Given the special role of insulin and leptin signaling in various biological responses, protein-tyrosine phosphatase-1B (PTP1B) was regarded as a novel therapeutic target for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity. However, owing to the highly conserved (sequence identity of about 74%) in active pocket, targeting PTP1B for drug discovery is a great challenge. In this study, we employed the software package Discovery Studio to develop 3D QSAR pharmacophore models for PTP1B and TCPTP inhibitors. It was further validated by three methods (cost analysis, test set prediction, and Fisher's test) to show that the models can be used to predict the biological activities of compounds without costly and time-consuming synthesis. The criteria for virtual screening were also validated by testing the selective PTP1B inhibitors. Virtual screening experiments and subsequent in vitro evaluation of promising hits revealed a novel and selective inhibitor of PTP1B over TCPTP. After that, a most likely binding mode was proposed. Thus, the findings reported here may provide a new strategy in discovering selective PTP1B inhibitors.
The current manuscript describes for the first time a novel class of selective inhibitors of PTP1B over TCPTP by means of the powerful ‘3D QSAR’ technique. Our results further indicate that the new inhibitors hold high potential to become promising drug candidates for developing novel and powerful drugs for diabetes mellitus.