Discovery of Novel Indoline Cholesterol Ester Transfer Protein Inhibitors (CETP) through a Structure-Guided Approach.
ABSTRACT: Using the collective body of known (CETP) inhibitors as inspiration for design, a structurally novel series of tetrahydroquinoxaline CETP inhibitors were discovered. An exemplar from this series, compound 5, displayed potent in vitro CETP inhibition and was efficacious in a transgenic cynomologus-CETP mouse HDL PD (pharmacodynamic) assay. However, an undesirable metabolic profile and chemical instability hampered further development of the series. A three-dimensional structure of tetrahydroquinoxaline inhibitor 6 was proposed from (1)H NMR structural studies, and this model was then used in silico for the design of a new class of compounds based upon an indoline scaffold. This work resulted in the discovery of compound 7, which displayed potent in vitro CETP inhibition, a favorable PK-PD profile relative to tetrahydroquinoxaline 5, and dose-dependent efficacy in the transgenic cynomologus-CETP mouse HDL PD assay.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Xanthohumol is expected to be a potent anti-atherosclerotic agent due to its inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). In this study, we hypothesized that xanthohumol prevents atherosclerosis in vivo and used CETP-transgenic mice (CETP-Tg mice) to evaluate xanthohumol as a functional agent.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Two strains of mice, CETP-Tg and C57BL/6N (wild-type), were fed a high cholesterol diet with or without 0.05% (w/w) xanthohumol ad libitum for 18 weeks. In CETP-Tg mice, xanthohumol significantly decreased accumulated cholesterol in the aortic arch and increased HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) when compared to the control group (without xanthohumol). Xanthohumol had no significant effect in wild-type mice. CETP activity was significantly decreased after xanthohumol addition in CETP-Tg mice compared with the control group and it inversely correlated with HDL-C (%) (P<0.05). Furthermore, apolipoprotein E (apoE) was enriched in serum and the HDL-fraction in CETP-Tg mice after xanthohumol addition, suggesting that xanthohumol ameliorates reverse cholesterol transport via apoE-rich HDL resulting from CETP inhibition.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results suggest xanthohumol prevents cholesterol accumulation in atherogenic regions by HDL-C metabolism via CETP inhibition leading to apoE enhancement.
Project description:In clinical trials, inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) raises HDL cholesterol levels but does not robustly improve cardiovascular outcomes. Approximately two-thirds of trial participants are obese. Lower plasma CETP activity is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in human studies, and protective aspects of CETP have been observed in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) with regard to metabolic outcomes. To define whether CETP inhibition has different effects depending on the presence of obesity, we performed short-term anacetrapib treatment in chow- and HFD-fed CETP transgenic mice. Anacetrapib raised HDL cholesterol and improved aspects of HDL functionality, including reverse cholesterol transport, and HDL's antioxidative capacity in HFD-fed mice was better than in chow-fed mice. Anacetrapib worsened the anti-inflammatory capacity of HDL in HFD-fed mice. The HDL proteome was markedly different with anacetrapib treatment in HFD- versus chow-fed mice. Despite benefits on HDL, anacetrapib led to liver triglyceride accumulation and insulin resistance in HFD-fed mice. Overall, our results support a physiologic importance of CETP in protecting from fatty liver and demonstrate context selectivity of CETP inhibition that might be important in obese subjects.
Project description:Inhibition of cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP), a protein mediating transfer of neutral lipids between lipoproteins, has been proposed as a means to elevate atheroprotective HDL subpopulations and thereby reduce atherosclerosis. However, off-target and adverse effects of the inhibition have raised doubts about the molecular mechanism of CETP-HDL interaction. Recent experimental findings have demonstrated the penetration of CETP into HDL. However, atomic level resolution of CETP penetration into HDL, a prerequisite for a better understanding of CETP functionality and HDL atheroprotection, is missing. We constructed an HDL particle that mimics the actual human HDL mass composition and investigated for the first time, by large-scale atomistic molecular dynamics, the interaction of an upright CETP with a human HDL-mimicking model. The results demonstrated how CETP can penetrate the HDL particle surface, with the formation of an opening in the N barrel domain end of CETP, put in evidence the major anchoring role of a tryptophan-rich region of this domain, and unveiled the presence of a phenylalanine barrier controlling further access of HDL-derived lipids to the tunnel of CETP. The findings reveal novel atomistic details of the CETP-HDL interaction mechanism and can provide new insight into therapeutic strategies.
Project description:Mechanisms underlying changes in HDL composition caused by obesity are poorly defined, partly because mice lack expression of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), which shuttles triglyceride and cholesteryl ester between lipoproteins. Because menopause is associated with weight gain, altered glucose metabolism, and changes in HDL, we tested the effect of feeding a high-fat diet (HFD) and ovariectomy (OVX) on glucose metabolism and HDL composition in CETP transgenic mice. After OVX, female CETP-expressing mice had accelerated weight gain with HFD-feeding and impaired glucose tolerance by hyperglycemic clamp techniques, compared with OVX mice fed a low-fat diet (LFD). Sham-operated mice (SHAM) did not show HFD-induced weight gain and had less glucose intolerance than OVX mice. Using shotgun HDL proteomics, HFD-feeding in OVX mice had a large effect on HDL composition, including increased levels of apoA2, apoA4, apoC2, and apoC3, proteins involved in TG metabolism. These changes were associated with decreased hepatic expression of SR-B1, ABCA1, and LDL receptor, proteins involved in modulating the lipid content of HDL. In SHAM mice, there were minimal changes in HDL composition with HFD feeding. These studies suggest that the absence of ovarian hormones negatively influences the response to high-fat feeding in terms of glucose tolerance and HDL composition. CETP-expressing mice may represent a useful model to define how metabolic changes affect HDL composition and function.
Project description:The atheroprotective role of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in cardiovascular disease has been unequivocally established, and epidemiological data have clearly demonstrated a strong inverse relationship between HDL-C levels and the risk of cardiovascular events, which is independent of the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. Thus, it would be logical to hypothesize that raising HDL-C might potentially lead to a reduction of cardiovascular risk. Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) promotes the transfer of cholesteryl esters from HDL to very low-density lipoprotein and LDL. Therefore, CETP inhibition raises HDL-C levels and decreases LDL-C levels. The first trials with CETP inhibitors failed to show a reduction in cardiovascular events. However, newer CETP inhibitors with more favorable effects on lipids are presently being tested in clinical trials with the hope that their use may lead to a reduction in cardiovascular risk. This review aims to provide the current evidence regarding CETP inhibition, as well as the clinical and scientific data pertaining to the new CETP inhibitors in development.
Project description:In observational epidemiologic studies, higher plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) has been associated with increased risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). DNA sequence variants that decrease cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene activity increase plasma HDL-C; as such, medicines that inhibit CETP and raise HDL-C are in clinical development. Here, we test the hypothesis that CETP DNA sequence variants associated with higher HDL-C also increase risk for ICH.We performed 2 candidate-gene analyses of CETP. First, we tested individual CETP variants in a discovery cohort of 1,149 ICH cases and 1,238 controls from 3 studies, followed by replication in 1,625 cases and 1,845 controls from 5 studies. Second, we constructed a genetic risk score comprised of 7 independent variants at the CETP locus and tested this score for association with HDL-C as well as ICH risk.Twelve variants within CETP demonstrated nominal association with ICH, with the strongest association at the rs173539 locus (odds ratio [OR]?=?1.25, standard error [SE]?=?0.06, p?=?6.0?×?10-4 ) with no heterogeneity across studies (I2 ?=?0%). This association was replicated in patients of European ancestry (p?=?0.03). A genetic score of CETP variants found to increase HDL-C by ?2.85mg/dl in the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium was strongly associated with ICH risk (OR?=?1.86, SE?=?0.13, p?=?1.39?×?10-6 ).Genetic variants in CETP associated with increased HDL-C raise the risk of ICH. Given ongoing therapeutic development in CETP inhibition and other HDL-raising strategies, further exploration of potential adverse cerebrovascular outcomes may be warranted. Ann Neurol 2016;80:730-740.
Project description:ApoCI (apolipoprotein CI) is a potent inhibitor of plasma CETP [CE (cholesteryl ester) transfer protein]. The relevance of apoCI overexpression as a method for CETP blockade in vivo was addressed in the present study in CETPTg/apoCITg mice (mice expressing both human CETP and apoCI). Despite a significant reduction in specific CETP activity in CETPTg/apoCITg mice compared with CETPTg mice [transgenic mouse to human CETP; 46.8+/-11.1 versus 101.8+/-25.7 pmol x h(-1).(mug of plasma CETP)(-1) respectively; P<0.05], apoCI overexpression increased both the CETP mass concentration (3-fold increase; P<0.05) and the hepatic CETP mRNA level (4-fold increase, P<0.005), leading to an increase in total plasma CE transfer activity (by 39%, P<0.05). The ratio of apoB-containing lipoprotein to HDL (high-density lipoprotein) CE was 10-fold higher in CETPTg/apoCITg mice than in apoCITg mice (P<0.0005). It is proposed that the increased CETP expression in CETPTg/apoCITg mice is a direct consequence of liver X receptor activation in response to the accumulation of cholesterol-rich apoB-containing lipoproteins. In support of the latter view, hepatic mRNA levels of other liver X receptor-responsive genes [ABCG5 (ATP-binding cassette transporter GS) and SREBP-1c (sterol-regulatory-binding protein-1c)] were higher in CETPTg/apoCITg mice compared with CETPTg mice. In conclusion, overexpression of apoCI, while producing a significant inhibitory effect on specific CETP activity, does not represent a suitable method for decreasing total CE transfer activity in CETPTg/apoCITg mice, owing to an hyperlipidaemia-mediated effect on CETP gene expression.
Project description:Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) mediates the transfer of cholesterol esters (CE) from atheroprotective high-density lipoproteins (HDL) to atherogenic low-density lipoproteins (LDL). CETP inhibition has been regarded as a promising strategy for increasing HDL levels and subsequently reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Although the crystal structure of CETP is known, little is known regarding how CETP binds to HDL. Here, we investigated how various HDL-like particles interact with CETP by electron microscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. Results showed that CETP binds to HDL via hydrophobic interactions rather than protein-protein interactions. The HDL surface lipid curvature generates a hydrophobic environment, leading to CETP hydrophobic distal end interaction. This interaction is independent of other HDL components, such as apolipoproteins, cholesteryl esters and triglycerides. Thus, disrupting these hydrophobic interactions could be a new therapeutic strategy for attenuating the interaction of CETP with HDL.
Project description:In almost 30 years since the introduction of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), no other class of lipid modulators has entered the market. Elevation of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) via inhibiting cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) is an attractive strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular events in high-risk patients. Transfer of triglyceride and cholesteryl ester (CE) between lipoproteins is mediated by CETP; thus inhibition of this pathway can increase the concentration of HDL-C. Torcetrapib was the first CETP inhibitor evaluated in phase III clinical trials. Because of off-target effects, torcetrapib raised blood pressure and increased the concentration of serum aldosterone, leading to higher cardiovascular events and mortality. Torcetrapib showed positive effects on cardiovascular risk especially in patients with a greater increase in HDL-C and apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1) levels. The phase III clinical trial of dalcetrapib, the second CETP inhibitor that has entered clinical development, was terminated because of ineffectiveness. Dalcetrapib is a CETP modulator that elevated HDL-C levels but did not reduce the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Both heterotypic and homotypic CE transfer between lipoproteins are mediated by some CETP inhibitors, including torcetrapib, anacetrapib, and evacetrapib, while dalcetrapib only affects the heterotypic CE transfer. Dalcetrapib has a chemical structure that is distinct from other CETP inhibitors, with a smaller molecular weight and a lack of trifluoride moieties. Moreover, dalcetrapib is a pro-drug that must be hydrolyzed to a pharmacologically active thiol form. Two other CETP inhibitors, anacetrapib and evacetrapib, are currently undergoing evaluation in phase III clinical trials. Both molecules have shown beneficial effects by increasing HDL-C and decreasing LDL-C concentration. The success of anacetrapib and evacetrapib remains to be confirmed upon the completion of phase III clinical trials in 2017 and 2015, respectively. Generally, the concentration of HDL-C has been considered a biomarker for the activity of CETP inhibitors. However, it is not clear whether a fundamental relationship exists between HDL-C levels and the risk of coronary artery diseases. The most crucial role for HDL is cholesterol efflux capacity in which HDL can reverse transport cholesterol from foam cells in atherosclerotic plaques. In view of the heterogeneity in HDL particle size, charge, and composition, the mere concentration of HDL-C may not be a good surrogate marker for HDL functionality. Recent clinical studies have reported that increased HDL functionality inversely correlates with the development of atherosclerotic plaque. Future development of CETP inhibitors may therefore benefit from the use of biomarkers of HDL functionality.
Project description:According to the current dogma, cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) decreases high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (C) and increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-C. However, detailed insight into the effects of CETP on lipoprotein subclasses is lacking. Therefore, we used a Mendelian randomization approach based on a genetic score for serum CETP concentration (rs247616, rs12720922 and rs1968905) to estimate causal effects per unit (µg/mL) increase in CETP on 159 standardized metabolic biomarkers, primarily lipoprotein subclasses. Metabolic biomarkers were measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in 5672 participants of the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study. Higher CETP concentrations were associated with less large HDL (largest effect XL-HDL-C, P?=?6?×?10-22) and more small VLDL components (largest effect S-VLDL cholesteryl esters, P?=?6?×?10-6). No causal effects were observed with LDL subclasses. All these effects were replicated in an independent cohort from European ancestry (MAGNETIC NMR GWAS; n ~20,000). Additionally, we assessed observational associations between ELISA-measured CETP concentration and metabolic measures. In contrast to results from Mendelian randomization, observationally, CETP concentration predominantly associated with more VLDL, IDL and LDL components. Our results show that CETP is an important causal determinant of HDL and VLDL concentration and composition, which may imply that the CETP inhibitor anacetrapib decreased cardiovascular disease risk through specific reduction of small VLDL rather than LDL. The contrast between genetic and observational associations might be explained by a high capacity of VLDL, IDL and LDL subclasses to carry CETP, thereby concealing causal effects on HDL.