Molecular field analysis and 3D-quantitative structure-activity relationship study (MFA 3D-QSAR) unveil novel features of bile acid recognition at TGR5.
Bile acids regulate nongenomic actions through the activation of TGR5, a membrane receptor that is G protein-coupled to the induction of adenylate cyclase. In this work, a training set of 43 bile acid derivatives is used to develop a molecular interaction field analysis (MFA) and a 3D-quantitative structure-activity relationship study (3D-QSAR) of TGR5 agonists. The predictive ability of the resulting model is evaluated using an external set of compounds with known TGR5 activity, and six bile acid derivatives whose unknown TGR5 activity is herein assessed with in vitro luciferase assay of cAMP formation. The results show a good predictive model and indicate a statistically relevant degree of correlation between the TGR5 activity and the molecular interaction fields produced by discrete positions of the bile acid scaffold. This information is instrumental to extend on a quantitative basis the current structure-activity relationships of bile acids as TGR5 modulators and will be fruitful to design new potent and selective agonists of the receptor.