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In silico identification of small molecules as new cdc25 inhibitors through the correlation between chemosensitivity and protein expression pattern

  • Autori: Lauria A.; Martorana A.; Monica G.L.; Mannino S.; Mannino G.; Peri D.; Gentile C.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • Parole Chiave: Antiproliferative activity; Cdc25; Cell cycle; DRUDIT; HepG2; Molecular docking
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The cell division cycle 25 (Cdc25) protein family plays a crucial role in controlling cell proliferation, making it an excellent target for cancer therapy. In this work, a set of small molecules were identified as Cdc25 modulators by applying a mixed ligand-structure-based approach and taking advantage of the correlation between the chemosensitivity of selected structures and the protein expression pattern of the proposed target. In the first step of the in silico protocol, a set of molecules acting as Cdc25 inhibitors were identified through a new ligand-based protocol and the evaluation of a large database of molecular structures. Subsequently, induced-fit docking (IFD) studies allowed us to further reduce the number of compounds biologically screened. In vitro antiproliferative and enzymatic inhibition assays on the selected compounds led to the identification of new structurally heterogeneous inhibitors of Cdc25 proteins. Among them, J3955, the most active inhibitor, showed concentration-dependent antiproliferative activity against HepG2 cells, with GI50 in the low micromolar range. When J3955 was tested in cell-cycle perturbation experiments, it caused mitotic failure by G2/M-phase cell-cycle arrest. Finally, Western blotting analysis showed an increment of phosphorylated Cdk1 levels in cells exposed to J3955, indicating its specific influence in cellular pathways involving Cdc25 proteins.