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Patil R.V.,Singapore Eye Research Institute | Xu S.,Novartis | van Hoek A.N.,University of Utah | Rusinko A.,Novartis | And 13 more authors.
Chemical Biology and Drug Design | Year: 2016

Aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of membrane proteins that function as channels facilitating water transport in response to osmotic gradients. These play critical roles in several normal physiological and pathological states and are targets for drug discovery. Selective inhibition of the AQP1 water channel may provide a new approach for the treatment of several disorders including ocular hypertension/glaucoma, congestive heart failure, brain swelling associated with a stroke, corneal and macular edema, pulmonary edema, and otic disorders such as hearing loss and vertigo. We developed a high-throughput assay to screen a library of compounds as potential AQP1 modulators by monitoring the fluorescence dequenching of entrapped calcein in a confluent layer of AQP1-overexpressing CHO cells that were exposed to a hypotonic shock. Promising candidates were tested in a Xenopus oocyte-swelling assay, which confirmed the identification of two lead classes of compounds belonging to aromatic sulfonamides and dihydrobenzofurans with IC50s in the low micromolar range. These selected compounds directly inhibited water transport in AQP1-enriched stripped erythrocyte ghosts and in proteoliposomes reconstituted with purified AQP1. Validation of these lead compounds, by the three independent assays, establishes a set of attractive AQP1 blockers for developing novel, small-molecule functional modulators of human AQP1. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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