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Screening of inhibitors of Leishmania major DHODH in Asteraceae: metabolomic studies and Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR).

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Author(s):
Lucas Apolinário Chibli
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Ribeirão Preto.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Fernando Batista da Costa; Leonardo Gobbo Neto
Advisor: Fernando Batista da Costa
Abstract

The flavoenzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) catalyzes the fourth reaction of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway, standing out as a key molecular target for trypanosomatid parasites causing Neglected Diseases (NDs). In view of the global demand for new therapies for such diseases, this study aimed for the in vitro screening of inhibitors of Leishmania major DHODH (LmDHODH) in Asteraceae, accompanied by metabolomic approach with UHPLC-ESI-HRFTMS for plant extracts and QSAR studies (Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships) for isolated compounds. The experimental steps performed and the results obtained were: 1) Enzymatic assays: the IC50 values were determined for 59 plant extracts (?IC50: 148.0 ?g.mL-1 a 9.4 mg.mL-1) and 57 natural compounds (?IC50: 27.0 ?M a 2.6 mM). The most active compounds showed selectivity against LmDHODH by exercising irrelevant inhibition of human DHODH. In addition, thermostability studies have confirmed that sesquiterpene lactones (STLs) are indeed capable of binding to this enzyme; 2) Metabolomic studies: the metabolic fingerprints by LC-MS were successfully obtained for the 59 extracts and 3,694 peaks/compounds were provided after data processing. The dereplication using a library of natural compounds has safely identified 49 secondary metabolites. By means of in silico correlation with the enzymatic inhibition data, the main biomarkers of the extracts were successfully determined and a reliable regression model was obtained to predict the inhibition potential of new extracts from species not yet tested against LmDHODH, classifying it as active or inactive based solely on their fingerprint by UHPLC-ESI-HRFTMS; 3) QSAR studies with 21 STLs: a reliable QSAR model based on molecular descriptors was obtained (R2 / Q2 / P2 > 0.6 and RMSE < 0.3), which indicated that stronger inhibition requires a balanced distribution of the hydrophobic regions across the molecular surface, as well as higher width and lower hydrophobicity of the molecules. A pharmacophore-based 3D-QSAR approach also afforded a useful model (R2: 0.79; Q2: 0.55), which confirmed the importance of proper orientation of the ligands, molecular surface features and shape for stronger inhibition, reflecting properties of a putative common binding site. Thus, some of the natural products tested in this in vitro screening are actually capable of selectively inhibiting LmDHODH. This constitutes a relevant finding, since an infinity of leishmanicidal compounds have been described, however, for most of them, the mechanism of action remains unknown. The results highlighted (1) Asteraceae species as important sources of new LmDHODH inhibitors and (2) the most active metabolites as promising starting points for new led compounds aiming new antiparasitc drugs for treatment of NDs caused by trypanosomatids, especially leishmaniasis. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/01443-6 - Screening of inhibitors of trypanosomatides DHODHs enzymes in Asteraceae employing metabolomics combined with in silico methods
Grantee:Lucas Apolinário Chibli
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate