Elucidation of the inhibition mechanism of sulfiredoxin using molecular modeling and development of its inhibitors

Minsup Kim, Jinsun Kwon, Ja il Goo, Yongseok Choi, Art E. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


When intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) increase, cancer cells are more vulnerable to oxidative stress compared to normal cells; thus, the collapse of redox homeostasis can lead to selective death of cancer cells. Indeed, recent studies have shown that inhibition of sulfiredoxin (Srx), which participates in antioxidant mechanisms, induces ROS-mediated cancer cell death. In this paper, we describe how an Srx inhibitor, J14 (4-[[[4-[4-(2-chlor-ophenyl)-1-piperazinyl]-6-phenyl-2-pyrimidinyl]thio]methyl]-benzoic acid), interferes with the antioxidant activity of Srx at the molecular level. We searched for possible binding sites of Srx using a binding site prediction method and uncovered two possible inhibition mechanisms of Srx by J14. Using molecular dynamics simulations and binding free energy calculations, we confirmed that J14 binds to the ATP binding site; therefore, J14 acts as a competitive inhibitor of ATP, settling the question of the two mechanisms. Based on the inhibition mechanism revealed at the atomic level, we designed several derivatives of J14, which led to LMT-328 (4-(((4-(4-(2-Chlorophenyl)piperazin-1-yl)-6-(2,4-dihydroxy-5-isopropylphenyl)pyrimidin-2-yl)thio)methyl)benzoic acid), which is possibly an even more potent inhibitor than J14.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-215
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Korea University Grant. We thank Schrödinger, LLC (Portland, OR, USA) for the generous supply of the software used for this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Chemical study
  • Molecular dynamics simulation
  • Molecular modeling
  • Peroxiredoxin
  • Sulfiredoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Materials Chemistry


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