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Analysis of Biphenyl-Type Inhibitors Targeting the Eg5 alpha 4/alpha 6 Allosteric Pocket

Journal article
Authors Chunxia Gao
N. F. Lowndes
Leif A Eriksson
Published in Acs Omega
Volume 2
Issue 5
Pages 1836-1849
ISSN 2470-1343
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 1836-1849
Language English
Links doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.6b00467
Keywords kinesin spindle protein, atp-competitive inhibitors, small-molecule, inhibitor, particle mesh ewald, ret tyrosine kinase, mitotic kinesin, force-field, motor protein, phase, model, Chemistry, war mjs, 1985, journal of the american chemical society, v107, p3902
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences


Eg5 is a mitotic kinesin protein that plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of the bipolar spindle during the mitotic phase. Due to its potentially reduced side effects in cancer therapy, Eg5 is considered to be an attractive target for developing anticancer inhibitors. Herein, we report a computational modeling study involving biphenyl-type inhibitors known to interact with the a4/a6 allosteric pocket of Eg5. Compared to the well-known a2/L5/a3 allosteric inhibitors, biphenyltype inhibitors show a unique activity profile. In the Eg5-PVZB1194 (a biphenyl-type inhibitor) crystal structure, loop L11, which is located in the entrance of the alpha 4/alpha 6 allosteric-binding pocket, is missing due to crystal-packing effects. To better understand the role of this flexible loop upon biphenyl-type inhibitor-binding, MD simulations were performed to observe the L11 conformations from different states. It was demonstrated that L11 was more stabilized and showed less fluctuation when PVZB1194 was bound to Eg5. Residue Asn287 from L11 forms hydrogen bonding to the sulfone group of PVZB1194, whereby L11 moves inward to the alpha 4/alpha 6 allosteric pocket and moves away from the pocket in absence of the inhibitor. Pharmacophore, three-dimensional (3D)-QSAR, and ADME studies of biphenyl-type inhibitors of Eg5 were also performed. A best pharmacophore model, DDRRH. 6, was generated, having correlation coefficients in the 3D-QSAR study of R-2 = 0.81 and Q(2) = 0.64. Furthermore, docking studies were carried out to observe the interaction between the remaining biphenyl-type inhibitors with Eg5. In addition, on the basis of fragment docking, a structure-based pharmacophore was generated, which shares good overlap of the DHRR features of the pharmacophore model DDHRR. 6. The structure-based pharmacophore also contains extra hydrogen-bond acceptors and hydrophobic groups, features which provide possibilities in developing new or improved series of compounds.

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