In silico discovery of potential VEGFR-2 inhibitors from natural derivatives for anti-angiogenesis therapy

Jing Li, Nan Zhou, Kun Luo, Wei Zhang, Xinru Li, Chuanfang Wu, Jinku Bao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Angiogenesis is the growth of new capillaries from existing blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients and provide gateways for immune surveillance. Abnormal vessel growth in term of excessive angiogenesis is a hallmark of cancer, inflammatory and eye diseases. VEGFR-2 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2) dominating the process of angiogenesis has led to approval of therapeutic inhibitors and is becoming a promising target for anti-angiogenic drugs. Notwithstanding these successes, the clinical use of current VEGFR-2 blockers is more challenging than anticipated. Taking axitinib as a reference drug, in our study we found three potent VEGFR-2 inhibitors (ZINC08254217, ZINC08254138, and ZINC03838680) from natural derivatives. Each of the three inhibitors acquired a better grid score than axitinib (−62.11) when docked to VEGFR-2. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrated that ZINC08254217– and ZINC08254138–VEGFR-2 complexes were more stable than axitinib. Similar to bind free energy for axitinib (−54.68 kcal/mol), such for ZINC03838680, ZINC08254217, and ZINC08254138 was −49.37, −43.32, and −32.73 kcal/mol respectively. These results suggested these three compounds could be candidate drugs against angiogenesis, with comparable VEGFR-2 binding affinity of axitinib. Hence findings in our study are able to provide valuable information on discovery of effective anti-angiogenesis therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15994-16011
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Anti-angiogenesis
  • Drug
  • Simulation
  • VEGFR-2
  • Virtual screening

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