DNA polymerase beta (pol β), the error-prone polymerase of base excision repair, plays a significant role in chemotherapeutic agent resistance. Its over expression reduces the efficacy of anticancer drug therapies including ionizing radiation, bleomycin, monofunctional alkylating agents and cisplatin. Small-scale studies on different types of cancer showed that pol β is mutated in approximately 30% of tumors. These mutations further lower pol β fidelity in DNA synthesis exposing the genome to serious mutations. These findings suggested pol β as a promising therapeutic target for cancer treatment. More than 60 pol β-inhibitors have been identified so far, however, most of them are either not potent or specific enough to become a drug. Here, we applied the relaxed complex scheme virtual screening (RCSVS) to allow for the full receptor flexibility in filtering the NCI diversity set, DrugBank compounds and a library of ∼ 9000 fragmental compounds for novel pol β inhibitors. In this procedure we screened the set of ∼ 12,500 compounds against an ensemble of 11 dominant-receptor structures representing the essential backbone dynamics of the 8 kDa domain of pol β. Our results predicted new compounds that can bind with higher affinity to the lyase active site compared to pamoic acid (PA), a well-known inhibitor of DNA pol β.
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