EGFR-TK has been a target strongly associated with the development of NSCLCs. A structure-based virtual screening campaign was launched against EGFR-TK by virtual screening a 3D library of 167 commercially available small molecules downloaded from ChemBridge Corporation. The virtual screen identified 12 virtual hit molecules, which were biologically evaluated against an EGFR-TK inhibitor-sensitive NSCLC cell line, A549. A quinazoline-based molecule 1, was most active and displayed ∼58% cytotoxicity at 20 μM single dose. The mode of cell death suggests molecule 1 induced apoptosis, which is characteristic of EGFR-TK pathway inhibition. A 50 ns MD simulation was conducted on three different systems: free EGFR-TK, molecule 1 complexed to EGFR-TK, and the positive control, lapatinib, complexed to EGFR-TK. The MD simulations showed increase in stabilisation of the EGFR-TK structure for the complexed systems, i.e., lower RMSDs and RMSFs for complexed EGFR-TK structures compared to the free EGFR-TK system. The binding affinities were estimated using MM/PBSA in the last 10 ns of the MD simulation that revealed comparable binding free energies between molecule 1 and lapatinib, ΔG = -25.0 and -23.9 kcal/mol, respectively. Per residue binding free energy decomposition studies revealed non-polar interactions contributed mostly to the binding free energies. Residues Leu718, Arg841 and Phe856 were predicted to contribute most to the binding free energies for molecule 1.
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