(2022). Targeting an Initiator Allergen Provides Durable and Expansive Protection against House Dust Mite Allergy. ,
Whereas treatment of allergic diseases such as asthma relies largely on the targeting of dysregulated effector pathways, the conceptually attractive alternative of preventing them by a pharmaceutical, at-source intervention has been stymied until now by uncertainties about suitable targets and the challenges facing drug design. House dust mites (HDMs) are globally significant triggers of allergy. Group 1 HDM allergens, exemplified by Der p 1, are cysteine proteases. Their degradome has a strong disease linkage that underlies their status as risk and initiator allergens acting directly and through bystander effects on other allergens. Our objective was to test whether target-selective inhibitors of group 1 HDM allergens might provide a viable route to novel therapies. Using structure-directed design to optimize a series of pyruvamides, we undertook the first examination of whether pharmaceutically developable inhibitors of group 1 allergens might offer protection against HDM exposure. Developability criteria included durable inhibition of clinically relevant signals after a single aerosolized dose of the drug. The compounds suppressed acute airway responses of rats and mice when challenged with an HDM extract representing the HDM allergome. Inhibitory effects operated through a miscellany of downstream pathways involving, among others, IL-33, thymic stromal lymphopoietin, chemokines, and dendritic cells. IL-13 and eosinophil recruitment, indices of Th2 pathway activation, were strongly attenuated. The surprisingly expansive benefits arising from a unique at-source intervention suggest a novel approach to multiple allergic diseases in which HDMs play prominent roles and encourage exploration of these pharmaceutically developable molecules in a clinical setting..
Te Lintel Hekkert, M.
(2021). Preclinical trial of a MAP4K4 inhibitor to reduce infarct size in the pig: does cardioprotection in human stem cell-derived myocytes predict success in large mammals?. Basic research in cardiology,
Reducing infarct size (IS) by interfering with mechanisms for cardiomyocyte death remains an elusive goal. DMX-5804, a selective inhibitor of the stress-activated kinase MAP4K4, suppresses cell death in mouse myocardial infarction (MI), human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs), and 3D human engineered heart tissue, whose fidelity to human biology is hoped to strengthen the route to clinical success. Here, DMX-10001, a soluble, rapidly cleaved pro-drug of DMX-5804, was developed for i.v. testing in large-mammal MI. Following pharmacodynamic studies, a randomized, blinded efficacy study was performed in swine subjected to LAD balloon occlusion (60 min) and reperfusion (24 h). Thirty-six animals were enrolled; 12 were excluded by pre-defined criteria, death before infusion, or technical issues. DMX-10001 was begun 20 min before reperfusion (30 min, 60 mg/kg/h; 23.5 h, 17 mg/kg/h). At all times tested, beginning 30 min after the start of infusion, DMX-5804 concentrations exceeded > fivefold the levels that rescued hPSC-CMs and reduced IS in mice after oral dosing with DMX-5804 itself. No significant reduction occurred in IS or no-reflow corrected for the area at ischemic risk, even though DMX-10001 reduced IS, expressed in grams or % of LV mass, by 27%. In summary, a rapidly cleaved pro-drug of DMX-5804 failed to reduce IS in large-mammal MI, despite exceeding the concentrations for proven success in both mice and hPSC-CMs..
(2020). Selective protection of human cardiomyocytes from anthracycline cardiotoxicity by small molecule inhibitors of MAP4K4. Scientific reports,
Given the poor track record to date of animal models for creating cardioprotective drugs, human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) have been proposed as a therapeutically relevant human platform to guide target validation and cardiac drug development. Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinase Kinase Kinase-4 (MAP4K4) is an "upstream" member of the MAPK superfamily that is implicated in human cardiac muscle cell death from oxidative stress, based on gene silencing and pharmacological inhibition in hPSC-CMs. A further role for MAP4K4 was proposed in heart muscle cell death triggered by cardiotoxic anti-cancer drugs, given its reported activation in failing human hearts with doxorubicin (DOX) cardiomyopathy, and its activation acutely by DOX in cultured cardiomyocytes. Here, we report successful protection from DOX in two independent hPSC-CM lines, using two potent, highly selective MAP4K4 inhibitors. The MAP4K4 inhibitors enhanced viability and reduced apoptosis at otherwise lethal concentrations of DOX, and preserved cardiomyocyte function, as measured by spontaneous calcium transients, at sub-maximal ones. Notably, in contrast, no intereference was seen in tumor cell killing, caspase activation, or mitochondrial membrane dissipation by DOX, in human cancer cell lines. Thus, MAP4K4 is a plausible, tractable, selective therapeutic target in DOX-induced human heart muscle cell death..
(2019). MAP4K4 Inhibition Promotes Survival of Human Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes and Reduces Infarct Size In Vivo. Cell stem cell,
Heart disease is a paramount cause of global death and disability. Although cardiomyocyte death plays a causal role and its suppression would be logical, no clinical counter-measures target the responsible intracellular pathways. Therapeutic progress has been hampered by lack of preclinical human validation. Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase-4 (MAP4K4) is activated in failing human hearts and relevant rodent models. Using human induced-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) and MAP4K4 gene silencing, we demonstrate that death induced by oxidative stress requires MAP4K4. Consequently, we devised a small-molecule inhibitor, DMX-5804, that rescues cell survival, mitochondrial function, and calcium cycling in hiPSC-CMs. As proof of principle that drug discovery in hiPSC-CMs may predict efficacy in vivo, DMX-5804 reduces ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice by more than 50%. We implicate MAP4K4 as a well-posed target toward suppressing human cardiac cell death and highlight the utility of hiPSC-CMs in drug discovery to enhance cardiomyocyte survival..
(2018). Allergen Delivery Inhibitors: A Rationale for Targeting Sentinel Innate Immune Signaling of Group 1 House Dust Mite Allergens through Structure-Based Protease Inhibitor Design. Molecular pharmacology,
Diverse evidence from epidemiologic surveys and investigations into the molecular basis of allergenicity have revealed that a small cadre of "initiator" allergens promote the development of allergic diseases, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. Pre-eminent among these initiators are the group 1 allergens from house dust mites (HDM). In mites, group 1 allergens function as cysteine peptidase digestive enzymes to which humans are exposed by inhalation of HDM fecal pellets. Their protease nature confers the ability to activate high gain signaling mechanisms which promote innate immune responses, leading to the persistence of allergic sensitization. An important feature of this process is that the initiator drives responses both to itself and to unrelated allergens lacking these properties through a process of collateral priming. The clinical significance of group 1 HDM allergens in disease, their serodominance as allergens, and their IgE-independent bioactivities in innate immunity make these allergens interesting therapeutic targets in the design of new small-molecule interventions in allergic disease. The attraction of this new approach is that it offers a powerful, root-cause-level intervention from which beneficial effects can be anticipated by interference in a wide range of effector pathways associated with these complex diseases. This review addresses the general background to HDM allergens and the validation of group 1 as putative targets. We then discuss structure-based drug design of the first-in-class representatives of allergen delivery inhibitors aimed at neutralizing the proteolytic effects of HDM group 1 allergens, which are essential to the development and maintenance of allergic diseases..
(2018). Allergen Delivery Inhibitors: Characterisation of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of Der p 1 and Their Attenuation of Airway Responses to House Dust Mite Allergens. International journal of molecular sciences,
Group 1 allergens of house dust mites (HDM) are globally significant triggers of allergic disease. They are considered as initiator allergens because their protease activity enables the development of allergy to a spectrum of unrelated allergens from various sources. This initiator-perpetuator function identifies Group 1 HDM allergens as attractive drug design targets for the first small-molecule approach directed towards a non-human, root cause trigger of allergic disease. The purpose of this study was to: (i) identify exemplar inhibitors of these allergens using Der p 1 as a design template, and (ii) characterise the pharmacological profiles of these compounds using in vitro and in vivo models relevant to allergy. Potent inhibitors representing four different chemotypes and differentiated by mechanism of action were investigated. These compounds prevented the ab initio development of allergy to the full spectrum of HDM allergens and in established allergy they inhibited the recruitment of inflammatory cells and blunted acute allergic bronchoconstriction following aerosol challenge with the full HDM allergen repertoire. Collectively, the data obtained in these experiments demonstrate that the selective pharmacological targeting of Der p 1 achieves an attractive range of benefits against exposure to all HDM allergens, consistent with the initiator-perpetuator function of this allergen..
(2014). The Discovery of Potent, Selective, and Reversible Inhibitors of the House Dust Mite Peptidase Allergen Der p 1: An Innovative Approach to the Treatment of Allergic Asthma. Journal of medicinal chemistry,
(2013). Nonhuman targets in allergic lung conditions. Future medicinal chemistry,
Existing therapies for allergic asthma are far from perfect: the global prevalence of disease increases despite them and they are poorly effective in dealing with the exacerbations that account for hospitalization and asthma deaths. Commercially, there are pressures on these existing medicines too – a growing threat from generics and reluctance by payers to reimburse for increasingly marginal improvements in medicines with precedented mechanisms. Experience shows that attempts to devise selective small-molecule interventions directed at the myriad of downstream effector pathways has not been a fertile ground for the development of effective new medicines. An alternative strategy, exploiting breakthroughs in understanding the molecular basis of allergenicity and the key role of innate immune mechanisms in asthma, is to direct new approaches to the disease triggers themselves: allergens. This raises interesting possibilities for anti-Lipinski drug design (extracellular nonhuman targets, inhaled delivery) and creates unprecedented pharmacological opportunities in the therapeutic area. .
(2011). Future inhaled drugs by virtual innovation: allergen delivery inhibitors. Future medicinal chemistry,
(2003). Highly diastereoselective 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions of trans-2-methylene-1,3-dithiolane 1,3-dioxide with 3-oxidopyridinium and 3-oxidopyrylium betaines: a route to the tropane skeleton. Organic & biomolecular chemistry,
E A Chessum, N.
van Montfort, R.
Investigating the phosphinic acid tripeptide mimetic DG013A as a tool compound inhibitor of the M1-aminopeptidase ERAP1. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters,
ERAP1 is a zinc-dependent M1-aminopeptidase that trims lipophilic amino acids from the N-terminus of peptides. Owing to its importance in the processing of antigens and regulation of the adaptive immune response, dysregulation of the highly polymorphic ERAP1 has been implicated in autoimmune disease and cancer. To test this hypothesis and establish the role of ERAP1 in these disease areas, high affinity, cell permeable and selective chemical probes are essential. DG013A 1, is a phosphinic acid tripeptide mimetic inhibitor with reported low nanomolar affinity for ERAP1. However, this chemotype is a privileged structure for binding to various metal-dependent peptidases and contains a highly charged phosphinic acid moiety, so it was unclear whether it would display the high selectivity and passive permeability required for a chemical probe. Therefore, we designed a new stereoselective route to synthesize a library of DG013A 1 analogues to determine the suitability of this compound as a cellular chemical probe to validate ERAP1 as a drug discovery target..