• 17β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 2 Inhibition: Discovery of Selective and Metabolically Stable Compounds Inhibiting Both the Human Enzyme and Its Murine Ortholog.

      Gargano, Emanuele M; Allegretta, Giuseppe; Perspicace, Enrico; Carotti, Angelo; Van Koppen, Chris; Frotscher, Martin; Marchais-Oberwinkler, Sandrine; Hartmann, Rolf W; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS),Saarland 9 University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2015)
      Design and synthesis of a new class of inhibitors for the treatment of osteoporosis and its comparative h17β-HSD2 and m17β-HSD2 SAR study are described. 17a is the first compound to show strong inhibition of both h17β-HSD2 and m17β-HSD2, intracellular activity, metabolic stability, selectivity toward h17β-HSD1, m17β-HSD1 and estrogen receptors α and β as well as appropriate physicochemical properties for oral bioavailability. These properties make it eligible for pre-clinical animal studies, prior to human studies.
    • Caenorhabditis elegans N-glycan core beta-galactoside confers sensitivity towards nematotoxic fungal galectin CGL2.

      Butschi, Alex; Titz, Alexander; Wälti, Martin A; Olieric, Vincent; Paschinger, Katharina; Nöbauer, Katharina; Guo, Xiaoqiang; Seeberger, Peter H; Wilson, Iain B H; Aebi, Markus; et al. (2010-01)
      The physiological role of fungal galectins has remained elusive. Here, we show that feeding of a mushroom galectin, Coprinopsis cinerea CGL2, to Caenorhabditis elegans inhibited development and reproduction and ultimately resulted in killing of this nematode. The lack of toxicity of a carbohydrate-binding defective CGL2 variant and the resistance of a C. elegans mutant defective in GDP-fucose biosynthesis suggested that CGL2-mediated nematotoxicity depends on the interaction between the galectin and a fucose-containing glycoconjugate. A screen for CGL2-resistant worm mutants identified this glycoconjugate as a Galbeta1,4Fucalpha1,6 modification of C. elegans N-glycan cores. Analysis of N-glycan structures in wild type and CGL2-resistant nematodes confirmed this finding and allowed the identification of a novel putative glycosyltransferase required for the biosynthesis of this glycoepitope. The X-ray crystal structure of a complex between CGL2 and the Galbeta1,4Fucalpha1,6GlcNAc trisaccharide at 1.5 A resolution revealed the biophysical basis for this interaction. Our results suggest that fungal galectins play a role in the defense of fungi against predators by binding to specific glycoconjugates of these organisms.
    • Design and synthesis of a library of lead-like 2,4-bisheterocyclic substituted thiophenes as selective Dyrk/Clk inhibitors.

      Schmitt, Christian; Kail, Dagmar; Mariano, Marica; Empting, Martin; Weber, Nadja; Paul, Tamara; Hartmann, Rolf W.; Engel, Matthias; Helmholtz Institute für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2014)
      The Dyrk family of protein kinases is implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including cancer and neurodegeneration. Pharmacological inhibitors were mainly described for Dyrk1A so far, but in fewer cases for Dyrk1B, Dyrk2 or other isoforms. Herein, we report the development and optimization of 2,4-bisheterocyclic substituted thiophenes as a novel class of Dyrk inhibitors. The optimized hit compounds displayed favorable pharmacokinetic properties and high ligand efficiencies, and inhibited Dyrk1B in intact cells. In a larger selectivity screen, only Clk1 and Clk4 were identified as additional targets of compound 48, but no other kinases frequently reported as off-targets. Interestingly, Dyrk1A is implicated in the regulation of alternative splicing, a function shared with Clk1/Clk4; thus, some of the dual inhibitors might be useful as efficient splicing modulators. A further compound (29) inhibited Dyrk1A and 1B with an IC50 of 130 nM, showing a moderate selectivity over Dyrk2. Since penetration of the central nervous system (CNS) seems possible based on the physicochemical properties, this compound might serve as a lead for the development of potential therapeutic agents against glioblastoma. Furthermore, an inhibitor selective for Dyrk2 (24) was also identified, which might be are suitable as a pharmacological tool to dissect Dyrk2 isoform-mediated functions.
    • Hydroxybenzothiazoles as new nonsteroidal inhibitors of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (17β-HSD1).

      Spadaro, Alessandro; Negri, Matthias; Marchais-Oberwinkler, Sandrine; Bey, Emmanuel; Frotscher, Martin; Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany. (2012)
      17β-estradiol (E2), the most potent estrogen in humans, known to be involved in the development and progession of estrogen-dependent diseases (EDD) like breast cancer and endometriosis. 17β-HSD1, which catalyses the reduction of the weak estrogen estrone (E1) to E2, is often overexpressed in breast cancer and endometriotic tissues. An inhibition of 17β-HSD1 could selectively reduce the local E2-level thus allowing for a novel, targeted approach in the treatment of EDD. Continuing our search for new nonsteroidal 17β-HSD1 inhibitors, a novel pharmacophore model was derived from crystallographic data and used for the virtual screening of a small library of compounds. Subsequent experimental verification of the virtual hits led to the identification of the moderately active compound 5. Rigidification and further structure modifications resulted in the discovery of a novel class of 17β-HSD1 inhibitors bearing a benzothiazole-scaffold linked to a phenyl ring via keto- or amide-bridge. Their putative binding modes were investigated by correlating their biological data with features of the pharmacophore model. The most active keto-derivative 6 shows IC₅₀-values in the nanomolar range for the transformation of E1 to E2 by 17β-HSD1, reasonable selectivity against 17β-HSD2 but pronounced affinity to the estrogen receptors (ERs). On the other hand, the best amide-derivative 21 shows only medium 17β-HSD1 inhibitory activity at the target enzyme as well as fair selectivity against 17β-HSD2 and ERs. The compounds 6 and 21 can be regarded as first benzothiazole-type 17β-HSD1 inhibitors for the development of potential therapeutics.
    • Structural basis for species specific inhibition of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (17β-HSD1): computational study and biological validation.

      Klein, Tobias; Henn, Claudia; Negri, Matthias; Frotscher, Martin; Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany. (2011)
      17β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (17β-HSD1) catalyzes the reduction of estrone to estradiol, which is the most potent estrogen in humans. Inhibition of 17β-HSD1 and thereby reducing the intracellular estradiol concentration is thus a promising approach for the treatment of estrogen dependent diseases. In the past, several steroidal and non-steroidal inhibitors of 17β-HSD1 have been described but so far there is no cocrystal structure of the latter in complex with 17β-HSD1. However, a distinct knowledge of active site topologies and protein-ligand interactions is a prerequisite for structure-based drug design and optimization. An elegant strategy to enhance this knowledge is to compare inhibition values obtained for one compound toward ortholog proteins from various species, which are highly conserved in sequence and differ only in few residues. In this study the inhibitory potencies of selected members of different non-steroidal inhibitor classes toward marmoset 17β-HSD1 were determined and the data were compared with the values obtained for the human enzyme. A species specific inhibition profile was observed in the class of the (hydroxyphenyl)naphthols. Using a combination of computational methods, including homology modelling, molecular docking, MD simulation, and binding energy calculation, a reasonable model of the three-dimensional structure of marmoset 17β-HSD1 was developed and inhibition data were rationalized on the structural basis. In marmoset 17β-HSD1, residues 190 to 196 form a small α-helix, which induces conformational changes compared to the human enzyme. The docking poses suggest these conformational changes as determinants for species specificity and energy decomposition analysis highlighted the outstanding role of Asn152 as interaction partner for inhibitor binding. In summary, this strategy of comparing the biological activities of inhibitors toward highly conserved ortholog proteins might be an alternative to laborious x-ray or site-directed mutagenesis experiments in certain cases. Additionally, it facilitates inhibitor design and optimization by offering new information on protein-ligand interactions.