Virtual screening and drug repositioning as strategies for the discovery of new antifungal inhibitors of oxidosqualene cyclase.

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Virtual screening and drug repositioning as strategies for the discovery of new antifungal inhibitors of oxidosqualene cyclase.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2018 Sep 04;:

Authors: Rabelo VW, de Jesus Viegas D, Tucci EMN, Romeiro NC, Abreu PA

Abstract
Candidiasis is the most common fungal infection in immunocompromised patients, and Candida albicans is the fourth leading agent of nosocomial infections. Mortality from this infection is significant; however, the therapeutic treatment is limited, which demands the search for new drugs and new targets. In this context, oxidosqualene cyclase (OSC) catalyzes the cyclization of the 2,3-oxidosqualene to form lanosterol, an intermediate of ergosterol biosynthesis. Therefore, this enzyme constitutes an attractive therapeutic target. Thus, the aim of this study is to identify potential inhibitors of C. albicans OSC (CaOSC) from a marketed drugs database in order to discover new antifungal agents. The CaOSC 3D model was constructed using the Swiss-Model server and important features for CaOSC inhibition were identified by molecular docking of known inhibitors using Autodock Vina 1.1.2. Subsequently, virtual screening helped to identify calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, and other four drugs, as potential inhibitors of CaOSC. The selected drugs presented an interesting pattern of interactions with this enzyme, including hydrogen bond with Asp450, a key residue in the active site. Thus, the antifungal activity of calcitriol was evaluated in vitro against Candida spp strains. Calcitriol showed antifungal activity against C. albicans and C. tropicalis, which reinforces the potential of this compound as candidate of CaOSC inhibitor. In short, the present study provides important insights for the development of new oxidosqualene cyclase inhibitors as antifungals.

PMID: 30193921 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]