Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 233–242 | Cite as

Comparison of azacyclic urea A-98881 as HIV-1 protease inhibitor with cage dimeric N-benzyl 4-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1,4- dihydropyridine as representative of a novel class of HIV-1 protease inhibitors: A molecular modeling study

  • Andreas Hilgeroth
  • Romy Fleischer
  • Michael Wiese
  • Frank W. Heinemann


The functional groups of cage dimeric N-alkyl substituted 3,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)-4-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1,4-dihydropyridines are similar to those of cyclic and azacyclic ureas that are potent inhibitors of HIV-1 protease of the dihydroxyethylene- and hydroxyethylene type, respectively. In the following study the conformity of common functional groups is investigated concerning their orientation in space as well as in the enzyme HIV-1 protease. Starting from X-ray crystal data of the centrosymmetric cage dimeric N-benzyl derivative with ester groups, the derivative with hydroxymethylene groups was built and a systematic conformational search was performed for the conformationally important torsion angles considering electrostatic and van der Waals interactions. From the huge number of conformations those comprising centrosymmetrical and C2-symmetrical energy minima were selected and minimized. The three remaining conformers were fitted to the azacyclic urea A-98881 selected from the HIV-1 protease enzyme- inhibitor complex using the centroids of the corresponding aromatic residues and additionally by the field fit option of the Advanced CoMFA module of SYBYL. Interestingly, the energetically most favourable one, which, additionally, possesses C2-symmetry like the active site cavity of HIV-1 protease, showed the best fit. Comparing the electrostatic potential (EP) of the latter with the EP of A-98881 the aromatic residues show excellent accordance. Slight differences in the extent of the EP were found in the areas of the hydroxymethylene groups of the cage dimer and the single hydroxy group as well as the urea carbonyl group of A- 98881, respectively. In order to compare the binding possibilities to the enzyme HIV-1 protease for the cage dimer and A-98881, their interaction fields with certain probes (CH3 for alkyl, NHamide, and carbonyl, O− of COO−), representing the decisive functional groups of the active site, have been calculated using GRID and projected into the enzyme placing the structures according to the position of A-98881 in the enzyme- inhibitor complex. The strongest calculated fields of the O− probe were found near Asp 25 for both structures. Another respective conformity consists in the overlap of the fields for the NHamide probe near Ile 50 and 50′ for the investigated cage dimer and A-98881.

centrosymmetry CoMFA-Field fit GRID HIV-1 protease X-ray crystal structure 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Hilgeroth
    • 1
  • Romy Fleischer
    • 1
  • Michael Wiese
    • 1
  • Frank W. Heinemann
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Department of PharmacyMartin-Luther-University Halle-WittenbergHalleGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Inorganic Chemistry II, Friedrich-Alexander- University Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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