Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) modulates the expression of genes involved in lipid and carbohydrate homeostasis and inflammatory processes. This nuclear receptor is likely a tumor suppressor in several cancers but its molecular mechanism of suppression is still under study. Several studies reported that FXR agonism increase the survival of colorectal, biliary tract and liver cancer patients. In addition, FXR expression was shown to be downregulated in many diseases such as obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, glomerular inflammation, diabetes, proteinuria and ulcerative colitis. Therefore, development of novel FXR agonists may have significant potential in the prevention and treatment of these diseases. In this scenario, computer-aided drug design procedures can be resourcefully applied for the rapid identification of promising drug candidates. In the present research study, we applied the molecular docking method in conjunction with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to find out potential agonists for FXR based on structural similarity with the drug that is currently used as FXR agonist, obeticholic acid. Our results showed that alvimopan and montelukast could be used as potent FXR activators and outperform the binding affinity of obeticholic acid by forming stable conformation with the protein in silico. However, further investigational studies and validations of the selected drugs are essential to figure out their suitability for in vivo experiments and clinical trials.

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