Molecular Docking for Evaluation of Piperine Affinity to the Colon Cancer Receptor


Piperine is an alkaloid found in the plants of the Piperaceae family, such as Piper nigrum and Piper retrofractum. These two plants are commonly used as flavoring agents in daily meals. The piperine extract is reported to be effective in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells in laboratory experiments. Between 35-77% of colon cancer cases are caused by excessive expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor. In developing a new compound for commercial drugs, a study of the compound affinity to the receptor is necessary. Hence, the purpose of this study was to comprehensively evaluate the affinity of piperine to the colon cancer receptor using molecular docking software. The AutoDock software was used as a tool for the analysis. Three compounds were analyzed, i.e., the tested ligand (piperine), a native ligand (N-acetyl-D-glucosamine), and a positive control ligand (Gefitinib). Further, the binding score of piperine to the receptor was compared to the binding score of native ligands and positive control ligands. The binding score of the three compounds was found to be -3.82 kcal/mole (piperine), -4.16 kcal/mole (Gefitinib), and -3.75 kcal/mole (N-acetyl-D-glucosamine). It can therefore be concluded that there is a similar affinity between piperine and the control ligand. Therefore, piperine can be recommended and developed as a new drug for colon cancer treatment.

Keywords: piperine, in silico, colon cancer, molecular docking

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