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In Silico Stereo-Electronic Analysis of PMD (p-Menthane-3-8-Diol) and its Derivatives for Pharmacophore Development May Aid Discovery of Novel Insect Repellents

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PMD (p-menthane-3-8-diol) is an insect repellent that can be synthesized chemically or derived from a steam distillate residue of the leaves of lemon eucalyptus, Corymbia citriodora. It is one of the few natural product endorsed by the Center for Disease Control (USA) for topical application to protect against mosquitoes though it is not as effective as the common repellent DEET (N,N -diethyl-1,3-toluamide). However, DEET has several undesirable side effects and toxicity too. Thus, although PMDs are comparatively safer than DEET, no quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) and pharmacophore modeling studies have been reported in literature to improve efficacy and aid further development of more effective PMD analogues. In this study, we report results of quantum chemical analysis of stereoelectronic properties and pharmacophore modeling of PMD and eight of its synthetic derivatives to aid discovery and design of more effective PMD analogues. Stereo-electronic analysis indicates that lower aqueous stabilization (favorable lipophilicity) and larger separation of electrostatic potential energy together with a large localized negative electrostatic potential region by the oxygen atom play important roles for repellent activity. Consistent to these properties, the generated pharmacophore model of the PMDs showed two aliphatic hydrophobic and a hydrogen-bond donor features for potent activity. These results aided us to design more effective PMD repellents which are currently under further investigations.
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Keywords: In silico pharmacophore modeling; PMDs; molecular electrostatic potentials (MEPs); quantum chemical calculations; stereo-electronic properties

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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  • Current Computer-Aided Drug Design aims to publish all the latest developments in drug design based on computational techniques. The field of computer-aided drug design has had extensive impact in the area of drug design. Current Computer-Aided Drug Design is an essential journal for all medicinal chemists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with all the latest and important developments in computer-aided methodologies and their applications in drug discovery. Each issue contains a series of timely, in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field, covering a range of computational techniques for drug design, screening, ADME studies, etc., providing excellent rationales for drug development.
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