Magnaporthe oryzae (M. oryzae) is a fungal pathogen and the causal agent of rice blast disease. Previous lipidomics analysis of M. oryzae demonstrated that trehalose, a carbohydrate common to various fungi and algae, is thought to be involved in the possible conversion of glycogen into triacylglycerides for energy, an important step in the pathogenesis of M. oryzae. A key enzyme responsible for trehalose synthesis is trehalose-6-phosphate synthase 1 (Tps1). Therefore, we modeled the structure of Tps1 and sought to screen a chemical database in silico for possible inhibitors of the enzyme. Based on homologous alignment and sequence analysis, we first modeled the structure of Tps1 to determine the potential active site of the enzyme and its conformation. Using this model, we then undertook a docking study to determine the potential interaction that would manifest between Tsp1 and potential chemical inhibitors. Of the 400,000 chemicals screened in the Molecular Libraries Small Molecule Repository, we identified 45 potential candidates. The best candidate (Compound 24789937) was chosen and subjected to various structural optimization techniques to improve the suitability of the potential chemical inhibitors at the docking site of Tps1. From these modified versions of Compound 24789937, one lead compound (Lead 25) was shown to have the best binding affinity to Tps1 and good water solubility as compared with the ideal template compound and the other 44 potential candidates. Molecular dynamics simulation further confirmed the strength of the Tps1-Lead 25 complex and indicated the potential for Lead 25 to be used as an inhibitor of Tps1 in the control of M. oryzae-mediated rice blast disease.
Keywords: Fungus; M. oryzae; Molecular dynamics simulation; Rice blast disease; Tps1; Trehalose-6-phosphate synthase 1.