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Development, Molecular Docking, and in Silico ADME Evaluation of Selective ALR2 Inhibitors for the Treatment of Diabetic Complications via Suppression of the Polyol Pathway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Aqeel Imran, Muhammad Tariq Shehzad, Syed Jawad Ali Shah, Mark Laws, Taha Al-Adhami, Khondaker Miraz Rahman, Imtiaz Ali Khan, Zahid Shafiq, Jamshed Iqbal

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26425-26436
Number of pages12
JournalACS Omega
Issue number30
Published2 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: A.I. is thankful to the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan for awarding a scholarship under the International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP) through award no. 1-8/HEC/HRD/2019/8892. Z.S is thankful to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the award of Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Diabetic complications are associated with overexpression of aldose reductase, an enzyme that catalyzes the first step of the polyol pathway. Osmotic stress in the hyperglycemic state is linked with the intracellular accumulation of sorbitol along with the depletion of NADPH and eventually leads to oxidative stress via formation of reactive oxygen species and advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These kinds of mechanisms cause the development of various diabetic complications including neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, and atherosclerotic plaque formation. Various aldose reductase inhibitors have been developed to date for the treatment of diabetic complications, but all have failed in different stages of clinical trials due to toxicity and poor pharmacokinetic profiles. This toxicity is rooted in a nonselective inhibition of both ALR2 and ALR1, homologous enzymes involved in the metabolism of toxic aldehydes such as methylglyoxal and 3-oxyglucosazone. In the present study, we developed a series of thiosemicarbazone derivatives as selective inhibitors of ALR2 with both antioxidant and antiglycation potential. Among the synthesized compounds, 3c exhibited strong and selective inhibition of ALR2 (IC501.42 μM) along with good antioxidant and antiglycative properties. The binding mode of 3c was assessed through molecular docking and cluster analysis via MD simulations, while in silico ADME evaluation studies predicted the compounds' druglike properties. Therefore, we report 3c as a drug candidate with promising antioxidant and antiglycative properties that may be useful for the treatment of diabetic complications through selective inhibition of ALR2.

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