Most enzymes act on more than a single substrate. There is frequently a need to block the production of a single pathogenic outcome of enzymatic activity on a substrate but to avoid blocking others of its catalytic actions. Full blocking might cause severe side effects because some products of that catalysis may be vital. Substrate selectivity is required but not possible to achieve by blocking the catalytic residues of an enzyme. That is the basis of the need for "Substrate Selective Inhibitors" (SSI), and there are several molecules characterized as SSI. However, none have yet been designed or discovered by computational methods. We demonstrate a computational approach to the discovery of Substrate Selective Inhibitors for one enzyme, Prolyl Oligopeptidase (POP) (E.C 22.214.171.124), a serine protease which cleaves small peptides between Pro and other amino acids. Among those are Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone (TRH) and Angiotensin-III (Ang-III), differing in both their binding (Km) and in turnover (kcat). We used our in-house "Iterative Stochastic Elimination" (ISE) algorithm and the structure-based "Pharmacophore" approach to construct two models for identifying SSI of POP. A dataset of ~1.8 million commercially available molecules was initially reduced to less than 12,000 which were screened by these models to a final set of 20 molecules which were sent for experimental validation (five random molecules were tested for comparison). Two molecules out of these 20, one with a high score in the ISE model, the other successful in the pharmacophore model, were confirmed by in vitro measurements. One is a competitive inhibitor of Ang-III (increases its Km), but non-competitive towards TRH (decreases its Vmax).
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© 2020 Da'adoosh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.