Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is an atypical proline-directed serine/threonine protein kinase well-characterized for its role in the central nervous system rather than in the cell cycle. Indeed, its dysregulation has been strongly implicated in the progression of synaptic dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), and also in the development and progression of a variety of cancers. For this reason, Cdk5 is considered as a promising target for drug design, and the discovery of novel small-molecule Cdk5 inhibitors is of great interest in the medicinal chemistry field. In this context, we employed a machine learning-based virtual screening protocol with subsequent molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and binding free energy evaluations. Our virtual screening studies resulted in the identification of two novel Cdk5 inhibitors, highlighting an experimental hit rate of 50% and thus validating the reliability of the in silico workflow. Both identified ligands, compounds CPD1 and CPD4, showed a promising enzyme inhibitory activity and CPD1 also demonstrated a remarkable antiproliferative activity in ovarian and colon cancer cells. These ligands represent a valuable starting point for structure-based hit-optimization studies aimed at identifying new potent Cdk5 inhibitors.

Machine Learning-Based Virtual Screening for the Identification of Cdk5 Inhibitors

Rizzolio, Flavio;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is an atypical proline-directed serine/threonine protein kinase well-characterized for its role in the central nervous system rather than in the cell cycle. Indeed, its dysregulation has been strongly implicated in the progression of synaptic dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), and also in the development and progression of a variety of cancers. For this reason, Cdk5 is considered as a promising target for drug design, and the discovery of novel small-molecule Cdk5 inhibitors is of great interest in the medicinal chemistry field. In this context, we employed a machine learning-based virtual screening protocol with subsequent molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations and binding free energy evaluations. Our virtual screening studies resulted in the identification of two novel Cdk5 inhibitors, highlighting an experimental hit rate of 50% and thus validating the reliability of the in silico workflow. Both identified ligands, compounds CPD1 and CPD4, showed a promising enzyme inhibitory activity and CPD1 also demonstrated a remarkable antiproliferative activity in ovarian and colon cancer cells. These ligands represent a valuable starting point for structure-based hit-optimization studies aimed at identifying new potent Cdk5 inhibitors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5021114
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