Computational elucidation, mutational and hot spot-based designing of potential inhibitors against human acid-sensing ion channels (hASIC-1a) to treat various physiological conditions

<p>Acid-sensing ion channels are ligand/proton-gated ion channels belonging to the family of the degenerin/epithelial Na<sup>+</sup> channel (DEG/ENaC). They function as a sodium-selective pore for Ca<sup>2+</sup> entry into neuronal cells during pathological conditions. The blocking of this channel has therapeutic importance, because at basal physiological pH (7.2), it is in a closed state and under a more acidic condition, and the ASIC1a ion channel is activated. To investigate the different states of the hASIC1a channel based on mutational analysis, structure-based virtual screening and molecular dynamics simulation studies. The system showed stability after 30 ns (after 1500 frame), and it was stabilized to an average value around 2.2Å. During the simulation, the ion channel residues in persistent contact with toxin PcTx1 were D237, E238, D347, D351, E219 and E355. These residues are important physiologically for the activation of the channel. From in silico alanine scanning, the significant hotspots obtained in hASIC1 are E344, P347, F352, D351, E355 and E219. From the sitemap analysis, it was evident that the sitemap found one of the active sites at the PcTx1 binding site with a site score of 1.086 and a D-score of 1.035 for hASIC1. We obtained a few promising hits and final potential hits from the virtual screening in hASIC1 that made interactions with the residues in the acidic pocket (E344, P347, F352, D351, E355 and E219). Based on these studies, the hits and scaffolds of potential therapeutic interest against various pathological conditions are associated with hASIC1a for future studies.</p>