Lipophilic analogs of zoledronate and risedronate inhibit Plasmodium geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS) and exhibit potent antimalarial activity.
ABSTRACT: We report the results of an in vitro screening assay targeting the intraerythrocytic form of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum using a library of 560 prenyl-synthase inhibitors. Based on "growth-rescue" and enzyme-inhibition experiments, geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS) is shown to be a major target for the most potent leads, BPH-703 and BPH-811, lipophilic analogs of the bone-resorption drugs zoledronate and risedronate. We determined the crystal structures of these inhibitors bound to a Plasmodium GGPPS finding that their head groups bind to the [Mg(2+)](3) cluster in the active site in a similar manner to that found with their more hydrophilic parents, whereas their hydrophobic tails occupy a long-hydrophobic tunnel spanning both molecules in the dimer. The results of isothermal-titration-calorimetric experiments show that both lipophilic bisphosphonates bind to GGPPS with, on average, a ΔG of -9 kcal mol(-1), only 0.5 kcal mol(-1) worse than the parent bisphosphonates, consistent with the observation that conversion to the lipophilic species has only a minor effect on enzyme activity. However, only the lipophilic species are active in cells. We also tested both compounds in mice, finding major decreases in parasitemia and 100% survival. These results are of broad general interest because they indicate that it may be possible to overcome barriers to cell penetration of existing bisphosphonate drugs in this and other systems by simple covalent modification to form lipophilic analogs that retain their enzyme-inhibition activity and are also effective in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates, drugs used to treat bone resorption diseases, also have activity against a broad range of protists, including blood-stage Plasmodium spp. Here, we show that new-generation "lipophilic" bisphosphonates designed as anticancer agents that block protein prenylation also have potent activity against Plasmodium liver stages, with a high (>100) therapeutic index. Treatment of mice with the bisphosphonate BPH-715 and challenge with Plasmodium berghei sporozoites revealed complete protection (no blood-stage parasites after 28 days). There was also activity against blood-stage forms in vitro and a 4-day delay in the prepatent period in vivo. The lipophilic bisphosphonates have activity against a Plasmodium geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS), as well as low nM activity against human farnesyl and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthases. The most active inhibitor in vitro and in vivo had enzyme inhibitory activity similar to that of the other, less active compounds but was more lipophilic. Lipophilic bisphosphonates are thus promising leads for novel antimalarials that target liver-stage infection.
Project description:The bifunctional farnesyl/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS/GGPPS) is a key branchpoint enzyme in isoprenoid biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum (malaria) parasites. PfFPPS/GGPPS is a validated, high-priority antimalarial drug target. Unfortunately, current bisphosphonate drugs that inhibit FPPS and GGPPS enzymes by acting as a diphosphate substrate analog show poor bioavailability and selectivity for PfFPPS/GGPPS. We identified a new non-bisphosphonate compound, MMV019313, which is highly selective for PfFPPS/GGPPS and showed no activity against human FPPS or GGPPS. Inhibition of PfFPPS/GGPPS by MMV019313, but not bisphosphonates, was disrupted in an S228T variant, demonstrating that MMV019313 and bisphosphonates have distinct modes of inhibition. Molecular docking indicated that MMV019313 did not bind previously characterized substrate sites in PfFPPS/GGPPS. Our finding uncovers a new, selective small-molecule binding site in this important antimalarial drug target with superior druggability compared with the known inhibitor site and sets the stage for the development of Plasmodium-specific FPPS/GGPPS inhibitors.
Project description:We synthesized 30 lipophilic bisphosphonates and tested them in malaria parasite killing (targeting parasite geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase, GGPPS) as well in human ?? T cell activation (targeting human farnesyl diphosphate synthase, FPPS). Similar patterns of activity were seen in inhibiting human FPPS and Plasmodium GGPPS, with short to medium chain-length species having most activity. In cells, shorter chain-length species had low activity, due to poor membrane permeability, and longer chain length species were poor enzyme inhibitors. Optimal activity was thus seen with ~C10 side-chains, which have the best combination of enzyme inhibition and cell penetration. We also solved the crystal structure of one potent inhibitor, bound to FPPS. The results are of interest since they suggest the possibility of a combined chemo/immuno-therapeutic approach to anti-malarial development in which both direct parasite killing as well as ?? T cell activation can be achieved with a single compound.
Project description:Malaria is a tropical disease with significant morbidity and mortality. A better understanding of the metabolism of its most important etiological agent, Plasmodium falciparum, is paramount to the development of better treatment and other mitigation measures. Farnesyldiphosphate synthase/geranylgeranyldiphosphate synthase (FPPS/GGPPS) is a key enzyme in the synthesis of isoprenic chains present in many essential structures. In P. falciparum, as well as a handful of other organisms, FPPS/GGPPS has been shown to be a bifunctional enzyme. By genetic tagging and microscopy, we observed a changing localization of FPPS/GGPPS in blood stage parasites. Given the great importance of alternative splicing and other transcriptional phenomena in gene regulation and the generation of protein diversity, we have investigated the processing of the FPPS/GGPPS transcript in P. falciparum by high-throughput sequencing methods in four time-points along the intraerythrocytic cycle of P. falciparum. We have identified levels of transcript diversity an order of magnitude higher than previously observed in this organism, as well as a few stage-specific splicing events. Our data suggest that alternative splicing in P. falciparum is an important feature for gene regulation and the generation of protein diversity.
Project description:Considerable effort has focused on the development of selective protein farnesyl transferase (FTase) and protein geranylgeranyl transferase (GGTase) inhibitors as cancer chemotherapeutics. Here, we report a new strategy for anticancer therapeutic agents involving inhibition of farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS) and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS), the two enzymes upstream of FTase and GGTase, by lipophilic bisphosphonates. Due to dual site targeting and decreased polarity, the compounds have activities far greater than do current bisphosphonate drugs in inhibiting tumor cell growth and invasiveness, both in vitro and in vivo. We explore how these compounds inhibit cell growth and how cell activity can be predicted based on enzyme inhibition data, and using X-ray diffraction, solid state NMR, and isothermal titration calorimetry, we show how these compounds bind to FPPS and/or GGPPS.
Project description:GGPPS was the key enzyme of mevalonate metabolic pathway which was used to synthesize the geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP). When we deletion the GGPPS in the sertoli cell and the germ cell loss were found . We used microarrays to detail the global programme of gene expression after GGPPS deletion in sertoli cell and identified 1623 gene expression level change more than 2 times. Primary sertoli cells from 3 days old of control and KO mice for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays, every group primare sertoli cell were from more than 30 mice.
Project description:Multiple geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthases (GGPPS) for biosynthesis of geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) exist in plants. GGPP is produced in the isoprenoid pathway and is a central precursor for various primary and specialized plant metabolites. Therefore, its biosynthesis is an essential regulatory point in the isoprenoid pathway. We selected 119 GGPPSs from 48 species representing all major plant lineages, based on stringent homology criteria. After the diversification of land plants, the number of GGPPS paralogs per species increases. Already in the moss Physcomitrella patens, GGPPS appears to be encoded by multiple paralogous genes. In gymnosperms, neofunctionalization of GGPPS may have enabled optimized biosynthesis of primary and specialized metabolites. Notably, lineage-specific expansion of GGPPS occurred in land plants. As a representative species we focused here on Arabidopsis thaliana, which retained the highest number of GGPPS paralogs (twelve) among the 48 species we considered in this study. Our results show that the A. thaliana GGPPS gene family is an example of evolution involving neo- and subfunctionalization as well as pseudogenization. We propose subfunctionalization as one of the main mechanisms allowing the maintenance of multiple GGPPS paralogs in A. thaliana genome. Accordingly, the changes in the expression patterns of the GGPPS paralogs occurring after gene duplication led to developmental and/or condition specific functional evolution.
Project description:Malignant melanoma is one of the most metastatic cancer types, and despite recent success with novel treatment strategies, there is still a group of patients who do not respond to any therapies. Earlier, the prenylation inhibitor hydrophilic bisphosphonate zoledronic acid (ZA) was found to inhibit melanoma growth in vitro, but only a weaker effect was observed in vivo due to its hydrophilic properties. Recently, lipophilic bisphosphonates (such as BPH1222) were developed. Accordingly, for the first time, we compared the effect of BPH1222 to ZA in eight melanoma lines using viability, cell-cycle, clonogenic and spheroid assays, videomicroscopy, immunoblot, and xenograft experiments. Based on 2D and spheroid assays, the majority of cell lines were more sensitive to BPH. The activation of Akt and S6 proteins, but not Erk, was inhibited by BPH. Additionally, BPH had a stronger apoptotic effect than ZA, and the changes of Rheb showed a correlation with apoptosis. In vitro, only M24met cells were more sensitive to ZA than to BPH; however, in vivo growth of M24met was inhibited more strongly by BPH. Here, we present that lipophilic BPH is more effective on melanoma cells than ZA and identify the PI3K pathway, particularly Rheb as an important mediator of growth inhibition.
Project description:Early growth response 1 (EGR-1) contributes to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the lungs of smokers by mediating pulmonary inflammatory responses, but the direct downstream genes of EGR-1 that regulate this process remain unknown. We show that a new EGR-1 target gene, geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS), which controls protein prenylation, can regulate the proinflammatory function of EGR-1 by activating MAPK signaling. When C57BL/6 mice were exposed to cigarette smoke, EGR-1 and GGPPS levels increased in their lungs, and the inflammatory responses were augmented, whereas these effects could be reversed by the down-regulation of EGR-1 transcription activity. The accumulation of EGR-1 and GGPPS was induced by MAPK/ERK pathway activation when Beas-2B human bronchial epithelial cells were exposed to cigarette smoke extract (CSE). Further examination showed that EGR-1 in turn regulated Erk1/2 activity because inhibition of EGR-1 transcription activity decreased CSE-induced Erk1/2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, EGR-1-promoted Erk1/2 activation was dependent on GGPPS transcription. Knockdown of GGPPS expression with small-interfering RNA abolished the EGR-1-activated Erk1/2 activity. Both EGR-1 transcription inhibition and GGPPS expression knockdown decreased the inflammatory response induced by CSE in Beas-2B cells. Our results reveal a new EGR-1/GGPPS/MAPK signaling pathway that controls cigarette smoke-induced pulmonary inflammation, and this may shed light on our understanding of the mechanism of cigarette smoke-related pulmonary diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Project description:We report a molecular dynamics investigation of the structure, function, and inhibition of geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS), a potential drug target, from the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax. We discovered several GGPPS inhibitors, benzoic acids, and determined their structures crystallographically. We then used molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the dynamics of three such inhibitors and two bisphosphonate inhibitors, zoledronate and a lipophilic analogue of zoledronate, as well as the enzyme's product, GGPP. We were able to identify the main motions that govern substrate binding and product release as well as the molecular features required for GGPPS inhibition by both classes of inhibitor. The results are of broad general interest because they represent the first detailed investigation of the mechanism of action, and inhibition, of an important antimalarial drug target, geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase, and may help guide the development of other, novel inhibitors as new drug leads.