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Browsing by Subject "ZINC"

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  • Heikkilä, Aki (2015)
    Lead molecule search is the first part of drug design. This process can be done using computerized docking of ligands into target proteins. Usually this requires expensive software and powerful computer systems specifically made for the process. There are however some programs that are available for free and can be run on home computers. The purpose of this Master's Thesis was to see how these free software can be used for the task of docking and also to create a method or a guideline for such work. Protein kinase C (PKC), a popular target for drug design, was chosen as a target of inhibitor design. PKC is part of a larger family of serine/threonine kinases and formed of 10 isoforms all with different effects on cellular functions. The large amount of related kinases and the similarities in their sequences make finding selective inhibitors a difficult process. Homology models of all PKC isoforms in three known conformations solved by x-ray diffraction (pdb: 1XJD, 2I0E and 3A8W) were created using Modeller. Into these models a set of possible ligands from the free database of molecules ZINC was docked using Autodock Vina utilizing a script created for docking multiple ligands into multiple targets. The dockings resulted in some interesting results. Six molecules were recognized as possible lead molecules for further research. None of these molecules had any patents or previous results of protein kinase inhibition connected to them. The most interesting result was the finding that coluracetam, a nootropic drug of the racetam family, might be a protein kinase inhibitor. Racetams are usually considered drugs that lead to PKC activation. It has been proposed that inhibitors may prolong the lifetime of kinases in the cells leading to increased activity in the long term. In our opinion coluracetam might prove to be a good tool for studying the complex way kinase activity is modulated. The methods and scripts used in this work will be released for free use.