Molecular modeling simulation studies reveal new potential inhibitors against HPV E6 protein

Joel Ricci-López, Abraham Vidal-Limon, Matías Zunñiga, Verónica A. Jimènez, Joel B. Alderete, Carlos A. Brizuela, Sergio Aguila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) have been identified as the etiologic agent of some anogenital tract, head, and neck cancers. Although prophylactic HPV vaccines have been approved; it is still necessary a drug-based treatment against the infection and its oncogenic effects. The E6 oncoprotein is one of the most studied therapeutic targets of HPV, it has been identified as a key factor in cell immortalization and tumor progression in HPV-positive cells. E6 can promote the degradation of p53, a tumor suppressor protein, through the interaction with the cellular ubiquitin ligase E6AP. Therefore, preventing the formation of the E6-E6AP complex is one of the main strategies to inhibit the viability and proliferation of infected cells. Herein, we propose an in silico pipeline to identify small-molecule inhibitors of the E6-E6AP interaction. Virtual screening was carried out by predicting the ADME properties of the molecules and performing ensemble-based docking simulations to E6 protein followed by binding free energy estimation through MM/PB(GB)SA methods. Finally, the top-three compounds were selected, and their stability in the E6 docked complex and their effect in the inhibition of the E6-E6AP interaction was corroborated by molecular dynamics simulation. Therefore, this pipeline and the identified molecules represent a new starting point in the development of anti-HPV drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0213028
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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