Exploring Lead-Like Molecules of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Treatment Quest against Aliarcobacter butzleri: In Silico Toxicity Assessment, Dynamics Simulation, and Pharmacokinetic Profiling

Publication: BioMed Research Intl
Software: GastroPlus®


BackgroundAliarcobacter butzleri is a Gram-negative, curved or spiral-shaped, microaerophilic bacterium and causes human infections, specifically diarrhea, fever, and sepsis. The research objective of this study was to employ computer-aided drug design techniques to identify potential natural product inhibitors of a vital enzyme in this bacterium. The pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway in its core genome fraction is crucial for its survival and presents a potential target for novel therapeutics. Hence, novel small molecule inhibitors were identified (from traditional Chinese medicinal (TCM) compound library) against it, which may be used for possible curbing of infection by A. butzleri. Methods. A comprehensive subtractive genomics approach was utilized to identify a key enzyme (orotidine-phosphate decarboxylase) cluster conserved in the core genome fraction of A. butzleri. It was selected for inhibitor screening due to its vital role in pyrimidine biosynthesis. TCM library ( compounds) was screened against it using pharmacophore model based on orotidylic acid (control), and the obtained lead-like molecules were subjected to structural docking using AutoDock Vina. The top-scoring compounds, ZINC70454134, ZINC85632684, and ZINC85632721, underwent further scrutiny via a combination of physiological-based pharmacokinetics, toxicity assessment, and atomic-scale dynamics simulations (100 ns). Results. Among the screened compounds, ZINC70454134 displayed the most favorable characteristics in terms of binding, stability, absorption, and safety parameters. Overall, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) compounds exhibited high bioavailability, but in diseased states (cirrhosis, renal impairment, and steatosis), there was a significant decrease in absorption, Cmax, and AUC of the compounds compared to the healthy state. Furthermore, MD simulation demonstrated that the ODCase-ZINC70454134 complex had a superior overall binding affinity, supported by PCA proportion of variance and eigenvalue rank analysis. These favorable characteristics underscore its potential as a promising drug candidate. Conclusion. The computer-aided drug design approach employed for this study helped expedite the discovery of antibacterial compounds against A. butzleri, offering a cost-effective and efficient approach to address infection by it. It is recommended that ZINC70454134 should be considered for further experimental analysis due to its indication as a potential therapeutic agent for combating A. butzleri infections. This study provides valuable insights into the molecular basis of biophysical inhibition of A. butzleri through TCM compounds.

By Zarrin Basharat, Ibrar Ahmed, Sulaiman Mohammed Alnasser, Alotaibi Meshal and Yasir Waheed