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Cholera is a major global threat, affecting millions each year. The ADP ribosyltransferase activity of the active cholera toxin catalyses the massive loss of water and electrolytes during cholera infections. The active toxin heterodimer comprises the A1 subunit from Vibrio cholerae and ARF (ADP Ribosylation Factor) from the human host. Although the active toxin is a potential target for drug discovery against cholera, it has been scarcely targeted to date. The A1-ARF interface contains a potential druggable site for small molecule inhibitors. By combining a sequential docking and scoring strategy with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, this study identified hits against the protein-protein interface (PPI) of the active cholera toxin from an in-house library of 9,175 ADMET-screened alkaloids. The docking algorithms and scoring functions of Glide SP, Glide XP, and AutoDock were employed for initial library screening. Three alkaloids were initially selected by docking-based virtual screening. The stability of the hit-toxin complexes was validated by MD simulations. Two of the three hits, namely, A6225 (7-formyldehydrothalicsimidine) and A16503 (1,2,7,8-tetrahydroxy dibenz[cd,f]indol-4(5H)-one), formed stable complexes with the toxin. Analyses of the hydrogen bond occupancies revealed that the hits formed stable hydrogen bonds with the toxin PPI. The hits identified herein can serve as reference compounds for drug discovery against cholera in the future.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology
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