In silico screening of neurokinin receptor antagonists as a therapeutic strategy for neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease

Sairaj Satarker, Swastika Maity, Jayesh Mudgal, Madhavan Nampoothiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Neuroinflammation is one of the detrimental factors leading to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. The activation of microglial neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) by substance P (SP) enhances neuroinflammation which is mediated through pro-inflammatory pathways involving NFkB, ERK1/2, and P38 and thus projects the scope and importance of NK1R inhibitors. Emphasizing the inhibitory role of N Acetyl l Tryptophan (l-NAT) on NK1R, this is the first in silico screening of l-NAT mediated NK1R antagonism. In addition, FDA- approved ligands were screened for their potential NK1R antagonism. The l-NAT was docked in XP (Extra Precision) mode while FDA-approved ligands were screened in HTVS (High Throughput Virtual Screening), SP (Standard Precision), and XP mode onto NK1R (PDB:6HLO). The l-NAT and top 3 compounds FDA-approved ligands were subjected to molecular dynamics (MD) studies of 100 ns simulation time. The XP docking of l-NAT, indacaterol, modafinil and alosetron showed good docking scores. Their 100 ns MD showed brief protein–ligand interactions with an acceptable root mean square deviation. The protein–ligand contacts depicted pi-pi stacking, pi-cation, hydrogen bonds, and water bridges with the amino acids necessary for NK1R inhibition. The variable colour band intensities on the protein–ligand contact map indicated their binding strength with amino acids. The molecular mechanics/generalized born surface area (MM-GBSA) scores suggested favourable binding free energy of the complexes. Thus, our study predicted the ability of l-NAT, indacaterol, modafinil, and alosetron as capable NK1R inhibitors that can aid to curb neuroinflammation in conditions of AD which could be further ascertained in subsequent studies. Graphic Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-466
Number of pages24
JournalMolecular Diversity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 02-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Information Systems
  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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