Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Computer-aided design of ligands at multiple protein targets for multifactorial diseases
Author: Kalash, Leen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 8814
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Today, drug discovery predominately focuses on the design of ligands with high selectivity towards a specific biological target. A significant limitation in the case of multi-factorial diseases (e.g. neurodegenerative disorders) is that effective therapy may require multi-target drugs addressing the complexity of multi-factorial pathologies. Here, single- and multi-target ligand design was investigated to discover novel compounds active at multiple proteins/multiple binding sites including allosteric ligands. Calpain-1, a challenging target, was selected to develop and evaluate computational approaches to the discovery of novel ligands. Current selective calpain-1 inhibitors are reported to bind to an allosteric site and their mode of action has remained elusive. To elucidate this, a structure-based virtual screening protocol was implemented to find chemically novel compounds with improved selectivity and a reduced side-effects profile. To develop methods for the discovery of multi-target ligands, a multi-target design approach, which could be beneficial in the treatment of Lung Carcinoma and Neurodegenerative diseases, was investigated. A novel ensemble of proteins was targeted to elevate intracellular cAMP, deemed to be beneficial in these diseases resulting in the discovery of ligands with high binding affinity at three targets, PDE10A, A1 and A2A receptors. In tandem, functional activity at the A2A receptor and PDE10A was investigated, resulting in the discovery of novel compounds, which exhibited anti-proliferative effects in lung carcinoma cell-lines correlating with the co-expression of the two targets and increased cAMP levels. Critically, the dynamics of one amino acid residue, Val84, was identified as a novel conformational descriptor of A2A receptor activation. Overall, novel single- and multi-target ligand design approaches are presented in this work, which could be applicable to a wide range of ligand design problems, across (multi-factorial) disease areas and target families. The findings may facilitate improved design of allosteric calpain-1 inhibitors using the PEF(S) domain, and encourage investigating the therapeutic benefits of dual ligands at the A2A receptor and PDE10A against lung cancer in vivo.
Supervisor: Bender, Andreas Sponsor: IDB Cambridge International Scholarship ; ERC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Structure-based design ; Ligand-based design ; MD simulations ; docking ; multi-target ligands ; allosteric inhibitors ; multifactorial diseases ; lung cancer