In Silico Repurposing of J147 for Neonatal Encephalopathy Treatment: Exploring Molecular Mechanisms of Mutant Mitochondrial ATP Synthase

Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(14):1551-1566. doi: 10.2174/1389201021666200628152246.


Background: Neonatal Encephalopathy (NE) is a mitochondrial ATP synthase (mATPase) disease, which results in the death of infants. The case presented here is reportedly caused by complex V deficiency as a result of mutation of Arginine to Cysteine at residue 329 in the mATPase. A recent breakthrough was the discovery of J147, which targets mATPase in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Based on the concepts of computational target-based drug design, this study investigated the possibility of employing J147 as a viable candidate in the treatment of NE.

Objective/methods: The structural dynamic implications of this drug on the mutated enzyme are yet to be elucidated. Hence, integrative molecular dynamics simulations and thermodynamic calculations were employed to investigate the activity of J147 on the mutated enzyme in comparison to its already established inhibitory activity on the wild-type enzyme.

Results: A correlated structural trend occurred between the wild-type and mutant systems whereby all the systems exhibited an overall conformational transition. Equal observations in favorable free binding energies further substantiated uniformity in the mobility, and residual fluctuation of the wild-type and mutant systems. The similarity in the binding landscape suggests that J147 could as well modulate mutant mATPase activity in addition to causing structural modifications in the wild-type enzyme.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that J147 can stabilize the mutant protein and restore it to a similar structural state as the wild-type which depicts functionality. These details could be employed in drug design for potential drug resistance cases due to mATPase mutations that may present in the future.

Keywords: J147; Mitochondrial ATP synthase; complex V deficiency; mutation; neonatal encephalopathy; wild-type enzyme.

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Brain Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Brain Diseases / enzymology
  • Brain Diseases / genetics
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Curcumin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Repositioning*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / drug therapy*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Mitochondrial Proton-Translocating ATPases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Mitochondrial Proton-Translocating ATPases / genetics
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Mutation


  • J147
  • Mitochondrial Proton-Translocating ATPases
  • Curcumin