Docking-based virtual screening, ADMET, and network pharmacology prediction of anthocyanidins against human alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes as potential antidiabetic agents

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Structure-based drug design (SBDD), Anthocyanidin, Drug-likeness, ADMET, Target-components interaction network


Diabetes mellitus (DM) characterized by high blood sugar concentration is a major global public health problem and untreated DM results in blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and lower extremity amputation. In this structure-based drug design (SBDD) study, the potential inhibitory effects of twelve anthocyanidins (aglycon unit of anthocyanins) components on human pancreatic α-amylase and intestinal α-glucosidase enzymes were investigated using the molecular docking method and a novel approach developed by our research group was used to rank the global binding potentials of ligands to a series of different enzymes simultaneously. In addition, drug-likeness, absorption-distribution-metabolism-excretion-toxicity (ADMET) predictions, and intracellular target-component interaction network analyses of twelve anthocyanidin components were performed using the search tool for interactions of chemicals (STITCH). Petunidin, peonidin, and aurantinidin were determined as 'hit' phytochemicals according to the docking binding energy and relative binding capacity index (RBCI) analyses, whereas, based on the RBCI index, petunidin was found to be the most effective ligand in terms of binding capacity to both enzymes that play an important role in DM. The more accessible and large-volume active site of α-amylase compared to α-glucosidase caused petunidin to bind with higher affinity against α-amylase. Promisingly, petunidin did not violate any of the criteria for drug-likeness consisting of a combination of the Lipinski's rule of 5, Ghose and Veber filters, showed no cytochrome (CYP) P450 or hERG I-II inhibitory activity in the ADMET analysis, however, it was found to have a low gastrointestinal absorption profile. In intracellular target-component network analysis using the STITCH online platform, it was determined that petunidin did not show negative functional interactions with any enzyme in the human protein network. Considering these results, it is recommended that petunidin be advanced to further in vitro and in vivo assays as a potential α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory agent in the treatment of DM. However, the intestinal absorption profile of petunidin must be enhanced by molecular optimization without compromising its pharmacological activity.


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How to Cite

Demir, C., & Istifli, E. S. (2022). Docking-based virtual screening, ADMET, and network pharmacology prediction of anthocyanidins against human alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes as potential antidiabetic agents. International Journal of Plant Based Pharmaceuticals, 2(2), 271–283.



Research Articles
Received 2022-08-11
Accepted 2022-09-24
Published 2022-09-26