Background: Oxidative stress is a defense mechanism against malarial intracellular parasite
infection. On the other hand, the Human glutathione reductase enzyme reduces oxidative stress
in the cells, making the inhibitors of this enzyme a promising candidate for malaria treatment.
Objective: Rational drug design was used in this work to plan new human glutathione reductase inhibitors.
Methods: Virtual screening was performed using the ZINC database and molecular docking was
used to detect appropriate human glutathione reductase inhibitors. Based on the docking scores obtained,
the top three highest-ranked ligands were selected for the molecular dynamics simulation
study. The MD simulation was performed for each complex in a length of 100 ns.
Results: RMSD, RMSF and hydrogen bond analyzes were performed on the derived trajectories.
Molecular mechanics generalized born surface area (MM-GBSA) and pairwise per-residue free energy
decomposition analyzes were performed for the determination of binding free energy and the
determination of dominant residues involved in the binding process, respectively. The binding free
energy analysis showed that the molecule of 3-((7-(furan-2-ylmethyl)-5,6-diphenyl-7H-pyrrolo[2,3-
d] pyrimidin-4-yl) amino) propan-1-ol is the most potent inhibitor among the molecules considered
against human glutathione reductase enzyme.
Conclusion: This molecule can be considered a novel candidate for antimalarial treatments.