The development of sialidase inhibitors using structure-based drug design
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The sialidases/neuraminidases represent a family of enzymes whose function is important in the pathogenicity of bacteria and the virulence of influenza. Relenza and Tamiflu represent two drugs that were developed using structure-based drug design (SBDD) and computational-assisted drug design (CADD). These drugs target the active site of the influenza neuraminidase A and B (GH-34 family). Sialidases in the GH-33 family could represent novel drug targets for the treatment of bacterial or parasitic infection. SBDD was employed to develop chemical tools of two GH-33 sialidases, NanB and TcTS. NanB is a potential drug target for S. pneumoniae. The chemical tool developed for NanB follows on from work within the Taylor and Westwood research groups, in which a molecule of CHES and a glycerol were found serendipitously bound within a water channel at an allosteric site. Using this information as a basis for SBDD an allosteric inhibitor of NanB, Optactin was developed. Within this work, synthesis of this inhibitor was achieved and optimised. Optactin was then modified to improve potency. This proceeded through an amide analogue and addition of an arene resulting in a mid- micromolar inhibitor (IC₅₀: 55.4±2.5 µM). Addition of polar substituents improved potency further resulting in a low micromolar inhibitor of NanB, Optactamide (IC₅₀: 3.0±1.7 µM). Application of this tool in vitro demonstrated that NanB and NanA have a role in invasion of S. pneumoniae into lung epithelial cells. TcTS is a potential drug target for the treatment of Chagas disease. A CADD approach using a fragment library was unsuccessful at identifying an allosteric inhibitor of TcTS despite structural similarity with NanB. A re-task of the CADD approach towards the active site was successful in identifying an inhibitor of TcTS and a fragment useful for further development. This work sets the groundwork for the development of a chemical tool targeting TcTS.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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