: Over the years, human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (hDHODH), which is a key player in the de novo pyrimidine-biosynthesis pathway, has been targeted in the treatment of several conditions, including autoimmune disorders and acute myelogenous leukaemia, as well as in host-targeted antiviral therapy. A molecular exploration of its inhibitor-binding behaviours yielded promising candidates for innovative drug design. A detailed description of the enzymatic pharmacophore drove the decoration of well-established inhibitory scaffolds, thus gaining further in vitro and in vivo efficacy. In the present work, using X-ray crystallography, an atypical rearrangement was identified in the binding pose of a potent inhibitor characterized by a polar pyridine-based moiety (compound 18). The crystal structure shows that upon binding compound 18 the dynamics of a protein loop involved in a gating mechanism at the cofactor-binding site is modulated by the presence of three water molecules, thus fine-tuning the polarity/hydrophobicity of the binding pocket. These solvent molecules are engaged in the formation of a hydrogen-bond mesh in which one of them establishes a direct contact with the pyridine moiety of compound 18, thus paving the way for a reappraisal of the inhibition of hDHODH. Using an integrated approach, the thermodynamics of such a modulation is described by means of isothermal titration calorimetry coupled with molecular modelling. These structural insights will guide future drug design to obtain a finer Kd/logD7.4 balance and identify membrane-permeable molecules with a drug-like profile in terms of water solubility.

An alternative conformation of the N-terminal loop of human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase drives binding to a potent antiproliferative agent

Alberti, Marta
Primo
;
Rizzi, Menico;Boschi, Donatella;Ferraris, Davide M;Miggiano, Riccardo
Ultimo
2024-01-01

Abstract

: Over the years, human dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (hDHODH), which is a key player in the de novo pyrimidine-biosynthesis pathway, has been targeted in the treatment of several conditions, including autoimmune disorders and acute myelogenous leukaemia, as well as in host-targeted antiviral therapy. A molecular exploration of its inhibitor-binding behaviours yielded promising candidates for innovative drug design. A detailed description of the enzymatic pharmacophore drove the decoration of well-established inhibitory scaffolds, thus gaining further in vitro and in vivo efficacy. In the present work, using X-ray crystallography, an atypical rearrangement was identified in the binding pose of a potent inhibitor characterized by a polar pyridine-based moiety (compound 18). The crystal structure shows that upon binding compound 18 the dynamics of a protein loop involved in a gating mechanism at the cofactor-binding site is modulated by the presence of three water molecules, thus fine-tuning the polarity/hydrophobicity of the binding pocket. These solvent molecules are engaged in the formation of a hydrogen-bond mesh in which one of them establishes a direct contact with the pyridine moiety of compound 18, thus paving the way for a reappraisal of the inhibition of hDHODH. Using an integrated approach, the thermodynamics of such a modulation is described by means of isothermal titration calorimetry coupled with molecular modelling. These structural insights will guide future drug design to obtain a finer Kd/logD7.4 balance and identify membrane-permeable molecules with a drug-like profile in terms of water solubility.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11579/180824
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