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Original Article

J App Pharm Sci. 2024; 14(4): 155-162

In silico design of new ketorolac bioisosteres as anti-inflammatory agents

César D. Gamarra-Sánchez, Cristhian N. Rodriguez-Silva, Angella Cordova-Muñoz, Lucero Asmad-Cruz, Carmen R. Silva-Correa, Víctor E. Villarreal-La Torre.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are over-the-counter drugs and one of the most widely used pharmacological groups worldwide, their chronic use is limited due to their adverse effects, with gastrointestinal effects being the most relevant. Ketorolac is one of the most consumed NSAIDs worldwide, the use of which has been increasing in the treatment of acute and chronic pain; however, its use has been limited by its gastrointestinal adverse effects. Modifications in the structure of ketorolac may help the search for new chemical entity candidates for anti-inflammatory analgesic drugs with less gastric effects. Forty-two ketorolac-derived bioisosteres were designed, using in silico techniques, their physicochemical parameters (molecular weight, polar surface area, and lipophilicity) were determined with SwissADME, the Way2Drug server was used to predict the activity, a 2D quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis was performed to quantify the anti-inflammatory activity of the derivatives, using the ChemBL database and the R language; and the molecular modeling for the prediction of the positioning in the active site and the ligand efficiency (LE), for which the 5IKR file of the protein data bank database was used, and the molecular coupling was carried out under the parameters of AutoDock Vina. Of the 42 ketorolac derivatives, 12 molecules demonstrated good predictive oral absorption, of which only 8 molecules showed less gastro-injurious effects with Way2Drug and, under 2D QSAR analysis, 3 demonstrated excellent anti-inflammatory activity. Using the molecule modeling techniques, the LE was verified, and it was determined that molecules 32 and 34 adequately inhibited the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme; however, the pKa of molecule 34 is not greater than that of ketorolac, molecule 32 being the one that meets with all the parameters proposed in the present study, so it would be a candidate to continue in preclinical phase studies to corroborate the findings made in this investigation.

Key words: Ketorolac; NSAIDs; in silico; drug design; bioisosteres; anti-inflammatory

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