AiM  Vol.6 No.11 , September 2016
Searching for Novel Targets to Control Wheat Head Blight Disease—I-Protein Identification, 3D Modeling and Virtual Screening
Abstract: Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a destructive disease of wheat and other cereals. FHB occurs in Europe, North America and around the world causing significant losses in production and endangers human and animal health. In this article, we provide the strategic steps for the specific target selection for the phytopathogen system wheat-Fusarium graminearum. The economic impact of FHB leads to the need for innovation. Currently used fungicides have been shown to be effective over the years, but recently cereal infecting Fusaria have developed resistance. Our work presents a new perspective on target selection to allow the development of new fungicides. We developed an innovative approach combining both genomic analysis and molecular modeling to increase the discovery for new chemical compounds with both safety and low environmental impact. Our protein targets selection revealed 13 candidates with high specificity, essentiality and potentially assayable with a favorable accessibility to drug activity. Among them, three proteins: trichodiene synthase, endoglucanase-5 and ERG6 were selected for deeper structural analyses to identify new putative fungicides. Overall, the bioinformatics filtering for novel protein targets applied for agricultural purposes is a response to the demand for chemical crop protection. The availability of the genome, secretome and PHI-base allowed the enrichment of the search that combined experimental data in planta. The homology modeling and molecular dynamics simulations allowed the acquisition of three robust and stable conformers. From this step, approximately ten thousand compounds have been virtually screened against three candidates. Forty-five top-ranked compounds were selected from docking results as presenting better interactions and energy at the binding pockets and no toxicity. These compounds may act as inhibitors and lead to the development of new fungicides.
Cite this paper: Martins, N. , Bresso, E. , Togawa, R. , Urban, M. , Antoniw, J. , Maigret, B. and Hammond-Kosack, K. (2016) Searching for Novel Targets to Control Wheat Head Blight Disease—I-Protein Identification, 3D Modeling and Virtual Screening. Advances in Microbiology, 6, 811-830. doi: 10.4236/aim.2016.611079.

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