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Open Access Open Badges Research

Identification of novel modulators for ionotropic glutamate receptor, iGluA2 by in-silico screening

Balasundaram Padmanabhan

Author Affiliations

Department of Biophysics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore 560 029, India

Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling 2013, 10:46  doi:10.1186/1742-4682-10-46

Published: 15 July 2013



Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluAs, IUPHAR nomenclature) are the major excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter receptors in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). iGluAs are potential therapeutic drug targets for various neurological disorders including ischemia, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The known iGluA modulators, cyclothiazide (CTZ), IDRA-21, and other benzothiadiazide derivatives (ALTZ, HCTZ, and CLTZ) bind to the ligand-binding domain of flip-form of iGluA2 at the dimer interface, thereby increasing steady-state activation by reducing desensitization.


To discover new modulator compounds, we performed virtual screening for the ligand binding domain (LBD) of iGluA2 against NCI Diversity Set III library containing 1597 compounds, and subsequently performed binding-energy analysis for selected compounds. The crystal structure of rat iGluA2 S1S2J (PDB ID: 3IJO) was used for docking studies.

Results and conclusion

From this study, we obtained four compounds: (1) 10-2(methoxyethyl)-3-phenylbenzo[g]pteridine-2,4-dione, (2) 2-benzo[e]benzotriazol-2-yl-aniline, (3) 9-nitro-6H-indolo-(2,3,-b)quinoxaline, and (4) 1-hydroxy-n-(3-nitrophenyl)-2-napthamide. The binding mode of these four compounds is very similar to that of abovementioned established modulators: two molecules of each compound independently bind to the protein symmetrically at the dimer interface; occupy the subsites B, C, B’ and C’; potentially interact with Ser518 and Ser775. Binding energy analysis shows that all the four hits are comparable to the drug molecule, CTZ, and hence, we propose that the discovered hits may be potential molecules to develop new chemical libraries for modulating the flip form of iGluA2 function.

Ionotropic glutamate receptors; Neurological disorders; iGluA2, Modulators; Virtual screening, New hit compounds