Design and synthesis of E3 ligase RNF5 inhibitors as innovative strategy to trigger mutant CFTR rescue in Cystic Fibrosis

Brusa, Irene (2022) Design and synthesis of E3 ligase RNF5 inhibitors as innovative strategy to trigger mutant CFTR rescue in Cystic Fibrosis, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biotecnologiche, biocomputazionali, farmaceutiche e farmacologiche, 33 Ciclo.
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In Cystic Fibrosis (CF) the deletion of phenylalanine 508 (F508del) in the CFTR anion channel is associated to misfolding and defective gating of the mutant protein. Among the known proteins involved in CFTR processing, one of the most promising drug target is the ubiquitin ligase RNF5, which normally promotes F508del-CFTR degradation. In this context, a small molecule RNF5 inhibitor is expected to chemically mimic a condition of RNF5 silencing, thus preventing mutant CFTR degradation and causing its stabilization and plasma membrane trafficking. Hence, by exploiting a virtual screening (VS) campaign, the hit compound inh-2 was discovered as the first-in-class inhibitor of RNF5. Evaluation of inh-2 efficacy on CFTR rescue showed that it efficiently decreases ubiquitination of mutant CFTR and increases chloride current in human primary bronchial epithelia. Based on the promising biological results obtained with inh-2, this thesis reports the structure-based design of potential RNF5 inhibitors having improved potency and efficacy. The optimization of general synthetic strategies gave access to a library of analogues of the 1,2,4-thiadiazol-5-ylidene inh-2 for SAR investigation. The new analogues were tested for their corrector activity in CFBE41o- cells by using the microfluorimetric HS-YFP assay as a primary screen. Then, the effect of putative RNF5 inhibitors on proliferation, apoptosis and the formation of autophagic vacuoles was evaluated. Some of the new analogs significantly increased the basal level of autophagy, reproducing RNF5 silencing effect in cell. Among them, one compound also displayed a greater rescue of the F508del-CFTR trafficking defect than inh-2. Our preliminary results suggest that the 1,2,4-thiadiazolylidene could be a suitable scaffold for the discovery of potential RNF5 inhibitors able to rescue mutant CFTRs. Biological tests are still ongoing to acquire in-depth knowledge about the mechanism of action and therapeutic relevance of this unprecedented pharmacological strategy.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Brusa, Irene
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Cystic Fibrosis, ubiquitin ligase RNF5, F508del-CFTR corrector, synthesis of small molecule ligase inhibitors, 1,2,4-thiadiazolylidene-based compounds, SAR study, basal autophagy
Data di discussione
17 Giugno 2022

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