecular docking simulations with PDB ID: 4M0Q, chosen as the crystal structure of EBOV VP24. Six ligands predicted to have strong molecular interactions with EBOV VP24 underwent pharmacological property analysis through various software packages, including DataWarrior, SwissADME, admetSAR, pkCSM, and Toxtree.

Conclusions: Taxumairol V was identified as the best candidate for EVD drug therapy via EBOV VP24 inhibition based on its molecular properties, predicted molecular interactions with the target molecule, and predicted pharmacological properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalF1000Research
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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