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Title: Chemical biology studies on 5-nitrofurans and sirtuin inhibitors
Author: Zhou, Linna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 8284
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2012
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Part I: Target identification studies are one of the most difficult but rewarding challenges in chemical biology. Part I of this thesis describes target identification studies for 5-nitrofuran containing hits. The 5-nitrofurans used in this study were identified in a phenotypic screen for compounds that induced melanocyte cells death in zebrafish. Chapter 1 provides brief overviews on three related areas of the project: 1) the use of zebrafish as a model organism in drug discovery; 2) phenotypic screening using zebrafish and 3) the strategies used in target identification studies. Chapter 2 describes the synthesis of and SAR studies on two series of 5-nitrofuran containing analogues. The design and preparation of biotinylated chemical probes based on the SAR data is also described. These chemical tools are then used in affinity chromatography studies and genetic validation of a potential target (zebrafish Aldh2) of the 5-nitrofuran compounds is reported. Chapter 3 provides a review of the biological and chemical processes that human ALDHs are known to mediate. In addition, small molecules that modulate ALDH2 activity are reviewed. A detailed study of the interaction between 5-nitrofurans and human ALDH2 including in vitro enzymatic assays is described leading to the conclusion that the 5- nitrofurans under study are substrates of human ALDH2. Further mechanism of action investigations using model reactions are also presented. Chapter 4 introduces the use of 5-nitrofuran containing drugs in the clinic and highlights the reported side-effects. Further investigation of the interaction between ALDH2 and 5- nitrofurans in zebrafish and yeast using ALDH2 inhibitors is described. Based on these results, a combination therapy strategy is proposed. Finally, the trypanocidal activity of the newly synthesised 5-nitrofurans is discussed. Experimental details and future work for Part I are presented in Chapters 5 and 6 respectively. Part II: Human sirtuins are associated with various biological functions and diseases, including cancer and neurodegeneration. Previous work from the Westwood Lab has led to the discovery of the tenovins that act as inhibitors of SIRT1 and SIRT2. Part II of the thesis reports the development of potent fixed ring tenovin analogues with high SIRT2 selectivity. Chapter 7 provides a brief review of the biology of human SIRT2 and the reported SIRT2 inhibitors available to date. This is followed by a short summary of the previous work on the tenovins in the Westwood Lab and the design of the fixed ring tenovin analogues. Chapter 8 describes the synthesis of three series of fixed ring tenovin analogues. SAR data is generated based on in vitro enzymatic assays against both SIRT1 and SIRT2 and the prepared analogues showed relatively high potency and selectivity against SIRT2. Further cell-based deacetylation assay are also discussed. All the experimental details are reported in Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 provides with conclusions and proposed future work.
Supervisor: Westwood, Nicholas James Sponsor: Cancer Research UK
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ALDH2 ; Nitrofuran ; Zebrafish ; Trypanosome ; Target identification