Elsevier, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, (70), p. 393-399
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Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in complex with its accessory protein MD-2 represents an emerging target for the treatment of severe sepsis and neuropathic pain. We performed structure-based and ligand-based virtual screening targeting the TLR4-MD-2 interface. Three in silico hit compounds showed promising TLR4 antagonistic activities with micromolar IC50 values. These compounds also suppressed cytokine secretion by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The specific affinity of the most potent hit was confirmed by surface plasmon resonance direct-binding experiments. The results of our study represent a very promising starting point for the development of potent small-molecule antagonists of TLR4.