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Leveraging the cruzain S3 subsite to increase affinity for reversible covalent inhibitors

Publication date:

September 2018


Source:Bioorganic Chemistry, Volume 79

Author(s): Lorenzo Cianni, Geraldo Sartori, Fabiana Rosini, Daniela De Vita, Gabriel Pires, Bianca Rebelo Lopes, Andrei Leitão, Antonio C.B. Burtoloso, Carlos A. Montanari

Cruzain is the major cysteine protease of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. Reversible covalent cruzain inhibitors can block the steps of cell differentiation in the parasite and kill the organism. To this end, the description of how inhibitors modified at the P2/P3 positions lead to analogs with greater cruzain affinity to the S2/S3 subsites is of fundamental importance. Albeit many efforts are being employed in the characterization of the interaction processes with S2 subsite, little is known about the cruzain S3 subsite. In this work, we show a brief but consistent study to identify favorable substitutions in P3 of dipeptidyl nitriles that increase cruzain affinity. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we have identified some dipeptidyl nitrile analogs with modifications at P3 position that had higher cruzain inhibition than the original unsubstituted compound. A matched molecular pair analysis shows the importance of including a chlorine atom in the P3-meta position. The modifications implemented in P3 are confirmed when profiling the thermodynamic parameters via isothermal titration calorimetry. The classical enthalpy-entropy compensation phenomenon, in which enthalpy changes are counterbalanced by entropy results in a small modification of ΔG. The inclusion of the chlorine atom in the P3-meta position results in the highest reduction of the detrimental entropic contribution observed in P3.
Graphical abstract




Authors:   Author(s): Lorenzo Cianni, Geraldo Sartori, Fabiana Rosini, Daniela De Vita, Gabriel Pires, Bianca Rebelo Lopes, Andrei Leitão, Antonio C.B. Burtoloso, Carlos A. Montanari
Journal:   Bioorganic Chemistry
Volume:   79
Year:   2018
Pages:   285
DOI:   10.1016/j.bioorg.2018.04.006
Publication date:   11-Jun-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • inhibitors
  • enthalpy
  • Trypanosoma cruzi
  • substitutions
  • nitriles
  • molecular dynamics…
  • lead
  • isothermal titratio…
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