Strategies to hijack MTs dysfunction in neurodegenerative tauopathies: Design and synthesis of novel CNS-disease-modifying tools

Demuro, Stefania (2023) Strategies to hijack MTs dysfunction in neurodegenerative tauopathies: Design and synthesis of novel CNS-disease-modifying tools, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biotecnologiche, biocomputazionali, farmaceutiche e farmacologiche, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10775.
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Neuronal microtubules assembly and dynamics are regulated by several proteins including (MT)-associated protein tau, whose aberrant hyperphosphorylation promotes its dissociation from MTs and its abnormal deposition into neurofibrillary tangles, a common neurotoxic hallmarks of neurodegenerative tauopathies. To date, no disease-modifying drugs have been approved to combat CNS tau-related diseases. The multifactorial etiology of these conditions represents one of the major limits in the discovery of effective therapeutic options. In addition, tau protein functions are orchestrated by diverse post-translational modifications among which phosphorylation mediated by PKs plays a leading role. In this context, conventional single-target therapies are often inadequate in restoring perturbed networks and fraught with adverse side-effects. This thesis reports two distinct approaches to hijack MT defects in neurons. The first is focused on the rational design and synthesis of first-in-class triple inhibitors of GSK-3β, FYN, and DYRK1A, three close-related PKs, which act as master regulators of aberrant tau hyperphosphorylation. A merged multi-target pharmacophore strategy was applied to simultaneously modulate all three targets and achieve a disease-modifying effect. Optimization of ARN25068 by a computationally and crystallographic driven SAR exploration, allowed to rationalize the key structural modifications to maintain a balanced potency against all three targets and develop a new generation of quite well-balanced analogs exhibiting improved physicochemical properties, a good in vitro ADME profile, and promising cell-based anti-tau phosphorylation activity. In Part II, MT-stabilizing compounds have been developed to compensate MT defects in tau-related pathologies. Intensive chemical effort has been devoted to scaling up BL-0884, identified as a promising MT-normalizing TPD, which exhibited favorable ADME-PK, including brain penetration, oral bioavailability, and brain pharmacodynamic activity. A suitable functionalization of the exposed hydroxyl moiety of BL-0884 was carried out to generate corresponding esters and amides possessing a wide range of applications as prodrugs and active targeting for cancer chemotherapy.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Demuro, Stefania
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Microtubules, Central nervous system, Multitarget, Protein kinases, Tauopathies, MT-stabilizers, Alzheimer's Disease
Data di discussione
16 Giugno 2023

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