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Fragment merging strategies with known pyrimidine scaffolds targeting dihydrofolate reductase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a key enzyme involved in the folate pathway that has been heavily targeted for the development of therapeutics against cancer and bacterial and protozoa infections amongst others. Despite being an essential enzyme for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) viability, DHFR remains an underexploited target for tuberculosis (TB) treatment. Herein, we report the preparation and evaluation of a series of compounds against Mtb DHFR (MtbDHFR). The compounds have been designed using a merging strategy of traditional pyrimidine-based antifolates with a previously discovered unique fragment hit against MtbDHFR. In this series, four compounds displayed a high affinity against MtbDHFR, with sub-micromolar affinities. Additionally, we determined the binding mode of six of the best compounds using protein crystallography, which revealed occupation of an underutilised region of the active site.

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