NAPRT, the rate-limiting enzyme of the Preiss-Handler NAD biosynthetic pathway, has emerged as a key biomarker for the clinical success of NAMPT inhibitors in cancer treatment. Previous studies found that high protein levels of NAPRT conferred resistance to NAMPT inhibition in several tumor types whereas the simultaneous blockade of NAMPT and NAPRT results in marked anti-tumor effects. While research has mainly focused on NAMPT inhibitors, the few available NAPRT inhibitors (NAPRTi) have a low affinity for the enzyme and have been scarcely characterized. In this work, a collection of diverse compounds was screened in silico against the NAPRT structure, and the selected hits were tested through cell-based assays in the NAPRT-proficient OVCAR-5 ovarian cell line and on the recombinant hNAPRT. We found different chemotypes that efficiently inhibit the enzyme in the micromolar range concentration and for which direct engagement with the target was verified by differential scanning fluorimetry. Of note, the therapeutic potential of these compounds was evidenced by a synergistic interaction between the NAMPT inhibitor FK866 and the new NAPRTi in terms of decreasing OVCAR-5 intracellular NAD levels and cell viability. For example, compound IM29 can potentiate the effect of FK866 of more than two-fold in reducing intracellular NAD levels. These results pave the way for the development of a new generation of human NAPRTi with anticancer activity.

Structure-Based Identification and Biological Characterization of New NAPRT Inhibitors

Franco, Jorge;Piacente, Francesco;Ghanem, Moustafa;Benzi, Andrea;Caffa, Irene;Bruzzone, Santina;Nencioni, Alessio;Del Rio, Alberto
2022-01-01

Abstract

NAPRT, the rate-limiting enzyme of the Preiss-Handler NAD biosynthetic pathway, has emerged as a key biomarker for the clinical success of NAMPT inhibitors in cancer treatment. Previous studies found that high protein levels of NAPRT conferred resistance to NAMPT inhibition in several tumor types whereas the simultaneous blockade of NAMPT and NAPRT results in marked anti-tumor effects. While research has mainly focused on NAMPT inhibitors, the few available NAPRT inhibitors (NAPRTi) have a low affinity for the enzyme and have been scarcely characterized. In this work, a collection of diverse compounds was screened in silico against the NAPRT structure, and the selected hits were tested through cell-based assays in the NAPRT-proficient OVCAR-5 ovarian cell line and on the recombinant hNAPRT. We found different chemotypes that efficiently inhibit the enzyme in the micromolar range concentration and for which direct engagement with the target was verified by differential scanning fluorimetry. Of note, the therapeutic potential of these compounds was evidenced by a synergistic interaction between the NAMPT inhibitor FK866 and the new NAPRTi in terms of decreasing OVCAR-5 intracellular NAD levels and cell viability. For example, compound IM29 can potentiate the effect of FK866 of more than two-fold in reducing intracellular NAD levels. These results pave the way for the development of a new generation of human NAPRTi with anticancer activity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1098378
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