Design, synthesis and testing of β-strand mimics as protease inhibitors
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Chapter 1 gives background information on proteases and discusses the concept of protease inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for humans. It introduces the key concept that conformation defines biological activity. It also outlines how proteases almost universally bind their substrate/inhibitors in an extended β-strand conformation. The use of calpain as a prototype protease for the testing of β-strand mimics synthesised later in the thesis is also discussed. Chapter 2 describes how molecular modeling was used to rationalise the structure based activity relationships (SAR) of known calpain inhibitors. Molecular modeling was then used to successfully design a number of acyclic β-strand mimics. The synthesis and testing of eight such inhibitors is described. The most potent β-strand mimic prepared was 2.13. This was determined to have an IC₅₀ of 30 nM against calpain II. Chapter 3 outlines the history and application of ring closing metathesis (RCM) to the synthesis of cyclic compounds. The attempted synthesis of an eight membered cyclic nitrogen to nitrogen conformationally constrained dipeptide is described. The synthesis of a conformationally constrained β-amino acid calpain inhibitor (3.73) is also described. A novel calpain inhibitor motif was designed in Chapter 4. On the basis of this an in-silico combinatorial library of two hundred and eighty eight possible β-strand templates was prepared. Conformational analysis of this library was performed and from this a number of excellent β-strand templates were identified and selected for synthesis. The preparation of ten β-strand templates is described. New microwave irradiation methodology was developed to achieve this. vii The formation of a six-membered catalyst deactivating chelate is also proposed to explain why some dienes fail to undergo RCM. Two methods to circumvent the formation of such a chelate are outlined. The addition of Lewis acid chloro-dicyclohexyl borane to the RCM reaction mixture and chain length alteration are investigated. Chapter 5 describes the design of macrocyclic β-strand mimics using induced fit molecular modelling. The physicochemical properties of these were calculated in-silico. From this analysis a number of Tyr-XX-Gly based and Tyr-XX-Cys based macrocyclic calpain inhibitors were selected for synthesis. The preparation and testing of these are described. In the Tyr-XX-Gly macrocyclic system a number of variables were investigated and numerous SAR implications concluded. Aldehyde 5.14 was identified as the best electrophilic warhead macrocyclic calpain inhibitor with an IC₅₀ against calpain II of 27 nM. The best non-electrophilic warhead macrocycle (5.13) had an IC₅₀ against calpain II of 704 nM. Chapter 6 describes synthetic optimisation for the preparation of calpain inhibitors 2.13, 5.14 and 5.17. Multi-gram quantities of each were prepared. Aldehydes 2.13 and 5.14 were evaluated as anti-cataract agents using in-vivo cataract sheep model. Both of these β-strand mimics were demonstrated to retard cataract development. Macrocycle 5.14 was found to be the most effective, decreasing the rate of cataract development between forty four and forty nine per cent relative to control. Chapter 7 outlines the attempted development of RCM methodology for the chiral synthesis of α-α disubstituted amino acid lactams. In addition, methodology for the stereoselective incorporation of a C-N constrained β-amino acid carbocycle into a peptide or peptidomimetic is described.