Exploring species-specific inhibitors with multiple target sites on S. aureus pyruvate kinase using a computational workflow

Yüce M., Sarica Z., Ates B., Kurkcuoglu O.

JOURNAL OF BIOMOLECULAR STRUCTURE & DYNAMICS, vol.41, no.8, pp.3496-3510, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/07391102.2022.2051743
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.3496-3510
  • Keywords: Residue interaction networks, molecular dynamics simulations, allostery, drug repurposing, glycolytic pathway
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Experimental evidence indicated that bacterial pyruvate kinase of glycolysis can be evaluated as an alternative target to eliminate infections, while antibiotic resistance poses a global threat. Here, we use a computational workflow to reveal and investigate the potential allosteric sites of methicillin-resistant S. aureus PK, which can help in designing species-specific drugs to inhibit activity of this organism. Residue interaction networks point to a known allosteric site at the small C-C interface, a potential allosteric site near the small interface (site #1), and a second potential allosteric site at the large interface (site #2). 2 mu s-long molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with AMBER16 generate different conformations of one narrow target site. Known and potential allosteric sites on the selected conformers are investigated using ensemble docking with AutoDock Vina and a library of 2447 FDA-approved drugs. We determine 18 hits, comprising ergot-alkaloids, anti-cancer-agents, antivirals, analgesics, cardiac glycosides, all with a high docking z-score for three sites. 5 selected compounds with high, average and low z-scores are subjected to 50 ns-long MD simulations for MM-GBSA calculations. Delta G(bind) values up to -49.3 kcal/mol at the C-C interface, up to -32.7 kcal/mol at site #1, and up to -53.3 kcal/mol at site #2 support the docking calculations. We investigate mitapivat and TT-232 as reference compounds under clinical trial, targeting human PK isomers. We suggest 18 FDA-approved hits from the docking calculations and TT-232 as potential inhibitors with multiple target sites on S. aureus PK. This study also proposes pharmacophores models for de novo drug design. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma