Introduction: Phosphoinositide-Dependent Kinase-1 (PDK1) is a serine/threonine kinase, which belongs to AGC kinase family required by cancer cells.
Methods: Pharmacophoric space of 86 PDK1 inhibitors using six diverse sets of inhibitors was explored to identify high-quality pharmacophores. The best combination of pharmacophoric models and physicochemical descriptors were selected by genetic algorithm-based QSAR analysis that can elucidate the variation of bioactivity within the training inhibitors. Two successful orthogonal pharmacophores emerged in the optimum QSAR equation (r269 = 0.90, r2LOO= 0.86, F= 51.92, r2PRESS against 17 test inhibitors = 0.79). Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were used to estimate the QSAR-selected pharmacophores.
Results: 5 out of 11 compounds tested had shown potential intracellular PDK1 inhibition with the highest inhibition percent for compounds 92 and 93 as follows; 90 and 92% PDK1 inhibition, respectively.
Conclusion: PDK1 inhibitors are potential anticancer agents that can be discovered by combination method of ligand based design with QSAR and ROC analysis.