JOURNAL OF BIOMOLECULAR STRUCTURE & DYNAMICS, vol.37, no.9, pp.2457-2463, 2019 (SCI-Expanded)
Rho-associated protein kinases (ROCKs) are a member of the serine/threonine protein kinase family and potential therapeutic target for various diseases. This enzyme has two isoforms, Rho-associated protein kinase I (ROCKI) and Rho-associated protein kinase II (ROCKII). They share an overall 65% homology in all amino acid sequence and 92% homology in kinase domains. Since, the kinase domains of ROCKI and ROCKII are highly conserved and similar, the discovery and design of isoform-selective inhibitors are more challenging. Thus, most currently available agents that is against ROCKs exhibit low selectivity and severe side effects. Therefore, this study aimed to elucidate the interaction of compounds that indicated high potential in experimental studies against ROCKI and ROCKII enzymes in the molecular level with molecular modeling techniques. Firstly, we determined the interaction property of catalytic sites of the ROCKs by analyzing with molecular docking. Based on these results, the best ligands (50 compounds) corresponding to experimental studies were selected, and then absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion - toxicity (ADMET) analysis of these compounds were implemented. According to these study results, the compound 40 for ROCKI and the compound 50 for ROCKII were identified as selective and highly potent inhibitors. And finally, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed for the stability of ROCKs with identified compounds. In the light of this study, it will be possible to treat diseases that ROCKs have a role by developing more effective and specific ROCK inhibitors.