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Title: Investigation of inhibitors of polysialyltransferase as novel therapeutics for neuroblastoma : development of in vitro assays to assess the functionality and selectivity of novel small-molecule inhibitors of polysialyltransferases for use in neuroblastoma therapy
Author: Saeed, Rida Fatima
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 4065
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2015
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Polysialic acid is a unique carbohydrate that decorates the surface of the neural cell adhesion molecule. Polysialic acid is an onco-developmental antigen, expressed in tumours principally of neuroendocrine origin, notably neuroblastoma, strongly correlating with invasion and metastasis. Polysialylation is regulated by two polysialyltransferase enzymes, PST (ST8SiaIV) and STX (ST8SiaII), with STX dominant in cancer. Post-development polysialic acid expression is only found at low levels in the brain, thus this could be a novel target for cancer therapy. It is hypothesized that inhibition of polysialyltransferase could lead to control of tumour dissemination and metastasis. The aims of this thesis were to develop tools and in vitro assays to screen novel polysialyltransferase inhibitors. A panel of tumour cell lines were characterised in terms of growth parameters (using the MTT assay) and polysialic acid expression. This includes a pair of isogenic C6 rat glioma cells (C6-STX and C6-WT) and naturally polysialic acid expressing neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y). Following this, an in vitro assay was validated to screen modulation of polysialic acid expression by removing pre-existing polysialic acid expression using endoneuraminidase N and evaluated the amount of re-expression of polysialic acid using immunocytochemistry. Then, a functional assay was developed and validated for invasion, the matrigel invasion assay. Cytidine monophosphate (tool compound) significantly reduced polysialic acid surface expression and invasion. A panel of six novel polysialyltransferase inhibitors was screened for cytotoxicity, polysialic acid surface expression and invasion. Of the potential polysialyltransferase inhibitors evaluated, ICT3176 and ICT3172 were identified from virtual screening of Maybridge library and were emerged as the most promising inhibitors, demonstrating significant (p < 0.05) reduction in cell-surface polysialic acid re-expression and invasion in polysialic acid expressing cells. Furthermore, the specificity of compounds for polysialyltransferase (α-2,8-sialyltransferase) over other members of the wider sialyltransferase family (α-2,3- and α-2,6-sialyltransferases) was confirmed using differential lectin staining. These results demonstrated that small molecule inhibitors as STX is possible and provides suitable in vitro cell based assays to discovery more potent derivatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Polysialic acid ; Neural cell adhesion molecule ; Neuroblastoma ; Polysialyltransferase ; Metastasis ; Invasion ; Cancer therapeutics ; Transwell invasion assay ; Sialic acid expression