Identification of LRRK2 Inhibitors through Computational Drug Repurposing

Shuoyan Tan, Ruiqiang Lu, Dahong Yao, Jun Wang, Peng Gao, Guotong Xie, Huanxiang Liu, Xiaojun Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than ten million people worldwide. However, the current PD treatments are still limited and alternative treatment strategies are urgently required. Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) has been recognized as a promising target for PD treatment. However, there are no approved LRRK2 inhibitors on the market. To rapidly identify potential drug repurposing candidates that inhibit LRRK2 kinase, we report a structure-based drug repurposing workflow that combines molecular docking, recursive partitioning model, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and molecular mechanics-generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA) calculation. Thirteen compounds screened from our drug repurposing workflow were further evaluated through the experiment. The experimental results showed six drugs (Abivertinib, Aumolertinib, Encorafenib, Bosutinib, Rilzabrutinib, and Mobocertinib) with IC50 less than 5 μM that were identified as potential LRRK2 kinase inhibitors. The most potent compound Abivertinib showed potent inhibitions with IC50 toward G2019S mutation and wild-type LRRK2 of 410.3 nM and 177.0 nM, respectively. Our combination screening strategy had a 53% hit rate in this repurposing task. MD simulations and MM-GBSA free energy analysis further revealed the atomic binding mechanism between the identified drugs and G2019S LRRK2. In summary, the results showed that our drug repurposing workflow could be used to identify potent compounds for LRRK2. The potent inhibitors discovered in our work can be a starting point to develop more effective LRRK2 inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-493
Number of pages13
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • drug repurposing
  • leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2)
  • molecular docking
  • molecular dynamics (MD) simulation
  • structural interaction fingerprint (SIFp)


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