Identification of Potent Anti-immunogenic Agents Through Virtual Screening, 3D-QSAR Studies, and in vitro Experiments

Document Type


Publication Date



A wealth of literature has highlighted the discovery of various immune modulators, frequently used in clinical practice, yet associated with numerous drawbacks. In light of this pharmacological deficiency, medical scientists are motivated to develop new immune modulators with minimized adverse effects yet retaining the improved therapeutic potential. T-cell differentiation and growth are central to human defense and are regulated by interleukin-2 (IL-2), an immune-modulatory cytokine. However, scientific investigation is hindered due to its flat binding site and widespread hotspot residues. In this regard, a prompt and logical investigation guided by integrated computational techniques was undertaken to unravel new and potential leads against IL-2. In particular, the combination of score-based and pharmacophore-based virtual screening approaches were employed, reducing the data from millions of small molecules to a manageable number. Subsequent docking and 3D-QSAR prediction via CoMFA further helped remove false positives from the data. The reliability of the model was assessed via standard metrics, which explain the model’s fitness and the robustness of the model in predicting the activity of new compounds. The extensive virtual screening herein led to the identification of a total of 24 leads with potential anti-IL-2 activity. Furthermore, the theoretical findings were corroborated with in vitro testing, further endorsing the anti-inflammatory potential of the identified leads.


This article was originally published in Molecular Diversity in 2023.

The Link to Full Text button above directs users to a free read-only version of the article.