In silico Screening and Evaluation of Plasmodium falciparum Protein Kinase 5 (PK5) Inhibitors.
An in silico screen of 350 000 commercially available compounds was conducted with an unbiased approach to identify potential malaria inhibitors that bind to the Plasmodium falciparum protein kinase 5 (PfPK5) ATP-binding site. PfPK5 is a cyclin-dependent kinase-like protein with high sequence similarity to human cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (HsCDK2), but its precise role in cell-cycle regulation remains unclear. After two-dimensional fingerprinting of the top scoring compounds, 182 candidates were prioritized for biochemical testing based on their structural diversity. Evaluation of these compounds demonstrated that 135 bound to PfPK5 to a similar degree or better than known PfPK5 inhibitors, confirming that the library was enriched with PfPK5-binding compounds. A previously reported triazolodiamine HsCDK2 inhibitor and the screening hit 4-methylumbelliferone were each selected for an analogue study. The results of this study highlight the difficult balance between optimization of PfPK5 affinity and binding selectivity for PfPK5 over its closest human homologue HsCDK2. Our approach enabled the discovery of several new PfPK5-binding compounds from a modest screening campaign and revealed the first scaffold to have improved PfPK5/HsCDK2 selectivity. These steps are critical for the development of PfPK5-targeting probes for functional studies and antimalarials with decreased risks of host toxicity.
Eubanks, AL; Perkins, MM; Sylvester, K; Ganley, JG; Posfai, D; Sanschargrin, PC; Hong, J; Sliz, P; Derbyshire, ER
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