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Exploring the Potentiality of Natural Products from Essential Oils as Inhibitors of Odorant-Binding Proteins: A Structure- and Ligand-Based Virtual Screening Approach To Find Novel Mosquito Repellents

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posted on 17.12.2019, 18:49 by Kauȇ Santana da Costa, João Marcos Galúcio, Clauber Henrique Souza da Costa, Amanda Ruslana Santana, Vitor dos Santos Carvalho, Lidiane Diniz do Nascimento, Anderson Henrique Lima e Lima, Jorddy Neves Cruz, Claudio Nahum Alves, Jerônimo Lameira
Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are the main olfactory proteins of mosquitoes, and their structures have been widely explored to develop new repellents. In the present study, we combined ligand- and structure-based virtual screening approaches using as a starting point 1633 compounds from 71 botanical families obtained from the Essential Oil Database (EssOilDB). Using as reference the crystallographic structure of N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide interacting with the OBP1 homodimer of Anopheles gambiae (AgamOBP1), we performed a structural and pharmacophoric similarity search to select potential natural products from the library. Thymol acetate, 4-(4-methyl phenyl)-pentanal, thymyl isovalerate, and p-cymen-8-yl demonstrated a favorable chemical correlation with DEET and also had high-affinity interactions with the OBP binding pocket that molecular dynamics simulations showed to be stable. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate on a large scale the potentiality of NPs from essential oils as inhibitors of the mosquito OBP1 using in silico approaches. Our results could facilitate the design of novel repellents with improved selectivity and affinity to the protein binding pocket and can shed light on the mechanism of action of these compounds against insect olfactory recognition.