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Reprofiling of existing drugs to treat conditions not originally targeted is an attractive means of addressing the problem of a decreasing stream of approved drugs. To determine if 3D shape similarity can be used to rationalize an otherwise serendipitous process, we employed 3D shape-based virtual screening to reprofile existing FDA-approved drugs. The study was conducted in two phases. First, multiple histamine H(1) receptor antagonists were identified to be used as query molecules, and these were compared to a database of approved drugs. Second, the hits were ranked according to 3D similarity and the top drugs evaluated in a cell-based assay. The virtual screening methodology proved highly successful, as 13 of 23 top drugs tested selectively inhibited histamine-induced calcium release with the best being chlorprothixene (IC(50) 1 nM). Finally, we confirmed that the drugs identified using the cell-based assay were all acting at the receptor level by conducting a radioligand-binding assay using rat membrane.

Original publication




Journal article


J Med Chem

Publication Date





7054 - 7060


Animals, Antidepressive Agents, Brain, Calcium, Chlorprothixene, Databases, Chemical, HeLa Cells, High-Throughput Screening Assays, Histamine, Histamine H1 Antagonists, Humans, Male, Models, Molecular, Molecular Conformation, Radioligand Assay, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, Histamine H1, Structure-Activity Relationship, United States, United States Food and Drug Administration