Childs-Disney, JL, Parkesh, R, Nakamori, M, Thornton, CA and Disney, MD. Rational design of bioactive, modularly assembled aminoglycosides targeting the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1. ACS Chem Biol 7: 1984-1993
ABSTRACT Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused when an expanded r(CUG) repeat (r(CUG)(exp)) binds the RNA splicing regulator muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1) as well as other proteins. Previously, we reported that modularly assembled small molecules displaying a 6'-N-5-hexynoate kanamycin A RNA-binding module (K) on a peptoid backbone potently inhibit the binding of MBNL1 to r(CUG)(exp). However, these parent compounds are not appreciably active in cell-based models of DM1. The lack of potency was traced to suboptimal cellular permeability and localization. To improve these properties, second-generation compounds that are conjugated to a d-Arg(9) molecular transporter were synthesized. These modified compounds enter cells in higher concentrations than the parent compounds and are efficacious in cell-based DM1 model systems at low micromolar concentrations. In particular, they improve three defects that are the hallmarks of DM1: a translational defect due to nuclear retention of transcripts containing r(CUG)(exp); pre-mRNA splicing defects due to inactivation of MBNL1; and the formation of nuclear foci. The best compound in cell-based studies was tested in a mouse model of DM1. Modest improvement of pre-mRNA splicing defects was observed. These studies suggest that a modular assembly approach can afford bioactive compounds that target RNA.
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ABSTRACT: Disorders characterized by expansion of an unstable nucleotide repeat account for a number of inherited neurological diseases. Here, we review examples of unstable repeat disorders that nicely illustrate three of the major pathogenic mechanisms associated with these diseases: loss of function typically by disrupting transcription of the mutated gene, RNA toxic gain of function, and protein toxic gain of function. In addition to providing insight into the mechanisms underlying these devastating neurological disorders, the study of these unstable microsatellite repeat disorders has provided insight into very basic aspects of neuroscience.Neuron 03/2013; 77(5):825-43. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2013.02.022 · 15.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: RNA is an extremely important target for the development of chemical probes of function or small molecule therapeutics. Aminoglycosides are the most well studied class of small molecules to target RNA. However, the RNA motifs outside of the bacterial rRNA A-site that are likely to be bound by these compounds in biological systems is largely unknown. If such information were known, it could allow for aminoglycosides to be exploited to target other RNAs and, in addition, could provide invaluable insights into potential bystander targets of these clinically used drugs. We utilized two-dimensional combinatorial screening (2DCS), a library-versus-library screening approach, to select the motifs displayed in a 3×3 nucleotide internal loop library and in a 6-nucleotide hairpin library that bind with high affinity and selectivity to six aminoglycoside derivatives. The selected RNA motifs were then analyzed using structure-activity relationships through sequencing (StARTS), a statistical approach that defines the privileged RNA motif space that binds a small molecule. StARTS allowed for the facile annotation of the selected RNA motif-aminoglycoside interactions in terms of affinity and selectivity. The interactions selected by 2DCS generally have nanomolar affinities, which is higher affinity than the binding of aminoglycosides to a mimic of their therapeutic target, the bacterial rRNA A-site.Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 05/2013; 21(20). DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2013.04.072 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The ability to control pre-mRNA splicing with small molecules could facilitate the development of therapeutics or cell-based circuits that control gene function. Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is caused by the dysregulation of alternative pre-mRNA splicing due to sequestration of muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1) by expanded, non-coding r(CUG) repeats (r(CUG)(exp)). Here we report two small molecules that induce or ameliorate alternative splicing dysregulation. A thiophene-containing small molecule (1) inhibits the interaction of MBNL1 with its natural pre-mRNA substrates. Compound (2), a substituted naphthyridine, binds r(CUG)(exp) and displaces MBNL1. Structural models show that 1 binds MBNL1 in the Zn-finger domain and that 2 interacts with UU loops in r(CUG)(exp). This study provides a structural framework for small molecules that target MBNL1 by mimicking r(CUG)(exp) and shows that targeting MBNL1 causes dysregulation of alternative splicing, suggesting that MBNL1 is thus not a suitable therapeutic target for the treatment of myotonic dystrophy type 1.Nature Communications 06/2013; 4:2044. DOI:10.1038/ncomms3044 · 11.47 Impact Factor