A quantitative structure-activity relationship study for structurally diverse HIV-1 protease inhibitors: Contribution of conformational flexibility to inhibitory activity

Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry
Keigo Gohda


In this study, we investigated by linear regression model the SAR data of the 15 HIV-1 protease inhibitors possessing structurally diverse scaffolds. First, a regression model was developed only using the enzyme-inhibitor interaction energy as a term of the model, but did not provide a good correlation with the inhibitory activity (R2 = 0.580 and Q2 = 0.500). Then, we focused on the conformational flexibility of the inhibitors which may represent the diversity of the inhibitors, and added two conformational parameters into the model, respectively: the number of rotatable bonds of ligands (deltaSrot) and the distortion energy of ligands (deltaElig). The regression model by adding deltaElig successfully improved the quality of the model (R2 = 0.771 and Q2 = 0.713) while the model with deltaSrot was unsuccessful. The prediction for a training inhibitor by the deltaElig model also showed good agreement with experimental activity. These results suggest that the conformational flexibility of HIV-1 protease inhibitors directly contributes to the enzyme inhibition.


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