Computational and Biophysical Characterization of Heterocyclic Derivatives of Anthraquinone against Human Aurora Kinase A

Mandeep Singh, Md Anzarul Haque, Alexander S. Tikhomirov, Andrey E. Shchekotikhin, Uddipan Das, Punit Kaur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human Aurora kinase A (AurA) has recently garnered the attention of researchers worldwide as a promising effective mitotic drug target for its involvement in cancer and related inflammatory anomalies. This study has explored the binding affinity of newly identified heteroarene-fused anthraquinone derivatives against AurA. Molecular docking analyses showed that all the heteroanthraquinone compounds bind to AurA with different affinities. Molecular dynamics simulation studies revealed that the compounds maintained relatively stable binding modes in the active site pocket while inducing minimal conformational changes in the AurA structure, interacting with key residues through several noncovalent interactions, including hydrogen bonds. Fluorescence spectroscopy and biolayer interferometry binding assays with synthesized compounds against recombinantly expressed AurA further verified their binding efficacy. Naphthoisatine 3 proved to be the best binder, with compounds anthraimidazole 5 and anthrathiophene 2 showing comparable results. Overall, this study indicates decent binding of heterocyclic derivatives of anthraquinone with the target AurA, which can further be assessed by performing enzymatic assays and cellular studies. The studies also highlight the applicability of the heteroarene-fused anthraquinone scaffold to construct selective and potent inhibitors of Aurora kinases after necessary structural modifications for the development of new anticancer drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39603-39618
Number of pages16
JournalACS Omega
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 8 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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