Molecular docking, QSAR and ADMET based mining of natural compounds against prime targets of HIV

<p>AIDS is one of the multifaceted diseases and this underlying complexity hampers its complete cure. The toxicity of existing drugs and emergence of multidrug-resistant virus makes the treatment worse. Development of effective, safe and low-cost anti-HIV drugs is among the top global priority. Exploration of natural resources may give ray of hope to develop new anti-HIV leads. Among the various therapeutic targets for HIV treatment, reverse transcriptase, protease, integrase, GP120, and ribonuclease are the prime focus. In the present study, we predicted potential plant-derived natural molecules for HIV treatment using computational approach, i.e. molecular docking, quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR), and ADMET studies. Receptor-ligand binding studies were performed using three different software for precise prediction – Discovery studio 4.0, Schrodinger and Molegrow virtual docker. Docking scores revealed that Mulberrosides, Anolignans, Curcumin and Chebulic acid are promising candidates that bind with multi targets of HIV, while Neo-andrographolide, Nimbolide and Punigluconin were target-specific candidates. Subsequently, QSAR was performed using biologically proved compounds which predicted the biological activity of compounds. We identified Anolignans, Curcumin, Mulberrosides, Chebulic acid and Neo-andrographolide as potential natural molecules for HIV treatment from results of molecular docking and 3D-QSAR. <i>In silico</i> ADMET studies showed drug-likeness of these lead molecules. Structure similarities of identified lead molecules were compared with identified marketed drugs by superimposing both the molecules. Using <i>in silico</i> studies, we have identified few best fit molecules of natural origin against identified targets which may give new drugs to combat HIV infection after wet lab validation.</p>