Equilibrativenucleoside transporters (ENTs) participate in the pharmacokinetics and disposition of nucleoside analog drugs. Understanding drug interactions with the ENTs may inform and facilitate the development of new drugs, including chemotherapeutics and antivirals that require access to sanctuary sites such as the male genital tract. This study created three-dimensional pharmacophores for ENT1 and ENT2 substrates and inhibitors using Kt and IC50 data curated from the literature. Substrate pharmacophores for ENT1 and ENT2 are distinct, with partial overlap of hydrogen bond donors, whereas the inhibitor pharmacophores predominantly feature hydrogen bond acceptors. Mizoribine and ribavirin mapped to the ENT1 substrate pharmacophore and proved to be substrates of the ENTs. The presence of the ENT-specific inhibitor 6-S-[(4-nitrophenyl)methyl]-6-thioinosine (NBMPR) decreased mizoribine accumulation in ENT1 and ENT2 cells (ENT1,70% decrease, P 5 0.0046; ENT2,50% decrease, P 5 0.0012). NBMPR also decreased ribavirin accumulation in ENT1 and ENT2 cells (ENT1:50% decrease, P 5 0.0498; ENT2:30% decrease, P 5 0.0125). Darunavir mapped to the ENT1 inhibitor pharmacophore and NBMPR did not significantly influence darunavir accumulation in either ENT1 or ENT2 cells (ENT1: P 5 0.28; ENT2: P 5 0.53), indicating that darunavir's interaction with the ENTs is limited to inhibition. These computational and in vitro models can inform compound selection in the drug discovery and development process, thereby reducing time and expense of identification and optimization of ENT-interacting compounds. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study developed computational models of human equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENTs) to predict drug interactions and validated these models with two compounds in vitro. Identification and prediction of ENT1 and ENT2 substrates allows for the determination of drugs that can penetrate tissues expressing these transporters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science