Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 184, Issue 4, pp 1421–1440 | Cite as

Discovery of Potent Neuraminidase Inhibitors Using a Combination of Pharmacophore-Based Virtual Screening and Molecular Simulation Approach

  • Rohini K
  • Shanthi V


Neuraminidase (NA), a surface protein, facilitates the release of nascent virus and thus spreads infection. It has been renowned as a potential drug target for influenza A virus infection. The drugs such as oseltamivir, zanamivir, peramivir, and laninamivir are approved for the treatment of influenza infection. Additionally, investigational drugs namely MK2206, tamiphosphor, crenatoside, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are also available for the treatment. However, recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic and drug-resistant influenza A strains highlighted the need to discover novel NA inhibitor. Keeping this in mind, in the current investigation, an effort was made to ascertain potent inhibitors using pharmacophore-based virtual screening and docking approach. A 3D pharmacophore model was generated based on the chemical features of approved and investigational NA inhibitors using PHASE module of Schrödinger suite. The model consists of two hydrogen bond acceptors (A), one hydrogen bond donor (D), and one positively charged group (P), AADP. Subsequently, molecules with same pharmacophoric features were screened from among the two million compounds available in the ZINC database using the generated pharmacophore hypothesis. Ligand filtration was also done to obtain an efficient collection of hit molecules by employing Lipinski “rule of five” using Qikprop module. Finally, the screened molecule was subjected to docking and molecular dynamic simulations to examine the inhibiting activity of the compounds. The results of our analysis suggest that “acebutolol hydrochloride” (156792) could be the promising candidates for the treatment of influenza A virus infection.


Neuraminidase Pharmacophore model Virtual screening ZINC database Molecular simulation 



The authors thank VIT University for providing “VIT SEED GRANT” for carrying out this research work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, School of Bio Sciences and TechnologyVIT UniversityVelloreIndia

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