Three Classes of Glucocerebrosidase Inhibitors Identified by Quantitative High-Throughput Screening Are Chaperone Leads for Gaucher Disease

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Aug 7;104(32):13192-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0705637104. Epub 2007 Aug 1.


Gaucher disease is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene. Missense mutations result in reduced enzyme activity that may be due to misfolding, raising the possibility of small-molecule chaperone correction of the defect. Screening large compound libraries by quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) provides comprehensive information on the potency, efficacy, and structure-activity relationships (SAR) of active compounds directly from the primary screen, facilitating identification of leads for medicinal chemistry optimization. We used qHTS to rapidly identify three structural series of potent, selective, nonsugar glucocerebrosidase inhibitors. The three structural classes had excellent potencies and efficacies and, importantly, high selectivity against closely related hydrolases. Preliminary SAR data were used to select compounds with high activity in both enzyme and cell-based assays. Compounds from two of these structural series increased N370S mutant glucocerebrosidase activity by 40-90% in patient cell lines and enhanced lysosomal colocalization, indicating chaperone activity. These small molecules have potential as leads for chaperone therapy for Gaucher disease, and this paradigm promises to accelerate the development of leads for other rare genetic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry*
  • Gaucher Disease / drug therapy
  • Gaucher Disease / enzymology*
  • Gaucher Disease / etiology
  • Glucosylceramidase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / enzymology
  • Molecular Chaperones / physiology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Glucosylceramidase

Associated data

  • PubChem-BioAssay/348
  • PubChem-BioAssay/360