A second generation of 1,2,4-oxadiazole derivatives with enhanced solubility for inhibition of 3-hydroxykynurenine transaminase (HKT) from Aedes aegypti†
The most widely used method for the control of the Aedes aegypti mosquito population is the chemical control method. It represents a time- and cost-effective way to curb several diseases (e.g. dengue, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever) through vector control. For this reason, the discovery of new compounds with a distinct mode of action from the available ones is essential in order to minimize the rise of insecticide resistance. Detoxification enzymes are an attractive target for the discovery of new insecticides. The kynurenine pathway is an important metabolic pathway, and it leads to the chemically stable xanthurenic acid, biosynthesized from 3-hydroxykynurenine, a precursor of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, by the enzyme 3-hydroxykynurenine transaminase (HKT). Previously, we have reported the effectiveness of 1,2,4-oxadiazole derivatives acting as larvicides for A. aegypti and AeHKT inhibitors from in vitro and in silico studies. Here, we report the synthesis of new sodium 4-[3-(aryl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl] propanoates and the cognate HKT-inhibitory activity. These new derivatives act as competitive inhibitors with IC50 values in the range of 42 to 339 μM. We further performed molecular docking simulations and QSAR analysis for the previously synthesized sodium 4-[3-(aryl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl] butanoates reported earlier by our group and the data produced herein. Most of the 1,2,4-oxadiazole derivatives, including the canonical compounds for both series, showed a similar binding mode with HKT. The binding occurs similarly to the co-crystallized inhibitor via anchoring to Arg356 and positioning of the aromatic ring and its substituents outwards at the entry of the active site. QSAR analysis was performed in search of more than 770 molecular descriptors to establish a relationship between the lowest energy conformations and the IC50 values. The five best descriptors were selected to create and validate the model, which exhibited parameters that attested to its robustness and predictability. In summary, we observed that compounds with a para substitution and heavier groups (i.e. CF3 and NO2 substituents) had an enhanced HKT-inhibition profile. These compounds comprise a series described as AeHKT inhibitors via enzymatic inhibition experiments, opening the way to further the development of new substances with higher potency against HKT from Aedes aegypti.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Neglected Tropical Diseases