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J Chem Inf Model. 2011 Feb 28;51(2):463-74. doi: 10.1021/ci100409y. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Combined receptor and ligand-based approach to the universal pharmacophore model development for studies of drug blockade to the hERG1 pore domain.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

Long QT syndrome, LQTS, results in serious cardiovascular disorders, such as tachyarrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. A promiscuous binding of different drugs to the intracavitary binding site in the pore domain (PD) of human ether-a-go-go related gene (hERG) channels leads to a similar dysfunction, known as a drug-induced LQTS. Therefore, an assessment of the blocking ability for potent drugs is of great pragmatic value for molecular pharmacology and medicinal chemistry of hERGs. Thus, we attempted to create an in silico model aimed at blinded drug screening for their blocking ability to the hERG1 PD. Two distinct approaches to the drug blockage, ligand-based QSAR and receptor-based molecular docking methods, are combined for development of a universal pharmacophore model, which provides rapid assessment of drug blocking ability to the hERG1 channel. The best 3D-QSAR model (AAADR.7) from PHASE modeling was selected from a pool consisting of 44 initial candidates. The constructed model using 31 hERG blockers was validated with 9 test set compounds. The resulting model correctly predicted the pIC(50) values of test set compounds as true unknowns. To further evaluate the pharmacophore model, 14 hERG blockers with diverse hERG blocking potencies were selected from literature and they were used as additional external blind test sets. The resulting average deviation between in vitro and predicted pIC(50) values of external test set blockers is found as 0.29 suggesting that the model is able to accuretely predict the pIC(50) values as true unknowns. These pharmacophore models were merged with a previously developed atomistic receptor model for the hERG1 PD and exhibited a high consistency between ligand-based and receptor-based models. Therefore, the developed 3D-QSAR model provides a predictive tool for profiling candidate compounds before their synthesis. This model also indicated the key functional groups determining a high-affinity blockade of the hERG1 channel. To cross-validate consistency between the constructed hERG1 pore domain and the pharmacophore models, we performed docking studies using the homology model of hERG1. To understand how polar or nonpolar moieties of inhibitors stimulate channel inhibition, critical amino acid replacement (i.e., T623, S624, S649, Y652 and F656) at the hERG cavity was examined by in silico mutagenesis. The average docking score differences between wild type and mutated hERG channels was found to have the following order: F656A > Y652A > S624A > T623A > S649A. These results are in agreement with experimental data.

PMID:
21241063
DOI:
10.1021/ci100409y
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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