Binding affinity prediction between FDA approved drugs and plant metabolites against Transglutaminase 2 to target Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Jasbir Kaur Simak


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) also known as malignant hepatoma is a severe illness occurring in patients suffering from chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C. FDA approved drugs for the treatment of HCC including sorafenib, regorafenib, levatinib, cabozantinib, and ramucirumab come with inevitable side effects ranging from diarrhea, fatigue, hand-foot skin reactions, hypertension, blurred vision, and numbness [1]. Other major challenges that aid in the development of prevalent HCC are resistance to FDA approved drugs and diagnosis of HCC at a later stage. Thus, the development of potential markers and drug alternatives is necessary.
Studies have shown that Cepharanthine, a natural compound extracted from Stephania cepharantha Hayata has the potential in the treatment of HCC [2]. Accordingly, Transglutaminase 2 (TGM2) has shown to be a potential biomarker besides Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) as it is present in AFP deficient cells and in tumor tissues with low levels of serum AFP [3]. Our docking results using AutoDock Vina showed that cepharanthine has a good binding affinity of -9.2kcal/mol against Transglutaminase 2. The use of plant metabolites like Cepharanthine has the potential to treat HCC with low or negligible side effects.

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