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Targeting Caspase 8: Using Structural and Ligand-Based Approaches to Identify Potential Leads for the Treatment of Multi-Neurodegenerative Diseases

Department of Medical Biotechnology, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan 38541, Korea
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Authors contributed equally to this work.
Molecules 2019, 24(9), 1827; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24091827
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 11 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
Caspase 8 is a central player in the apoptotic cell death pathway and is also essential for cytokine processing. The critical role of this protease in cell death pathways has generated research interest because its activation has also been linked with neural cell death. Thus, blocking the activity of caspase 8 is considered a potential therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. To extend the repertoire of caspase 8 inhibitors, we employed several computational approaches to identify potential caspase 8 inhibitors. Based on the structural information of reported inhibitors, we designed several individual and consensus pharmacophore models and then screened the ZINC database, which contains 105,480 compounds. Screening generated 5332 candidates, but after applying stringent criteria only two candidate compounds, ZINC19370490 and ZINC04534268, were evaluated by molecular dynamics simulations and subjected to Molecular Mechanics/Poisson Boltzmann Surface Area (MM-PBSA) analysis. These compounds were stable throughout simulations and interacted with targeted protein by forming hydrogen and van der Waal bonds. MM-PBSA analysis showed that these compounds were comparable or better than reported caspase 8 inhibitors. Furthermore, their physical properties were found to be acceptable, and they are non-toxic according to the ADMET online server. We suggest that the inhibitory efficacies of ZINC19370490 and ZINC04534268 be subjected to experimental validation. View Full-Text
Keywords: caspase 8; ligand; pharmacophore; neurodegeneration; virtual screening caspase 8; ligand; pharmacophore; neurodegeneration; virtual screening
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Ahmad, K.; Balaramnavar, V.M.; Chaturvedi, N.; Khan, S.; Haque, S.; Lee, Y.-H.; Choi, I. Targeting Caspase 8: Using Structural and Ligand-Based Approaches to Identify Potential Leads for the Treatment of Multi-Neurodegenerative Diseases. Molecules 2019, 24, 1827.

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