Sickle cell anemia is a hematologic disorder impacting over 15 million people worldwide. It is caused by a single point mutation in the gene hemoglobin-Betha, where a glu group is replaced by val (GAG --- GTG) in the seventh codon (glu7val) of chromosome 1. In this study, we are comparing the anti-sickling properties of drugs in varied conditions in order to create a drug that is effective in an O2-independent manner and with a 1:1 stoichiometry for lower dosage purposes. We used Pymol and Jmol to compare the structures of the aldehydes GBT-440 and VZHE-039, which interact on the same binding site to treat sickle cell disease. GBT-440’s bulkiness allows it to have a 1:1 stoichiometry, while VZHE-039’s solubility is due to its interaction with the hemoglobin’s alpha cleft, allowing it to be O2-independent. We identified the pyridine and pyrazole structure from GBT-440 and the methyl hydroxy moite from VZHE-039 as key structures, and created a hypothetical new drug, a hybrid of VZHE-039 and GBT-440. The pose predicted would allow the drug to interact with the sickled hemoglobin in a 1 to 1 ratio and in an O2-independent manner.
Lacasse, Brianna M.; R. De Abreu, Isadora; and Manikandan, Rathika, "Investigating the Structure of Potential New Drug to Treat Sickle Cell Anemia through Inhibition of the Polymerization of Hemoglobin S" (2021). Protein Modeling Reports. 3.