Estimation of structural similarity between plant-derived phenolic compounds and drug molecules by virtual screening of DrugBank
Phenols are widely distributed in various plants and plant-derived foods. Currently, there is an increasing interest in their application as food supplements. In this study we performed a virtual screening to identify potential molecular targets of phenolic compounds derived from medicinal plants known for their antioxidant and anticancer effects. A dataset of 75 phenols, reported in the literature and a virtual library of 7770 unique drug compounds, extracted from the DrugBank database (https://www.drugbank.ca/) were used. Multi-conformer structure databases were created using OpenEye OMEGA, shape- and chemical-based overlays of the conformers were performed in OpenEye ROCS (https://www.eyesopen.com/). As a result of the virtual screening, followed by data filtration and analysis, two bacterial enzymes, responsible for DNA replication, were suggested as potential novel targets of a plant-derived hydroxyanthraquinone. This research allows outlining the potential receptor-mediated pharmacological mechanisms of phenolic compounds and aims to be a first step in the development of in silico protocol for their prioritisation as healthy dietary supplements.