Design of Novel Rho Kinase Inhibitors Using Energy Based Pharmacophore Modeling, Shape-Based Screening, in Silico Virtual Screening, and Biological Evaluation Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) plays a key role in regulating a variety of cellular processes, and dysregulation of ROCK signaling or expression is implicated in numerous diseases and infections. ROCK proteins have therefore emerged as validated targets for therapeutic intervention in various pathophysiological conditions such as diabetes-related complications or hepatitis C-associated pathogenesis. In this study, we report on the design and identification of novel ROCK inhibitors utilizing energy based pharmacophores and shape-based approaches. The most potent compound 8 exhibited an IC50 value of 1.5 μM against ROCK kinase activity and inhibited methymercury-induced neurotoxicity of IMR-32 cells at GI50 value of 0.27 μM. Notably, differential scanning fluorometric analysis revealed that ROCK protein complexed with compound 8 with enhanced stability relative to Fasudil, a validated nanomolar range ROCK inhibitor. Furthermore, all compounds exhibited ≥96 μM CC50 (50% cytotoxicity) in Huh7 hepatoma cells, while 6 compounds displayed anti-HCV activity in HCV replicon cells. The identified lead thus constitutes a prototypical molecule for further optimization and development as anti-ROCK inhibitor.


  • Mishra, Ram
  • Alokam, Reshma
  • Singhal, Sarthak Mohan
  • Srivathsav, Geethasai
  • Sriram, Dharamarajan
  • Kaushik-Basu, Neerja
  • Manvar, Dinesh
  • Yogeeswari, Perumal

publication date

  • October 27, 2014

has subject area