The pregnane X receptor [PXR (NR1I2)] induces the expression of xenobiotic metabolic genes and transporter genes. In this study, we aimed to establish a computational method for quantifying the enzyme-inducing potencies of different compounds via their ability to activate PXR, for the application in drug discovery and development. To achieve this purpose, we developed a three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) model using comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) for predicting enzyme-inducing potencies, based on computer-ligand docking to multiple PXR protein structures sampled from the trajectory of a molecular dynamics simulation. Molecular mechanics-generalized born/surface area scores representing the ligand-protein-binding free energies were calculated for each ligand. As a result, the predicted enzyme-inducing potencies for compounds generated by the CoMFA model were in good agreement with the experimental values. Finally, we concluded that this 3D-QSAR model has the potential to predict the enzyme-inducing potencies of novel compounds with high precision and therefore has valuable applications in the early stages of the drug discovery process.
Keywords: QSAR; computational ADME; molecular modeling; protein structure; structure activity relationship (SAR).
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association.