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Upregulation of interleukin 15 (IL-15) contributes directly i.a. to the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Selective blockade of IL-15 aimed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and other IL-15-related disorders has been recognized as an efficient therapeutic method. The aim of the study was to identify small molecules which would interact with IL-15 or its receptor IL-15Rα and inhibit the cytokine's activity. Based on the crystal structure of IL-15Rα·IL-15, we created pharmacophore models to screen the ZINC database of chemical compounds for potential IL-15 and IL-15Rα inhibitors. Twenty compounds with the highest predicted binding affinities were subjected to in vitro analysis using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to validate in silico data. Twelve molecules efficiently reduced IL-15-dependent TNF-α and IL-17 synthesis. Among these, cefazolin - a safe first-generation cephalosporin antibiotic - holds the highest promise for IL-15-directed therapeutic applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Barbara Żyżyńska-Granica, Bartosz Trzaskowski, Szymon Niewieczerzał, Sławomir Filipek, Oliwia Zegrocka-Stendel, Małgorzata Dutkiewicz, Piotr Krzeczyński, Magdalena Kowalewska, Katarzyna Koziak. Pharmacophore guided discovery of small-molecule interleukin 15 inhibitors. European journal of medicinal chemistry. 2017 Aug 18;136:543-547

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PMID: 28535470

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