Probing Orthologue and Isoform Specific Inhibition of Kinases using In Silico Strategies: Perspectives for Improved Drug Design

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Virginia Tech


Kinases are involved in a multitude of signaling pathways, such as cellular growth, proliferation, and apoptosis, and have been discovered to be important in numerous diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular health, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibrosis. Due to the involvement in a wide variety of disease types, kinases have been studied for exploitation and use as targets for therapeutics. There are many limitations with developing kinase target therapeutics due to the high similarity of kinase active site composition, making the utilization of new techniques to determine kinase exploitability for therapeutic design with high specificity essential for the advancement of novel drug strategies. In silico approaches have become increasingly prevalent for providing useful insight into protein structure-function relationships, offering new information to researchers about drug discovery strategies. This work utilizes streamlined computational techniques on an atomistic level to aid in the identification of orthologue and isoform exploitability, identifying new features to be utilized for future inhibitor design. By exploring two separate kinases and kinase targeting domains, we found that orthologues and isoforms contain distinct features, likely responsible for their biological roles, which can be utilized and exploited for selective drug development. In this work, we identified new exploitable features between kinase orthologues for treatment in Human African Trypanosomiasis and structural morphology differences between two kinase isoforms that can potentially be exploited for cancer therapeutic design.



proteins kinases, molecular dynamics simulations, molecular docking, protein structure-function, drug discovery