Insights into the Structural Basis of N2 and O6 Substituted Guanine Derivatives as Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2 (CDK2) Inhibitors: Prediction of the Binding Modes and Potency of the inhibitors by Docking and ONIOM Calculations

N2 and O6 substituted guanine derivatives are well-known as potent and selective CDK2 inhibitors. The ability of molecular docking using the program AutoDock3 and the hybrid method ONIOM, to obtain some quantum chemical descriptors with the aim to successfully rank these inhibitors, was assessed. The quantum chemical descriptors were used to explain the affinity, of the series studied, by a model of the CDK2 binding site. The initial structures were obtained from docking studies and the ONIOM method was applied with only a single point energy calculation on the protein−ligand structure. We obtained a good correlation model between the ONIOM derived quantum chemical descriptor “H-bond interaction energy” and the experimental biological activity, with a correlation coefficient value of R = 0.80 for 75 compounds. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that both methodologies are used in conjunction in order to obtain a correlation model. The model suggests that electrostatic interactions are the principal driving force in this protein−ligand interaction. Overall, the approach was successful for the cases considered, and it suggests that could be useful for the design of inhibitors in the lead optimization phase of drug discovery.