In todays drug discovery process, the very early consideration of ADME properties is aimed at a reduction of drug candidate drop out rate in later development stages. Apart from in vitro testing, in silico methods are evaluated as complementary screening tools for compounds with unfavorable ADME attributes. Especially members of the cytochrome P450 (P450) enzyme superfamily - e.g. P450 1A2, P450 2C9, P450 2C19, P450 2D6, and P450 3A4 - contribute to xenobiotic metabolism, and compound interaction with one of these enzymes is therefore critically evaluated. Pharmacophore models are widely used to identify common features amongst ligands for any target. In this study, both structure-based and ligand-based models for prominent drug-metabolizing members of the P450 family were generated employing the software packages LigandScout and Catalyst. Essential chemical ligand features for substrate and inhibitor activity for all five P450 enzymes investigated were determined and analyzed. Finally, a collection of 11 pharmacophores for substrates and inhibitors was evaluated as an in silico P450 profiling tool that could be used for early ADME estimation of new chemical entities.
Keywords: Cytochrome P450, pharmacophore modeling, screening tool, in silico profiling, Catalyst, LigandScout
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