Molecular Docking and QSAR Studies as Computational Tools Exploring the Rescue Ability of F508del CFTR Correctors

Giada Righetti, Monica Casale, Nara Liessi, Bruno Tasso, Annalisa Salis, Michele Tonelli, Enrico Millo, Nicoletta Pedemonte, Paola Fossa, Elena Cichero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the autosomal recessive disorder most recurrent in Caucasian populations. Different mutations involving the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator protein (CFTR) gene, which encodes the CFTR channel, are involved in CF. A number of life-prolonging therapies have been conceived and deeply investigated to combat this disease. Among them, the administration of the so-called CFTR modulators, such as correctors and potentiators, have led to quite beneficial effects. Recently, based on QSAR (quantitative structure activity relationship) studies, we reported the rational design and synthesis of compound 2, an aminoarylthiazole-VX-809 hybrid derivative exhibiting promising F508del-CFTR corrector ability. Herein, we explored the docking mode of the prototype VX-809 as well as of the aforementioned correctors in order to derive useful guidelines for the rational design of further analogues. In addition, we refined our previous QSAR analysis taking into account our first series of in-house hybrids. This allowed us to optimize the QSAR model based on the chemical structure and the potency profile of hybrids as F508del-CFTR correctors, identifying novel molecular descriptors explaining the SAR of the dataset. This study is expected to speed up the discovery process of novel potent CFTR modulators.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInt J Mol Sci
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 2020


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