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Exploring QSAR, Pharmacophore Mapping and Docking Studies and Virtual Library Generation for Cycloguanil Derivatives as PfDHFR-TS Inhibitors

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 3 ]


Probir Kumar Ojha and Kunal Roy   Pages 173 - 199 ( 27 )


Resistance of available antimalarial drugs against Plasmodium species is one of the major problems of malaria control in the developing world. In the present study, we have performed QSAR, pharmacophore mapping and molecular docking studies of cycloguanil derivatives as Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase thymidylate synthase (PfDHFR-TS) inhibitors to explore essential features required for the antimalarial activity and important interaction patterns between the enzyme and ligands for the design of new potent PfDHFR-TS inhibitors. The QSAR studies have been carried out using topological parameters along with thermodynamic and structural descriptors. Acceptable values of internal and external validation parameters for the developed QSAR models confirm acceptability of the models. Pharmacophore mapping revealed that two hydrogen bond donor (HBD) features and a hydrophobic feature (HYD) are important parameters for PfDHFR-TS inhibitory activity. The docking studies suggest that the PfDHFR-TS inhibitors interact with Asp54, Ile14, Ile164, ser108, Ser111, Tyr170, Met55, Ala16, Thr185, Leu46, Cys15, Phe58, Ile112, Trp48, Tyr57 and Leu119 amino acid residues. The QSAR, pharmacophore and docking studies inferred that i) branching of the substituents at R1 and R2 positions should be less (small alkyl chain substituents are favored); ii) the electronegativity of the molecules should be high but within some limit; iii) the size and volume of the molecules should be high; iv) molecules should be flexible enough; v) R configuration at C6 position of the triazine ring favors the inhibitory binding affinity; vi) the substituents of the phenyl ring at 3, 4 and 5 position of the phenyl ring should be small hydrophobic groups. Based on these studies, we have designed a library of cycloguanil derivatives with good in silico predicted PfDHFR-TS inhibitory activity.


QSAR, pharmacophore, docking, antimalarials, dihydrofolate reductase thymidylate synthase, validation, Plasmodium, malaria, cycloguanil, PfDHFR-TS, hydrogen bond donor, hydrophobic feature


Drug Theoretics and Cheminformatics Laboratory, Division of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry,Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata 700 032 (India).

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