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Title: The identification & optimisation of endogenous signalling pathway modulators
Author: Gianella-Borradori, Matteo Luca
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Chapter 1 Provides an overview of drug discovery with particular emphasis on library selection and hit identification methods using virtual based approaches. Chapter 2 Gives an outline of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathway and literature BMP pathway modulators. The association between the regulation of BMP pathway and cardiomyogenesis is also described. Chapter 3 Describes the use of ligand based virtual screening to discover small molecule activators of the BMP signalling pathway. A robust cell based BMP responsive gene activity reporter assay was developed to test the libraries of small molecules selected. Hit molecules from the screen were synthesised to validate activity. It was found that a group of known histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors displayed most promising activity. These were evaluated in a secondary assay measuring the expression of two BMP pathway regulated genes, hepcidin and Id1, using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). 188 was discovered to increase expression of both BMP-responsive genes. Chapter 4 Provides an overview of existing cannabinoid receptor (CBR) modulating molecules and their connection to progression of atherosclerosis. Chapter 5 Outlines the identification and optimisation of selective small molecule agonists acting at the cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2R). Ligand based virtual screen was undertaken and promising hits were synthesised to allow structure activity relationship (SAR) to be developed around the hit molecule providing further information of the functional groups tolerated at the active site. Subsequent studies led to the investigation and optimisation of physicochemical properties around 236 leading to the development of a suitable compound for in vivo testing. Finally, a CB2R selective compound with favourable physicochemical properties was evaluated in vivo in a murine inflammation model and displayed reduced recruitment of monocytes to the site of inflammation.
Supervisor: Russell, Angela Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Organic chemistry ; Organic synthesis ; High-Throughput Screening ; Computer aided molecular and material design ; Computational chemistry ; Synthetic organic chemistry ; Cell Biology (see also Plant sciences) ; Cardiovascular disease ; medicinal chemistry ; drug discovery ; computer aided drug discovery ; structure activity relationship ; bone morphogenic protein ; cannabinoid receptor