University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 20.4.2018 M.Sc. Sanna Rauhamäki (Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Cell and Molecular Biology)

Start date: Apr 20, 2018 12:00 PM

End date: Apr 20, 2018 03:00 PM

Location: Ylistönrinne, YAA303

Sanna Rauhamäki. Photo by: KS-Foto
M.Sc. Sanna Rauhamäkl defends her doctoral dissertation in Cell and Molecular Biology "Small Molecule Modulators of Amine Oxidation, Nuclear Receptor Signaling and Glucuronidation – 3-Phenylcoumarin as a Scaffold of Interest". Opponent Docent Maija Lahtela-Kakkonen (University of Eastern Finland) and Custos Professor Olli Pentikäinen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.

The costs of the drug development process are moderated as computer-aided drug design methods are able to expedite the steps required for lead identification. In fact, computational tools are nowadays virtually indispensable from target identification and validation to preclinical tests due to exponential growth of available information regarding both potential targets and small molecules. One such small molecule with growing number of variations is coumarin.

Coumarin scaffold and its various derivatives continue to interest researchers for their vast application potential. Since naturally occurring coumarins are known for example for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, those molecules are used to guide research endeavors toward similar molecules but with enhanced or newly directed activities. In this doctoral thesis, coumarin derivatives are used to gain novel details regarding monoamine oxidase and nuclear receptor modulation in context relevant for example in neurological conditions and cancer.

In order to achieve this, diverse collection of coumarin derivatives is investigated in these targets and corresponding antitargets using both computational and experimental methods. As a result, novel coumarin derivatives with activity in nanomolar range are identified in case of monoamine oxidase B and estrogen receptor α and comparable activity is reached for retinoid-acid-receptor-related orphan receptor γt with novel core. In addition, the usability of coumarin derivatives as assay development tools is put to test by designing selective ligands for glucuronidation.

Consequently, the metabolic fate of the coumarins is investigated as they are allocated to metabolizing target using homology models, computational methods and experimental techniques. Subsequently, two coumarin derivatives selective for human uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase 1A10 are identified.

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Sanna Rauhamäki
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