• 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.
    • Computational investigation of the binding mode of bis(hydroxylphenyl)arenes in 17β-HSD1: molecular dynamics simulations, MM-PBSA free energy calculations, and molecular electrostatic potential maps.

      Negri, Matthias; Recanatini, Maurizio; Hartmann, Rolf W; Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Saarland University and Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Campus C2.3, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2011-09)
      17β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (17β-HSD1) catalyzes the last step of the estrogen biosynthesis, namely the reduction of estrone to the biologically potent estradiol. As such it is a potentially attractive drug target for the treatment of estrogen-dependent diseases like breast cancer and endometriosis. 17β-HSD1 belongs to the bisubstrate enzymes and exists as an ensemble of conformations. These principally differ in the region of the βFαG'-loop, suggesting a prominent role in substrate and inhibitor binding. Although several classes of potent non-steroidal 17β-HSD1 inhibitors currently exist, their binding mode is still unclear. We aimed to elucidate the binding mode of bis(hydroxyphenyl)arenes, a highly potent class of 17β-HSD1 inhibitors, and to rank these compounds correctly with respect to their inhibitory potency, two essential aspects in drug design. Ensemble docking experiments resulted in a steroidal binding mode for the closed enzyme conformations and in an alternative mode for the opened and occluded conformers with the inhibitors placed below the NADPH interacting with it synergically via π-π stacking and H-bond formation. Both binding modes were investigated by MD simulations and MM-PBSA binding free energy estimations using as representative member for this class compound 1 (50 nM). Notably, only the alternative binding mode proved stable and was energetically more favorable, while when simulated in the steroidal binding mode compound 1 was displaced from the active site. In parallel, ab initio studies of small NADPH-inhibitor complexes were performed, which supported the importance of the synergistic interaction between inhibitors and cofactor.
    • 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.
    • Design, synthesis and evaluation of novel 16-imidazolyl substituted steroidal derivatives possessing potent diversified pharmacological properties.

      Bansal, Ranju; Guleria, Sheetal; Thota, Sridhar; Bodhankar, Subhash L; Patwardhan, Moreshwar R; Zimmer, Christina; Hartmann, Rolf W; Harvey, Alan L; University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sector-14, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160014, India. ranju29in@yahoo.co.in (2012-05)
      As a part of our investigations into the structural-activity relationship studies of a novel class of medicinally active 16-substituted steroids, several new 16-imidazolyl substituted steroidal derivatives have been synthesized and pharmacologically evaluated in the current study. The new steroidal analogues 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12 exhibited moderate cytotoxic effects in sixty cancer cell lines derived from nine cancers types. The imidazolyl substituted steroidal derivatives 6 (DPJ-RG-1241) and 7 (RB-401) were obtained as the powerful inhibitors of aromatase with IC50=0.18 μM and IC50=0.168 μM, respectively, approximately 1.2 and 1.4 times more potent in comparison to standard drug exemestane. The bis-quaternary steroids 13 and 14 displayed potent skeletal muscle relaxant properties. An affinity constant of 0.007 μM was observed for compound 14 on frog rectus abdominis muscle preparation and 13 displayed a very high anticholinesterase activity K(i)=25 nM, approximately 115-fold higher in comparison to standard drug galanthamine (K(i)=2.9 μM).
    • Hits identified in library screening demonstrate selective CYP17A1 lyase inhibition.

      Krug, Sebastian J; Hu, Qingzhong; Hartmann, Rolf W; Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Saarland University, Campus C2.3, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2013-03)
      A screening of structurally different steroid hormone synthesis inhibitors was performed in order to find a starting point for the development of a new inhibitor of the bifunctional steroidogenic enzyme CYP17A1. Emphasis was placed on determination of selectivity between the two catalytic steps, namely 17α-hydroxylase and C(17,20)-lyase. For that purpose a new inhibition assay has been developed. Hits identified within this novel assay demonstrated selective inhibition of CYP17A1 lyase activity, and thus mark the basis for the development of selective C(17,20)-lyase inhibitors for the treatment of prostate cancer.
    • 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.
    • Serum microRNA-21 as marker for necroinflammation in hepatitis C patients with and without hepatocellular carcinoma.

      Bihrer, Verena; Waidmann, Oliver; Friedrich-Rust, Mireen; Forestier, Nicole; Susser, Simone; Haupenthal, Jörg; Welker, Martin; Shi, Ying; Peveling-Oberhag, Jan; Polta, Andreas; et al. (2011)
      MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is up-regulated in tumor tissue of patients with malignant diseases, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Elevated concentrations of miR-21 have also been found in sera or plasma from patients with malignancies, rendering it an interesting candidate as serum/plasma marker for malignancies. Here we correlated serum miR-21 levels with clinical parameters in patients with different stages of chronic hepatitis C virus infection (CHC) and CHC-associated HCC.
    • Serum miR-122 as a biomarker of necroinflammation in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

      Bihrer, Verena; Friedrich-Rust, Mireen; Kronenberger, Bernd; Forestier, Nicole; Haupenthal, Jörg; Shi, Ying; Peveling-Oberhag, Jan; Radeke, Heinfried H; Sarrazin, Christoph; Herrmann, Eva; et al. (2011-09)
      The liver contains large amounts of microRNA-122 (miR-122), whereas other tissues contain only marginal amounts of this miRNA. MicroRNAs have also been found to circulate in the blood in a cell-free form; their potential as readily accessible disease markers is currently evaluated. Here, we investigated if the serum levels of miR-122 might be useful as disease parameter in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
    • 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.