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      Structural dynamics and inhibitor searching for Wnt-4 protein using comparative computational studies

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          Wnt-4 (wingless mouse mammary tumor virus integration site-4) protein is involved in many crucial embryonic pathways regulating essential processes. Aberrant Wnt-4 activity causes various anomalies leading to gastric, colon, or breast cancer. Wnt-4 is a conserved protein in structure and sequence. All Wnt proteins contain an unusual fold comprising of a thumb (or N-terminal domain) and index finger (or C-terminal domain) bifurcated by a palm domain. The aim of this study was to identify the best inhibitors of Wnt-4 that not only interact with Wnt-4 protein but also with the covalently bound acyl group to inhibit aberrant Wnt-4 activity. A systematic computational approach was used to analyze inhibition of Wnt-4. Palmitoleic acid was docked into Wnt-4 protein, followed by ligand-based virtual screening of nearly 209,847 compounds; conformer generation of 271 compounds resulted from extensive virtual screening and comparative docking of 10,531 conformers of 271 unique compounds through GOLD (Genetic Optimization for Ligand Docking), AutoDock-Vina, and FRED (Fast Rigid Exhaustive Docking) was subsequently performed. Linux scripts was used to handle the libraries of compounds. The best compounds were selected on the basis of having maximum interactions to protein with bound palmitoleic acid. These represented lead inhibitors in further experiments. Palmitoleic acid is important for efficient Wnt activity, but aberrant Wnt-4 expression can be inhibited by designing inhibitors interacting with both protein and palmitoleic acid.

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          The manner in which a newly synthesized chain of amino acids transforms itself into a perfectly folded protein depends both on the intrinsic properties of the amino-acid sequence and on multiple contributing influences from the crowded cellular milieu. Folding and unfolding are crucial ways of regulating biological activity and targeting proteins to different cellular locations. Aggregation of misfolded proteins that escape the cellular quality-control mechanisms is a common feature of a wide range of highly debilitating and increasingly prevalent diseases.
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            Sea anemone genome reveals ancestral eumetazoan gene repertoire and genomic organization.

            Sea anemones are seemingly primitive animals that, along with corals, jellyfish, and hydras, constitute the oldest eumetazoan phylum, the Cnidaria. Here, we report a comparative analysis of the draft genome of an emerging cnidarian model, the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. The sea anemone genome is complex, with a gene repertoire, exon-intron structure, and large-scale gene linkage more similar to vertebrates than to flies or nematodes, implying that the genome of the eumetazoan ancestor was similarly complex. Nearly one-fifth of the inferred genes of the ancestor are eumetazoan novelties, which are enriched for animal functions like cell signaling, adhesion, and synaptic transmission. Analysis of diverse pathways suggests that these gene "inventions" along the lineage leading to animals were likely already well integrated with preexisting eukaryotic genes in the eumetazoan progenitor.
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              Improved protein-ligand docking using GOLD.

              The Chemscore function was implemented as a scoring function for the protein-ligand docking program GOLD, and its performance compared to the original Goldscore function and two consensus docking protocols, "Goldscore-CS" and "Chemscore-GS," in terms of docking accuracy, prediction of binding affinities, and speed. In the "Goldscore-CS" protocol, dockings produced with the Goldscore function are scored and ranked with the Chemscore function; in the "Chemscore-GS" protocol, dockings produced with the Chemscore function are scored and ranked with the Goldscore function. Comparisons were made for a "clean" set of 224 protein-ligand complexes, and for two subsets of this set, one for which the ligands are "drug-like," the other for which they are "fragment-like." For "drug-like" and "fragment-like" ligands, the docking accuracies obtained with Chemscore and Goldscore functions are similar. For larger ligands, Goldscore gives superior results. Docking with the Chemscore function is up to three times faster than docking with the Goldscore function. Both combined docking protocols give significant improvements in docking accuracy over the use of the Goldscore or Chemscore function alone. "Goldscore-CS" gives success rates of up to 81% (top-ranked GOLD solution within 2.0 A of the experimental binding mode) for the "clean list," but at the cost of long search times. For most virtual screening applications, "Chemscore-GS" seems optimal; search settings that give docking speeds of around 0.25-1.3 min/compound have success rates of about 78% for "drug-like" compounds and 85% for "fragment-like" compounds. In terms of producing binding energy estimates, the Goldscore function appears to perform better than the Chemscore function and the two consensus protocols, particularly for faster search settings. Even at docking speeds of around 1-2 min/compound, the Goldscore function predicts binding energies with a standard deviation of approximately 10.5 kJ/mol. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                29 April 2015
                : 9
                : 2449-2461
                National Center for Bioinformatics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Syed Sikander Azam, National Center for Bioinformatics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan, Tel +92 51 9064 4130, Email ssazam@ 123456qau.edu.pk
                © 2015 Hammad and Azam et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. 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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