Table of Contents
Journal of Computational Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 637901, 9 pages
Research Article

Structure-Based Virtual Screening and Molecular Dynamic Simulation Studies to Identify Novel Cytochrome bc1 Inhibitors as Antimalarial Agents

Department of Pharmacoinformatics, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Sector 67, S.A.S. Nagar, Punjab 160 062, India

Received 18 April 2013; Revised 19 June 2013; Accepted 23 June 2013

Academic Editor: Said Audi

Copyright © 2013 Rahul P. Gangwal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cytochrome bc1 (EC, bc1) is an essential component of the cellular respiratory chain, which catalyzes electron transfer from quinol to cytochrome c and concomitantly the translocation of protons across the membrane. It has been identified as a promising target in malaria parasites. The structure-based pharmacophore modelling and molecular dynamic simulation approach have been employed to identify novel inhibitors of cytochrome bc1. The best structure-based pharmacophore hypothesis (Hypo1) consists of one hydrogen bond acceptor (HBA), one general hydrophobic (HY), and two hydrophobic aromatic features (HYAr). Further, hydrogen interactions and hydrophobic interactions of known potent inhibitors with cytochrome bc1 were compared with Hypo1, which showed that the Hypo1 has good predictive ability. The validated Hypo1 was used to screen the chemical databases. The hits obtained were subsequently subjected to the molecular docking analysis to identify false-positive hits. Moreover, the molecular docking results were further validated by molecular dynamics simulations. Binding-free energy analysis using MM-GBSA method reveals that the van der Waals interactions and the electrostatic energy provide the basis for favorable absolute free energy of the complex. The five virtual hits were identified as possible candidates for the designing of potent cytochrome bc1 inhibitors.