Receptor-based Virtual Ligand Screening for the Identification of Novel CDC25 Phosphatase Inhibitors

CDC25 phosphatases play critical roles in cell cycle regulation and are attractive targets for anticancer therapies. Several small non-peptide molecules are known to inhibit CDC25, but many of them appear to form a covalent bond with the enzyme or act through oxidation of the thiolate group of the catalytic cysteine. Structure-based virtual ligand screening computations were performed with FRED, Surflex, and LigandFit, a compound collection of over 310,000 druglike molecules and the crystal structure of CDC25B in order to identify novel classes of ligands. In vitro experiments carried out on a selected list of 1500 molecules led to the discovery of 99 compounds able to inhibit CDC25B activity at 100 µM. Further docking computations were applied, allowing us to propose a binding mode for the most potent molecule (IC50 = 13 µM). Our best compounds represent promising new classes of CDC25 inhibitors that also exhibit antiproliferative properties.



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