A novel series of 2-aminobenzimidazole inhibitors of BACE1 has been discovered using fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) techniques. The rapid optimization of these inhibitors using structure-guided medicinal chemistry is discussed.
Novel nonpeptidic inhibitors of beta-secretase (BACE1) have been discovered by employing a fragment-based biochemical screening approach. A diverse library of 20000 low-molecular weight compounds were screened and yielded 26 novel hits that were confirmed by biochemical and surface plasmon resonance secondary assays. We describe here fragment inhibitors cocrystallized with BACE1 in a flap open and flap closed conformation as determined by X-ray crystallography.
Transgenic mice expressing mutated amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin (PS)-1 or -2 have been successfully used to model cerebral beta-amyloidosis, one of the characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimers disease (AD) pathology. However, the use of many transgenic lines is limited by premature death, low breeding efficiencies and late onset and high inter-animal variability of the pathology, creating a need for improved animal models. Here we describe the detailed characterization of a new homozygous double-transgenic mouse line that addresses most of these issues.
Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) represents a change in strategy from the screening of molecules with higher molecular weights and physical properties more akin to fully drug-like compounds, to the screening of smaller, less complex molecules. This is because it has been recognised that fragment hit molecules can be efficiently grown and optimised into leads, particularly after the binding mode to the target protein has been first determined by 3D structural elucidation, e.g. by NMR or X-ray crystallography. Several studies have shown that medicinal chemistry optimisation of an already drug-like hit or lead compound can result in a final compound with too high molecular weight and lipophilicity. The evolution of a lower molecular weight fragment hit therefore represents an attractive alternative approach to optimisation as it allows better control of compound properties. Computational chemistry can play an important role both prior to a fragment screen, in producing a target focussed fragment library, and post-screening in the evolution of a drug-like molecule from a fragment hit, both with and without the available fragment-target co-complex structure. We will review many of the current developments in the area and illustrate with some recent examples from successful FBDD discovery projects that we have conducted.
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