Therapeutic effects of ephrin B receptor 2 inhibitors screened by molecular docking on cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

Yan Li, Xuanfen Zhang
Journal of Dermatological Treatment 2020 April 27, : 1-7
Background: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) is the most known form type of metastatic skin cancer. Activation of ephrin B receptor 2 (EphB2) signaling can promote the metastasis, invasion, and angiogenesis of CSCC cells. Therefore, EphB2 may act as a therapeutic target for CSCC. Here, we screened the inhibitors for EphB2 using molecular docking and then evaluated the effects of the identified inhibitors on cancer-related features of CSCC cells. Methods: The Schrodinger docking tool was used to predict the three-dimensional structure of EphB2 protein and its ligand binding sites, and EphB2 inhibitors were screened by high-throughput virtual screening combined with molecular docking. The effects of EphB2 inhibitors were analyzed for cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, migration, invasion, and xenograft tumor growth. Results: In vitro experiments, the identified small-molecule inhibitors markedly inhibited the skin cancer cells proliferation, induced apoptosis, altered the cell cycle, and inhibited cell invasion and migration in our study. In a xenograft model, the identified small-molecule inhibitors induced changes in the epithelial mesenchymal transition, which affected the progression of CSCC. Conclusion: EphB2 small-molecule inhibitors had anti-CSCC effects, establishing a solid theoretical basis for clinical research.

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