Molecular modeling and structure–activity relationships for a series of benzimidazole derivatives as cruzain inhibitors

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Aim: Chagas disease is endemic in Latin America and no effective treatment is available. Efforts in drug research have focused on several enzymes from Trypanosoma cruzi, among which cruzain is a validated pharmacological target. Methodology: Chemometric analyses were performed on the data set using the hologram quantitative structure–activity relationship, comparative molecular field analysis and comparative molecular similarity index analysis methods. Docking simulations were executed using the crystallographic structure of cruzain in complex with a benzimidazole inhibitor. The top-scoring enzyme-inhibitor complexes were selected for the development of the 3D quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) models and to assess the inhibitor binding modes and intermolecular interactions.

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