Design and selection of novel C1s inhibitors by in silico and in vitro approaches

Szilágyi, Katalin and Hajdú, István and Flachner, Beáta and Lőrincz, Zsolt and Balczer, Júlia and Gál, Péter and Závodszky, Péter and Pirl, Chiara and Balogh, Balázs and Mándity, István and Cseh, Sándor and Dormán, György (2019) Design and selection of novel C1s inhibitors by in silico and in vitro approaches. MOLECULES, 24 (20). ISSN 1420-3049


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The complement system is associated with various diseases such as inflammation or autoimmune diseases. Complement-targeted drugs could provide novel therapeutic intervention against the above diseases. C1s, a serine protease, plays an important role in the CS and could be an attractive target since it blocks the system at an early stage of the complement cascade. Designing C1 inhibitors is particularly challenging since known inhibitors are restricted to a narrow bioactive chemical space in addition selectivity over other serine proteases is an important requirement. The typical architecture of a small molecule inhibitor of C1s contains an amidine (or guanidine) residue, however, the discovery of non-amidine inhibitors might have high value, particularly if novel chemotypes and/or compounds displaying improved selectivity are identified. We applied various virtual screening approaches to identify C1s focused libraries that lack the amidine/guanidine functionalities, then the in silico generated libraries were evaluated by in vitro biological assays. While 3D structure-based methods were not suitable for virtual screening of C1s inhibitors, and a 2D similarity search did not lead to novel chemotypes, pharmacophore model generation allowed us to identify two novel chemotypes with submicromolar activities. In three screening rounds we tested altogether 89 compounds and identified 20 hit compounds (<10 μM activities; overall hit rate: 22.5%). The highest activity determined was 12 nM (1,2,4-triazole), while for the newly identified chemotypes (1,3-benzoxazin-4-one and thieno[2,3-d][1,3]oxazin-4-one) it was 241 nM and 549 nM, respectively. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Complement system; Virtual screening; Biological screening; C1s inhibitor; FactorXa; Pharmacophore modelling;
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH301 Biology / biológia
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2019 14:49
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2019 14:49

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