Binding affinity toward human prion protein of some anti-prion compounds — Assessment based on QSAR modeling, molecular docking and non-parametric ranking

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The present study is based on the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis of binding affinity toward human prion protein (huPrPC) of quinacrine, pyridine dicarbonitrile, diphenylthiazole and diphenyloxazole analogs applying different linear and non-linear chemometric regression techniques, including univariate linear regression, multiple linear regression, partial least squares regression and artificial neural networks. The QSAR analysis distinguished molecular lipophilicity as an important factor that contributes to the binding affinity. Principal component analysis was used in order to reveal similarities or dissimilarities among the studied compounds. The analysis of in silico absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity (ADMET) parameters was conducted. The ranking of the studied analogs on the basis of their ADMET parameters was done applying the sum of ranking differences, as a relatively new chemometric method. The main aim of the study was to reveal the most important molecular features whose changes lead to the changes in the binding affinities of the studied compounds. Another point of view on the binding affinity of the most promising analogs was established by application of molecular docking analysis. The results of the molecular docking were proven to be in agreement with the experimental outcome.

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