Structure-based virtual screening for novel chymase inhibitors by in silico fragment mapping.


Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Kitasato University, 5-9-1 Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-8641, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


The term chymase refers to a family of chymotrypsin-like serine proteases stored within the secretory granules of mast cells. Recently, a variety of small molecule inhibitors for chymase have been developed with a primary focus on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Despite the expected therapeutic benefit of these chymase inhibitors, they have not been used clinically. Here, we attempted to identify new chymase inhibitors using a multistep structure-based virtual screening protocol combined with our knowledge-based in silico fragment mapping technique. The mapping procedure identified fragments with novel modes of interaction at the oxyanion hole of chymase. Next, we constructed a three-dimensional (3D) pharmacophore model and retrieved eight candidate chymase inhibitors from a commercial database that included approximately five million compounds. This selection was achieved using a multistep virtual screening protocol, which combined a 3D pharmacophore-based search, docking calculations, and analyses of binding free energy. One of the eight compounds exhibited concentration-dependent chymase inhibitory activity, which could be further optimized to develop more potent chymase inhibitors.


Chymase,Fragment mapping,Fragment-based drug discovery,Pharmacophore-based search,Virtual screening,

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