Cell wall of mycobacterium acts as a primary interface which helps in the regulation of important functions and also aids to pathogenicity and virulence of the organism, making it a crucial target for drug discovery. Decaprenylphosphoryl-d-ribose 2′-epimerase (DprE), is important for the growth and survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. DprE1 is a donor of arabinose sugars which helps in the formation of cell wall components-lipoarabinomannan and arabinogalactan through Decaprenyl-phosphoryl d-arabinose (DPA) pathway. In our study, we have chosen Azaindole derivatives as DprE1 inhibitors which possess non-covalent property. TBA7371 (azaindole derivative, non-covalent inhibitor) is currently in first phase of clinical trials as DprE1 inhibitor. Azaindoles have been found to be equally potent against drug-sensitive and isoniazid/rifampin-resistant strains. Hence, azaindoles are an attractive class for further optimization as potential DprE1 inhibitors for TB. Structure-based pharmacophore model was generated to investigate the compounds with similar molecular features. Compounds having a good fitness score and pharmacophoric features were compared with the molecules in clinical trial and were proceeded for molecular docking studies to identify the binding affinity of the compounds with target protein DprE1. Energy based calculations using Prime MM-GBSA of Schrodinger was further executed to examine free binding energy of the ligands. The prediction of pharmacokinetic parameters (ADME) plays an important role to identify safe and potent molecules which may further have potential to become drug candidates. Induced-fit docking approach and Molecular Dynamics integrated with Prime MM-GBSA calculations of both hit compounds has further confirmed the binding affinity and stability. All the results obtained from our study were interpreted and compared with DprE1 inhibitor in clinical trials. Study identified ZINC000170252277 as a potential hit compound for further biological evaluation as DprE1 inhibitor.
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