By Caroselli Silvia; Canipari Rita; Zwergel Clemens; Pirolli Adele; Sabatino Manuela; Mai Antonello; Valente Sergio; Ragno Rino; Zwergel Clemens; Pirolli Adele; et al
From ACS chemical biology (2020), , Language: English, Database: MEDLINE
Arylsulfatase A (ARSA) plays a crucial role in the reproduction of mammals due to its involvement in the specific gamete interaction preceding sperm and egg fusion leading to fertilization. Recently, it has been shown that zona pellucida (ZP) sperm binding and in vivo fertilization in mice are markedly hampered by using a specific anti-ARSA antibody. Herein, the design and discovery of the first ARSA small molecule inhibitor based on a coumarin-containing polycycle are presented. Through a structure-based approach applied on our in-house library, compound 1r was identified as an ARSA reversible inhibitor (ARSAi); then its activity was validated through both surface plasmon resonance and biochemical inhibition experiments, the first providing a KD value of 21 μM and the latter an IC50 value of 13.2 μM. Further investigations highlighted that compound 1r induced 20% sperm death at 25 μM and also impaired sperm motility; nevertheless both the effects were mediated by ROS production, since they were rescued by the cotreatment of 1r and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). Interestingly, while 1r was not able to hamper the ZP/sperm binding, it markedly decreased the in vitro oocyte fertilization by mouse sperm up to 60%. Notably, this effect was not hampered by 1r/NAC coadministration, hence allowing the ruling out of an ROS-dependent mechanism. In conclusion, herein is reported the first ever hit of ARSAi as a chemical tool that will enable better exploration of ARSA’s biological role in fertilization as well as provide a starting point for developing 1r structure optimization aimed at increasing enzyme inhibition potency but also providing a deeper understanding of the involvement of ARSA in the fertilization pathway mechanism.