Molecular screen for isopeptidase inhibitors to treat pulmonary disease

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$984,638.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
2R44HL083527-02
Award Id:
85792
Agency Tracking Number:
HL083527
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
NHLBI
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
271A GREAT VALLEY PKWY, 271A GREAT VALLEY PKWY, MALVERN, PA, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
190641816
Principal Investigator:
DAVID STERNER
(610) 644-6974
STERNER@PROGENRA.COM
Business Contact:
VARSHA LUTHRA
() -
mattern@progenra.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): With the approval of the proteasome inhibitor Velcade for multiple myeloma therapy, the ubiquitin pathway has been validated for drug discovery. An alternative ubiquitin-associated degradation pathway is lysosomal; for example, the ubiquitin E3 ligase Cbl promotes degradation of membrane bound epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) by ubiquitylating the receptor, marking it for lysosomal degradation rather than recycling to the membrane. Removal of ubiquitin by an isop eptidase would spare EGFR and favor recycling and enhanced mitogenesis. This proposal is focused on AMSH, a ubiquitin isopeptidase that prevents endosomal sorting and lysosomal degradation of EGFR. Chronic pulmonary diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are characterized by airway and vascular remodeling and remain extraordinarily common illnesses. EGF and EGFR are associated with the pathobiology of chronic pulmonary diseases. Th e aim of this project is to develop agents active against these diseases by promoting the natural degradation of EGFR. In phase I, a high throughput screen was configured for inhibitors of AMSH activity utilizing an N-terminal ubiquitin-fused substrate rep orter. A similar counterscreen was validated for the isopeptidase UBPY. In addition, a cell based assay detecting EGFR degradation was validated, completing the aims of Phase I. In phase II, first, several chemical libraries will be screened using the AMSH high throughput assay, and selected hits characterized in secondary assays for selectivity. Next, efficacy studies will be performed; the ability of the best hits to promote EGFR degradation and inhibition of EGFR activity will be evaluated using human ai rway smooth muscle (ASM), pulmonary arterial vascular smooth muscle (PVSM) cells and human lung fibroblasts. It will be determined whether lead compounds regulate EGFR levels in these cells and whether the effects modulate EGF-induced cell proliferation in a concentration and time-dependent manner. Concentration dependence of effects on EGF-induced activation of EGFR levels will be established by Western blot analysis. Effects of lead compounds on EGF-induced ASM, PVSM and HLFs proliferation will indicate p hysiological relevance. This study will provide critical information about potential efficacy of the selected leads. Finally, medicinal chemistry will be employed for the establishment of structure-activity relationships (SAR) and chemical optimization, le ading to the selection of candidates for progression to preclinical development for treatment of lung disease. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Chronic pulmonary diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and pulmonary arteria l hypertension (PAH) are characterized by airway and vascular remodeling and remain extraordinarily common illnesses. A prominent cellular growth factor (EGF) and its receptor (EGFR) play a role in chronic pulmonary diseases. The aim of this Phase II proje ct is to develop agents that cause the natural degradation of EGFR in cells as a means of combating pulmonary disease. This will be accomplished indirectly by using inhibitors of a cellular enzyme, AMSH, which normally keeps cellular levels of EGFR high, t hereby promoting airway inflammation and pulmonary disease. Several collections of small chemical molecules will be screened to identify inhibitors of AMSH. Screening will be accomplished using an assay developed in Phase I of this project. The most promis ing of these inhibitors will be tested in cellular models to see whether they act in cells to reduce EGFR levels and activity as predicted. Additional chemical modification will be performed on the best of these inhibitors to generate candidate molecules f or development as drugs to treat pulmonary disease and airway inflammation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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