Novel mycosin protease MycP1 inhibitors identified by virtual screening and 4D fingerprints

Adel Hamza, Jonathan M. Wagner, Timothy J. Evans, Mykhaylo S. Frasinyuk, Stefan Kwiatkowski, Chang Guo Zhan, David S. Watt, Konstantin V. Korotkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The rise of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis lends urgency to the need for new drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB). The identification of a serine protease, mycosin protease-1 (MycP1), as the crucial agent in hydrolyzing the virulence factor, ESX-secretion-associated protein B (EspB), potentially opens the door to new tuberculosis treatment options. Using the crystal structure of mycobacterial MycP1 in the apo form, we performed an iterative ligand- and structure-based virtual screening (VS) strategy to identify novel, nonpeptide, small-molecule inhibitors against MycP1 protease. Screening of ∼485-000 ligands from databases at the Genomics Research Institute (GRI) at the University of Cincinnati and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) using our VS approach, which integrated a pharmacophore model and consensus molecular shape patterns of active ligands (4D fingerprints), identified 81 putative inhibitors, and in vitro testing subsequently confirmed two of them as active inhibitors. Thereafter, the lead structures of each VS round were used to generate a new 4D fingerprint that enabled virtual rescreening of the chemical libraries. Finally, the iterative process identified a number of diverse scaffolds as lead compounds that were tested and found to have micromolar IC50 values against the MycP 1 target. This study validated the efficiency of the SABRE 4D fingerprints as a means of identifying novel lead compounds in each screening round of the databases. Together, these results underscored the value of using a combination of in silico iterative ligand- and structure-based virtual screening of chemical libraries with experimental validation for the identification of promising structural scaffolds, such as the MycP1 inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1166-1173
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Information and Modeling
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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