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Inhibitors of protein arginine deiminases and their efficacy in animal models of multiple sclerosis

Sarswat, A;Wasilewski, E;Chakka, SK;Bello, AM;Caprariello, AV;Muthuramu, CM;Stys, PK;Dunn, SE;Kotra, LP;

Protein arginine deiminases (PAD) are implicated in a variety of inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS). Following the discovery of an in silico hit containing hydantoin and a piperidine moiety, we hypothesized that a 2-carbon linker on the hydantoin would be necessary for a 5-membered heterocycle for optimal PAD inhibitory activity. We designed thirteen compounds as potential inhibitors of PAD2 and PAD4 enzymes-two important PAD enzymes implicated in MS. Two compounds, one with an imidazole moiety (22) and the other with a tetrazole moiety (24) showed good inhibition of PAD isozymes in vitro and in the EAE mouse model of MS in vivo. Further experiments suggested that compound 22, a non-covalent inhibitor of PAD2 and PAD4, exhibits dose-dependent efficacy in the EAE mouse model and in the cuprizone-mediated demyelination model.