Screening inhibitors against the Ef-Tu of Fusobacterium nucleatum: a docking, ADMET and PBPK assessment study

Publication: Mol Divers
Software: GastroPlus®


The oral pathogen Fusobacterium nucleatum has recently been associated with an elevated risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), endometrial metastasis, chemoresistance, inflammation, metastasis, and DNA damage, along with several other diseases. This study aimed to explore the disruption of protein machinery of F. nucleatum via inhibition of elongation factor thermo unstable (Ef-Tu) protein, through natural products. No study on Ef-Tu inhibition by natural products or in Fusobacterium spp. exists till todate. Ef-Tu is an abundant specialized drug target in bacteria that varies from human Ef-Tu. Elfamycins target Ef-Tu and hence, Enacyloxin IIa was used to generate pharmacophore for virtual screening of three natural product libraries, Natural Product Activity and Species Source (NPASS) (n = 30000 molecules), Tibetan medicinal plant database (n = 54 molecules) and African medicinal plant database (n > 6000 molecules). Peptaibol Septocylindrin B (NPC141050), Hirtusneanoside, and ZINC95486259 were prioritized from these libraries as potential therapeutic candidates. ADMET profiling was done for safety assessment, physiological-based pharmacokinetic modeling in human and mouse for getting insight into drug interaction with body tissues and molecular dynamics was used to assess stability of the best hit NPC141050 (Septocylindrin B). Based on the promising results, we propose further in vitroin vivo and pharmacokinetic testing on the lead Septocylindrin B, for possible translation into therapeutic interventions.

By Ahmad Alzamami, Norah A. Alturki, Kanwal Khan, Zarrin Basharat & Mutaib M. Mashraqi