Yadav DK, et al. Front Chem 2020.
Aquaporin-3 (AQP3) is one of the aquaglyceroporins, which is expressed in the basolateral layer of the skin membrane. Studies have reported that human skin squamous cell carcinoma overexpresses AQP3 and inhibition of its function may alleviate skin tumorigenesis. In the present study, we have applied a virtual screening method that encompasses filters for physicochemical properties and molecular docking to select potential hit compounds that bind to the Aquaporin-3 protein. Based on molecular
docking results, the top 20 hit compounds were analyzed for stability in the binding pocket using unconstrained molecular dynamics simulations and further evaluated for binding free energy. Furthermore, examined the ligand-unbinding pathway of the inhibitor from its bound form to explore possible routes for inhibitor approach to the ligand-binding site. With a good docking score, stability in the binding pocket, and free energy of binding, these hit compounds can be developed as Aquaporin-3 inhibitors in the near future.