The human carboxylesterase 1 (CES1), responsible for the biotransformation of many diverse therapeutic agents, may contribute to the occurrence of adverse drug reactions and therapeutic failure through drug interactions. The present study is designed to address the issue of potential drug interactions resulting from the inhibition of CES1. Based on an ensemble of 10 crystal structures complexed with different ligands and a set of 294 known CES1 ligands, we used docking (Autodock Vina) and machine learning methodologies (LDA, QDA and multilayer perceptron), considering the different energy terms from the scoring function to assess the best combination to enable the identification of CES1 inhibitors. The protocol was then applied on a library of 1114 FDA-approved drugs and eight drugs were selected for in vitro CES1 inhibition. An inhibition effect was observed for diltiazem (IC50 = 13.9 µM). Three others drugs (benztropine, iloprost and treprostinil), exhibited a weak CES1 inhibitory effects with IC50 values of 298.2 µM, 366.8 µM and 391.6 µM respectively. In conclusion, the binding site of CES1 is relatively flexible and can adapt its conformation to different types of ligands. Combining ensemble docking and machine learning approaches improves the prediction of CES1 inhibitors compared to a docking study using only one crystal structure.
Keywords: CES1 inhibitors; adverse drug reactions; carboxylesterase 1; docking; ensemble docking; machine learning; metabolism.