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Villa San Pietro, Italy

Floris M.,CRS4 Biomedicine | Floris M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Manganaro A.,Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri | Nicolotti O.,University of Bari | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Cheminformatics | Year: 2014

Background: Methods that provide a measure of chemical similarity are strongly relevant in several fields of chemoinformatics as they allow to predict the molecular behavior and fate of structurally close compounds. One common application of chemical similarity measurements, based on the principle that similar molecules have similar properties, is the read-across approach, where an estimation of a specific endpoint for a chemical is provided using experimental data available from highly similar compounds. Results: This paper reports the comparison of multiple combinations of binary fingerprints and similarity metrics for computing the chemical similarity in the context of two different applications of the read-across technique. Conclusions: Our analysis demonstrates that the classical similarity measurements can be improved with a generalizable model of similarity. The proposed approach has already been used to build similarity indices in two open-source software tools (CAESAR and VEGA) that make several QSAR models available. In these tools, the similarity index plays a key role for the assessment of the applicability domain. © 2014 Floris et al.; licensee Springer. Source

Kumar A.,CRS4 Biomedicine | Kumar A.,University of Cagliari | Melis P.,CRS4 Biomedicine | Genna V.,CRS4 Biomedicine | And 3 more authors.
Molecular BioSystems | Year: 2014

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that has a notably high incidence in Sardinia. Our study focuses on two HLA class II haplotypes associated with the disease in Sardinia, the rare predisposing DRB1*15:01-DQB1*06:02 and the widespread protective DRB1*16:01-DQB1*05:02. This framework enabled the highlighting of HLA binding pocket specificity and peptide recognition mechanisms by employing molecular dynamics simulations of the whole DRB1-DQB1 haplotype interacting with MBP- and EBV-derived peptides. We analyzed peptide-protein interaction networks and temporal evolution of the original complexes and after key amino acid mutations. The mutation G86V of the protective DRB1 allele exerted its effect mainly in the presence of the EBV viral peptide, with local and long range outcomes. However, the V38A mutation of the protective DQB1 showed a long range effect only in the case of the MBP myelin peptide. Our findings also demonstrate a DRB1/DQB1 complementary molecular recognition of peptides. This mechanism could provide a robust synergistic action and a differential role of DRB1 and DQB1 in tissues and in the time-steps towards autoimmunity. In addition, we demonstrate that negatively charged residues in pockets 4 and 9 play a role in MS susceptibility. Our findings are supported by recent experiments using a closely related MS animal model. Overall, our analysis confirms the role of the DRB1-DQB1 haplotype in conferring disease predisposition and could provide a valuable aid in designing optimal therapeutic peptides for MS therapy. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014. Source

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