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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Oct 2022 - 4 Nov 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Oct 05

RSC Chem Biol



QSAR models reveal new EPAC-selective allosteric modulators.


Mohamed H, Shao H, Akimoto M, Darveau P, MacKinnon MR, Magolan J, Melacini G
RSC Chem Biol. 2022 Oct 05; 3(10):1230-1239.
PMID: 36320893.


Exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (EPAC) are guanine nucleotide exchange factors for the small GTPases, Rap1 and Rap2. They regulate several physiological functions and mitigation of their activity has been suggested as a possible treatment for multiple diseases such as cardiomyopathy, diabetes, chronic pain, and cancer. Several EPAC-specific modulators have been developed, however studies that quantify their structure-activity relationships are still lacking. Here we propose a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model for a series of EPAC-specific compounds. The model demonstrated high reproducibility and predictivity and the predictive ability of the model was tested against a series of compounds that were unknown to the model. The compound with the highest predicted affinity was validated experimentally through fluorescence-based competition assays and NMR experiments revealed its mode of binding and mechanism of action as a partial agonist. The proposed QSAR model can, therefore, serve as an effective screening tool to identify promising EPAC-selective drug leads with enhanced potency.