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Determining the Relative Binding Affinity of Ricin Toxin A Inhibitors by Using Molecular Docking and Nonequilibrium Work

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journal contribution
posted on 11.05.2018, 00:00 authored by Elton J. F. Chaves, Itácio Q. M. Padilha, Demétrius A. M. Araújo, Gerd B. Rocha
Ricin is a ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP type 2) consisting of two subunits, ricin toxin A (RTA) and ricin toxin B (RTB). Because of its cytotoxicity, ricin has worried world authorities for its potential use as a chemical weapon; therefore, its inhibition is of great biotechnological interest. RTA is the target for inhibitor synthesis, and pterin derivatives are promising candidates to inhibit it. In this study, we used a combination of the molecular docking approach and fast steered molecular dynamics (SMD) to assess the correlation between nonequilibrium work, ⟨W⟩, and the IC50 for six RTA inhibitors. The results showed that molecular docking is a powerful tool to predict good bioactive poses of RTA inhibitors, and ⟨W⟩ presented a strong correlation with IC50 (R2 = 0.961). Such a profile ranked the RTA inhibitors better than the molecular docking approach. Therefore, the combination of docking and fast SMD simulation was shown to be a promising tool to distinguish RTA-active inhibitors from inactive ones and could be used as postdocking filtering approach.