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      An in silico high-throughput screen identifies potential selective inhibitors for the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Pyk2

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          Abstract

          The non-receptor tyrosine kinase proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) is a critical mediator of signaling from cell surface growth factor and adhesion receptors to cell migration, proliferation, and survival. Emerging evidence indicates that signaling by Pyk2 regulates hematopoietic cell response, bone density, neuronal degeneration, angiogenesis, and cancer. These physiological and pathological roles of Pyk2 warrant it as a valuable therapeutic target for invasive cancers, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and inflammatory cellular response. Despite its potential as a therapeutic target, no potent and selective inhibitor of Pyk2 is available at present. As a first step toward discovering specific potential inhibitors of Pyk2, we used an in silico high-throughput screening approach. A virtual library of six million lead-like compounds was docked against four different high-resolution Pyk2 kinase domain crystal structures and further selected for predicted potency and ligand efficiency. Ligand selectivity for Pyk2 over focal adhesion kinase (FAK) was evaluated by comparative docking of ligands and measurement of binding free energy so as to obtain 40 potential candidates. Finally, the structural flexibility of a subset of the docking complexes was evaluated by molecular dynamics simulation, followed by intermolecular interaction analysis. These compounds may be considered as promising leads for further development of highly selective Pyk2 inhibitors.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Benchmarking sets for molecular docking.

          Ligand enrichment among top-ranking hits is a key metric of molecular docking. To avoid bias, decoys should resemble ligands physically, so that enrichment is not simply a separation of gross features, yet be chemically distinct from them, so that they are unlikely to be binders. We have assembled a directory of useful decoys (DUD), with 2950 ligands for 40 different targets. Every ligand has 36 decoy molecules that are physically similar but topologically distinct, leading to a database of 98,266 compounds. For most targets, enrichment was at least half a log better with uncorrected databases such as the MDDR than with DUD, evidence of bias in the former. These calculations also allowed 40x40 cross-docking, where the enrichments of each ligand set could be compared for all 40 targets, enabling a specificity metric for the docking screens. DUD is freely available online as a benchmarking set for docking at http://blaster.docking.org/dud/.
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            The role of ligand efficiency metrics in drug discovery.

            The judicious application of ligand or binding efficiency metrics, which quantify the molecular properties required to obtain binding affinity for a drug target, is gaining traction in the selection and optimization of fragments, hits and leads. Retrospective analysis of recently marketed oral drugs shows that they frequently have highly optimized ligand efficiency values for their targets. Optimizing ligand efficiency metrics based on both molecular mass and lipophilicity, when set in the context of the specific target, has the potential to ameliorate the inflation of these properties that has been observed in current medicinal chemistry practice, and to increase the quality of drug candidates.
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              Flexible ligand docking to multiple receptor conformations: a practical alternative.

              State of the art docking algorithms predict an incorrect binding pose for about 50-70% of all ligands when only a single fixed receptor conformation is considered. In many more cases, lack of receptor flexibility results in meaningless ligand binding scores, even when the correct pose is obtained. Incorporating conformational rearrangements of the receptor binding pocket into predictions of both ligand binding pose and binding score is crucial for improving structure-based drug design and virtual ligand screening methodologies. However, direct modeling of protein binding site flexibility remains challenging because of the large conformational space that must be sampled, and difficulties remain in constructing a suitably accurate energy function. Here we show that using multiple fixed receptor conformations, either experimentally determined by crystallography or NMR, or computationally generated, is a practical shortcut that may improve docking calculations. In several cases, such an approach has led to experimentally validated predictions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2017
                18 May 2017
                : 11
                : 1535-1557
                Affiliations
                Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar-Ilan University, Safed, Israel
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hava Gil-Henn; Abraham O Samson, Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar-Ilan University, 8th Henrietta Szold Street, PO Box 1589, Safed 1311520, Israel, Email hava.henn@ 123456biu.ac.il ; avraham.samson@ 123456biu.ac.il
                Article
                dddt-11-1535
                10.2147/DDDT.S136150
                5441678
                © 2017 Meirson et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Original Research

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