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The voltage-dependent L-type Ca(2+) channel was identified as a macromolecular target for (-)-englerin A. This finding was reached by using an unprecedented ligand-based prediction platform and the natural product piperlongumine as a pharmacophore probe. (-)-Englerin A features high substructure dissimilarity to known ligands for voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels, selective binding affinity for the dihydropyridine site, and potent modulation of calcium signaling in muscle cells and vascular tissue. The observed activity was rationalized at the atomic level by molecular dynamics simulations. Experimental confirmation of this hitherto unknown macromolecular target expands the bioactivity space for this natural product and corroborates the effectiveness of chemocentric computational methods for prioritizing target-based screens and identifying binding counterparts of complex natural products.

Original publication




Journal article


Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)

Publication Date





11077 - 11081


Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-028, Lisboa, Portugal.