In silico elucidation and inhibition studies of selected phytoligands against Mitogen activated protein kinases of protozoan parasites

Interdiscip Sci. 2014 Nov 6. doi: 10.1007/s12539-014-0210-4. Online ahead of print.


Parasitic MAPKs exhibiting significant divergence with humans and playing an imperative role in parasitic metabolic activities have been exploited from several years as important targets for development of novel therapeutics. In addition, the emergence of the drug resistant variants of parasitic diseases in the recent years has aroused a great need for the development of potent inhibitors against them. In the present study we selected the metabolically active MAPKs LmxMPK4, PfMAP2 and TbMAPK5 of the three parasitic protozoans Leishmania mexicana, Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma brucei respectively. The homology modeling technique was used to develop the 3D structures of these proteins and the same was validated by PROCHECK, ERRAT, ProQ and ProSA web servers to check the reliability. Ten phytoligands were employed for molecular docking studies with these proteins to search for potent phytoligand as a broad spectrum inhibitor. In this regard two phytoligands (Aspidocarpine for LmxMPK4 & TbMAPK5 and Cubebin for PfMAP2) were found to be more effective inhibitors, in term of robust binding energy, strong inhibition constant and better interactions between protein-ligand complexes. Furthermore predicted ADME & Toxicity properties suggested that these identified phytoligands exhibited comparable results to control drugs potentiating them as persuasive therapeutic agents for Leishmania, Trypanosoma and Plasmodium sp.