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Discovery of Potent Inhibitors of Schistosoma mansoni NAD+ Catabolizing Enzyme

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journal contribution
posted on 23.04.2015, 00:00 by Sylvain A. Jacques, Isabelle Kuhn, Oleksandr Koniev, Francis Schuber, Frances E. Lund, Alain Wagner, Hélène Muller-Steffner, Esther Kellenberger
The blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni is the causative agent of the intestinal form of schistosomiasis (or bilharzia). Emergence of Schistosoma mansoni with reduced sensitivity to praziquantel, the drug currently used to treat this neglected disease, has underlined the need for development of new strategies to control schistosomiasis. Our ability to screen drug libraries for antischistosomal compounds has been hampered by the lack of validated S. mansoni targets. In the present work, we describe a virtual screening approach to identify inhibitors of S. mansoni NAD+ catabolizing enzyme (SmNACE), a receptor enzyme suspected to be involved in immune evasion by the parasite at the adult stage. Docking of commercial libraries into a homology model of the enzyme has led to the discovery of two in vitro micromolar inhibitors. Further structure–activity relationship studies have allowed a 3-log gain in potency, accompanied by a largely enhanced selectivity for the parasitic enzyme over the human homologue CD38.