Toward New AQP4 Inhibitors: ORI-TRN-002

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Cerebral edema is a life-threatening condition that can cause permanent brain damage or death if left untreated. Existing therapies aim at mitigating the associated elevated intracranial pressure, yet they primarily alleviate pressure rather than prevent edema formation. Prophylactic anti-edema therapy necessitates novel drugs targeting edema formation. Aquaporin 4 (AQP4), an abundantly expressed water pore in mammalian glia and ependymal cells, has been proposed to be involved in cerebral edema formation. A series of novel compounds have been tested for their potential inhibitory effects on AQP4. However, selectivity, toxicity, functional inhibition, sustained therapeutic concentration, and delivery into the central nervous system are major challenges. Employing extensive density-functional theory (DFT) calculations, we identified a previously unreported thermodynamically stable tautomer of the recently identified AQP4-specific inhibitor TGN-020 (2-(nicotinamide)-1,3,4-thiadiazol). This novel form, featuring a distinct hydrogen-bonding pattern, served as a template for a COSMOsim-3D-based virtual screen of proprietary compounds from Origenis™. The screening identified ORI-TRN-002, an electronic homologue of TGN-020, demonstrating high solubility and low protein binding. Evaluating ORI-TRN-002 on AQP4-expressing Xenopus laevis oocytes using a high-resolution volume recording system revealed an IC50 of 2.9 ± 0.6 µM, establishing it as a novel AQP4 inhibitor. ORI-TRN-002 exhibits superior solubility and overcomes free fraction limitations compared to other reported AQP4 inhibitors, suggesting its potential as a promising anti-edema therapy for treating cerebral edema in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number924
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.

    Research areas

  • aquaporin, brain edema, water permeability

ID: 381236905