Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.310, No.1, 84-93, 2003
Novel small molecule inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin A metalloprotease activity
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most lethal biological substances to have been weaponized and are listed as biodefense category A agents. Currently, no small molecule (non-peptidic) therapeutics exist to counter this threat; hence, identifying and developing compounds that inhibit BoNTs is a high priority. In the present study, a high-throughput assay was used to identify small molecules that inhibit the metalloprotease activity of BoNT serotype A light chain (BoNT/A LC). All inhibitors were further verified using a HPLC-based assay. Conformational analyses of these compounds, in conjunction with molecular docking studies, were used to predict structural features that contribute to inhibitor binding and potency. Based on these results, a common pharmacophore for BoNT/A LC inhibitors is proposed. This is the first study to report small molecules (non-peptidics) that inhibit BoNT/A LC metalloprotease activity in the low muM range. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.