Selectivity analyses of γ-benzylidene digoxin derivatives to different Na,K-ATPase α isoforms: a molecular docking approach

<p>Digoxin and other cardiotonic steroids (CTS) exert their effect by inhibiting Na,K-ATPase (NKA) activity. CTS bind to the various NKA isoforms that are expressed in different cell types, which gives CTS their narrow therapeutic index. We have synthesised a series of digoxin derivatives (γ-Benzylidene digoxin derivatives) with substitutions in the lactone ring (including non-oxygen and ether groups), to obtain CTS with better NKA isoform specificity. Some of these derivatives show some NKA isoform selective effects, with BD-3, BD-8, and BD-13 increasing NKA α2 activity, BD-5 inhibiting NKA α1 and NKA α3, BD-10 reducing NKA α1, but stimulating NKA α2 and α3; and BD-14, BD-15, and BD-16 enhancing NKA α3 activity. A molecular-docking approach favoured NKA isoform specific interactions for the compounds that supported their observed activity. These results show that BD compounds are a new type of CTS with the capacity to target NKA activity in an isoform-specific manner.</p>