Background: The diazenyl compounds (-N=N- linkage) have been reported to have antimicrobial activity. In modern drug discovery, the drug-receptor interactions are generally explored by the molecular docking studies.
Materials and Methods: Three categories of diazenyl scaffolds were screened for the docking studies to explore the binding mechanism of interaction with various microbial targets. The diazenyl Schiff bases (SBN-20, SBN-21, SBN-25, SBN-33, SBN-39, SBN-40 and SBN-42), naphthol pharmacophore based diazenyl Schiff bases (NS-2, NS-8, NS-12, NS-15, NS-21, and NS-23), morpholine based diazenyl chalcones (MD-6, MD-9, MD-14, MD-16, MD-20, and MD-21) were docked against various bacterial and fungal proteins in comparison with different standard drugs. Further, the drug likeliness and ADME properties of these molecules were predicted by QikProp module of the Schrodinger software.
Results: Most of the derivatives had shown less docking scores and binding energies towards bacterial proteins such as dihydropteroate synthase (PDB:2VEG), glucosamine-6-phosphate synthase (PDB:2VF5), dihydrofolate reductase (PDB:3SRW) in comparison with the standard drugs. The naphthol based diazenyl Schiff bases NS-21 and NS-23 were predicted to act on the cytochrome P450 sterol 14-alpha-demethylase (CYP51) (PDB:5FSA) involved in sterol biosynthesis, an essential target for antifungal drugs. The derivative MD-6, NS-2, NS-21, and NS-23 had shown high docking scores against bacterial DNA topoisomerase (PDB:3TTZ) in comparison with the standard drug ciprofloxacin. Further, most of the synthesized derivatives had shown drug like characters.
Conclusion: Hence, these compounds can be developed as novel antibacterial agents as potent DNA topoisomerase inhibitors and antifungal agents as CYP51 inhibitors.