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Title: Computer-aided design and synthesis of novel anti-DENV nucleoside analogues
Author: Cima, Cecilia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 006X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2017
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Dengue virus (DENV) is one of the most important human pathogens among the genus flavivirus, with 3.9 billion people at risk of infection through mosquitoes, such as the widely spread ‘Asian tiger’ mosquitoes, and the four serotypes of DENV are endemic in over 100 countries in tropical and subtropical regions. Clinical manifestations of infection with DENV range from flu-like symptoms to the life-threatening dengue haemorrhagic fever. The dramatic increase in the incidence of the DENV infection, the rapid spread of DENV to new areas and the recent re-emergence of another member of the genus flavivirus, Zika virus (ZIKV), have highlighted the urgent need for specific antiviral therapies against infections with DENV and related viruses, which are not currently available. DENV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of the viral genome, is one of the most attractive targets for the development of direct acting antiviral agents but its molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Thefore, the aims of this PhD project were i) to build a model of the de novo initiation complex of DENV RdRp, of which there is currently no crystal structure available, ii) in silico design and synthesis of novel nucleoside and nucleotide analogues as potential inhibitors of DENV replication, iii) and finally to investigate the mechanism of the RNA synthesis by DENV RdRp. Molecular modelling techniques allowed for the creation of a model of the de novo initiation complex. The application of in silico drug design approaches resulted in the identification of three families of promising adenosine analogues: ribose-modified, nucleobase-modified and acyclic adenosine analogues. Strategies for the preparation of these nucleosides were investigated and ten adenosine analogues and eight nucleotide prodrugs, which are phosphoramidate ProTides, of specific nucleosides were synthesised and sent for biological evaluation in vitro. Innovative microwave irradiation conditions for the preparation of phosphoramidate ProTides were developed and successfully applied to synthesised nucleoside analogues. Finally, the application of molecular dynamics simulation methods on different complexes of DENV RdRp provided insights on the conformational changes of DENV RdRp during the synthesis of the viral genome. These results contributed to the understanding of DENV RdRp activity and will aid the design of inhibitors of the viral replication.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RS Pharmacy and materia medica