The non-receptor tyrosine kinase proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) is a critical mediator of signaling from cell surface growth factor and adhesion receptors to cell migration, proliferation, and survival. Emerging evidence indicates that signaling by Pyk2 regulates hematopoietic cell response, bone density, neuronal degeneration, angiogenesis, and cancer. These physiological and pathological roles of Pyk2 warrant it as a valuable therapeutic target for invasive cancers, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and inflammatory cellular response. Despite its potential as a therapeutic target, no potent and selective inhibitor of Pyk2 is available at present. As a first step toward discovering specific potential inhibitors of Pyk2, we used an in silico high-throughput screening approach. A virtual library of six million lead-like compounds was docked against four different high-resolution Pyk2 kinase domain crystal structures and further selected for predicted potency and ligand efficiency. Ligand selectivity for Pyk2 over focal adhesion kinase (FAK) was evaluated by comparative docking of ligands and measurement of binding free energy so as to obtain 40 potential candidates. Finally, the structural flexibility of a subset of the docking complexes was evaluated by molecular dynamics simulation, followed by intermolecular interaction analysis. These compounds may be considered as promising leads for further development of highly selective Pyk2 inhibitors.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 Meirson et al.
- Efficiency metrics
- Molecular dynamics
- Virtual screen