S.N. Savvides

Structure-aided optimization of non-nucleoside M. tuberculosis thymidylate kinase inhibitors

L. Song, R. Merceron, F. Hulpia, A. Lucia, B. Gracia, Y. Jian, M. Risseeuw, T. Verstraelen, P. Cos, J. Ainsa, H. Boshoff, H. Munier-Lehmann, S.N. Savvides, S. Van Calenbergh
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume 225, Article Number 113784


Mycobacterium tuberculosis thymidylate kinase (MtTMPK) has emerged as an attractive target for rational drug design. We recently investigated new families of non-nucleoside MtTMPK inhibitors in an effort to diversify MtTMPK inhibitor chemical space. We here report a new series of MtTMPK inhibitors by combining the Topliss scheme with rational drug design approaches, fueled by two co-crystal structures of MtTMPK in complex with developed inhibitors. These efforts furnished the most potent MtTMPK inhibitors in our assay, with two analogues displaying low micromolar MIC values against H37Rv Mtb. Prepared inhibitors address new sub-sites in the MtTMPK nucleotide binding pocket, thereby offering new insights into its druggability. We studied the role of efflux pumps as well as the impact of cell wall permeabilizers for selected compounds to potentially provide an explanation for the lack of correlation between potent enzyme inhibition and whole-cell activity. (C) 2021 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Structural basis of the proinflammatory signaling complex mediated by TSLP

K. Verstraete, L. van Schie, L. Vyncke, Y. Bloch, J. Tavernier, E. Pauwels, F. Peelman, S.N. Savvides, A. Bronselaer
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
21 (2014), 375–382


Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a cytokine critical for the development of chronic inflammatory disorders including asthma and atopic dermatitis. The structure of the ternary complex formed by TSLP and its coreceptors TSLPR and the interleukin-7 receptor reveal how TSLP is able to organize receptor-receptor contacts to facilitate intracellular signaling.

Human IL-34 and CSF-1 Establish Structurally Similar Extracellular Assemblies with Their Common Hematopoietic Receptor

J. Felix, J. Elegheert, I. Gutsche, A. Shkumatov, Y. Wen, N. Bracke, E. Pannecoucke, I. Vandenberghe, B. Devreese, D.I. Svergun, E. Pauwels, B. Vergauwen, S.N. Savvides
21 (4), 528-539


The discovery that hematopoietic human colony stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R) can be activated by two distinct cognate cytokines, colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) and interleukin-34 (IL-34), created puzzling scenarios for the two possible signaling complexes. We here employ a hybrid structural approach based on small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and negative-stain EM to reveal that bivalent binding of human IL-34 to CSF-1R leads to an extracellular assembly hallmarked by striking similarities to the CSF-1:CSF-1R complex, including homotypic receptor-receptor interactions. Thus, IL-34 and CSF-1 have evolved to exploit the geometric requirements of CSF-1R activation. Our models include N-linked oligomannose glycans derived from a systematic approach resulting in the accurate fitting of glycosylated models to the SAXS data. We further show that the C-terminal region of IL-34 is heavily glycosylated and that it can be proteolytically cleaved from the IL-34:hCSF-1R complex, providing insights into its role in the functional nonredundancy of IL-34 and CSF-1.

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