Planejamento e avaliação de fragmentos moleculares como inibidores da enzima cruzaína
Rangel, Karen Cristina
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The available drugs for treating Chagas disease are not effective, therefore the development of new therapies is needed. Cruzain is the major Trypanosoma cruzi cysteine protease, the causative agent of the disease, and is a validated therapeutic target for the discovery of new trypanocidal agents. Our group has identified a cruzain inhibitor with fragment characteristics - [5- (2-chlorophenyl) -1,3,4- oxadiazol-2-yl] acetic acid (Neq0147) and its mode of interaction was validated by determining orthogonally its crystal structure. However, interactions of this inhibitor were not yet appropriately optimized. Therefore, this study aimed to optimize the interactions of Neq0147 to identify new fragments as non-peptide cruzain inhibitors, which was carried out through a structure-activity relationship study (SAR). Molecular modifications have been made based on Neq0147, wherein initially carboxylate was replaced by a nitrile to increase the affinity of the inhibitor and to act as an anchor to explore other modifications. Then it was made the replacement of the 1,3,4-oxadiazole ring for others heterocyclic five-membered rings, with the intention to explore interactions with Asp161 and Gly65. The position of the chlorine atom on the aromatic ring was also varied to explore interactions with amino acids in the S2 subsite. The compounds were tested against cruzain to determine its inhibition constant. From the SAR study it can be concluded that the change that generated higher affinity gain was the replacement of the carboxylate group by nitrile. It can also be seen that the presence of chlorine is essential for the fragments activity, which preferably should be present in the ortho or para positions. Among the evaluated inhibitors one fragment, Neq0617, has an affinity 14 times greater than the original fragment. Moreover, various inhibitors similar to fragments with high affinity and interaction efficiency have been identified, therefore these inhibitors are potential candidates for optimization.