C5-Alkyl-2-methylurea-Substituted Pyridines as a New Class of Glucokinase Activators.
ABSTRACT: Glucokinase (GK) activators represent a class of type 2 diabetes therapeutics actively pursued due to the central role that GK plays in regulating glucose homeostasis. Herein we report a novel C5-alkyl-2-methylurea-substituted pyridine series of GK activators derived from our previously reported thiazolylamino pyridine series. Our efforts in optimizing potency, enzyme kinetic properties, and metabolic stability led to the identification of compound 26 (AM-9514). This analogue showed a favorable combination of in vitro potency, enzyme kinetic properties, acceptable pharmacokinetic profiles in preclinical species, and robust efficacy in a rodent PD model.
Project description:Two 1-(4-aryl-5-alkyl-pyridin-2-yl)-3-methylurea glucokinase activators were identified with robust in vivo efficacy. These two compounds possessed higher solubilities than the previously identified triaryl compounds (i.e., AM-2394). Structure-activity relationship studies are presented along with relevant pharmacokinetic and in vivo data.
Project description:Human glucokinase (GK) is a principal regulating sensor of plasma glucose levels. Mutations that inactivate GK are linked to diabetes, and mutations that activate it are associated with hypoglycemia. Unique kinetic properties equip GK for its regulatory role: although it has weak basal affinity for glucose, positive cooperativity in its binding of glucose causes a rapid increase in catalytic activity when plasma glucose concentrations rise above euglycemic levels. In clinical trials, small molecule GK activators (GKAs) have been efficacious in lowering plasma glucose and enhancing glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but they carry a risk of overly activating GK and causing hypoglycemia. The theoretical models proposed to date attribute the positive cooperativity of GK to the existence of distinct protein conformations that interconvert slowly and exhibit different affinities for glucose. Here we report the respective crystal structures of the catalytic complex of GK and of a GK-glucose complex in a wide open conformation. To assess conformations of GK in solution, we also carried out small angle x-ray scattering experiments. The results showed that glucose dose-dependently converts GK from an apo conformation to an active open conformation. Compared with wild type GK, activating mutants required notably lower concentrations of glucose to be converted to the active open conformation. GKAs decreased the level of glucose required for GK activation, and different compounds demonstrated distinct activation profiles. These results lead us to propose a modified mnemonic model to explain cooperativity in GK. Our findings may offer new approaches for designing GKAs with reduced hypoglycemic risk.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK) plays a vital role in the control of blood glucose levels and its altered activity can lead to the development of forms of diabetes. We have previously identified a mutant GK (R308K) in patients with type 2 diabetes with reduced enzyme activity. In the present study, the activation mechanism of GK from super-open to the closed state under wild-type and mutant conditions in the presence of the novel aminophosphonate derivative YNKGKA4 (an allosteric activator of GK) was characterized via a series of molecular dynamics simulations. A reliable conformational transition pathway of GK was observed from super-open to closed state during trajectory analysis. Glucose was also observed to modulate its binding orientation in the active site but with stable moments in the cavity. These observations provide insights into the complicated conformational transitions in the presence of YNKGKA4 and the molecular mechanism of GK activators for the allosteric regulation of mutant forms of GK.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK), a glucose sensor, maintains plasma glucose homeostasis via phosphorylation of glucose and is a potential therapeutic target for treating maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) and persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy (PHHI). To characterize the catalytic mechanism of glucose phosphorylation by GK, we combined molecular modeling, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) calculations, experimental mutagenesis and enzymatic kinetic analysis on both wild-type and mutated GK. Our three-dimensional (3D) model of the GK-Mg(2+)-ATP-glucose (GMAG) complex, is in agreement with a large number of mutagenesis data, and elucidates atomic information of the catalytic site in GK for glucose phosphorylation. A 10-ns MD simulation of the GMAG complex revealed that Lys169 plays a dominant role in glucose phosphorylation. This prediction was verified by experimental mutagenesis of GK (K169A) and enzymatic kinetic analyses of glucose phosphorylation. QM/MM calculations were further used to study the role of Lys169 in the catalytic mechanism of the glucose phosphorylation and we found that Lys169 enhances the binding of GK with both ATP and glucose by serving as a bridge between ATP and glucose. More importantly, Lys169 directly participates in the glucose phosphorylation as a general acid catalyst. Our findings provide mechanistic details of glucose phorphorylation catalyzed by GK, and are important for understanding the pathogenic mechanism of MODY.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK) is an enzyme that catalyzes the ATP-dependent phosphorylation of glucose to form glucose-6-phosphate, and it is a tightly regulated checkpoint in glucose homeostasis. GK is known to undergo substantial conformational changes upon glucose binding. The monomeric enzyme possesses a highly exotic kinetic activity profile with an unusual sigmoidal dependence on glucose concentration. In this interdisciplinary study, which draws on small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) integrated with 250?ns of atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and experimental glucose binding thermodynamics, we reveal that the critical regulation of this glucose sensor is due to a solvent controlled "switch". We demonstrate that the "solvent switch" is driven by specific protein structural dynamics, which leads to an enzyme structure that has a much more favorable solvation energy than most of the protein ensemble. These findings uncover the physical workings of an agile and flexible protein scaffold, which derives its long-range allosteric control through specific regions with favorable solvation energy. The physiological framework presented herein provides insights that have direct implications for the design of small molecule GK activators as anti-diabetes therapeutics as well as for understanding how proteins can be designed to have built-in regulatory functions via solvation energy dynamics.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK) is the key enzyme expressed in ?-cells of pancreas and liver hepatocytes and helps in the maintenance of blood glucose levels in normal range. Activators of GK are the novel category of drug candidates which activate GK enzyme allosterically and show their antidiabetic activity. A new series of 3,5-disubstituted benzamide analogues was designed, synthesized and evaluated as GK activators by in vitro assay as well as in silico docking studies followed by evaluation of antihyperglycemic activity in animal model. Amongst the synthesized derivatives, compounds 5c, 5f, 5i, 6c, 6e and 6h displayed excellent in vitro GK activation. Compounds 6c and 6e exhibited highest antihyperglycemic activity in oral glucose tolerance test in animal model. Compound 6e displayed most significant antihyperglycemic activity and comparable to that of standard drug in animal studies. In addition, antihyperglycemic activity of the synthesized molecules was further supported by the in silico docking studies of the synthesized derivatives in the allosteric site of GK protein.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK) is expressed in multiple organs and plays a key role in hepatic glucose metabolism and pancreatic insulin secretion. GK could indeed serve as pacemaker of glycolysis and could be an attractive target for type 2 diabetes (T2D). The recent preclinical data of first GK activator RO-28-1675 has opened up a new field of GK activation as a powerful tool in T2D therapies. The GK allosteric site is located ~20A away from glucose binding site. Chemical structure of Glucokinase activators (GKA) includes three chemical arms; all consisting of cyclic moiety and joined in a shape resembling the letter Y. In this study, comparative docking assessment using Autodock4 revealed that the three arms bind to three aromatic/hydrophobic subpockets at the allosteric site. Our dockings have overall consistency with experimental data in both docking modes and simulated binding free energies, and offer insights on understanding GK/GKA interactions and further GKA design. Specifically, for the first pocket, involvement of Arg63 as key residue in two specific hydrogen-bond formations with all allosteric activators defines the binding feature; for the second pocket, it has the most diverse binding interactions, mostly aromatic, hydrophobic and multiple hydrogen bonds. The site has the best potential for further GKA optimization by utilizing aromatic heterocycles and hydrogen bond forming linkers to build the GKA 2(nd) arm.
Project description:Mutations in the glucokinase (GK) gene cause type-2 maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 2 (MODY-2) and GK-linked hyperinsulinaemia (GK-HI). Recombinant adenoviruses expressing the human wild-type islet GK or one of four mutant forms of GK, (the MODY-2 mutants E70K, E300K and V203A and the GK-HI mutant V455M) were transduced into glucose-responsive insulin-secreting beta-HC9 cells and tested functionally in order to initiate the first analysis in vivo of recombinant wild-type and mutant human islet GK. Kinetic analysis of wild-type human GK showed that the glucose S(0. 5) and Hill coefficient were similar to previously published data in vitro (S(0.5) is the glucose level at the half-maximal rate). E70K had half the glucose affinity of wild-type, but similar enzyme activity. V203A demonstrated decreased catalytic activity and an 8-fold increase in glucose S(0.5) when compared with wild-type human islet GK. E300K had a glucose S(0.5) similar to wild-type but a 10-fold reduction in enzyme activity. E300K mRNA levels were comparable with wild-type GK mRNA levels, but Western-blot analyses demonstrated markedly reduced levels of immunologically detectable protein, consistent with an instability mutation. V455M was just as active as wild-type GK, but with a markedly reduced S(0.5). The effects of the different GK mutants on glucose-stimulated insulin release support the kinetic and expression data. These experiments show the utility of a combined genetic, biochemical and cell-biological approach to the quantification of functional and structural changes of human GK that result from MODY-2 and GK-HI mutations.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK) plays a critical role for maintaining glucose homeostasis with regulating glucose uptake in liver and insulin secretion in pancreas. GK activators have been reported to decrease blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, clinical development of GK activators has failed due to the loss of glucose-lowering effects and increased plasma triglyceride levels after chronic treatment. Here, we generated a novel GK activator, TMG-123, examined its in vitro and in vivo pharmacological characteristics, and evaluated its risks of aforementioned clinical issues. TMG-123 selectively activated GK enzyme activity without increasing Vmax. TMG-123 improved glucose tolerance without increasing plasma insulin levels in both insulin-deficient (Goto-Kakizaki rats) and insulin-resistant (db/db mice) models. The beneficial effect on glucose tolerance was greater than results observed with clinically available antidiabetic drugs such as metformin and glibenclamide in Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats. TMG-123 also improved glucose tolerance in combination with metformin. After 4 weeks of administration, TMG-123 reduced the Hemoglobin A1c levels without affecting liver and plasma triglyceride levels in Goto-Kakizaki rats and Diet-Induced Obesity mice. Moreover, TMG-123 sustained its effect on Hemoglobin A1c levels even after 24 weeks of administration without affecting triglycerides. Taken together, these data indicate that TMG-123 exerts glucose-lowering effects in both insulin-deficient and -resistant diabetes, and sustains reduced Hemoglobin A1c levels without affecting hepatic and plasma triglycerides even after chronic treatment. Therefore, TMG-123 is expected to be an antidiabetic drug that overcomes the concerns previously reported with other GK activators.
Project description:Glucokinase (GK) is an important enzyme for regulating blood glucose levels and a potentially attractive target for diabetes of the young type 2 and persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy. To characterize the conformational transition of GK from the closed state to the superopen state, a series of conventional molecular dynamics (MD) and target MD (TMD) simulations were performed on both the wild-type enzyme and its mutants. Two 10-ns conventional MD simulations showed that, although the allosteric site of GK is approximately 20 A away from the active site, the activator is able to enhance the activity of the enzyme through conformational restriction. Fourteen TMD simulations on GK and five of its mutants revealed a reliably conformational transition pathway. The overall conformational transition includes three stages, and three likely stable intermediate states were identified by free energy scanning for the snapshots throughout the pathway. The conformational transition feature revealed by our TMD simulations rationalized several important mutagenesis and kinetic data. Remarkably, the TMD simulations predicted that Y61S, I159A, A201R, V203E, and V452S mutations, which have not been investigated so far, may facilitate the opening process of GK. These predictions also have been verified by mutagenesis and kinetic analyses in this study. These observations are beneficial to understanding the mechanism of GK regulation and designing the compounds for treating metabolic diseases.