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Title: Novel and selective small molecule inhibitors and activators for the prolyl hydroxylase domain enzyme
Author: Holt-Martyn, James
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 8355
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Hypoxia Inducible Factors (HIF) functions are master regulators of oxygen homeostasis and have a key role in the physiological responses to hypoxia including angiogenesis and erythropoiesis. Under hypoxia, levels of HIF-α subunits increase, they hetereodimerise with HIF-1β sub unit and promote the initiation of transcription of target genes. Under normoxia, oxygen dependent HIF-α degradation is promoted by hydroxylation of either of two proline residues (Pro402 and Pro564). The interaction of prolylhydroxylated HIF-α with the Von Hippel-Lindau protein (pVHL) promotes hydrolytic degradation of HIFα through an E3 ubiquitin ligase proteasomal pathway. HIF prolyl hydroxylation is catalysed by three 2-oxoglutarate (2OG)-dependent oxygenases known as prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD 1-3) proteins, through an Fe(II) mediated catalytic process using 2OG, and oxygen. The PHDs are part of the family of Fe(II) bound 2OG dependent oxygenases. There are approximately 70 human 2OG oxygenases many of which have biologically important roles. Small-molecule inhibitors have reached advanced clinical trials; however, many clinical candidates inhibit other structurally similar 2OG oxygenases (OGFOD1 and vCPH) potentially altering the therapeutic effect. This thesis describes the design and synthesis of potent and 2OG oxygenase selective inhibitors for the PHDs. The 1,3,8-triazaspiro[4.5]decane-2,4-dione and 4-hydroxy-2-(pyrazole)pyrimidine-5-amide series were chosen as initial 'hits' (reported in the patent literature). The main analogues of the series were characterised in vitro and in cells as potent and selective PHD inhibitors over structurally similar 2OG oxygenases (Chapter 2). Broad structure activity relationship (SAR) of both initial series demonstrated the sensitivity for PHD2 inhibition (Chapter 3). Combination of SAR work described in Chapters 2 and 3 lead to the development of the novel 4-hydroxy pyridine series. In-depth SAR resulted in optimised analogues including 1 (IC50 69 nM) and highly selective over structurally similar 2OG oxygenases including OGFOD1. The completed SAR work led to the development of two novel pharmacophores 2 and 3. Both pharmacophores displayed potent PHD inhibition and selectivity over OGFOD1. Analogues including 1 and 3 displayed on target cellular activity stabilising HIF-1α at 20 μM (Chapter 4). The 4-dimethylamine pyridine analogue displayed an increase in substrate hydroxylation on PHD2 in contrast to the DMSO control (Chapter 3). SAR and cellular characterisation indicated that the effect observed was not an assay artifact (Chapter 5). Fenofibrate was used as a starting point for the development of novel inhibitors of the oxygen consumption rate (OCR) via mitochondrial inhibition (Chapter 6). Analogues were synthesised in order to conduct broad SAR and on-target cellular activity was observed in a Seahorse XF assay (50% reduction in the OCR at 1 μM). A selection of amino and amide analogues warrant further investigation.
Supervisor: Schofield, Chris Sponsor: British Heart Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PHD2 ; HIF