Identification of Novel Falcipain-2 Inhibitors as Potential Antimalarial Agents through Structure-Based Virtual Screening

The SPECS database was screened against falcipain-2 with two different docking methods to identify structurally diverse nonpeptidic inhibitors. Twenty-eight nonpeptidic molecules among 81 compounds tested were identified as potential inhibitors of falcipain-2. One of the inhibitors exhibited in vitro activity with an IC50 value of 2.4 μM. Furthermore, the similarity analysis has demonstrated that it is feasible to find novel diverse falcipain-2 inhibitors with similar steric shape through virtual screening of large-scale chemical libraries.