Journal article

Impact of HEC72702 chirality on the selective inhibition of hepatitis B virus capsid dimer: A dynamics–structure–energetics perspective

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Publication Details

Author list: Farrokhzadeh A, Akher FB, Olotu FA., Van Heerden FR.

Publisher: Wiley: 12 months

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Chemical Biology and Drug Design

Volume number: 97

Start page: 167

End page: 183

Total number of pages: 17

ISSN: 1747-0277

eISSN: 1747-0285



Chirality in drug design has been attracting wide interests and attention over the years based on its innate potentials of enhancing the selectivity and prowess of therapeutic molecules. This approach was fundamental to the recent design of two inhibitors, where (R,R)‐HEC72702 exhibited higher potency inhibition against hepatitis B virus capsid (HBVC) than (R,S)‐HEC72702. Nevertheless, the detailed molecular mechanism has remained unresolved. Here, we apply multiple computational approaches to explore, validate, and differentiate the binding modes of (R,R) and (R,S)HEC72702 and to explain the systematic roles mediated by chirality on the distinctive inhibition of HBVC dimer (HBVCd). Our findings revealed that chirality change from R,S to R,R engenders variations in the position of the propanoic acid group of HEC72702 toward the α5′ and C‐TER′ region of HBVCd chain B which could explain the higher inhibitory affinity of (R,R)HEC72702. Estimated binding free energies revealed a good correlation with bioactivity data. Moreover, analysis of energy decomposition revealed the prominent effects of van der Waals interactions in the binding process of both compounds to HBVCd. Furthermore, hierarchical clustering of residue‐based energetic contributions suggested two hot‐spot residues W125´ and F156´ play crucial roles in the systematic motions of the propanoic acid group toward chain B.


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Last updated on 2021-11-02 at 23:37