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Sample records for drug discovery targets

  1. Functional genomics and cancer drug target discovery.

    PubMed

    Moody, Susan E; Boehm, Jesse S; Barbie, David A; Hahn, William C

    2010-06-01

    The recent development of technologies for whole-genome sequencing, copy number analysis and expression profiling enables the generation of comprehensive descriptions of cancer genomes. However, although the structural analysis and expression profiling of tumors and cancer cell lines can allow the identification of candidate molecules that are altered in the malignant state, functional analyses are necessary to confirm such genes as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Moreover, recent research suggests that tumor cells also depend on synthetic lethal targets, which are not mutated or amplified in cancer genomes; functional genomics screening can facilitate the discovery of such targets. This review provides an overview of the tools available for the study of functional genomics, and discusses recent research involving the use of these tools to identify potential novel drug targets in cancer. PMID:20521217

  2. Application of chemical biology in target identification and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yue; Xiao, Ting; Lei, Saifei; Zhou, Fulai; Wang, Ming-Wei

    2015-09-01

    Drug discovery and development is vital to the well-being of mankind and sustainability of the pharmaceutical industry. Using chemical biology approaches to discover drug leads has become a widely accepted path partially because of the completion of the Human Genome Project. Chemical biology mainly solves biological problems through searching previously unknown targets for pharmacologically active small molecules or finding ligands for well-defined drug targets. It is a powerful tool to study how these small molecules interact with their respective targets, as well as their roles in signal transduction, molecular recognition and cell functions. There have been an increasing number of new therapeutic targets being identified and subsequently validated as a result of advances in functional genomics, which in turn led to the discovery of numerous active small molecules via a variety of high-throughput screening initiatives. In this review, we highlight some applications of chemical biology in the context of drug discovery. PMID:26242900

  3. Leveraging Big Data to Transform Target Selection and Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Chen, B; Butte, AJ

    2016-01-01

    The advances of genomics, sequencing, and high throughput technologies have led to the creation of large volumes of diverse datasets for drug discovery. Analyzing these datasets to better understand disease and discover new drugs is becoming more common. Recent open data initiatives in basic and clinical research have dramatically increased the types of data available to the public. The past few years have witnessed successful use of big data in many sectors across the whole drug discovery pipeline. In this review, we will highlight the state of the art in leveraging big data to identify new targets, drug indications, and drug response biomarkers in this era of precision medicine. PMID:26659699

  4. The JAK kinases: not just another kinase drug discovery target.

    PubMed

    Wilks, Andrew F

    2008-08-01

    There are four members of the JAK family of protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) in the human genome. Since their discovery in 1989, great strides have been made in the understanding of their role in normal intracellular signalling. Importantly, their roles in pathologies ranging from cancer to immune deficiencies have placed them front and centre as potential drug targets. The recent discovery of the role of activating mutations in the kinase-like domain (KLD) of JAK2 in the development of polycythemia rubra vera, and the elaboration of KLD mutation as a broader mechanism by which cells might become hyperproliferative has sparked enormous interest in the development of JAK selective drug candidates. I review herein the progress that has been made in the discovery of JAK-targeted inhibitors, and discuss the challenges that face the development of these drugs for use in the clinic. PMID:18721891

  5. Aiming drug discovery at lysophosphatidic acid targets

    PubMed Central

    Tigyi, Gabor

    2010-01-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA, 1-radyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-phosphate) is the prototype member of a family of lipid mediators and second messengers. LPA and its naturally occurring analogues interact with G protein-coupled receptors on the cell surface and a nuclear hormone receptor within the cell. In addition, there are several enzymes that utilize LPA as a substrate or generate it as a product and are under its regulatory control. LPA is present in biological fluids, and attempts have been made to link changes in its concentration and molecular composition to specific disease conditions. Through their many targets, members of the LPA family regulate cell survival, apoptosis, motility, shape, differentiation, gene transcription, malignant transformation and more. The present review depicts arbitrary aspects of the physiological and pathophysiological actions of LPA and attempts to link them with select targets. Many of us are now convinced that therapies targeting LPA biosynthesis and signalling are feasible for the treatment of devastating human diseases such as cancer, fibrosis and degenerative conditions. However, successful targeting of the pathways associated with this pleiotropic lipid will depend on the future development of as yet undeveloped pharmacons. PMID:20735414

  6. Drug Normalization for Cancer Therapeutic and Druggable Genome Target Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Guoqian; Sohn, Sunghwan; Zimmermann, Michael T.; Wang, Chen; Liu, Hongfang; Chute, Christopher G.

    2015-01-01

    Heterogeneous drug data representation among different druggable genome knowledge resources and datasets delays effective cancer therapeutic target discovery within the broad scientific community. The objective of the present paper is to describe the challenges and lessons learned from our efforts in developing and evaluating a standards-based drug normalization framework targeting cancer druggable genome datasets. Our findings suggested that mechanisms need to be established to deal with spelling errors and irregularities in normalizing clinical drug data in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), whereas the annotations from NCI Thesaurus (NCIt) and PubChem are two layers of normalization that potentially bridge between the clinical phenotypes and the druggable genome knowledge for effective cancer therapeutic target discovery. PMID:26306243

  7. Membrane lipidomics for the discovery of new antiparasitic drug targets.

    PubMed

    Maréchal, Eric; Riou, Mickaël; Kerboeuf, Dominique; Beugnet, Frédéric; Chaminade, Pierre; Loiseau, Philippe M

    2011-11-01

    Advances in lipid separation methods and mass spectrometry technologies allow the fine characterization of the lipidome of parasites, ranging from unicellular protists to worms, which cause threatening infections in vertebrates, including humans. Specific lipid structures or lipid metabolic pathways can inspire the development of novel antiparasitic drugs. Changes in the lipid balance in membranes of parasites can also provide clues on the dynamics of drugs and some mechanisms of drug resistance. This review highlights recent trends in parasite lipidomics, combined with functional analyses, for the discovery of novel targets and the development of novel drugs. PMID:21862412

  8. Therapeutic target database update 2012: a resource for facilitating target-oriented drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Feng; Shi, Zhe; Qin, Chu; Tao, Lin; Liu, Xin; Xu, Feng; Zhang, Li; Song, Yang; Liu, Xianghui; Zhang, Jingxian; Han, Bucong; Zhang, Peng; Chen, Yuzong

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge and investigation of therapeutic targets (responsible for drug efficacy) and the targeted drugs facilitate target and drug discovery and validation. Therapeutic Target Database (TTD, http://bidd.nus.edu.sg/group/ttd/ttd.asp) has been developed to provide comprehensive information about efficacy targets and the corresponding approved, clinical trial and investigative drugs. Since its last update, major improvements and updates have been made to TTD. In addition to the significant increase of data content (from 1894 targets and 5028 drugs to 2025 targets and 17 816 drugs), we added target validation information (drug potency against target, effect against disease models and effect of target knockout, knockdown or genetic variations) for 932 targets, and 841 quantitative structure activity relationship models for active compounds of 228 chemical types against 121 targets. Moreover, we added the data from our previous drug studies including 3681 multi-target agents against 108 target pairs, 116 drug combinations with their synergistic, additive, antagonistic, potentiative or reductive mechanisms, 1427 natural product-derived approved, clinical trial and pre-clinical drugs and cross-links to the clinical trial information page in the ClinicalTrials.gov database for 770 clinical trial drugs. These updates are useful for facilitating target discovery and validation, drug lead discovery and optimization, and the development of multi-target drugs and drug combinations. PMID:21948793

  9. Computer-Aided Drug Discovery and Design Targeting Ion Channels.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiansen; Gao, Zhaobing; Yang, Huaiyu

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels are widely expressed in living cells and play critical roles in various cellular biological functions. Dysfunctional ion channels can cause a variety of diseases, making ion channels attractive targets for drug discovery. Computational approaches, such as molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulations, provide economic and efficient tools for finding modulators of ion channels and for elucidating the action mechanisms of small molecules. In this review, we focus primarily on four types of ion channels (voltage-gated, ligand-gated, acid-sensing, and virus matrix 2 ion channels). The current advancements in computer-aided drug discovery and design targeting ion channels are summarized. First, ligand-based studies for drug design are briefly outlined. Then, we focus on the structurebased studies targeting pore domains, endogenous binding sites and allosteric sites of ion channels. Moreover, we also review the contribution of computational methods to the field of ligand binding and unbinding pathways of ion channels. Finally, we propose future developments for the field. PMID:26975507

  10. Minireview: Targeting GPCR Activated ERK Pathways for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Eishingdrelo, Haifeng; Kongsamut, Sathapana

    2013-01-01

    It has become clear in recent years that multiple signal transduction pathways are employed upon GPCR activation. One of the major cellular effectors activated by GPCRs is extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Both G-protein and β-arrestin mediated signaling pathways can lead to ERK activation. However, depending on activation pathway, the subcellular destination of activated ERK1/2 may be different. G-protein -dependent ERK activation results in the translocation of active ERK to the nucleus, whereas ERK activated via an arrestin-dependent mechanism remains largely in the cytoplasm. The subcellular location of activated ERK1/2 determines the downstream signaling cascade. Many substrates of ERK1/2 are found in the nucleus: nuclear transcription factors that participate in gene transcription, cell proliferation and differentiation. ERK1/2 substrates are also found in cytosol and other cellular organelles: they may play roles in translation, mitosis, apoptosis and cross-talk with other signaling pathways. Therefore, determining specific subcellular locations of activated ERK1/2 mediated by GPCR ligands would be important in correlating signaling pathways with cellular physiological functions. While GPCR-stimulated selective ERK pathway activation has been studied in several receptor systems, exploitation of these different signaling cascades for therapeutics has not yet been seriously pursued. Many old drug candidates were identified from screens based on G-protein signaling assays, and their activity on β-arrestin signaling pathways being mostly unknown, especially regarding their subcellular ERK pathways. With today’s knowledge of complicated GPCR signaling pathways, drug discovery can no longer rely on single-pathway approaches. Since ERK activation is an important signaling pathway and associated with many physiological functions, targeting the ERK pathway, especially specific subcellular activation pathways should provide new avenues for GPCR drug

  11. The tuberculosis drug discovery and development pipeline and emerging drug targets.

    PubMed

    Mdluli, Khisimuzi; Kaneko, Takushi; Upton, Anna

    2015-06-01

    The recent accelerated approval for use in extensively drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant-tuberculosis (MDR-TB) of two first-in-class TB drugs, bedaquiline and delamanid, has reinvigorated the TB drug discovery and development field. However, although several promising clinical development programs are ongoing to evaluate new TB drugs and regimens, the number of novel series represented is few. The global early-development pipeline is also woefully thin. To have a chance of achieving the goal of better, shorter, safer TB drug regimens with utility against drug-sensitive and drug-resistant disease, a robust and diverse global TB drug discovery pipeline is key, including innovative approaches that make use of recently acquired knowledge on the biology of TB. Fortunately, drug discovery for TB has resurged in recent years, generating compounds with varying potential for progression into developable leads. In parallel, advances have been made in understanding TB pathogenesis. It is now possible to apply the lessons learned from recent TB hit generation efforts and newly validated TB drug targets to generate the next wave of TB drug leads. Use of currently underexploited sources of chemical matter and lead-optimization strategies may also improve the efficiency of future TB drug discovery. Novel TB drug regimens with shorter treatment durations must target all subpopulations of Mycobacterium tuberculosis existing in an infection, including those responsible for the protracted TB treatment duration. This review summarizes the current TB drug development pipeline and proposes strategies for generating improved hits and leads in the discovery phase that could help achieve this goal. PMID:25635061

  12. Scientometrics of drug discovery efforts: pain-related molecular targets

    PubMed Central

    Kissin, Igor

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to make a scientometric assessment of drug discovery efforts centered on pain-related molecular targets. The following scientometric indices were used: the popularity index, representing the share of articles (or patents) on a specific topic among all articles (or patents) on pain over the same 5-year period; the index of change, representing the change in the number of articles (or patents) on a topic from one 5-year period to the next; the index of expectations, representing the ratio of the number of all types of articles on a topic in the top 20 journals relative to the number of articles in all (>5,000) biomedical journals covered by PubMed over a 5-year period; the total number of articles representing Phase I–III trials of investigational drugs over a 5-year period; and the trial balance index, a ratio of Phase I–II publications to Phase III publications. Articles (PubMed database) and patents (US Patent and Trademark Office database) on 17 topics related to pain mechanisms were assessed during six 5-year periods from 1984 to 2013. During the most recent 5-year period (2009–2013), seven of 17 topics have demonstrated high research activity (purinergic receptors, serotonin, transient receptor potential channels, cytokines, gamma aminobutyric acid, glutamate, and protein kinases). However, even with these seven topics, the index of expectations decreased or did not change compared with the 2004–2008 period. In addition, publications representing Phase I–III trials of investigational drugs (2009–2013) did not indicate great enthusiasm on the part of the pharmaceutical industry regarding drugs specifically designed for treatment of pain. A promising development related to the new tool of molecular targeting, ie, monoclonal antibodies, for pain treatment has not yet resulted in real success. This approach has not yet demonstrated clinical effectiveness (at least with nerve growth factor) much beyond conventional analgesics

  13. Scientometrics of drug discovery efforts: pain-related molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Kissin, Igor

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to make a scientometric assessment of drug discovery efforts centered on pain-related molecular targets. The following scientometric indices were used: the popularity index, representing the share of articles (or patents) on a specific topic among all articles (or patents) on pain over the same 5-year period; the index of change, representing the change in the number of articles (or patents) on a topic from one 5-year period to the next; the index of expectations, representing the ratio of the number of all types of articles on a topic in the top 20 journals relative to the number of articles in all (>5,000) biomedical journals covered by PubMed over a 5-year period; the total number of articles representing Phase I-III trials of investigational drugs over a 5-year period; and the trial balance index, a ratio of Phase I-II publications to Phase III publications. Articles (PubMed database) and patents (US Patent and Trademark Office database) on 17 topics related to pain mechanisms were assessed during six 5-year periods from 1984 to 2013. During the most recent 5-year period (2009-2013), seven of 17 topics have demonstrated high research activity (purinergic receptors, serotonin, transient receptor potential channels, cytokines, gamma aminobutyric acid, glutamate, and protein kinases). However, even with these seven topics, the index of expectations decreased or did not change compared with the 2004-2008 period. In addition, publications representing Phase I-III trials of investigational drugs (2009-2013) did not indicate great enthusiasm on the part of the pharmaceutical industry regarding drugs specifically designed for treatment of pain. A promising development related to the new tool of molecular targeting, ie, monoclonal antibodies, for pain treatment has not yet resulted in real success. This approach has not yet demonstrated clinical effectiveness (at least with nerve growth factor) much beyond conventional analgesics, when its

  14. Discovery of Anthelmintic Drug Targets and Drugs Using Chokepoints in Nematode Metabolic Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Christina M.; Wang, Qi; Rosa, Bruce A.; Huang, Stanley Ching-Cheng; Powell, Kerrie; Schedl, Tim; Pearce, Edward J.; Abubucker, Sahar; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2013-01-01

    Parasitic roundworm infections plague more than 2 billion people (1/3 of humanity) and cause drastic losses in crops and livestock. New anthelmintic drugs are urgently needed as new drug resistance and environmental concerns arise. A “chokepoint reaction” is defined as a reaction that either consumes a unique substrate or produces a unique product. A chokepoint analysis provides a systematic method of identifying novel potential drug targets. Chokepoint enzymes were identified in the genomes of 10 nematode species, and the intersection and union of all chokepoint enzymes were found. By studying and experimentally testing available compounds known to target proteins orthologous to nematode chokepoint proteins in public databases, this study uncovers features of chokepoints that make them successful drug targets. Chemogenomic screening was performed on drug-like compounds from public drug databases to find existing compounds that target homologs of nematode chokepoints. The compounds were prioritized based on chemical properties frequently found in successful drugs and were experimentally tested using Caenorhabditis elegans. Several drugs that are already known anthelmintic drugs and novel candidate targets were identified. Seven of the compounds were tested in Caenorhabditis elegans and three yielded a detrimental phenotype. One of these three drug-like compounds, Perhexiline, also yielded a deleterious effect in Haemonchus contortus and Onchocerca lienalis, two nematodes with divergent forms of parasitism. Perhexiline, known to affect the fatty acid oxidation pathway in mammals, caused a reduction in oxygen consumption rates in C. elegans and genome-wide gene expression profiles provided an additional confirmation of its mode of action. Computational modeling of Perhexiline and its target provided structural insights regarding its binding mode and specificity. Our lists of prioritized drug targets and drug-like compounds have potential to expedite the discovery

  15. Microfluidics for Drug Discovery and Development: From Target Selection to Product Lifecycle Management

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Lifeng; Chung, Bong Geun; Langer, Robert; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2009-01-01

    Microfluidic technologies’ ability to miniaturize assays and increase experimental throughput have generated significant interest in the drug discovery and development domain. These characteristics make microfluidic systems a potentially valuable tool for many drug discovery and development applications. Here, we review the recent advances of microfluidic devices for drug discovery and development and highlight their applications in different stages of the process, including target selection, lead identification, preclinical tests, clinical trials, chemical synthesis, formulations studies, and product management. PMID:18190858

  16. Microfluidics for drug discovery and development: from target selection to product lifecycle management.

    PubMed

    Kang, Lifeng; Chung, Bong Geun; Langer, Robert; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2008-01-01

    Microfluidic technologies' ability to miniaturize assays and increase experimental throughput have generated significant interest in the drug discovery and development domain. These characteristics make microfluidic systems a potentially valuable tool for many drug discovery and development applications. Here, we review the recent advances of microfluidic devices for drug discovery and development and highlight their applications in different stages of the process, including target selection, lead identification, preclinical tests, clinical trials, chemical synthesis, formulations studies and product management. PMID:18190858

  17. Existing drugs and their application in drug discovery targeting cancer stem cells.

    PubMed

    Lv, Junfang; Shim, Joong Sup

    2015-09-01

    Despite standard cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and targeted therapy have shown some efficacies, the cancer in many cases eventually relapses and metastasizes upon stopping the treatment. There is a small subpopulation of cancer cells within tumor, with specific characters similar to those found in stem cells. This group of cancer cells is known as tumor-initiating or cancer stem cells (CSCs), which have an ability to self-renew and give rise to cancer cell progeny. CSCs are related with drug resistance, metastasis and relapse of cancer, hence emerging as a crucial drug target for eliminating cancer. Rapid advancement of CSC biology has enabled researchers to isolate and culture CSCs in vitro, making the cells amenable to high-throughput drug screening. Recently, drug repositioning, which utilizes existing drugs to develop potential new indications, has been gaining popularity as an alternative approach for the drug discovery. As existing drugs have favorable bioavailability and safety profiles, drug repositioning is now actively exploited for prompt development of therapeutics for many serious diseases, such as cancer. In this review, we will introduce latest examples of attempted drug repositioning targeting CSCs and discuss potential use of the repositioned drugs for cancer therapy. PMID:26152874

  18. Voltage gated sodium channels as drug discovery targets

    PubMed Central

    Bagal, Sharan K; Marron, Brian E; Owen, Robert M; Storer, R Ian; Swain, Nigel A

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels are a family of transmembrane ion channel proteins. They function by forming a gated, water-filled pore to help establish and control cell membrane potential via control of the flow of ions between the intracellular and the extracellular environments. Blockade of NaVs has been successfully accomplished in the clinic to enable control of pathological firing patterns that occur in a diverse range of conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and cardiac arrhythmias. First generation sodium channel modulator drugs, despite low inherent subtype selectivity, preferentially act on over-excited cells which reduces undesirable side effects in the clinic. However, the limited therapeutic indices observed with the first generation demanded a new generation of sodium channel inhibitors. The structure, function and the state of the art in sodium channel modulator drug discovery are discussed in this chapter. PMID:26646477

  19. Approaches of targeting Rho GTPases in cancer drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yuan; Zheng, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Rho GTPases are master regulators of actomyosin structure and dynamics and play pivotal roles in a variety of cellular processes including cell morphology, gene transcription, cell cycle progression and cell adhesion. Because aberrant Rho GTPase signaling activities are widely associated with human cancer, key components of Rho GTPase signaling pathways have attracted increasing interest as potential therapeutic targets. Similar to Ras, Rho GTPases themselves were, until recently, deemed “undruggable” because of structure-function considerations. Several approaches to interfere with Rho GTPase signaling have been explored and show promise as new ways for tackling cancer cells. Areas covered This review focuses on the recent progress in targeting the signaling activities of three prototypical Rho GTPases, i.e. RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42. The authors describe the involvement of these Rho GTPases, their key regulators and effectors in cancer. Furthermore, the authors discuss the current approaches for rationally targeting aberrant Rho GTPases along their signaling cascades, upstream and downstream of Rho GTPases and posttranslational modifications at a molecular level. Expert opinion To date, while no clinically effective drugs targeting Rho GTPase signaling for cancer treatment are available, tool compounds and lead drugs that pharmacologically inhibit Rho GTPase pathways have shown promise. Small molecule inhibitors targeting Rho GTPase signaling may add new treatment options for future precision cancer therapy, particularly in combination with other anti-cancer agents. PMID:26087073

  20. Targeting human papillomavirus genome replication for antiviral drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Archambault, Jacques; Melendy, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are a major human health problem; they are the cause of recurrent benign warts and of several cancers of the anogenital tract and head and neck region. Although there are two prophylactic HPV vaccines that could, if used universally, prevent as many as two-thirds of HPV-induced cancers, as well as several cytotoxic and immunomodulatory agents for localized treatment of infections, there are currently no HPV antiviral drugs in our arsenal of therapeutic agents. This review examines the status of past and ongoing research into the development of HPV antivirals, focused primarily upon approaches targeting the replication of the viral genome. The only HPV enzyme, E1, is a DNA helicase that interfaces with the cellular DNA replication machinery to replicate the HPV genome. To date, searches for small molecule inhibitors of E1 for use as antivirals have met with limited success. The lack of other viral enzymes has meant that the search for antivirals has shifted to a large degree to the modulation of protein–protein interactions. There has been some success in identifying small molecule inhibitors targeting interactions between HPV proteins but with activity against a small subset of viral types only. As noted in this review, it is thought that targeting E1 interactions with cellular replication proteins may provide inhibitors with broader activity against multiple HPV types. Herein, we outline the steps in HPV DNA replication and discuss those that appear to provide the most advantageous targets for the development of anti-HPV therapeutics. PMID:23615820

  1. Discovery of the target for immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs).

    PubMed

    Ito, Takumi; Ando, Hideki; Handa, Hiroshi

    2016-05-01

    Half a century ago, the sedative thalidomide caused a serious drug disaster because of its teratogenicity and was withdrawn from the market. However, thalidomide, which has returned to the market, is now used for the treatment of leprosy and multiple myeloma (MM) under strict control. The mechanism of thalidomide action had been a long-standing question. We developed a new affinity bead technology and identified cereblon (CRBN) as a thalidomide-binding protein. We found that CRBN functions as a substrate receptor of an E3 cullin-Ring ligase complex 4 (CRL4) and is a primary target of thalidomide teratogenicity. Recently, new thalidomide derivatives, called immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), have been developed by Celgene. Among them, lenalidomide (Len) and pomalidomide (Pom) were shown to exert strong therapeutic effects against MM. It was found that Len and Pom both bind CRBN-CRL4 and recruit neomorphic substrates (Ikaros and Aiolos). More recently it was reported that casein kinase 1a (Ck1a) was identified as a substrate for CRBN-CRL4 in the presence of Len, but not Pom. Ck1a breakdown explains why Len is specifically effective for myelodysplastic syndrome with 5q deletion. It is now proposed that binding of IMiDs to CRBN appears to alter the substrate specificity of CRBN-CRL4. In this review, we introduce recent findings on IMiDs. PMID:27263779

  2. Alzheimer's disease, enzyme targets and drug discovery struggles: from natural products to drug prototypes.

    PubMed

    Silva, Tiago; Reis, Joana; Teixeira, José; Borges, Fernanda

    2014-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an incapacitating neurodegenerative disease that slowly destroys brain cells. This disease progressively compromises both memory and cognition, culminating in a state of full dependence and dementia. Currently, AD is the main cause of dementia in the elderly and its prevalence in the developed world is increasing rapidly. Classic drugs, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs), fail to decline disease progression and display several side effects that reduce patient's adhesion to pharmacotherapy. The past decade has witnessed an increasing focus on the search for novel AChEIs and new putative enzymatic targets for AD, like β- and γ-secretases, sirtuins, caspase proteins and glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3). In addition, new mechanistic rationales for drug discovery in AD that include autophagy and synaptogenesis have been discovered. Herein, we describe the state-of-the-art of the development of recent enzymatic inhibitors and enhancers with therapeutic potential on the treatment of AD. PMID:24726823

  3. Recent discoveries of influenza A drug target sites to combat virus replication.

    PubMed

    Patel, Hershna; Kukol, Andreas

    2016-06-15

    Sequence variations in the binding sites of influenza A proteins are known to limit the effectiveness of current antiviral drugs. Clinically, this leads to increased rates of virus transmission and pathogenicity. Potential influenza A inhibitors are continually being discovered as a result of high-throughput cell based screening studies, whereas the application of computational tools to aid drug discovery has further increased the number of predicted inhibitors reported. This review brings together the aspects that relate to the identification of influenza A drug target sites and the findings from recent antiviral drug discovery strategies. PMID:27284062

  4. Tribbles pseudokinases: novel targets for chemical biology and drug discovery?

    PubMed

    Foulkes, Daniel M; Byrne, Dominic P; Bailey, Fiona P; Eyers, Patrick A

    2015-10-01

    Tribbles (TRIB) proteins are pseudokinase mediators of eukaryotic signalling that have evolved important roles in lipoprotein metabolism, immune function and cellular differentiation and proliferation. In addition, an evolutionary-conserved modulation of PI3K/AKT signalling pathways highlights them as novel and rather unusual pharmaceutical targets. The three human TRIB family members are uniquely defined by an acidic pseudokinase domain containing a 'broken' α C-helix and a MEK (MAPK/ERK)-binding site at the end of the putative C-lobe and a distinct C-terminal peptide motif that interacts directly with a small subset of cellular E3 ubiquitin ligases. This latter interaction drives proteasomal-dependent degradation of networks of transcription factors, whose rate of turnover determines the biological attributes of individual TRIB family members. Defining the function of individual Tribs has been made possible through evaluation of individual TRIB knockout mice, siRNA/overexpression approaches and genetic screening in flies, where the single TRIB gene was originally described 15 years ago. The rapidly maturing TRIB field is primed to exploit chemical biology approaches to evaluate endogenous TRIB signalling events in intact cells. This will help define how TRIB-driven protein-protein interactions and the atypical TRIB ATP-binding site, fit into cellular signalling modules in experimental scenarios where TRIB-signalling complexes remain unperturbed. In this mini-review, we discuss how small molecules can reveal rate-limiting signalling outputs and functions of Tribs in cells and intact organisms, perhaps serving as guides for the development of new drugs. We predict that appropriate small molecule TRIB ligands will further accelerate the transition of TRIB pseudokinase analysis into the mainstream of cell signalling. PMID:26517930

  5. Approaches to target identification and validation for tuberculosis drug discovery: a UCT perspective.

    PubMed

    Warner, Digby F; Mizrahi, Valerie

    2012-06-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) disproportionately affects a few high-burden countries including South Africa. In these regions, basic TB research is rare, endemic countries being valued primarily as sites for drug trials and clinical studies. Our basic mycobacterial research focuses on current approaches to drug target identification and validation within the context of international trends in TB drug discovery. Increased funding for TB drug development globally prompted a significant shift in the composition of drug discovery consortia, with academic laboratories assuming a major role in collaboration with industrial partners. This hybrid model holds promise for the expansion of local programmes, especially where actively supported by government. However, the application of industry-standard business practices to research projects involving biology and chemistry expertise demands a greater appreciation of the differences between a chemically, versus biologically, validated drug target, and of the factors informing these differences. PMID:22668936

  6. Computational drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Ou-Yang, Si-sheng; Lu, Jun-yan; Kong, Xiang-qian; Liang, Zhong-jie; Luo, Cheng; Jiang, Hualiang

    2012-01-01

    Computational drug discovery is an effective strategy for accelerating and economizing drug discovery and development process. Because of the dramatic increase in the availability of biological macromolecule and small molecule information, the applicability of computational drug discovery has been extended and broadly applied to nearly every stage in the drug discovery and development workflow, including target identification and validation, lead discovery and optimization and preclinical tests. Over the past decades, computational drug discovery methods such as molecular docking, pharmacophore modeling and mapping, de novo design, molecular similarity calculation and sequence-based virtual screening have been greatly improved. In this review, we present an overview of these important computational methods, platforms and successful applications in this field. PMID:22922346

  7. Drug discovery in academia.

    PubMed

    Verkman, A S

    2004-03-01

    Drug discovery and development is generally done in the commercial rather than the academic realm. Drug discovery involves target discovery and validation, lead identification by high-throughput screening, and lead optimization by medicinal chemistry. Follow-up preclinical evaluation includes analysis in animal models of compound efficacy and pharmacology (ADME: administration, distribution, metabolism, elimination) and studies of toxicology, specificity, and drug interactions. Notwithstanding the high-cost, labor-intensive, and non-hypothesis-driven aspects of drug discovery, the academic setting has a unique and expanding niche in this important area of investigation. For example, academic drug discovery can focus on targets of limited commercial value, such as third-world and rare diseases, and on the development of research reagents such as high-affinity inhibitors for pharmacological "gene knockout" in animal models ("chemical genetics"). This review describes the practical aspects of the preclinical drug discovery process for academic investigators. The discovery of small molecule inhibitors and activators of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator is presented as an example of an academic drug discovery program that has yielded new compounds for physiology research and clinical development. PMID:14761879

  8. G Protein-Coupled Receptors - Targets for Fragment-based Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Alastair D G

    2015-01-01

    As the considerable technical challenges involved with generating crystal structures of G (guanine nucleotide- binding) protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are starting to be successfully addressed, opportunities to apply fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) to this class of target are becoming a reality. GPCRs represent a large and important family of drug targets with considerable clinical and commercial interest. While their general seven transmembrane helix bundle structures are amenable to therapeutic intervention with small molecules, to date successful drugs have primarily been discovered using traditional competitive or function-based screening. With advances in biophysical screening techniques such as Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) and Target-Immobilised NMR Screening (TINS), being matched to developments in molecular dynamics simulations, virtual screening and stabilisation of biologically relevant conformations of GPCRs, structure-based approaches using fragment starting points are beginning to be applied to the discovery of new generations of small molecules. PMID:26126904

  9. Influence networks based on coexpression improve drug target discovery for the development of novel cancer therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The demand for novel molecularly targeted drugs will continue to rise as we move forward toward the goal of personalizing cancer treatment to the molecular signature of individual tumors. However, the identification of targets and combinations of targets that can be safely and effectively modulated is one of the greatest challenges facing the drug discovery process. A promising approach is to use biological networks to prioritize targets based on their relative positions to one another, a property that affects their ability to maintain network integrity and propagate information-flow. Here, we introduce influence networks and demonstrate how they can be used to generate influence scores as a network-based metric to rank genes as potential drug targets. Results We use this approach to prioritize genes as drug target candidates in a set of ER + breast tumor samples collected during the course of neoadjuvant treatment with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole. We show that influential genes, those with high influence scores, tend to be essential and include a higher proportion of essential genes than those prioritized based on their position (i.e. hubs or bottlenecks) within the same network. Additionally, we show that influential genes represent novel biologically relevant drug targets for the treatment of ER + breast cancers. Moreover, we demonstrate that gene influence differs between untreated tumors and residual tumors that have adapted to drug treatment. In this way, influence scores capture the context-dependent functions of genes and present the opportunity to design combination treatment strategies that take advantage of the tumor adaptation process. Conclusions Influence networks efficiently find essential genes as promising drug targets and combinations of targets to inform the development of molecularly targeted drugs and their use. PMID:24495353

  10. Structural biology and bioinformatics in drug design: opportunities and challenges for target identification and lead discovery

    PubMed Central

    Blundell, Tom L; Sibanda, Bancinyane L; Montalvão, Rinaldo Wander; Brewerton, Suzanne; Chelliah, Vijayalakshmi; Worth, Catherine L; Harmer, Nicholas J; Davies, Owen; Burke, David

    2006-01-01

    Impressive progress in genome sequencing, protein expression and high-throughput crystallography and NMR has radically transformed the opportunities to use protein three-dimensional structures to accelerate drug discovery, but the quantity and complexity of the data have ensured a central place for informatics. Structural biology and bioinformatics have assisted in lead optimization and target identification where they have well established roles; they can now contribute to lead discovery, exploiting high-throughput methods of structure determination that provide powerful approaches to screening of fragment binding. PMID:16524830

  11. Peptide deformylase: a new target in antibacterial, antimalarial and anticancer drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Sangshetti, Jaiprakash N; Khan, Firoz A Kalam; Shinde, Devanand B

    2015-01-01

    Peptide deformylase (PDF) is a class of metalloenzyme responsible for catalyzing the removal of the N-formyl group from N-terminal methionine following translation. PDF inhibitors are moving into new phase of drug development. Initially, PDF was considered as an important target in antibacterial drug discovery; however genome database searches have revealed PDF-like sequences in parasites (P. falciparum) and human, widening the utility of this target in antimalarial and anticancer drug discovery along with antibacterial. Using structural and mechanistic information together with high throughput screening, several types of chemical classes of PDF inhibitors with improved efficacy and specificity have been identified. Various drugs like, GSK-1322322 (Phase II), BB-83698 (Phase I), and LBM-415 (Phase I) have entered into clinical developments. Developments in the field have prompted us to review the current aspects of PDFs, especially their structures, different classes of PDF inhibitors, and molecular modeling studies. In nut shell, this review enlightens PDF as a versatile target along with its inhibitors and future perspectives of different PDF inhibitors. PMID:25174923

  12. Toxins and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. PMID:25448391

  13. Drug discovery alliances in India--indications, targets, and new chemical entities.

    PubMed

    Differding, Edmond

    2014-01-01

    Global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have been building increasingly on the skills and services offered by Indian biotech companies through strategic collaborative partnerships and alliances to fuel their in-house discovery and development pipelines. With the exception of generic press releases, however, very little has been published on the process and progress of drug discovery itself, such as the targets or modes of action involved, nor on the scientific output of such collaborations, and therefore on new chemical entities coming out of India through research collaborations. This Essay provides an analytical review of recent patents, patent applications, and peer-reviewed publications of major research alliances. It aims at highlighting their scientific output as well as the considerable bandwidth of targets and therapeutic areas involved. PMID:24136820

  14. Winning the arms race by improving drug discovery against mutating targets.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Amy C

    2012-02-17

    Enzymes are often excellent drug targets. Yet drug pressure on an enzyme target often fosters the rise of cells with resistance-conferring mutations, some of which may compromise fitness and others that compensate to restore fitness. This review presents, first, a structural analysis of a diverse group of wild-type and mutant enzyme targets and, second, an in-depth analysis of five diverse targets to elucidate a broader perspective of the effects of resistance-conferring mutations on protein or organismal fitness. The structural analysis reveals that resistance-conferring mutations may introduce steric hindrance or eliminate critical interactions, as expected, but that they may also have indirect effects such as altering protein dynamics and enzyme kinetics. The structure-based development of the latest generation of inhibitors targeting HIV reverse transcriptase, P. falciparum and S. aureus dihydrofolate reductase, neuraminidase, and epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase, is highlighted to emphasize lessons that may be applied to future drug discovery to overcome mutation-induced resistance. Successful next-generation drugs tend to be more flexible and exploit a greater number of interactions mimicking those of the substrate with conserved residues. PMID:22050347

  15. Assessment of Dengue virus helicase and methyltransferase as targets for fragment-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Coutard, Bruno; Decroly, Etienne; Li, Changqing; Sharff, Andrew; Lescar, Julien; Bricogne, Gérard; Barral, Karine

    2014-06-01

    Seasonal and pandemic flaviviruses continue to be leading global health concerns. With the view to help drug discovery against Dengue virus (DENV), a fragment-based experimental approach was applied to identify small molecule ligands targeting two main components of the flavivirus replication complex: the NS3 helicase (Hel) and the NS5 mRNA methyltransferase (MTase) domains. A library of 500 drug-like fragments was first screened by thermal-shift assay (TSA) leading to the identification of 36 and 32 fragment hits binding Hel and MTase from DENV, respectively. In a second stage, we set up a fragment-based X-ray crystallographic screening (FBS-X) in order to provide both validated fragment hits and structural binding information. No fragment hit was confirmed for DENV Hel. In contrast, a total of seven fragments were identified as DENV MTase binders and structures of MTase-fragment hit complexes were solved at resolution at least 2.0Å or better. All fragment hits identified contain either a five- or six-membered aromatic ring or both, and three novel binding sites were located on the MTase. To further characterize the fragment hits identified by TSA and FBS-X, we performed enzymatic assays to assess their inhibition effect on the N7- and 2'-O-MTase enzymatic activities: five of these fragment hits inhibit at least one of the two activities with IC50 ranging from 180μM to 9mM. This work validates the FBS-X strategy for identifying new anti-flaviviral hits targeting MTase, while Hel might not be an amenable target for fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD). This approach proved to be a fast and efficient screening method for FBDD target validation and discovery of starting hits for the development of higher affinity molecules that bind to novel allosteric sites. PMID:24704437

  16. Parasite Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases as Drug Discovery Targets to Treat Human Protozoan Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Brumlik, Michael J.; Pandeswara, Srilakshmi; Ludwig, Sara M.; Murthy, Kruthi; Curiel, Tyler J.

    2011-01-01

    Protozoan pathogens are a highly diverse group of unicellular organisms, several of which are significant human pathogens. One group of protozoan pathogens includes obligate intracellular parasites such as agents of malaria, leishmaniasis, babesiosis, and toxoplasmosis. The other group includes extracellular pathogens such as agents of giardiasis and amebiasis. An unfortunate unifying theme for most human protozoan pathogens is that highly effective treatments for them are generally lacking. We will review targeting protozoan mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) as a novel drug discovery approach towards developing better therapies, focusing on Plasmodia, Leishmania, and Toxoplasma, about which the most is known. PMID:21637385

  17. 2013 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship: Drug Discovery Targeting Allosteric Sites†

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The identification of sites on receptors topographically distinct from the orthosteric sites, so-called allosteric sites, has heralded novel approaches and modes of pharmacology for target modulation. Over the past 20 years, our understanding of allosteric modulation has grown significantly, and numerous advantages, as well as caveats (e.g., flat structure–activity relationships, species differences, “molecular switches”), have been identified. For multiple receptors and proteins, numerous examples have been described where unprecedented levels of selectivity are achieved along with improved physiochemical properties. While not a panacea, these novel approaches represent exciting opportunities for tool compound development to probe the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of discrete molecular targets, as well as new medicines. In this Perspective, in commemoration of the 2013 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship (LindsleyC. W.Adventures in allosteric drug discovery. Presented at the 246th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Indianapolis, IN, September 10, 2013; The 2013 Portoghese Lectureship), several vignettes of drug discovery campaigns targeting novel allosteric mechanisms will be recounted, along with lessons learned and guidelines that have emerged for successful lead optimization. PMID:25180768

  18. The AEROPATH project targeting Pseudomonas aeruginosa: crystallographic studies for assessment of potential targets in early-stage drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Moynie, Lucille; Schnell, Robert; McMahon, Stephen A.; Sandalova, Tatyana; Boulkerou, Wassila Abdelli; Schmidberger, Jason W.; Alphey, Magnus; Cukier, Cyprian; Duthie, Fraser; Kopec, Jolanta; Liu, Huanting; Jacewicz, Agata; Hunter, William N.; Naismith, James H.; Schneider, Gunter

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial infections are increasingly difficult to treat owing to the spread of antibiotic resistance. A major concern is Gram-negative bacteria, for which the discovery of new antimicrobial drugs has been particularly scarce. In an effort to accelerate early steps in drug discovery, the EU-funded AEROPATH project aims to identify novel targets in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by applying a multidisciplinary approach encompassing target validation, structural characterization, assay development and hit identification from small-molecule libraries. Here, the strategies used for target selection are described and progress in protein production and structure analysis is reported. Of the 102 selected targets, 84 could be produced in soluble form and the de novo structures of 39 proteins have been determined. The crystal structures of eight of these targets, ranging from hypothetical unknown proteins to metabolic enzymes from different functional classes (PA1645, PA1648, PA2169, PA3770, PA4098, PA4485, PA4992 and PA5259), are reported here. The structural information is expected to provide a firm basis for the improvement of hit compounds identified from fragment-based and high-throughput screening campaigns. PMID:23295481

  19. Antibacterial Drug Discovery Targeting the Lipopolysaccharide Biosynthetic Enzyme LpxC.

    PubMed

    Erwin, Alice L

    2016-01-01

    The enzyme LpxC (UDP-3-O-(R-3-hydroxymyristoyl)-N-acetylglucosamine deacetylase) is broadly conserved across Gram-negative bacteria and is essential for synthesis of lipid A, the membrane anchor of the lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), which are a major component of the outer membrane in nearly all Gram-negative bacteria. LpxC has been the focus of target-directed antibiotic discovery projects in numerous pharmaceutical and academic groups for more than 20 years. Despite intense effort, no LpxC inhibitor has been approved for therapeutic use, and only one has yet reached human studies. This article will summarize the history of LpxC as a drug target and the parallel history of research on LpxC biology. Both academic and industrial researchers have used LpxC inhibitors as tool compounds, leading to increased understanding of the differing mechanisms for regulation of LPS synthesis in Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PMID:27235477

  20. Modulation of Epigenetic Targets for Anticancer Therapy: Clinicopathological Relevance, Structural Data and Drug Discovery Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Andreol, Federico; Barbosa, Arménio Jorge Moura; Daniele Parenti, Marco; Rio, Alberto Del

    2013-01-01

    Research on cancer epigenetics has flourished in the last decade. Nevertheless growing evidence point on the importance to understand the mechanisms by which epigenetic changes regulate the genesis and progression of cancer growth. Several epigenetic targets have been discovered and are currently under validation for new anticancer therapies. Drug discovery approaches aiming to target these epigenetic enzymes with small-molecules inhibitors have produced the first pre-clinical and clinical outcomes and many other compounds are now entering the pipeline as new candidate epidrugs. The most studied targets can be ascribed to histone deacetylases and DNA methyltransferases, although several other classes of enzymes are able to operate post-translational modifications to histone tails are also likely to represent new frontiers for therapeutic interventions. By acknowledging that the field of cancer epigenetics is evolving with an impressive rate of new findings, with this review we aim to provide a current overview of pre-clinical applications of small-molecules for cancer pathologies, combining them with the current knowledge of epigenetic targets in terms of available structural data and drug design perspectives. PMID:23016851

  1. Targeted D4 dopamine receptors: implications for drug discovery and therapeutic development.

    PubMed

    Ptáček, Radek; Kuželová, Hana; Stefano, George B; Raboch, Jiri; Kream, Richard M

    2013-04-01

    A wealth of preclinical and clinical literature has established functional associations of CNS dopamine (DA) and its multiple G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) types in the integration of key neurological processes linked to complex behavioral activities. Conversely, an equivalent vast literature supports the role of aberrant CNS DA expression and DA receptor signaling in the etiology and persistence of major psychiatric illnesses and has established selective targeting of DA-ergic systems as a cornerstone of pharmacotherapeutic intervention and current neuroleptic drug development. The present short review focuses on potential functional/behavioral alterations linked to polymorphisms in the primary DNA sequence of the DA receptor type 4 (DRD4) gene in reference to major psychiatric illnesses. The potential clinical relevance of major polymorphisms of the DRD4 gene are discussed within the context of practical aspects of typical and atypical neuroleptic drug usage within afflicted populations of psychiatric patients. It is anticipated that additional complementary molecular, biochemical, and behavioral studies of DRD4 gene polymorphisms will provide essential information for selective targeting of heterogeneous populations of CNS D4 receptors and advance drug discovery and therapeutic development efforts for highly efficacious treatment of psychiatric illnesses. PMID:23469923

  2. Optogenetics enlightens neuroscience drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Song, Chenchen; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2016-02-01

    Optogenetics - the use of light and genetics to manipulate and monitor the activities of defined cell populations - has already had a transformative impact on basic neuroscience research. Now, the conceptual and methodological advances associated with optogenetic approaches are providing fresh momentum to neuroscience drug discovery, particularly in areas that are stalled on the concept of 'fixing the brain chemistry'. Optogenetics is beginning to translate and transit into drug discovery in several key domains, including target discovery, high-throughput screening and novel therapeutic approaches to disease states. Here, we discuss the exciting potential of optogenetic technologies to transform neuroscience drug discovery. PMID:26612666

  3. DNA topoisomerases from pathogenic fungi: targets for the discovery of antifungal drugs.

    PubMed Central

    Shen, L L; Baranowski, J; Fostel, J; Montgomery, D A; Lartey, P A

    1992-01-01

    DNA topoisomerases, a class of enzymes that change the topological structure of DNA, have been shown to be the target of many therapeutic agents, including antibacterial agents (quinolones) and anticancer agents. These drugs inhibit the enzyme in a unique way so that the enzyme is converted into a cellular poison. Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger are two major opportunistic fungal pathogens. Our results show that these fungi have high levels of both type I and type II topoisomerases (with a minimum of 5 x 10(5) ATP-independent relaxation units and 2 x 10(5) P-4 unknotting units per liter of wild-type C. albicans). The ATP-dependent type II topoisomerase (termed C. albicans topoisomerase II) was purified by approximately 2,000-fold from C. albicans cells by using a simple isolation scheme that consists of three column procedures: hydroxylapatite, phosphocellulose, and heparin-agarose chromatographies. The responses of the Candida and the calf thymus topoisomerase II to some known topoisomerase II inhibitors were measured. Etoposide and 4'-(9-acridinylamino)methanesulfon-m-anisidide, compounds known to inhibit catalysis and to enhance DNA breakage by mammalian topoisomerase II, and A-80198, an etoposide derivative, enhanced cleavage by both enzymes at similar concentrations of these compounds, with the response of the calf thymus topoisomerase II from slightly to fourfold higher in magnitude than the response of the Candida enzyme in the same concentration range. In contrast, A-75272 (a cytotoxic tricyclic quinolone) shows a slightly stronger DNA cleavage enhancement effect with the Candida enzyme than with the mammalian counterpart. The abundance of the enzyme in cells and the different drug responses of the host enzyme and the fungal enzyme suggest that the fungal topoisomerase may serve as a target for the discovery of effective and safe antifungal agents. Images PMID:1336349

  4. Open Access Target Validation Is a More Efficient Way to Accelerate Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wen Hwa

    2015-01-01

    There is a scarcity of novel treatments to address many unmet medical needs. Industry and academia are finally coming to terms with the fact that the prevalent models and incentives for innovation in early stage drug discovery are failing to promote progress quickly enough. Here we will examine how an open model of precompetitive public–private research partnership is enabling efficient derisking and acceleration in the early stages of drug discovery, whilst also widening the range of communities participating in the process, such as patient and disease foundations. PMID:26042736

  5. Label-free drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Ye

    2014-01-01

    Current drug discovery is dominated by label-dependent molecular approaches, which screen drugs in the context of a predefined and target-based hypothesis in vitro. Given that target-based discovery has not transformed the industry, phenotypic screen that identifies drugs based on a specific phenotype of cells, tissues, or animals has gained renewed interest. However, owing to the intrinsic complexity in drug–target interactions, there is often a significant gap between the phenotype screened and the ultimate molecular mechanism of action sought. This paper presents a label-free strategy for early drug discovery. This strategy combines label-free cell phenotypic profiling with computational approaches, and holds promise to bridge the gap by offering a kinetic and holistic representation of the functional consequences of drugs in disease relevant cells that is amenable to mechanistic deconvolution. PMID:24723889

  6. Rule of five in 2015 and beyond: Target and ligand structural limitations, ligand chemistry structure and drug discovery project decisions.

    PubMed

    Lipinski, Christopher A

    2016-06-01

    The rule of five (Ro5), based on physicochemical profiles of phase II drugs, is consistent with structural limitations in protein targets and the drug target ligands. Three of four parameters in Ro5 are fundamental to the structure of both target and drug binding sites. The chemical structure of the drug ligand depends on the ligand chemistry and design philosophy. Two extremes of chemical structure and design philosophy exist; ligands constructed in the medicinal chemistry synthesis laboratory without input from natural selection and natural product (NP) metabolites biosynthesized based on evolutionary selection. Exceptions to Ro5 are found mostly among NPs. Chemistry chameleon-like behavior of some NPs due to intra-molecular hydrogen bonding as exemplified by cyclosporine A is a strong contributor to NP Ro5 outliers. The fragment derived, drug Navitoclax is an example of the extensive expertise, resources, time and key decisions required for the rare discovery of a non-NP Ro5 outlier. PMID:27154268

  7. A survey of yeast genomic assays for drug and target discovery

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Andrew M.; Ammar, Ron; Nislow, Corey; Giaever, Guri

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, the development and application of chemical genomic assays using the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae has provided powerful methods to identify the mechanism of action of known drugs and novel small molecules in vivo. These assays identify drug target candidates, genes involved in buffering drug target pathways and also help to define the general cellular response to small molecules. In this review, we examine current yeast chemical genomic assays and summarize the potential applications of each approach. PMID:20546776

  8. Structure-Based DNA-Targeting Strategies with Small Molecule Ligands for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Jia; Gan, Jianhua; Huang, Zhen

    2014-01-01

    Nucleic acids are the molecular targets of many clinical anticancer drugs. However, compared with proteins, nucleic acids have traditionally attracted much less attention as drug targets in structure-based drug design, partially because limited structural information of nucleic acids complexed with potential drugs is available. Over the past several years, enormous progresses in nucleic acid crystallization, heavy-atom derivatization, phasing, and structural biology have been made. Many complicated nucleic acid structures have been determined, providing new insights into the molecular functions and interactions of nucleic acids, especially DNAs complexed with small molecule ligands. Thus, opportunities have been created to further discover nucleic acid-targeting drugs for disease treatments. This review focuses on the structure studies of DNAs complexed with small molecule ligands for discovering lead compounds, drug candidates, and/or therapeutics. PMID:23633219

  9. Potential Targets for Antifungal Drug Discovery Based on Growth and Virulence in Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiuyun; Hou, Yinglong; Yue, Longtao; Liu, Shuyuan; Du, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Fungal infections, especially infections caused by Candida albicans, remain a challenging problem in clinical settings. Despite the development of more-effective antifungal drugs, their application is limited for various reasons. Thus, alternative treatments with drugs aimed at novel targets in C. albicans are needed. Knowledge of growth and virulence in fungal cells is essential not only to understand their pathogenic mechanisms but also to identify potential antifungal targets. This article reviews the current knowledge of the mechanisms of growth and virulence in C. albicans and examines potential targets for the development of new antifungal drugs. PMID:26195510

  10. Ophthalmic drug discovery: novel targets and mechanisms for retinal diseases and glaucoma.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Kang; Zhang, Liangfang; Weinreb, Robert N

    2012-07-01

    Blindness affects 60 million people worldwide. The leading causes of irreversible blindness include age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular diseases and glaucoma. The unique features of the eye provide both benefits and challenges for drug discovery and delivery. During the past decade, the landscape for ocular drug therapy has substantially changed and our knowledge of the pathogenesis of ophthalmic diseases has grown considerably. Anti-angiogenic drugs have emerged as the most effective form of therapy for age-related macular degeneration and retinal vascular diseases. Lowering intraocular pressure is still the mainstay for glaucoma treatment but neuroprotective drugs represent a promising next-generation therapy. This Review discusses the current state of ocular drug therapy and highlights future therapeutic opportunities. PMID:22699774

  11. Principles of early drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, JP; Rees, S; Kalindjian, SB; Philpott, KL

    2011-01-01

    Developing a new drug from original idea to the launch of a finished product is a complex process which can take 12–15 years and cost in excess of $1 billion. The idea for a target can come from a variety of sources including academic and clinical research and from the commercial sector. It may take many years to build up a body of supporting evidence before selecting a target for a costly drug discovery programme. Once a target has been chosen, the pharmaceutical industry and more recently some academic centres have streamlined a number of early processes to identify molecules which possess suitable characteristics to make acceptable drugs. This review will look at key preclinical stages of the drug discovery process, from initial target identification and validation, through assay development, high throughput screening, hit identification, lead optimization and finally the selection of a candidate molecule for clinical development. PMID:21091654

  12. Target-based vs. phenotypic screenings in Leishmania drug discovery: A marriage of convenience or a dialogue of the deaf?

    PubMed Central

    Reguera, Rosa M.; Calvo-Álvarez, Estefanía; Álvarez-Velilla, Raquel; Balaña-Fouce, Rafael

    2014-01-01

    Drug discovery programs sponsored by public or private initiatives pursue the same ambitious goal: a crushing defeat of major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) during this decade. Both target-based and target-free screenings have pros and cons when it comes to finding potential small-molecule leads among chemical libraries consisting of myriads of compounds. Within the target-based strategy, crystals of pathogen recombinant-proteins are being used to obtain three-dimensional (3D) structures in silico for the discovery of structure-based inhibitors. On the other hand, genetically modified parasites expressing easily detectable reporters are in the pipeline of target-free (phenotypic) screenings. Furthermore, lead compounds can be scaled up to in vivo preclinical trials using rodent models of infection monitoring parasite loads by means of cutting-edge bioimaging devices. As such, those preferred are fluorescent and bioluminescent readouts due to their reproducibility and rapidity, which reduces the number of animals used in the trials and allows for an earlier stage detection of the infective process as compared with classical methods. In this review, we focus on the current differences between target-based and phenotypic screenings in Leishmania, as an approach that leads to the discovery of new potential drugs against leishmaniasis. PMID:25516847

  13. Target-based vs. phenotypic screenings in Leishmania drug discovery: A marriage of convenience or a dialogue of the deaf?

    PubMed

    Reguera, Rosa M; Calvo-Álvarez, Estefanía; Alvarez-Velilla, Raquel; Balaña-Fouce, Rafael

    2014-12-01

    Drug discovery programs sponsored by public or private initiatives pursue the same ambitious goal: a crushing defeat of major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) during this decade. Both target-based and target-free screenings have pros and cons when it comes to finding potential small-molecule leads among chemical libraries consisting of myriads of compounds. Within the target-based strategy, crystals of pathogen recombinant-proteins are being used to obtain three-dimensional (3D) structures in silico for the discovery of structure-based inhibitors. On the other hand, genetically modified parasites expressing easily detectable reporters are in the pipeline of target-free (phenotypic) screenings. Furthermore, lead compounds can be scaled up to in vivo preclinical trials using rodent models of infection monitoring parasite loads by means of cutting-edge bioimaging devices. As such, those preferred are fluorescent and bioluminescent readouts due to their reproducibility and rapidity, which reduces the number of animals used in the trials and allows for an earlier stage detection of the infective process as compared with classical methods. In this review, we focus on the current differences between target-based and phenotypic screenings in Leishmania, as an approach that leads to the discovery of new potential drugs against leishmaniasis. PMID:25516847

  14. A Multimodal Data Analysis Approach for Targeted Drug Discovery Involving Topological Data Analysis (TDA).

    PubMed

    Alagappan, Muthuraman; Jiang, Dadi; Denko, Nicholas; Koong, Albert C

    2016-01-01

    In silico drug discovery refers to a combination of computational techniques that augment our ability to discover drug compounds from compound libraries. Many such techniques exist, including virtual high-throughput screening (vHTS), high-throughput screening (HTS), and mechanisms for data storage and querying. However, presently these tools are often used independent of one another. In this chapter, we describe a new multimodal in silico technique for the hit identification and lead generation phases of traditional drug discovery. Our technique leverages the benefits of three independent methods-virtual high-throughput screening, high-throughput screening, and structural fingerprint analysis-by using a fourth technique called topological data analysis (TDA). We describe how a compound library can be independently tested with vHTS, HTS, and fingerprint analysis, and how the results can be transformed into a topological data analysis network to identify compounds from a diverse group of structural families. This process of using TDA or similar clustering methods to identify drug leads is advantageous because it provides a mechanism for choosing structurally diverse compounds while maintaining the unique advantages of already established techniques such as vHTS and HTS. PMID:27325272

  15. In silico pharmacology for drug discovery: applications to targets and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Ekins, S; Mestres, J; Testa, B

    2007-01-01

    Computational (in silico) methods have been developed and widely applied to pharmacology hypothesis development and testing. These in silico methods include databases, quantitative structure-activity relationships, similarity searching, pharmacophores, homology models and other molecular modeling, machine learning, data mining, network analysis tools and data analysis tools that use a computer. Such methods have seen frequent use in the discovery and optimization of novel molecules with affinity to a target, the clarification of absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity properties as well as physicochemical characterization. The first part of this review discussed the methods that have been used for virtual ligand and target-based screening and profiling to predict biological activity. The aim of this second part of the review is to illustrate some of the varied applications of in silico methods for pharmacology in terms of the targets addressed. We will also discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of in silico methods with respect to in vitro and in vivo methods for pharmacology research. Our conclusion is that the in silico pharmacology paradigm is ongoing and presents a rich array of opportunities that will assist in expediating the discovery of new targets, and ultimately lead to compounds with predicted biological activity for these novel targets. PMID:17549046

  16. Discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) kinase as target for structure-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kothiwale, Sandeepkumar; Borza, Corina M; Lowe, Edward W; Pozzi, Ambra; Meiler, Jens

    2015-02-01

    Discoidin domain receptor (DDR) 1 and 2 are transmembrane receptors that belong to the family of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK). Upon collagen binding, DDRs transduce cellular signaling involved in various cell functions, including cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, migration, and matrix homeostasis. Altered DDR function resulting from either mutations or overexpression has been implicated in several types of disease, including atherosclerosis, inflammation, cancer, and tissue fibrosis. Several established inhibitors, such as imatinib, dasatinib, and nilotinib, originally developed as Abelson murine leukemia (Abl) kinase inhibitors, have been found to inhibit DDR kinase activity. As we review here, recent discoveries of novel inhibitors and their co-crystal structure with the DDR1 kinase domain have made structure-based drug discovery for DDR1 amenable. PMID:25284748

  17. Discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) kinase as target for structure-based drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Kothiwale, Sandeepkumar; Borza, Corina M.; Lowe, Will; Pozzi, Ambra; Meiler, Jens

    2014-01-01

    Discoidin domain receptor (DDR) 1 and 2 are transmembrane receptors that belong to the family of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK). Upon collagen binding, DDRs transduce cellular signaling involved in various cell functions, including cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, migration, and matrix homeostasis. Altered DDR function resulting from either mutations or overexpression has been implicated in several types of disease, including atherosclerosis, inflammation, cancer, and tissue fibrosis. Several established inhibitors, such as imatinib, dasatinib, and nilotinib, originally developed as Abelson murine leukemia (Abl) kinase inhibitors, have been found to inhibit DDR kinase activity. As we review here, recent discoveries of novel inhibitors and their co-crystal structure with the DDR1 kinase domain have made structure-based drug discovery for DDR1 amenable. PMID:25284748

  18. Antibiotic drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Wohlleben, Wolfgang; Mast, Yvonne; Stegmann, Evi; Ziemert, Nadine

    2016-09-01

    Due to the threat posed by the increase of highly resistant pathogenic bacteria, there is an urgent need for new antibiotics; all the more so since in the last 20 years, the approval for new antibacterial agents had decreased. The field of natural product discovery has undergone a tremendous development over the past few years. This has been the consequence of several new and revolutionizing drug discovery and development techniques, which is initiating a 'New Age of Antibiotic Discovery'. In this review, we concentrate on the most significant discovery approaches during the last and present years and comment on the challenges facing the community in the coming years. PMID:27470984

  19. A Framework of Knowledge Integration and Discovery for Supporting Pharmacogenomics Target Predication of Adverse Drug Events: A Case Study of Drug-Induced Long QT Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Guoqian; Wang, Chen; Zhu, Qian; Chute, Christopher G.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge-driven text mining is becoming an important research area for identifying pharmacogenomics target genes. However, few of such studies have been focused on the pharmacogenomics targets of adverse drug events (ADEs). The objective of the present study is to build a framework of knowledge integration and discovery that aims to support pharmacogenomics target predication of ADEs. We integrate a semantically annotated literature corpus Semantic MEDLINE with a semantically coded ADE knowledgebase known as ADEpedia using a semantic web based framework. We developed a knowledge discovery approach combining a network analysis of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and a gene functional classification approach. We performed a case study of drug-induced long QT syndrome for demonstrating the usefulness of the framework in predicting potential pharmacogenomics targets of ADEs. PMID:24303306

  20. Mitigating risk in academic preclinical drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Dahlin, Jayme L; Inglese, James; Walters, Michael A

    2015-04-01

    The number of academic drug discovery centres has grown considerably in recent years, providing new opportunities to couple the curiosity-driven research culture in academia with rigorous preclinical drug discovery practices used in industry. To fully realize the potential of these opportunities, it is important that academic researchers understand the risks inherent in preclinical drug discovery, and that translational research programmes are effectively organized and supported at an institutional level. In this article, we discuss strategies to mitigate risks in several key aspects of preclinical drug discovery at academic drug discovery centres, including organization, target selection, assay design, medicinal chemistry and preclinical pharmacology. PMID:25829283

  1. HIV-1 Drug Discovery: Targeting Folded RNA Structures With Branched Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Wynn, Jessica E.

    2015-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is an RNA virus that is prone to high rates of mutation. While the disease is managed with current antiretroviral therapies, drugs with a new mode of action are needed. A strategy towards this goal is aimed at targeting the native three-dimensional fold of conserved RNA structures. This perspective highlights medium-sized peptides and peptidomimetics used to target two conserved RNA structures of HIV-1. In particular, branched peptides have the capacity to bind in a multivalent fashion, utilizing a large surface area to achieve the necessary affinity and selectivity toward the target RNA. PMID:25958855

  2. HIV-1 drug discovery: targeting folded RNA structures with branched peptides.

    PubMed

    Wynn, Jessica E; Santos, Webster L

    2015-06-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is an RNA virus that is prone to high rates of mutation. While the disease is managed with current antiretroviral therapies, drugs with a new mode of action are needed. A strategy towards this goal is aimed at targeting the native three-dimensional fold of conserved RNA structures. This perspective highlights medium-sized peptides and peptidomimetics used to target two conserved RNA structures of HIV-1. In particular, branched peptides have the capacity to bind in a multivalent fashion, utilizing a large surface area to achieve the necessary affinity and selectivity toward the target RNA. PMID:25958855

  3. Targeting the Cytochrome bc1 Complex of Leishmania Parasites for Discovery of Novel Drugs.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Diana; Forquer, Isaac; Boitz, Jan; Soysa, Radika; Elya, Carolyn; Fulwiler, Audrey; Nilsen, Aaron; Polley, Tamsen; Riscoe, Michael K; Ullman, Buddy; Landfear, Scott M

    2016-08-01

    Endochin-like quinolones (ELQs) are potent and specific inhibitors of cytochrome bc1 from Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii and show promise for novel antiparasitic drug development. To determine whether the mitochondrial electron transport chain of Leishmania parasites could be targeted similarly for drug development, we investigated the activity of 134 structurally diverse ELQs. A cohort of ELQs was selectively toxic to amastigotes of Leishmania mexicana and L. donovani, with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) in the low micromolar range, but the structurally similar hydroxynaphthoquinone buparvaquone was by far the most potent inhibitor of electron transport, ATP production, and intracellular amastigote growth. Cytochrome bc1 is thus a promising target for novel antileishmanial drugs, and further improvements on the buparvaquone scaffold are warranted for development of enhanced therapeutics. PMID:27297476

  4. Trends in Modern Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Eder, Jörg; Herrling, Paul L

    2016-01-01

    Drugs discovered by the pharmaceutical industry over the past 100 years have dramatically changed the practice of medicine and impacted on many aspects of our culture. For many years, drug discovery was a target- and mechanism-agnostic approach that was based on ethnobotanical knowledge often fueled by serendipity. With the advent of modern molecular biology methods and based on knowledge of the human genome, drug discovery has now largely changed into a hypothesis-driven target-based approach, a development which was paralleled by significant environmental changes in the pharmaceutical industry. Laboratories became increasingly computerized and automated, and geographically dispersed research sites are now more and more clustered into large centers to capture technological and biological synergies. Today, academia, the regulatory agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry all contribute to drug discovery, and, in order to translate the basic science into new medical treatments for unmet medical needs, pharmaceutical companies have to have a critical mass of excellent scientists working in many therapeutic fields, disciplines, and technologies. The imperative for the pharmaceutical industry to discover breakthrough medicines is matched by the increasing numbers of first-in-class drugs approved in recent years and reflects the impact of modern drug discovery approaches, technologies, and genomics. PMID:26330257

  5. Drug discovery in jeopardy

    PubMed Central

    Cuatrecasas, Pedro

    2006-01-01

    Despite striking advances in the biomedical sciences, the flow of new drugs has slowed to a trickle, impairing therapeutic advances as well as the commercial success of drug companies. Reduced productivity in the drug industry is caused mainly by corporate policies that discourage innovation. This is compounded by various consequences of mega-mergers, the obsession for blockbuster drugs, the shift of control of research from scientists to marketers, the need for fast sales growth, and the discontinuation of development compounds for nontechnical reasons. Lessons from the past indicate that these problems can be overcome, and herein, new and improved directions for drug discovery are suggested. PMID:17080187

  6. Regulators of G-Protein Signaling and Their Gα Substrates: Promises and Challenges in Their Use as Drug Discovery Targets

    PubMed Central

    Kimple, Adam J.; Bosch, Dustin E.; Giguère, Patrick M.

    2011-01-01

    Because G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) continue to represent excellent targets for the discovery and development of small-molecule therapeutics, it is posited that additional protein components of the signal transduction pathways emanating from activated GPCRs themselves are attractive as drug discovery targets. This review considers the drug discovery potential of two such components: members of the “regulators of G-protein signaling” (RGS protein) superfamily, as well as their substrates, the heterotrimeric G-protein α subunits. Highlighted are recent advances, stemming from mouse knockout studies and the use of “RGS-insensitivity” and fast-hydrolysis mutations to Gα, in our understanding of how RGS proteins selectively act in (patho)physiologic conditions controlled by GPCR signaling and how they act on the nucleotide cycling of heterotrimeric G-proteins in shaping the kinetics and sensitivity of GPCR signaling. Progress is documented regarding recent activities along the path to devising screening assays and chemical probes for the RGS protein target, not only in pursuits of inhibitors of RGS domain-mediated acceleration of Gα GTP hydrolysis but also to embrace the potential of finding allosteric activators of this RGS protein action. The review concludes in considering the Gα subunit itself as a drug target, as brought to focus by recent reports of activating mutations to GNAQ and GNA11 in ocular (uveal) melanoma. We consider the likelihood of several strategies for antagonizing the function of these oncogene alleles and their gene products, including the use of RGS proteins with Gαq selectivity. PMID:21737532

  7. Regulators of G-protein signaling and their Gα substrates: promises and challenges in their use as drug discovery targets.

    PubMed

    Kimple, Adam J; Bosch, Dustin E; Giguère, Patrick M; Siderovski, David P

    2011-09-01

    Because G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) continue to represent excellent targets for the discovery and development of small-molecule therapeutics, it is posited that additional protein components of the signal transduction pathways emanating from activated GPCRs themselves are attractive as drug discovery targets. This review considers the drug discovery potential of two such components: members of the "regulators of G-protein signaling" (RGS protein) superfamily, as well as their substrates, the heterotrimeric G-protein α subunits. Highlighted are recent advances, stemming from mouse knockout studies and the use of "RGS-insensitivity" and fast-hydrolysis mutations to Gα, in our understanding of how RGS proteins selectively act in (patho)physiologic conditions controlled by GPCR signaling and how they act on the nucleotide cycling of heterotrimeric G-proteins in shaping the kinetics and sensitivity of GPCR signaling. Progress is documented regarding recent activities along the path to devising screening assays and chemical probes for the RGS protein target, not only in pursuits of inhibitors of RGS domain-mediated acceleration of Gα GTP hydrolysis but also to embrace the potential of finding allosteric activators of this RGS protein action. The review concludes in considering the Gα subunit itself as a drug target, as brought to focus by recent reports of activating mutations to GNAQ and GNA11 in ocular (uveal) melanoma. We consider the likelihood of several strategies for antagonizing the function of these oncogene alleles and their gene products, including the use of RGS proteins with Gα(q) selectivity. PMID:21737532

  8. Small Molecules from Nature Targeting G-Protein Coupled Cannabinoid Receptors: Potential Leads for Drug Discovery and Development.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Charu; Sadek, Bassem; Goyal, Sameer N; Sinha, Satyesh; Kamal, Mohammad Amjad; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    The cannabinoid molecules are derived from Cannabis sativa plant which acts on the cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) which have been explored as potential therapeutic targets for drug discovery and development. Currently, there are numerous cannabinoid based synthetic drugs used in clinical practice like the popular ones such as nabilone, dronabinol, and Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol mediates its action through CB1/CB2 receptors. However, these synthetic based Cannabis derived compounds are known to exert adverse psychiatric effect and have also been exploited for drug abuse. This encourages us to find out an alternative and safe drug with the least psychiatric adverse effects. In recent years, many phytocannabinoids have been isolated from plants other than Cannabis. Several studies have shown that these phytocannabinoids show affinity, potency, selectivity, and efficacy towards cannabinoid receptors and inhibit endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes, thus reducing hyperactivity of endocannabinoid systems. Also, these naturally derived molecules possess the least adverse effects opposed to the synthetically derived cannabinoids. Therefore, the plant based cannabinoid molecules proved to be promising and emerging therapeutic alternative. The present review provides an overview of therapeutic potential of ligands and plants modulating cannabinoid receptors that may be of interest to pharmaceutical industry in search of new and safer drug discovery and development for future therapeutics. PMID:26664449

  9. Small Molecules from Nature Targeting G-Protein Coupled Cannabinoid Receptors: Potential Leads for Drug Discovery and Development

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Charu; Sadek, Bassem; Goyal, Sameer N.; Sinha, Satyesh; Ojha, Shreesh

    2015-01-01

    The cannabinoid molecules are derived from Cannabis sativa plant which acts on the cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) which have been explored as potential therapeutic targets for drug discovery and development. Currently, there are numerous cannabinoid based synthetic drugs used in clinical practice like the popular ones such as nabilone, dronabinol, and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol mediates its action through CB1/CB2 receptors. However, these synthetic based Cannabis derived compounds are known to exert adverse psychiatric effect and have also been exploited for drug abuse. This encourages us to find out an alternative and safe drug with the least psychiatric adverse effects. In recent years, many phytocannabinoids have been isolated from plants other than Cannabis. Several studies have shown that these phytocannabinoids show affinity, potency, selectivity, and efficacy towards cannabinoid receptors and inhibit endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes, thus reducing hyperactivity of endocannabinoid systems. Also, these naturally derived molecules possess the least adverse effects opposed to the synthetically derived cannabinoids. Therefore, the plant based cannabinoid molecules proved to be promising and emerging therapeutic alternative. The present review provides an overview of therapeutic potential of ligands and plants modulating cannabinoid receptors that may be of interest to pharmaceutical industry in search of new and safer drug discovery and development for future therapeutics. PMID:26664449

  10. The endoplasmic reticulum protein folding factory and its chaperones: new targets for drug discovery?

    PubMed Central

    McLaughlin, Martin; Vandenbroeck, Koen

    2011-01-01

    Cytosolic heat shock proteins have received significant attention as emerging therapeutic targets. Much of this excitement has been triggered by the discovery that HSP90 plays a central role in the maintenance and stability of multifarious oncogenic membrane receptors and their resultant tyrosine kinase activity. Numerous studies have dealt with the effects of small molecules on chaperone- and stress-related pathways of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). However, unlike cytosolic chaperones, relatively little emphasis has been placed upon translational avenues towards targeting of the ER for inhibition of folding/secretion of disease-promoting proteins. Here, we summarise existing small molecule inhibitors and potential future targets of ER chaperone-mediated inhibition. Client proteins of translational relevance in disease treatment are outlined, alongside putative future disease treatment modalities based on ER-centric targeted therapies. Particular attention is paid to cancer and autoimmune disorders via the effects of the GRP94 inhibitor geldanamycin and its population of client proteins, overloading of the unfolded protein response, and inhibition of members of the IL-12 family of cytokines by celecoxib and non-coxib analogues. PMID:20942857

  11. Targeted metagenomics as a tool to tap into marine natural product diversity for the discovery and production of drug candidates

    PubMed Central

    Trindade, Marla; van Zyl, Leonardo Joaquim; Navarro-Fernández, José; Abd Elrazak, Ahmed

    2015-01-01

    Microbial natural products exhibit immense structural diversity and complexity and have captured the attention of researchers for several decades. They have been explored for a wide spectrum of applications, most noteworthy being their prominent role in medicine, and their versatility expands to application as drugs for many diseases. Accessing unexplored environments harboring unique microorganisms is expected to yield novel bioactive metabolites with distinguishing functionalities, which can be supplied to the starved pharmaceutical market. For this purpose the oceans have turned out to be an attractive and productive field. Owing to the enormous biodiversity of marine microorganisms, as well as the growing evidence that many metabolites previously isolated from marine invertebrates and algae are actually produced by their associated bacteria, the interest in marine microorganisms has intensified. Since the majority of the microorganisms are uncultured, metagenomic tools are required to exploit the untapped biochemistry. However, after years of employing metagenomics for marine drug discovery, new drugs are vastly under-represented. While a plethora of natural product biosynthetic genes and clusters are reported, only a minor number of potential therapeutic compounds have resulted through functional metagenomic screening. This review explores specific obstacles that have led to the low success rate. In addition to the typical problems encountered with traditional functional metagenomic-based screens for novel biocatalysts, there are enormous limitations which are particular to drug-like metabolites. We also present how targeted and function-guided strategies, employing modern, and multi-disciplinary approaches have yielded some of the most exciting discoveries attributed to uncultured marine bacteria. These discoveries set the stage for progressing the production of drug candidates from uncultured bacteria for pre-clinical and clinical development. PMID:26379658

  12. Targeted metagenomics as a tool to tap into marine natural product diversity for the discovery and production of drug candidates.

    PubMed

    Trindade, Marla; van Zyl, Leonardo Joaquim; Navarro-Fernández, José; Abd Elrazak, Ahmed

    2015-01-01

    Microbial natural products exhibit immense structural diversity and complexity and have captured the attention of researchers for several decades. They have been explored for a wide spectrum of applications, most noteworthy being their prominent role in medicine, and their versatility expands to application as drugs for many diseases. Accessing unexplored environments harboring unique microorganisms is expected to yield novel bioactive metabolites with distinguishing functionalities, which can be supplied to the starved pharmaceutical market. For this purpose the oceans have turned out to be an attractive and productive field. Owing to the enormous biodiversity of marine microorganisms, as well as the growing evidence that many metabolites previously isolated from marine invertebrates and algae are actually produced by their associated bacteria, the interest in marine microorganisms has intensified. Since the majority of the microorganisms are uncultured, metagenomic tools are required to exploit the untapped biochemistry. However, after years of employing metagenomics for marine drug discovery, new drugs are vastly under-represented. While a plethora of natural product biosynthetic genes and clusters are reported, only a minor number of potential therapeutic compounds have resulted through functional metagenomic screening. This review explores specific obstacles that have led to the low success rate. In addition to the typical problems encountered with traditional functional metagenomic-based screens for novel biocatalysts, there are enormous limitations which are particular to drug-like metabolites. We also present how targeted and function-guided strategies, employing modern, and multi-disciplinary approaches have yielded some of the most exciting discoveries attributed to uncultured marine bacteria. These discoveries set the stage for progressing the production of drug candidates from uncultured bacteria for pre-clinical and clinical development. PMID:26379658

  13. Targeting RAS Membrane Association: Back to the Future for Anti-RAS Drug Discovery?

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Adrienne D.; Der, Channing J.; Philips, Mark R.

    2015-01-01

    RAS proteins require membrane association for their biological activity, making this association a logical target for anti-RAS therapeutics. Lipid modification of RAS proteins by a farnesyl isoprenoid is an obligate step in that association, and is an enzymatic process. Accordingly, farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) were developed as potential anti-RAS drugs. The lack of efficacy of FTIs as anti-cancer drugs was widely seen as indicating that blocking RAS membrane association was a flawed approach to cancer treatment. However, a deeper understanding of RAS modification and trafficking has revealed that this was an erroneous conclusion. In the presence of FTIs, KRAS and NRAS, which are the RAS isoforms most frequently mutated in cancer, become substrates for alternative modification, can still associate with membranes, and can still function. Thus, FTIs failed not because blocking RAS membrane association is an ineffective approach, but because FTIs failed to accomplish that task. Recent findings regarding RAS isoform trafficking and the regulation of RAS subcellular localization have rekindled interest in efforts to target these processes. In particular, improved understanding of the palmitoylation/depalmitoylation cycle that regulates RAS interaction with the plasma membrane, endomembranes and cytosol, and of the potential importance of RAS chaperones, have led to new approaches. Efforts to validate and target other enzymatically regulated post-translational modifications are also ongoing. In this review, we revisit lessons learned, describe the current state of the art, and highlight challenging but promising directions to achieve the goal of disrupting RAS membrane association and subcellular localization for anti-RAS drug development. PMID:25878363

  14. Discovery of a drug targeting microenvironmental support for lymphoma cells by screening using patient-derived xenograft cells

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto, Keiki; Hayakawa, Fumihiko; Shimada, Satoko; Morishita, Takanobu; Shimada, Kazuyuki; Katakai, Tomoya; Tomita, Akihiro; Kiyoi, Hitoshi; Naoe, Tomoki

    2015-01-01

    Cell lines have been used for drug discovery as useful models of cancers; however, they do not recapitulate cancers faithfully, especially in the points of rapid growth rate and microenvironment independency. Consequently, the majority of conventional anti-cancer drugs are less sensitive to slow growing cells and do not target microenvironmental support, although most primary cancer cells grow slower than cell lines and depend on microenvironmental support. Here, we developed a novel high throughput drug screening system using patient-derived xenograft (PDX) cells of lymphoma that maintained primary cancer cell phenotype more than cell lines. The library containing 2613 known pharmacologically active substance and off-patent drugs were screened by this system. We could find many compounds showing higher cytotoxicity than conventional anti-tumor drugs. Especially, pyruvinium pamoate showed the highest activity and its strong anti-tumor effect was confirmed also in vivo. We extensively investigated its mechanism of action and found that it inhibited glutathione supply from stromal cells to lymphoma cells, implying the importance of the stromal protection from oxidative stress for lymphoma cell survival and a new therapeutic strategy for lymphoma. Our system introduces a primary cancer cell phenotype into cell-based phenotype screening and sheds new light on anti-cancer drug development. PMID:26278963

  15. Tools for GPCR drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ru; Xie, Xin

    2012-01-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate many important physiological functions and are considered as one of the most successful therapeutic targets for a broad spectrum of diseases. The design and implementation of high-throughput GPCR assays that allow the cost-effective screening of large compound libraries to identify novel drug candidates are critical in early drug discovery. Early functional GPCR assays depend primarily on the measurement of G-protein-mediated 2nd messenger generation. Taking advantage of the continuously deepening understanding of GPCR signal transduction, many G-protein-independent pathways are utilized to detect the activity of GPCRs, and may provide additional information on functional selectivity of candidate compounds. With the combination of automated imaging systems and label-free detection systems, such assays are now suitable for high-throughput screening (HTS). In this review, we summarize the most widely used GPCR assays and recent advances in HTS technologies for GPCR drug discovery. PMID:22266728

  16. SynLethDB: synthetic lethality database toward discovery of selective and sensitive anticancer drug targets.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jing; Liu, Hui; Zheng, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic lethality (SL) is a type of genetic interaction between two genes such that simultaneous perturbations of the two genes result in cell death or a dramatic decrease of cell viability, while a perturbation of either gene alone is not lethal. SL reflects the biologically endogenous difference between cancer cells and normal cells, and thus the inhibition of SL partners of genes with cancer-specific mutations could selectively kill cancer cells but spare normal cells. Therefore, SL is emerging as a promising anticancer strategy that could potentially overcome the drawbacks of traditional chemotherapies by reducing severe side effects. Researchers have developed experimental technologies and computational prediction methods to identify SL gene pairs on human and a few model species. However, there has not been a comprehensive database dedicated to collecting SL pairs and related knowledge. In this paper, we propose a comprehensive database, SynLethDB (http://histone.sce.ntu.edu.sg/SynLethDB/), which contains SL pairs collected from biochemical assays, other related databases, computational predictions and text mining results on human and four model species, i.e. mouse, fruit fly, worm and yeast. For each SL pair, a confidence score was calculated by integrating individual scores derived from different evidence sources. We also developed a statistical analysis module to estimate the druggability and sensitivity of cancer cells upon drug treatments targeting human SL partners, based on large-scale genomic data, gene expression profiles and drug sensitivity profiles on more than 1000 cancer cell lines. To help users access and mine the wealth of the data, we developed other practical functionalities, such as search and filtering, orthology search, gene set enrichment analysis. Furthermore, a user-friendly web interface has been implemented to facilitate data analysis and interpretation. With the integrated data sets and analytics functionalities, SynLethDB would

  17. The KDM5 family of histone demethylases as targets in oncology drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Peter Birk; Staller, Peter

    2014-06-01

    There is growing evidence for a causal role of the KDM5 family of histone demethylases in human cancer. In particular, KDM5A (JARID1A/RBP2) and KDM5B (JARID1B/PLU1) contribute to cancer cell proliferation, reduce the expression of tumor suppressor genes, promote the development of drug tolerance and maintain tumor-initiating cells. KDM5 enzymes remove tri- and di-methylations of lysine 4 of histone H3 - modifications that occur at the start site of transcription in actively transcribed genes. However, the importance of the histone demethylase activity of KDM5 proteins for cancer cells has not been resolved so far. The currently available approaches suppress or remove the targeted proteins and thereby affect their putative functions as structural components and recruitment factors for other chromatin-associated proteins. Therefore, the development of specific enzymatic inhibitors for KDM5 will promote our understanding of the biological role of their catalytic activity and yield potential novel anticancer therapeutics. PMID:25111482

  18. Computational Methods in Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Sliwoski, Gregory; Kothiwale, Sandeepkumar; Meiler, Jens

    2014-01-01

    Computer-aided drug discovery/design methods have played a major role in the development of therapeutically important small molecules for over three decades. These methods are broadly classified as either structure-based or ligand-based methods. Structure-based methods are in principle analogous to high-throughput screening in that both target and ligand structure information is imperative. Structure-based approaches include ligand docking, pharmacophore, and ligand design methods. The article discusses theory behind the most important methods and recent successful applications. Ligand-based methods use only ligand information for predicting activity depending on its similarity/dissimilarity to previously known active ligands. We review widely used ligand-based methods such as ligand-based pharmacophores, molecular descriptors, and quantitative structure-activity relationships. In addition, important tools such as target/ligand data bases, homology modeling, ligand fingerprint methods, etc., necessary for successful implementation of various computer-aided drug discovery/design methods in a drug discovery campaign are discussed. Finally, computational methods for toxicity prediction and optimization for favorable physiologic properties are discussed with successful examples from literature. PMID:24381236

  19. Essential Gene Discovery in the Basidiomycete Cryptococcus neoformans for Antifungal Drug Target Prioritization

    PubMed Central

    Ianiri, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Fungal diseases represent a major burden to health care globally. As with other pathogenic microbes, there is a limited number of agents suitable for use in treating fungal diseases, and resistance to these agents can develop rapidly. Cryptococcus neoformans is a basidiomycete fungus that causes cryptococcosis worldwide in both immunocompromised and healthy individuals. As a basidiomycete, it diverged from other common pathogenic or model ascomycete fungi more than 500 million years ago. Here, we report C. neoformans genes that are essential for viability as identified through forward and reverse genetic approaches, using an engineered diploid strain and genetic segregation after meiosis. The forward genetic approach generated random insertional mutants in the diploid strain, the induction of meiosis and sporulation, and selection for haploid cells with counterselection of the insertion event. More than 2,500 mutants were analyzed, and transfer DNA (T-DNA) insertions in several genes required for viability were identified. The genes include those encoding the thioredoxin reductase (Trr1), a ribosome assembly factor (Rsa4), an mRNA-capping component (Cet1), and others. For targeted gene replacement, the C. neoformans homologs of 35 genes required for viability in ascomycete fungi were disrupted, meiosis and sporulation were induced, and haploid progeny were evaluated for their ability to grow on selective media. Twenty-one (60%) were found to be required for viability in C. neoformans. These genes are involved in mitochondrial translation, ergosterol biosynthesis, and RNA-related functions. The heterozygous diploid mutants were evaluated for haploinsufficiency on a number of perturbing agents and drugs, revealing phenotypes due to the loss of one copy of an essential gene in C. neoformans. This study expands the knowledge of the essential genes in fungi using a basidiomycete as a model organism. Genes that have no mammalian homologs and are essential

  20. Targeting Cullin–RING E3 ubiquitin ligases for drug discovery: structure, assembly and small-molecule modulation

    PubMed Central

    Bulatov, Emil; Ciulli, Alessio

    2015-01-01

    In the last decade, the ubiquitin–proteasome system has emerged as a valid target for the development of novel therapeutics. E3 ubiquitin ligases are particularly attractive targets because they confer substrate specificity on the ubiquitin system. CRLs [Cullin–RING (really interesting new gene) E3 ubiquitin ligases] draw particular attention, being the largest family of E3s. The CRLs assemble into functional multisubunit complexes using a repertoire of substrate receptors, adaptors, Cullin scaffolds and RING-box proteins. Drug discovery targeting CRLs is growing in importance due to mounting evidence pointing to significant roles of these enzymes in diverse biological processes and human diseases, including cancer, where CRLs and their substrates often function as tumour suppressors or oncogenes. In the present review, we provide an account of the assembly and structure of CRL complexes, and outline the current state of the field in terms of available knowledge of small-molecule inhibitors and modulators of CRL activity. A comprehensive overview of the reported crystal structures of CRL subunits, components and full-size complexes, alone or with bound small molecules and substrate peptides, is included. This information is providing increasing opportunities to aid the rational structure-based design of chemical probes and potential small-molecule therapeutics targeting CRLs. PMID:25886174

  1. Phenotypic Screening of Small-Molecule Inhibitors: Implications for Therapeutic Discovery and Drug Target Development in Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Al-Ali, Hassan; Lemmon, Vance P; Bixby, John L

    2016-01-01

    The inability of central nervous system (CNS) neurons to regenerate damaged axons and dendrites following traumatic brain injury (TBI) creates a substantial obstacle for functional recovery. Apoptotic cell death, deposition of scar tissue, and growth-repressive molecules produced by glia further complicate the problem and make it challenging for re-growing axons to extend across injury sites. To date, there are no approved drugs for the treatment of TBI, accentuating the need for relevant leads. Cell-based and organotypic bioassays can better mimic outcomes within the native CNS microenvironment than target-based screening methods and thus should speed the discovery of therapeutic agents that induce axon or dendrite regeneration. Additionally, when used to screen focused chemical libraries such as small-molecule protein kinase inhibitors, these assays can help elucidate molecular mechanisms involved in neurite outgrowth and regeneration as well as identify novel drug targets. Here, we describe a phenotypic cellular (high content) screening assay that utilizes brain-derived primary neurons for screening small-molecule chemical libraries. PMID:27604745

  2. Release of 50 new, drug-like compounds and their computational target predictions for open source anti-tubercular drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Rebollo-Lopez, María Jose; Lelièvre, Joël; Alvarez-Gomez, Daniel; Castro-Pichel, Julia; Martínez-Jiménez, Francisco; Papadatos, George; Kumar, Vinod; Colmenarejo, Gonzalo; Mugumbate, Grace; Hurle, Mark; Barroso, Vanessa; Young, Rob J.; Martinez-Hoyos, María; González del Río, Rubén; Bates, Robert H.; Lopez-Roman, Eva Maria; Mendoza-Losana, Alfonso; Brown, James R.; Alvarez-Ruiz, Emilio; Marti-Renom, Marc A.; Overington, John P.; Cammack, Nicholas; Ballell, Lluís; Barros-Aguire, David

    2015-01-01

    As a follow up to the antimycobacterial screening exercise and the release of GSK´s first Tres Cantos Antimycobacterial Set (TCAMS-TB), this paper presents the results of a second antitubercular screening effort of two hundred and fifty thousand compounds recently added to the GSK collection. The compounds were further prioritized based on not only antitubercular potency but also on physicochemical characteristics. The 50 most attractive compounds were then progressed for evaluation in three different predictive computational biology algorithms based on structural similarity or GSK historical biological assay data in order to determine their possible mechanisms of action. This effort has resulted in the identification of novel compounds and their hypothesized targets that will hopefully fuel future TB drug discovery and target validation programs alike. PMID:26642067

  3. Drug discovery in ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Chase, Dana M; Mathur, Nidhee; Tewari, Krishnansu S

    2010-11-01

    Drug discovery in the ovarian cancer arena has led to the activation of several important clinical trials. Many biologic agents have come down the pipeline and are being studied in phase II trials for recurrent disease. These agents include antivascular compounds that disrupt angiogenesis through a variety of mechanisms (e.g., prevention of ligand-binding to the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGF-R2), high-affinity VEGF blockade, oral inhibitors of tyrosine kinases stimulated by VEGF, inhibition of alpha5beta1 integrin, neutralization of angioproteins, etc.). Other novel drugs include oral platinum compounds as well as those that antagonize the tumor proliferation genes in the Hedgehog pathway, and that target folic acid receptors which are expressed by ovarian cancer cells. In addition, studies are underway with oral agents that inhibit the tyrosine kinase activity associated with two oncogenes (epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER-2/neu). Finally, emerging technologies in clinical trials include nanotechnology to enhance delivery of chemotherapy to ovarian tumors, drug resistance/sensitivity assays to guide therapy, and agents that mobilize and induce proliferation of hematopoetic progenitor cells to aid in red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelet recovery following chemotherapy. The relevant patents in drug discovery of ovarian cancer are discussed. PMID:20524931

  4. The cyclic AMP signaling pathway: Exploring targets for successful drug discovery (Review)

    PubMed Central

    YAN, KUO; GAO, LI-NA; CUI, YUAN-LU; ZHANG, YI; ZHOU, XIN

    2016-01-01

    During development of disease, complex intracellular signaling pathways regulate an intricate series of events, including resistance to external toxins, the secretion of cytokines and the production of pathological phenomena. Adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) is a nucleotide that acts as a key second messenger in numerous signal transduction pathways. cAMP regulates various cellular functions, including cell growth and differentiation, gene transcription and protein expression. This review aimed to provide an understanding of the effects of the cAMP signaling pathway and the associated factors on disease occurrence and development by examining the information from a new perspective. These novel insights aimed to promote the development of novel therapeutic approaches and aid in the development of new drugs. PMID:27035868

  5. Cellular Cofactors of Lentiviral Integrase: From Target Validation to Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Taltynov, Oliver; Desimmie, Belete A.; Demeulemeester, Jonas; Christ, Frauke; Debyser, Zeger

    2012-01-01

    To accomplish their life cycle, lentiviruses make use of host proteins, the so-called cellular cofactors. Interactions between host cell and viral proteins during early stages of lentiviral infection provide attractive new antiviral targets. The insertion of lentiviral cDNA in a host cell chromosome is a step of no return in the replication cycle, after which the host cell becomes a permanent carrier of the viral genome and a producer of lentiviral progeny. Integration is carried out by integrase (IN), an enzyme playing also an important role during nuclear import. Plenty of cellular cofactors of HIV-1 IN have been proposed. To date, the lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF/p75) is the best studied cofactor of HIV-1 IN. Moreover, small molecules that block the LEDGF/p75-IN interaction have recently been developed for the treatment of HIV infection. The nuclear import factor transportin-SR2 (TRN-SR2) has been proposed as another interactor of HIV IN-mediating nuclear import of the virus. Using both proteins as examples, we will describe approaches to be taken to identify and validate novel cofactors as new antiviral targets. Finally, we will highlight recent advances in the design and the development of small-molecule inhibitors binding to the LEDGF/p75-binding pocket in IN (LEDGINs). PMID:22928108

  6. Metabolomics Coupled with Proteomics Advancing Drug Discovery toward More Agile Development of Targeted Combination Therapies*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xijun; Zhang, Aihua; Wang, Ping; Sun, Hui; Wu, Gelin; Sun, Wenjun; Lv, Haitao; Jiao, Guozheng; Xu, Hongying; Yuan, Ye; Liu, Lian; Zou, Dixin; Wu, Zeming; Han, Ying; Yan, Guangli; Dong, Wei; Wu, Fangfang; Dong, Tianwei; Yu, Yang; Zhang, Shuxiang; Wu, Xiuhong; Tong, Xin; Meng, Xiangcai

    2013-01-01

    To enhance the therapeutic efficacy and reduce the adverse effects of traditional Chinese medicine, practitioners often prescribe combinations of plant species and/or minerals, called formulae. Unfortunately, the working mechanisms of most of these compounds are difficult to determine and thus remain unknown. In an attempt to address the benefits of formulae based on current biomedical approaches, we analyzed the components of Yinchenhao Tang, a classical formula that has been shown to be clinically effective for treating hepatic injury syndrome. The three principal components of Yinchenhao Tang are Artemisia annua L., Gardenia jasminoids Ellis, and Rheum Palmatum L., whose major active ingredients are 6,7-dimethylesculetin (D), geniposide (G), and rhein (R), respectively. To determine the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of this formula, we conducted a systematic analysis of the therapeutic effects of the DGR compound using immunohistochemistry, biochemistry, metabolomics, and proteomics. Here, we report that the DGR combination exerts a more robust therapeutic effect than any one or two of the three individual compounds by hitting multiple targets in a rat model of hepatic injury. Thus, DGR synergistically causes intensified dynamic changes in metabolic biomarkers, regulates molecular networks through target proteins, has a synergistic/additive effect, and activates both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. PMID:23362329

  7. BMI1 as a novel target for drug discovery in cancer.

    PubMed

    Cao, Liangxian; Bombard, Jenelle; Cintron, Katherine; Sheedy, Josephine; Weetall, Marla L; Davis, Thomas W

    2011-10-01

    Growing evidence has demonstrated that clonogenic cancer stem (initiating) cells are responsible for tumor regrowth and disease relapse. Bmi-1 plays a critical role in the self-renewal of adult stem cells. The Bmi-1 protein is elevated in many types of cancers, and experimental reduction of Bmi-1 protein levels by small interfering RNA (siRNA) causes apoptosis and/or senescence in tumor cells in vitro and increases susceptibility to cytotoxic agents. The Bmi-1 protein has no known enzymatic activity, but serves as the key regulatory component of the PRC1 complex (polycomb repressive complex-1). This complex influences chromatin structure and regulates transcriptional activity of a number of important loci including the Ink4a locus which encodes the tumor suppressor proteins p16(Ink4a) and p14(Arf) . In this prospective study, we will discuss the implication of BMI1 in cancers, the biology of BMI1, and the regulatory control of BMI1 expression. The target validation and the future prospects of targeting BMI1 in cancer therapy are also discussed. PMID:21678481

  8. Computer-aided drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Bajorath, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Computational approaches are an integral part of interdisciplinary drug discovery research. Understanding the science behind computational tools, their opportunities, and limitations is essential to make a true impact on drug discovery at different levels. If applied in a scientifically meaningful way, computational methods improve the ability to identify and evaluate potential drug molecules, but there remain weaknesses in the methods that preclude naïve applications. Herein, current trends in computer-aided drug discovery are reviewed, and selected computational areas are discussed. Approaches are highlighted that aid in the identification and optimization of new drug candidates. Emphasis is put on the presentation and discussion of computational concepts and methods, rather than case studies or application examples. As such, this contribution aims to provide an overview of the current methodological spectrum of computational drug discovery for a broad audience. PMID:26949519

  9. Scaffold Repurposing of Old Drugs Towards New Cancer Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Chen, Haijun; Wu, Jianlei; Gao, Yu; Chen, Haiying; Zhou, Jia

    2016-01-01

    As commented by the Nobelist James Black that "The most fruitful basis of the discovery of a new drug is to start with an old drug", drug repurposing represents an attractive drug discovery strategy. Despite the success of several repurposed drugs on the market, the ultimate therapeutic potential of a large number of non-cancer drugs is hindered during their repositioning due to various issues including the limited efficacy and intellectual property. With the increasing knowledge about the pharmacological properties and newly identified targets, the scaffolds of the old drugs emerge as a great treasure-trove towards new cancer drug discovery. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the development of novel small molecules for cancer therapy by scaffold repurposing with highlighted examples. The relevant strategies, advantages, challenges and future research directions associated with this approach are also discussed. PMID:26881709

  10. 99th Dahlem Conference on Infection, Inflammation and Chronic Inflammatory Disorders: Host–microbe interactions in the gut: target for drug therapy, opportunity for drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Shanahan, F

    2010-01-01

    The commensal microbiota, most of which resides in the gut, is an environmental regulator of mucosal and systemic immune maturation. Epidemiological studies suggest that changes in the microbiota may represent a link between a modern lifestyle and risk of certain immuno-allergic diseases. This suggests that the microbiota is an appropriate target for therapy or prophylaxis, the rationale for which is addressed here using inflammatory bowel disease as an example. It is also evident from comparative studies of germ-free and conventionally colonized animals that the microbiota is a source of regulatory signals for full development of the host. In some instances these signals have been defined molecularly, and may be suitable for exploitation in novel drug discovery. Most of the versatile drugs in common usage today were derived originally from living matter in the wider environment; could it be time to mine new drugs from microbial-derived signalling molecules in the inner environment of the gut? Several examples illustrate the potential of the gut microbiota as a rich repository from which bioactives with immunological impact can be mined, and translated to human health care or to animal husbandry. PMID:20415857

  11. Deep Learning in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Gawehn, Erik; Hiss, Jan A; Schneider, Gisbert

    2016-01-01

    Artificial neural networks had their first heyday in molecular informatics and drug discovery approximately two decades ago. Currently, we are witnessing renewed interest in adapting advanced neural network architectures for pharmaceutical research by borrowing from the field of "deep learning". Compared with some of the other life sciences, their application in drug discovery is still limited. Here, we provide an overview of this emerging field of molecular informatics, present the basic concepts of prominent deep learning methods and offer motivation to explore these techniques for their usefulness in computer-assisted drug discovery and design. We specifically emphasize deep neural networks, restricted Boltzmann machine networks and convolutional networks. PMID:27491648

  12. Emerging drug discovery approaches for selective targeting of “precursor” metastatic breast cancer cells: highlights and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    AAlaoui-Jamali, Moulay; Bijian, Krikor; Batist, Gerald

    2011-01-01

    CSC properties. These exciting concepts have led to the formulation of various approaches for targeting precursor metastatic cells, and these have taken on greater priority in therapeutic drug discovery research by both academia and pharmaceuticals. In this review, we focus on current efforts in medicinal chemistry to develop small molecules able to target precursor metastatic cells via interference with the CSC/EMT differentiation program, self-renewal, and survival. It is not meant to be comprehensive and the reader is referred to selected reviews that provide coverage of related basic aspects. Rather, emphasis is given to promising molecules with CSC/EMT signaling at the preclinical stage and in clinical trials that are paving the way to new generations of anti-metastasis drugs. PMID:22046485

  13. Antifungal drug discovery: the process and outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Calderone, Richard; Sun, Nuo; Gay-Andrieu, Francoise; Groutas, William; Weerawarna, Pathum; Prasad, Sridhar; Alex, Deepu; Li, Dongmei

    2014-01-01

    New data suggest that the global incidence of several types of fungal diseases have traditionally been under-documented. Of these, mortality caused by invasive fungal infections remains disturbingly high, equal to or exceeding deaths caused by drug-resistant tuberculosis and malaria. It is clear that basic research on new antifungal drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tools is needed. In this review, we focus upon antifungal drug discovery including in vitro assays, compound libraries and approaches to target identification. Genome mining has made it possible to identify fungal-specific targets; however, new compounds to these targets are apparently not in the antimicrobial pipeline. We suggest that ‘repurposing’ compounds (off patent) might be a more immediate starting point. Furthermore, we examine the dogma on antifungal discovery and suggest that a major thrust in technologies such as structural biology, homology modeling and virtual imaging is needed to drive discovery. PMID:25046525

  14. Antifungal drug discovery: the process and outcomes.

    PubMed

    Calderone, Richard; Sun, Nuo; Gay-Andrieu, Francoise; Groutas, William; Weerawarna, Pathum; Prasad, Sridhar; Alex, Deepu; Li, Dongmei

    2014-01-01

    New data suggest that the global incidence of several types of fungal diseases have traditionally been under-documented. Of these, mortality caused by invasive fungal infections remains disturbingly high, equal to or exceeding deaths caused by drug-resistant tuberculosis and malaria. It is clear that basic research on new antifungal drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tools is needed. In this review, we focus upon antifungal drug discovery including in vitro assays, compound libraries and approaches to target identification. Genome mining has made it possible to identify fungal-specific targets; however, new compounds to these targets are apparently not in the antimicrobial pipeline. We suggest that 'repurposing' compounds (off patent) might be a more immediate starting point. Furthermore, we examine the dogma on antifungal discovery and suggest that a major thrust in technologies such as structural biology, homology modeling and virtual imaging is needed to drive discovery. PMID:25046525

  15. An integrated strategy for the discovery of drug targets by the analysis of protein-protein interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peltier, John M.; Askovic, Srdjan; Becklin, Robert R.; Chepanoske, Cindy Lou; Ho, Yew-Seng J.; Kery, Vladimir; Lai, Shuping; Mujtaba, Tahmina; Pyne, Mike; Robbins, Paul B.; Rechenberg, Moritz Von; Richardson, Bonnie; Savage, Justin; Sheffield, Peter; Thompson, Sam; Weir, Lawrence; Widjaja, Kartika; Xu, Nafei; Zhen, Yuejun; Boniface, J. Jay

    2004-11-01

    Proteomics-based technologies have the potential to accelerate the development of drugs, but such technologies must be well integrated in order to have a positive impact. We describe, herein, a multi-step process for the discovery of protein-protein interactions. It is shown that process stages are interdependent and can influence, either positively or negatively, subsequent steps. Optimization of each step, in the context of the full process, is essential for the overall success of the experiment.

  16. Drug discovery: lessons from evolution

    PubMed Central

    Warren, John

    2011-01-01

    A common view within the pharmaceutical industry is that there is a problem with drug discovery and we should do something about it. There is much sympathy for this from academics, regulators and politicians. In this article I propose that lessons learnt from evolution help identify those factors that favour successful drug discovery. This personal view is influenced by a decade spent reviewing drug development programmes submitted for European regulatory approval. During the prolonged gestation of a new medicine few candidate molecules survive. This process of elimination of many variants and the survival of so few has much in common with evolution, an analogy that encourages discussion of the forces that favour, and those that hinder, successful drug discovery. Imagining a world without vaccines, anaesthetics, contraception and anti-infectives reveals how medicines revolutionized humanity. How to manipulate conditions that favour such discoveries is worth consideration. PMID:21395642

  17. Hemozoin and antimalarial drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Kim Y; Wright, David W

    2014-01-01

    Recent initiatives to develop more effective and affordable drugs, controlling mosquitoes and development of a preventative vaccine have been launched with the goal of completely eradicating malaria. To this end, Novartis (Surrey, UK) and GlaxoSmithKline (Middlesex, UK) screened their chemical libraries of approximately two million small molecules for antimalarial properties, which resulted in a set of over 20,000 ‘highly druggable’ initial hits. Efforts in academia are centered on specific pathway targets. One such high-throughput screening effort has been focused on hemozoin formation, a unique heme detoxification pathway found in the malaria parasite. This review discusses the current approaches and limitations of high-throughput screening discovery of hemozoin inhibitors. In the future, new methods must be developed to validate the mechanism of action of these hit compounds within the parasite. PMID:23919553

  18. Lysophospholipid receptors in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Kihara, Yasuyuki; Mizuno, Hirotaka; Chun, Jerold

    2014-01-01

    Lysophospholipids (LPs), including lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), sphingosine 1-phospate (S1P), lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI), and lysophosphatidylserine (LysoPS), are bioactive lipids that transduce signals through their specific cell-surface G protein-coupled receptors, LPA1–6, S1P1–5, LPI1, and LysoPS1–3, respectively. These LPs and their receptors have been implicated in both physiological and pathophysiological processes such as autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, fibrosis, pain, cancer, inflammation, metabolic syndrome, bone formation, fertility, organismal development, and other effects on most organ systems. Advances in the LP receptor field have enabled the development of novel small molecules targeting LP receptors for several diseases. Most notably, fingolimod (FTY720, Gilenya, Novartis), an S1P receptor modulator, became the first FDA-approved medicine as an orally bioavailable drug for treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. This success is currently being followed by multiple, mechanistically related compounds targeting S1P receptor subtypes, which are in various stages of clinical development. In addition, an LPA1 antagonist, BMS-986020 (Bristol-Myers Squibb), is in Phase 2 clinical development for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, as is a distinct compound, SAR100842 (Sanofi) for the treatment of systemic sclerosis and related fibrotic diseases. This review summarizes the current state of drug discovery in the LP receptor field. PMID:25499971

  19. Lysophospholipid receptors in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Yasuyuki; Mizuno, Hirotaka; Chun, Jerold

    2015-05-01

    Lysophospholipids (LPs), including lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), sphingosine 1-phospate (S1P), lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI), and lysophosphatidylserine (LysoPS), are bioactive lipids that transduce signals through their specific cell-surface G protein-coupled receptors, LPA1-6, S1P1-5, LPI1, and LysoPS1-3, respectively. These LPs and their receptors have been implicated in both physiological and pathophysiological processes such as autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, fibrosis, pain, cancer, inflammation, metabolic syndrome, bone formation, fertility, organismal development, and other effects on most organ systems. Advances in the LP receptor field have enabled the development of novel small molecules targeting LP receptors for several diseases. Most notably, fingolimod (FTY720, Gilenya, Novartis), an S1P receptor modulator, became the first FDA-approved medicine as an orally bioavailable drug for treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. This success is currently being followed by multiple, mechanistically related compounds targeting S1P receptor subtypes, which are in various stages of clinical development. In addition, an LPA1 antagonist, BMS-986020 (Bristol-Myers Squibb), is in Phase 2 clinical development for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, as a distinct compound, SAR100842 (Sanofi) for the treatment of systemic sclerosis and related fibrotic diseases. This review summarizes the current state of drug discovery in the LP receptor field. PMID:25499971

  20. Serendipity in Cancer Drug Discovery: Rational or Coincidence?

    PubMed

    Prasad, Sahdeo; Gupta, Subash C; Aggarwal, Bharat B

    2016-06-01

    Novel drug development leading to final approval by the US FDA can cost as much as two billion dollars. Why the cost of novel drug discovery is so expensive is unclear, but high failure rates at the preclinical and clinical stages are major reasons. Although therapies targeting a given cell signaling pathway or a protein have become prominent in drug discovery, such treatments have done little in preventing or treating any disease alone because most chronic diseases have been found to be multigenic. A review of the discovery of numerous drugs currently being used for various diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and autoimmune diseases indicates that serendipity has played a major role in the discovery. In this review we provide evidence that rational drug discovery and targeted therapies have minimal roles in drug discovery, and that serendipity and coincidence have played and continue to play major roles. The primary focus in this review is on cancer-related drug discovery. PMID:27083322

  1. Intercellular Lipid Mediators and GPCR Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Im, Dong-Soon

    2013-01-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) are the largest superfamily of receptors responsible for signaling between cells and tissues, and because they play important physiological roles in homeostasis, they are major drug targets. New technologies have been developed for the identification of new ligands, new GPCR functions, and for drug discovery purposes. In particular, intercellular lipid mediators, such as, lysophosphatidic acid and sphingosine 1-phosphate have attracted much attention for drug discovery and this has resulted in the development of fingolimod (FTY-720) and AM095. The discovery of new intercellular lipid mediators and their GPCRs are discussed from the perspective of drug development. Lipid GPCRs for lysophospholipids, including lysophosphatidylserine, lysophosphatidylinositol, lysophosphatidylcholine, free fatty acids, fatty acid derivatives, and other lipid mediators are reviewed. PMID:24404331

  2. Systems Pharmacology in Small Molecular Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Wei; Wang, Yonghua; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2016-01-01

    Drug discovery is a risky, costly and time-consuming process depending on multidisciplinary methods to create safe and effective medicines. Although considerable progress has been made by high-throughput screening methods in drug design, the cost of developing contemporary approved drugs did not match that in the past decade. The major reason is the late-stage clinical failures in Phases II and III because of the complicated interactions between drug-specific, human body and environmental aspects affecting the safety and efficacy of a drug. There is a growing hope that systems-level consideration may provide a new perspective to overcome such current difficulties of drug discovery and development. The systems pharmacology method emerged as a holistic approach and has attracted more and more attention recently. The applications of systems pharmacology not only provide the pharmacodynamic evaluation and target identification of drug molecules, but also give a systems-level of understanding the interaction mechanism between drugs and complex disease. Therefore, the present review is an attempt to introduce how holistic systems pharmacology that integrated in silico ADME/T (i.e., absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity), target fishing and network pharmacology facilitates the discovery of small molecular drugs at the system level. PMID:26901192

  3. Systems Pharmacology in Small Molecular Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Wei; Wang, Yonghua; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2016-01-01

    Drug discovery is a risky, costly and time-consuming process depending on multidisciplinary methods to create safe and effective medicines. Although considerable progress has been made by high-throughput screening methods in drug design, the cost of developing contemporary approved drugs did not match that in the past decade. The major reason is the late-stage clinical failures in Phases II and III because of the complicated interactions between drug-specific, human body and environmental aspects affecting the safety and efficacy of a drug. There is a growing hope that systems-level consideration may provide a new perspective to overcome such current difficulties of drug discovery and development. The systems pharmacology method emerged as a holistic approach and has attracted more and more attention recently. The applications of systems pharmacology not only provide the pharmacodynamic evaluation and target identification of drug molecules, but also give a systems-level of understanding the interaction mechanism between drugs and complex disease. Therefore, the present review is an attempt to introduce how holistic systems pharmacology that integrated in silico ADME/T (i.e., absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity), target fishing and network pharmacology facilitates the discovery of small molecular drugs at the system level. PMID:26901192

  4. Repurposing strategies for tropical disease drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Klug, Dana M; Gelb, Michael H; Pollastri, Michael P

    2016-06-01

    Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and other diseases of the developing world, such as malaria, attract research investments that are disproportionately low compared to their impact on human health worldwide. Therefore, pragmatic methods for launching new drug discovery programs have emerged that repurpose existing chemical matter as new drugs or new starting points for optimization. In this Digest we describe applications of different repurposing approaches for NTDs, and provide a means by which these approaches may be differentiated from each other. These include drug repurposing, target repurposing, target class repurposing, and lead repurposing. PMID:27080183

  5. IspC as target for antiinfective drug discovery: synthesis, enantiomeric separation, and structural biology of fosmidomycin thia isosters.

    PubMed

    Kunfermann, Andrea; Lienau, Claudia; Illarionov, Boris; Held, Jana; Gräwert, Tobias; Behrendt, Christoph T; Werner, Philipp; Hähn, Saskia; Eisenreich, Wolfgang; Riederer, Ulrich; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Bacher, Adelbert; Fischer, Markus; Groll, Michael; Kurz, Thomas

    2013-10-24

    The emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant pathogens are widely believed to endanger human health. New drug targets and lead compounds exempt from cross-resistance with existing drugs are urgently needed. We report on the synthesis and properties of "reverse" thia analogs of fosmidomycin, which inhibit the first committed enzyme of a metabolic pathway that is essential for the causative agents of tuberculosis and malaria but is absent in the human host. Notably, IspC displays a high level of enantioselectivity for an α-substituted fosmidomycin derivative. PMID:24032981

  6. A Review: The Current In Vivo Models for the Discovery and Utility of New Anti-leishmanial Drugs Targeting Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

    PubMed Central

    Mears, Emily Rose; Modabber, Farrokh; Don, Robert; Johnson, George E.

    2015-01-01

    The current in vivo models for the utility and discovery of new potential anti-leishmanial drugs targeting Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) differ vastly in their immunological responses to the disease and clinical presentation of symptoms. Animal models that show similarities to the human form of CL after infection with Leishmania should be more representative as to the effect of the parasite within a human. Thus, these models are used to evaluate the efficacy of new anti-leishmanial compounds before human clinical trials. Current animal models aim to investigate (i) host–parasite interactions, (ii) pathogenesis, (iii) biochemical changes/pathways, (iv) in vivo maintenance of parasites, and (v) clinical evaluation of drug candidates. This review focuses on the trends of infection observed between Leishmania parasites, the predictability of different strains, and the determination of parasite load. These factors were used to investigate the overall effectiveness of the current animal models. The main aim was to assess the efficacy and limitations of the various CL models and their potential for drug discovery and evaluation. In conclusion, we found that the following models are the most suitable for the assessment of anti-leishmanial drugs: L. major–C57BL/6 mice (or–vervet monkey, or–rhesus monkeys), L. tropica–CsS-16 mice, L. amazonensis–CBA mice, L. braziliensis–golden hamster (or–rhesus monkey). We also provide in-depth guidance for which models are not suitable for these investigations. PMID:26334763

  7. A Review: The Current In Vivo Models for the Discovery and Utility of New Anti-leishmanial Drugs Targeting Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

    PubMed

    Mears, Emily Rose; Modabber, Farrokh; Don, Robert; Johnson, George E

    2015-01-01

    The current in vivo models for the utility and discovery of new potential anti-leishmanial drugs targeting Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) differ vastly in their immunological responses to the disease and clinical presentation of symptoms. Animal models that show similarities to the human form of CL after infection with Leishmania should be more representative as to the effect of the parasite within a human. Thus, these models are used to evaluate the efficacy of new anti-leishmanial compounds before human clinical trials. Current animal models aim to investigate (i) host-parasite interactions, (ii) pathogenesis, (iii) biochemical changes/pathways, (iv) in vivo maintenance of parasites, and (v) clinical evaluation of drug candidates. This review focuses on the trends of infection observed between Leishmania parasites, the predictability of different strains, and the determination of parasite load. These factors were used to investigate the overall effectiveness of the current animal models. The main aim was to assess the efficacy and limitations of the various CL models and their potential for drug discovery and evaluation. In conclusion, we found that the following models are the most suitable for the assessment of anti-leishmanial drugs: L. major-C57BL/6 mice (or-vervet monkey, or-rhesus monkeys), L. tropica-CsS-16 mice, L. amazonensis-CBA mice, L. braziliensis-golden hamster (or-rhesus monkey). We also provide in-depth guidance for which models are not suitable for these investigations. PMID:26334763

  8. Construction of a cancer-perturbed protein-protein interaction network for discovery of apoptosis drug targets

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Liang-Hui; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2008-01-01

    Background Cancer is caused by genetic abnormalities, such as mutations of oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, which alter downstream signal transduction pathways and protein-protein interactions. Comparisons of the interactions of proteins in cancerous and normal cells can shed light on the mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Results We constructed initial networks of protein-protein interactions involved in the apoptosis of cancerous and normal cells by use of two human yeast two-hybrid data sets and four online databases. Next, we applied a nonlinear stochastic model, maximum likelihood parameter estimation, and Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) to eliminate false-positive protein-protein interactions in our initial protein interaction networks by use of microarray data. Comparisons of the networks of apoptosis in HeLa (human cervical carcinoma) cells and in normal primary lung fibroblasts provided insight into the mechanism of apoptosis and allowed identification of potential drug targets. The potential targets include BCL2, caspase-3 and TP53. Our comparison of cancerous and normal cells also allowed derivation of several party hubs and date hubs in the human protein-protein interaction networks involved in caspase activation. Conclusion Our method allows identification of cancer-perturbed protein-protein interactions involved in apoptosis and identification of potential molecular targets for development of anti-cancer drugs. PMID:18590547

  9. Pathways to new drug discovery in neuropsychiatry

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    There is currently a crisis in drug discovery for neuropsychiatric disorders, with a profound, yet unexpected drought in new drug development across the spectrum. In this commentary, the sources of this dilemma and potential avenues to redress the issue are explored. These include a critical review of diagnostic issues and of selection of participants for clinical trials, and the mechanisms for identifying new drugs and new drug targets. Historically, the vast majority of agents have been discovered serendipitously or have been modifications of existing agents. Serendipitous discoveries, based on astute clinical observation or data mining, remain a valid option, as is illustrated by the suggestion in the paper by Wahlqvist and colleagues that treatment with sulfonylurea and metformin reduces the risk of affective disorder. However, the identification of agents targeting disorder-related biomarkers is currently proving particularly fruitful. There is considerable hope for genetics as a purist, pathophysiologically valid pathway to drug discovery; however, it is unclear whether the science is ready to meet this promise. Fruitful paradigms will require a break from the orthodoxy, and creativity and risk may well be the fingerprints of success. See related article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/150 PMID:23194414

  10. Flow Cytometry: Impact On Early Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Bruce S.; Sklar, Larry A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Modern flow cytometers can make optical measurements of 10 or more parameters per cell at tens-of-thousands of cells per second and over five orders of magnitude dynamic range. Although flow cytometry is used in most drug discovery stages, “sip-and-spit” sampling technology has restricted it to low sample throughput applications. The advent of HyperCyt sampling technology has recently made possible primary screening applications in which tens-of-thousands of compounds are analyzed per day. Target-multiplexing methodologies in combination with extended multi-parameter analyses enable profiling of lead candidates early in the discovery process, when the greatest numbers of candidates are available for evaluation. The ability to sample small volumes with negligible waste reduces reagent costs, compound usage and consumption of cells. Improved compound library formatting strategies can further extend primary screening opportunities when samples are scarce. Dozens of targets have been screened in 384- and 1536-well assay formats, predominantly in academic screening lab settings. In concert with commercial platform evolution and trending drug discovery strategies, HyperCyt-based systems are now finding their way into mainstream screening labs. Recent advances in flow-based imaging, mass spectrometry and parallel sample processing promise dramatically expanded single cell profiling capabilities to bolster systems level approaches to drug discovery. PMID:25805180

  11. Flow Cytometry: Impact on Early Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Bruce S; Sklar, Larry A

    2015-07-01

    Modern flow cytometers can make optical measurements of 10 or more parameters per cell at tens of thousands of cells per second and more than five orders of magnitude dynamic range. Although flow cytometry is used in most drug discovery stages, "sip-and-spit" sampling technology has restricted it to low-sample-throughput applications. The advent of HyperCyt sampling technology has recently made possible primary screening applications in which tens of thousands of compounds are analyzed per day. Target-multiplexing methodologies in combination with extended multiparameter analyses enable profiling of lead candidates early in the discovery process, when the greatest numbers of candidates are available for evaluation. The ability to sample small volumes with negligible waste reduces reagent costs, compound usage, and consumption of cells. Improved compound library formatting strategies can further extend primary screening opportunities when samples are scarce. Dozens of targets have been screened in 384- and 1536-well assay formats, predominantly in academic screening lab settings. In concert with commercial platform evolution and trending drug discovery strategies, HyperCyt-based systems are now finding their way into mainstream screening labs. Recent advances in flow-based imaging, mass spectrometry, and parallel sample processing promise dramatically expanded single-cell profiling capabilities to bolster systems-level approaches to drug discovery. PMID:25805180

  12. Comparative protein modeling of methionine S-adenosyltransferase (MAT) enzyme from Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a potential target for antituberculosis drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Khedkar, Santosh A; Malde, Alpeshkumar K; Coutinho, Evans C

    2005-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a successful pathogen that overcomes the numerous challenges presented by the immune system of the host. In the last 40 years few anti-TB drugs have been developed, while the drug-resistance problem is increasing; there is thus a pressing need to develop new anti-TB drugs active against both the acute and chronic growth phases of the mycobacterium. Methionine S-adenosyltransferase (MAT) is an enzyme involved in the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a methyl donor essential for mycolipid biosynthesis. As an anti-TB drug target, Mtb-MAT has been well validated. A homology model of MAT has been constructed using the X-ray structures of E. coli MAT (PDB code: 1MXA) and rat MAT (PDB code: 1QM4) as templates, by comparative protein modeling principles. The resulting model has the correct stereochemistry as gauged from the Ramachandran plot and good three-dimensional (3D) structure compatibility as assessed by the Profiles-3D score. The structurally and functionally important residues (active site) of Mtb-MAT have been identified using the E. coli and rat MAT crystal structures and the reported point mutation data. The homology model conserves the topological and active site features of the MAT family of proteins. The differences in the molecular electrostatic potentials (MEP) of Mtb and human MAT provide evidences that selective and specific Mtb-MAT inhibitors can be designed using the homology model, by the structure-based drug design approaches. PMID:15670956

  13. Experiences in fragment-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Murray, Christopher W; Verdonk, Marcel L; Rees, David C

    2012-05-01

    Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) has become established in both industry and academia as an alternative approach to high-throughput screening for the generation of chemical leads for drug targets. In FBDD, specialised detection methods are used to identify small chemical compounds (fragments) that bind to the drug target, and structural biology is usually employed to establish their binding mode and to facilitate their optimisation. In this article, we present three recent and successful case histories in FBDD. We then re-examine the key concepts and challenges of FBDD with particular emphasis on recent literature and our own experience from a substantial number of FBDD applications. Our opinion is that careful application of FBDD is living up to its promise of delivering high quality leads with good physical properties and that in future many drug molecules will be derived from fragment-based approaches. PMID:22459076

  14. Serendipity in anticancer drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hargrave-Thomas, Emily; Yu, Bo; Reynisson, Jóhannes

    2012-01-10

    It was found that the discovery of 5.8% (84/1437) of all drugs on the market involved serendipity. Of these drugs, 31 (2.2%) were discovered following an incident in the laboratory and 53 (3.7%) were discovered in a clinical setting. In addition, 263 (18.3%) of the pharmaceuticals in clinical use today are chemical derivatives of the drugs discovered with the aid of serendipity. Therefore, in total, 24.1% (347/1437) of marketed drugs can be directly traced to serendipitous events confirming the importance of this elusive phenomenon. In the case of anticancer drugs, 35.2% (31/88) can be attributed to a serendipitous event, which is somewhat larger than for all drugs. The therapeutic field that has benefited the most from serendipity are central nervous system active drugs reflecting the difficulty in designing compounds to pass the blood-brain-barrier and the lack of laboratory-based assays for many of the diseases of the mind. PMID:22247822

  15. Serendipity in anticancer drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Hargrave-Thomas, Emily; Yu, Bo; Reynisson, Jóhannes

    2012-01-01

    It was found that the discovery of 5.8% (84/1437) of all drugs on the market involved serendipity. Of these drugs, 31 (2.2%) were discovered following an incident in the laboratory and 53 (3.7%) were discovered in a clinical setting. In addition, 263 (18.3%) of the pharmaceuticals in clinical use today are chemical derivatives of the drugs discovered with the aid of serendipity. Therefore, in total, 24.1% (347/1437) of marketed drugs can be directly traced to serendipitous events confirming the importance of this elusive phenomenon. In the case of anticancer drugs, 35.2% (31/88) can be attributed to a serendipitous event, which is somewhat larger than for all drugs. The therapeutic field that has benefited the most from serendipity are central nervous system active drugs reflecting the difficulty in designing compounds to pass the blood-brain-barrier and the lack of laboratory-based assays for many of the diseases of the mind. PMID:22247822

  16. Chloride channels as drug targets

    PubMed Central

    Verkman, Alan S.; Galietta, Luis J. V.

    2013-01-01

    Chloride channels represent a relatively under-explored target class for drug discovery as elucidation of their identity and physiological roles has lagged behind that of many other drug targets. Chloride channels are involved in a wide range of biological functions, including epithelial fluid secretion, cell-volume regulation, neuroexcitation, smooth-muscle contraction and acidification of intracellular organelles. Mutations in several chloride channels cause human diseases, including cystic fibrosis, macular degeneration, myotonia, kidney stones, renal salt wasting and hyperekplexia. Chloride-channel modulators have potential applications in the treatment of some of these disorders, as well as in secretory diarrhoeas, polycystic kidney disease, osteoporosis and hypertension. Modulators of GABAA (γ-aminobutyric acid A) receptor chloride channels are in clinical use and several small-molecule chloride-channel modulators are in preclinical development and clinical trials. Here, we discuss the broad opportunities that remain in chloride-channel-based drug discovery. PMID:19153558

  17. The role of serendipity in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Ban, Thomas A.

    2006-01-01

    Serendipity is one of the many factors that may contribute to drug discovery. It has played a role in the discovery of prototype psychotropic drugs that led to modern pharmacological treatment in psychiatry. It has also played a role in the discovery of several drugs that have had an impact on the development of psychiatry, “Serendipity” in drug discovery implies the finding of one thing while looking for something else. This was the case in six of the twelve serendipitous discoveries reviewed in this paper, ie, aniline purple, penicillin, lysergic acid diethylamide, meprobamate, chlorpromazine, and imipramine, in the case of three drugs, ie, potassium bromide, chloral hydrate, and lithium, the discovery was serendipitous because an utterly false rationale led to correct empirical results; and in case of two others, ie, iproniazid and sildenafil, because valuable indications were found for these drugs which were not initially those sought. The discovery of one of the twelve drugs, chlordiazepoxide, was sheer luck. PMID:17117615

  18. High throughput drug discovery with ESI-FTICR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sannes-Lowery, Kristin A.; Cummins, Lendell L.; Chen, Shuo; Drader, Jared J.; Hofstadler, Steven A.

    2004-11-01

    Ribonucleic acids (RNA) are an attractive target for drug discovery since they play critical roles in cellular functions. Because small structured subdomains are known to mimic the behavior of the entire RNA, it is possible to design RNA drug targets that are amenable to interrogation by high performance mass spectrometry. We have developed a high throughput drug discovery platform that uses electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometry to investigate ligand binding to structured RNA drug targets. This assay is called multitarget affinity/specificity screening (MASS). Using MASS, we show that it is possible to screen synthetic and natural product libraries in a high throughput and robust manner.

  19. Synthetic biology for pharmaceutical drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology (SB) is an emerging discipline, which is slowly reorienting the field of drug discovery. For thousands of years, living organisms such as plants were the major source of human medicines. The difficulty in resynthesizing natural products, however, often turned pharmaceutical industries away from this rich source for human medicine. More recently, progress on transformation through genetic manipulation of biosynthetic units in microorganisms has opened the possibility of in-depth exploration of the large chemical space of natural products derivatives. Success of SB in drug synthesis culminated with the bioproduction of artemisinin by microorganisms, a tour de force in protein and metabolic engineering. Today, synthetic cells are not only used as biofactories but also used as cell-based screening platforms for both target-based and phenotypic-based approaches. Engineered genetic circuits in synthetic cells are also used to decipher disease mechanisms or drug mechanism of actions and to study cell–cell communication within bacteria consortia. This review presents latest developments of SB in the field of drug discovery, including some challenging issues such as drug resistance and drug toxicity. PMID:26673570

  20. Sequence-motif Detection of NAD(P)-binding Proteins: Discovery of a Unique Antibacterial Drug Target

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hua, Yun Hao; Wu, Chih Yuan; Sargsyan, Karen; Lim, Carmay

    2014-09-01

    Many enzymes use nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)) as essential coenzymes. These enzymes often do not share significant sequence identity and cannot be easily detected by sequence homology. Previously, we determined all distinct locally conserved pyrophosphate-binding structures (3d motifs) from NAD(P)-bound protein structures, from which 1d sequence motifs were derived. Here, we aim to establish the precision of these 3d and 1d motifs to annotate NAD(P)-binding proteins. We show that the pyrophosphate-binding 3d motifs are characteristic of NAD(P)-binding proteins, as they are rarely found in nonNAD(P)-binding proteins. Furthermore, several 1d motifs could distinguish between proteins that bind only NAD and those that bind only NADP. They could also distinguish between NAD(P)-binding proteins from nonNAD(P)-binding ones. Interestingly, one of the pyrophosphate-binding 3d and corresponding 1d motifs was found only in enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductases, which are enzymes essential for bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. This unique 3d motif serves as an attractive novel drug target, as it is conserved across many bacterial species and is not found in human proteins.

  1. Sequence-motif Detection of NAD(P)-binding Proteins: Discovery of a Unique Antibacterial Drug Target

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Yun Hao; Wu, Chih Yuan; Sargsyan, Karen; Lim, Carmay

    2014-01-01

    Many enzymes use nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)) as essential coenzymes. These enzymes often do not share significant sequence identity and cannot be easily detected by sequence homology. Previously, we determined all distinct locally conserved pyrophosphate-binding structures (3d motifs) from NAD(P)-bound protein structures, from which 1d sequence motifs were derived. Here, we aim to establish the precision of these 3d and 1d motifs to annotate NAD(P)-binding proteins. We show that the pyrophosphate-binding 3d motifs are characteristic of NAD(P)-binding proteins, as they are rarely found in nonNAD(P)-binding proteins. Furthermore, several 1d motifs could distinguish between proteins that bind only NAD and those that bind only NADP. They could also distinguish between NAD(P)-binding proteins from nonNAD(P)-binding ones. Interestingly, one of the pyrophosphate-binding 3d and corresponding 1d motifs was found only in enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductases, which are enzymes essential for bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. This unique 3d motif serves as an attractive novel drug target, as it is conserved across many bacterial species and is not found in human proteins. PMID:25253464

  2. Drug Discovery from Marine Microbes

    PubMed Central

    Gerwick, William H.; Fenner, Amanda M.

    2013-01-01

    The marine environment has been a source of more than 20,000 inspirational natural products discovered over the past 50 years. From these efforts, 9 approved drugs and 12 current clinical trial agents have been discovered, either as natural products or molecules inspired from the natural product structure. To a significant degree, these have come from collections of marine invertebrates largely obtained from shallow water tropical ecosystems. However, there is a growing recognition that marine invertebrates are oftentimes populated with enormous quantities of ‘associated’ or symbiotic microorganisms, and that microorganisms are the true metabolic sources of these most valuable of marine natural products. Also, because of the inherently multidisciplinary nature of this field, a high degree of innovation is characteristic of marine natural product drug discovery efforts. PMID:23274881

  3. Targeting tuberculosis: a glimpse of promising drug targets.

    PubMed

    Arora, N; Banerjee, A K

    2012-03-01

    Tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis has emerged as the biggest curse of our time causing significant morbidity and mortality. Increasing resistance in mycobacterium to existing drugs calls for exploration of metabolic pathways for finding novel drug targets and also for prioritization of known drug targets. Recent advances in molecular biology, bioinformatics and structural biology coupled with availability of M. tuberculosis genome sequence have provided much needed boost to drug discovery process. This review provides a glimpse of attractive drug targets for development of anti-mycobacterial drug development. PMID:22356190

  4. Financing drug discovery for orphan diseases.

    PubMed

    Fagnan, David E; Gromatzky, Austin A; Stein, Roger M; Fernandez, Jose-Maria; Lo, Andrew W

    2014-05-01

    Recently proposed 'megafund' financing methods for funding translational medicine and drug development require billions of dollars in capital per megafund to de-risk the drug discovery process enough to issue long-term bonds. Here, we demonstrate that the same financing methods can be applied to orphan drug development but, because of the unique nature of orphan diseases and therapeutics (lower development costs, faster FDA approval times, lower failure rates and lower correlation of failures among disease targets) the amount of capital needed to de-risk such portfolios is much lower in this field. Numerical simulations suggest that an orphan disease megafund of only US$575 million can yield double-digit expected rates of return with only 10-20 projects in the portfolio. PMID:24269746

  5. Current Landscape of Antiviral Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Blair, Wade; Cox, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Continued discovery and development of new antiviral medications are paramount for global human health, particularly as new pathogens emerge and old ones evolve to evade current therapeutic agents. Great success has been achieved in developing effective therapies to suppress human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV); however, the therapies are not curative and therefore current efforts in HIV and HBV drug discovery are directed toward longer-acting therapies and/or developing new mechanisms of action that could potentially lead to cure, or eradication, of the virus. Recently, exciting early clinical data have been reported for novel antivirals targeting respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza (flu). Preclinical data suggest that these new approaches may be effective in treating high-risk patients afflicted with serious RSV or flu infections. In this review, we highlight new directions in antiviral approaches for HIV, HBV, and acute respiratory virus infections. PMID:26962437

  6. TOXICOGENOMICS DRUG DISCOVERY AND THE PATHOLOGIST

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicogenomics, drug discovery, and pathologist.

    The field of toxicogenomics, which currently focuses on the application of large-scale differential gene expression (DGE) data to toxicology, is starting to influence drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical indu...

  7. Validation of BKV Large T-antigen ATP-Binding Site as a Target for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Gang; Bueno, Marta; Camachos, Carlos J; Randhawa, Parmjeet

    2009-01-01

    Summary BK virus large T antigen (LTA) is a hexameric protein with a helicase activity that is powered by ATP hydrolysis. A mutant virus with Lys420Ala, Arg421Ala, and Asp504Ala mutations at the ATP binding sites showed marked reduction in viral fitness. This observation indicates that high throughput screening for ATPase inhibitors will be valid strategy to discover anti-BKV drugs. PMID:19084558

  8. Pathology in drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Jubb, Adrian M; Koeppen, Hartmut; Reis-Filho, Jorge S

    2014-01-01

    The rapid pace of drug discovery and drug development in oncology, immunology and ophthalmology brings new challenges; the efficient and effective development of new targeted drugs will require more detailed molecular classifications of histologically homogeneous diseases that show heterogeneous clinical outcomes. To this end, single companion diagnostics for specific drugs will be replaced by multiplex diagnostics for entire therapeutic areas, preserving tissue and enabling rapid molecular taxonomy. The field will move away from the development of new molecular entities as single agents, to which resistance is common. Instead, a detailed understanding of the pathological mechanisms of resistance, in patients and in preclinical models, will be key to the validation of scientifically rational and clinically effective drug combinations. To remain at the heart of disease diagnosis and appropriate management, pathologists must evolve into translational biologists and biomarker scientists. Herein, we provide examples of where this metamorphosis has already taken place, in lung cancer and melanoma, where the transformation has yet to begin, in the use of immunotherapies for ophthalmology and oncology, and where there is fertile soil for a revolution in treatment, in efforts to classify glioblastoma and personalize treatment. The challenges of disease heterogeneity, the regulatory environment and adequate tissue are ever present, but these too are being overcome in dedicated academic centres. In summary, the tools necessary to overcome the 'whens' and 'ifs' of the molecular revolution are in the hands of pathologists today; it is a matter of standardization, training and leadership to bring these into routine practice and translate science into patient benefit. This Annual Review Issue of the Journal of Pathology highlights the central role for pathology in modern drug discovery and development. PMID:24122335

  9. Monoaminergic signaling as a target for anthelmintic drug discovery: receptor conservation among the free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Komuniecki, Richard; Law, Wen Jing; Jex, Aaron; Geldhof, Peter; Gray, John; Bamber, Bruce; Gasser, Robin B

    2012-05-01

    This review is designed to summarize the information on monoamine-dependent paralysis as a target for anthelmintic development, examine the conservation of monoamine receptors in the genomes of both free-living and parasitic nematodes, and highlight the utility of the Caenorhabditis elegans model system for dissecting the monoaminergic modulation of locomotory decision-making. PMID:22343182

  10. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Sandy S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rupasinghe, Darshani B; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P; King, Glenn F

    2014-10-01

    Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptides have high specificity and potency toward molecular targets of therapeutic importance. This unique combination of bioactivity and stability has made spider-venom peptides valuable both as pharmacological tools and as leads for drug development. This review describes recent advances in spider-venom-based drug discovery pipelines. We discuss spider-venom-derived peptides that are currently under investigation for treatment of a diverse range of pathologies including pain, stroke and cancer. PMID:25406008

  11. Recent Advances in Drug Repositioning for the Discovery of New Anticancer Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Shim, Joong Sup; Liu, Jun O.

    2014-01-01

    Drug repositioning (also referred to as drug repurposing), the process of finding new uses of existing drugs, has been gaining popularity in recent years. The availability of several established clinical drug libraries and rapid advances in disease biology, genomics and bioinformatics has accelerated the pace of both activity-based and in silico drug repositioning. Drug repositioning has attracted particular attention from the communities engaged in anticancer drug discovery due to the combination of great demand for new anticancer drugs and the availability of a wide variety of cell- and target-based screening assays. With the successful clinical introduction of a number of non-cancer drugs for cancer treatment, drug repositioning now became a powerful alternative strategy to discover and develop novel anticancer drug candidates from the existing drug space. In this review, recent successful examples of drug repositioning for anticancer drug discovery from non-cancer drugs will be discussed. PMID:25013375

  12. G protein-coupled receptors in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Nambi, Ponnal; Aiyar, Nambi

    2003-04-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent one of the most important drug discovery targets such that compounds targeted against GPCRs represent the single largest drug class currently on the market. With the revolutionary advances in human genome sciences and the identification of numerous orphan GPCRs, it is even more important to identify ligands for these orphan GPCRs so that their physiological and pathological roles can be delineated. To this end, major pharmaceutical industries are investing enormous amounts of time and money to achieve this object. This review is a bird's eye view on the various aspects of GPCRs in drug discovery. PMID:15090195

  13. Discovery and in Vivo Evaluation of Novel RGD-Modified Lipid-Polymer Hybrid Nanoparticles for Targeted Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yinbo; Lin, Dayong; Wu, Fengbo; Guo, Li; He, Gu; Ouyang, Liang; Song, Xiangrong; Huang, Wei; Li, Xiang

    2014-01-01

    In the current study, the lipid-shell and polymer-core hybrid nanoparticles (lpNPs) modified by Arg–Gly–Asp(RGD) peptide, loaded with curcumin (Cur), were developed by emulsification-solvent volatilization method. The RGD-modified hybrid nanoparticles (RGD–lpNPs) could overcome the poor water solubility of Cur to meet the requirement of intravenous administration and tumor active targeting. The obtained optimal RGD-lpNPs, composed of PLGA (poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid))–mPEG (methoxyl poly(ethylene- glycol)), RGD–polyethylene glycol (PEG)–cholesterol (Chol) copolymers and lipids, had good entrapment efficiency, submicron size and negatively neutral surface charge. The core-shell structure of RGD–lpNPs was verified by TEM. Cytotoxicity analysis demonstrated that the RGD–lpNPs encapsulated Cur retained potent anti-tumor effects. Flow cytometry analysis revealed the cellular uptake of Cur encapsulated in the RGD–lpNPs was increased for human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Furthermore, Cur loaded RGD–lpNPs were more effective in inhibiting tumor growth in a subcutaneous B16 melanoma tumor model. The results of immunofluorescent and immunohistochemical studies by Cur loaded RGD–lpNPs therapies indicated that more apoptotic cells, fewer microvessels, and fewer proliferation-positive cells were observed. In conclusion, RGD–lpNPs encapsulating Cur were developed with enhanced anti-tumor activity in melanoma, and Cur loaded RGD–lpNPs represent an excellent tumor targeted formulation of Cur which might be an attractive candidate for cancer therapy. PMID:25268623

  14. Open PHACTS: semantic interoperability for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Williams, Antony J; Harland, Lee; Groth, Paul; Pettifer, Stephen; Chichester, Christine; Willighagen, Egon L; Evelo, Chris T; Blomberg, Niklas; Ecker, Gerhard; Goble, Carole; Mons, Barend

    2012-11-01

    Open PHACTS is a public-private partnership between academia, publishers, small and medium sized enterprises and pharmaceutical companies. The goal of the project is to deliver and sustain an 'open pharmacological space' using and enhancing state-of-the-art semantic web standards and technologies. It is focused on practical and robust applications to solve specific questions in drug discovery research. OPS is intended to facilitate improvements in drug discovery in academia and industry and to support open innovation and in-house non-public drug discovery research. This paper lays out the challenges and how the Open PHACTS project is hoping to address these challenges technically and socially. PMID:22683805

  15. The future of crystallography in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Heping; Hou, Jing; Zimmerman, Matthew D; Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek

    2014-01-01

    Introduction X-ray crystallography plays an important role in structure-based drug design (SBDD), and accurate analysis of crystal structures of target macromolecules and macromolecule–ligand complexes is critical at all stages. However, whereas there has been significant progress in improving methods of structural biology, particularly in X-ray crystallography, corresponding progress in the development of computational methods (such as in silico high-throughput screening) is still on the horizon. Crystal structures can be overinterpreted and thus bias hypotheses and follow-up experiments. As in any experimental science, the models of macromolecular structures derived from X-ray diffraction data have their limitations, which need to be critically evaluated and well understood for structure-based drug discovery. Areas covered This review describes how the validity, accuracy and precision of a protein or nucleic acid structure determined by X-ray crystallography can be evaluated from three different perspectives: i) the nature of the diffraction experiment; ii) the interpretation of an electron density map; and iii) the interpretation of the structural model in terms of function and mechanism. The strategies to optimally exploit a macromolecular structure are also discussed in the context of ‘Big Data’ analysis, biochemical experimental design and structure-based drug discovery. Expert opinion Although X-ray crystallography is one of the most detailed ‘microscopes’ available today for examining macromolecular structures, the authors would like to re-emphasize that such structures are only simplified models of the target macromolecules. The authors also wish to reinforce the idea that a structure should not be thought of as a set of precise coordinates but rather as a framework for generating hypotheses to be explored. Numerous biochemical and biophysical experiments, including new diffraction experiments, can and should be performed to verify or falsify

  16. [GWAS of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Drug Discovery].

    PubMed

    Ohmura, Koichiro

    2015-04-01

    We have conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We previously found that myelin basic protein (MBP) is associated with RA. One of the MBP isoforms (Golli-MBP) is expressed not only in nerve cells, but also in hematopoietic cells, and may negatively regulate T-cell receptor signaling. We expanded the GWAS level by collaborating with laboratories in Japan and then throughout the world. Meta-analysis of GWAS data resulted in the identification of -100 genomic loci associated with RA development. The -100 genomic loci contain -400 candidate genes, and it is not easy to find out which genes actually play important roles in RA. By incorporating available public databases, we succeeded in narrowing down the susceptibility genes from 377 to 98. We also showed that regulatory T cells are associated with RA based on the combination of the histone methylation database and our mega-GWAS results. Protein-protein interaction and drug discovery databases gave us information that some of the drugs have already been developed as therapeutic medicines for RA, and some of them were used for diseases other than RA. These drugs may be used for RA in the near future (drug repurposing). The combination of biological databases and GWAS results may be a novel method to identify new therapeutic targets. PMID:26536782

  17. CNS Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development Conference White Paper.

    PubMed

    Levin, Victor A; Tonge, Peter J; Gallo, James M; Birtwistle, Marc R; Dar, Arvin C; Iavarone, Antonio; Paddison, Patrick J; Heffron, Timothy P; Elmquist, William F; Lachowicz, Jean E; Johnson, Ted W; White, Forest M; Sul, Joohee; Smith, Quentin R; Shen, Wang; Sarkaria, Jann N; Samala, Ramakrishna; Wen, Patrick Y; Berry, Donald A; Petter, Russell C

    2015-11-01

    Following the first CNS Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development Conference, the speakers from the first 4 sessions and organizers of the conference created this White Paper hoping to stimulate more and better CNS anticancer drug discovery and development. The first part of the White Paper reviews, comments, and, in some cases, expands on the 4 session areas critical to new drug development: pharmacological challenges, recent drug approaches, drug targets and discovery, and clinical paths. Following this concise review of the science and clinical aspects of new CNS anticancer drug discovery and development, we discuss, under the rubric "Accelerating Drug Discovery and Development for Brain Tumors," further reasons why the pharmaceutical industry and academia have failed to develop new anticancer drugs for CNS malignancies and what it will take to change the current status quo and develop the drugs so desperately needed by our patients with malignant CNS tumors. While this White Paper is not a formal roadmap to that end, it should be an educational guide to clinicians and scientists to help move a stagnant field forward. PMID:26403167

  18. Automated High Throughput Drug Target Crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Rupp, B

    2005-02-18

    The molecular structures of drug target proteins and receptors form the basis for 'rational' or structure guided drug design. The majority of target structures are experimentally determined by protein X-ray crystallography, which as evolved into a highly automated, high throughput drug discovery and screening tool. Process automation has accelerated tasks from parallel protein expression, fully automated crystallization, and rapid data collection to highly efficient structure determination methods. A thoroughly designed automation technology platform supported by a powerful informatics infrastructure forms the basis for optimal workflow implementation and the data mining and analysis tools to generate new leads from experimental protein drug target structures.

  19. The future for early-stage tuberculosis drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zuniga, Edison S; Early, Julie; Parish, Tanya

    2015-01-01

    There is an urgent need for new and better drugs to treat tuberculosis due to lengthy and complex treatment regimens and a rising problem of drug resistance. Drug discovery efforts have increased over the past few years, with a larger focus on modern high-throughput screening technologies. A combination of target-based approaches, with the traditional empirical means of drug identification, has been complemented by the use of target-based phenotypic screens only recently made possibly with newer genetic tools. Using these approaches, a number of promising compound series have been discovered. However, significant problems remain in developing these into drugs. This review highlights recent advances in TB drug discovery, including an overview of screening campaigns, lessons learned and future directions. PMID:25689534

  20. Advances in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Powers, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Background Drug discovery is a complex and unpredictable endeavor with a high failure rate. Current trends in the pharmaceutical industry have exasperated these challenges and are contributing to the dramatic decline in productivity observed over the last decade. The industrialization of science by forcing the drug discovery process to adhere to assembly-line protocols is imposing unnecessary restrictions, such as short project time-lines. Recent advances in nuclear magnetic resonance are responding to these self-imposed limitations and are providing opportunities to increase the success rate of drug discovery. Objective/Method A review of recent advancements in NMR technology that have the potential of significantly impacting and benefiting the drug discovery process will be presented. These include fast NMR data collection protocols and high-throughput protein structure determination, rapid protein-ligand co-structure determination, lead discovery using fragment-based NMR affinity screens, NMR metabolomics to monitor in vivo efficacy and toxicity for lead compounds, and the identification of new therapeutic targets through the functional annotation of proteins by FAST-NMR. Conclusion NMR is a critical component of the drug discovery process, where the versatility of the technique enables it to continually expand and evolve its role. NMR is expected to maintain this growth over the next decade with advancements in automation, speed of structure calculation, in-cell imaging techniques, and the expansion of NMR amenable targets. PMID:20333269

  1. De Novo Fragment Design for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Tiago; Reker, Daniel; Welin, Martin; Caldera, Michael; Brunner, Cyrill; Gabernet, Gisela; Schneider, Petra; Walse, Björn; Schneider, Gisbert

    2015-12-01

    Automated molecular de novo design led to the discovery of an innovative inhibitor of death-associated protein kinase 3 (DAPK3). An unprecedented crystal structure of the inactive DAPK3 homodimer shows the fragment-like hit bound to the ATP pocket. Target prediction software based on machine learning models correctly identified additional macromolecular targets of the computationally designed compound and the structurally related marketed drug azosemide. The study validates computational de novo design as a prime method for generating chemical probes and starting points for drug discovery. PMID:26486226

  2. Role of Molecular Dynamics and Related Methods in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    De Vivo, Marco; Masetti, Matteo; Bottegoni, Giovanni; Cavalli, Andrea

    2016-05-12

    Molecular dynamics (MD) and related methods are close to becoming routine computational tools for drug discovery. Their main advantage is in explicitly treating structural flexibility and entropic effects. This allows a more accurate estimate of the thermodynamics and kinetics associated with drug-target recognition and binding, as better algorithms and hardware architectures increase their use. Here, we review the theoretical background of MD and enhanced sampling methods, focusing on free-energy perturbation, metadynamics, steered MD, and other methods most consistently used to study drug-target binding. We discuss unbiased MD simulations that nowadays allow the observation of unsupervised ligand-target binding, assessing how these approaches help optimizing target affinity and drug residence time toward improved drug efficacy. Further issues discussed include allosteric modulation and the role of water molecules in ligand binding and optimization. We conclude by calling for more prospective studies to attest to these methods' utility in discovering novel drug candidates. PMID:26807648

  3. Solid-Phase Biological Assays for Drug Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsberg, Erica M.; Sicard, Clémence; Brennan, John D.

    2014-06-01

    In the past 30 years, there has been a significant growth in the use of solid-phase assays in the area of drug discovery, with a range of new assays being used for both soluble and membrane-bound targets. In this review, we provide some basic background to typical drug targets and immobilization protocols used in solid-phase biological assays (SPBAs) for drug discovery, with emphasis on particularly labile biomolecular targets such as kinases and membrane-bound receptors, and highlight some of the more recent approaches for producing protein microarrays, bioaffinity columns, and other devices that are central to small molecule screening by SPBA. We then discuss key applications of such assays to identify drug leads, with an emphasis on the screening of mixtures. We conclude by highlighting specific advantages and potential disadvantages of SPBAs, particularly as they relate to particular assay formats.

  4. Use of zebrafish in chemical biology and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Das, Bhaskar C; McCormick, Laura; Thapa, Pritam; Karki, Radha; Evans, Todd

    2013-11-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a small, tropical, freshwater fish that has emerged as a powerful vertebrate model organism for studying genetics and development. Its small size, transparency, cost-effectiveness, close genome homology to humans compared with invertebrates, and capacity for genetic manipulation are all valuable attributes for an excellent animal model. There are additional advantages for using zebrafish specifically in drug discovery, including ease of exposure to chemicals in water. In effect, zebrafish can bridge a gap between in vitro and mammalian work, reducing the use of larger animals and attrition rates. In the drug-discovery process, zebrafish can be used at many stages, including target identification and validation, identification of lead compounds, studying structure-activity relationships and drug safety profiling. In this review, we highlight the potential for the zebrafish model to make the drug-discovery process simpler, more effective and cost-efficient. PMID:24215349

  5. Introduction to fragment-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Erlanson, Daniel A

    2012-01-01

    Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) has emerged in the past decade as a powerful tool for discovering drug leads. The approach first identifies starting points: very small molecules (fragments) that are about half the size of typical drugs. These fragments are then expanded or linked together to generate drug leads. Although the origins of the technique date back some 30 years, it was only in the mid-1990s that experimental techniques became sufficiently sensitive and rapid for the concept to be become practical. Since that time, the field has exploded: FBDD has played a role in discovery of at least 18 drugs that have entered the clinic, and practitioners of FBDD can be found throughout the world in both academia and industry. Literally dozens of reviews have been published on various aspects of FBDD or on the field as a whole, as have three books (Jahnke and Erlanson, Fragment-based approaches in drug discovery, 2006; Zartler and Shapiro, Fragment-based drug discovery: a practical approach, 2008; Kuo, Fragment based drug design: tools, practical approaches, and examples, 2011). However, this chapter will assume that the reader is approaching the field with little prior knowledge. It will introduce some of the key concepts, set the stage for the chapters to follow, and demonstrate how X-ray crystallography plays a central role in fragment identification and advancement. PMID:21695633

  6. Computational Drug Repositioning: A Lateral Approach to Traditional Drug Discovery?

    PubMed

    Sahu, Niteshkumar U; Kharkar, Prashant S

    2016-01-01

    Computational drug repositioning is popular in academia and pharmaceutical industry globally. The repositioning hypotheses, generated using a variety of computational methods, can be quickly tested experimentally. Several success stories have emerged in the past decade or so. Newer concepts and methods such as drug profile matching are being tried to address the limitations of current computational repositioning methods. The trend is shifting from earlier small-scale to large-scale or global-scale repositioning applications. Other related approaches such as prediction of molecular targets for novel molecules, prediction of side-effect profiles of new molecular entities (NMEs), etc., are applied routinely. The current article focuses on state-of-the-art of computational drug repositioning field with the help of relevant examples and case studies. This 'lateral' approach has significant potential to bring down the time and cost of the awfully expensive drug discovery research and clinical development. The persistence and perseverance in the successful application of these methods is likely to be paid off in near future. PMID:26881717

  7. Using DrugBank for In Silico Drug Exploration and Discovery.

    PubMed

    Wishart, David S; Wu, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    DrugBank is a fully curated drug and drug target database that contains 8174 drug entries including 1944 FDA approved small-molecule drugs, 198 FDA-approved biotech (protein/peptide) drugs, 93 nutraceuticals, and over 6000 experimental drugs. Additionally, 4300 non-redundant protein (i.e., drug target/enzyme/transporter/carrier) sequences are linked to these drug entries. DrugBank is primarily focused on providing both the query/search tools and biophysical data needed to facilitate drug discovery and drug development. This unit provides readers with a detailed description of how to effectively use the DrugBank database and how to navigate through the DrugBank Web site. It also provides specific examples of how to find chemical homologs of potential drug leads and how to identify potential drug targets from newly sequenced tumor samples. The intent of this unit is to give readers an introduction to the field of Web-based drug discovery and to show how cheminformatics can be seamlessly integrated into the field of bioinformatics. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27322405

  8. From Protein Communication to Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Persico, Marco; Di Dato, Antonio; Orteca, Nausicaa; Fattorusso, Caterina; Novellino, Ettore; Andreoli, Mirko; Ferlini, Cristiano

    2015-01-01

    The majority of functionally important biological processes are regulated by allosteric communication within individual proteins and across protein complexes. The proteins controlling these communication networks respond to changes in the cellular environment by switching between different conformational states. Targeting the interface residues mediating these processes through the rational identification of molecules modulating or mimicking their effects holds great therapeutic potential. Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) have shown to have a high degree of plasticity since they occur through small regions, called hot spots, which are included in binding surfaces or in binding clefts of the proteins and are characterized by a high degree of complementarity. This prompted several researchers to compare the protein structure to human grammar proposing terms like "protein language". The decoding of this language represent a new paradigm not only to clarify the dynamics of many biological processes but also to improve the opportunities in drug discovery. In this review, we try to give an overview on intra-molecular and inter-molecular protein communication mechanisms describing the protein interaction domains (PIDs) and short linear motifs (SLiMs), which delineate the authentic syntactic and semantic units in a protein. Moreover, we illustrate some novel approaches performed on natural compounds and on synthetic derivatives aimed at developing new classes of potential drugs able to interfere with intra-molecular and inter-molecular protein communication. PMID:25986690

  9. Covalent inhibitors in drug discovery: from accidental discoveries to avoided liabilities and designed therapies.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Renato A

    2015-09-01

    Drugs that covalently bond to their biological targets have a long history in drug discovery. A look at drug approvals in recent years suggests that covalent drugs will continue to make impacts on human health for years to come. Although fraught with concerns about toxicity, the high potencies and prolonged effects achievable with covalent drugs may result in less-frequent drug dosing and in wide therapeutic margins for patients. Covalent inhibition can also dissociate drug pharmacodynamics (PD) from pharmacokinetics (PK), which can result in desired drug efficacy for inhibitors that have short systemic exposure. Evidence suggests that there is a reduced risk for the development of resistance against covalent drugs, which is a major challenge in areas such as oncology and infectious disease. PMID:26002380

  10. Discovery of small molecule cancer drugs: Successes, challenges and opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Hoelder, Swen; Clarke, Paul A.; Workman, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The discovery and development of small molecule cancer drugs has been revolutionised over the last decade. Most notably, we have moved from a one-size-fits-all approach that emphasized cytotoxic chemotherapy to a personalised medicine strategy that focuses on the discovery and development of molecularly targeted drugs that exploit the particular genetic addictions, dependencies and vulnerabilities of cancer cells. These exploitable characteristics are increasingly being revealed by our expanding understanding of the abnormal biology and genetics of cancer cells, accelerated by cancer genome sequencing and other high-throughput genome-wide campaigns, including functional screens using RNA interference. In this review we provide an overview of contemporary approaches to the discovery of small molecule cancer drugs, highlighting successes, current challenges and future opportunities. We focus in particular on four key steps: Target validation and selection; chemical hit and lead generation; lead optimization to identify a clinical drug candidate; and finally hypothesis-driven, biomarker-led clinical trials. Although all of these steps are critical, we view target validation and selection and the conduct of biology-directed clinical trials as especially important areas upon which to focus to speed progress from gene to drug and to reduce the unacceptably high attrition rate during clinical development. Other challenges include expanding the envelope of druggability for less tractable targets, understanding and overcoming drug resistance, and designing intelligent and effective drug combinations. We discuss not only scientific and technical challenges, but also the assessment and mitigation of risks as well as organizational, cultural and funding problems for cancer drug discovery and development, together with solutions to overcome the ‘Valley of Death’ between basic research and approved medicines. We envisage a future in which addressing these challenges will

  11. [Activity of NTDs Drug-discovery Research Consortium].

    PubMed

    Namatame, Ichiji

    2016-01-01

    Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are an extremely important issue facing global health care. To improve "access to health" where people are unable to access adequate medical care due to poverty and weak healthcare systems, we have established two consortiums: the NTD drug discovery research consortium, and the pediatric praziquantel consortium. The NTD drug discovery research consortium, which involves six institutions from industry, government, and academia, as well as an international non-profit organization, is committed to developing anti-protozoan active compounds for three NTDs (Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and African sleeping sickness). Each participating institute will contribute their efforts to accomplish the following: selection of drug targets based on information technology, and drug discovery by three different approaches (in silico drug discovery, "fragment evolution" which is a unique drug designing method of Astellas Pharma, and phenotypic screening with Astellas' compound library). The consortium has established a brand new database (Integrated Neglected Tropical Disease Database; iNTRODB), and has selected target proteins for the in silico and fragment evolution drug discovery approaches. Thus far, we have identified a number of promising compounds that inhibit the target protein, and we are currently trying to improve the anti-protozoan activity of these compounds. The pediatric praziquantel consortium was founded in July 2012 to develop and register a new praziquantel pediatric formulation for the treatment of schistosomiasis. Astellas Pharma has been a core member in this consortium since its establishment, and has provided expertise and technology in the area of pediatric formulation development and clinical development. PMID:26831798

  12. A unified approach to computational drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Chih-Yuan; Tuszynski, Jack

    2015-11-01

    It has been reported that a slowdown in the development of new medical therapies is affecting clinical outcomes. The FDA has thus initiated the Critical Path Initiative project investigating better approaches. We review the current strategies in drug discovery and focus on the advantages of the maximum entropy method being introduced in this area. The maximum entropy principle is derived from statistical thermodynamics and has been demonstrated to be an inductive inference tool. We propose a unified method to drug discovery that hinges on robust information processing using entropic inductive inference. Increasingly, applications of maximum entropy in drug discovery employ this unified approach and demonstrate the usefulness of the concept in the area of pharmaceutical sciences. PMID:26189935

  13. Prospects for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorder drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Williams, Michael; Enna, S J

    2011-05-01

    The discovery of CNS-active drugs has, to a major extent, resulted from clinical serendipity. Once targets for such compounds were identified, conventional mechanism-based approaches were used to identify new chemical entities for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Most of these have, however, failed to display any greater efficacy than existing psychotherapeutics and may, in fact, be less efficacious because of side effect liabilities. Among the reasons for this lack of success in drug discovery include a lack of fundamental knowledge regarding the causes of CNS disorders, the absence of biomarkers for diagnosing and monitoring these conditions, a paucity of animal models that are congruent with the human disease state and the increasing likelihood that CNS conditions are multifactorial in their etiology. These challenges force the inclusion of a Phase IIa proof of concept trial as a component of the drug discovery program. Unlike other therapeutic areas, serendipity is a major factor in the CNS translational medicine interface requiring a close collaboration between preclinical and clinical scientists trained to appreciate unusual behavioral phenotypes. When combined with conventional target-based drug discovery technologies, this increases the likelihood of identifying truly novel drugs for the treatment of CNS disorders. PMID:22646072

  14. Emerging Concepts and Approaches for Chemokine-Receptor Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    O’Hayre, Morgan; Salanga, Catherina L.; Handel, Tracy M.; Hamel, Damon J.

    2010-01-01

    Importance of the field Chemokine receptors are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) most noted for their role in cell migration. However, inappropriate utilization or regulation of these receptors is implicated in many inflammatory diseases, cancer and HIV, making them important drug targets. Areas covered in this review Allostery, oligomerization, and ligand bias are presented as they pertain to chemokine receptors and their associated pathologies. Specific examples of each are described from the recent literature and their implications are discussed in terms of drug discovery efforts targeting chemokine receptors. What the reader will gain Insight into the expanding view of the multitude of pharmacological variables that need to be considered or that may be exploited in chemokine receptor drug discovery. Take home message Since 2007, two drugs targeting chemokine receptors have been approved by the FDA, Maraviroc for preventing HIV infection and Mozobil™ for hematopoietic stem cell mobilization. While these successes permit optimism for chemokine receptors as drug targets, only recently has the complexity of this system begun to be appreciated. The concepts of allosteric inhibitors, biased ligands and functional selectivity raise the possibility that drugs with precisely-defined properties can be developed. Other complexities such as receptor oligomerization and tissue-specific functional states of receptors also offer opportunities for increased target and response specificity, although it will be more challenging to translate these ideas into approved therapeutics compared to traditional approaches. PMID:21132095

  15. Designer drugs: the evolving science of drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Wanke, L A; DuBose, R F

    1998-07-01

    Drug discovery and design are fundamental to drug development. Until recently, most drugs were discovered through random screening or developed through molecular modification. New technologies are revolutionizing this phase of drug development. Rational drug design, using powerful computers and computational chemistry and employing X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and three-dimensional quantitative structure activity relationship analysis, is creating highly specific, biologically active molecules by virtual reality modeling. Sophisticated screening technologies are eliminating all but the most active lead compounds. These new technologies promise more efficacious, safe, and cost-effective medications, while minimizing drug development time and maximizing profits. PMID:10185235

  16. The discovery of drug-induced illness.

    PubMed

    Jick, H

    1977-03-01

    The increased use of drugs (and the concurrent increased risks of drug-induced illness) require definition of relevant research areas and strategy. For established marketed drugs, research needs depend on the magnitudes of risk of an illness from a drug and the base-line risk. With the drug risk high and the base-line risk low, the problem surfaces in premarketing studies or through the epidemic that develops after marketing. If the drug adds slightly to a high base-line risk, the effect is undetectable. When both risks are low, adverse effects can be discovered by chance, but systematic case-referent studies can speed discovery. If both risks are high, clinical trials and nonexperimental studies may be used. With both risks intermediate, systematic evaluations, especially case-referent studies are needed. Newly marketed drugs should be routinely evaluated through compulsory registration and follow-up study of the earliest users. PMID:834226

  17. Boesenbergia rotunda: From Ethnomedicine to Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Eng-Chong, Tan; Yean-Kee, Lee; Chin-Fei, Chee; Choon-Han, Heh; Sher-Ming, Wong; Li-Ping, Christina Thio; Gen-Teck, Foo; Khalid, Norzulaani; Abd Rahman, Noorsaadah; Karsani, Saiful Anuar; Othman, Shatrah; Othman, Rozana; Yusof, Rohana

    2012-01-01

    Boesenbergia rotunda is a herb from the Boesenbergia genera under the Zingiberaceae family. B. rotunda is widely found in Asian countries where it is commonly used as a food ingredient and in ethnomedicinal preparations. The popularity of its ethnomedicinal usage has drawn the attention of scientists worldwide to further investigate its medicinal properties. Advancement in drug design and discovery research has led to the development of synthetic drugs from B. rotunda metabolites via bioinformatics and medicinal chemistry studies. Furthermore, with the advent of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, new insights on the biosynthetic pathways of B. rotunda metabolites can be elucidated, enabling researchers to predict the potential bioactive compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant. The vast biological activities exhibited by the compounds obtained from B. rotunda warrant further investigation through studies such as drug discovery, polypharmacology, and drug delivery using nanotechnology. PMID:23243448

  18. Benefits of Structural Genomics for Drug Discovery Research

    SciTech Connect

    Grabowski, M.; Chruszcz, M; Zimmerman, M; Kirillova, O; Minor, W

    2009-01-01

    While three dimensional structures have long been used to search for new drug targets, only a fraction of new drugs coming to the market has been developed with the use of a structure-based drug discovery approach. However, the recent years have brought not only an avalanche of new macromolecular structures, but also significant advances in the protein structure determination methodology only now making their way into structure-based drug discovery. In this paper, we review recent developments resulting from the Structural Genomics (SG) programs, focusing on the methods and results most likely to improve our understanding of the molecular foundation of human diseases. SG programs have been around for almost a decade, and in that time, have contributed a significant part of the structural coverage of both the genomes of pathogens causing infectious diseases and structurally uncharacterized biological processes in general. Perhaps most importantly, SG programs have developed new methodology at all steps of the structure determination process, not only to determine new structures highly efficiently, but also to screen protein/ligand interactions. We describe the methodologies, experience and technologies developed by SG, which range from improvements to cloning protocols to improved procedures for crystallographic structure solution that may be applied in 'traditional' structural biology laboratories particularly those performing drug discovery. We also discuss the conditions that must be met to convert the present high-throughput structure determination pipeline into a high-output structure-based drug discovery system.

  19. Organs-on-chips at the frontiers of drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Esch, Eric W.; Bahinski, Anthony; Huh, Dongeun

    2016-01-01

    Improving the effectiveness of preclinical predictions of human drug responses is critical to reducing costly failures in clinical trials. Recent advances in cell biology, microfabrication and microfluidics have enabled the development of microengineered models of the functional units of human organs — known as organs-on-chips — that could provide the basis for preclinical assays with greater predictive power. Here, we examine the new opportunities for the application of organ-on-chip technologies in a range of areas in preclinical drug discovery, such as target identification and validation, target-based screening, and phenotypic screening. We also discuss emerging drug discovery opportunities enabled by organs-on-chips, as well as important challenges in realizing the full potential of this technology. PMID:25792263

  20. Open drug discovery for the Zika virus

    PubMed Central

    Ekins, Sean; Mietchen, Daniel; Coffee, Megan; Stratton, Thomas P; Freundlich, Joel S; Freitas-Junior, Lucio; Muratov, Eugene; Siqueira-Neto, Jair; Williams, Antony J; Andrade, Carolina

    2016-01-01

    The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the Americas has caused global concern that we may be on the brink of a healthcare crisis. The lack of research on ZIKV in the over 60 years that we have known about it has left us with little in the way of starting points for drug discovery. Our response can build on previous efforts with virus outbreaks and lean heavily on work done on other flaviviruses such as dengue virus. We provide some suggestions of what might be possible and propose an open drug discovery effort that mobilizes global science efforts and provides leadership, which thus far has been lacking. We also provide a listing of potential resources and molecules that could be prioritized for testing as in vitro assays for ZIKV are developed. We propose also that in order to incentivize drug discovery, a neglected disease priority review voucher should be available to those who successfully develop an FDA approved treatment. Learning from the response to the ZIKV, the approaches to drug discovery used and the success and failures will be critical for future infectious disease outbreaks. PMID:27134728

  1. Arthritis Genetics Analysis Aids Drug Discovery

    MedlinePlus

    ... biological insights for drug discovery,” Plenge says. —by Carol Torgan, Ph.D. Related Links Gut Microbes Linked ... Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D., Carol Torgan, Ph.D. NIH Research Matters is a ...

  2. Open drug discovery for the Zika virus.

    PubMed

    Ekins, Sean; Mietchen, Daniel; Coffee, Megan; Stratton, Thomas P; Freundlich, Joel S; Freitas-Junior, Lucio; Muratov, Eugene; Siqueira-Neto, Jair; Williams, Antony J; Andrade, Carolina

    2016-01-01

    The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the Americas has caused global concern that we may be on the brink of a healthcare crisis. The lack of research on ZIKV in the over 60 years that we have known about it has left us with little in the way of starting points for drug discovery. Our response can build on previous efforts with virus outbreaks and lean heavily on work done on other flaviviruses such as dengue virus. We provide some suggestions of what might be possible and propose an open drug discovery effort that mobilizes global science efforts and provides leadership, which thus far has been lacking. We also provide a listing of potential resources and molecules that could be prioritized for testing as in vitro assays for ZIKV are developed. We propose also that in order to incentivize drug discovery, a neglected disease priority review voucher should be available to those who successfully develop an FDA approved treatment. Learning from the response to the ZIKV, the approaches to drug discovery used and the success and failures will be critical for future infectious disease outbreaks. PMID:27134728

  3. New avenues for anti-epileptic drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Löscher, Wolfgang; Klitgaard, Henrik; Twyman, Roy E; Schmidt, Dieter

    2013-10-01

    Despite the introduction of over 15 third-generation anti-epileptic drugs, current medications fail to control seizures in 20-30% of patients. However, our understanding of the mechanisms mediating the development of epilepsy and the causes of drug resistance has grown substantially over the past decade, providing opportunities for the discovery and development of more efficacious anti-epileptic and anti-epileptogenic drugs. In this Review we discuss how previous preclinical models and clinical trial designs may have hampered the discovery of better treatments. We propose that future anti-epileptic drug development may be improved through a new joint endeavour between academia and the industry, through the identification and application of tools for new target-driven approaches, and through comparative preclinical proof-of-concept studies and innovative clinical trials designs. PMID:24052047

  4. REDOR NMR for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Cegelski, Lynette

    2014-01-01

    Rotational-Echo DOuble-Resonance (REDOR) NMR is a powerful and versatile solid-state NMR measurement that has been recruited to elucidate drug modes of action and to drive the design of new therapeutics. REDOR has been implemented to examine composition, structure, and dynamics in diverse macromolecular and whole-cell systems, including taxol-bound microtubules, enzyme-cofactor-inhibitor ternary complexes, and antibiotic-whole-cell complexes. The REDOR approach involves the integrated design of specific isotopic labeling strategies and the selection of appropriate REDOR experiments. By way of example, this digest illustrates the versatility of the REDOR approach, with an emphasis on the practical considerations of experimental design and data interpretation. PMID:24035486

  5. Research & market strategy: how choice of drug discovery approach can affect market position.

    PubMed

    Sams-Dodd, Frank

    2007-04-01

    In principal, drug discovery approaches can be grouped into target- and function-based, with the respective aims of developing either a target-selective drug or a drug that produces a specific biological effect irrespective of its mode of action. Most analyses of drug discovery approaches focus on productivity, whereas the strategic implications of the choice of drug discovery approach on market position and ability to maintain market exclusivity are rarely considered. However, a comparison of approaches from the perspective of market position indicates that the functional approach is superior for the development of novel, innovative treatments. PMID:17395091

  6. Emerging applications of metabolomics in drug discovery and precision medicine.

    PubMed

    Wishart, David S

    2016-07-01

    Metabolomics is an emerging 'omics' science involving the comprehensive characterization of metabolites and metabolism in biological systems. Recent advances in metabolomics technologies are leading to a growing number of mainstream biomedical applications. In particular, metabolomics is increasingly being used to diagnose disease, understand disease mechanisms, identify novel drug targets, customize drug treatments and monitor therapeutic outcomes. This Review discusses some of the latest technological advances in metabolomics, focusing on the application of metabolomics towards uncovering the underlying causes of complex diseases (such as atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes), the growing role of metabolomics in drug discovery and its potential effect on precision medicine. PMID:26965202

  7. Antibacterial drug discovery in the resistance era.

    PubMed

    Brown, Eric D; Wright, Gerard D

    2016-01-21

    The looming antibiotic-resistance crisis has penetrated the consciousness of clinicians, researchers, policymakers, politicians and the public at large. The evolution and widespread distribution of antibiotic-resistance elements in bacterial pathogens has made diseases that were once easily treatable deadly again. Unfortunately, accompanying the rise in global resistance is a failure in antibacterial drug discovery. Lessons from the history of antibiotic discovery and fresh understanding of antibiotic action and the cell biology of microorganisms have the potential to deliver twenty-first century medicines that are able to control infection in the resistance era. PMID:26791724

  8. Polypharmacology: drug discovery for the future

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, A. Srinivas

    2013-01-01

    Summary In recent years even with remarkable scientific advancements and significant increase of global R&D spending, drugs are frequently withdrawn from markets. This is primarily due to their side-effects or toxicities. Drug molecules often interact with multiple targets, coined as polypharmacology, and the unintended drug-target interactions could cause side-effects. Polypharmacology remains to be one of the major challenges in drug development, and it opens novel avenues to rationally design next generation of more effective but less toxic therapeutic agents. This review outlines the latest progress and challenges in polypharmacology studies. PMID:23272792

  9. Computational Modeling-Based Discovery of Novel Classes of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs That Target Lanthionine Synthetase C-Like Protein 2

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Pinyi; Hontecillas, Raquel; Horne, William T.; Carbo, Adria; Viladomiu, Monica; Pedragosa, Mireia; Bevan, David R.; Lewis, Stephanie N.; Bassaganya-Riera, Josep

    2012-01-01

    Background Lanthionine synthetase component C-like protein 2 (LANCL2) is a member of the eukaryotic lanthionine synthetase component C-Like protein family involved in signal transduction and insulin sensitization. Recently, LANCL2 is a target for the binding and signaling of abscisic acid (ABA), a plant hormone with anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects. Methodology/Principal Findings The goal of this study was to determine the role of LANCL2 as a potential therapeutic target for developing novel drugs and nutraceuticals against inflammatory diseases. Previously, we performed homology modeling to construct a three-dimensional structure of LANCL2 using the crystal structure of lanthionine synthetase component C-like protein 1 (LANCL1) as a template. Using this model, structure-based virtual screening was performed using compounds from NCI (National Cancer Institute) Diversity Set II, ChemBridge, ZINC natural products, and FDA-approved drugs databases. Several potential ligands were identified using molecular docking. In order to validate the anti-inflammatory efficacy of the top ranked compound (NSC61610) in the NCI Diversity Set II, a series of in vitro and pre-clinical efficacy studies were performed using a mouse model of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis. Our findings showed that the lead compound, NSC61610, activated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma in a LANCL2- and adenylate cyclase/cAMP dependent manner in vitro and ameliorated experimental colitis by down-modulating colonic inflammatory gene expression and favoring regulatory T cell responses. Conclusions/Significance LANCL2 is a novel therapeutic target for inflammatory diseases. High-throughput, structure-based virtual screening is an effective computational-based drug design method for discovering anti-inflammatory LANCL2-based drug candidates. PMID:22509338

  10. Protein-protein interactions as drug targets.

    PubMed

    Skwarczynska, Malgorzata; Ottmann, Christian

    2015-10-01

    Modulation of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is becoming increasingly important in drug discovery and chemical biology. While a few years ago this 'target class' was deemed to be largely undruggable an impressing number of publications and success stories now show that targeting PPIs with small, drug-like molecules indeed is a feasible approach. Here, we summarize the current state of small-molecule inhibition and stabilization of PPIs and review the active molecules from a structural and medicinal chemistry angle, especially focusing on the key examples of iNOS, LFA-1 and 14-3-3. PMID:26510391

  11. DrugTargetSeqR: a genomics- and CRISPR/Cas9-based method to analyze drug targets

    PubMed Central

    Kasap, Corynn; Elemento, Olivier; Kapoor, Tarun M.

    2014-01-01

    To identify the physiological targets of drugs and bioactive small molecules we have developed an approach, named DrugTargetSeqR, which combines high-throughput sequencing, computational mutation discovery and CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing. We apply this approach to ispinesib and YM155, drugs that have undergone clinical trials as anti-cancer agents, and demonstrate target identification and uncover genetic and epigenetic mechanisms likely to cause drug resistance in human cancer cells. PMID:24929528

  12. Cloud computing approaches to accelerate drug discovery value chain.

    PubMed

    Garg, Vibhav; Arora, Suchir; Gupta, Chitra

    2011-12-01

    Continued advancements in the area of technology have helped high throughput screening (HTS) evolve from a linear to parallel approach by performing system level screening. Advanced experimental methods used for HTS at various steps of drug discovery (i.e. target identification, target validation, lead identification and lead validation) can generate data of the order of terabytes. As a consequence, there is pressing need to store, manage, mine and analyze this data to identify informational tags. This need is again posing challenges to computer scientists to offer the matching hardware and software infrastructure, while managing the varying degree of desired computational power. Therefore, the potential of "On-Demand Hardware" and "Software as a Service (SAAS)" delivery mechanisms cannot be denied. This on-demand computing, largely referred to as Cloud Computing, is now transforming the drug discovery research. Also, integration of Cloud computing with parallel computing is certainly expanding its footprint in the life sciences community. The speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness have made cloud computing a 'good to have tool' for researchers, providing them significant flexibility, allowing them to focus on the 'what' of science and not the 'how'. Once reached to its maturity, Discovery-Cloud would fit best to manage drug discovery and clinical development data, generated using advanced HTS techniques, hence supporting the vision of personalized medicine. PMID:21843145

  13. How chemoproteomics can enable drug discovery and development

    PubMed Central

    Moellering, Raymond E.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.

    2012-01-01

    Creating first-in-class medications to treat human disease is an extremely challenging endeavor. While genome sequencing and genetics are making direct connections between mutations and human disorders at an unprecedented rate, matching molecular target(s) with a suitable therapeutic indication must ultimately be achieved by pharmacology. Here, we will discuss how the integration of chemical proteomic platforms, such as activity-based protein profiling, into the earliest stages of the drug discovery process has the potential to greatly expand the scope of proteins that can be pharmacologically evaluated in living systems, and, through doing so, promote the identification and prioritization of new therapeutic targets. PMID:22284350

  14. Systems Biology Approaches to a Rational Drug Discovery Paradigm.

    PubMed

    Prathipati, Philip; Mizuguchi, Kenji

    2016-01-01

    Ligand- and structure-based drug design approaches complement phenotypic and target screens, respectively, and are the two major frameworks for guiding early-stage drug discovery efforts. Since the beginning of this century, the advent of the genomic era has presented researchers with a myriad of high throughput biological data (parts lists and their interaction networks) to address efficacy and toxicity, augmenting the traditional ligand- and structure-based approaches. This data rich era has also presented us with challenges related to integrating and analyzing these multi-platform and multi-dimensional datasets and translating them into viable hypotheses. Hence in the present paper, we review these existing approaches to drug discovery research and argue the case for a new systems biology based approach. We present the basic principles and the foundational arguments/underlying assumptions of the systems biology based approaches to drug design. Also discussed are systems biology data types (key entities, their attributes and their relationships with each other, and data models/representations), software and tools used for both retrospective and prospective analysis, and the hypotheses that can be inferred. In addition, we summarize some of the existing resources for a systems biology based drug discovery paradigm (open TG-GATEs, DrugMatrix, CMap and LINCs) in terms of their strengths and limitations. PMID:26306988

  15. Third Generation Sequencing Techniques and Applications to Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Ozsolak, Fatih

    2012-01-01

    Introduction There is an immediate need for functional and molecular studies to decipher differences between disease and “normal” settings to identify large quantities of validated targets with the highest therapeutic utilities. Furthermore, drug mechanism of action and biomarkers to predict drug efficacy and safety need to be identified for effective design of clinical trials, decreasing attrition rates, regulatory agency approval process and drug repositioning. By expanding the power of genetics and pharmacogenetics studies, next generation nucleic acid sequencing technologies have started to play an important role in all stages of drug discovery. Areas covered This article reviews the first and second generation sequencing technologies (SGSTs) and challenges they pose to biomedicine. The article then focuses on the emerging third generation sequencing technologies (TGSTs), their technological foundations and potential contributions to drug discovery. Expert Opinion Despite the scientific and commercial success of SGSTs, the goal of rapid, comprehensive and unbiased sequencing of nucleic acids has not been achieved. TGSTs promise to increase sequencing throughput and read lengths, decrease costs, run times and error rates, eliminate biases inherent in SGSTs, and offer capabilities beyond nucleic acid sequencing. Such changes will have positive impact in all sequencing applications to drug discovery. PMID:22468954

  16. Using bioinformatics for drug target identification from the genome.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Zhenran; Zhou, Yanhong

    2005-01-01

    Genomics and proteomics technologies have created a paradigm shift in the drug discovery process, with bioinformatics having a key role in the exploitation of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms that underlie disease and to identify potential drug targets. We discuss the current state of the art for some of the bioinformatic approaches to identifying drug targets, including identifying new members of successful target classes and their functions, predicting disease relevant genes, and constructing gene networks and protein interaction networks. In addition, we introduce drug target discovery using the strategy of systems biology, and discuss some of the data resources for the identification of drug targets. Although bioinformatics tools and resources can be used to identify putative drug targets, validating targets is still a process that requires an understanding of the role of the gene or protein in the disease process and is heavily dependent on laboratory-based work. PMID:16336003

  17. Structural genomics-impact on biomedicine and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Weigelt, Johan

    2010-05-01

    The field of structural genomics emerged as one of many 'omics disciplines more than a decade ago, and a multitude of large scale initiatives have been launched across the world. Development and implementation of methods for high-throughput structural biology represents a common denominator among different structural genomics programs. From another perspective a distinction between "biology-driven" versus "structure-driven" approaches can be made. This review outlines the general themes of structural genomics, its achievements and its impact on biomedicine and drug discovery. The growing number of high resolution structures of known and potential drug target proteins is expected to have tremendous value for future drug discovery programs. Moreover, the availability of large numbers of purified proteins enables generation of tool reagents, such as chemical probes and antibodies, to further explore protein function in the cell. PMID:20211166

  18. Haemonchus contortus: Applications in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Geary, T G

    2016-01-01

    Haemonchus contortus is an important pathogen of small ruminants and is therefore a crucially important target for anthelmintic chemotherapy. Its large size and fecundity have been exploited for the development of in vitro screens for anthelmintic discovery that employ larval and adult stages in several formats. The ability of the parasite to develop to the young adult stage in Mongolian jirds (Meriones unguiculatus) provides a useful small animal model that can be used to screen compounds prior to their evaluation in infected sheep. This chapter summarizes the use of H. contortus for anthelmintic discovery, offers a perspective on current strategies in this area and suggests research challenges that could lead to improvements in the anthelmintic discovery process. PMID:27238010

  19. Barriers to Alzheimer disease drug discovery and development in academia.

    PubMed

    Van Eldik, Linda J; Koppal, Tanuja; Watterson, D Martin

    2002-01-01

    The drug discovery and the drug development processes represent a continuum of recursive activities that range from initial drug target identification to final Food and Drug Administration approval and marketing of a new therapeutic. Drug discovery, as its name implies, is more exploratory and less focused in many cases, whereas drug development has a clinically defined endpoint and a specific disease goal. Academia has historically made major contributions to this process at the early discovery phases. However, current trends in the organization of the pharmaceutical industry suggest an expanded role for academia in the near future. Megamergers among major pharmaceutical corporations indicate their movement toward a focus on end-stage clinical trials, manufacturing, and marketing. There has been a parallel increase in outsourcing of intermediate steps to specialty small pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and contract service companies. The new paradigm suggests that academia will play an increasingly important role at the proof-of-principle stage of basic and clinical drug discovery research, in training the future skilled work force, and in close partnerships with small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. However, academic drug discovery research faces a set of barriers to progress, the relative importance of which varies with the home institution and the details of the research area. These barriers fall into four general categories: (1) the historical administrative structure and environment of academia; (2) the structure and emphasis of peer review panels that control research funding by government and private agencies; (3) the organization and operation of the academic infrastructure; and (4) the structure and availability of specialized resources and information management. Selected examples of barriers to drug discovery and drug development research and training in academia are presented, as are some specific recommendations designed to minimize or

  20. Are C. elegans receptors useful targets for drug discovery: Pharmacological comparison of tyramine receptors with high identity from Caenorhabditis elegans (TYRA-2) and Brugia malayi (Bm4)

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Katherine A.; Rex, Elizabeth B.; Komuniecki, Richard W.

    2012-01-01

    The biogenic amine, tyramine (TA), modulates a number of key processes in nematodes and a number of TA-specific receptors have been identified. In the present study we have identified a putative TA receptor (Bm4) in the recently completed Brugia malayi genome and compared its pharmacology to its putative C. elegans orthologue, TYRA-2, under identical expression and assay conditions. TYRA-2 and Bm4 are the most closely related C. elegans and B. malayi BA receptors and differ by only 14 aa in the TM regions directly involved in ligand binding. Membranes from HEK-293 cells stably expressing Bm4 exhibited specific, saturable, high-affinity, [3H]LSD and [3H]TA binding with Kds of 18.1 ± 0.93 nM and 15.1 ± 0.2 nM, respectively. More importantly, both TYRA-2 and Bm4 TA exhibited similar rank orders of potencies for a number of potential tyraminergic ligands. However, some significant differences were noted. For example, chloropromazine exhibited an order of magnitude higher affinity for Bm4 than TYRA-2 (pKis of 7.6 ± 0.2 and 6.49 ± 0.1, respectively). In contrast, TYRA-2 had significantly higher affinity for phentolamine than Bm4. These results highlight the utility of the nearly completed B. malayi genome and the importance of using receptors from individual parasitic nematodes for drug discovery. PMID:17537528

  1. Conference report: inaugural Target Discovery World Congress 2009.

    PubMed

    Chaguturu, Rathnam

    2009-10-01

    Target Discovery World Congress 2009 is the first of its kind in a series of trend-setting conferences conceived and organized by Select Biosciences. This was a multi-track event with a combined exhibition covering current potential drug targets, the platforms used to screen for hits and hit-to-lead methods. This conference included all the major drug-target classes: ion channels, protein kinases, G-protein-coupled receptors, nuclear receptors and ubiquitin pathways, as well as a special session devoted to screening platforms in academia. Each of the sessions started with a noteworthy keynote presentation by a world-class expert. There were a total of 44 high-quality podium presentations and 16 poster presentations. PMID:21426098

  2. Systematic discovery of drug interaction mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Chevereau, Guillaume; Bollenbach, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Drug combinations are increasingly important in disease treatments, for combating drug resistance, and for elucidating fundamental relationships in cell physiology. When drugs are combined, their individual effects on cells may be amplified or weakened. Such drug interactions are crucial for treatment efficacy, but their underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. To uncover the causes of drug interactions, we developed a systematic approach based on precise quantification of the individual and joint effects of antibiotics on growth of genome-wide Escherichia coli gene deletion strains. We found that drug interactions between antibiotics representing the main modes of action are highly robust to genetic perturbation. This robustness is encapsulated in a general principle of bacterial growth, which enables the quantitative prediction of mutant growth rates under drug combinations. Rare violations of this principle exposed recurring cellular functions controlling drug interactions. In particular, we found that polysaccharide and ATP synthesis control multiple drug interactions with previously unexplained mechanisms, and small molecule adjuvants targeting these functions synthetically reshape drug interactions in predictable ways. These results provide a new conceptual framework for the design of multidrug combinations and suggest that there are universal mechanisms at the heart of most drug interactions. PMID:25924924

  3. Systematic discovery of drug interaction mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Chevereau, Guillaume; Bollenbach, Tobias

    2015-04-01

    Drug combinations are increasingly important in disease treatments, for combating drug resistance, and for elucidating fundamental relationships in cell physiology. When drugs are combined, their individual effects on cells may be amplified or weakened. Such drug interactions are crucial for treatment efficacy, but their underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. To uncover the causes of drug interactions, we developed a systematic approach based on precise quantification of the individual and joint effects of antibiotics on growth of genome-wide Escherichia coli gene deletion strains. We found that drug interactions between antibiotics representing the main modes of action are highly robust to genetic perturbation. This robustness is encapsulated in a general principle of bacterial growth, which enables the quantitative prediction of mutant growth rates under drug combinations. Rare violations of this principle exposed recurring cellular functions controlling drug interactions. In particular, we found that polysaccharide and ATP synthesis control multiple drug interactions with previously unexplained mechanisms, and small molecule adjuvants targeting these functions synthetically reshape drug interactions in predictable ways. These results provide a new conceptual framework for the design of multidrug combinations and suggest that there are universal mechanisms at the heart of most drug interactions. PMID:25924924

  4. Structural Genomics and Drug Discovery for Infectious Diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, W.F.

    2010-09-03

    The application of structural genomics methods and approaches to proteins from organisms causing infectious diseases is making available the three dimensional structures of many proteins that are potential drug targets and laying the groundwork for structure aided drug discovery efforts. There are a number of structural genomics projects with a focus on pathogens that have been initiated worldwide. The Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID) was recently established to apply state-of-the-art high throughput structural biology technologies to the characterization of proteins from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) category A-C pathogens and organisms causing emerging, or re-emerging infectious diseases. The target selection process emphasizes potential biomedical benefits. Selected proteins include known drug targets and their homologs, essential enzymes, virulence factors and vaccine candidates. The Center also provides a structure determination service for the infectious disease scientific community. The ultimate goal is to generate a library of structures that are available to the scientific community and can serve as a starting point for further research and structure aided drug discovery for infectious diseases. To achieve this goal, the CSGID will determine protein crystal structures of 400 proteins and protein-ligand complexes using proven, rapid, highly integrated, and cost-effective methods for such determination, primarily by X-ray crystallography. High throughput crystallographic structure determination is greatly aided by frequent, convenient access to high-performance beamlines at third-generation synchrotron X-ray sources.

  5. A new era for chagas disease drug discovery?

    PubMed

    Keenan, Martine; Chaplin, Jason H

    2015-01-01

    Recent clinical trials investigating treatment of chronic indeterminate Chagas disease with two re-purposed azole anti-fungal drugs, posaconazole and ravuconazole, revealed their inferiority to the current standard-of-care benznidazole and highlighted the inadequacy of the existing pre-clinical testing paradigm for this disease. A very limited number of controlled clinical trials for Chagas disease have been conducted to date. The selection of these compounds for clinical evaluation relied heavily on pre-clinical data obtained from in vitro screens and animal studies. This chapter reviews the evolution of CYP51 as a target for Trypanosoma cruzi growth inhibition and also explores the impact of clinical trial data on contemporary Chagas disease drug discovery. Advances in pre-clinical profiling assays, the current compound landscape and progress towards the identification of new drug targets to re-invigorate research are reviewed. PMID:25727705

  6. Therapeutic target database update 2016: enriched resource for bench to clinical drug target and targeted pathway information.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hong; Qin, Chu; Li, Ying Hong; Tao, Lin; Zhou, Jin; Yu, Chun Yan; Xu, Feng; Chen, Zhe; Zhu, Feng; Chen, Yu Zong

    2016-01-01

    Extensive drug discovery efforts have yielded many approved and candidate drugs targeting various targets in different biological pathways. Several freely accessible databases provide the drug, target and drug-targeted pathway information for facilitating drug discovery efforts, but there is an insufficient coverage of the clinical trial drugs and the drug-targeted pathways. Here, we describe an update of the Therapeutic Target Database (TTD) previously featured in NAR. The updated contents include: (i) significantly increased coverage of the clinical trial targets and drugs (1.6 and 2.3 times of the previous release, respectively), (ii) cross-links of most TTD target and drug entries to the corresponding pathway entries of KEGG, MetaCyc/BioCyc, NetPath, PANTHER pathway, Pathway Interaction Database (PID), PathWhiz, Reactome and WikiPathways, (iii) the convenient access of the multiple targets and drugs cross-linked to each of these pathway entries and (iv) the recently emerged approved and investigative drugs. This update makes TTD a more useful resource to complement other databases for facilitating the drug discovery efforts. TTD is accessible at http://bidd.nus.edu.sg/group/ttd/ttd.asp. PMID:26578601

  7. Recent advances in malaria drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Biamonte, Marco A.; Wanner, Jutta; Le Roch, Karine G.

    2013-01-01

    This digest covers some of the most relevant progress in malaria drug disco very published betwe en 2010 and 2012. There is an urgent need to develop new antimalarial drugs. Such drugs can target the blood stage of the disease to alleviate the symptoms, the liver stage to prevent relapses, and the transmission stage to protect other humans. The pipeline for the blood stage is becoming robust, but this should not be a source of complacency, as the current therapies set a high standard. Drug disco very efforts directed towards the liver and transmission stages are in their infancy but are receiving increasing attention as targeting these stages could be instrumental in eradicating malaria. PMID:23587422

  8. DrugTargetSeqR: a genomics- and CRISPR-Cas9-based method to analyze drug targets.

    PubMed

    Kasap, Corynn; Elemento, Olivier; Kapoor, Tarun M

    2014-08-01

    To identify physiological targets of drugs and bioactive small molecules, we developed an approach, named DrugTargetSeqR, which combines high-throughput sequencing, computational mutation discovery and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9-based genome editing. We applied this approach to ispinesib and YM155, drugs that have undergone clinical trials as anticancer agents, and uncovered mechanisms of action and identified genetic and epigenetic mechanisms likely to cause drug resistance in human cancer cells. PMID:24929528

  9. Pharmacophore-based discovery of ligands for drug transporters

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Cheng; Ekins, Sean; Bahadduri, Praveen; Swaan, Peter W.

    2006-01-01

    The ability to identify ligands for drug transporters is an important step in drug discovery and development. It can both improve accurate profiling of lead pharmacokinetic properties and assist in the discovery of new chemical entities targeting transporters. In silico approaches, especially pharmacophore-based database screening methods have great potential in improving the throughput of current transporter ligand identification assays, leading to a higher hit rate by focusing in vitro testing to the most promising hits. In this review, the potential of different in silico methods in transporter ligand identification studies are compared and summarized with an emphasis on pharmacophore modeling. Various implementations of pharmacophore model generation, database compilation and flexible screening algorithms are also introduced. Recent successful utilization of database searching with pharmacophores to identify novel ligands for the pharmaceutically significant transporters hPepT1, P-gp, BCRP, MRP1 and DAT are reviewed and challenges encountered with current approaches are discussed. PMID:17097188

  10. Matched molecular pair analysis in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Dossetter, Alexander G; Griffen, Edward J; Leach, Andrew G

    2013-08-01

    Multiple parameter optimisation in drug discovery is difficult, but Matched Molecular Pair Analysis (MMPA) can help. Computer algorithms can process data in an unbiased way to yield design rules and suggest better molecules, cutting the number of design cycles. The approach often makes more suggestions than can be processed manually and methods to deal with this are proposed. However, there is a paucity of contextually specific design rules, which would truly make the technique powerful. By combining extracted information from multiple sources there is an opportunity to solve this problem and advance medicinal chemistry in a matter of months rather than years. PMID:23557664

  11. Do drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic departments make any contribution to drug discovery?

    PubMed

    Smith, Dennis; Schmid, Esther; Jones, Barry

    2002-01-01

    The alignment of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic departments with drug discovery has not produced a radical improvement in the pharmacokinetic properties of new chemical entities. The reason for this is complex, reflecting in part the difficulty of combining potency, selectivity, water solubility, metabolic stability and membrane permeability into a single molecule. This combination becomes increasingly problematic as the drug targets become more distant from aminergic seven-transmembrane-spanning receptors (7-TMs). The leads available for aminergic 7-TMs, like the natural agonists, are invariably small molecular weight, water soluble and potent. Even moving to 7-TMs for which the agonist is a peptide invariably produces lead matter that is less drug-like (higher molecular weight and lipophilic). The role of drug metabolism departments, therefore, has been to guide chemistry to obtaining adequate, rather than optimal, pharmacokinetic properties for these 'difficult' drug targets. A consistent belief of many researchers is that a high value is placed on optimal, rather than adequate, pharmacokinetic properties. One measure of value is market sales, and when these are examined no clear pattern emerges. Part of the success of amlodipine in the calcium channel antagonist sector must be due to its excellent pharmacokinetic profile, but the best-selling drugs among the angiotensin antagonists and beta-blockers have a much greater market share than other agents with better pharmacokinetic properties. Clearly, many other factors are important in the successful launch of a medicine, some reflected in the manner the compound is developed and the subsequent structure of the labelling. Overall, therefore the presence of drug metabolism in drug discovery has probably contributed most by allowing 'difficult' drug targets to be prosecuted, rather than by guiding medicinal chemists to optimal pharmacokinetics. These 'difficult' target candidates become successful drugs when

  12. Financing drug discovery via dynamic leverage.

    PubMed

    Montazerhodjat, Vahid; Frishkopf, John J; Lo, Andrew W

    2016-03-01

    We extend the megafund concept for funding drug discovery to enable dynamic leverage in which the portfolio of candidate therapeutic assets is predominantly financed initially by equity, and debt is introduced gradually as assets mature and begin generating cash flows. Leverage is adjusted so as to maintain an approximately constant level of default risk throughout the life of the fund. Numerical simulations show that applying dynamic leverage to a small portfolio of orphan drug candidates can boost the return on equity almost twofold compared with securitization with a static capital structure. Dynamic leverage can also add significant value to comparable all-equity-financed portfolios, enhancing the return on equity without jeopardizing debt performance or increasing risk to equity investors. PMID:26708982

  13. Indoloquinolines as scaffolds for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Lavrado, J; Moreira, R; Paulo, A

    2010-01-01

    Traditional medicines have contributed greatly over the centuries to the discovery and development of new therapeutic agents and indoloquinoline alkaloids may represent a new class of drug leads. Cryptolepine (5-methyl-5Hindolo[3,2-b]quinoline), neocryptolepine (5-methyl-5H-indolo[2,3-b]quinoline), isocryptolepine (5-methyl-5H-indolo[3,2-c]quinoline, extracted from the African medicinal plant Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, and isoneocryptolepine (5-methyl-5Hindolo[2,3-c]quinoline), which has never been found in nature, are isomeric tetracyclic compounds of particular interest due to their broad spectrum of biological activities including antiparasitic, antifungal, antibacterial, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and antihyperglycaemic. As a result, in the last 30 years hundreds of indoloquinoline analogues were synthesized and their biological activities evaluated. In this paper, we present an overview of the potential of indoloquinolines as scaffolds in drug discovery by reviewing the in vitro and in vivo biological activities of natural and synthetic analogues, as well as the proposed mechanisms of action and structure-activity relationships. PMID:20491639

  14. Extracellular proteases as targets for drug development.

    PubMed

    Cudic, Mare; Fields, Gregg B

    2009-08-01

    Proteases constitute one of the primary targets in drug discovery. In the present review, we focus on extracellular proteases (ECPs) because of their differential expression in many pathophysiological processes, including cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and inflammatory, pulmonary, and periodontal diseases. Many new ECP inhibitors are currently under clinical investigation and a significant increase in new therapies based on protease inhibition can be expected in the coming years. In addition to directly blocking the activity of a targeted protease, one can take advantage of differential expression in disease states to selectively deliver therapeutic or imaging agents. Recent studies in targeted drug development for the metalloproteases (matrix metalloproteinases, adamalysins, pappalysins, neprilysin, angiotensin-converting enzyme, metallocarboxypeptidases, and glutamate carboxypeptidase II), serine proteases (elastase, coagulation factors, tissue/urokinase plasminogen activator system, kallikreins, tryptase, dipeptidyl peptidase IV) and cysteine proteases (cathepsin B) are discussed herein. PMID:19689354

  15. Mechanism Targeted Discovery of Antitumor Marine Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Nagle, Dale G.; Zhou, Yu-Dong; Mora, Flor D.; Mohammed, Kaleem A.; Kim, Yong-Pil

    2010-01-01

    Antitumor drug discovery programs aim to identify chemical entities for use in the treatment of cancer. Many strategies have been used to achieve this objective. Natural products have always played a major role in anticancer medicine and the unique metabolites produced by marine organisms have increasingly become major players in antitumor drug discovery. Rapid advances have occurred in the understanding of tumor biology and molecular medicine. New insights into mechanisms responsible for neoplastic disease are significantly changing the general philosophical approach towards cancer treatment. Recently identified molecular targets have created exciting new means for disrupting tumor-specific cell signaling, cell division, energy metabolism, gene expression, drug resistance, and blood supply. Such tumor-specific treatments could someday decrease our reliance on traditional cytotoxicity-based chemotherapy and provide new less toxic treatment options with significantly fewer side effects. Novel molecular targets and state-of-the-art molecular mechanism-based screening methods have revitalized antitumor research and these changes are becoming an ever-increasing component of modern antitumor marine natural products research. This review describes marine natural products identified using tumor-specific mechanism-based assays for regulators of angiogenesis, apoptosis, cell cycle, macromolecule synthesis, mitochondrial respiration, mitosis, multidrug efflux, and signal transduction. Special emphasis is placed on natural products directly discovered using molecular mechanism-based screening. PMID:15279579

  16. Discovery of Highly Potent Inhibitors Targeting the Predominant Drug-Resistant S31N Mutant of the Influenza A Virus M2 Proton Channel.

    PubMed

    Li, Fang; Ma, Chunlong; DeGrado, William F; Wang, Jun

    2016-02-11

    With the emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7N9 and H5N1 strains, there is a pressing need to develop direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) to combat such deadly viruses. The M2-S31N proton channel of the influenza A virus (A/M2) is one of the validated and most conserved proteins encoded by the current circulating influenza A viruses; thus, it represents a high-profile drug target for therapeutic intervention. We recently discovered a series of S31N inhibitors with the general structure of adamantyl-1-NH2(+)CH2-aryl, but they generally had poor physical properties and some showed toxicity in vitro. In this study, we sought to optimize both the adamantyl as well as the aryl/heteroaryl group. Several compounds from this study exhibited submicromolar EC50 values against S31N-containing A/WSN/33 influenza viruses in antiviral plaque reduction assays with a selectivity index greater than 100, indicating that these compounds are promising candidates for in-depth preclinical pharmacology. PMID:26771709

  17. Comparative protein modeling of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase enzyme from Plasmodium falciparum: a potential target for antimalarial drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nidhi; Chevé, Gwénaël; Avery, Mitchell A; McCurdy, Christopher R

    2006-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase (Pf-DXR) is a potential target for antimalarial chemotherapy. The three-dimensional model (3D) of this enzyme was determined by means of comparative modeling through multiple alignment followed by intensive optimization, minimization, and validation. The resulting model demonstrates a reasonable topology as gauged from the Ramachandran plot and acceptable three-dimensional structure compatibility as assessed by the Profiles-3D score. The modeled monomeric subunit consists of three domains: (1) N-terminal NADPH binding domain, (2) connective or linker domain (with most of the active site residues located in this domain), and (3) a C-terminal domain. This structure proved to be consistent with known DXR crystal structures from other species. The predicted active site compared favorably with those of the templates and appears to have an active site with a highly conserved architecture. Additionally, the model explains several site-directed mutagenesis data. Besides using several protein structure-checking programs to validate the model, a set of known inhibitors of DXR were also docked into the active site of the modeled Pf-DXR. The docked scores correlated reasonably well with experimental pIC50 values with a regression coefficient (R2) equal to 0.84. Results of the current study should prove useful in the early design and development of inhibitors by either de novo drug design or virtual screening of large small-molecule databases leading to development of new antimalarial agents. PMID:16711755

  18. INTEGRATING COMPUTATIONAL PROTEIN FUNCTION PREDICTION INTO DRUG DISCOVERY INITIATIVES

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Marianne A.

    2014-01-01

    Pharmaceutical researchers must evaluate vast numbers of protein sequences and formulate innovative strategies for identifying valid targets and discovering leads against them as a way of accelerating drug discovery. The ever increasing number and diversity of novel protein sequences identified by genomic sequencing projects and the success of worldwide structural genomics initiatives have spurred great interest and impetus in the development of methods for accurate, computationally empowered protein function prediction and active site identification. Previously, in the absence of direct experimental evidence, homology-based protein function annotation remained the gold-standard for in silico analysis and prediction of protein function. However, with the continued exponential expansion of sequence databases, this approach is not always applicable, as fewer query protein sequences demonstrate significant homology to protein gene products of known function. As a result, several non-homology based methods for protein function prediction that are based on sequence features, structure, evolution, biochemical and genetic knowledge have emerged. Herein, we review current bioinformatic programs and approaches for protein function prediction/annotation and discuss their integration into drug discovery initiatives. The development of such methods to annotate protein functional sites and their application to large protein functional families is crucial to successfully utilizing the vast amounts of genomic sequence information available to drug discovery and development processes. PMID:25530654

  19. Involvement of Drug Transporters in Organ Toxicity: The Fundamental Basis of Drug Discovery and Development.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yaofeng; El-Kattan, Ayman; Zhang, Yan; Ray, Adrian S; Lai, Yurong

    2016-04-18

    Membrane transporters play a pivotal role in many organs to maintain their normal physiological functions and contribute significantly to drug absorption, distribution, and elimination. Knowledge gained from gene modified animal models or human genetic disorders has demonstrated that interruption of the transporter activity can lead to debilitating diseases or organ toxicities. Herein we describe transporter associated diseases and organ toxicities resulting from transporter gene deficiency or functional inhibition in the liver, kidney, gastrointestinal tract (GIT), and central nervous system (CNS). While proposing additional transporters as targets for drug-induced organ toxicity, strategies and future perspectives are discussed for transporter risk assessment in drug discovery and development. PMID:26889774

  20. Transporter assays and assay ontologies: useful tools for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zdrazil, Barbara; Chichester, Christine; Zander Balderud, Linda; Engkvist, Ola; Gaulton, Anna; Overington, John P

    2014-06-01

    Transport proteins represent an eminent class of drug targets and ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity) associated genes. There exists a large number of distinct activity assays for transport proteins, depending on not only the measurement needed (e.g. transport activity, strength of ligand–protein interaction), but also due to heterogeneous assay setups used by different research groups. Efforts to systematically organize this (divergent) bioassay data have large potential impact in Public-Private partnership and conventional commercial drug discovery. In this short review, we highlight some of the frequently used high-throughput assays for transport proteins, and we discuss emerging assay ontologies and their application to this field. Focusing on human P-glycoprotein (Multidrug resistance protein 1; gene name: ABCB1, MDR1), we exemplify how annotation of bioassay data per target class could improve and add to existing ontologies, and we propose to include an additional layer of metadata supporting data fusion across different bioassays. PMID:25027375

  1. Application of SBDD to the discovery of new antibacterial drugs.

    PubMed

    Finn, John

    2012-01-01

    The emergence of bacteria that are multiply resistant to commonly used antibiotics has created the medical need for novel classes of antibacterial agents. The unique challenges to the discovery of new antibacterial drugs include the following: spectrum, selectivity, low emergence of new resistance, and high potency. With the emergence of genomic information, dozens of antibacterial targets have been pursued over the last 2 decades often using SBDD. This chapter reviews the application of structure-based drug design approaches on a selected group of antibacterial targets (DHFR, DHNA, PDF, and FabI) where significant progress has been made. We compare and contrast the different approaches and evaluate the results in terms of the biological profiles of the leads produced. Several common themes have emerged from this survey, resulting in a set of recommendations. PMID:22222458

  2. Drug Discovery of Host CLK1 Inhibitors for Influenza Treatment.

    PubMed

    Zu, Mian; Li, Chao; Fang, Jian-Song; Lian, Wen-Wen; Liu, Ai-Lin; Zheng, Li-Shu; Du, Guan-Hua

    2015-01-01

    The rapid evolution of influenza virus makes antiviral drugs less effective, which is considered to be a major bottleneck in antiviral therapy. The key proteins in the host cells, which are related with the replication cycle of influenza virus, are regarded as potential drug targets due to their distinct advantage of lack of evolution and drug resistance. Cdc2-like kinase 1 (CLK1) in the host cells is responsible for alternative splicing of the M2 gene of influenza virus during influenza infection and replication. In this study, we carried out baculovirus-mediated expression and purification of CLK1 and established a reliable screening assay for CLK1 inhibitors. After a virtual screening of CLK1 inhibitors was performed, the activities of the selected compounds were evaluated. Finally, several compounds with strong inhibitory activity against CLK1 were discovered and their in vitro anti-influenza virus activities were validated using a cytopathic effect (CPE) reduction assay. The assay results showed that clypearin, corilagin, and pinosylvine were the most potential anti-influenza virus compounds as CLK1 inhibitors among the compounds tested. These findings will provide important information for new drug design and development in influenza treatment, and CLK1 may be a potent drug target for anti-influenza drug screening and discovery. PMID:26540031

  3. 50 years of hurdles and hope in anxiolytic drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Griebel, Guy; Holmes, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent group of psychiatric diseases, and have high personal and societal costs. The search for novel pharmacological treatments for these conditions is driven by the growing medical need to improve on the effectiveness and the side effect profile of existing drugs. A huge volume of data has been generated by anxiolytic drug discovery studies, which has led to the progression of numerous new molecules into clinical trials. However, the clinical outcome of these efforts has been disappointing, as promising results with novel agents in rodent studies have very rarely translated into effectiveness in humans. Here, we analyse the major trends from preclinical studies over the past 50 years conducted in the search for new drugs beyond those that target the prototypical anxiety-associated GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)–benzodiazepine system, which have focused most intensively on the serotonin, neuropeptide, glutamate and endocannabinoid systems. We highlight various key issues that may have hampered progress in the field, and offer recommendations for how anxiolytic drug discovery can be more effective in the future. PMID:23989795

  4. [Applications of the Fragment Molecular Orbital Method in Drug Discovery].

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

      Recently, ab initio quantum mechanical calculations have been applied to large molecules, including biomolecular systems. The fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method is one of the most efficient approaches for the quantum mechanical investigation of such molecules. In the FMO method, dividing a target molecule into small fragments reduces computational effort. The clear definition of inter-fragment interaction energy (IFIE) as an expression of total energy is another valuable feature of the FMO method because it provides the ability to analyze interactions in biomolecules. Thus, the FMO method is expected to be useful for drug discovery. This study demonstrates applications of the FMO method related to drug discovery. First, IFIE, according to FMO calculations, was used in the optimization of drug candidates for the development of anti-prion compounds. The second example involved interaction analysis of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease and a drug compound that used a novel analytical method for dispersion interaction, i.e., fragment interaction analysis based on LMP2 (FILM). PMID:26725679

  5. Collaboration for rare disease drug discovery research

    PubMed Central

    Litterman, Nadia K.; Rhee, Michele; Swinney, David C.; Ekins, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Rare disease research has reached a tipping point, with the confluence of scientific and technologic developments that if appropriately harnessed, could lead to key breakthroughs and treatments for this set of devastating disorders. Industry-wide trends have revealed that the traditional drug discovery research and development (R&D) model is no longer viable, and drug companies are evolving their approach. Rather than only pursue blockbuster therapeutics for heterogeneous, common diseases, drug companies have increasingly begun to shift their focus to rare diseases. In academia, advances in genetics analyses and disease mechanisms have allowed scientific understanding to mature, but the lack of funding and translational capability severely limits the rare disease research that leads to clinical trials. Simultaneously, there is a movement towards increased research collaboration, more data sharing, and heightened engagement and active involvement by patients, advocates, and foundations. The growth in networks and social networking tools presents an opportunity to help reach other patients but also find researchers and build collaborations. The growth of collaborative software that can enable researchers to share their data could also enable rare disease patients and foundations to manage their portfolio of funded projects for developing new therapeutics and suggest drug repurposing opportunities. Still there are many thousands of diseases without treatments and with only fragmented research efforts. We will describe some recent progress in several rare diseases used as examples and propose how collaborations could be facilitated. We propose that the development of a center of excellence that integrates and shares informatics resources for rare diseases sponsored by all of the stakeholders would help foster these initiatives. PMID:25685324

  6. A Computational Approach to Finding Novel Targets for Existing Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yvonne Y.; An, Jianghong; Jones, Steven J. M.

    2011-01-01

    Repositioning existing drugs for new therapeutic uses is an efficient approach to drug discovery. We have developed a computational drug repositioning pipeline to perform large-scale molecular docking of small molecule drugs against protein drug targets, in order to map the drug-target interaction space and find novel interactions. Our method emphasizes removing false positive interaction predictions using criteria from known interaction docking, consensus scoring, and specificity. In all, our database contains 252 human protein drug targets that we classify as reliable-for-docking as well as 4621 approved and experimental small molecule drugs from DrugBank. These were cross-docked, then filtered through stringent scoring criteria to select top drug-target interactions. In particular, we used MAPK14 and the kinase inhibitor BIM-8 as examples where our stringent thresholds enriched the predicted drug-target interactions with known interactions up to 20 times compared to standard score thresholds. We validated nilotinib as a potent MAPK14 inhibitor in vitro (IC50 40 nM), suggesting a potential use for this drug in treating inflammatory diseases. The published literature indicated experimental evidence for 31 of the top predicted interactions, highlighting the promising nature of our approach. Novel interactions discovered may lead to the drug being repositioned as a therapeutic treatment for its off-target's associated disease, added insight into the drug's mechanism of action, and added insight into the drug's side effects. PMID:21909252

  7. Open Access High Throughput Drug Discovery in the Public Domain: A Mount Everest in the Making

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Anuradha; McDonald, Peter R.; Sittampalam, Sitta; Chaguturu, Rathnam

    2013-01-01

    High throughput screening (HTS) facilitates screening large numbers of compounds against a biochemical target of interest using validated biological or biophysical assays. In recent years, a significant number of drugs in clinical trails originated from HTS campaigns, validating HTS as a bona fide mechanism for hit finding. In the current drug discovery landscape, the pharmaceutical industry is embracing open innovation strategies with academia to maximize their research capabilities and to feed their drug discovery pipeline. The goals of academic research have therefore expanded from target identification and validation to probe discovery, chemical genomics, and compound library screening. This trend is reflected in the emergence of HTS centers in the public domain over the past decade, ranging in size from modestly equipped academic screening centers to well endowed Molecular Libraries Probe Centers Network (MLPCN) centers funded by the NIH Roadmap initiative. These centers facilitate a comprehensive approach to probe discovery in academia and utilize both classical and cutting-edge assay technologies for executing primary and secondary screening campaigns. The various facets of academic HTS centers as well as their implications on technology transfer and drug discovery are discussed, and a roadmap for successful drug discovery in the public domain is presented. New lead discovery against therapeutic targets, especially those involving the rare and neglected diseases, is indeed a Mount Everestonian size task, and requires diligent implementation of pharmaceutical industry’s best practices for a successful outcome. PMID:20809896

  8. Open access high throughput drug discovery in the public domain: a Mount Everest in the making.

    PubMed

    Roy, Anuradha; McDonald, Peter R; Sittampalam, Sitta; Chaguturu, Rathnam

    2010-11-01

    High throughput screening (HTS) facilitates screening large numbers of compounds against a biochemical target of interest using validated biological or biophysical assays. In recent years, a significant number of drugs in clinical trails originated from HTS campaigns, validating HTS as a bona fide mechanism for hit finding. In the current drug discovery landscape, the pharmaceutical industry is embracing open innovation strategies with academia to maximize their research capabilities and to feed their drug discovery pipeline. The goals of academic research have therefore expanded from target identification and validation to probe discovery, chemical genomics, and compound library screening. This trend is reflected in the emergence of HTS centers in the public domain over the past decade, ranging in size from modestly equipped academic screening centers to well endowed Molecular Libraries Probe Centers Network (MLPCN) centers funded by the NIH Roadmap initiative. These centers facilitate a comprehensive approach to probe discovery in academia and utilize both classical and cutting-edge assay technologies for executing primary and secondary screening campaigns. The various facets of academic HTS centers as well as their implications on technology transfer and drug discovery are discussed, and a roadmap for successful drug discovery in the public domain is presented. New lead discovery against therapeutic targets, especially those involving the rare and neglected diseases, is indeed a Mount Everestonian size task, and requires diligent implementation of pharmaceutical industry's best practices for a successful outcome. PMID:20809896

  9. Current approaches for the discovery of drugs that deter substance and drug abuse

    PubMed Central

    Yasgar, Adam; Simeonov, Anton

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Much has been presented and debated on the topic of drug abuse and its multidimensional nature, including the role of society and its customs and laws, economical factors, and the magnitude and nature of the burden. Given the complex nature of the receptors and pathways implicated in regulation of the cognitive and behavioral processes associated with addiction, a large number of molecular targets have been interrogated during recent years to discover starting points for development of small molecule interventions. Areas covered This review describes recent developments in the field of early drug discovery for drug abuse interventions, with a special emphasis on advances published during the 2012-2014 period. Expert Opinion Technologically, the processes/platforms utilized in drug abuse drug discovery are nearly identical to those used in the other disease areas. A key complicating factor in drug abuse research is the enormous biological complexity surrounding the brain processes involved and the associated difficulty in finding “good” targets and achieving exquisite selectivity of treatment agents. While tremendous progress has been made during recent years to use the power of high-throughput technologies to discover proof-of-principle molecules for many new targets, next-generation models will be especially important in this field; examples include seeking advantageous drug-drug combinations, use of automated whole-animal behavioral screening systems, advancing our understanding of the role of epigenetics in drug addiction, and the employment of organoid-level 3D test platforms (also referred to as tissue-chip or organs-on-chip). PMID:25251069

  10. Mitosis as an anti-cancer drug target.

    PubMed

    Salmela, Anna-Leena; Kallio, Marko J

    2013-10-01

    Suppression of cell proliferation by targeting mitosis is one potential cancer intervention. A number of existing chemotherapy drugs disrupt mitosis by targeting microtubule dynamics. While efficacious, these drugs have limitations, i.e. neuropathy, unpredictability and development of resistance. In order to overcome these issues, a great deal of effort has been spent exploring novel mitotic targets including Polo-like kinase 1, Aurora kinases, Mps1, Cenp-E and KSP/Eg5. Here we summarize the latest developments in the discovery and clinical evaluation of new mitotic drug targets. PMID:23775312

  11. Contribution of Automated Technologies to Ion Channel Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Picones, Arturo; Loza-Huerta, Arlet; Segura-Chama, Pedro; Lara-Figueroa, Cesar O

    2016-01-01

    Automated technologies are now resolving the historical relegation that ion channels have endured as targets for the new drug discovery and development global efforts. The richness and adequacy of functional assay methodologies, remarkably fluorescence-based detection of ions fluxes and patch-clamp electrophysiology recording of ionic currents, are now automated and increasingly employed for the analysis of ion channel activity. While the former is currently the most commonly applied, the latter is finally reaching the throughput capacity to be engaged in the primary screening of chemical libraries conformed by hundreds of thousands of compounds. The use of automated instrumentation for the study of ion channel functionality (and dysfunctionality), particularly in the search for novel pharmacological agents with therapeutic purposes, has now reached out beyond the industrial setting, its original natural enclave, and is making its way into a growing number of academic labs and core facilities. The present chapter reviews the increasing contributions accomplished by a variety of different key automated technologies which have revolutionized the strategies to approach the discovery and development of new drugs targeting ion channels. PMID:27038379

  12. Emerging targets for antimalarial drugs.

    PubMed

    Padmanaban, Govinarajan; Rangarajan, Pundi N

    2001-08-01

    The absence of an effective vaccine against malaria and the ability of the parasite to develop resistance to known antimalarial drugs makes it mandatory to unravel newer drug targets with a view to developing newer pharmacophores. While conventional targets such as the purine, pyrimidine and folate pathways are still being investigated in the light of newer knowledge, a new opportunity has emerged from an understanding of certain unique features of the parasite biology. These include the food vacuole, haemoglobin catabolism, haeme biosynthesis, apicoplasts and their metabolism as well as macromolecular transactions, import of host proteins, parasite induced alterations in the red cell surface and transport phenomena. This review seeks to emphasise the new and emerging targets, while giving a brief account of the targets that have already been exploited. PMID:12540258

  13. Genetics of rheumatoid arthritis contributes to biology and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Okada, Yukinori; Wu, Di; Trynka, Gosia; Raj, Towfique; Terao, Chikashi; Ikari, Katsunori; Kochi, Yuta; Ohmura, Koichiro; Suzuki, Akari; Yoshida, Shinji; Graham, Robert R; Manoharan, Arun; Ortmann, Ward; Bhangale, Tushar; Denny, Joshua C; Carroll, Robert J; Eyler, Anne E; Greenberg, Jeffrey D; Kremer, Joel M; Pappas, Dimitrios A; Jiang, Lei; Yin, Jian; Ye, Lingying; Su, Ding-Feng; Yang, Jian; Xie, Gang; Keystone, Ed; Westra, Harm-Jan; Esko, Tõnu; Metspalu, Andres; Zhou, Xuezhong; Gupta, Namrata; Mirel, Daniel; Stahl, Eli A; Diogo, Dorothée; Cui, Jing; Liao, Katherine; Guo, Michael H; Myouzen, Keiko; Kawaguchi, Takahisa; Coenen, Marieke J H; van Riel, Piet L C M; van de Laar, Mart A F J; Guchelaar, Henk-Jan; Huizinga, Tom W J; Dieudé, Philippe; Mariette, Xavier; Bridges, S Louis; Zhernakova, Alexandra; Toes, Rene E M; Tak, Paul P; Miceli-Richard, Corinne; Bang, So-Young; Lee, Hye-Soon; Martin, Javier; Gonzalez-Gay, Miguel A; Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Luis; Rantapää-Dahlqvist, Solbritt; Arlestig, Lisbeth; Choi, Hyon K; Kamatani, Yoichiro; Galan, Pilar; Lathrop, Mark; Eyre, Steve; Bowes, John; Barton, Anne; de Vries, Niek; Moreland, Larry W; Criswell, Lindsey A; Karlson, Elizabeth W; Taniguchi, Atsuo; Yamada, Ryo; Kubo, Michiaki; Liu, Jun S; Bae, Sang-Cheol; Worthington, Jane; Padyukov, Leonid; Klareskog, Lars; Gregersen, Peter K; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Stranger, Barbara E; De Jager, Philip L; Franke, Lude; Visscher, Peter M; Brown, Matthew A; Yamanaka, Hisashi; Mimori, Tsuneyo; Takahashi, Atsushi; Xu, Huji; Behrens, Timothy W; Siminovitch, Katherine A; Momohara, Shigeki; Matsuda, Fumihiko; Yamamoto, Kazuhiko; Plenge, Robert M

    2014-02-20

    A major challenge in human genetics is to devise a systematic strategy to integrate disease-associated variants with diverse genomic and biological data sets to provide insight into disease pathogenesis and guide drug discovery for complex traits such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here we performed a genome-wide association study meta-analysis in a total of >100,000 subjects of European and Asian ancestries (29,880 RA cases and 73,758 controls), by evaluating ∼10 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We discovered 42 novel RA risk loci at a genome-wide level of significance, bringing the total to 101 (refs 2 - 4). We devised an in silico pipeline using established bioinformatics methods based on functional annotation, cis-acting expression quantitative trait loci and pathway analyses--as well as novel methods based on genetic overlap with human primary immunodeficiency, haematological cancer somatic mutations and knockout mouse phenotypes--to identify 98 biological candidate genes at these 101 risk loci. We demonstrate that these genes are the targets of approved therapies for RA, and further suggest that drugs approved for other indications may be repurposed for the treatment of RA. Together, this comprehensive genetic study sheds light on fundamental genes, pathways and cell types that contribute to RA pathogenesis, and provides empirical evidence that the genetics of RA can provide important information for drug discovery. PMID:24390342

  14. Collaborative virtual organisation and infrastructure for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Barry; Affentranger, Roman

    2013-07-01

    A virtual organisation approach was applied to collaborative drug discovery integrating experimental and computational design approaches. Scientists Against Malaria was formed with the goal of designing novel antimalarial drug candidates. The collaboration of nine founding partners carried out computational and laboratory work that produced significant volumes of data and metadata, the interpretation for the analysis of which, as well as the related decision making, was challenging. During the first phase the partners developed this 'green-field' project from initiation through to target selection and modelling, computational screening, biological materials and assay preparation, culminating in the completion of initial experimental testing. A support infrastructure involving a semantic collaborative laboratory framework, interoperating with a cloud of web services through an ontology describing the virtual and experimental screening data, was designed and tested. PMID:23416145

  15. Biophysical interactions with model lipid membranes: applications in drug discovery and drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    Peetla, Chiranjeevi; Stine, Andrew; Labhasetwar, Vinod

    2009-01-01

    The transport of drugs or drug delivery systems across the cell membrane is a complex biological process, often difficult to understand because of its dynamic nature. In this regard, model lipid membranes, which mimic many aspects of cell-membrane lipids, have been very useful in helping investigators to discern the roles of lipids in cellular interactions. One can use drug-lipid interactions to predict pharmacokinetic properties of drugs, such as their transport, biodistribution, accumulation, and hence efficacy. These interactions can also be used to study the mechanisms of transport, based on the structure and hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of drug molecules. In recent years, model lipid membranes have also been explored to understand their mechanisms of interactions with peptides, polymers, and nanocarriers. These interaction studies can be used to design and develop efficient drug delivery systems. Changes in the lipid composition of cells and tissue in certain disease conditions may alter biophysical interactions, which could be explored to develop target-specific drugs and drug delivery systems. In this review, we discuss different model membranes, drug-lipid interactions and their significance, studies of model membrane interactions with nanocarriers, and how biophysical interaction studies with lipid model membranes could play an important role in drug discovery and drug delivery. PMID:19432455

  16. Emerging Computational Methods for the Rational Discovery of Allosteric Drugs

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Allosteric drug development holds promise for delivering medicines that are more selective and less toxic than those that target orthosteric sites. To date, the discovery of allosteric binding sites and lead compounds has been mostly serendipitous, achieved through high-throughput screening. Over the past decade, structural data has become more readily available for larger protein systems and more membrane protein classes (e.g., GPCRs and ion channels), which are common allosteric drug targets. In parallel, improved simulation methods now provide better atomistic understanding of the protein dynamics and cooperative motions that are critical to allosteric mechanisms. As a result of these advances, the field of predictive allosteric drug development is now on the cusp of a new era of rational structure-based computational methods. Here, we review algorithms that predict allosteric sites based on sequence data and molecular dynamics simulations, describe tools that assess the druggability of these pockets, and discuss how Markov state models and topology analyses provide insight into the relationship between protein dynamics and allosteric drug binding. In each section, we first provide an overview of the various method classes before describing relevant algorithms and software packages. PMID:27074285

  17. Emerging Computational Methods for the Rational Discovery of Allosteric Drugs.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Jeffrey R; Lee, Christopher T; Durrant, Jacob D; Malmstrom, Robert D; Feher, Victoria A; Amaro, Rommie E

    2016-06-01

    Allosteric drug development holds promise for delivering medicines that are more selective and less toxic than those that target orthosteric sites. To date, the discovery of allosteric binding sites and lead compounds has been mostly serendipitous, achieved through high-throughput screening. Over the past decade, structural data has become more readily available for larger protein systems and more membrane protein classes (e.g., GPCRs and ion channels), which are common allosteric drug targets. In parallel, improved simulation methods now provide better atomistic understanding of the protein dynamics and cooperative motions that are critical to allosteric mechanisms. As a result of these advances, the field of predictive allosteric drug development is now on the cusp of a new era of rational structure-based computational methods. Here, we review algorithms that predict allosteric sites based on sequence data and molecular dynamics simulations, describe tools that assess the druggability of these pockets, and discuss how Markov state models and topology analyses provide insight into the relationship between protein dynamics and allosteric drug binding. In each section, we first provide an overview of the various method classes before describing relevant algorithms and software packages. PMID:27074285

  18. Coronaviruses - drug discovery and therapeutic options.

    PubMed

    Zumla, Alimuddin; Chan, Jasper F W; Azhar, Esam I; Hui, David S C; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2016-05-01

    In humans, infections with the human coronavirus (HCoV) strains HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-HKU1 usually result in mild, self-limiting upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold. By contrast, the CoVs responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which were discovered in Hong Kong, China, in 2003, and in Saudi Arabia in 2012, respectively, have received global attention over the past 12 years owing to their ability to cause community and health-care-associated outbreaks of severe infections in human populations. These two viruses pose major challenges to clinical management because there are no specific antiviral drugs available. In this Review, we summarize the epidemiology, virology, clinical features and current treatment strategies of SARS and MERS, and discuss the discovery and development of new virus-based and host-based therapeutic options for CoV infections. PMID:26868298

  19. Tuberculosis drug discovery in the post-post-genomic era

    PubMed Central

    Lechartier, Benoit; Rybniker, Jan; Zumla, Alimuddin; Cole, Stewart T

    2014-01-01

    The expectation that genomics would result in new therapeutic interventions for infectious diseases remains unfulfilled. In the post-genomic era, the decade immediately following the availability of the genome sequence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, tuberculosis (TB) drug discovery relied heavily on the target-based approach but this proved unsuccessful leading to a return to whole cell screening. Genomics underpinned screening by providing knowledge and many enabling technologies, most importantly whole genome resequencing to find resistance mutations and targets, and this resulted in a selection of leads and new TB drug candidates that are reviewed here. Unexpectedly, many new targets were found to be ‘promiscuous’ as they were inhibited by a variety of different compounds. In the post-post-genomics era, more advanced technologies have been implemented and these include high-content screening, screening for inhibitors of latency, the use of conditional knock-down mutants for validated targets and siRNA screens. In addition, immunomodulation and pharmacological manipulation of host functions are being explored in an attempt to widen our therapeutic options. PMID:24401837

  20. Focus on flaviviruses: current and future drug targets

    PubMed Central

    Geiss, Brian J; Stahla, Hillary; Hannah, Amanda M; Gari, Harmid H; Keenan, Susan M

    2009-01-01

    Background Infection by mosquito-borne flaviviruses (family Flaviviridae) is increasing in prevalence worldwide. The vast global, social and economic impact due to the morbidity and mortality associated with the diseases caused by these viruses necessitates therapeutic intervention. There is currently no effective clinical treatment for any flaviviral infection. Therefore, there is a great need for the identification of novel inhibitors to target the virus lifecycle. Discussion In this article, we discuss structural and nonstructural viral proteins that are the focus of current target validation and drug discovery efforts. Both inhibition of essential enzymatic activities and disruption of necessary protein–protein interactions are considered. In addition, we address promising new targets for future research. Conclusion As our molecular and biochemical understanding of the flavivirus life cycle increases, the number of targets for antiviral therapeutic discovery grows and the possibility for novel drug discovery continues to strengthen. PMID:20165556

  1. Integrated expressional analysis: application to the drug discovery process.

    PubMed

    Ilyin, Sergey E; Horowitz, Daniel; Belkowski, Stanley M; Xin, Hong; Eckardt, Annette J; Darrow, Andrew L; Chen, Cailin; Maley, Derrick; D'Andrea, Michael; Plata-Salamán, Carlos R; Derian, Claudia K

    2005-11-01

    Microarray technology enables high-throughput testing of gene expression to investigate various neuroscience related questions. This in turn creates a demand for scalable methods to confirm microarray results and the opportunity to use this information to discover and test novel pathways and therapeutic applications. Discovery of new central nervous system (CNS) treatments requires a comprehensive understanding of multiple aspects including the biology of a target, the pathophysiology of a disease/disorder, and the selection of successful lead compounds as well as efficient biomarker and drug disposition strategies such as absorption (how a drug is absorbed), distribution (how a drug spreads through an organism), metabolism (chemical conversion of a drug, if any, and into which substances), and elimination (how is a drug eliminated) (ADME). Understanding of the toxicity is also of paramount importance. These approaches, in turn, require novel high-content integrative assay technologies that provide thorough information about changes in cell biology. To increase efficiency of profiling, characterization, and validation, we established a new screening strategy that combines high-content image-based testing on Array Scan (Cellomics) with a confocal system and the multiplexed TaqMan RT-PCR method for quantitative mRNA expression analysis. This approach could serve as an interface between high-throughput microarray testing and specific application of markers discovered in the course of a microarray experiment. Markers could pinpoint activation or inhibition of a molecular pathway related, for instance, to neuronal viability. We demonstrate the successful testing of the same cell population in an image-based translocational assay followed by poly(A) mRNA capture and multiplexed single tube RT-PCR. In addition, Ciphergen ProteinChip analysis can be performed on the supernatant, thus allowing significant complementarity in the data output and interpretation by also

  2. Whole organism based techniques and approaches in early stage oncology drug discovery-patents and trends.

    PubMed

    Hampson, Richard J; Wyatt, Michael D

    2011-09-01

    Discovery of new cancer drugs is important for the improvement of disease treatment and management. In addition to the clear medical needs there are also economic considerations: Much drug discovery is performed in the private sector. The high cost of some drug treatments, which can run to tens of thousands of US$ per patient for single courses of therapy has led to the perception of high profitability in the industry. But drug discovery and development is a very expensive and lengthy process, with an ongoing trend of fewer drugs brought to market per dollar invested in R&D Biochemical-based in vitro screens for hosts of targets have produced early stage drug candidates and led to drugs reaching the market, but there remains a great need to evaluate in vivo efficacy, toxicity and potential off-target effects as early as possible in the discovery process. Using whole organisms much earlier in cancer (and other) drug discovery is a potential approach to improve R&D productivity. Here, we provide an overview of recent patenting activity and take a brief look at possible new developments in the field. PMID:21913888

  3. Drug discovery from plant sources: An integrated approach

    PubMed Central

    Katiyar, Chandrakant; Gupta, Arun; Kanjilal, Satyajyoti; Katiyar, Shefali

    2012-01-01

    New drug discovery is facing serious challenges due to reduction in number of new drug approvals coupled with exorbitant rising cost. Advent of combinatorial chemistry provided new hope of higher success rates of new chemical entities (NCEs); however, even this scientific development has failed to improve the success rate in new drug discovery. This scenario has prompted us to come out with a novel approach of integrated drug discovery, where Ayurvedic wisdom can synergize with drug discovery from plant sources. Initial steps in new drug discovery involve identification of NCEs, which can be either sourced through chemical synthesis or can be isolated from natural products through biological activity guided fractionation. The sources of many of the new drugs and active ingredients of medicines are derived from natural products. The starting point for plant-based new drug discovery should be identification of the right candidate plants by applying Ayurvedic wisdom, traditional documented use, tribal non-documented use, and exhaustive literature search. Frequency analysis of the ingredients of the ancient documented formulations and analysis of their Ayurvedic attributes may provide an in-depth idea of the predominance of particular Ayurvedic characteristics based on which appropriate candidate plants may be selected for bioactivity-based fractionation. The integration of Ayurvedic wisdom with drug discovery also brings the need for a paradigm shift in the extraction process from sequential to parallel extraction. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the identified plant may lead to standardized extract or isolated bioactive druggable compound as the new drug. This integrated approach would lead to saving of cost and time, coupled with enhanced success rate in drug discovery. PMID:23049178

  4. VNP: Interactive Visual Network Pharmacology of Diseases, Targets, and Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Q-N; Deng, Z; Tu, W; Yang, X; Meng, Z-B; Deng, Z-X; Liu, J

    2014-01-01

    In drug discovery, promiscuous targets, multifactorial diseases, and “dirty” drugs construct complex network relationships. Network pharmacology description and analysis not only give a systems-level understanding of drug action and disease complexity but can also help to improve the efficiency of target selection and drug design. Visual network pharmacology (VNP) is developed to visualize network pharmacology of targets, diseases, and drugs with a graph network by using disease, target or drug names, chemical structures, or protein sequence. To our knowledge, VNP is the first free interactive VNP server that should be very helpful for systems pharmacology research. VNP is freely available at http://cadd.whu.edu.cn/ditad/vnpsearch. PMID:24622768

  5. [Use of GWAS for drug discovery and development].

    PubMed

    Liou, Shyh-Yuh

    2014-01-01

    The Human Genome Project was completed in 2003. A catalog of common genetic variants in humans was built at the International HapMap Project. These variants, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), occur in human DNA and distributed among populations in different parts of the world. By using the Linkage Disequilibrium and mapping blocks are able to define quantitative characters of inherited diseases. Currently 50 K-5.0 M microarray are available commercially, which based on the results of following the ENCODE & 1000 genome projects. Therefore the genome wide association study (GWAS) has become a key tool for discovering variants that contribute to human diseases and provide maximum coverage of the genome, in contrast to the traditional approach in which only a few candidates genes was targeted. The available public GWAS databases provided valuable biological insights and new discovery for many common diseases, due to the availability of low cost microarray. The GWAS has the potential to provide a solution for the lack of new drug targets and reducing drug failure due to adverse drug reactions either. These are critical issues for pharmaceutical companies. Here, the Japan PGx Data Science Consortium (JPDSC), which was established on February 20, 2009 by six leading pharmaceutical companies in Japan, was introduced. We believe that the efforts of stakeholders including the regulatory authorities, health providers, and pharmaceutical companies to understand the potential and ethical risk of using genetic information including GWAS will bring benefits to patients in the future. PMID:24694807

  6. Marinopyrroles: Unique Drug Discoveries Based on Marine Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Li, Rongshi

    2016-01-01

    Natural products provide a successful supply of new chemical entities (NCEs) for drug discovery to treat human diseases. Approximately half of the NCEs are based on natural products and their derivatives. Notably, marine natural products, a largely untapped resource, have contributed to drug discovery and development with eight drugs or cosmeceuticals approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency, and ten candidates undergoing clinical trials. Collaborative efforts from drug developers, biologists, organic, medicinal, and natural product chemists have elevated drug discoveries to new levels. These efforts are expected to continue to improve the efficiency of natural product-based drugs. Marinopyrroles are examined here as a case study for potential anticancer and antibiotic agents. PMID:26332654

  7. Antimalarial Drug Discovery: From Quinine to the Dream of Eradication

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The search for antimalarial remedies predates modern medicine and the concept of small molecule chemotherapy, yet has played a central role in the development of both. This history is reviewed in the context of the current renaissance in antimalarial drug discovery, which is seeing modern drug discovery approaches applied to the problem for the first time. Great strides have been made in the past decade, but further innovations from the drug discovery community will be required if the ultimate dream of eradication is to be achieved. PMID:24790706

  8. DenguePredict: An Integrated Drug Repositioning Approach towards Drug Discovery for Dengue

    PubMed Central

    Wang, QuanQiu; Xu, Rong

    2015-01-01

    Dengue is a viral disease of expanding global incidence without cures. Here we present a drug repositioning system (DenguePredict) leveraging upon a unique drug treatment database and vast amounts of disease- and drug-related data. We first constructed a large-scale genetic disease network with enriched dengue genetics data curated from biomedical literature. We applied a network-based ranking algorithm to find dengue-related diseases from the disease network. We then developed a novel algorithm to prioritize FDA-approved drugs from dengue-related diseases to treat dengue. When tested in a de-novo validation setting, DenguePredict found the only two drugs tested in clinical trials for treating dengue and ranked them highly: chloroquine ranked at top 0.96% and ivermectin at top 22.75%. We showed that drugs targeting immune systems and arachidonic acid metabolism-related apoptotic pathways might represent innovative drugs to treat dengue. In summary, DenguePredict, by combining comprehensive disease- and drug-related data and novel algorithms, may greatly facilitate drug discovery for dengue. PMID:26958268

  9. Precision multidimensional assay for high-throughput microRNA drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Haefliger, Benjamin; Prochazka, Laura; Angelici, Bartolomeo; Benenson, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Development of drug discovery assays that combine high content with throughput is challenging. Information-processing gene networks can address this challenge by integrating multiple potential targets of drug candidates' activities into a small number of informative readouts, reporting simultaneously on specific and non-specific effects. Here we show a family of networks implementing this concept in a cell-based drug discovery assay for miRNA drug targets. The networks comprise multiple modules reporting on specific effects towards an intended miRNA target, together with non-specific effects on gene expression, off-target miRNAs and RNA interference pathway. We validate the assays using known perturbations of on- and off-target miRNAs, and evaluate an ∼700 compound library in an automated screen with a follow-up on specific and non-specific hits. We further customize and validate assays for additional drug targets and non-specific inputs. Our study offers a novel framework for precision drug discovery assays applicable to diverse target families. PMID:26880188

  10. Precision multidimensional assay for high-throughput microRNA drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Haefliger, Benjamin; Prochazka, Laura; Angelici, Bartolomeo; Benenson, Yaakov

    2016-01-01

    Development of drug discovery assays that combine high content with throughput is challenging. Information-processing gene networks can address this challenge by integrating multiple potential targets of drug candidates' activities into a small number of informative readouts, reporting simultaneously on specific and non-specific effects. Here we show a family of networks implementing this concept in a cell-based drug discovery assay for miRNA drug targets. The networks comprise multiple modules reporting on specific effects towards an intended miRNA target, together with non-specific effects on gene expression, off-target miRNAs and RNA interference pathway. We validate the assays using known perturbations of on- and off-target miRNAs, and evaluate an ∼700 compound library in an automated screen with a follow-up on specific and non-specific hits. We further customize and validate assays for additional drug targets and non-specific inputs. Our study offers a novel framework for precision drug discovery assays applicable to diverse target families. PMID:26880188

  11. Drug discovery in focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Pullen, Nick; Fornoni, Alessia

    2016-06-01

    Despite the high medical burden experienced by patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, the etiology of the condition remains largely unknown. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is highly heterogeneous in clinical and morphologic manifestations. While this presents challenges for the development of new treatments, research investments over the last 2 decades have yielded a surfeit of potential avenues for therapeutic intervention. The development of many of those ideas and concepts into new therapies, however, has been very disappointing. Here, we describe some of the factors that have potentially contributed to the poor translational performance from this research investment, including the confidence we ascribe to a target, the conduct of experimental studies, and the availability of selective reagents to test hypotheses. We will discuss the significance of genetic and systems traits as well as other methods for reducing bias. We will analyze the limitations of a successful drug development. We will use specific examples hoping that these will guide a consensus for investment and drive greater translational quality. We hope that this substrate will serve to exemplify the tremendous opportunity for intervention as well as facilitate greater collaborative effort between industry, academia, and private foundations in promoting appropriate validation of these targets. Only then will we have achieved our goal for curative therapies for this devastating disease. PMID:27165834

  12. Open source drug discovery--a new paradigm of collaborative research in tuberculosis drug development.

    PubMed

    Bhardwaj, Anshu; Scaria, Vinod; Raghava, Gajendra Pal Singh; Lynn, Andrew Michael; Chandra, Nagasuma; Banerjee, Sulagna; Raghunandanan, Muthukurussi V; Pandey, Vikas; Taneja, Bhupesh; Yadav, Jyoti; Dash, Debasis; Bhattacharya, Jaijit; Misra, Amit; Kumar, Anil; Ramachandran, Srinivasan; Thomas, Zakir; Brahmachari, Samir K

    2011-09-01

    It is being realized that the traditional closed-door and market driven approaches for drug discovery may not be the best suited model for the diseases of the developing world such as tuberculosis and malaria, because most patients suffering from these diseases have poor paying capacity. To ensure that new drugs are created for patients suffering from these diseases, it is necessary to formulate an alternate paradigm of drug discovery process. The current model constrained by limitations for collaboration and for sharing of resources with confidentiality hampers the opportunities for bringing expertise from diverse fields. These limitations hinder the possibilities of lowering the cost of drug discovery. The Open Source Drug Discovery project initiated by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India has adopted an open source model to power wide participation across geographical borders. Open Source Drug Discovery emphasizes integrative science through collaboration, open-sharing, taking up multi-faceted approaches and accruing benefits from advances on different fronts of new drug discovery. Because the open source model is based on community participation, it has the potential to self-sustain continuous development by generating a storehouse of alternatives towards continued pursuit for new drug discovery. Since the inventions are community generated, the new chemical entities developed by Open Source Drug Discovery will be taken up for clinical trial in a non-exclusive manner by participation of multiple companies with majority funding from Open Source Drug Discovery. This will ensure availability of drugs through a lower cost community driven drug discovery process for diseases afflicting people with poor paying capacity. Hopefully what LINUX the World Wide Web have done for the information technology, Open Source Drug Discovery will do for drug discovery. PMID:21782516

  13. Other targeted drugs in melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Rodón, Jordi; Karachaliou, Niki; Sánchez, Jesús; Santarpia, Mariacarmela; Viteri, Santiago; Pilotto, Sara; Teixidó, Cristina; Riso, Aldo; Rosell, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    Targeted therapy drugs are developed against specific molecular alterations on cancer cells. Because they are “targeted” to the tumor, these therapies are more effective and better tolerated than conventional therapies such as chemotherapy. In the last decade, great advances have been made in understanding of melanoma biology and identification of molecular mechanisms involved in malignant transformation of cells. The identification of oncogenic mutated kinases involved in this process provides an opportunity for development of new target therapies. The dependence of melanoma on BRAF-mutant kinase has provided an opportunity for development of mutation-specific inhibitors with high activity and excellent tolerance that are now being used in clinical practice. This marked a new era in the treatment of metastatic melanoma and much research is now ongoing to identify other “druggable” kinases and transduction signaling networking. It is expected that in the near future the spectrum of target drugs for melanoma treatment will increase. Herein, we review the most relevant potential novel drugs for melanoma treatment based on preclinical data and the results of early clinical trials. PMID:26605312

  14. Discovery of Dual-Stage Malaria Inhibitors with New Targets.

    PubMed

    Raphemot, Rene; Lafuente-Monasterio, Maria J; Gamo-Benito, Francisco Javier; Clardy, Jon; Derbyshire, Emily R

    2015-01-01

    Malaria remains a major global health problem, with more than half of the world population at risk of contracting the disease and nearly a million deaths each year. Here, we report the discovery of inhibitors that target multiple stages of malaria parasite growth. To identify these inhibitors, we took advantage of the Tres Cantos Antimalarial Compound Set (TCAMS) small-molecule library, which is comprised of diverse and potent chemical scaffolds with activities against the blood stage of the malaria parasite, and investigated their effects against the elusive liver stage of the malaria parasite using a forward chemical screen. From a screen of nearly 14,000 compounds, we identified and confirmed 103 compounds as dual-stage malaria inhibitors. Interestingly, these compounds show preferential inhibition of parasite growth in liver- versus blood-stage malaria parasite assays, highlighting the drug susceptibility of this parasite form. Mode-of-action studies were completed using genetically modified and drug-resistant Plasmodium parasite strains. While we identified some compound targets as classical antimalarial pathways, such as the mitochondrial electron transport chain through cytochrome bc1 complex inhibition or the folate biosynthesis pathway, most compounds induced parasite death through as yet unknown mechanisms of action. Importantly, the identification of new chemotypes with different modes of action in killing Plasmodium parasites represents a promising opportunity for probing essential and novel molecular processes that remain to be discovered. The chemical scaffolds identified with activity against drug-resistant Plasmodium parasites represent starting points for dual-stage antimalarial development to surmount the threat of malaria parasite drug resistance. PMID:26666931

  15. Ten years of dengue drug discovery: progress and prospects.

    PubMed

    Lim, Siew Pheng; Wang, Qing-Yin; Noble, Christian G; Chen, Yen-Liang; Dong, Hongping; Zou, Bin; Yokokawa, Fumiaki; Nilar, Shahul; Smith, Paul; Beer, David; Lescar, Julien; Shi, Pei-Yong

    2013-11-01

    To combat neglected diseases, the Novartis Institute of Tropical Diseases (NITD) was founded in 2002 through private-public funding from Novartis and the Singapore Economic Development Board. One of NITD's missions is to develop antivirals for dengue virus (DENV), the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral pathogen. Neither vaccine nor antiviral is currently available for DENV. Here we review the progress in dengue drug discovery made at NITD as well as the major discoveries made by academia and other companies. Four strategies have been pursued to identify inhibitors of DENV through targeting both viral and host proteins: (i) HTS (high-throughput screening) using virus replication assays; (ii) HTS using viral enzyme assays; (iii) structure-based in silico docking and rational design; (iv) repurposing hepatitis C virus inhibitors for DENV. Along the developmental process from hit finding to clinical candidate, many inhibitors did not advance beyond the stage of hit-to-lead optimization, due to their poor selectivity, physiochemical or pharmacokinetic properties. Only a few compounds showed efficacy in the AG129 DENV mouse model. Two nucleoside analogs, NITD-008 and Balapiravir, entered preclinical animal safety study and clinic trial, but both were terminated due to toxicity and lack of potency, respectively. Celgosivir, a host alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, is currently under clinical trial; its clinical efficacy remains to be determined. The knowledge accumulated during the past decade has provided a better rationale for ongoing dengue drug discovery. Though challenging, we are optimistic that this continuous, concerted effort will lead to an effective dengue therapy. PMID:24076358

  16. Novel opportunities for computational biology and sociology in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Lixia

    2009-01-01

    Drug discovery today is impossible without sophisticated modeling and computation. In this review we touch on previous advances in computational biology and by tracing the steps involved in pharmaceutical development, we explore a range of novel, high value opportunities for computational innovation in modeling the biological process of disease and the social process of drug discovery. These opportunities include text mining for new drug leads, modeling molecular pathways and predicting the efficacy of drug cocktails, analyzing genetic overlap between diseases and predicting alternative drug use. Computation can also be used to model research teams and innovative regions and to estimate the value of academy-industry ties for scientific and human benefit. Attention to these opportunities could promise punctuated advance, and will complement the well-established computational work on which drug discovery currently relies. PMID:19674801

  17. Animal models in the drug discovery pipeline for Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Van Dam, Debby; De Deyn, Peter Paul

    2011-01-01

    With increasing feasibility of predicting conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia based on biomarker profiling, the urgent need for efficacious disease-modifying compounds has become even more critical. Despite intensive research, underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain insufficiently documented for purposeful target discovery. Translational research based on valid animal models may aid in alleviating some of the unmet needs in the current Alzheimer's disease pharmaceutical market, which includes disease-modification, increased efficacy and safety, reduction of the number of treatment unresponsive patients and patient compliance. The development and phenotyping of animal models is indeed essential in Alzheimer's disease-related research as valid models enable the appraisal of early pathological processes – which are often not accessible in patients, and subsequent target discovery and evaluation. This review paper summarizes and critically evaluates currently available animal models, and discusses their value to the Alzheimer drug discovery pipeline. Models dealt with include spontaneous models in various species, including senescence-accelerated mice, chemical and lesion-induced rodent models, and genetically modified models developed in Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, Danio rerio and rodents. Although highly valid animal models exist, none of the currently available models recapitulates all aspects of human Alzheimer's disease, and one should always be aware of the potential dangers of uncritical extrapolating from model organisms to a human condition that takes decades to develop and mainly involves higher cognitive functions. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Translational Neuropharmacology. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.164.issue-4 PMID:21371009

  18. Applications of (19)F-NMR in Fragment-Based Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Norton, Raymond S; Leung, Eleanor W W; Chandrashekaran, Indu R; MacRaild, Christopher A

    2016-01-01

    (19)F-NMR has proved to be a valuable tool in fragment-based drug discovery. Its applications include screening libraries of fluorinated fragments, assessing competition among elaborated fragments and identifying the binding poses of promising hits. By observing fluorine in both the ligand and the target protein, useful information can be obtained on not only the binding pose but also the dynamics of ligand-protein interactions. These applications of (19)F-NMR will be illustrated in this review with studies from our fragment-based drug discovery campaigns against protein targets in parasitic and infectious diseases. PMID:27438818

  19. Repurposing Drugs to Target the Diabetes Epidemic.

    PubMed

    Turner, Nigel; Zeng, Xiao-Yi; Osborne, Brenna; Rogers, Suzanne; Ye, Ji-Ming

    2016-05-01

    Despite major investment by pharmaceutical companies in conventional drug discovery pipelines, development of new drugs has failed to keep up with the increasing incidence of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes (T2D). Drug repurposing, where existing drugs are applied to a new indication, is gaining momentum as a successful approach to overcome the bottlenecks commonly encountered with conventional approaches. Repurposing takes advantage of available information on the molecular pharmacology of clinical agents to drastically shorten drug development timelines. This review discusses recent advances in the discovery of new antidiabetic agents using repurposing strategies. PMID:26900045

  20. Actionable pathways: interactive discovery of therapeutic targets using signaling pathway models.

    PubMed

    Salavert, Francisco; Hidago, Marta R; Amadoz, Alicia; Çubuk, Cankut; Medina, Ignacio; Crespo, Daniel; Carbonell-Caballero, Jose; Dopazo, Joaquín

    2016-07-01

    The discovery of actionable targets is crucial for targeted therapies and is also a constituent part of the drug discovery process. The success of an intervention over a target depends critically on its contribution, within the complex network of gene interactions, to the cellular processes responsible for disease progression or therapeutic response. Here we present PathAct, a web server that predicts the effect that interventions over genes (inhibitions or activations that simulate knock-outs, drug treatments or over-expressions) can have over signal transmission within signaling pathways and, ultimately, over the cell functionalities triggered by them. PathAct implements an advanced graphical interface that provides a unique interactive working environment in which the suitability of potentially actionable genes, that could eventually become drug targets for personalized or individualized therapies, can be easily tested. The PathAct tool can be found at: http://pathact.babelomics.org. PMID:27137885

  1. Actionable pathways: interactive discovery of therapeutic targets using signaling pathway models

    PubMed Central

    Salavert, Francisco; Hidago, Marta R.; Amadoz, Alicia; Çubuk, Cankut; Medina, Ignacio; Crespo, Daniel; Carbonell-Caballero, Jose; Dopazo, Joaquín

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of actionable targets is crucial for targeted therapies and is also a constituent part of the drug discovery process. The success of an intervention over a target depends critically on its contribution, within the complex network of gene interactions, to the cellular processes responsible for disease progression or therapeutic response. Here we present PathAct, a web server that predicts the effect that interventions over genes (inhibitions or activations that simulate knock-outs, drug treatments or over-expressions) can have over signal transmission within signaling pathways and, ultimately, over the cell functionalities triggered by them. PathAct implements an advanced graphical interface that provides a unique interactive working environment in which the suitability of potentially actionable genes, that could eventually become drug targets for personalized or individualized therapies, can be easily tested. The PathAct tool can be found at: http://pathact.babelomics.org. PMID:27137885

  2. Pharmacognosy: Science of natural products in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Orhan, Ilkay Erdogan

    2014-01-01

    Pharmacognosy deals with the natural drugs obtained from organisms such as most plants, microbes, and animals. Up to date, many important drugs including morphine, atropine, galanthamine, etc. have originated from natural sources which continue to be good model molecules in drug discovery. Traditional medicine is also a part of pharmacognosy and most of the third world countries still depend on the use of herbal medicines. Consequently, pharmacognosy always keeps its popularity in pharmaceutical sciences and plays a critical role in drug discovery. PMID:25337461

  3. In silico prediction of drug targets in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Katara, Pramod; Grover, Atul; Kuntal, Himani; Sharma, Vinay

    2011-10-01

    Identification of potential drug targets is the first step in the process of modern drug discovery, subjected to their validation and drug development. Whole genome sequences of a number of organisms allow prediction of potential drug targets using sequence comparison approaches. Here, we present a subtractive approach exploiting the knowledge of global gene expression along with sequence comparisons to predict the potential drug targets more efficiently. Based on the knowledge of 155 known virulence and their coexpressed genes mined from microarray database in the public domain, 357 coexpressed probable virulence genes for Vibrio cholerae were predicted. Based on screening of Database of Essential Genes using blastn, a total of 102 genes out of these 357 were enlisted as vitally essential genes, and hence good putative drug targets. As the effective drug target is a protein which is only present in the pathogen, similarity search of these 102 essential genes against human genome sequence led to subtraction of 66 genes, thus leaving behind a subset of 36 genes whose products have been called as potential drug targets. The gene ontology analysis using Blast2GO of these 36 genes revealed their roles in important metabolic pathways of V. cholerae or on the surface of the pathogen. Thus, we propose that the products of these genes be evaluated as target sites of drugs against V. cholerae in future investigations. PMID:21174131

  4. Progressive MS: from pathophysiology to drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Salvetti, Marco; Landsman, Douglas; Schwarz-Lam, Peter; Comi, Giancarlo; Thompson, Alan J; Fox, Robert J

    2015-10-01

    Progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) will be a major area of research interest for years to come. No treatments exist and success in the field will generalise to other neurological conditions where neurodegeneration coexists with neuroinflammation. The issue is complex, and interdisciplinary approaches - uniting scientists with different competences (neurobiology, immunogenetics, etc.) and 'mindsets' (academia and industry) - will be decisive. The International Progressive MS Alliance is catalysing this process through various initiatives, the most recent of which was a meeting where scientists from academia (also outside the MS field) and from industry reviewed data and strategies to determine the next steps towards the translation of current knowledge into effective therapies.Key findings are:(i). Concerted efforts are essential to prioritise pathogenetic mechanisms according to impact on the disease and druggability.(ii). Combination therapies will probably be needed, possibly early in the disease, along with new trial designs and treatment schedules.(iii). Drug screenings are a pragmatic approach hopefully enriched by the use of neural and oligodendrocyte progenitors differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).(iv). The field of network biology will increase our ability to predict therapeutic targets.(v). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) must try to identify variants associated with disease progression. PMID:26362902

  5. Applications of Fiberoptics-Based Nanosensors to Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Vo-Dinh, Tuan; Scaffidi, Jonathan; Gregas, Molly; Zhang, Yan; Seewaldt, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Background Fiber-optic nanosensors are fabricated by heating and pulling optical fibers to yield sub-micron diameter tips, and have been used for in vitro analysis of individual living mammalian cells. Immobilization of bioreceptors (e.g., antibodies, peptides, DNA, etc) selective to target analyte molecules of interest provides molecular specificity. Excitation light can be launched into the fiber, and the resulting evanescent field at the tip of the nanofiber can be used to excite target molecules bound to the bioreceptor molecules. The fluorescence or surface-enhanced Raman scattering produced by the analyte molecules is detected using an ultra-sensitive photodetector. Objective This article provides an overview of the development and application of fiber-optic nanosensors for drug discovery. Conclusions The nanosensors provide minimally invasive tools to probe sub-cellular compartments inside single living cells for health effect studies (e.g., detection of benzopyrene adducts) and medical applications (e.g., monitoring of apoptosis in cells treated with anti-cancer drugs). PMID:23496274

  6. Drug targeting to the brain.

    PubMed

    Pardridge, William M

    2007-09-01

    The goal of brain drug targeting technology is the delivery of therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), including the human BBB. This is accomplished by re-engineering pharmaceuticals to cross the BBB via specific endogenous transporters localized within the brain capillary endothelium. Certain endogenous peptides, such as insulin or transferrin, undergo receptor-mediated transport (RMT) across the BBB in vivo. In addition, peptidomimetic monoclonal antibodies (MAb) may also cross the BBB via RMT on the endogenous transporters. The MAb may be used as a molecular Trojan horse to ferry across the BBB large molecule pharmaceuticals, including recombinant proteins, antibodies, RNA interference drugs, or non-viral gene medicines. Fusion proteins of the molecular Trojan horse and either neurotrophins or single chain Fv antibodies have been genetically engineered. The fusion proteins retain bi-functional properties, and both bind the BBB receptor, to trigger transport into brain, and bind the cognate receptor inside brain to induce the pharmacologic effect. Trojan horse liposome technology enables the brain targeting of non-viral plasmid DNA. Molecular Trojan horses may be formulated with fusion protein technology, avidin-biotin technology, or Trojan horse liposomes to target to brain virtually any large molecule pharmaceutical. PMID:17554607

  7. Proteomics. Making sense of genomic information for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Whitelegge, J P; le Coutre, J

    2001-01-01

    As an increasing number of available genomes triggers a gold rush in modern biology, the scientific challenge shifts towards understanding the total of the encoded information, most notably the proteins, their structures, functions and interactions. Currently this work is in its early stages but the near future will bring a merger of biology, engineering and informatics with a far broader impact on society than pure genomics has had so far. The challenge of characterizing the structures and functions of all proteins in a given cell demands technological advances beyond the classical methodologies of protein biochemistry. Mass spectrometry techniques for high-throughput protein identification, including peptide mass fingerprinting, sequence tagging and mass spectrometry on full-length proteins are providing the driving force behind proteomics endeavors. New technologies are needed to move high-resolution protein structure determination to an industrial scale. Nonetheless, improvements in techniques for the separation of intrinsic membrane proteins are enabling proteomics efforts towards identifying drug targets within this important class of biomolecules. Beyond the acquisition of data on sequences, structures and interactions, however, the major work in drug discovery remains: the screening of large candidate compound libraries combined with clever medicinal chemistry that guarantees selective action and defined delivery of the drug. PMID:12173311

  8. Drug elucidation: invertebrate genetics sheds new light on the molecular targets of CNS drugs.

    PubMed

    Dwyer, Donard S; Aamodt, Eric; Cohen, Bruce; Buttner, Edgar A

    2014-01-01

    Many important drugs approved to treat common human diseases were discovered by serendipity, without a firm understanding of their modes of action. As a result, the side effects and interactions of these medications are often unpredictable, and there is limited guidance for improving the design of next-generation drugs. Here, we review the innovative use of simple model organisms, especially Caenorhabditis elegans, to gain fresh insights into the complex biological effects of approved CNS medications. Whereas drug discovery involves the identification of new drug targets and lead compounds/biologics, and drug development spans preclinical testing to FDA approval, drug elucidation refers to the process of understanding the mechanisms of action of marketed drugs by studying their novel effects in model organisms. Drug elucidation studies have revealed new pathways affected by antipsychotic drugs, e.g., the insulin signaling pathway, a trace amine receptor and a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Similarly, novel targets of antidepressant drugs and lithium have been identified in C. elegans, including lipid-binding/transport proteins and the SGK-1 signaling pathway, respectively. Elucidation of the mode of action of anesthetic agents has shown that anesthesia can involve mitochondrial targets, leak currents, and gap junctions. The general approach reviewed in this article has advanced our knowledge about important drugs for CNS disorders and can guide future drug discovery efforts. PMID:25120487

  9. Drug elucidation: invertebrate genetics sheds new light on the molecular targets of CNS drugs

    PubMed Central

    Dwyer, Donard S.; Aamodt, Eric; Cohen, Bruce; Buttner, Edgar A.

    2014-01-01

    Many important drugs approved to treat common human diseases were discovered by serendipity, without a firm understanding of their modes of action. As a result, the side effects and interactions of these medications are often unpredictable, and there is limited guidance for improving the design of next-generation drugs. Here, we review the innovative use of simple model organisms, especially Caenorhabditis elegans, to gain fresh insights into the complex biological effects of approved CNS medications. Whereas drug discovery involves the identification of new drug targets and lead compounds/biologics, and drug development spans preclinical testing to FDA approval, drug elucidation refers to the process of understanding the mechanisms of action of marketed drugs by studying their novel effects in model organisms. Drug elucidation studies have revealed new pathways affected by antipsychotic drugs, e.g., the insulin signaling pathway, a trace amine receptor and a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Similarly, novel targets of antidepressant drugs and lithium have been identified in C. elegans, including lipid-binding/transport proteins and the SGK-1 signaling pathway, respectively. Elucidation of the mode of action of anesthetic agents has shown that anesthesia can involve mitochondrial targets, leak currents, and gap junctions. The general approach reviewed in this article has advanced our knowledge about important drugs for CNS disorders and can guide future drug discovery efforts. PMID:25120487

  10. Better Drug Discovery Through Better Target Identification

    PubMed Central

    CARROLL, JOHN

    2005-01-01

    High-throughput screening has the potential to shave hundreds of millions of dollars from the cost of research and development. Hailed as a major technological breakthrough 10 years ago, HTS has yet to live up to the hype. But scientists involved in second-generation HTS techniques say we’re getting close. PMID:23390406