AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an important therapeutic target for the potential treatment of metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Recently, various classes of compounds that activate AMPK by direct or indirect interactions have been reported. The importance of computer-aided drug design approaches in the search for potent activators of AMPK is now established, including structure-based design, ligand-based design, fragment-based design, as well as structural analysis. This review article highlights the computer-aided drug design approaches utilized to discover of activators targeting AMPK. The principles, advantages or limitation of the different methods are also being discussed together with examples of applications taken from the literatures.
Keywords: AMP-activated protein kinase, activator, structure-based drug design, ligand-based drug design, fragment-based, drug design, structural analysis, fragment-based drug design, QSAR, pharmacophore modellng, molecular docking, virtual screening