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    Human plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is an important component of the coagulation system and has been recognized as a potential therapeutic target of diverse cardiovascular disorders. Previously, it was found that the extracts from the Chinese medicine Dracaena dragon blood have potent inhibitory activity against PAI-1, but it is unclear which constituents directly participate in the inhibition and how do they regulate PAI-1 at molecular level. Here, we describe an integrated strategy to identify the dragon blood's chemical constituents that can directly target PAI-1. With the strategy, five compounds 1-5 are hit as promising PAI-1 inhibitor candidates, from which three are measured to have high or moderate activity against PAI-1. In particular, the compound 3 is determined to exhibit the highest potency; this value is roughly comparable with the widely used PAI-1 inhibitor Tiplaxtinin. We further examine the molecular effect of compound 3 on PAI-1 conformation at structural level. It is supposed that small-molecule inhibitor regulates the reactive center loop (RCL) of PAI-1 through an allosterism, that is, binding of compound 3 to PAI-1 can allosterically stabilize RCL in latent form, thus promoting PAI-1 conformational conversion from metastable active form to the inactive latent form. Long-term atomistic simulations also demonstrate that removal of compound 3 can destabilize the structured β-stranded conformation of RCL in latent form, although the current simulations are still not sufficient to characterize the full conversion dynamics trajectory. © 2021 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


    Chong Xu, Xia Liu, Jie Shen, Quan Sun, Xiaohong Guo, Min Yang, Jing Leng. Integrative identification of human serpin PAI-1 inhibitors from Dracaena dragon blood and molecular implications for inhibitor-induced PAI-1 allosterism. Biotechnology and applied biochemistry. 2022 Feb;69(1):221-229

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    PMID: 33433923

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