Renal inflammation and fibrosis are significantly correlated with the deterioration of kidney function and result in chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, current therapies only delay disease progression and have limited treatment effects. Hence, the development of innovative therapeutic approaches to mitigate the progression of CKD has become an attractive issue. To date, the incidence of CKD is still increasing, and the biomarkers of the pathophysiologic processes of CKD are not clear. Therefore, the identification of novel therapeutic targets associated with the progression of CKD is an attractive issue. It is a critical necessity to discover new therapeutics as nephroprotective strategies to stop CKD progression. In this research, we focus on targeting a prostaglandin E2 receptor (EP2) as a nephroprotective strategy for the development of additional anti-inflammatory or antifibrotic strategies for CKD. The in silico study identified that ritodrine, dofetilide, dobutamine, and citalopram are highly related to EP2 from the results of chemical database virtual screening. Furthermore, we found that the above four candidate drugs increased the activation of autophagy in human kidney cells, which also reduced the expression level of fibrosis and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. It is hoped that these findings of the four candidates with anti-NLRP3 inflammasome activation and antifibrotic effects will lead to the development of novel therapies for patients with CKD in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3490-3502
Number of pages13
JournalComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Autophagy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Drug repurposing
  • Fibrosis
  • Inflammasome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications


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