Journal of chemical information and modeling

Discovery of multitarget-directed ligands against Alzheimer's disease through systematic prediction of chemical-protein interactions.

PMID 25531792


To determine chemical-protein interactions (CPI) is costly, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. In silico prediction of CPI can facilitate the target identification and drug discovery. Although many in silico target prediction tools have been developed, few of them could predict active molecules against multitarget for a single disease. In this investigation, naive Bayesian (NB) and recursive partitioning (RP) algorithms were applied to construct classifiers for predicting the active molecules against 25 key targets toward Alzheimer's disease (AD) using the multitarget-quantitative structure-activity relationships (mt-QSAR) method. Each molecule was initially represented with two kinds of fingerprint descriptors (ECFP6 and MACCS). One hundred classifiers were constructed, and their performance was evaluated and verified with internally 5-fold cross-validation and external test set validation. The range of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) for the test sets was from 0.741 to 1.0, with an average of 0.965. In addition, the important fragments for multitarget against AD given by NB classifiers were also analyzed. Finally, the validated models were employed to systematically predict the potential targets for six approved anti-AD drugs and 19 known active compounds related to AD. The prediction results were confirmed by reported bioactivity data and our in vitro experimental validation, resulting in several multitarget-directed ligands (MTDLs) against AD, including seven acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors ranging from 0.442 to 72.26 μM and four histamine receptor 3 (H3R) antagonists ranging from 0.308 to 58.6 μM. To be exciting, the best MTDL DL0410 was identified as an dual cholinesterase inhibitor with IC50 values of 0.442 μM (AChE) and 3.57 μM (BuChE) as well as a H3R antagonist with an IC50 of 0.308 μM. This investigation is the first report using mt-QASR approach to predict chemical-protein interaction for a single disease and discovering highly potent MTDLs. This protocol may be useful for in silico multitarget prediction of other diseases.