Virtual screening for novel COX-2 inhibitors using the ZINC database



Kotaprolu Naga Sudha1, *, Mohammed Shakira1, Paturi Prasanthi1, Nalla Sarika1, Ch Narasimha Kumar2 and Padavala Ajay Babu2



1Department of Microbiology, Sir C. R Reddy College for Women, Vatluru, Eluru 534125, India; 2ProGene Biosciences, Institute of Bioinformatics and Research Centre, 103, Bharat Towers, Dwaraka Nagar, Visakhapatnam 530016, India


Email; * Corresponding author


Article Type




received March 20, 2008; revised April 24, 2008; accepted April 25, 2008; published May 13, 2008



Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme binds to arachidonic acid and releases metabolites that are used to induce pain and inflammation. COX-2 selective inhibitors such as celecoxib, rofecoxib and valdecoxib are currently used to reduce inflammatory response. However, they lack anti-thrombotic activity and hence lead to cardiovascular and renal liabilities apart from gastrointestinal irritation. Therefore, there is still a need to develop more potent COX-2 inhibitors. In this paper, we report the screening of various compounds from the ZINC database (contains 4.6 million small molecule compounds) using the eHiTS (electronic High Throughput Screening) software tool against the COX-2 protein. The strategy employed can be conveniently split into two categories, viz. screening and docking, respectively. Screening was performed using molecular constraints tool to filter compounds with physico-chemical properties similar to the 6COX bound ligand SC-558. The analysis resulted in 1042 Lipinski compliant hits which are docked and scored to identify structurally novel ligands that make similar interactions to those of known ligands or may have different interactions with other parts of the binding site. Our screening approach identified two molecules ZINC00663976 (eHITS score of -7.135 kcal/mol) and ZINC02062094 (eHITS score of -7.242 kcal/mol) from the ZINC database. Their energy scores are better than the 6COX bound co-crystallized ligand SC-558 with an eHiTS score of -6.559 kcal/mol. Both the ligands were docked within the binding pocket forming interactions with Leu352, Phe518, Met522, Val523, Ala527 and Ser353. Visual inspection suggested similar orientation and binding mode for ZINC02062094 with SC-558 ligand. The NH group of the ligand formed hydrogen bond interactions with the backbone NH of Ala527.



cyclooxygenase; ZINC database; virtual screening; e-HiTS



Sudha et al., Bioinformation 2(8): 325-329 (2008)


Edited by

P. Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics


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