Indexed on: 19 Aug '11Published on: 19 Aug '11Published in: Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling
We developed a new protocol for in silico drug screening for G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using a set of "universal active probes" (UAPs) with an ensemble docking procedure. UAPs are drug-like compounds, which are actual active compounds of a variety of known proteins. The current targets were nine human GPCRs whose three-dimensional (3D) structures are unknown, plus three GPCRs, namely β(2)-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2), A(2A) adenosine receptor (A(2A)), and dopamine D3 receptor (D(3)), whose 3D structures are known. Homology-based models of the GPCRs were constructed based on the crystal structures with careful sequence inspection. After subsequent molecular dynamics (MD) simulation taking into account the explicit lipid membrane molecules with periodic boundary conditions, we obtained multiple model structures of the GPCRs. For each target structure, docking-screening calculations were carried out via the ensemble docking procedure, using both true active compounds of the target proteins and the UAPs with the multiple target screening (MTS) method. Consequently, the multiple model structures showed various screening results with both poor and high hit ratios, the latter of which could be identified as promising for use in in silico screening to find candidate compounds to interact with the proteins. We found that the hit ratio of true active compounds showed a positive correlation to that of the UAPs. Thus, we could retrieve appropriate target structures from the GPCR models by applying the UAPs, even if no active compound is known for the GPCRs. Namely, the screening result that showed a high hit ratio for the UAPs could be used to identify actual hit compounds for the target GPCRs.