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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Synthesis of protein arginine N-methyltransferase 6 inhibitors Zamiri, Maryam


Protein arginine N-methyltransferases (PRMTs) are pertinent targets for drug discovery as their dysfunction is associated with a number of diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases and viral pathogenesis. The precise role of PRMTs in the initiation, development, or progression of diseases is not known yet. Due to association of PRMT1 and 4 with transcriptional activation, the main focus of inhibitor discovery has been on these two enzymes. On the other hand, the goal of this study is to find a PRMT6 specific inhibitor. PRMT6 methylates DNA polymerase β, histones H3 and H4 and HIV proteins: Rev and Tat. PRMT6 uses S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) as the “methyl group” source. AdoMet fits into a distinct conserved binding site in the enzyme, which is located adjacent to the protein substrate/catalytic site such that its S⁺-Me motif is correctly positioned with respect to the substrate arginine nitrogen atom that undergoes methylation. Based on crystallography data for PRMT1, the purine C8 center in AdoMet is in close proximity to the methionine sulfur atom (M166 in PRMT6). As shown by Frankel et al. (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC), the M166C PRMT6 mutant displays activity. Based upon this observation, we hypothesize that Ado-Met analogues with reactive substituents (e.g., CHO) at C8 position of adenine ring will form a covalent bond with the proximal Cys SH group in M166C PRMT6. This validates our further hypothesize that in appropriately designed analogues, it will be possible to subsequently detach the sugar and amino acid components of Ado-Met to leave the adenine ring component alone bound to the enzyme. This provides a unique opportunity to explore the “fragment based approach in drug discovery” to design PRMT6 specific inhibitors.

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