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Title: Design and synthesis of human dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) inhibitors and development of a novel DDAH activity assay
Author: Tommasi, Sara
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 1559
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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Nitric oxide (NO) is a key physiological messenger, but an excessive production of this molecule can be detrimental, leading to the onset or worsening of many pathological conditions. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is a key enzyme in the NO pathway, involved in the metabolism of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and monomethyl arginine (L-NMMA), which are both endogenous inhibitors of NO synthesis. Two isoforms of DDAH have been identified in humans, namely DDAH-1 and DDAH-2. DDAH inhibition represents a promising strategy in the treatment of NO overproduction under pathological conditions without affecting the homeostatic role of this messenger. In this work I described the design and synthesis of 12 novel potential DDAH inhibitors together with the development of a new UPLC-MS based assay to measure the activity of HEK293T cell lysates overexpressing recombinant human DDAH-1 in metabolizing ADMA into dimethylamine and L-citrulline. The same assay was used to assess the potential of the novel compounds, as well as of the well-known DDAH inhibitor L-257, to inhibit DDAH-1 catalyzed L-citrulline formation from ADMA. Three of the novel molecules (compounds 10a, 14a and 14b) showed very interesting inhibitory activity: in particular, the methylacylsulfonamide analogue of L-257 (10a) resulted in 13-fold higher inhibition potency than L-257 itself (98% of inhibition at 1mM, IC50 = 3±3 μM and Ki = 1±0 μM). This molecule was chosen for molecular dynamics simulations to study the putative mechanism for 10a inhibition of DDAH-1 activity. Furthermore, DDAH-1 and DDAH-2 were engineered introducing a FLAG-tag at the C-terminal of the proteins to allow their purification from the lysate components by immunoprecipitation. Although the purification protocol requires some further improvement, the fusion proteins did not show to be functionally affected by the modification.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Nitric oxide synthase