Fragment Based Drug Discovery with Surface Plasmon Resonance Technology

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Fragment based drug discovery (FBDD) has been applied to two protease drug targets, MMP-12 and HIV-1 protease. The primary screening and characterization of hit fragments were performed with surface plasmon resonance -technology. Further evaluation of the interaction was done by inhibition studies and in one case with X-ray crystallography. The focus of the two projects was different.Many MMP inhibitors contain a strong zinc chelating group, hydroxamate, interacting with the catalytic zinc atom. This strategy may be the cause for the low specificity of MMP inhibitors. Using FBDD we found a fragment with an unusual strong affinity for MMP-12. An inhibition assay confirmed that it was an inhibitor but indicated a stoichiometry of 2:1. Crystallography data revealed that an adduct of the fragment was bound in the active site, with interactions both with the catalytic zinc and the S1’ pocket. This may present a new scaffold for MMP-12 inhibitors.For HIV-1 protease the focus was on identifying inhibitors not sensitive to current resistance mutations. A fragment library for screening with SPR-technology was designed and used for screening against wild type enzyme and three variants with resistance mutations. Many of the hits were promiscuous but a number of fragments with possible allosteric inhibition mechanism were identified.The temperature dependency of the dissociation rate and reported resistance mutations was studied with thermodynamics. A good, but not perfect correlation was found between resistance and both the dissociation data and the free energy for dissociation compared to data from wild type enzyme. However, the type of mutation also influenced the results. The flap mutation G48V displayed thermodynamic profiles not completely correlating with resistance. It was found that dissociation rate and thermodynamics may complement each other when studying resistance, but only one of them may not be enough.