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Sample records for enhanced small molecule

  1. Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopies as Tools for Small Molecule Biosensing

    PubMed Central

    Boujday, Souhir; Lamy de la Chapelle, Marc; Srajer, Johannes; Knoll, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    In this short summary we summarize some of the latest developments in vibrational spectroscopic tools applied for the sensing of (small) molecules and biomolecules in a label-free mode of operation. We first introduce various concepts for the enhancement of InfraRed spectroscopic techniques, including the principles of Attenuated Total Reflection InfraRed (ATR-IR), (phase-modulated) InfraRed Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy (IRRAS/PM-IRRAS), and Surface Enhanced Infrared Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy (SEIRAS). Particular attention is put on the use of novel nanostructured substrates that allow for the excitation of propagating and localized surface plasmon modes aimed at operating additional enhancement mechanisms. This is then be complemented by the description of the latest development in Surface- and Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopies, again with an emphasis on the detection of small molecules or bioanalytes. PMID:26343666

  2. Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopies as Tools for Small Molecule Biosensing.

    PubMed

    Boujday, Souhir; de la Chapelle, Marc Lamy; Srajer, Johannes; Knoll, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    In this short summary we summarize some of the latest developments in vibrational spectroscopic tools applied for the sensing of (small) molecules and biomolecules in a label-free mode of operation. We first introduce various concepts for the enhancement of InfraRed spectroscopic techniques, including the principles of Attenuated Total Reflection InfraRed (ATR-IR), (phase-modulated) InfraRed Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy (IRRAS/PM-IRRAS), and Surface Enhanced Infrared Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy (SEIRAS). Particular attention is put on the use of novel nanostructured substrates that allow for the excitation of propagating and localized surface plasmon modes aimed at operating additional enhancement mechanisms. This is then be complemented by the description of the latest development in Surface- and Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopies, again with an emphasis on the detection of small molecules or bioanalytes. PMID:26343666

  3. Experimental Resonance Enhanced Multiphoton Ionization (REMPI) studies of small molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dehmer, J. L.; Dehmer, P. M.; Pratt, S. T.; Ohalloran, M. A.; Tomkins, F. S.

    1987-01-01

    Resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) utilizes tunable dye lasers to ionize an atom or molecule by first preparing an excited state by multiphoton absorption and then ionizing that state before it can decay. This process is highly selective with respect to both the initial and resonant intermediate states of the target, and it can be extremely sensitive. In addition, the products of the REMPI process can be detected as needed by analyzing the resulting electrons, ions, fluorescence, or by additional REMPI. This points to a number of exciting opportunities for both basic and applied science. On the applied side, REMPI has great potential as an ultrasensitive, highly selective detector for trace, reactive, or transient species. On the basic side, REMPI affords an unprecedented means of exploring excited state physics and chemistry at the quantum-state-specific level. An overview of current studies of excited molecular states is given to illustrate the principles and prospects of REMPI.

  4. A small molecule enhances RNA interference and promotes microRNA processing

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Ge; Li, Yujing; Zhang, Junliang; Li, Wendi; Szulwach, Keith E; Duan, Ranhui; Faghihi, Mohammad A; Khalil, Ahmad M; Lu, Lianghua; Paroo, Zain; Chan, Anthony W S; Shi, Zhangjie; Liu, Qinghua; Wahlestedt, Claes; He, Chuan; Jin, Peng

    2010-01-01

    Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) are sequence-specific post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Although major components of the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway have been identified, regulatory mechanisms for this pathway remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that the RNAi pathway can be modulated intracellularly by small molecules. We have developed a cell-based assay to monitor the activity of the RNAi pathway and find that the small-molecule enoxacin (Penetrex) enhances siRNA-mediated mRNA degradation and promotes the biogenesis of endogenous miRNAs. We show that this RNAi-enhancing activity depends on the trans-activation-responsive region RNA-binding protein. Our results provide a proof-of-principle demonstration that small molecules can be used to modulate the activity of the RNAi pathway. RNAi enhancers may be useful in the development of research tools and therapeutics. PMID:18641635

  5. Enhancement of Small Molecule Delivery by Pulsed High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound: A Parameter Exploration.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yufeng; Wang, Yak-Nam; Farr, Navid; Zia, Jasmine; Chen, Hong; Ko, Bong Min; Khokhlova, Tatiana; Li, Tong; Hwang, Joo Ha

    2016-04-01

    Chemotherapeutic drug delivery is often ineffective within solid tumors, but increasing the drug dose would result in systemic toxicity. The use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has the potential to enhance penetration of small molecules. However, operation parameters need to be optimized before the use of chemotherapeutic drugs in vivo and translation to clinical trials. In this study, the effects of pulsed HIFU (pHIFU) parameters (spatial-average pulse-average intensity, duty factor and pulse repetition frequency) on the penetration as well as content of small molecules were evaluated in ex vivo porcine kidneys. Specific HIFU parameters resulted in more than 40 times greater Evans blue content and 3.5 times the penetration depth compared with untreated samples. When selected parameters were applied to porcine kidneys in vivo, a 2.3-fold increase in concentration was obtained after a 2-min exposure to pHIFU. Pulsed HIFU has been found to be an effective modality to enhance both the concentration and penetration depth of small molecules in tissue using the optimized HIFU parameters. Although, performed in normal tissue, this study has the promise of translation into tumor tissue. PMID:26803389

  6. Aptamer-aptamer linkage based aptasensor for highly enhanced detection of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Van-Thuan; Lee, Bang Hyun; Kim, Sang Hoon; Gu, Man Bock

    2016-06-01

    The multi-target colorimetric aptasensors can be easily fabricated by using two different aptamer sequences. However, there have been no research reports about improvement or enhancing of colorimetric signals based on the aggregation properties of AuNPs. Herein, we report a simple and efficient method to control and enhance the function of the multi-target aptasensor using an aptamer-aptamer linkage method. The aptasensor was developed for highly sensitive multiple-target detection of small molecules. The extension of aptamer DNA sequences using this method resulted in the enhanced analytical sensitivity of this aptasensor in sensing applications for two small molecule targets. Furthermore, the mechanism of the interaction between DNA aptamer and AuNPs was studied by measuring the zeta potential to explain the enhancement of the sensitivity of this multi-target aptasensor. The limit of detection of this multi-target aptasensor was found to be 1 nM and 37 nM for kanamycin (KAN) and chlortetracycline (CHLOR), respectively. It is 25-fold lower than in the previous report using an AuNP-based sensor for defining the limit of detection (LOD) of KAN and five times lower than the LOD for CHLOR. This aptasensor has great potential in the simultaneous detection of a wide range of KAN and CHLOR concentrations. PMID:27221154

  7. Nanoprobe-Enhanced, Split Aptamer-Based Electrochemical Sandwich Assay for Ultrasensitive Detection of Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Tao; Liu, Ran; Ding, Xiaofan; Zhao, Juncai; Yu, Haixiang; Wang, Lei; Xu, Qing; Wang, Xuan; Lou, Xinhui; He, Miao; Xiao, Yi

    2015-08-01

    It is quite challenging to improve the binding affinity of antismall molecule aptamers. We report that the binding affinity of anticocaine split aptamer pairs improved by up to 66-fold by gold nanoparticles (AuNP)-attached aptamers due to the substantially increased local concentration of aptamers and multiple and simultaneous ligand interactions. The significantly improved binding affinity enables the detection of small molecule targets with unprecedented sensitivity, as demonstrated in nanoprobe-enhanced split aptamer-based electrochemical sandwich assays (NE-SAESA). NE-SAESA replaces the traditional molecular reporter probe with AuNPs conjugated to multiple reporter probes. The increased binding affinity allowed us to use 1,000-fold lower reporter probe concentrations relative to those employed in SAESA. We show that the near-elimination of background in NE-SAESA effectively improves assay sensitivity by ∼1,000-100,000-fold for ATP and cocaine detection, relative to equivalent SAESA. With the ongoing development of new strategies for the selection of aptamers, we anticipate that our sensor platform should offer a generalizable approach for the high-sensitivity detection of diverse targets. More importantly, we believe that NE-SAESA represents a novel strategy to improve the binding affinity between a small molecule and its aptamer and potentially can be extended to other detection platforms. PMID:26171721

  8. Efficiency enhancement in solution-processed organic small molecule: Fullerene solar cells via solvent vapor annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miao, Jingsheng; Chen, Hui; Liu, Feng; Zhao, Baofeng; Hu, Lingyu; He, Zhicai; Wu, Hongbin

    2015-05-01

    We report highly efficient small molecule solar cells (SMSCs) by using dichloromethane solvent vapor annealing method. The resulted devices delivered a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.3%, which is among the highest in SMSCs. Comparing to the control devices, the short circuit current (Jsc), fill factor, and PCE of solvent vapor annealed devices are significantly improved. Summarizing the results of optical absorption, film morphology, and charge carrier transporting properties, we see that the enhanced structure order and reduced size of phase separation are major reasons for the improved device performances, establishing a solid structure-property relationship. The solvent vapor annealing method can thus be a useful method in device fabrication to enhance performances of SMSCs.

  9. Introducing a high gravity field to enhance infiltration of small molecules into polyelectrolyte multilayers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaolin; Zhao, Kun; Jiang, Chao; Wang, Yue; Shao, Lei; Zhang, Yajun; Shi, Feng

    2015-07-28

    Loading functional small molecules into nano-thin films is fundamental to various research fields such as membrane separation, molecular imprinting, interfacial reaction, drug delivery etc. Currently, a general demand for enhancing the loading rate without affecting the film structures exists in most infiltration phenomena. To handle this issue, we have introduced a process intensification method of a high gravity technique, which is a versatile energy form of mechanical field well-established in industry, into the investigations on diffusion/infiltration at the molecular level. By taking a polyelectrolyte multilayer as a model thin film and a photo-reactive molecule, 4,4'-diazostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid disodium salt (DAS), as a model small functional molecule, we have demonstrated remarkably accelerated adsorption/infiltration of DAS into a poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH)/poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) multilayer by as high as 20-fold; meanwhile, both the film property of the multilayer and photoresponsive-crosslinking function of DAS were not disturbed. Furthermore, the infiltration of DAS and the surface morphology of the multilayer could be tuned based on their high dependence on the intensity of the high gravity field regarding different rotating speeds. The mechanism of the accelerated adsorption/infiltration under the high gravity field was interpreted by the increased turbulence of the diffusing layer with the thinned laminar boundary layer and the stepwise delivery of the local concentration gradient from the solution to the interior of the multilayer. The introduction of mechanical field provides a simple and versatile strategy to address the paradox of the contradictory loading amount and loading rate, and thus to promote applications of various membrane processes. PMID:26086776

  10. Small molecule aptamer assays based on fluorescence anisotropy signal-enhancer oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Perrier, Sandrine; Bouilloud, Prisca; De Oliveira Coelho, Gisella; Henry, Mickael; Peyrin, Eric

    2016-08-15

    Herein, we design novel fluorescence anisotropy (FA) aptamer sensing platforms dedicated to small molecule detection. The assay strategy relied on enhanced fluctuations of segmental motion dynamics of the aptamer tracer mediated by an unlabelled, partially complementary oligonucleotide. The signal-enhancer oligonucleotide (SEO) essentially served as a free probe fraction revealer. By targeting specific regions of the signalling functional nucleic acid, the SEO binding to the unbound aptamer triggered perturbations of both the internal DNA flexibility and the localized dye environment upon the free probe to duplex structure transition. This potentiating effect determined increased FA variations between the duplex and target bound states of the aptameric probe. FA assay responses were obtained with both pre-structured (adenosine) and unstructured (tyrosinamide) aptamers and with dyes of different photochemical properties (fluorescein and texas red). The multiplexed analysis ability was further demonstrated through the simultaneous multicolour detection of the two small targets. The FA method appears to be especially simple, sensitive and widely applicable. PMID:27085946

  11. Confined gold nanoparticles enhance the detection of small molecules in label-free impedance aptasensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peinetti, Ana S.; Ceretti, Helena; Mizrahi, Martín; González, Graciela A.; Ramírez, Silvana A.; Requejo, Felix G.; Montserrat, Javier M.; Battaglini, Fernando

    2015-04-01

    A controlled architecture of nanoelectrodes, of a similar size to small molecule-binding aptamers, is synthesized inside nanoporous alumina. Gold nanoparticles with a controlled size (about 2 nm) are electrogenerated in the alumina cavities, showing a fast electron transfer process toward ferrocyanide. These uncapped nanoparticles are easily modified with a thiol-containing aptamer for label-free detection of adenosine monophosphate by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Our results show that the use of a limited electrical conducting surface inside an insulating environment can be very sensitive to conformational changes, introducing a new approach to the detection of small molecules, exemplified here by the direct and selective detection of adenosine monophosphate at the nanomolar scale.A controlled architecture of nanoelectrodes, of a similar size to small molecule-binding aptamers, is synthesized inside nanoporous alumina. Gold nanoparticles with a controlled size (about 2 nm) are electrogenerated in the alumina cavities, showing a fast electron transfer process toward ferrocyanide. These uncapped nanoparticles are easily modified with a thiol-containing aptamer for label-free detection of adenosine monophosphate by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Our results show that the use of a limited electrical conducting surface inside an insulating environment can be very sensitive to conformational changes, introducing a new approach to the detection of small molecules, exemplified here by the direct and selective detection of adenosine monophosphate at the nanomolar scale. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr01429h

  12. Proton Fingerprints Portray Molecular Structures: Enhanced Description of the 1H NMR Spectra of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Napolitano, José G.; Lankin, David C.; McAlpine, James B.; Niemitz, Matthias; Korhonen, Samuli-Petrus; Chen, Shao-Nong; Pauli, Guido F.

    2013-01-01

    The characteristic signals observed in NMR spectra encode essential information on the structure of small molecules. However, extracting all of this information from complex signal patterns is not trivial. This report demonstrates how computer-aided spectral analysis enables the complete interpretation of 1D 1H NMR data. The effectiveness of this approach is illustrated with a set of organic molecules, for which replicas of their 1H NMR spectra were generated. The potential impact of this methodology on organic chemistry research is discussed. PMID:24007197

  13. Label-enhanced surface plasmon resonance applied to label-free interaction analysis of small molecules and fragments.

    PubMed

    Eng, Lars; Nygren-Babol, Linnéa; Hanning, Anders

    2016-10-01

    Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is a well-established method for studying interactions between small molecules and biomolecules. In particular, SPR is being increasingly applied within fragment-based drug discovery; however, within this application area, the limited sensitivity of SPR may constitute a problem. This problem can be circumvented by the use of label-enhanced SPR that shows a 100-fold higher sensitivity as compared with conventional SPR. Truly label-free interaction data for small molecules can be obtained by applying label-enhanced SPR in a surface competition assay format. The enhanced sensitivity is accompanied by an increased specificity and inertness toward disturbances (e.g., bulk refractive index disturbances). Label-enhanced SPR can be used for fragment screening in a competitive assay format; the competitive format has the added advantage of confirming the specificity of the molecular interaction. In addition, label-enhanced SPR extends the accessible kinetic regime of SPR to the analysis of very fast fragment binding kinetics. In this article, we demonstrate the working principles and benchmark the performance of label-enhanced SPR in a model system-the interaction between carbonic anhydrase II and a number of small-molecule sulfonamide-based inhibitors. PMID:27325502

  14. Discovery of Small-Molecule Enhancers of Reactive Oxygen Species That are Nontoxic or Cause Genotype-Selective Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Elevation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels has been observed in many cancer cells relative to nontransformed cells, and recent reports have suggested that small-molecule enhancers of ROS may selectively kill cancer cells in various in vitro and in vivo models. We used a high-throughput screening approach to identify several hundred small-molecule enhancers of ROS in a human osteosarcoma cell line. A minority of these compounds diminished the viability of cancer cell lines, indicating that ROS elevation by small molecules is insufficient to induce death of cancer cell lines. Three chemical probes (BRD5459, BRD56491, BRD9092) are highlighted that most strongly elevate markers of oxidative stress without causing cell death and may be of use in a variety of cellular settings. For example, combining nontoxic ROS-enhancing probes with nontoxic doses of l-buthionine sulfoximine, an inhibitor of glutathione synthesis previously studied in cancer patients, led to potent cell death in more than 20 cases, suggesting that even nontoxic ROS-enhancing treatments may warrant exploration in combination strategies. Additionally, a few ROS-enhancing compounds that contain sites of electrophilicity, including piperlongumine, show selective toxicity for transformed cells over nontransformed cells in an engineered cell-line model of tumorigenesis. These studies suggest that cancer cell lines are more resilient to chemically induced increases in ROS levels than previously thought and highlight electrophilicity as a property that may be more closely associated with cancer-selective cell death than ROS elevation. PMID:23477340

  15. Graphene Oxide Enhances Cellular Delivery of Hydrophilic Small Molecules by Co-incubation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The delivery of bioactive molecules into cells has broad applications in biology and medicine. Polymer-modified graphene oxide (GO) has recently emerged as a de facto noncovalent vehicle for hydrophobic drugs. Here, we investigate a different approach using native GO to deliver hydrophilic molecules by co-incubation in culture. GO adsorption and delivery were systematically studied with a library of 15 molecules synthesized with Gd(III) labels to enable quantitation. Amines were revealed to be a key chemical group for adsorption, while delivery was shown to be quantitatively predictable by molecular adsorption, GO sedimentation, and GO size. GO co-incubation was shown to enhance delivery by up to 13-fold and allowed for a 100-fold increase in molecular incubation concentration compared to the alternative of nanoconjugation. When tested in the application of Gd(III) cellular MRI, these advantages led to a nearly 10-fold improvement in sensitivity over the state-of-the-art. GO co-incubation is an effective method of cellular delivery that is easily adoptable by researchers across all fields. PMID:25226566

  16. Enhanced performances in inverted small molecule solar cells by Ag nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Jin, Fangming; Chu, Bei; Li, Wenlian; Su, Zisheng; Zhao, Haifeng; Lee, C S

    2014-12-15

    We demonstrate a highly efficient inverted small molecular solar cell with integration of Ag nanoparticles (NPs) into the devices. The optimized device based on thermal evaporated Ag NPs provides a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 4.87%, which offers 33% improvement than that of the reference device without Ag NPs. Such a high efficiency is mainly attributed to the improved electrical properties by virtue of the modification of the surface of ITO with Ag NPs and the enhanced light harvesting due to localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR). The more detail enhanced mechanism of the PCE by introduction of Ag NPs is also discussed. PMID:25607480

  17. Chitosan wound dressing with hexagonal silver nanoparticles for hyperthermia and enhanced delivery of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Levi-Polyachenko, Nicole; Jacob, Reuben; Day, Cynthia; Kuthirummal, Narayanan

    2016-06-01

    Chitosan films were synthesized with hexagonal silver nanoparticles (Ag NP). The unique shape and size of the Ag NP shift the optical absorption into the infrared. Stimulation of the nanoparticles with infrared light was used to generate heat and facilitate intracellular delivery of fluorescently-labeled dextran molecules. Chitosan films prepared with hexagonal or spherical Ag NP were characterized by optical and thermal analyses, and X-ray diffraction. There were found to be slight differences between how the chitosan molecular chains interface with the Ag NP depending upon shape of the nanoparticle. Viability of cells associated with dermal wound healing was evaluated on chitosan films prepared with hexagonal or spherical Ag NP, with both keratinocytes and fibroblasts having normal or moderately enhanced growth on films containing hexagonally-shaped nanoparticles. PMID:26970819

  18. Tetrandrine identified in a small molecule screen to activate mesenchymal stem cells for enhanced immunomodulation

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zijiang; Concannon, John; Ng, Kelvin S.; Seyb, Kathleen; Mortensen, Luke J.; Ranganath, Sudhir; Gu, Fangqi; Levy, Oren; Tong, Zhixiang; Martyn, Keir; Zhao, Weian; Lin, Charles P.; Glicksman, Marcie A.; Karp, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Pre-treatment or priming of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) prior to transplantation can significantly augment the immunosuppressive effect of MSC-based therapies. In this study, we screened a library of 1402 FDA-approved bioactive compounds to prime MSC. We identified tetrandrine as a potential hit that activates the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a potent immunosuppressive agent, by MSC. Tetrandrine increased MSC PGE2 secretion through the NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathway. When co-cultured with mouse macrophages (RAW264.7), tetrandrine-primed MSC attenuated the level of TNF-α secreted by RAW264.7. Furthermore, systemic transplantation of primed MSC into a mouse ear skin inflammation model significantly reduced the level of TNF-α in the inflamed ear, compared to unprimed cells. Screening of small molecules to pre-condition cells prior to transplantation represents a promising strategy to boost the therapeutic potential of cell therapy. PMID:27457881

  19. Tetrandrine identified in a small molecule screen to activate mesenchymal stem cells for enhanced immunomodulation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zijiang; Concannon, John; Ng, Kelvin S; Seyb, Kathleen; Mortensen, Luke J; Ranganath, Sudhir; Gu, Fangqi; Levy, Oren; Tong, Zhixiang; Martyn, Keir; Zhao, Weian; Lin, Charles P; Glicksman, Marcie A; Karp, Jeffrey M

    2016-01-01

    Pre-treatment or priming of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) prior to transplantation can significantly augment the immunosuppressive effect of MSC-based therapies. In this study, we screened a library of 1402 FDA-approved bioactive compounds to prime MSC. We identified tetrandrine as a potential hit that activates the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a potent immunosuppressive agent, by MSC. Tetrandrine increased MSC PGE2 secretion through the NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathway. When co-cultured with mouse macrophages (RAW264.7), tetrandrine-primed MSC attenuated the level of TNF-α secreted by RAW264.7. Furthermore, systemic transplantation of primed MSC into a mouse ear skin inflammation model significantly reduced the level of TNF-α in the inflamed ear, compared to unprimed cells. Screening of small molecules to pre-condition cells prior to transplantation represents a promising strategy to boost the therapeutic potential of cell therapy. PMID:27457881

  20. Gold Nanoparticles Surface Plasmon Resonance Enhanced Signal for the Detection of Small Molecules on Split-Aptamer Microarrays (Small Molecules Detection from Split-Aptamers)

    PubMed Central

    Melaine, Feriel; Roupioz, Yoann; Buhot, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    The detection of small molecules by biosensors remains a challenge for diagnostics in many areas like pharmacology, environment or homeland security. The main difficulty comes from both the low molecular weight and low concentrations of most targets, which generally requires an indirect detection with an amplification or a sandwich procedure. In this study, we combine both strategies as the amplification of Surface Plasmon Resonance imaging (SPRi) signal is obtained by the use of gold nanoparticles and the sequence engineering of split-aptamers, short oligonucleotides strands with strong affinity towards small targets, allows for a sandwich structure. Combining those two strategies, we obtained state-of-the-art results in the limit of detection (LOD = 50 nM) with the model target adenosine. Furthermore, the SPRi detection led on aptamer microarrays paves the way for potential multi-target detections thanks to the multi-probe imaging approach.

  1. Metal-assisted polyatomic SIMS and laser desorption/ionization for enhanced small molecule imaging of bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Dunham, Sage J B; Comi, Troy J; Ko, Kyungwon; Li, Bin; Baig, Nameera F; Morales-Soto, Nydia; Shrout, Joshua D; Bohn, Paul W; Sweedler, Jonathan V

    2016-06-01

    Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has become an important analytical tool for many sectors of science and medicine. As the application of MSI expands into new areas of inquiry, existing methodologies must be adapted and improved to meet emerging challenges. Particularly salient is the need for small molecule imaging methods that are compatible with complex multicomponent systems, a challenge that is amplified by the effects of analyte migration and matrix interference. With a focus on microbial biofilms from the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the relative advantages of two established microprobe-based MSI techniques-polyatomic secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and laser desorption/ionization-are compared, with emphasis on exploring the effect of surface metallization on small molecule imaging. A combination of qualitative image comparison and multivariate statistical analysis demonstrates that sputtering microbial biofilms with a 2.5 nm layer of gold selectively enhances C60-SIMS ionization for several molecular classes including rhamnolipids and 2-alkyl-quinolones. Metallization also leads to the reduction of in-source fragmentation and subsequent ionization of media-specific background polymers, which improves spectral purity and image quality. These findings show that the influence of metallization upon ionization is strongly dependent on both the surface architecture and the analyte class, and further demonstrate that metal-assisted C60-SIMS is a viable method for small molecule imaging of intact molecular ions in complex biological systems. PMID:26945568

  2. Enhancement of Antiviral Immunity by Small Molecule Antagonist of Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Chulbul M. I.; Dabelic, Rea; Martin, James P.; Jager, Lindsey D.; Haider, S. Mohammad; Johnson, Howard M.

    2011-01-01

    Suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCSs) are negative regulators of both innate and adaptive immunity via inhibition of signaling by cytokines such as type I and type II IFNs. We have developed a small peptide antagonist of SOCS-1 that corresponds to the activation loop of JAK2. SOCS-1 inhibits both type I and type II IFN activities by binding to the kinase activation loop via the kinase inhibitory region of the SOCS. The antagonist, pJAK2(1001–1013), inhibited the replication of vaccinia virus and encephalomyocarditis virus in cell culture, suggesting that it possesses broad antiviral activity. In addition, pJAK2(1001–1013) protected mice against lethal vaccinia and encephalomyocarditis virus infection. pJAK2(1001–1013) increased the intracellular level of the constitutive IFN-β, which may play a role in the antagonist antiviral effect at the cellular level. Ab neutralization suggests that constitutive IFN-β may act intracellularly, consistent with recent findings on IFN-γ intracellular signaling. pJAK2(1001–1013) also synergizes with IFNs as per IFN-γ mimetic to exert a multiplicative antiviral effect at the level of transcription, the cell, and protection of mice against lethal viral infection. pJAK2(1001–1013) binds to the kinase inhibitory region of both SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 and blocks their inhibitory effects on the IFN-γ activation site promoter. In addition to a direct antiviral effect and synergism with IFN, the SOCS antagonist also exhibits adjuvant effects on humoral and cellular immunity as well as an enhancement of polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid activation of TLR3. The SOCS antagonist thus presents a novel and effective approach to enhancement of host defense against viruses. PMID:20543109

  3. Emerging small molecule drugs.

    PubMed

    Colin, Sophie; Chinetti-Gbaguidi, Giulia; Kuivenhoven, Jan A; Staels, Bart

    2015-01-01

    Dyslipidaemia is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Pharmacological lowering of LDL-C levels using statins reduces cardiovascular risk. However, a substantial residual risk persists especially in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Because of the inverse association observed in epidemiological studies of HDL-C with the risk for cardiovascular diseases, novel therapeutic strategies to raise HDL-C levels or improve HDL functionality are developed as complementary therapy for cardiovascular diseases. However, until now most therapies targeting HDL-C levels failed in clinical trials because of side effects or absence of clinical benefits. This chapter will highlight the emerging small molecules currently developed and tested in clinical trials to pharmacologically modulate HDL-C and functionality including new CETP inhibitors (anacetrapib, evacetrapib), novel PPAR agonists (K-877, CER-002, DSP-8658, INT131 and GFT505), LXR agonists (ATI-111, LXR-623, XL-652) and RVX-208. PMID:25523004

  4. Enhancements to the Rosetta Energy Function Enable Improved Identification of Small Molecules that Inhibit Protein-Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Karanicolas, John

    2015-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions are among today’s most exciting and promising targets for therapeutic intervention. To date, identifying small-molecules that selectively disrupt these interactions has proven particularly challenging for virtual screening tools, since these have typically been optimized to perform well on more “traditional” drug discovery targets. Here, we test the performance of the Rosetta energy function for identifying compounds that inhibit protein interactions, when these active compounds have been hidden amongst pools of “decoys.” Through this virtual screening benchmark, we gauge the effect of two recent enhancements to the functional form of the Rosetta energy function: the new “Talaris” update and the “pwSHO” solvation model. Finally, we conclude by developing and validating a new weight set that maximizes Rosetta’s ability to pick out the active compounds in this test set. Looking collectively over the course of these enhancements, we find a marked improvement in Rosetta’s ability to identify small-molecule inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. PMID:26484863

  5. A small molecule inhibitor for ATPase activity of Hsp70 and Hsc70 enhances the immune response to protein antigens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baek, Kyung-Hwa; Zhang, Haiying; Lee, Bo Ryeong; Kwon, Young-Guen; Ha, Sang-Jun; Shin, Injae

    2015-12-01

    The ATPase activities of Hsp70 and Hsc70 are known to be responsible for regulation of various biological processes. However, little is known about the roles of Hsp70 and Hsc70 in modulation of immune responses to antigens. In the present study, we investigated the effect of apoptozole (Az), a small molecule inhibitor of Hsp70 and Hsc70, on immune responses to protein antigens. The results show that mice administered with both protein antigen and Az produce more antibodies than those treated with antigen alone, showing that Az enhances immune responses to administered antigens. Treatment of mice with Az elicits production of antibodies with a high IgG2c/IgG1 ratio and stimulates the release of Th1 and Th2-type cytokines, suggesting that Az activates the Th1 and Th2 immune responses. The observations made in the present study suggest that inhibition of Hsp70 and Hsc70 activities could be a novel strategy designing small molecule-based adjuvants in protein vaccines.

  6. A Bifunctional Dimethylsulfoxide Substitute Enhances the Aqueous Solubility of Small Organic Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Sprachman, Melissa M.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract An oxetane-substituted sulfoxide has demonstrated potential as a dimethylsulfoxide substitute for enhancing the dissolution of organic compounds with poor aqueous solubilities. This sulfoxide may find utility in applications of library storage and biological assays. For the model compounds studied, significant solubility enhancements were observed using the sulfoxide as a cosolvent in aqueous media. Brine shrimp, breast cancer (MDA-MB-231), and liver cell line (HepG2) toxicity data for the new additive are also presented, in addition to comparative IC50 values for a series of PKD1 inhibitors. PMID:22192308

  7. A small molecule norspermidine in combination with silver ion enhances dispersal and disinfection of multi-species wastewater biofilms.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yachuan; Quan, Xiangchun; Si, Xiurong; Wang, Xinrui

    2016-06-01

    Detrimental biofilms have become a great concern in many areas due to their strong resistance and insensitivity to traditional antimicrobial agents. Norspermidine is a potent small molecule for biofilm dispersal. In this study, silver ion, a conventional inorganic biocide, was combined with norspermidine and used for control and removal of multi-species biofilms formed by a mixed culture from wastewater treatment systems. Results showed that silver ion (0.01-1 mg/L) treatment alone failed to remove the existing wastewater biofilms. Norspermidine at the concentrations of 500-1000 μM was capable to disrupt and disperse the existing biofilms with a biofilm reduction of 21-34 % after 24-h exposure. The combined treatment with norspermidine (500 μM) and silver ion (0.01 mg/L) increased biofilm reduction to 48 % (24-h exposure). The combined treatment also enhanced biofilm disinfection ratio (82 %, 2-h exposure) by 2.0- and 2.6-folds compared to norspermidine (27 %) or silver ion (23 %) treatment alone, respectively. Confocal laser scanning microscopic (CLSM) observations found that norspermidine could disrupt biofilm matrix and promote biofilm dispersal via breaking down exopolysaccharides. The combined treatment increased the reduction in biofilm cell density and viability, possibly due to the damage of biofilm matrix, enhanced silver ion diffusion in biofilms, and increased biofilm sensitivity. These findings indicate that the combination of a small molecule norspermidine with a traditional biocide silver ion presents a novel strategy to remove and kill biofilms, which have a potential application in addressing wastewater biofilm-related issues. PMID:26894404

  8. A small molecule screen for enhanced homing of systemically infused cells

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Zhixiang; Perrault, Christelle; Benhamou, Brigitte; Zhang, Jidong; Stratton, Tara; Han, Edward; Safaee, Helia; Musabeyezu, Juliet; Yang, Zijiang; Multon, Marie-Christine; Rothblatt, Jonathan; Deleuze, Jean-Francois; Lin, Charles P.; Karp, Jeffrey M.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Poor homing of systemically infused cells to disease sites may limit the success of exogenous cell-based therapy. In this study, we screened 9,000 signal transduction modulators to identify hits that increase mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) surface expression of homing ligands that bind to ICAM-1, such as CD11a. Pretreatment of MSCs with Ro-31-8425, an identified hit from this screen, increased MSC firm adhesion to an ICAM-1-coated substrate in-vitro, and enabled targeted delivery of systemically administered MSCs to inflamed sites in-vivo in a CD11a (and other ICAM-1-binding domains)-dependent manner. This resulted in a heightened anti-inflammatory response. This represents a new strategy for engineering cell homing to enhance therapeutic efficacy and validates CD11a/ICAM-1 as potential targets. Altogether, this multi-step screening process may significantly improve clinical outcomes of cell-based therapies. PMID:25732817

  9. Comparison of light out-coupling enhancements in single-layer blue-phosphorescent organic light emitting diodes using small-molecule or polymer hosts

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Yung-Ting; Liu, Shun-Wei; Yuan, Chih-Hsien; Lee, Chih-Chien; Ho, Yu-Hsuan; Wei, Pei-Kuen; Chen, Kuan-Yu; Lee, Yi-Ting; Wu, Min-Fei; Chen, Chin-Ti E-mail: chihiwu@cc.ee.ntu.edu.tw; Wu, Chih-I E-mail: chihiwu@cc.ee.ntu.edu.tw

    2013-11-07

    Single-layer blue phosphorescence organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) with either small-molecule or polymer hosts are fabricated using solution process and the performances of devices with different hosts are investigated. The small-molecule device exhibits luminous efficiency of 14.7 cd/A and maximum power efficiency of 8.39 lm/W, which is the highest among blue phosphorescence OLEDs with single-layer solution process and small molecular hosts. Using the same solution process for all devices, comparison of light out-coupling enhancement, with brightness enhancement film (BEF), between small-molecule and polymer based OLEDs is realized. Due to different dipole orientation and anisotropic refractive index, polymer-based OLEDs would trap less light than small molecule-based OLEDs internally, about 37% better based simulation results. In spite of better electrical and spectroscopic characteristics, including ambipolar characteristics, higher carrier mobility, higher photoluminescence quantum yield, and larger triplet state energy, the overall light out-coupling efficiency of small molecule-based devices is worse than that of polymer-based devices without BEF. However, with BEF for light out-coupling enhancement, the improved ratio in luminous flux and luminous efficiency for small molecule based device is 1.64 and 1.57, respectively, which are significantly better than those of PVK (poly-9-vinylcarbazole) devices. In addition to the theoretical optical simulation, the experimental data also confirm the origins of differential light-outcoupling enhancement. The maximum luminous efficiency and power efficiency are enhanced from 14.7 cd/A and 8.39 lm/W to 23 cd/A and 13.2 lm/W, respectively, with laminated BEF, which are both the highest so far for single-layer solution-process blue phosphorescence OLEDs with small molecule hosts.

  10. Ligand coupling symmetry correlates with thermopower enhancement in small-molecule/nanocrystal hybrid materials.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Jared; Kotiuga, Michele; Doan-Nguyen, Vicky V T; Queen, Wendy L; Forster, Jason D; Schlitz, Ruth A; Murray, Christopher B; Neaton, Jeffrey B; Chabinyc, Michael L; Urban, Jeffrey J

    2014-10-28

    We investigate the impact of the coupling symmetry and chemical nature of organic-inorganic interfaces on thermoelectric transport in Cu2-xSe nanocrystal thin films. By coupling ligand-exchange techniques with layer-by-layer assembly methods, we are able to systematically vary nanocrystal-organic linker interfaces, demonstrating how the functionality of the polar headgroup and the coupling symmetry of the organic linkers can change the power factor (S(2)σ) by nearly 2 orders of magnitude. Remarkably, we observe that ligand-coupling symmetry has a profound effect on thermoelectric transport in these hybrid materials. We shed light on these results using intuition from a simplified model for interparticle charge transport via tunneling through the frontier orbital of a bound ligand. Our analysis indicates that ligand-coupling symmetry and binding mechanisms correlate with enhanced conductivity approaching 2000 S/cm, and we employ this concept to demonstrate among the highest power factors measured for quantum-dot based thermoelectric inorganic-organic composite materials of ∼ 30 μW/m · K(2). PMID:25211028

  11. Compact hybrid (gold nanodendrite-quantum dots) assembly: plasmon enhanced fluorescence-based platform for small molecule sensing in solution.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huide; Xia, Yunsheng

    2014-11-18

    In this study, we have presented a novel plasmon enhanced fluorescence (PEF) system for label-free sensing of small molecules in bulk solution. The amine-terminated gold nanodendrite (AuND) and carboxyl-terminated QDs directly assemble each other by amine-carboxyl attraction. Without any spacer layers, PEF can be increased by 4 times during the formation of the compact hybrid (AuND-QDs) assembly. Both experiment and finite-difference time domain calculation results indicate that the distinct solution-PEF effect is ascribed to two reasons: (1) The used AuNDs simultaneously possess four features in morphology and topology, well-defined superstructure, sharp tips and edges, moderately elongated subunits, and smaller size. (2) The hybrid (AuND-QDs) assembly has a very compact structure. So, the fluorescence is well enhanced by the effective increase of excitation and radiative decay rates with the decrease of scattering effect. The (AuND-QDs) assembly is then employed for sensing of trinitrotoluene (TNT), one of the highly explosive and environmentally detrimental substances, in bulk solution. The sensing principle is that the analytes can react with primary amines on the AuND surface and form Meisenheimer complexes, which break the preformed assemblies and result in the fluorescence recovery of the QDs. The linear range is 0-8.8 nM with 0.05 nM detection limit. The present quasi-picomole level sensitivity is one of the best results for fluorescent TNT sensing. The developed method is successfully applied to TNT sensing in real environmental samples, indicating the practical potential. PMID:25317671

  12. Solution-grown small-molecule organic semiconductor with enhanced crystal alignment and areal coverage for organic thin film transistors

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Bi, Sheng; He, Zhengran; Chen, Jihua; Li, Dawen

    2015-07-24

    Drop casting of small-molecule organic semiconductors typically forms crystals with random orientation and poor areal coverage, which leads to significant performance variations of organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs). In this study, we utilize the controlled evaporative self-assembly (CESA) method combined with binary solvent system to control the crystal growth. A small-molecule organic semiconductor,2,5-Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-3,6-bis(5"-n-hexyl-2,2',5',2"]terthiophen-5-yl)-pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-dione (SMDPPEH), is used as an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. By optimizing the double solvent ratios, well-aligned SMDPPEH crystals with significantly improved areal coverage were achieved. As a result, the SMDPPEH based OTFTs exhibit a mobility of 1.6 × 10-2 cm2/V s, which is themore » highest mobility from SMDPPEH ever reported.« less

  13. Solution-grown small-molecule organic semiconductor with enhanced crystal alignment and areal coverage for organic thin film transistors

    SciTech Connect

    Bi, Sheng; He, Zhengran; Chen, Jihua; Li, Dawen

    2015-07-24

    Drop casting of small-molecule organic semiconductors typically forms crystals with random orientation and poor areal coverage, which leads to significant performance variations of organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs). In this study, we utilize the controlled evaporative self-assembly (CESA) method combined with binary solvent system to control the crystal growth. A small-molecule organic semiconductor,2,5-Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-3,6-bis(5"-n-hexyl-2,2',5',2"]terthiophen-5-yl)-pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-dione (SMDPPEH), is used as an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. By optimizing the double solvent ratios, well-aligned SMDPPEH crystals with significantly improved areal coverage were achieved. As a result, the SMDPPEH based OTFTs exhibit a mobility of 1.6 × 10-2 cm2/V s, which is the highest mobility from SMDPPEH ever reported.

  14. Raman and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopic studies of specific, small molecule activator of histone acetyltransferase p300

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundu, Partha P.; Pavan Kumar, G. V.; Mantelingu, Kempegowda; Kundu, Tapas K.; Narayana, Chandrabhas

    2011-07-01

    We report for the first time, the Raman and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) studies of N-(4-chloro-3-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-2-ethoxy-benzamide (CTB). This molecule is specific activator of human histone acetyltransferase (HAT), p300, and serves as lead molecule to design anti-neoplastic therapeutics. A detailed Raman and SERS band assignments have been performed for CTB, which are compared with the density functional theory calculations. The observed red shift of N sbnd H stretching frequency from the computed wavenumber indicates the weakening of N sbnd H bond resulting from proton transfer to the neighboring oxygen atom. We observe Ag sbnd N vibrational mode at 234 cm -1 in SERS of CTB. This indicates there is a metal-molecule bond leading to chemical enhancement in SERS. We also observe, enhancement in the modes pertaining to substituted benzene rings and methyl groups. Based on SERS analysis we propose the adsorption sites and the orientation of CTB on silver surface.

  15. Positron-attachment to small molecules: Vibrational enhancement of positron affinities with configuration interaction level of multi-component molecular orbital approach

    SciTech Connect

    Tachikawa, Masanori

    2015-12-31

    To theoretically demonstrate the binding of a positron to small polarized molecules, we have calculated the vibrational averaged positron affinity (PA) values along the local vibrational contribution with the configuration interaction level of multi-component molecular orbital method. This method can take the electron-positron correlation contribution into account through single electronic - single positronic excitation configurations. The PA values are enhanced by including the local vibrational contribution from vertical PA values due to the anharmonicity of the potential.

  16. Protein Scaffolding for Small Molecule Catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, David

    2014-09-14

    We aim to design hybrid catalysts for energy production and storage that combine the high specificity, affinity, and tunability of proteins with the potent chemical reactivities of small organometallic molecules. The widely used Rosetta and RosettaDesign methodologies will be extended to model novel protein / small molecule catalysts in which one or many small molecule active centers are supported and coordinated by protein scaffolding. The promise of such hybrid molecular systems will be demonstrated with the nickel-phosphine hydrogenase of DuBois et. al.We will enhance the hydrogenase activity of the catalyst by designing protein scaffolds that incorporate proton relays and systematically modulate the local environment of the catalyticcenter. In collaboration with DuBois and Shaw, the designs will be experimentally synthesized and characterized.

  17. Small Molecule Immunosensing Using Surface Plasmon Resonance

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, John

    2010-01-01

    Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensors utilize refractive index changes to sensitively detect mass changes at noble metal sensor surface interfaces. As such, they have been extensively applied to immunoassays of large molecules, where their high mass and use of sandwich immunoassay formats can result in excellent sensitivity. Small molecule immunosensing using SPR is more challenging. It requires antibodies or high-mass or noble metal labels to provide the required signal for ultrasensitive assays. Also, it can suffer from steric hindrance between the small antigen and large antibodies. However, new studies are increasingly meeting these and other challenges to offer highly sensitive small molecule immunosensor technologies through careful consideration of sensor interface design and signal enhancement. This review examines the application of SPR transduction technologies to small molecule immunoassays directed to different classes of small molecule antigens, including the steroid hormones, toxins, drugs and explosives residues. Also considered are the matrix effects resulting from measurement in chemically complex samples, the construction of stable sensor surfaces and the development of multiplexed assays capable of detecting several compounds at once. Assay design approaches are discussed and related to the sensitivities obtained. PMID:22163605

  18. Incorporation of metal-organic framework HKUST-1 into porous polymer monolithic capillary columns to enhance the chromatographic separation of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shengchao; Ye, Fanggui; Lv, Qinghui; Zhang, Cong; Shen, Shufen; Zhao, Shulin

    2014-09-19

    Metal-organic framework (MOF) HKUST-1 nanoparticles have been incorporated into poly(glycidyl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate) (HKUST-1-poly(GMA-co-EDMA)) monoliths to afford stationary phases with enhanced chromatographic performance of small molecules in the reversed phase capillary liquid chromatography. The effect of HKUST-1 nanoparticles in the polymerization mixture on the performance of the monolithic column was explored in detail. While the bare poly(GMA-co-EDMA) monolith exhibited poor resolution (Rs<1.0) and low efficiency (800-16,300plates/m), addition of a small amount of HKUST-1 nanoparticles to the polymerization mixture provide high increased resolution (Rs≥1.3) and high efficiency ranged from 16,300 to 44,300plates/m. Chromatographic performance of HKUST-1-poly(GMA-co-EDMA) monolith was demonstrated by separation of various analytes including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, ethylbenzene and styrene, phenols and aromatic acids using a binary polar mobile phase (CH3CN/H2O). The HKUST-1-poly(GMA-co-EDMA) monolith displayed enhanced hydrophobic and π-π interaction characteristics in the reversed phase separation of test analytes compared to the bare poly(GMA-co-EDMA) monolith. The experiment results showed that HKUST-1-poly(GMA-co-EDMA) monoliths are an alternative to enhance the chromatographic separation of small molecules. PMID:25145567

  19. Enhancement of Open-Circuit Voltage by Using the 58-π Silylmethyl Fullerenes in Small-Molecule Organic Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Il; Delacou, Clément; Nakagawa, Takafumi; Matsuo, Yutaka

    2016-04-20

    The application of 58-π-1,4-bis(silylmethyl)[60]fullerenes, C60 (CH2 SiMe2 Ph)(CH2 SiMe2 Ar) (Ar=Ph and 2-methoxylphenyl for SIMEF-1 and SIMEF-2, respectively), in small-molecule organic solar cells with a diketopyrrolopyrrole donor (3,6-bis[5-(benzofuran-2-yl)thiophen-2-yl]-2,5-bis(2-ethylhexyl)pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-dione (DPP(TBFu)2 )) is demonstrated. With the 58-π-silylmethyl fullerene acceptor, SIMEF-1, the devices showed the highest efficiency of 4.57 % with an average of 4.10 %. They manifested an improved open-circuit voltage (1.03 V) owing to the high-lying LUMO level of SIMEF-1, while maintaining a high short-circuit density (9.91 mA cm(-2) ) through controlling the crystallinity of DPP by thermal treatment. On the other hand, despite even higher open-circuit voltage (1.05 V), SIMEF-2-based devices showed lower performances of 3.53 %, owing to a low short-circuit current density (8.33 mA cm(-2) ) and fill factor (0.40) arising from the asymmetric structure, which results in a lower mobility and immiscibility. PMID:26840629

  20. The Nonantibiotic Small Molecule Cyslabdan Enhances the Potency of β-Lactams against MRSA by Inhibiting Pentaglycine Interpeptide Bridge Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Koyama, Nobuhiro; Tokura, Yuriko; Münch, Daniela; Sahl, Hans-Georg; Schneider, Tanja; Shibagaki, Yoshio; Ikeda, Haruo; Tomoda, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    The nonantibiotic small molecule cyslabdan, a labdan-type diterpene produced by Streptomyces sp. K04-0144, markedly potentiated the activity of the β-lactam drug imipenem against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). To study the mechanism of action of cyslabdan, the proteins that bind to cyslabdan were investigated in an MRSA lysate, which led to the identification of FemA, which is involved in the synthesis of the pentaglycine interpeptide bridge of the peptidoglycan of MRSA. Furthermore, binding assay of cyslabdan to FemB and FemX with the function similar to FemA revealed that cyslabdan had an affinity for FemB but not FemX. In an enzyme-based assay, cyslabdan inhibited FemA activity, where as did not affected FemX and FemB activities. Nonglycyl and monoglycyl murein monomers were accumulated by cyslabdan in the peptidoglycan of MRSA cell walls. These findings indicated that cyslabdan primarily inhibits FemA, thereby suppressing pentaglycine interpeptide bridge synthesis. This protein is a key factor in the determination of β-lactam resistance in MRSA, and our findings provide a new strategy for combating MRSA. PMID:23166602

  1. Antitumor activity of the protein and small molecule component fractions from Agrocybe aegerita through enhancement of cytokine production.

    PubMed

    Liang, Yi; Liu, Hong-Hong; Chen, Yi-Jie; Sun, Hui

    2014-04-01

    A water soluble extract from the medicinal mushroom Agrocybe aegerita has been shown to stimulate splenocyte proliferation, cytotoxic activity, and tumor rejection effect in tumor-bearing mouse models. In the present study, the crude extract was separated into a protein component fraction (Yp), mainly containing lectins and serine proteinase, and a small molecule component fraction (Ys), mainly containing triethylene glycol, α-bisabolol, n-hexadecanoic acid, and so on. The antitumor activity of the fractions was investigated in a tumor-bearing BALB/c mouse model. Repeat administration of Yp and Ys significantly inhibited tumor growth (P<.001), but little toxicity was observed. Moreover, the protein fraction Yp performed better than Ys in both antitumor and lifespan-prolonging activity. The cytokine expression levels in serum and splenocytes from extract-treated mice were selectively screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the results showed that Yp upregulated the mRNA level of Th2 cytokine interleukin-10 (P<.01), and Ys increased the mRNA level of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (P<.01) and anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor-β (P<.01). All these data suggest that Yp and Ys can inhibit tumor growth via different mechanisms, which promotes the understanding of antitumor properties of medicinal fungi. PMID:24593676

  2. Enhancement of Performance and Mechanism Studies of All-Solution Processed Small-Molecule based Solar Cells with an Inverted Structure.

    PubMed

    Long, Guankui; Wu, Bo; Yang, Xuan; Kan, Bin; Zhou, Ye-Cheng; Chen, Li-Chuan; Wan, Xiangjian; Zhang, Hao-Li; Sum, Tze Chien; Chen, Yongsheng

    2015-09-30

    Both solution-processed polymers and small molecule based solar cells have achieved PCEs over 9% with the conventional device structure. However, for the practical applications of photovoltaic technology, further enhancement of both device performance and stability are urgently required, particularly for the inverted structure devices, since this architecture will probably be most promising for the possible coming commercialization. In this work, we have fabricated both conventional and inverted structure devices using the same small molecular donor/acceptor materials and compared the performance of both device structures, and found that the inverted structure based device gave significantly improved performance, the highest PCE so far for inverted structure based device using small molecules as the donor. Furthermore, the inverted device shows a remarkable stability with almost no obvious degradation after three months. Systematic device physics and charge generation dynamics studies, including optical simulation, light-intensity-dependent current-voltage experiments, photocurrent density-effective voltage analyses, transient absorption measurements, and electrical simulations, indicate that the significantly enhanced performance using inverted device is ascribed to the increasing of Jsc compared to the conventional device, which in turn is mainly attributed to the increased absorption of photons in the active layers, rather than the reduced nongeminate recombination. PMID:26352703

  3. Finding small molecules for the 'next Ebola'.

    PubMed

    Ekins, Sean; Southan, Christopher; Coffee, Megan

    2015-01-01

    The current Ebola virus epidemic may provide some suggestions of how we can better prepare for the next pathogen outbreak. We propose several cost effective steps that could be taken that would impact the discovery and use of small molecule therapeutics including: 1. text mine the literature, 2. patent assignees and/or inventors should openly declare their relevant filings, 3. reagents and assays could be commoditized, 4. using manual curation to enhance database links, 5. engage database and curation teams, 6. consider open science approaches, 7. adapt the "box" model for shareable reference compounds, and 8. involve the physician's perspective. PMID:25949804

  4. A Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Sensor Integrated with Battery-Controlled Fluidic Device for Capture and Detection of Trace Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Qitao; Meng, Guowen; Zheng, Peng; Cushing, Scott; Wu, Nianqiang; Huang, Qing; Zhu, Chuhong; Zhang, Zhuo; Wang, Zhiwei

    2015-08-01

    For surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensors, one of the important issues is the development of substrates not only with high SERS-activity but also with strong ability to capture analytes. However, it is difficult to achieve the two goals simultaneously especially when detecting small molecules. Herein a compact battery-controlled nanostructure-assembled SERS system has been demonstrated for capture and detection of trace small molecule pollutants in water. In this SERS fluidic system, an electrical heating constantan wire covered with the vertically aligned ZnO nanotapers decorated with Ag-nanoparticles is inserted into a glass capillary. A mixture of thermo-responsive microgels, Au-nanorods colloids and analyte solution is then filled into the remnant space of the capillary. When the system is heated by switching on the battery, the thermo-responsive microgels shrink, which immobilizes the analyte and drives the Au-nanorod close to each other and close to the Ag-ZnO nanotapers. This process has also created high-density “hot spots” due to multi-type plasmonic couplings in three-dimensional space, amplifying the SERS signal. This integrated device has been successfully used to measure methyl parathion in lake water, showing a great potential in detection of aquatic pollutants.

  5. A Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Sensor Integrated with Battery-Controlled Fluidic Device for Capture and Detection of Trace Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Qitao; Meng, Guowen; Zheng, Peng; Cushing, Scott; Wu, Nianqiang; Huang, Qing; Zhu, Chuhong; Zhang, Zhuo; Wang, Zhiwei

    2015-01-01

    For surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensors, one of the important issues is the development of substrates not only with high SERS-activity but also with strong ability to capture analytes. However, it is difficult to achieve the two goals simultaneously especially when detecting small molecules. Herein a compact battery-controlled nanostructure-assembled SERS system has been demonstrated for capture and detection of trace small molecule pollutants in water. In this SERS fluidic system, an electrical heating constantan wire covered with the vertically aligned ZnO nanotapers decorated with Ag-nanoparticles is inserted into a glass capillary. A mixture of thermo-responsive microgels, Au-nanorods colloids and analyte solution is then filled into the remnant space of the capillary. When the system is heated by switching on the battery, the thermo-responsive microgels shrink, which immobilizes the analyte and drives the Au-nanorod close to each other and close to the Ag-ZnO nanotapers. This process has also created high-density “hot spots” due to multi-type plasmonic couplings in three-dimensional space, amplifying the SERS signal. This integrated device has been successfully used to measure methyl parathion in lake water, showing a great potential in detection of aquatic pollutants. PMID:26238799

  6. Enhance the light-harvesting capability of the ITO-free inverted small molecule solar cell by ZnO nanorods.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ming-Yi; Wu, Shang-Hsuan; Hsiao, Li-Jen; Budiawan, Widhya; Boopathi, Karunakara Moorthy; Tu, Wei-Chen; Chang, Yia-Chung; Chu, Chih-Wei

    2016-08-01

    The ITO-free inverted SMPV1:PC71BM solar cells with an Al doped ZnO (AZO) transparent electrodes are fabricated. The AZO thin film prepared by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique exhibits high transmission (>85%) and low sheet resistance (~30 Ω/sq) and the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of devices based on AZO electrode can reach around 4%. To further enhance the light harvesting of the absorption layer of solar cells, ZnO nanorods interlayer is grown on the AZO layer before the deposition the active layer. The absorption spectrums of devices under various conditions are also simulated by RCWA method to identify the optical saturation length of the ZnO nanorods. The PCE of ITO-free inverted small molecule solar cell improved with ZnO nanorods can reach 6.6%. PMID:27505758

  7. Quest for organic polymer-based monolithic columns affording enhanced efficiency in high performance liquid chromatography separations of small molecules in isocratic mode

    PubMed Central

    Svec, Frantisek

    2011-01-01

    The separations of small molecules using columns containing porous polymer monoliths invented two decades ago went a long way from the very modest beginnings to the current capillary columns with efficiencies approaching those featured by their silica-based counterparts. This review article presents a variety of techniques that have been used to form capillary formats of monolithic columns with enhanced separation performance in isocratic elutions. The following text first describes the traditional approaches used for the preparation of efficient monoliths comprising variations in polymerization conditions including temperature as well as composition of monomers and porogenic solvents. Encouraging results of these experiments fueled research of completely new preparation methods such as polymerization to an incomplete conversion, use of single crosslinker, hypercrosslinking, and incorporation of carbon nanotubes that are described in the second part of the text. PMID:21816401

  8. Small Molecule based Musculoskeletal Regenerative Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Kevin W.-H.; Jiang, Tao; Gagnon, Keith A.; Nelson, Clarke; Laurencin, Cato T.

    2014-01-01

    Clinicians and scientists working in the field of regenerative engineering are actively investigating a wide range of methods to promote musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. Small molecule-mediated tissue regeneration is emerging as a promising strategy for regenerating various musculoskeletal tissues and a large number of small molecule compounds have been recently discovered as potential bioactive molecules for musculoskeletal tissue repair and regeneration. In this review, we summarize the recent literature encompassing the past four years in the area of small bioactive molecule for promoting repair and regeneration of various musculoskeletal tissues including bone, muscle, cartilage, tendon, and nerve. PMID:24405851

  9. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

    Neves, Jorge L B; Lin, Zhenjian; Imperial, Julita S; Antunes, Agostinho; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-10-16

    Cone snails are renowned for producing peptide-based venom, containing conopeptides and conotoxins, to capture their prey. A novel small-molecule guanine derivative with unprecedented features, genuanine, was isolated from the venom of two cone snail species. Genuanine causes paralysis in mice, indicating that small molecules and not just polypeptides may contribute to the activity of cone snail venom. PMID:26421741

  10. A PTBA small molecule enhances recovery and reduces postinjury fibrosis after aristolochic acid-induced kidney injury

    PubMed Central

    Novitskaya, Tatiana; McDermott, Lee; Zhang, Ke Xin; Chiba, Takuto; Paueksakon, Paisit; Hukriede, Neil A.

    2013-01-01

    Phenylthiobutanoic acids (PTBAs) are a new class of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors that accelerate recovery and reduce postinjury fibrosis after ischemia-reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury. However, unlike the more common scenario in which patients present with protracted and less clearly defined onset of renal injury, this model of acute kidney injury gives rise to a clearly defined injury that begins to resolve over a short period of time. In these studies, we show for the first time that treatment with the PTBA analog methyl-4-(phenylthio)butanoate (M4PTB) accelerates recovery and reduces postinjury fibrosis in a progressive model of acute kidney injury and renal fibrosis that occurs after aristolochic acid injection in mice. These effects are apparent when M4PTB treatment is delayed 4 days after the initiating injury and are associated with increased proliferation and decreased G2/M arrest of regenerating renal tubular epithelial cells. In addition, there is reduced peritubular macrophage infiltration and decreased expression of the macrophage chemokines CX3Cl1 and CCL2. Since macrophage infiltration plays a role in promoting kidney injury, and since renal tubular epithelial cells show defective repair and a marked increase in maladaptive G2/M arrest after aristolochic acid injury, these findings suggest M4PTB may be particularly beneficial in reducing injury and enhancing intrinsic cellular repair even when administered days after aristolochic acid ingestion. PMID:24370591

  11. Hydrophobic Porous Material Adsorbs Small Organic Molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, Pramod K.; Hickey, Gregory S.

    1994-01-01

    Composite molecular-sieve material has pore structure designed specifically for preferential adsorption of organic molecules for sizes ranging from 3 to 6 angstrom. Design based on principle that contaminant molecules become strongly bound to surface of adsorbent when size of contaminant molecules is nearly same as that of pores in adsorbent. Material used to remove small organic contaminant molecules from vacuum systems or from enclosed gaseous environments like closed-loop life-support systems.

  12. Small-molecule-dependent split aptamer ligation.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Ashwani K; Heemstra, Jennifer M

    2011-08-17

    Here we describe the first use of small-molecule binding to direct a chemical reaction between two nucleic acid strands. The reported reaction is a ligation between two fragments of a DNA split aptamer using strain-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition. Utilizing the split aptamer for cocaine, we demonstrate small-molecule-dependent ligation that is dose-dependent over a wide range of cocaine concentrations and is compatible with complex biological fluids such as human blood serum. Moreover, studies of split aptamer ligation at varying salt concentrations and using structurally similar analogues of cocaine have revealed new insight into the assembly and small-molecule binding properties of the cocaine split aptamer. The ability to translate the presence of a small-molecule target into the output of DNA ligation is anticipated to enable the development of new, broadly applicable small-molecule detection assays. PMID:21761903

  13. The Small Molecule Hyperphyllin Enhances Leaf Formation Rate and Mimics Shoot Meristem Integrity Defects Associated with AMP1 Deficiency.

    PubMed

    Poretska, Olena; Yang, Saiqi; Pitorre, Delphine; Rozhon, Wilfried; Zwerger, Karin; Uribe, Marcos Castellanos; May, Sean; McCourt, Peter; Poppenberger, Brigitte; Sieberer, Tobias

    2016-06-01

    ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1 (AMP1) is a member of the M28 family of carboxypeptidases with a pivotal role in plant development and stress adaptation. Its most prominent mutant defect is a unique hypertrophic shoot phenotype combining a strongly increased organ formation rate with enhanced meristem size and the formation of ectopic meristem poles. However, so far the role of AMP1 in shoot development could not be assigned to a specific molecular pathway nor is its biochemical function resolved. In this work we evaluated the level of functional conservation between AMP1 and its human homolog HsGCPII, a tumor marker of medical interest. We show that HsGCPII cannot substitute AMP1 in planta and that an HsGCPII-specific inhibitor does not evoke amp1-specific phenotypes. We used a chemical genetic approach to identify the drug hyperphyllin (HP), which specifically mimics the shoot defects of amp1, including plastochron reduction and enlargement and multiplication of the shoot meristem. We assessed the structural requirements of HP activity and excluded that it is a cytokinin analog. HP-treated wild-type plants showed amp1-related tissue-specific changes of various marker genes and a significant transcriptomic overlap with the mutant. HP was ineffective in amp1 and elevated the protein levels of PHAVOLUTA, consistent with the postulated role of AMP1 in miRNA-controlled translation, further supporting an AMP1-related mode of action. Our work suggests that plant and animal members of the M28 family of proteases adopted unrelated functions. With HP we provide a tool to characterize the plant-specific functions of this important class of proteins. PMID:27208298

  14. Restoring Mitochondrial Function: A Small Molecule-mediated Approach to Enhance Glucose Stimulated Insulin Secretion in Cholesterol Accumulated Pancreatic beta cells

    PubMed Central

    Asalla, Suman; Girada, Shravan Babu; Kuna, Ramya S.; Chowdhury, Debabrata; Kandagatla, Bhaskar; Oruganti, Srinivas; Bhadra, Utpal; Bhadra, Manika Pal; Kalivendi, Shasi Vardhan; Rao, Swetha Pavani; Row, Anupama; Ibrahim, A; Ghosh, Partha Pratim; Mitra, Prasenjit

    2016-01-01

    Dyslipidemia, particularly the elevated serum cholesterol levels, aggravate the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. In the present study we explored the relationship between fasting blood sugar and serum lipid parameters in human volunteers which revealed a significant linear effect of serum cholesterol on fasting blood glucose. Short term feeding of cholesterol enriched diet to rodent model resulted in elevated serum cholesterol levels, cholesterol accumulation in pancreatic islets and hyperinsulinemia with modest increase in plasma glucose level. To explore the mechanism, we treated cultured BRIN-BD11 pancreatic beta cells with soluble cholesterol. Our data shows that cholesterol treatment of cultured pancreatic beta cells enhances total cellular cholesterol. While one hour cholesterol exposure enhances insulin exocytosis, overnight cholesterol accumulation in cultured pancreatic beta cells affects cellular respiration, and inhibits Glucose stimulated insulin secretion. We further report that (E)-4-Chloro-2-(1-(2-(2,4,6-trichlorophenyl) hydrazono) ethyl) phenol (small molecule M1) prevents the cholesterol mediated blunting of cellular respiration and potentiates Glucose stimulated insulin secretion which was abolished in pancreatic beta cells on cholesterol accumulation. PMID:27282931

  15. Restoring Mitochondrial Function: A Small Molecule-mediated Approach to Enhance Glucose Stimulated Insulin Secretion in Cholesterol Accumulated Pancreatic beta cells.

    PubMed

    Asalla, Suman; Girada, Shravan Babu; Kuna, Ramya S; Chowdhury, Debabrata; Kandagatla, Bhaskar; Oruganti, Srinivas; Bhadra, Utpal; Bhadra, Manika Pal; Kalivendi, Shasi Vardhan; Rao, Swetha Pavani; Row, Anupama; Ibrahim, A; Ghosh, Partha Pratim; Mitra, Prasenjit

    2016-01-01

    Dyslipidemia, particularly the elevated serum cholesterol levels, aggravate the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. In the present study we explored the relationship between fasting blood sugar and serum lipid parameters in human volunteers which revealed a significant linear effect of serum cholesterol on fasting blood glucose. Short term feeding of cholesterol enriched diet to rodent model resulted in elevated serum cholesterol levels, cholesterol accumulation in pancreatic islets and hyperinsulinemia with modest increase in plasma glucose level. To explore the mechanism, we treated cultured BRIN-BD11 pancreatic beta cells with soluble cholesterol. Our data shows that cholesterol treatment of cultured pancreatic beta cells enhances total cellular cholesterol. While one hour cholesterol exposure enhances insulin exocytosis, overnight cholesterol accumulation in cultured pancreatic beta cells affects cellular respiration, and inhibits Glucose stimulated insulin secretion. We further report that (E)-4-Chloro-2-(1-(2-(2,4,6-trichlorophenyl) hydrazono) ethyl) phenol (small molecule M1) prevents the cholesterol mediated blunting of cellular respiration and potentiates Glucose stimulated insulin secretion which was abolished in pancreatic beta cells on cholesterol accumulation. PMID:27282931

  16. Cellular reprogramming: a small molecule perspective

    PubMed Central

    Nie, Baoming; Wang, Haixia; Laurent, Timothy; Ding, Sheng

    2013-01-01

    The discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by the expression of a few transcription factors has attracted enormous interest in biomedical research and the field of regenerative medicine. iPSCs nearly identically resemble embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and can give rise to all cell types in the body, and thus have opened new opportunities for personalized regenerative medicine and new ways of modeling human diseases. Although some studies have raised concerns about genomic stability and epigenetic memory in the resulting cells, better understanding and control of the reprogramming process should enable enhanced efficiency and higher fidelity in reprogramming. Therefore, small molecules regulating reprogramming mechanisms are valuable tools to probe the process of reprogremming and harness cell fate transitions for various applications. PMID:22959962

  17. Small-molecule survivin inhibitor YM155 enhances radiosensitization in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma by the abrogation of G2 checkpoint and suppression of homologous recombination repair

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Survivin is overexpressed in cancer cells and plays a crucial role in apoptosis evasion. YM155, a small-molecule inhibitor of survivin, could enhance the cytotoxicity of various DNA-damaging agents. Here, we evaluated the radiosensitizaion potential of YM155 in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Methods Cell viability was determined by CCK8 assay. The radiosensitization effect of YM155 was evaluated by clonogenic survival and progression of tumor xenograft. Cell cycle progression was determined by flow cytometric analysis. Radiation-induced DNA double strand break (DSB) and homologous recombination repair (HRR) were detected by the staining of γ-H2AX and RAD51, respectively. Expression of survivin and cell cycle regulators was detected by Western blot analysis. Results YM155 induced radiosensitization in ESCC cell lines Eca109 and TE13, associated with the abrogation of radiation induced G2/M checkpoint, impaired Rad51 focus formation, and the prolongation of γ-H2AX signaling. G2/M transition markers, including the activation of cyclinB1/Cdc2 kinase and the suppression of Cdc2 Thr14/Tyr15 phosphorylation were induced by YM155 in irradiated cells. The combination of YM155 plus irradiation delayed the growth of ESCC tumor xenografts to a greater extent compared with either treatment modality alone. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the abrogation of G2 checkpoint and the inhibition of HRR contribute to radiosensitization by YM155 in ESCC cells. PMID:25139395

  18. Auxin biology revealed by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-05-01

    The plant hormone auxin regulates virtually every aspect of plant growth and development and unraveling its molecular and cellular modes of action is fundamental for plant biology research. Chemical genomics is the use of small molecules to modify protein functions. This approach currently rises as a powerful technology for basic research. Small compounds with auxin-like activities or affecting auxin-mediated biological processes have been widely used in auxin research. They can serve as a tool complementary to genetic and genomic methods, facilitating the identification of an array of components modulating auxin metabolism, transport and signaling. The employment of high-throughput screening technologies combined with informatics-based chemical design and organic chemical synthesis has since yielded many novel small molecules with more instantaneous, precise and specific functionalities. By applying those small molecules, novel molecular targets can be isolated to further understand and dissect auxin-related pathways and networks that otherwise are too complex to be elucidated only by gene-based methods. Here, we will review examples of recently characterized molecules used in auxin research, highlight the strategies of unraveling the mechanisms of these small molecules and discuss future perspectives of small molecule applications in auxin biology. PMID:24252105

  19. Small molecule TSHR agonists and antagonists.

    PubMed

    Neumann, S; Gershengorn, M C

    2011-04-01

    TSH activates the TSH receptor (TSHR) thereby stimulating the function of thyroid follicular cells (thyrocytes) leading to biosynthesis and secretion of thyroid hormones. Because TSHR is involved in several thyroid pathologies, there is a strong rationale for the design of small molecule "drug-like" ligands. Recombinant human TSH (rhTSH, Thyrogen(®)) has been used in the follow-up of patients with thyroid cancer to increase the sensitivity for detection of recurrence or metastasis. rhTSH is difficult to produce and must be administered by injection. A small molecule TSHR agonist could produce the same beneficial effects as rhTSH but with greater ease of oral administration. We developed a small molecule ligand that is a full agonist at TSHR. Importantly for its clinical potential, this agonist elevated serum thyroxine and stimulated thyroidal radioiodide uptake in mice after its absorption from the gastrointestinal tract following oral administration. Graves' disease (GD) is caused by persistent, unregulated stimulation of thyrocytes by thyroid-stimulating antibodies (TSAbs) that activate TSHR. We identified the first small molecule TSHR antagonists that inhibited TSH- and TSAb-stimulated signalling in primary cultures of human thyrocytes. Our results provide proof-of-principle for effectiveness of small molecule agonists and antagonists for TSHR. We suggest that these small molecule ligands are lead compounds for the development of higher potency ligands that can be used as probes of TSHR biology with therapeutic potential. PMID:21511239

  20. Electrocatalytic oxidation of small organic molecules in acid medium: enhancement of activity of noble metal nanoparticles and their alloys by supporting or modifying them with metal oxides

    PubMed Central

    Kulesza, Pawel J.; Pieta, Izabela S.; Rutkowska, Iwona A.; Wadas, Anna; Marks, Diana; Klak, Karolina; Stobinski, Leszek; Cox, James A.

    2013-01-01

    Different approaches to enhancement of electrocatalytic activity of noble metal nanoparticles during oxidation of small organic molecules (namely potential fuels for low-temperature fuel cells such as methanol, ethanol and formic acid) are described. A physical approach to the increase of activity of catalytic nanoparticles (e.g. platinum or palladium) involves nanostructuring to obtain highly dispersed systems of high surface area. Recently, the feasibility of enhancing activity of noble metal systems through the formation of bimetallic (e.g. PtRu, PtSn, and PdAu) or even more complex (e.g. PtRuW, PtRuSn) alloys has been demonstrated. In addition to possible changes in the electronic properties of alloys, specific interactions between metals as well as chemical reactivity of the added components have been postulated. We address and emphasize here the possibility of utilization of noble metal and alloyed nanoparticles supported on robust but reactive high surface area metal oxides (e.g. WO3, MoO3, TiO2, ZrO2, V2O5, and CeO2) in oxidative electrocatalysis. This paper concerns the way in which certain inorganic oxides and oxo species can act effectively as supports for noble metal nanoparticles or their alloys during electrocatalytic oxidation of hydrogen and representative organic fuels. Among important issues are possible changes in the morphology and dispersion, as well as specific interactions leading to the improved chemisorptive and catalytic properties in addition to the feasibility of long time operation of the discussed systems. PMID:24443590

  1. Small-molecule screening identifies inhibition of salt-inducible kinases as a therapeutic strategy to enhance immunoregulatory functions of dendritic cells

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, Thomas B.; Choi, Hwan Geun; Song, Joo-Hye; Russell, Caitlin N.; Hussain, Mahmud M.; Graham, Daniel B.; Khor, Bernard; Gagnon, John; O’Connell, Daniel J.; Narayan, Kavitha; Dančík, Vlado; Perez, Jose R.; Reinecker, Hans-Christian; Gray, Nathanael S.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Xavier, Ramnik J.; Shamji, Alykhan F.

    2014-01-01

    Genetic alterations that reduce the function of the immunoregulatory cytokine IL-10 contribute to colitis in mouse and man. Myeloid cells such as macrophages (MΦs) and dendritic cells (DCs) play an essential role in determining the relative abundance of IL-10 versus inflammatory cytokines in the gut. As such, using small molecules to boost IL-10 production by DCs–MΦs represents a promising approach to increase levels of this cytokine specifically in gut tissues. Toward this end, we screened a library of well-annotated kinase inhibitors for compounds that enhance production of IL-10 by murine bone-marrow–derived DCs stimulated with the yeast cell wall preparation zymosan. This approach identified a number of kinase inhibitors that robustly up-regulate IL-10 production including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs dasatinib, bosutinib, and saracatinib that target ABL, SRC-family, and numerous other kinases. Correlating the kinase selectivity profiles of the active compounds with their effect on IL-10 production suggests that inhibition of salt-inducible kinases (SIKs) mediates the observed IL-10 increase. This was confirmed using the SIK-targeting inhibitor HG-9-91-01 and a series of structural analogs. The stimulatory effect of SIK inhibition on IL-10 is also associated with decreased production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α, and these coordinated effects are observed in human DCs–MΦs and anti-inflammatory CD11c+ CX3CR1hi cells isolated from murine gut tissue. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that SIK inhibition promotes an anti-inflammatory phenotype in activated myeloid cells marked by robust IL-10 production and establish these effects as a previously unidentified activity associated with several FDA-approved multikinase inhibitors. PMID:25114223

  2. Chapter 3: Small Molecules and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wishart, David S.

    2012-01-01

    “Big” molecules such as proteins and genes still continue to capture the imagination of most biologists, biochemists and bioinformaticians. “Small” molecules, on the other hand, are the molecules that most biologists, biochemists and bioinformaticians prefer to ignore. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that small molecules such as amino acids, lipids and sugars play a far more important role in all aspects of disease etiology and disease treatment than we realized. This particular chapter focuses on an emerging field of bioinformatics called “chemical bioinformatics” – a discipline that has evolved to help address the blended chemical and molecular biological needs of toxicogenomics, pharmacogenomics, metabolomics and systems biology. In the following pages we will cover several topics related to chemical bioinformatics. First, a brief overview of some of the most important or useful chemical bioinformatic resources will be given. Second, a more detailed overview will be given on those particular resources that allow researchers to connect small molecules to diseases. This section will focus on describing a number of recently developed databases or knowledgebases that explicitly relate small molecules – either as the treatment, symptom or cause – to disease. Finally a short discussion will be provided on newly emerging software tools that exploit these databases as a means to discover new biomarkers or even new treatments for disease. PMID:23300405

  3. Small Molecules in the Treatment of Psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Torres, Tiago; Filipe, Paulo

    2015-08-01

    Preclinical Research Psoriasis is an inflammatory systemic skin disease that affects various parts of the body requiring long-term management due to its chronic nature. Available treatment options include topical, systemic or biological therapies, which have long-term limitations associated to toxicity, tolerability and risk for adverse effects requiring its intermittent use and close monitoring. Small molecules modulate proinflammatory cytokines, selectively inhibit signaling pathways and showing potential to treat inflammatory diseases in patients not responding to conventional treatments. Presently, small molecules available are phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors or Janus kinase inhibitors. Other small molecules under development for psoriasis include fumaric acid esters, amygdalin analogs, protein kinase C inhibitors, mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors, spleen protein kinase inhibitors, other tyrosine kinase inhibitors, sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor agonists, and A3 adenosine receptor agonists. These new treatment options represent important advances in the development of specific drugs to respond to the goals of treatment and improve patient quality of life. PMID:26255795

  4. Design of small-molecule epigenetic modulators

    PubMed Central

    Pachaiyappan, Boobalan

    2013-01-01

    The field of epigenetics has expanded rapidly to reveal multiple new targets for drug discovery. The functional elements of the epigenomic machinery can be catagorized as writers, erasers and readers, and together these elements control cellular gene expression and homeostasis. It is increasingly clear that aberrations in the epigenome can underly a variety of diseases, and thus discovery of small molecules that modulate the epigenome in a specific manner is a viable approach to the discovery of new therapeutic agents. In this Digest, the components of epigenetic control of gene expression will be briefly summarized, and efforts to identify small molecules that modulate epigenetic processes will be described. PMID:24300735

  5. Small Molecules from the Human Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Donia, Mohamed S.; Fischbach, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Developments in the use of genomics to guide natural product discovery and a recent emphasis on understanding the molecular mechanisms of microbiota-host interactions have converged on the discovery of natural products from the human microbiome. Here, we review what is known about small molecules produced by the human microbiota. Numerous molecules representing each of the major metabolite classes have been found that have a variety of biological activities, including immune modulation and antibiosis. We discuss technologies that will affect how microbiota-derived molecules are discovered in the future, and consider the challenges inherent in finding specific molecules that are critical for driving microbe-host and microbe-microbe interactions and their biological relevance. PMID:26206939

  6. Selective functionalization: Shields for small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, Scott K.

    2012-10-01

    Nucleic acid aptamers have been employed to shield small molecules so that one among many similar reactive functional groups can be modified. This provides access to new chemical entities with potentially interesting properties while avoiding the use of covalent protecting groups.

  7. Uranium-mediated activation of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Polly L

    2011-08-28

    Molecular complexes of uranium are capable of activating a range of industrially and economically important small molecules such as CO, CO(2), and N(2); new and often unexpected reactions provide insight into an element that needs to be well-understood if future clean-energy solutions are to involve nuclear power. PMID:21614341

  8. Small molecule control of bacterial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Worthington, Roberta J.; Richards, Justin J.

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial biofilms are defined as a surface attached community of bacteria embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances that they have produced. When in the biofilm state, bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics and the host immune response than are their planktonic counterparts. Biofilms are increasingly recognized as being significant in human disease, accounting for 80% of bacterial infections in the body and diseases associated with bacterial biofilms include: lung infections of cystic fibrosis, colitis, urethritis, conjunctivitis, otitis, endocarditis and periodontitis. Additionally, biofilm infections of indwelling medical devices are of particular concern, as once the device is colonized infection is virtually impossible to eradicate. Given the prominence of biofilms in infectious diseases, there has been an increased effort toward the development of small molecules that will modulate bacterial biofilm development and maintenance. In this review, we highlight the development of small molecules that inhibit and/or disperse bacterial biofilms through non-microbicidal mechanisms. The review discuses the numerous approaches that have been applied to the discovery of lead small molecules that mediate biofilm development. These approaches are grouped into: 1) the identification and development of small molecules that target one of the bacterial signaling pathways involved in biofilm regulation, 2) chemical library screening for compounds with anti-biofilm activity, and 3) the identification of natural products that possess anti-biofilm activity, and the chemical manipulation of these natural products to obtain analogues with increased activity. PMID:22733439

  9. SMPDB: The Small Molecule Pathway Database.

    PubMed

    Frolkis, Alex; Knox, Craig; Lim, Emilia; Jewison, Timothy; Law, Vivian; Hau, David D; Liu, Phillip; Gautam, Bijaya; Ly, Son; Guo, An Chi; Xia, Jianguo; Liang, Yongjie; Shrivastava, Savita; Wishart, David S

    2010-01-01

    The Small Molecule Pathway Database (SMPDB) is an interactive, visual database containing more than 350 small-molecule pathways found in humans. More than 2/3 of these pathways (>280) are not found in any other pathway database. SMPDB is designed specifically to support pathway elucidation and pathway discovery in clinical metabolomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and systems biology. SMPDB provides exquisitely detailed, hyperlinked diagrams of human metabolic pathways, metabolic disease pathways, metabolite signaling pathways and drug-action pathways. All SMPDB pathways include information on the relevant organs, organelles, subcellular compartments, protein cofactors, protein locations, metabolite locations, chemical structures and protein quaternary structures. Each small molecule is hyperlinked to detailed descriptions contained in the Human Metabolome Database (HMDB) or DrugBank and each protein or enzyme complex is hyperlinked to UniProt. All SMPDB pathways are accompanied with detailed descriptions, providing an overview of the pathway, condition or processes depicted in each diagram. The database is easily browsed and supports full text searching. Users may query SMPDB with lists of metabolite names, drug names, genes/protein names, SwissProt IDs, GenBank IDs, Affymetrix IDs or Agilent microarray IDs. These queries will produce lists of matching pathways and highlight the matching molecules on each of the pathway diagrams. Gene, metabolite and protein concentration data can also be visualized through SMPDB's mapping interface. All of SMPDB's images, image maps, descriptions and tables are downloadable. SMPDB is available at: http://www.smpdb.ca. PMID:19948758

  10. Oncogenic protein interfaces: small molecules, big challenges.

    PubMed

    Nero, Tracy L; Morton, Craig J; Holien, Jessica K; Wielens, Jerome; Parker, Michael W

    2014-04-01

    Historically, targeting protein-protein interactions with small molecules was not thought possible because the corresponding interfaces were considered mostly flat and featureless and therefore 'undruggable'. Instead, such interactions were targeted with larger molecules, such as peptides and antibodies. However, the past decade has seen encouraging breakthroughs through the refinement of existing techniques and the development of new ones, together with the identification and exploitation of unexpected aspects of protein-protein interaction surfaces. In this Review, we describe some of the latest techniques to discover modulators of protein-protein interactions and how current drug discovery approaches have been adapted to successfully target these interfaces. PMID:24622521

  11. Small molecule inhibition of RISC loading.

    PubMed

    Tan, Grace S; Chiu, Chun-Hao; Garchow, Barry G; Metzler, David; Diamond, Scott L; Kiriakidou, Marianthi

    2012-02-17

    Argonaute proteins are the core components of the microRNP/RISC. The biogenesis and function of microRNAs and endo- and exo- siRNAs are regulated by Ago2, an Argonaute protein with RNA binding and nuclease activities. Currently, there are no in vitro assays suitable for large-scale screening of microRNP/RISC loading modulators. We describe a novel in vitro assay that is based on fluorescence polarization of TAMRA-labeled RNAs loaded to human Ago2. Using this assay, we identified potent small-molecule inhibitors of RISC loading, including aurintricarboxylic acid (IC(50) = 0.47 μM), suramin (IC(50) = 0.69 μM), and oxidopamine HCL (IC(50) = 1.61 μM). Small molecules identified by this biochemical screening assay also inhibited siRNA loading to endogenous Ago2 in cultured cells. PMID:22026461

  12. Computational mass spectrometry for small molecules

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The identification of small molecules from mass spectrometry (MS) data remains a major challenge in the interpretation of MS data. This review covers the computational aspects of identifying small molecules, from the identification of a compound searching a reference spectral library, to the structural elucidation of unknowns. In detail, we describe the basic principles and pitfalls of searching mass spectral reference libraries. Determining the molecular formula of the compound can serve as a basis for subsequent structural elucidation; consequently, we cover different methods for molecular formula identification, focussing on isotope pattern analysis. We then discuss automated methods to deal with mass spectra of compounds that are not present in spectral libraries, and provide an insight into de novo analysis of fragmentation spectra using fragmentation trees. In addition, this review shortly covers the reconstruction of metabolic networks using MS data. Finally, we list available software for different steps of the analysis pipeline. PMID:23453222

  13. Organic Optoelectronic Devices Employing Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleetham, Tyler Blain

    Organic optoelectronic devices have remained a research topic of great interest over the past two decades, particularly in the development of efficient organic photovoltaics (OPV) and organic light emitting diodes (OLED). In order to improve the efficiency, stability, and materials variety for organic optoelectronic devices a number of emitting materials, absorbing materials, and charge transport materials were developed and employed in a device setting. Optical, electrical, and photophysical studies of the organic materials and their corresponding devices were thoroughly carried out. Two major approaches were taken to enhance the efficiency of small molecule based OPVs: developing material with higher open circuit voltages or improved device structures which increased short circuit current. To explore the factors affecting the open circuit voltage (VOC) in OPVs, molecular structures were modified to bring VOC closer to the effective bandgap, DeltaE DA, which allowed the achievement of 1V VOC for a heterojunction of a select Ir complex with estimated exciton energy of only 1.55eV. Furthermore, the development of anode interfacial layer for exciton blocking and molecular templating provide a general approach for enhancing the short circuit current. Ultimately, a 5.8% PCE was achieved in a single heterojunction of C60 and a ZnPc material prepared in a simple, one step, solvent free, synthesis. OLEDs employing newly developed deep blue emitters based on cyclometalated complexes were demonstrated. Ultimately, a peak EQE of 24.8% and nearly perfect blue emission of (0.148,0.079) was achieved from PtON7dtb, which approaches the maximum attainable performance from a blue OLED. Furthermore, utilizing the excimer formation properties of square-planar Pt complexes, highly efficient and stable white devices employing a single emissive material were demonstrated. A peak EQE of over 20% for pure white color (0.33,0.33) and 80 CRI was achieved with the tridentate Pt complex, Pt

  14. Development of second-generation small-molecule RhoA inhibitors with enhanced water solubility, tissue potency, and significant in vivo efficacy.

    PubMed

    Ma, Sheng; Deng, Jing; Li, Baoli; Li, Xiujiang; Yan, Zhaowei; Zhu, Jin; Chen, Gang; Wang, Zhong; Jiang, Hualiang; Miao, Liyan; Li, Jian

    2015-01-01

    RhoA, a member of the Rho GTPases, is involved in a variety of cellular functions and could be a suitable therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. However, few small-molecule RhoA inhibitors have been reported. Based on our previously reported lead compounds, 32 new 2-substituted quinoline (or quinoxaline) derivatives were synthesized and tested in biological assays. Six compounds showed high RhoA inhibitory activities, with IC50 values of 1.17-1.84 μM. Among these, (E)-3-(3-(ethyl(quinolin-2-yl)amino)phenyl)acrylic acid (26 b) and (E)-3-(3-(butyl(quinolin-2-yl)amino)phenyl)acrylic acid (26 d) demonstrated noticeable vasorelaxation effects against phenylephrine-induced contraction in thoracic aorta artery rings, and compound 26 b had good water solubility and showed significant in vivo efficacy, which was similar to that of 5-(1,4-diazepane-1-sulfonyl)isoquinoline (fasudil) in a subarachnoid hemorrhage-cardiovascular model. To the best of our knowledge, compound 26 b is the first example of a small- molecule RhoA inhibitor with potent in vivo efficacy, which could serve as a good lead for designing cardiovascular agents. PMID:25377276

  15. Fluorescence Polarization Assays in Small Molecule Screening

    PubMed Central

    Lea, Wendy A.; Simeonov, Anton

    2011-01-01

    Importance of the field Fluorescence polarization (FP) is a homogeneous method that allows rapid and quantitative analysis of diverse molecular interactions and enzyme activities. This technique has been widely utilized in clinical and biomedical settings, including the diagnosis of certain diseases and monitoring therapeutic drug levels in body fluids. Recent developments in the field has been symbolized by the facile adoption of FP in high-throughput screening (HTS) and small molecule drug discovery of an increasing range of target classes. Areas covered in this review The article provides a brief overview on the theoretical foundation of FP, followed by updates on recent advancements in its application for various drug target classes, including G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), enzymes and protein-protein interactions (PPIs). The strengths and weaknesses of this method, practical considerations in assay design, novel applications, and future directions are also discussed. What the reader will gain The reader will be informed of the most recent advancements and future directions of FP application to small molecule screening. Take home message In addition to its continued utilization in high-throughput screening, FP has expanded into new disease and target areas and has been marked by increased use of labeled small molecule ligands for receptor binding studies. PMID:22328899

  16. Combining small molecules for cell reprogramming through an interatomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Feltes, Bruno César; Bonatto, Diego

    2013-11-01

    The knowledge available about the application and generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) has grown since their discovery, and new techniques to enhance the reprogramming process have been described. Among the new approaches to induce iPSC that have gained great attention is the use of small molecules for reprogramming. The application of small molecules, unlike genetic manipulation, provides for control of the reprogramming process through the shifting of concentrations and the combination of different molecules. However, different researchers have reported the use of "reprogramming cocktails" with variable results and drug combinations. Thus, the proper combination of small molecules for successful and enhanced reprogramming is a matter for discussion. However, testing all potential drug combinations in different cell lineages is very costly and time-consuming. Therefore, in this article, we discuss the use of already employed molecules for iPSC generation, followed by the application of systems chemo-biology tools to create different data sets of protein-protein (PPI) and chemical-protein (CPI) interaction networks based on the knowledge of already used and new reprogramming cocktail combinations. We further analyzed the biological processes associated with PPI-CPI networks and provided new potential protein targets to be inhibited or expressed for stem cell reprogramming. In addition, we applied a new interference analysis to prospective targets that could negatively affect the classical pluripotency-associated factors (SOX2, NANOG, KLF4 and OCT4) and thus potentially improve reprogramming protocols. PMID:24056910

  17. Small polaron hopping transport along DNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Triberis, G. P.; Simserides, C.; Karavolas, V. C.

    2005-05-01

    We present a small polaron hopping model for interpreting the strong temperature (T) dependence of the electrical conductivity, σ, observed at high (h) temperatures along DNA molecules. The model takes into account the one-dimensional character of the system and the presence of disorder in the DNA double helix. Percolation-theoretical considerations lead to analytical expressions for the high temperature multiphonon-assisted small polaron hopping conductivity, the hopping distance and their temperature dependence. The experimental data for lambda phage DNA (λ-DNA) and poly(dA)-poly(dT) DNA follow nicely the theoretically predicted behaviour (lnσh~T-2/3). Moreover, our model leads to realistic values of the maximum hopping distances, supporting the idea of multiphonon-assisted hopping of small polarons between next nearest neighbours of the DNA molecular 'wire'. The low temperature case is also investigated.

  18. Designing a small molecule erythropoietin mimetic.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Erythropoietin (EPO) is a protein made by the kidneys in response to low red blood cell count that is secreted into the bloodstream and binds to a receptor on hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow inducing them to become new red blood cells. EPO made with recombinant DNA technology was brought to market in the 1980s to treat anemia caused by kidney disease and cancer chemotherapy. Because EPO infusion was able to replace blood transfusions in many cases, it rapidly became a multibillion dollar per year drug and as the first biologic created with recombinant technology it launched the biotech industry. For many years intense research was focused on creating a small molecule orally available EPO mimetic. The Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) group seemed to definitively establish that only large peptides with a minimum of 60 residues could replace EPO, as anything less was not a full agonist. An intense study of the published work led me to hypothesize that the size of the mimetic is not the real issue, but the symmetry making and breaking of the EPO receptor induced by the ligand is the key to activating the stem cells. This analysis meant that residues in the binding site of the receptor deemed absolutely essential for ligand binding and activation from mutagenesis experiments, were probably not really that important. My fundamental hypotheses were: (a) the symmetric state of the homodimeric receptor is the most stable state and thus must be the off-state, (b) a highly localized binding site exists at a pivot point where the two halves of the receptor meet, (c) small molecules can be created that have high potency for this site that will be competitive with EPO and thus can displace the protein-protein interaction, (d) small symmetric molecules will stabilize the symmetric off-state of the receptor, and (e) a key asymmetry in the small molecule will stabilize a mirror image asymmetry in the receptor resulting in the stabilization of the on-state and proliferation of

  19. - Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy of Small - Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, G.; Bernath, P. F.

    2011-06-01

    A series of small boron-containing molecules were synthesized in the gas phase using a tube furnace. High-resolution spectra of these species were recorded in either emission or absorption in the mid-infrared region using a Bruker IFS-125HR spectrometer. Our observations contain vibration-rotation bands of BO, the V1 and V3 bands of HBO, the V1 and V3 bands of HBS, the V1 band of FBO, and the V1 band of HBF2. The vibrational bands of HOBO, BF2OH and other boron-containing molecules may also be present. Ab initio calculations were performed at the MRCI level to assist in the vibrational assignments. Preliminary assignments of the spectra for these species will be reported.

  20. Small Molecule Agonists of Cell Adhesion Molecule L1 Mimic L1 Functions In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Kataria, Hardeep; Lutz, David; Chaudhary, Harshita; Schachner, Melitta; Loers, Gabriele

    2016-09-01

    Lack of permissive mechanisms and abundance of inhibitory molecules in the lesioned central nervous system of adult mammals contribute to the failure of functional recovery after injury, leading to severe disabilities in motor functions and pain. Peripheral nerve injury impairs motor, sensory, and autonomic functions, particularly in cases where nerve gaps are large and chronic nerve injury ensues. Previous studies have indicated that the neural cell adhesion molecule L1 constitutes a viable target to promote regeneration after acute injury. We screened libraries of known drugs for small molecule agonists of L1 and evaluated the effect of hit compounds in cell-based assays in vitro and in mice after femoral nerve and spinal cord injuries in vivo. We identified eight small molecule L1 agonists and showed in cell-based assays that they stimulate neuronal survival, neuronal migration, and neurite outgrowth and enhance Schwann cell proliferation and migration and myelination of neurons in an L1-dependent manner. In a femoral nerve injury mouse model, enhanced functional regeneration and remyelination after application of the L1 agonists were observed. In a spinal cord injury mouse model, L1 agonists improved recovery of motor functions, being paralleled by enhanced remyelination, neuronal survival, and monoaminergic innervation, reduced astrogliosis, and activation of microglia. Together, these findings suggest that application of small organic compounds that bind to L1 and stimulate the beneficial homophilic L1 functions may prove to be a valuable addition to treatments of nervous system injuries. PMID:26253722

  1. Novel epithelial cell adhesion molecule antibody conjugated polyethyleneimine-capped gold nanoparticles for enhanced and targeted small interfering RNA delivery to retinoblastoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Moutushy; Kandalam, Mallikarjuna; Rangasamy, Judith; Shankar, Balaji; Maheswari, Uma K.; Swaminathan, Sethuraman

    2013-01-01

    Background Several nanoconjugates have been designed to deliver nucleic acids such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) and DNA to cells to study silencing and expression efficacies. In the present study, we prepared novel epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) monoclonal antibody conjugated polyethyleneimine (PEI) capped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) loaded with EpCAM-specific siRNA molecules to knock-down the EpCAM gene in retinoblastoma (RB) cells. We chose EpCAM as a target moiety to deliver siRNA because this molecule is highly expressed in various epithelial cancers and is an ideal target as it is highly expressed in the apical surface of tumor cells while showing basolateral expression in normal cells. Methods The EpCAM antibody was conjugated to AuNP-PEI loaded with siRNA molecules to specifically deliver siRNA to EpCAM-expressing RB cells. Conjugation efficiencies were confirmed with ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and agarose and SDS–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The size and zeta potential were measured using a Zeta sizer analyzer. Nanoparticle internalization and uptake were studied using fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. Gene silencing efficacy was monitored with western blot analysis and real-time quantitative PCR. Results Optimal size and neutral zeta potential properties of the AuNP-PEI- EpCAM antibody (EpAb) antibody were achieved for the transfection studies. The AuNP-PEI nanoparticles did not show any cytotoxicity to the cells, which means these nanomaterials are suitable for intracellular delivery of siRNA for therapeutic interventions. With EpCAM antibody conjugation, PEI-capped AuNPs loaded with EpCAM siRNA were significantly internalized in the Y79 cells as observed with fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry and induced a highly significant reduction in the cell viability of the Y79 cells. Through increased binding of EpCAM antibody–conjugated AuNP-PEI nanoparticles

  2. Carbon nanotubes for delivery of small molecule drugs.

    PubMed

    Wong, Bin Sheng; Yoong, Sia Lee; Jagusiak, Anna; Panczyk, Tomasz; Ho, Han Kiat; Ang, Wee Han; Pastorin, Giorgia

    2013-12-01

    In the realm of drug delivery, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have gained tremendous attention as promising nanocarriers, owing to their distinct characteristics, such as high surface area, enhanced cellular uptake and the possibility to be easily conjugated with many therapeutics, including both small molecules and biologics, displaying superior efficacy, enhanced specificity and diminished side effects. While most CNT-based drug delivery system (DDS) had been engineered to combat cancers, there are also emerging reports that employ CNTs as either the main carrier or adjunct material for the delivery of various non-anticancer drugs. In this review, the delivery of small molecule drugs is expounded, with special attention paid to the current progress of in vitro and in vivo research involving CNT-based DDSs, before finally concluding with some consideration on inevitable complications that hamper successful disease intervention with CNTs. PMID:23954402

  3. Small-Molecule Target Engagement in Cells.

    PubMed

    Schürmann, Marc; Janning, Petra; Ziegler, Slava; Waldmann, Herbert

    2016-04-21

    Monitoring how, when, and where small molecules engage their targets inside living cells is a critical step in chemical biology and pharmacological research, because it enables compound efficacy and confirmation of mode of action to be assessed. In this mini-review we summarize the currently available methodologies to detect and prove direct target engagement in cells and offer a critical view of their key advantages and disadvantages. As the interest of the field shifts toward discovery and validation of high-quality agents, we expect that efforts to develop and refine these types of methodologies will also intensify in the near future. PMID:27049669

  4. Activation of small molecules by phosphorus biradicaloids.

    PubMed

    Hinz, Alexander; Kuzora, Rene; Rosenthal, Uwe; Schulz, Axel; Villinger, Alexander

    2014-11-01

    The reactivity of biradicaloid [P(μ-NTer)]2 was employed to activate small molecules bearing single, double, and triple bonds. Addition of chalcogens (O2 , S8 , Sex and Tex ) led to the formation of dichalcogen-bridged P2 N2 heterocycles, except from the reaction with molecular oxygen, which gave a P2 N2 ring featuring a dicoordinated P(III) and a four-coordinated P(V) center. In formal [2πe+2πe] addition reactions, small unsaturated compounds such as ethylene, acetylene, acetone, acetonitrile, tolane, diphenylcarbodiimide, and bis(trimethylsilyl)sulfurdiimide are readily added to the P2 N2 heterocycle of the biradicaloid [P(μ-NTer)]2 , yielding novel heteroatom cage compounds. The synthesis, reactivity, and bonding of the biradicaloid [P(μ-NTer)]2 were studied in detail as well as the synthesis, properties, and structural features of all addition products. PMID:25266101

  5. Enhancement of Radiation Sensitivity in Lung Cancer Cells by a Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor That Targets the β-Catenin/Tcf4 Interaction.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qinghao; Gao, Mei; Luo, Guifen; Han, Xiaofeng; Bao, Wenjing; Cheng, Yanyan; Tian, Wang; Yan, Maocai; Yang, Guanlin; An, Jing

    2016-01-01

    Radiation therapy is an important treatment choice for unresectable advanced human lung cancers, and a critical adjuvant treatment for surgery. However, radiation as a lung cancer treatment remains far from satisfactory due to problems associated with radiation resistance in cancer cells and severe cytotoxicity to non-cancer cells, which arise at doses typically administered to patients. We have recently identified a promising novel inhibitor of β-catenin/Tcf4 interaction, named BC-23 (C21H14ClN3O4S), which acts as a potent cell death enhancer when used in combination with radiation. Sequential exposure of human p53-null non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) H1299 cells to low doses of x-ray radiation, followed 1 hour later by administration of minimally cytotoxic concentrations of BC-23, resulted in a highly synergistic induction of clonogenic cell death (combination index <1.0). Co-treatment with BC-23 at low concentrations effectively inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling and down-regulates c-Myc and cyclin D1 expression. S phase arrest and ROS generation are also involved in the enhancement of radiation effectiveness mediated by BC-23. BC-23 therefore represents a promising new class of radiation enhancer. PMID:27014877

  6. Enhancement of Radiation Sensitivity in Lung Cancer Cells by a Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor That Targets the β-Catenin/Tcf4 Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Guifen; Han, Xiaofeng; Bao, Wenjing; Cheng, Yanyan; Tian, Wang; Yan, Maocai; Yang, Guanlin; An, Jing

    2016-01-01

    Radiation therapy is an important treatment choice for unresectable advanced human lung cancers, and a critical adjuvant treatment for surgery. However, radiation as a lung cancer treatment remains far from satisfactory due to problems associated with radiation resistance in cancer cells and severe cytotoxicity to non-cancer cells, which arise at doses typically administered to patients. We have recently identified a promising novel inhibitor of β-catenin/Tcf4 interaction, named BC-23 (C21H14ClN3O4S), which acts as a potent cell death enhancer when used in combination with radiation. Sequential exposure of human p53-null non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) H1299 cells to low doses of x-ray radiation, followed 1 hour later by administration of minimally cytotoxic concentrations of BC-23, resulted in a highly synergistic induction of clonogenic cell death (combination index <1.0). Co-treatment with BC-23 at low concentrations effectively inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling and down-regulates c-Myc and cyclin D1 expression. S phase arrest and ROS generation are also involved in the enhancement of radiation effectiveness mediated by BC-23. BC-23 therefore represents a promising new class of radiation enhancer. PMID:27014877

  7. Small molecule phagocytosis inhibitors for immune cytopenias.

    PubMed

    Neschadim, Anton; Kotra, Lakshmi P; Branch, Donald R

    2016-08-01

    Immune cytopenias are conditions characterized by low blood cell counts, such as platelets in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and red blood cells in autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA). Chronic ITP affects approximately 4 in 100,000 adults annually while AIHA is much less common. Extravascular phagocytosis and massive destruction of autoantibody-opsonized blood cells by macrophages in the spleen and liver are the hallmark of these conditions. Current treatment modalities for ITP and AIHA include the first-line use of corticosteroids; whereas, IVIg shows efficacy in ITP but not AIHA. One main mechanism of action by which IVIg treatment leads to the reduction in platelet destruction rates in ITP is thought to involve Fcγ receptor (FcγR) blockade, ultimately leading to the inhibition of extravascular platelet phagocytosis. IVIg, which is manufactured from the human plasma of thousands of donors, is a limited resource, and alternative treatments, particularly those based on bioavailable small molecules, are needed. In this review, we overview the pathophysiology of ITP, the role of Fcγ receptors, and the mechanisms of action of IVIg in treating ITP, and outline the efforts and progress towards developing novel, first-in-class inhibitors of phagocytosis as synthetic, small molecule substitutes for IVIg in ITP and other conditions where the pathobiology of the disease involves phagocytosis. PMID:27296447

  8. Targeting p53 by small molecules in hematological malignancies.

    PubMed

    Saha, Manujendra N; Qiu, Lugui; Chang, Hong

    2013-01-01

    p53 is a powerful tumor suppressor and is an attractive cancer therapeutic target. A breakthrough in cancer research came from the discovery of the drugs which are capable of reactivating p53 function. Most anti-cancer agents, from traditional chemo- and radiation therapies to more recently developed non-peptide small molecules exert their effects by enhancing the anti-proliferative activities of p53. Small molecules such as nutlin, RITA, and PRIMA-1 that can activate p53 have shown their anti-tumor effects in different types of hematological malignancies. Importantly, nutlin and PRIMA-1 have successfully reached the stage of phase I/II clinical trials in at least one type of hematological cancer. Thus, the pharmacological activation of p53 by these small molecules has a major clinical impact on prognostic use and targeted drug design. In the current review, we present the recent achievements in p53 research using small molecules in hematological malignancies. Anticancer activity of different classes of compounds targeting the p53 signaling pathway and their mechanism of action are discussed. In addition, we discuss how p53 tumor suppressor protein holds promise as a drug target for recent and future novel therapies in these diseases. PMID:23531342

  9. Development of novel small molecules for imaging and drug release

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yanting

    last part, a new photo-initiated fluorescent anticancer prodrug for DNA alkylating agent mechlorethamine releasing and monitoring has been developed. The theranostic prodrug consists a photolabile NPE group, an inactive form of mechlorethamine and a nonfluorescent coumarin in one small molecule. It is demonstrated that the prodrug shows negligible cytotoxicity towards normal skin cells (Hekn cells) with and without UV activation, while the original parent drug mechlorethamine can be photocontrol-released and induces effective DNA cross-linking activity. Importantly, the drug release progress can be conveniently monitored by the 'off-on' fluorescence enhancement in cells. Moreover, the selective prodrug is not only cell permeable but also nuclear permeable. Therefore, the prodrug serves as a promising drug delivery system for spatiotemporal control release and monitoring of an anticancer drug to obtain the optimal treatment efficacy.

  10. Aggregated silver nanoparticles based surface-enhanced Raman scattering enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for ultrasensitive detection of protein biomarkers and small molecules.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jiajie; Liu, Hongwu; Huang, Caihong; Yao, Cuize; Fu, Qiangqiang; Li, Xiuqing; Cao, Donglin; Luo, Zhi; Tang, Yong

    2015-06-01

    Lowering the detection limit is critical to the design of bioassays required for medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and food safety regulations. The current sensitivity of standard color-based analyte detection limits the further use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) in research and clinical diagnoses. Here, we demonstrate a novel method that uses the Raman signal as the signal-generating system of an ELISA and combines surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with silver nanoparticles aggregation for ultrasensitive analyte detection. The enzyme label of the ELISA controls the dissolution of Raman reporter-labeled silver nanoparticles through hydrogen peroxide and generates a strong Raman signal when the analyte is present. Using this assay, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and the adrenal stimulant ractopamine (Rac) were detected in whole serum and urine at the ultralow concentrations of 10(-9) and 10(-6) ng/mL, respectively. The methodology proposed here could potentially be applied to other molecules detection as well as PSA and Rac. PMID:25928837

  11. The Small Molecule GMX1778 Is a Potent Inhibitor of NAD+ Biosynthesis: Strategy for Enhanced Therapy in Nicotinic Acid Phosphoribosyltransferase 1-Deficient Tumors▿

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Mark; Roulston, Anne; Bélec, Laurent; Billot, Xavier; Marcellus, Richard; Bédard, Dominique; Bernier, Cynthia; Branchaud, Stéphane; Chan, Helen; Dairi, Kenza; Gilbert, Karine; Goulet, Daniel; Gratton, Michel-Olivier; Isakau, Henady; Jang, Anne; Khadir, Abdelkrim; Koch, Elizabeth; Lavoie, Manon; Lawless, Michael; Nguyen, Mai; Paquette, Denis; Turcotte, Émilie; Berger, Alvin; Mitchell, Matthew; Shore, Gordon C.; Beauparlant, Pierre

    2009-01-01

    GMX1777 is a prodrug of the small molecule GMX1778, currently in phase I clinical trials for the treatment of cancer. We describe findings indicating that GMX1778 is a potent and specific inhibitor of the NAD+ biosynthesis enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT). Cancer cells have a very high rate of NAD+ turnover, which makes NAD+ modulation an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Selective inhibition by GMX1778 of NAMPT blocks the production of NAD+ and results in tumor cell death. Furthermore, GMX1778 is phosphoribosylated by NAMPT, which increases its cellular retention. The cytotoxicity of GMX1778 can be bypassed with exogenous nicotinic acid (NA), which permits NAD+ repletion via NA phosphoribosyltransferase 1 (NAPRT1). The cytotoxicity of GMX1778 in cells with NAPRT1 deficiency, however, cannot be rescued by NA. Analyses of NAPRT1 mRNA and protein levels in cell lines and primary tumor tissue indicate that high frequencies of glioblastomas, neuroblastomas, and sarcomas are deficient in NAPRT1 and not susceptible to rescue with NA. As a result, the therapeutic index of GMX1777 can be widended in the treatment animals bearing NAPRT1-deficient tumors by coadministration with NA. This provides the rationale for a novel therapeutic approach for the use of GMX1777 in the treatment of human cancers. PMID:19703994

  12. Recent advances in developing small molecules targeting RNA.

    PubMed

    Guan, Lirui; Disney, Matthew D

    2012-01-20

    RNAs are underexploited targets for small molecule drugs or chemical probes of function. This may be due, in part, to a fundamental lack of understanding of the types of small molecules that bind RNA specifically and the types of RNA motifs that specifically bind small molecules. In this review, we describe recent advances in the development and design of small molecules that bind to RNA and modulate function that aim to fill this void. PMID:22185671

  13. Small Molecule Docking from Theoretical Structural Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novoa, Eva Maria; de Pouplana, Lluis Ribas; Orozco, Modesto

    Structural approaches to rational drug design rely on the basic assumption that pharmacological activity requires, as necessary but not sufficient condition, the binding of a drug to one or several cellular targets, proteins in most cases. The traditional paradigm assumes that drugs that interact only with a single cellular target are specific and accordingly have little secondary effects, while promiscuous molecules are more likely to generate undesirable side effects. However, current examples indicate that often efficient drugs are able to interact with several biological targets [1] and in fact some dirty drugs, such as chlorpromazine, dextromethorphan, and ibogaine exhibit desired pharmacological properties [2]. These considerations highlight the tremendous difficulty of designing small molecules that both have satisfactory ADME properties and the ability of interacting with a limited set of target proteins with a high affinity, avoiding at the same time undesirable interactions with other proteins. In this complex and challenging scenario, computer simulations emerge as the basic tool to guide medicinal chemists during the drug discovery process.

  14. Programmable DNA-binding Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Blackledge, Meghan S.; Melander, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Aberrant gene expression is responsible for a myriad of human diseases from infectious diseases to cancer. Precise regulation of these genes via specific interactions with the DNA double helix could pave the way for novel therapeutics. Pyrrole-imidazole polyamides are small molecules capable of binding to pre-determined DNA sequences up to 16 base pairs with affinity and specificity comparable to natural transcription factors. In the three decades since their development, great strides have been made relating to synthetic accessibility and improved sequence specificity and binding affinity. This perspective presents a brief history of early seminal developments in the field and highlights recent reports of the utility of polyamides as both genetic modulators and molecular probes. PMID:23665141

  15. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Urea Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Verkman, Alan S.; Esteva-Font, Cristina; Cil, Onur; Anderson, Marc O.; Li, Fei; Li, Min; Lei, Tianluo; Ren, Huiwen; Yang, Baoxue

    2015-01-01

    Urea transporter (UT) proteins, which include isoforms of UT-A in kidney tubule epithelia and UT-B in vasa recta endothelia and erythrocytes, facilitate urinary concentrating function. Inhibitors of urea transporter function have potential clinical applications as sodium-sparing diuretics, or ‘urearetics,’ in edema from different etiologies, such as congestive heart failure and cirrhosis, as well as in syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH). High-throughput screening of drug-like small molecules has identified UT-A and UT-B inhibitors with nanomolar potency. Inhibitors have been identified with different UT-A versus UT-B selectivity profiles and putative binding sites on UT proteins. Studies in rodent models support the utility of UT inhibitors in reducing urinary concentration, though testing in clinically relevant animal models of edema has not yet been done. PMID:25298345

  16. Covalent small-molecule-RNA complex formation enables cellular profiling of small-molecule-RNA interactions

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Lirui

    2013-01-01

    Won’t let you go! A strategy is described to design small molecules that react with their cellular RNA targets. This approach not only improves the activity of compounds targeting RNA in cell culture by ≈2500-fold but also enables cell-wide profiling of its RNA targets. PMID:23913698

  17. Covalent small-molecule-RNA complex formation enables cellular profiling of small-molecule-RNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Guan, Lirui; Disney, Matthew D

    2013-09-16

    Won't let you go! A strategy is described to design small molecules that react with their cellular RNA targets. This approach not only improves the activity of compounds targeting RNA in cell culture by a factor of about 2500 but also enables cell-wide profiling of its RNA targets. PMID:23913698

  18. Captides: Rigid Junctions between Beta Sheets and Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Kier, Brandon L.; Andersen, Niels H.

    2014-01-01

    An extensive series of covalently linked small molecule-peptide adducts based on a terminally capped beta hairpin motif is reported. The constructs can be prepared by standard solid-phase fmoc chemistry with 1 to 4 peptide chains linked to small molecule hubs bearing carboxylic acid moieties. The key feature of interest is the precise, buried environment of the small molecule, and its rigid orientation relative to one or more short, but fully structured peptide chain(s). Most of this study employs a minimalist 9 residue “captide”, a capped β-turn, but we illustrate general applicability to peptides which can terminate in a beta strand. The non-peptide portion of these adducts can include nearly any molecule bearing one or more carboxylic acid groups. Fold-dependent rigidity sets this strategy apart from currently available bioconjugation methods, which typically engender significant flexibility between peptide and tag. Applications to catalyst enhancement, drug design, higher-order assembly, and FRET calibration rulers are discussed. PMID:24909552

  19. Using small molecules to study big questions in cellular microbiology.

    PubMed

    Ward, Gary E; Carey, Kimberly L; Westwood, Nicholas J

    2002-08-01

    High-throughput screening of small molecules is used extensively in pharmaceutical settings for the purpose of drug discovery. In the case of antimicrobials, this involves the identification of small molecules that are significantly more toxic to the microbe than to the host. Only a small percentage of the small molecules identified in these screens have been studied in sufficient detail to explain the molecular basis of their antimicrobial effect. Rarer still are small molecule screens undertaken with the explicit goal of learning more about the biology of a particular microbe or the mechanism of its interaction with its host. Recent technological advances in small molecule synthesis and high-throughput screening have made such mechanism-directed small molecule approaches a powerful and accessible experimental option. In this article, we provide an overview of the methods and technical requirements and we discuss the potential of small molecule approaches to address important and often otherwise experimentally intractable problems in cellular microbiology. PMID:12174082

  20. Two-Photon Small Molecule Enzymatic Probes.

    PubMed

    Qian, Linghui; Li, Lin; Yao, Shao Q

    2016-04-19

    Enzymes are essential for life, especially in the development of disease and on drug effects, but as we cannot yet directly observe the inside interactions and only partially observe biochemical outcomes, tools "translating" these processes into readable information are essential for better understanding of enzymes as well as for developing effective tools to fight against diseases. Therefore, sensitive small molecule probes suitable for direct in vivo monitoring of enzyme activities are ultimately desirable. For fulfilling this desire, two-photon small molecule enzymatic probes (TSMEPs) producing amplified fluorescent signals based on enzymatic conversion with better photophysical properties and deeper penetration in intact tissues and whole animals have been developed and demonstrated to be powerful in addressing the issues described above. Nonetheless, currently available TSMEPs only cover a small portion of enzymes despite the distinct advantages of two-photon fluorescence microscopy. In this Account, we would like to share design principles for TSMEPs as potential indicators of certain pathology-related biomarkers together with their applications in disease models to inspire more elegant work to be done in this area. Highlights will be addressed on how to equip two-photon fluorescent probes with features amenable for direct assessment of enzyme activities in complex pathological environments. We give three recent examples from our laboratory and collaborations in which TSMEPs are applied to visualize the distribution and activity of enzymes at cellular and organism levels. The first example shows that we could distinguish endogenous phosphatase activity in different organelles; the second illustrates that TSMEP is suitable for specific and sensitive detection of a potential Parkinson's disease marker (monoamine oxidase B) in a variety of biological systems from cells to patient samples, and the third identifies that TSMEPs can be applied to other enzyme

  1. Simulation Studies of Protein and Small Molecule Interactions and Reaction.

    PubMed

    Yang, L; Zhang, J; Che, X; Gao, Y Q

    2016-01-01

    Computational studies of protein and small molecule (protein-ligand/enzyme-substrate) interactions become more and more important in biological science and drug discovery. Computer modeling can provide molecular details of the processes such as conformational change, binding, and transportation of small molecules/proteins, which are not easily to be captured in experiments. In this chapter, we discussed simulation studies of both protein and small molecules from three aspects: conformation sampling, transportations of small molecules in enzymes, and enzymatic reactions involving small molecules. Both methodology developments and examples of simulation studies in this field were presented. PMID:27497167

  2. First-in-class small molecule potentiators of cancer virotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Dornan, Mark H.; Krishnan, Ramya; Macklin, Andrew M.; Selman, Mohammed; El Sayes, Nader; Son, Hwan Hee; Davis, Colin; Chen, Andrew; Keillor, Kerkeslin; Le, Penny J.; Moi, Christina; Ou, Paula; Pardin, Christophe; Canez, Carlos R.; Le Boeuf, Fabrice; Bell, John C.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Diallo, Jean-Simon; Boddy, Christopher N.

    2016-01-01

    The use of engineered viral strains such as gene therapy vectors and oncolytic viruses (OV) to selectively destroy cancer cells is poised to make a major impact in the clinic and revolutionize cancer therapy. In particular, several studies have shown that OV therapy is safe and well tolerated in humans and can infect a broad range of cancers. Yet in clinical studies OV therapy has highly variable response rates. The heterogeneous nature of tumors is widely accepted to be a major obstacle for OV therapeutics and highlights a need for strategies to improve viral replication efficacy. Here, we describe the development of a new class of small molecules for selectively enhancing OV replication in cancer tissue. Medicinal chemistry studies led to the identification of compounds that enhance multiple OVs and gene therapy vectors. Lead compounds increase OV growth up to 2000-fold in vitro and demonstrate remarkable selectivity for cancer cells over normal tissue ex vivo and in vivo. These small molecules also demonstrate enhanced stability with reduced electrophilicity and are highly tolerated in animals. This pharmacoviral approach expands the scope of OVs to include resistant tumors, further potentiating this transformative therapy. It is easily foreseeable that this approach can be applied to therapeutically enhance other attenuated viral vectors. PMID:27226390

  3. First-in-class small molecule potentiators of cancer virotherapy.

    PubMed

    Dornan, Mark H; Krishnan, Ramya; Macklin, Andrew M; Selman, Mohammed; El Sayes, Nader; Son, Hwan Hee; Davis, Colin; Chen, Andrew; Keillor, Kerkeslin; Le, Penny J; Moi, Christina; Ou, Paula; Pardin, Christophe; Canez, Carlos R; Le Boeuf, Fabrice; Bell, John C; Smith, Jeffrey C; Diallo, Jean-Simon; Boddy, Christopher N

    2016-01-01

    The use of engineered viral strains such as gene therapy vectors and oncolytic viruses (OV) to selectively destroy cancer cells is poised to make a major impact in the clinic and revolutionize cancer therapy. In particular, several studies have shown that OV therapy is safe and well tolerated in humans and can infect a broad range of cancers. Yet in clinical studies OV therapy has highly variable response rates. The heterogeneous nature of tumors is widely accepted to be a major obstacle for OV therapeutics and highlights a need for strategies to improve viral replication efficacy. Here, we describe the development of a new class of small molecules for selectively enhancing OV replication in cancer tissue. Medicinal chemistry studies led to the identification of compounds that enhance multiple OVs and gene therapy vectors. Lead compounds increase OV growth up to 2000-fold in vitro and demonstrate remarkable selectivity for cancer cells over normal tissue ex vivo and in vivo. These small molecules also demonstrate enhanced stability with reduced electrophilicity and are highly tolerated in animals. This pharmacoviral approach expands the scope of OVs to include resistant tumors, further potentiating this transformative therapy. It is easily foreseeable that this approach can be applied to therapeutically enhance other attenuated viral vectors. PMID:27226390

  4. Identification of Biologically Active, HIV TAR RNA-Binding Small Molecules Using Small Molecule Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Identifying small molecules that selectively bind to structured RNA motifs remains an important challenge in developing potent and specific therapeutics. Most strategies to find RNA-binding molecules have identified highly charged compounds or aminoglycosides that commonly have modest selectivity. Here we demonstrate a strategy to screen a large unbiased library of druglike small molecules in a microarray format against an RNA target. This approach has enabled the identification of a novel chemotype that selectively targets the HIV transactivation response (TAR) RNA hairpin in a manner not dependent on cationic charge. Thienopyridine 4 binds to and stabilizes the TAR hairpin with a Kd of 2.4 μM. Structure–activity relationships demonstrate that this compound achieves activity through hydrophobic and aromatic substituents on a heterocyclic core, rather than cationic groups typically required. Selective 2′-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension (SHAPE) analysis was performed on a 365-nucleotide sequence derived from the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) of the HIV-1 genome to determine global structural changes in the presence of the molecule. Importantly, the interaction of compound 4 can be mapped to the TAR hairpin without broadly disrupting any other structured elements of the 5′ UTR. Cell-based anti-HIV assays indicated that 4 inhibits HIV-induced cytopathicity in T lymphocytes with an EC50 of 28 μM, while cytotoxicity was not observed at concentrations approaching 1 mM. PMID:24820959

  5. Database of small molecule thermochemistry for combustion.

    PubMed

    Goldsmith, C Franklin; Magoon, Gregory R; Green, William H

    2012-09-13

    High-accuracy ab initio thermochemistry is presented for 219 small molecules relevant in combustion chemistry, including many radical, biradical, and triplet species. These values are critical for accurate kinetic modeling. The RQCISD(T)/cc-PV∞QZ//B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) method was used to compute the electronic energies. A bond additivity correction for this method has been developed to remove systematic errors in the enthalpy calculations, using the Active Thermochemical Tables as reference values. On the basis of comparison with the benchmark data, the 3σ uncertainty in the standard-state heat of formation is 0.9 kcal/mol, or within chemical accuracy. An uncertainty analysis is presented for the entropy and heat capacity. In many cases, the present values are the most accurate and comprehensive numbers available. The present work is compared to several published databases. In some cases, there are large discrepancies and errors in published databases; the present work helps to resolve these problems. PMID:22873426

  6. Small Molecule Proteostasis Regulators for Protein Conformational Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Calamini, Barbara; Silva, Maria Catarina; Madoux, Franck; Hutt, Darren M.; Khanna, Shilpi; Chalfant, Monica A.; Saldanha, Sanjay A.; Hodder, Peter; Tait, Bradley D.; Garza, Dan; Balch, William E.; Morimoto, Richard I.

    2011-01-01

    Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is essential for cellular and organismal health. Stress, aging, and the chronic expression of misfolded proteins, however, challenge the proteostasis machinery and the vitality of the cell. Enhanced expression of molecular chaperones, regulated by heat shock transcription factor-1 (HSF-1), has been shown to restore proteostasis in a variety of conformational disease models, suggesting a promising therapeutic approach. We describe the results of a ∼900,000 small molecule screen that identified novel classes of small molecule proteostasis regulators (PRs) that induce HSF-1-dependent chaperone expression and restore protein folding in multiple conformational disease models. The beneficial effects to proteome stability are mediated by HSF-1, DAF-16/FOXO, SKN-1/Nrf-2, and the chaperone machinery through mechanisms that are distinct from current known small molecule activators of the HSR. We suggest that modulation of the proteostasis network by PRs represents a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of a variety of protein conformational diseases. PMID:22198733

  7. Quantum Monte Carlo studies on small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galek, Peter T. A.; Handy, Nicholas C.; Lester, William A., Jr.

    The Variational Monte Carlo (VMC) and Fixed-Node Diffusion Monte Carlo (FNDMC) methods have been examined, through studies on small molecules. New programs have been written which implement the (by now) standard algorithms for VMC and FNDMC. We have employed and investigated throughout our studies the accuracy of the common Slater-Jastrow trial wave function. Firstly, we have studied a range of sizes of the Jastrow correlation function of the Boys-Handy form, obtained using our optimization program with analytical derivatives of the central moments in the local energy. Secondly, we have studied the effects of Slater-type orbitals (STOs) that display the exact cusp behaviour at nuclei. The orbitals make up the all important trial determinant, which determines the fixed nodal surface. We report all-electron calculations for the ground state energies of Li2, Be2, H2O, NH3, CH4 and H2CO, in all cases but one with accuracy in excess of 95%. Finally, we report an investigation of the ground state energies, dissociation energies and ionization potentials of NH and NH+. Recent focus paid in the literature to these species allow for an extensive comparison with other ab initio methods. We obtain accurate properties for the species and reveal a favourable tendency for fixed-node and other systematic errors to cancel. As a result of our accurate predictions, we are able to obtain a value for the heat of formation of NH, which agrees to within less than 1 kcal mol-1 to other ab initio techniques and 0.2 kcal mol-1 of the experimental value.

  8. Small Molecule Chemical Probes of MicroRNA Function

    PubMed Central

    Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Vummidi, Balayeshwanth R.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that control protein expression. Aberrant miRNA expression has been linked to various human diseases, and thus miRNAs have been explored as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. Although it is challenging to target RNA with small molecules in general, there have been successful campaigns that have identified small molecule modulators of miRNA function by targeting various pathways. For example, small molecules that modulate transcription and target nuclease processing sites in miRNA precursors have been identified. Herein, we describe challenges in developing chemical probes that target miRNAs and highlight aspects of miRNA cellular biology elucidated by using small molecule chemical probes. We expect that this area will expand dramatically in the near future as strides are made to understand small molecule recognition of RNA from a fundamental perspective. PMID:25500006

  9. Small molecule chemical probes of microRNA function.

    PubMed

    Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Vummidi, Balayeshwanth R; Disney, Matthew D

    2015-02-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that control protein expression. Aberrant miRNA expression has been linked to various human diseases, and thus miRNAs have been explored as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets. Although it is challenging to target RNA with small molecules in general, there have been successful campaigns that have identified small molecule modulators of miRNA function by targeting various pathways. For example, small molecules that modulate transcription and target nuclease processing sites in miRNA precursors have been identified. Herein, we describe challenges in developing chemical probes that target miRNAs and highlight aspects of miRNA cellular biology elucidated by using small molecule chemical probes. We expect that this area will expand dramatically in the near future as progress is made in understanding small molecule recognition of RNA. PMID:25500006

  10. Small-molecule BH3 mimetic and pan-Bcl-2 inhibitor AT-101 enhances the antitumor efficacy of cisplatin through inhibition of APE1 repair and redox activity in non-small-cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Tao; Shan, Jinlu; Li, Mengxia; Qing, Yi; Qian, Chengyuan; Wang, Guangjie; Li, Qing; Lu, Guoshou; Li, Chongyi; Peng, Yu; Luo, Hao; Zhang, Shiheng; Yang, Yuxing; Cheng, Yi; Wang, Dong; Zhou, Shu-Feng

    2015-01-01

    AT-101 is a BH3 mimetic and pan-Bcl-2 inhibitor that has shown potent anticancer activity in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in murine models, but failed to show clinical efficacy when used in combination with docetaxel in NSCLC patients. Our recent study has demonstrated that AT-101 enhanced the antitumor effect of cisplatin (CDDP) in a murine model of NSCLC via inhibition of the interleukin-6/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway. This study explored the underlying mechanisms for the enhanced anticancer activity of CDDP by AT-101. Our results show that, when compared with monotherapy, AT-101 significantly enhanced the inhibitory effects of CDDP on proliferation and migration of A549 cells and on tube formation and migration in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. AT-101 promoted the proapoptotic activity of CDDP in A549 cells. AT-101 also enhanced the inhibitory effect of CDDP on DNA repair and redox activities of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) in A549 cells. In tumor tissues from nude mice treated with AT-101 plus CDDP or monotherapy, the combination therapy resulted in greater inhibition of angiogenesis and tumor cell proliferation than the monotherapy. These results suggest that AT-101 can enhance the antitumor activity of CDDP in NSCLC via inhibition of APE1 DNA repair and redox activities and by angiogenesis and induction of apoptosis, but other mechanisms cannot be excluded. We are now conducting a Phase II trial to examine the clinical efficacy and safety profile of combined use of AT-101 plus CDDP in advanced NSCLC patients. PMID:26089640

  11. Omnidirectional and broadband optical absorption enhancement in small molecule organic solar cells by a patterned MoO3/Ag/MoO3 transparent anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Ximin; Hao, Yuying; Zhang, Ye; Cui, Yanxia; Ji, Ting; Wang, Hua; Wei, Bin; Huang, Wei

    2015-03-01

    We designed and calculated a novel organic solar cell (OSC) with MoO3/Ag/MoO3 (MAM) grating as transparent anode and the patterned copper phthalocyanine (CuPc)/fullerence (C60) as active layer. The numerical results indicate that a broadband, omnidirectional light absorption enhancement is realized by utilizing such a one-dimensional (1D) grating with core-shell structure. The total absorption efficiency of the active layer over the wavelength range from 400 to 900 nm is enhanced by 178.88%, 19.44% and 99.16% relative to the equivalent planar cell considering the weight of air-mass 1.5 global (AM 1.5G) solar spectrum at normally incident transverse magnetic (TM), transverse electric (TE) and TM/TE hybrid polarized light, respectively. The improved light trapping is attributed to the multiple modes hybridization of propagating surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs), localized surface plasmons (LSPs) and the strong coupling of SPP waves at TM polarization along with the Floquet modes at TE polarization. Furthermore, the proposed optimized architecture also exhibits an expected short-circuit current density (Jsc) with the value of 11.11 mA/cm2 in theory, which is increased by 116.6% compared with that of the planar control device.

  12. X-ray characterization of solid small molecule organic materials

    SciTech Connect

    Billinge, Simon; Shankland, Kenneth; Shankland, Norman; Florence, Alastair

    2014-06-10

    The present invention provides, inter alia, methods of characterizing a small molecule organic material, e.g., a drug or a drug product. This method includes subjecting the solid small molecule organic material to x-ray total scattering analysis at a short wavelength, collecting data generated thereby, and mathematically transforming the data to provide a refined set of data.

  13. Small diatomic alkali molecules at ultracold temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tout Taotao

    This thesis describes experimental work done with two of the smallest diatomic alkali molecules, 6Li2 and 23Na 6Li, each formed out of its constituent atoms at ultracold temperatures. The 23Na6Li molecule was formed for the first time at ultracold temperatures, after previous attempts failed due to an incorrect assignment of Feshbach resonances in the 6Li+23Na system. The experiment represents successful molecule formation around the most difficult Feshbach resonance ever used, and opens up the possibility of transferring NaLi to its spin-triplet ground state, which has both magnetic and electric dipole moments and is expected to be long-lived. For 6Li2, the experimental efforts in this thesis have solved a long-standing puzzle of apparently long lifetimes of closed-channel fermion pairs around a narrow Feshbach resonance, finding that the lifetime is in fact short, as expected in the absence of Pauli suppression of collisions. Moreover, measurements of collisions of Li2 with free Li atoms demonstrates a striking first example of collisions involving molecules at ultracold temperatures described by physics beyond universal long-range van der Waals interactions.

  14. Synthesis and characterization of silicon carbonitride films by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) using bis(dimethylamino)dimethylsilane (BDMADMS), as membrane for a small molecule gas separation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafrouni, W.; Rouessac, V.; Julbe, A.; Durand, J.

    2010-12-01

    Silicon carbonitride thin films have been deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) from bis(dimethylamino)dimethylsilane (BDMADMS) as a function of X = (BDMADMS/(BDMADMS + NH 3)) between 0.1 and 1, and plasma power P (W) between 100 and 400 W. The microstructure of obtained materials has been studied by SEM, FTIR, EDS, ellipsometrie, and contact angle of water measurements. The structure of the materials is strongly depended on plasma parameters; we can pass from a material rich in carbon to a material rich in nitrogen. Single gas permeation tests have been carried out and we have obtained a helium permeance of about 10 -7 mol m -2 s -1 Pa -1 and ideal selectivity of helium over nitrogen of about 20.

  15. Advancing Biological Understanding and Therapeutics Discovery with Small Molecule Probes

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Stuart L.; Kotz, Joanne D.; Li, Min; Aubé, Jeffrey; Austin, Christopher P.; Reed, John C.; Rosen, Hugh; White, E. Lucile; Sklar, Larry A.; Lindsley, Craig W.; Alexander, Benjamin R.; Bittker, Joshua A.; Clemons, Paul A.; de Souza, Andrea; Foley, Michael A.; Palmer, Michelle; Shamji, Alykhan F.; Wawer, Mathias J.; McManus, Owen; Wu, Meng; Zou, Beiyan; Yu, Haibo; Golden, Jennifer E.; Schoenen, Frank J.; Simeonov, Anton; Jadhav, Ajit; Jackson, Michael R.; Pinkerton, Anthony B.; Chung, Thomas D.Y.; Griffin, Patrick R.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Hodder, Peter S.; Roush, William R.; Roberts, Edward; Chung, Dong-Hoon; Jonsson, Colleen B.; Noah, James W.; Severson, William E.; Ananthan, Subramaniam; Edwards, Bruce; Oprea, Tudor I.; Conn, P. Jeffrey; Hopkins, Corey R.; Wood, Michael R.; Stauffer, Shaun R.; Emmitte, Kyle A.

    2015-01-01

    Small-molecule probes can illuminate biological processes and aid in the assessment of emerging therapeutic targets by perturbing biological systems in a manner distinct from other experimental approaches. Despite the tremendous promise of chemical tools for investigating biology and disease, small-molecule probes were unavailable for most targets and pathways as recently as a decade ago. In 2005, the U.S. National Institutes of Health launched the decade-long Molecular Libraries Program with the intent of innovating in and broadening access to small-molecule science. This Perspective describes how novel small-molecule probes identified through the program are enabling the exploration of biological pathways and therapeutic hypotheses not otherwise testable. These experiences illustrate how small-molecule probes can help bridge the chasm between biological research and the development of medicines, but also highlight the need to innovate the science of therapeutic discovery. PMID:26046436

  16. Small-molecule suppressors of Candida albicans biofilm formation synergistically enhance the antifungal activity of amphotericin B against clinical Candida isolates

    PubMed Central

    You, Jianlan; Du, Lin; King, Jarrod B.; Hall, Brian E.; Cichewicz, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

    A new class of fungal biofilm inhibitors represented by shearinines D (3) and E (4) were obtained from a Penicillium sp. isolate. The inhibitory activities of 3 and 4 were characterized using a new imaging flow-cytometer technique, which enabled the rapid phenotypic analysis of Candida albicans cell types (budding yeast cells, germ tube cells, pseudohyphae, and hyphae) in biofilms populations. The results were confirmed by experimental data obtained from three-dimensional confocal laser scanning microscopy and 2,3- bis-(2-methoxy-4- nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT) assays. These data indicate that 3 and 4 inhibited C. albicans biofilm formation by blocking the outgrowth of hyphae at a relatively late stage of biofilm development (IC50 = 8.5 μM and 7.6 μM, respectively). However, 3 and 4 demonstrated comparatively weak activity at disrupting existing biofilms. Compounds 3 and 4 also exhibited synergistic activities with amphotericin B against C. albicans and others clinical Candida isolates by enhancing the potency of amphotericin B up to eight-fold against cells in both developing and established biofilms. These data suggest that the Candida biofilm disruption and amphotericin B potentiating effects of 3 and 4 could be mediated through multiple biological targets. The shearinines are good tools for testing the potential advantages of using adjunctive therapies in combination with antifungals. PMID:23387427

  17. Small Talk: Children's Everyday `Molecule' Ideas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakab, Cheryl

    2013-08-01

    This paper reports on 6-11-year-old children's `sayings and doings' (Harré 2002) as they explore molecule artefacts in dialectical-interactive teaching interviews (Fleer, Cultural Studies of Science Education 3:781-786, 2008; Hedegaard et al. 2008). This sociocultural study was designed to explore children's everyday awareness of and meaning-making with cultural molecular artefacts. Our everyday world is populated with an ever increasing range of molecular or nanoworld words, symbols, images, and games. What do children today say about these artefacts that are used to represent molecular world entities? What are the material and social resources that can influence a child's everyday and developing scientific ideas about `molecules'? How do children interact with these cognitive tools when given expert assistance? What meaning-making is afforded when children are socially and materially assisted in using molecular tools in early chemical and nanoworld thinking? Tool-dependent discursive studies show that provision of cultural artefacts can assist and direct developmental thinking across many domains of science (Schoultz et al., Human Development 44:103-118, 2001; Siegal 2008). Young children's use of molecular artefacts as cognitive tools has not received much attention to date (Jakab 2009a, b). This study shows 6-11-year-old children expressing everyday ideas of molecular artefacts and raising their own questions about the artefacts. They are seen beginning to domesticate (Erneling 2010) the words, symbols, and images to their own purposes when given the opportunity to interact with such artefacts in supported activity. Discursive analysis supports the notion that using `molecules' as cultural tools can help young children to begin `putting on molecular spectacles' (Kind 2004). Playing with an interactive game (ICT) is shown to be particularly helpful in assisting children's early meaning-making with representations of molecules, atoms, and their chemical symbols.

  18. The Small Molecule Hyperphyllin Enhances Leaf Formation Rate and Mimics Shoot Meristem Integrity Defects Associated with AMP1 Deficiency1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Poretska, Olena; Yang, Saiqi; Rozhon, Wilfried; Zwerger, Karin; Uribe, Marcos Castellanos; May, Sean; McCourt, Peter

    2016-01-01

    ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1 (AMP1) is a member of the M28 family of carboxypeptidases with a pivotal role in plant development and stress adaptation. Its most prominent mutant defect is a unique hypertrophic shoot phenotype combining a strongly increased organ formation rate with enhanced meristem size and the formation of ectopic meristem poles. However, so far the role of AMP1 in shoot development could not be assigned to a specific molecular pathway nor is its biochemical function resolved. In this work we evaluated the level of functional conservation between AMP1 and its human homolog HsGCPII, a tumor marker of medical interest. We show that HsGCPII cannot substitute AMP1 in planta and that an HsGCPII-specific inhibitor does not evoke amp1-specific phenotypes. We used a chemical genetic approach to identify the drug hyperphyllin (HP), which specifically mimics the shoot defects of amp1, including plastochron reduction and enlargement and multiplication of the shoot meristem. We assessed the structural requirements of HP activity and excluded that it is a cytokinin analog. HP-treated wild-type plants showed amp1-related tissue-specific changes of various marker genes and a significant transcriptomic overlap with the mutant. HP was ineffective in amp1 and elevated the protein levels of PHAVOLUTA, consistent with the postulated role of AMP1 in miRNA-controlled translation, further supporting an AMP1-related mode of action. Our work suggests that plant and animal members of the M28 family of proteases adopted unrelated functions. With HP we provide a tool to characterize the plant-specific functions of this important class of proteins. PMID:27208298

  19. Small-Molecule Binding Aptamers: Selection Strategies, Characterization, and Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria

    2016-05-01

    Aptamers are single-stranded, synthetic oligonucleotides that fold into 3-dimensional shapes capable of binding non-covalently with high affinity and specificity to a target molecule. They are generated via an in vitro process known as the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment, from which candidates are screened and characterized, and then applied in aptamer-based biosensors for target detection. Aptamers for small molecule targets such as toxins, antibiotics, molecular markers, drugs, and heavy metals will be the focus of this review. Their accurate detection is ultimately needed for the protection and wellbeing of humans and animals. However, issues such as the drastic difference in size of the aptamer and small molecule make it challenging to select, characterize, and apply aptamers for the detection of small molecules. Thus, recent (since 2012) notable advances in small molecule aptamers, which have overcome some of these challenges, are presented here, while defining challenges that still exist are discussed

  20. Molecular Responses to Small Regulating Molecules against Huanglongbing Disease

    PubMed Central

    Martinelli, Federico; Dolan, David; Fileccia, Veronica; Reagan, Russell L.; Phu, My; Spann, Timothy M.; McCollum, Thomas G.; Dandekar, Abhaya M.

    2016-01-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening) is the most devastating disease of citrus worldwide. No cure is yet available for this disease and infected trees generally decline after several months. Disease management depends on early detection of symptoms and chemical control of insect vectors. In this work, different combinations of organic compounds were tested for the ability to modulate citrus molecular responses to HLB disease beneficially. Three small-molecule regulating compounds were tested: 1) L-arginine, 2) 6-benzyl-adenine combined with gibberellins, and 3) sucrose combined with atrazine. Each treatment contained K-phite mineral solution and was tested at two different concentrations. Two trials were conducted: one in the greenhouse and the other in the orchard. In the greenhouse study, responses of 42 key genes involved in sugar and starch metabolism, hormone-related pathways, biotic stress responses, and secondary metabolism in treated and untreated mature leaves were analyzed. TGA5 was significantly induced by arginine. Benzyladenine and gibberellins enhanced two important genes involved in biotic stress responses: WRKY54 and WRKY59. Sucrose combined with atrazine mainly upregulated key genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism such as sucrose-phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase, starch synthase, and α-amylase. Atrazine also affected expression of some key genes involved in systemic acquired resistance such as EDS1, TGA6, WRKY33, and MYC2. Several treatments upregulated HSP82, which might help protect protein folding and integrity. A subset of key genes was chosen as biomarkers for molecular responses to treatments under field conditions. GPT2 was downregulated by all small-molecule treatments. Arginine-induced genes involved in systemic acquired resistance included PR1, WRKY70, and EDS1. These molecular data encourage long-term application of treatments that combine these regulating molecules in field trials. PMID:27459099

  1. Molecular Responses to Small Regulating Molecules against Huanglongbing Disease.

    PubMed

    Martinelli, Federico; Dolan, David; Fileccia, Veronica; Reagan, Russell L; Phu, My; Spann, Timothy M; McCollum, Thomas G; Dandekar, Abhaya M

    2016-01-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening) is the most devastating disease of citrus worldwide. No cure is yet available for this disease and infected trees generally decline after several months. Disease management depends on early detection of symptoms and chemical control of insect vectors. In this work, different combinations of organic compounds were tested for the ability to modulate citrus molecular responses to HLB disease beneficially. Three small-molecule regulating compounds were tested: 1) L-arginine, 2) 6-benzyl-adenine combined with gibberellins, and 3) sucrose combined with atrazine. Each treatment contained K-phite mineral solution and was tested at two different concentrations. Two trials were conducted: one in the greenhouse and the other in the orchard. In the greenhouse study, responses of 42 key genes involved in sugar and starch metabolism, hormone-related pathways, biotic stress responses, and secondary metabolism in treated and untreated mature leaves were analyzed. TGA5 was significantly induced by arginine. Benzyladenine and gibberellins enhanced two important genes involved in biotic stress responses: WRKY54 and WRKY59. Sucrose combined with atrazine mainly upregulated key genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism such as sucrose-phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase, starch synthase, and α-amylase. Atrazine also affected expression of some key genes involved in systemic acquired resistance such as EDS1, TGA6, WRKY33, and MYC2. Several treatments upregulated HSP82, which might help protect protein folding and integrity. A subset of key genes was chosen as biomarkers for molecular responses to treatments under field conditions. GPT2 was downregulated by all small-molecule treatments. Arginine-induced genes involved in systemic acquired resistance included PR1, WRKY70, and EDS1. These molecular data encourage long-term application of treatments that combine these regulating molecules in field trials. PMID:27459099

  2. Coacervate delivery systems for proteins and small molecule drugs

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Noah R; Wang, Yadong

    2015-01-01

    Coacervates represent an exciting new class of drug delivery vehicles, developed in the past decade as carriers of small molecule drugs and proteins. This review summarizes several well-described coacervate systems, including Elastin-like peptides for delivery of anti-cancer therapeutics,Heparin-based coacervates with synthetic polycations for controlled growth factor delivery,Carboxymethyl chitosan aggregates for oral drug delivery,Mussel adhesive protein and hyaluronic acid coacervates. Coacervates present advantages in their simple assembly and easy incorporation into tissue engineering scaffolds or as adjuncts to cell therapies. They are also amenable to functionalization such as for targeting or for enhancing the bioactivity of their cargo. These new drug carriers are anticipated to have broad applications and noteworthy impact in the near future. PMID:25138695

  3. Selection and Biosensor Application of Aptamers for Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Pfeiffer, Franziska; Mayer, Günter

    2016-01-01

    Small molecules play a major role in the human body and as drugs, toxins, and chemicals. Tools to detect and quantify them are therefore in high demand. This review will give an overview about aptamers interacting with small molecules and their selection. We discuss the current state of the field, including advantages as well as problems associated with their use and possible solutions to tackle these. We then discuss different kinds of small molecule aptamer-based sensors described in literature and their applications, ranging from detecting drinking water contaminations to RNA imaging. PMID:27379229

  4. Challenges and Opportunities for Small Molecule Aptamer Development

    PubMed Central

    McKeague, Maureen; DeRosa, Maria C.

    2012-01-01

    Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that bind to targets with high affinity and selectivity. Their use as molecular recognition elements has emerged as a viable approach for biosensing, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Despite this potential, relatively few aptamers exist that bind to small molecules. Small molecules are important targets for investigation due to their diverse biological functions as well as their clinical and commercial uses. Novel, effective molecular recognition probes for these compounds are therefore of great interest. This paper will highlight the technical challenges of aptamer development for small molecule targets, as well as the opportunities that exist for their application in biosensing and chemical biology. PMID:23150810

  5. Selection and Biosensor Application of Aptamers for Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, Franziska; Mayer, Günter

    2016-01-01

    Small molecules play a major role in the human body and as drugs, toxins, and chemicals. Tools to detect and quantify them are therefore in high demand. This review will give an overview about aptamers interacting with small molecules and their selection. We discuss the current state of the field, including advantages as well as problems associated with their use and possible solutions to tackle these. We then discuss different kinds of small molecule aptamer-based sensors described in literature and their applications, ranging from detecting drinking water contaminations to RNA imaging. PMID:27379229

  6. Probing translation using small molecule inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Blanchard, Scott C.; Cooperman, Barry S.; Wilson, Daniel N.

    2010-01-01

    Summary The translational apparatus of the bacterial cell remains one of the principal targets of antibiotics for the clinical treatment of infection worldwide. Since the introduction of specific translation inhibitors into clinical practise in the late 1940’s, intense efforts have been made to understand their precise mechanisms of action. Such research has often revealed significant and sometimes unexpected insights into many fundamental aspects of the translation mechanism. Central to progress in this area, high-resolution crystal structures of the bacterial ribosome identifying the sites of antibiotic binding are now available, which, together with recent developments in single-molecule and fast-kinetic approaches, provide an integrated view of the dynamic translation process. Assays employing these approaches and focusing on specific steps of the overall translation process are amenable for drug-screening. Such assays, coupled with structural studies, have the potential not only to accelerate the discovery of novel and effective antimicrobial agents, but also to refine our understanding of the translation mechanism, since antibiotics often stabilize specific functional states of the ribosome and allow distinct translation steps to be dissected in molecular detail. PMID:20609413

  7. Small Molecule Inhibitors of Anthrax Lethal Factor Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Williams, John D.; Khan, Atiyya R.; Cardinale, Steven C.; Butler, Michelle M.; Bowlin, Terry L.; Peet, Norton P.

    2014-01-01

    This manuscript describes the preparation of new small molecule inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis lethal factor. Our starting point was the symmetrical, bis-quinolinyl compound 1 (NSC 12155). Optimization of one half of this molecule led to new LF inhibitors that were desymmetrized to afford more drug-like compounds. PMID:24290062

  8. A Prospective Method to Guide Small Molecule Drug Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Alan T.

    2015-01-01

    At present, small molecule drug design follows a retrospective path when considering what analogs are to be made around a current hit or lead molecule with the focus often on identifying a compound with higher intrinsic potency. What this approach overlooks is the simultaneous need to also improve the physicochemical (PC) and pharmacokinetic (PK)…

  9. The role of small molecules in musculoskeletal regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Kevin W-H; Ashe, Keshia M; Kan, Ho Man; Laurencin, Cato T

    2015-01-01

    The uses of bone morphogenetic proteins and parathyroid hormone therapeutics are fraught with several fundamental problems, such as cost, protein stability, immunogenicity, contamination and supraphysiological dosage. These downsides may effectively limit their more universal use. Therefore, there is a clear need for alternative forms of biofactors to obviate the drawbacks of protein-based inductive factors for bone repair and regeneration. Our group has studied small molecules with the capacity to regulate osteoblast differentiation and mineralization because their inherent physical properties minimize limitations observed in protein growth factors. For instance, in general, small molecule inducers are usually more stable, highly soluble, nonimmunogenic, more affordable and require lower dosages. Small molecules with the ability to induce osteoblastic differentiation may represent the next generation of bone regenerative medicine. This review describes efforts to develop small molecule-based biofactors for induction, paying specific attention to their novel roles in bone regeneration. PMID:22817627

  10. Small molecule perimeter defense in entomopathogenic bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Jason M.; Portmann, Cyril; Zhang, Xu; Roeffaers, Maarten B. J.; Clardy, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Two Gram-negative insect pathogens, Xenorhabdus nematophila and Photorhabdus luminescens, produce rhabduscin, an amidoglycosyl- and vinyl-isonitrile-functionalized tyrosine derivative. Heterologous expression of the rhabduscin pathway in Escherichia coli, precursor-directed biosynthesis of rhabduscin analogs, biochemical assays, and visualization using both stimulated Raman scattering and confocal fluorescence microscopy established rhabduscin’s role as a potent nanomolar-level inhibitor of phenoloxidase, a key component of the insect’s innate immune system, as well as rhabduscin’s localization at the bacterial cell surface. Stimulated Raman scattering microscopy visualized rhabduscin at the periphery of wild-type X. nematophila cells and E. coli cells heterologously expressing the rhabduscin pathway. Precursor-directed biosynthesis created rhabduscin mimics in X. nematophila pathway mutants that could be accessed at the bacterial cell surface by an extracellular bioorthogonal probe, as judged by confocal fluorescence microscopy. Biochemical assays using both wild-type and mutant X. nematophila cells showed that rhabduscin was necessary and sufficient for potent inhibition (low nM) of phenoloxidases, the enzymes responsible for producing melanin (the hard black polymer insects generate to seal off microbial pathogens). These observations suggest a model in which rhabduscin’s physical association at the bacterial cell surface provides a highly effective inhibitor concentration directly at the site of phenoloxidase contact. This class of molecules is not limited to insect pathogens, as the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae also encodes rhabduscin’s aglycone, and bacterial cell-coated immunosuppressants could be a general strategy to combat host defenses. PMID:22711807

  11. A Personal History of Quadruplex-Small Molecule Targeting.

    PubMed

    Neidle, Stephen

    2015-08-01

    The story behind some of the early studies in the laboratory of Stephen Neidle on quadruplex-binding small molecules and the structural studies on quadruplexes and their complexes is presented and discussed in the context of his earlier work on drug-DNA interactions. More recent studies and future directions in the rational design of small molecules targeting telomeric and gene promoter quadruplexes are also described. PMID:26096791

  12. Biocatalysts and their small molecule products from metagenomic studies

    PubMed Central

    Iqbal, Hala A.; Feng, Zhiyang; Brady, Sean F.

    2012-01-01

    The vast majority of bacteria present in environmental samples have never been cultured and therefore they have not been available to exploit their ability to produce useful biocatalysts or collections of biocatalysts that can biosynthesize interesting small molecules. Metagenomic libraries constructed using DNA extracted directly from natural bacterial communities offer access to the genetic information present in the genomes of these as yet uncultured bacteria. This review highlights recent efforts to recover both discrete enzymes and small molecules from metagenomic libraries. PMID:22455793

  13. Small molecule annotation for the Protein Data Bank.

    PubMed

    Sen, Sanchayita; Young, Jasmine; Berrisford, John M; Chen, Minyu; Conroy, Matthew J; Dutta, Shuchismita; Di Costanzo, Luigi; Gao, Guanghua; Ghosh, Sutapa; Hudson, Brian P; Igarashi, Reiko; Kengaku, Yumiko; Liang, Yuhe; Peisach, Ezra; Persikova, Irina; Mukhopadhyay, Abhik; Narayanan, Buvaneswari Coimbatore; Sahni, Gaurav; Sato, Junko; Sekharan, Monica; Shao, Chenghua; Tan, Lihua; Zhuravleva, Marina A

    2014-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the single global repository for three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules and their complexes, and its more than 100,000 structures contain more than 20,000 distinct ligands or small molecules bound to proteins and nucleic acids. Information about these small molecules and their interactions with proteins and nucleic acids is crucial for our understanding of biochemical processes and vital for structure-based drug design. Small molecules present in a deposited structure may be attached to a polymer or may occur as a separate, non-covalently linked ligand. During curation of a newly deposited structure by wwPDB annotation staff, each molecule is cross-referenced to the PDB Chemical Component Dictionary (CCD). If the molecule is new to the PDB, a dictionary description is created for it. The information about all small molecule components found in the PDB is distributed via the ftp archive as an external reference file. Small molecule annotation in the PDB also includes information about ligand-binding sites and about covalent and other linkages between ligands and macromolecules. During the remediation of the peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors present in the PDB archive in 2011, it became clear that additional annotation was required for consistent representation of these molecules, which are quite often composed of several sequential subcomponents including modified amino acids and other chemical groups. The connectivity information of the modified amino acids is necessary for correct representation of these biologically interesting molecules. The combined information is made available via a new resource called the Biologically Interesting molecules Reference Dictionary, which is complementary to the CCD and is now routinely used for annotation of peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors. PMID:25425036

  14. Computational evaluation of protein – small molecule binding

    PubMed Central

    Guvench, Olgun; MacKerell, Alexander D.

    2009-01-01

    Determining protein – small molecule binding affinity is a key component of present-day rational drug discovery. To circumvent the time, labor, and materials costs associated with experimental protein – small molecule binding assays, a variety of structure-based computational methods have been developed for determining protein – small molecule binding affinities. These methods can be placed in one of two classes: accurate but slow (Class 1), and fast but approximate (Class 2). Class 1 methods, which explicitly take into account protein flexibility and include an atomic-level description of solvation, are capable of quantitatively reproducing experimental protein – small molecule absolute binding free energies. However, Class 1 computational requirements make screening thousands to millions of small molecules against a protein, as required for rational drug design, infeasible for the foreseeable future. Class 2 methods, on the other hand, are sufficiently fast to perform such inhibitor screening, yet they suffer from limited descriptions of protein flexibility and solvation, which in turn limit their ability to select and rank-order small molecules by computed binding affinities. This review presents an overview of Class 1 and Class 2 methods, avenues of research in Class 2 methods aimed at bringing them closer to Class 1 accuracy, and intermediate approaches that incorporate features of both Class 1 and Class 2 methods. PMID:19162472

  15. Heating of interstellar gas by large molecules or small grains

    SciTech Connect

    Lepp, S.; Dalgarno, A.

    1988-12-01

    The heating of the interstellar medium by photoelectric emission from large molecules or small grains is explored. Photodetachment of large negative ions may be a significant heat source in diffuse clouds. For an abundance of large molecules relative to hydrogen greater than 2 x 10 to the -7th, the heating rate from the photoelectrons produced in the photoionization of large molecules and the photodetachment of large molecular negative ions exceeds the standard grain-heating rate. Theoretical models have been used to infer the abundances of large molecules from the C(+)/C abundance ratios in the interstellar clouds toward Zeta Oph and Zeta Per. 33 references.

  16. TMAO: A small molecule of great expectations.

    PubMed

    Ufnal, Marcin; Zadlo, Anna; Ostaszewski, Ryszard

    2015-01-01

    Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is a small organic compound whose concentration in blood increases after ingesting dietary l-carnitine and phosphatidylcholine. Recent clinical studies show a positive correlation between elevated plasma levels of TMAO and an increased risk for major adverse cardiovascular events defined as death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Several experimental studies suggest a possible contribution of TMAO to the etiology of cardiovascular diseases by affecting lipid and hormonal homeostasis. On the other hand, TMAO-rich seafood, which is an important source of protein and vitamins in the Mediterranean diet, has been considered beneficial for the circulatory system. Although in humans TMAO is known mainly as a waste product of choline metabolism, a number of studies suggest an involvement of TMAO in important biological functions in numerous organisms, ranging from bacteria to mammals. For example, cells use TMAO to maintain cell volume under conditions of osmotic and hydrostatic pressure stresses. In this article, we reviewed well-established chemical and biological properties of TMAO and dietary sources of TMAO, as well as looked at the studies suggesting possible involvement of TMAO in the etiology of cardiovascular and other diseases, such as kidney failure, diabetes, and cancer. PMID:26283574

  17. 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

  18. Molecules Great and Small: The Complement System.

    PubMed

    Mathern, Douglas R; Heeger, Peter S

    2015-09-01

    The complement cascade, traditionally considered an effector arm of innate immunity required for host defense against pathogens, is now recognized as a crucial pathogenic mediator of various kidney diseases. Complement components produced by the liver and circulating in the plasma undergo activation through the classical and/or mannose-binding lectin pathways to mediate anti-HLA antibody-initiated kidney transplant rejection and autoantibody-initiated GN, the latter including membranous glomerulopathy, antiglomerular basement membrane disease, and lupus nephritis. Inherited and/or acquired abnormalities of complement regulators, which requisitely limit restraint on alternative pathway complement activation, contribute to the pathogenesis of the C3 nephropathies and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. Increasing evidence links complement produced by endothelial cells and/or tubular cells to the pathogenesis of kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury and progressive kidney fibrosis. Data emerging since the mid-2000s additionally show that immune cells, including T cells and antigen-presenting cells, produce alternative pathway complement components during cognate interactions. The subsequent local complement activation yields production of the anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a, which bind to their respective receptors (C3aR and C5aR) on both partners to augment effector T-cell proliferation and survival, while simultaneously inhibiting regulatory T-cell induction and function. This immune cell-derived complement enhances pathogenic alloreactive T-cell immunity that results in transplant rejection and likely contributes to the pathogenesis of other T cell-mediated kidney diseases. C5a/C5aR ligations on neutrophils have additionally been shown to contribute to vascular inflammation in models of ANCA-mediated renal vasculitis. New translational immunology efforts along with the development of pharmacologic agents that block human complement components and receptors now permit

  19. Membrane Fusion Induced by Small Molecules and Ions

    PubMed Central

    Mondal Roy, Sutapa; Sarkar, Munna

    2011-01-01

    Membrane fusion is a key event in many biological processes. These processes are controlled by various fusogenic agents of which proteins and peptides from the principal group. The fusion process is characterized by three major steps, namely, inter membrane contact, lipid mixing forming the intermediate step, pore opening and finally mixing of inner contents of the cells/vesicles. These steps are governed by energy barriers, which need to be overcome to complete fusion. Structural reorganization of big molecules like proteins/peptides, supplies the required driving force to overcome the energy barrier of the different intermediate steps. Small molecules/ions do not share this advantage. Hence fusion induced by small molecules/ions is expected to be different from that induced by proteins/peptides. Although several reviews exist on membrane fusion, no recent review is devoted solely to small moleculs/ions induced membrane fusion. Here we intend to present, how a variety of small molecules/ions act as independent fusogens. The detailed mechanism of some are well understood but for many it is still an unanswered question. Clearer understanding of how a particular small molecule can control fusion will open up a vista to use these moleucles instead of proteins/peptides to induce fusion both in vivo and in vitro fusion processes. PMID:21660306

  20. Single molecule surface enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofkens, Johan; De Schryver, Frans C.; Cotlet, Mircea; Habuchi, Satoshi

    2004-06-01

    One of the most intriguing findings in single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) is the observation of Raman spectra of individual molecules, despite the small cross section of the transitions involved. The observation of the spectra can be explained by the surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERRS) effect. At the single-molecule level, the SERRS-spectra recorded as a function of time reveal inhomogeneous behaviour such as on/off blinking, spectral diffusion, intensity fluctuations of vibrational line, and even splitting of some lines within the spectrum of one molecule. Single-molecule SERRS (SM-SERRS) spectroscopy opens up exciting opportunities in the field of biophysics and biomedical spectroscopy. The first example of single protein SERRS was performed on hemoglobin. However, the possibility of extracting the heme group by silver sols can not be excluded. Here we report on SM-SERRS spectra of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in which the chromophore is kept in the protein. The time series of SM-SERRS spectra suggest the conversion of the EGFP chromophore between the deprotonated and the protonated form. Autocorrelation analysis of SM-SERRS trajectory reveals the presence of fast dynamics taking place in the protein. Our findings show the potential of the technique to study structural dynamics of protein molecules.

  1. Thermal Degradation of Small Molecules: A Global Metabolomic Investigation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Thermal processes are widely used in small molecule chemical analysis and metabolomics for derivatization, vaporization, chromatography, and ionization, especially in gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In this study the effect of heating was examined on a set of 64 small molecule standards and, separately, on human plasma metabolite extracts. The samples, either derivatized or underivatized, were heated at three different temperatures (60, 100, and 250 °C) at different exposure times (30 s, 60 s, and 300 s). All the samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and the data processed by XCMS Online (xcmsonline.scripps.edu). The results showed that heating at an elevated temperature of 100 °C had an appreciable effect on both the underivatized and derivatized molecules, and heating at 250 °C created substantial changes in the profile. For example, over 40% of the molecular peaks were altered in the plasma metabolite analysis after heating (250 °C, 300s) with a significant formation of degradation and transformation products. The analysis of 64 small molecule standards validated the temperature-induced changes observed on the plasma metabolites, where most of the small molecules degraded at elevated temperatures even after minimal exposure times (30 s). For example, tri- and diorganophosphates (e.g., adenosine triphosphate and adenosine diphosphate) were readily degraded into a mono-organophosphate (e.g., adenosine monophosphate) during heating. Nucleosides and nucleotides (e.g., inosine and inosine monophosphate) were also found to be transformed into purine derivatives (e.g., hypoxanthine). A newly formed transformation product, oleoyl ethyl amide, was identified in both the underivatized and derivatized forms of the plasma extracts and small molecule standard mixture, and was likely generated from oleic acid. Overall these analyses show that small molecules and metabolites undergo

  2. Thermal Degradation of Small Molecules: A Global Metabolomic Investigation.

    PubMed

    Fang, Mingliang; Ivanisevic, Julijana; Benton, H Paul; Johnson, Caroline H; Patti, Gary J; Hoang, Linh T; Uritboonthai, Winnie; Kurczy, Michael E; Siuzdak, Gary

    2015-11-01

    Thermal processes are widely used in small molecule chemical analysis and metabolomics for derivatization, vaporization, chromatography, and ionization, especially in gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In this study the effect of heating was examined on a set of 64 small molecule standards and, separately, on human plasma metabolite extracts. The samples, either derivatized or underivatized, were heated at three different temperatures (60, 100, and 250 °C) at different exposure times (30 s, 60 s, and 300 s). All the samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and the data processed by XCMS Online ( xcmsonline.scripps.edu ). The results showed that heating at an elevated temperature of 100 °C had an appreciable effect on both the underivatized and derivatized molecules, and heating at 250 °C created substantial changes in the profile. For example, over 40% of the molecular peaks were altered in the plasma metabolite analysis after heating (250 °C, 300s) with a significant formation of degradation and transformation products. The analysis of 64 small molecule standards validated the temperature-induced changes observed on the plasma metabolites, where most of the small molecules degraded at elevated temperatures even after minimal exposure times (30 s). For example, tri- and diorganophosphates (e.g., adenosine triphosphate and adenosine diphosphate) were readily degraded into a mono-organophosphate (e.g., adenosine monophosphate) during heating. Nucleosides and nucleotides (e.g., inosine and inosine monophosphate) were also found to be transformed into purine derivatives (e.g., hypoxanthine). A newly formed transformation product, oleoyl ethyl amide, was identified in both the underivatized and derivatized forms of the plasma extracts and small molecule standard mixture, and was likely generated from oleic acid. Overall these analyses show that small molecules and metabolites undergo

  3. Application of a Small Molecule Radiopharmaceutical Concept to Improve Kinetics.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jae Min

    2016-06-01

    Recently, large molecules or nanoparticles are actively studied as radiopharmaceuticals. However, their kinetics is problematic because of a slow penetration through the capillaries and slow distribution to the target. To improve the kinetics, a two-step targeting method can be applied by using small molecules and very rapid copper-free click reaction. Although this method might have limitations such as internalization of the first targeted conjugate, it will provide high target-to-non-target ratio imaging of radiopharmaceuticals. PMID:27275356

  4. Detecting and identifying small molecules in a nanopore flux capacitor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bearden, Samuel; McClure, Ethan; Zhang, Guigen

    2016-02-01

    A new method of molecular detection in a metallic-semiconductor nanopore was developed and evaluated with experimental and computational methods. Measurements were made of the charging potential of the electrical double layer (EDL) capacitance as charge-carrying small molecules translocated the nanopore. Signals in the charging potential were found to be correlated to the physical properties of analyte molecules. From the measured signals, we were able to distinguish molecules with different valence charge or similar valence charge but different size. The relative magnitude of the signals from different analytes was consistent over a wide range of experimental conditions, suggesting that the detected signals are likely due to single molecules. Computational modeling of the nanopore system indicated that the double layer potential signal may be described in terms of disruption of the EDL structure due to the size and charge of the analyte molecule, in agreement with Huckel and Debye’s analysis of the electrical atmosphere of electrolyte solutions.

  5. Biased and unbiased strategies to identify biologically active small molecules.

    PubMed

    Abet, Valentina; Mariani, Angelica; Truscott, Fiona R; Britton, Sébastien; Rodriguez, Raphaël

    2014-08-15

    Small molecules are central players in chemical biology studies. They promote the perturbation of cellular processes underlying diseases and enable the identification of biological targets that can be validated for therapeutic intervention. Small molecules have been shown to accurately tune a single function of pluripotent proteins in a reversible manner with exceptional temporal resolution. The identification of molecular probes and drugs remains a worthy challenge that can be addressed by the use of biased and unbiased strategies. Hypothesis-driven methodologies employs a known biological target to synthesize complementary hits while discovery-driven strategies offer the additional means of identifying previously unanticipated biological targets. This review article provides a general overview of recent synthetic frameworks that gave rise to an impressive arsenal of biologically active small molecules with unprecedented cellular mechanisms. PMID:24811300

  6. SPLINTS: small-molecule protein ligand interface stabilizers.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Eric S; Park, Eunyoung; Eck, Michael J; Thomä, Nicolas H

    2016-04-01

    Regulatory protein-protein interactions are ubiquitous in biology, and small molecule protein-protein interaction inhibitors are an important focus in drug discovery. Remarkably little attention has been given to the opposite strategy-stabilization of protein-protein interactions, despite the fact that several well-known therapeutics act through this mechanism. From a structural perspective, we consider representative examples of small molecules that induce or stabilize the association of protein domains to inhibit, or alter, signaling for nuclear hormone, GTPase, kinase, phosphatase, and ubiquitin ligase pathways. These SPLINTS (small-molecule protein ligand interface stabilizers) drive interactions that are in some cases physiologically relevant, and in others entirely adventitious. The diverse structural mechanisms employed suggest approaches for a broader and systematic search for such compounds in drug discovery. PMID:26829757

  7. Cancer Immunotherapy: Selected Targets and Small-Molecule Modulators.

    PubMed

    Weinmann, Hilmar

    2016-03-01

    There is a significant amount of excitement in the scientific community around cancer immunotherapy, as this approach has renewed hope for many cancer patients owing to some recent successes in the clinic. Currently available immuno-oncology therapeutics under clinical development and on the market are mostly biologics (antibodies, proteins, engineered cells, and oncolytic viruses). However, modulation of the immune system with small molecules offers several advantages that may be complementary and potentially synergistic to the use of large biologicals. Therefore, the discovery and development of novel small-molecule modulators is a rapidly growing research area for medicinal chemists working in cancer immunotherapy. This review provides a brief introduction into recent trends related to selected targets and pathways for cancer immunotherapy and their small-molecule pharmacological modulators. PMID:26836578

  8. Increased Hydrogel Swelling Induced by Absorption of Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Nam, Changwoo; Zimudzi, Tawanda J; Geise, Geoffrey M; Hickner, Michael A

    2016-06-01

    The water and small molecule uptake behavior of amphiphilic diacrylate terminated poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMSDA)/poly(ethylene glycol diacrylate) (PEGDA) cross-linked hydrogels were studied using attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. These hydrogel networks absorbed more water as the PEGDA content of the network increased. In contrast to typical osmotic deswelling behavior that occurs when liquid water equilibrated hydrogels are immersed in small molecule solutions with water activities less than unity, water-swollen gels immersed in 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid (AMPS-H) solutions rapidly regained their water content within 4 min following an initial deswelling response. In situ ATR-FTIR analysis of the hydrogel film during the dynamic swelling experiment indicated that small molecule absorption into the gel played an important role in inducing gel reswelling in low water activity solutions. This aspect of polymer gel water uptake and interaction with small molecules is important for optimizing hydrogel coatings and hydrophilic polymer applications where there is an interaction between the internal chemical structure of the gel and electrolytes or other molecules in solution. PMID:27159118

  9. Recent Advances in Developing Small Molecules Targeting Nucleic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Maolin; Yu, Yuanyuan; Liang, Chao; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2016-01-01

    Nucleic acids participate in a large number of biological processes. However, current approaches for small molecules targeting protein are incompatible with nucleic acids. On the other hand, the lack of crystallization of nucleic acid is the limiting factor for nucleic acid drug design. Because of the improvements in crystallization in recent years, a great many structures of nucleic acids have been reported, providing basic information for nucleic acid drug discovery. This review focuses on the discovery and development of small molecules targeting nucleic acids. PMID:27248995

  10. Novel approaches to map small molecule-target interactions.

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Shobhna; Waldmann, Herbert; Ziegler, Slava

    2016-08-01

    The quest for small molecule perturbators of protein function or a given cellular process lies at the heart of chemical biology and pharmaceutical research. Bioactive compounds need to be extensively characterized in the context of the modulated protein(s) or process(es) in living systems to unravel and confirm their mode of action. A crucial step in this workflow is the identification of the molecular targets for these small molecules, for which a generic methodology is lacking. Herein we summarize recently developed approaches for target identification spurred by advances in omics techniques and chemo- and bioinformatics analysis. PMID:27240466

  11. Autophagonizer, a novel synthetic small molecule, induces autophagic cell death

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, In-Kwon; Cho, Yoon Sun; Jung, Hye Jin; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2010-03-19

    Autophagy is an apoptosis-independent mechanism of cell death that protects the cell from environmental imbalances and infection by pathogens. We identified a novel small molecule, 2-(3-Benzyl-4-oxo-3,4,5,6,7,8-hexahydro-benzo[4,5]thieno[2,3-d] pyrimidin-2-ylsulfanylmethyl)-oxazole-4-carboxylic acid (2-pyrrolidin-1-yl-ethyl)-amide (referred as autophagonizer), using high-content cell-based screening and the autophagosome marker EGFP-LC3. Autophagonizer inhibited growth and induced cell death in the human tumor cell lines MCF7, HeLa, HCT116, A549, AGS, and HT1080 via a caspase-independent pathway. Conversion of cytosolic LC3-I to autophagosome-associated LC3-II was greatly enhanced by autophagonizer treatment. Transmission electron microscopy and acridine orange staining revealed increased autophagy in the cytoplasm of autophagonizer-treated cells. In conclusion, autophagonizer is a novel autophagy inducer with unique structure, which induces autophagic cell death in the human tumor cell lines.

  12. Small Molecule-Mediated Cleavage of RNA in Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Lirui

    2013-01-01

    Antisense oligonucleotides and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) control gene expression by triggering the degradation of a mRNA via recruitment of RNase H or the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), respectively.[1] These approaches are hampered, however, by the poor cellular permeability of oligonucleotides. A small molecule approach to cleave RNA targets could obviate uptake issues. Several compounds can induce RNA cleavage in vitro,[2] however, to the best of our knowledge no small molecules have been previously described to cleave RNA in living cells. Herein, we describe the development of a potentially general approach to design small molecules that specifically cleave an RNA in a living cell, affecting biological function. Specifically, a designed, modularly assembled small molecule that binds the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1)[3] was appended with a moiety that generates hydroxyl radicals upon irradiation. Cleavage of the transcript improves DM1-associated defects in cell culture, and compounds are non-toxic at an efficacious dose as determined by a MTT viability assay. This approach may allow for the site-specific cleavage and inactivation of other cellular RNAs.[4] Compounds that bind to and cleave RNA have the potential to serve as chemical genetics probes of function or lead therapeutics with spatial and temporal control. PMID:23280953

  13. Design, synthesis, and evaluation of bioactive small molecules.

    PubMed

    Hua, Duy H

    2013-02-01

    Collaborative research projects between chemists, biologists, and medical scientists have inevitably produced many useful drugs, biosensors, and medical instrumentation. Organic chemistry lies at the heart of drug discovery and development. The current range of organic synthetic methodologies allows for the construction of unlimited libraries of small organic molecules for drug screening. In translational research projects, we have focused on the discovery of lead compounds for three major diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), breast cancer, and viral infections. In the AD project, we have taken a rational-design approach and synthesized a new class of tricyclic pyrone (TP) compounds that preserve memory and motor functions in amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin-1 (PS1) mice. TPs could protect neuronal death through several possible mechanisms, including their ability to inhibit the formation of both intraneuronal and extracellular amyloid β (Aβ) aggregates, to increase cholesterol efflux, to restore axonal trafficking, and to enhance long-term potentiation (LTP) and restored LTP following treatment with Aβ oligomers. We have also synthesized a new class of gap-junction enhancers, based on substituted quinolines, that possess potent inhibitory activities against breast-cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Although various antiviral drugs are available, the emergence of viral resistance to existing antiviral drugs and various understudied viral infections, such as norovirus and rotavirus, emphasizes the demand for the development of new antiviral agents against such infections and others. Our laboratories have undertaken these projects for the discovery of new antiviral inhibitors. The discussion of these aforementioned projects may shed light on the future development of drug candidates in the fields of AD, cancer, and viral infections. PMID:23280957

  14. Discovery of a Small Molecule that Enhances Astrocytogenesis by Activation of STAT3, SMAD1/5/8, and ERK1/2 via Induction of Cytokines in Neural Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ha-Rim; Farhanullah; Lee, JiSoo; Jajoo, Rahul; Kong, Sun-Young; Shin, Jae-Yeon; Kim, Jae-Ouk; Lee, Jiyoun; Lee, Jeewoo; Kim, Hyun-Jung

    2016-01-20

    Identification of small molecules that direct neural stem cells (NSCs) into specific cell types would be helpful to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in regulation of NSC fate, and facilitate the development of therapeutic applications. In the current study, we developed and screened small molecules that can modulate the fate of NSCs that are derived from rat fetal cortex. Among these compounds, compounds 5 and 6 successfully differentiated NSCs into astrocytes and neurons, respectively. Compound 5 induced astrocytogenesis by increasing expression of interleukin-6, bone morphogenetic protein 2 and leukemia inhibitory factor and through consequent phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and Sma- and Mad-related protein 1/5/8 in NSCs. In addition, compound 5 increased the expression of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 2 and FGF8 which may regulate the branching and morphology of astrocytes. Taken together, our results suggest that these small molecules can serve as a useful tool to study cell fate determination in NSCs and be used as an inexpensive alternative to cytokines to study mechanisms of astrocytogenesis. PMID:26505647

  15. Engineered kinesin motor proteins amenable to small-molecule inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Engelke, Martin F.; Winding, Michael; Yue, Yang; Shastry, Shankar; Teloni, Federico; Reddy, Sanjay; Blasius, T. Lynne; Soppina, Pushpanjali; Hancock, William O.; Gelfand, Vladimir I.; Verhey, Kristen J.

    2016-01-01

    The human genome encodes 45 kinesin motor proteins that drive cell division, cell motility, intracellular trafficking and ciliary function. Determining the cellular function of each kinesin would benefit from specific small-molecule inhibitors. However, screens have yielded only a few specific inhibitors. Here we present a novel chemical-genetic approach to engineer kinesin motors that can carry out the function of the wild-type motor yet can also be efficiently inhibited by small, cell-permeable molecules. Using kinesin-1 as a prototype, we develop two independent strategies to generate inhibitable motors, and characterize the resulting inhibition in single-molecule assays and in cells. We further apply these two strategies to create analogously inhibitable kinesin-3 motors. These inhibitable motors will be of great utility to study the functions of specific kinesins in a dynamic manner in cells and animals. Furthermore, these strategies can be used to generate inhibitable versions of any motor protein of interest. PMID:27045608

  16. Engineered kinesin motor proteins amenable to small-molecule inhibition.

    PubMed

    Engelke, Martin F; Winding, Michael; Yue, Yang; Shastry, Shankar; Teloni, Federico; Reddy, Sanjay; Blasius, T Lynne; Soppina, Pushpanjali; Hancock, William O; Gelfand, Vladimir I; Verhey, Kristen J

    2016-01-01

    The human genome encodes 45 kinesin motor proteins that drive cell division, cell motility, intracellular trafficking and ciliary function. Determining the cellular function of each kinesin would benefit from specific small-molecule inhibitors. However, screens have yielded only a few specific inhibitors. Here we present a novel chemical-genetic approach to engineer kinesin motors that can carry out the function of the wild-type motor yet can also be efficiently inhibited by small, cell-permeable molecules. Using kinesin-1 as a prototype, we develop two independent strategies to generate inhibitable motors, and characterize the resulting inhibition in single-molecule assays and in cells. We further apply these two strategies to create analogously inhibitable kinesin-3 motors. These inhibitable motors will be of great utility to study the functions of specific kinesins in a dynamic manner in cells and animals. Furthermore, these strategies can be used to generate inhibitable versions of any motor protein of interest. PMID:27045608

  17. Conformational analysis of small molecules: NMR and quantum mechanics calculations.

    PubMed

    Tormena, Cláudio F

    2016-08-01

    This review deals with conformational analysis in small organic molecules, and describes the stereoelectronic interactions responsible for conformational stability. Conformational analysis is usually performed using NMR spectroscopy through measurement of coupling constants at room or low temperature in different solvents to determine the populations of conformers in solution. Quantum mechanical calculations are used to address the interactions responsible for conformer stability. The conformational analysis of a large number of small molecules is described, using coupling constant measurements in different solvents and at low temperature, as well as recent applications of through-space and through-hydrogen bond coupling constants JFH as tools for the conformational analysis of fluorinated molecules. Besides NMR parameters, stereoelectronic interactions such as conjugative, hyperconjugative, steric and intramolecular hydrogen bond interactions involved in conformational preferences are discussed. PMID:27573182

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    How can we complement Caenorhabditis elegans genomics and proteomics with a comprehensive structural and functional annotation of its metabolome? Several lines of evidence indicate that small molecules of largely undetermined structure play important roles in C. elegans biology, including key pathw...

  19. Small Molecules Take A Big Step Against Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Beilhartz, Greg L; Tam, John; Melnyk, Roman A

    2015-12-01

    Effective treatment of Clostridium difficile infections demands a shift away from antibiotics towards toxin-neutralizing agents. Work by Bender et al., using a drug that attenuates toxin action in vivo without affecting bacterial survival, demonstrates the exciting potential of small molecules as a new modality in the fight against C. difficile. PMID:26547239

  20. Small molecule MALDI MS imaging: Current technologies and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Trim, Paul J; Snel, Marten F

    2016-07-15

    Imaging of specific small molecules is particularly challenging using conventional optical microscopy techniques. This has led to the development of alternative imaging modalities, including mass spectrometry (MS)-based methods. This review aims to provide an overview of the technologies, methods and future directions of laser-based mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) of small molecules. In particular it will focus on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) as the ion source, although other laser mass spectrometry methods will also be discussed to provide context, both historical and current. Small molecule MALDI MSI has been performed on a wide variety of instrument platforms: these are reviewed, as are the laser systems that are commonly used in this technique. Instrumentation and methodology cross over in the areas of achieving optimal spatial resolution, a key parameter in obtaining meaningful data. Also discussed is sample preparation, which is pivotal in maintaining sample integrity, providing a true reflection of the distribution of analytes, spatial resolution and sensitivity. Like all developing analytical techniques there are challenges to be overcome. Two of these are dealing with sample complexity and obtaining quantitative information from an imaging experiment. Both of these topics are addressed. Finally, novel experiments including non-MALDI laser ionization techniques are highlighted and a future perspective on the role of MALDI MSI in the small molecule arena is provided. PMID:26804564

  1. Small Molecule Ligands for Bulged RNA Secondary Structures

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, S. Todd; Hergenrother, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    A class of wedge-shaped small molecules has been designed, synthesized, and shown to bind bulged RNA secondary structures. These minimally cationic ligands exhibit good affinity and selectivity for certain RNA bulges as demonstrated in a fluorescent intercalator displacement assay. PMID:19678613

  2. Design of a small molecule against an oncogenic noncoding RNA.

    PubMed

    Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Cameron, Michael D; Haga, Christopher L; Rosenberg, Laura H; Lafitte, Marie; Duckett, Derek R; Phinney, Donald G; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-05-24

    The design of precision, preclinical therapeutics from sequence is difficult, but advances in this area, particularly those focused on rational design, could quickly transform the sequence of disease-causing gene products into lead modalities. Herein, we describe the use of Inforna, a computational approach that enables the rational design of small molecules targeting RNA to quickly provide a potent modulator of oncogenic microRNA-96 (miR-96). We mined the secondary structure of primary microRNA-96 (pri-miR-96) hairpin precursor against a database of RNA motif-small molecule interactions, which identified modules that bound RNA motifs nearby and in the Drosha processing site. Precise linking of these modules together provided Targaprimir-96 (3), which selectively modulates miR-96 production in cancer cells and triggers apoptosis. Importantly, the compound is ineffective on healthy breast cells, and exogenous overexpression of pri-miR-96 reduced compound potency in breast cancer cells. Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull-Down (Chem-CLIP), a small-molecule RNA target validation approach, shows that 3 directly engages pri-miR-96 in breast cancer cells. In vivo, 3 has a favorable pharmacokinetic profile and decreases tumor burden in a mouse model of triple-negative breast cancer. Thus, rational design can quickly produce precision, in vivo bioactive lead small molecules against hard-to-treat cancers by targeting oncogenic noncoding RNAs, advancing a disease-to-gene-to-drug paradigm. PMID:27170187

  3. Graphene-Enhanced Raman Scattering from the Adenine Molecules.

    PubMed

    Dolgov, Leonid; Pidhirnyi, Denys; Dovbeshko, Galyna; Lebedieva, Tetiana; Kiisk, Valter; Heinsalu, Siim; Lange, Sven; Jaaniso, Raivo; Sildos, Ilmo

    2016-12-01

    An enhanced Raman scattering from a thin layer of adenine molecules deposited on graphene substrate was detected. The value of enhancement depends on the photon energy of the exciting light. The benzene ring in the structure of adenine molecule suggests π-stacking of adenine molecule on top of graphene. So, it is proposed that the enhancement in the adenine Raman signal is explained by the resonance electron transfer from the Fermi level of graphene to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) level of adenine. PMID:27075339

  4. Graphene-Enhanced Raman Scattering from the Adenine Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolgov, Leonid; Pidhirnyi, Denys; Dovbeshko, Galyna; Lebedieva, Tetiana; Kiisk, Valter; Heinsalu, Siim; Lange, Sven; Jaaniso, Raivo; Sildos, Ilmo

    2016-04-01

    An enhanced Raman scattering from a thin layer of adenine molecules deposited on graphene substrate was detected. The value of enhancement depends on the photon energy of the exciting light. The benzene ring in the structure of adenine molecule suggests π-stacking of adenine molecule on top of graphene. So, it is proposed that the enhancement in the adenine Raman signal is explained by the resonance electron transfer from the Fermi level of graphene to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) level of adenine.

  5. Unraveling plant hormone signaling through the use of small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Rigal, Adeline; Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-01-01

    Plants have acquired the capacity to grow continuously and adjust their morphology in response to endogenous and external signals, leading to a high architectural plasticity. The dynamic and differential distribution of phytohormones is an essential factor in these developmental changes. Phytohormone perception is a fast but complex process modulating specific developmental reprogramming. In recent years, chemical genomics or the use of small molecules to modulate target protein function has emerged as a powerful strategy to study complex biological processes in plants such as hormone signaling. Small molecules can be applied in a conditional, dose-dependent and reversible manner, with the advantage of circumventing the limitations of lethality and functional redundancy inherent to traditional mutant screens. High-throughput screening of diverse chemical libraries has led to the identification of bioactive molecules able to induce plant hormone-related phenotypes. Characterization of the cognate targets and pathways of those molecules has allowed the identification of novel regulatory components, providing new insights into the molecular mechanisms of plant hormone signaling. An extensive structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis of the natural phytohormones, their designed synthetic analogs and newly identified bioactive molecules has led to the determination of the structural requirements essential for their bioactivity. In this review, we will summarize the so far identified small molecules and their structural variants targeting specific phytohormone signaling pathways. We will highlight how the SAR analyses have enabled better interrogation of the molecular mechanisms of phytohormone responses. Finally, we will discuss how labeled/tagged hormone analogs can be exploited, as compelling tools to better understand hormone signaling and transport mechanisms. PMID:25126092

  6. Disordered Binding of Small Molecules to Aβ(12–28)*

    PubMed Central

    Convertino, Marino; Vitalis, Andreas; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of small molecules and short peptides have been identified that interfere with aggregation and/or oligomerization of the Alzheimer β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Many of them possess aromatic moieties, suggesting a dominant role for those in interacting with Aβ along various stages of the aggregation process. In this study, we attempt to elucidate whether interactions of such aromatic inhibitors with monomeric Aβ(12–28) point to a common mechanism of action by performing atomistic molecular dynamics simulations at equilibrium. Our results suggest that, independently of the presence of inhibitors, monomeric Aβ(12–28) populates a partially collapsed ensemble that is largely devoid of canonical secondary structure at 300 K and neutral pH. The small molecules have different affinities for Aβ(12–28) that can be partially rationalized by the balance of aromatic and charged moieties constituting the molecules. There are no predominant binding modes, although aggregation inhibitors preferentially interact with the N-terminal portion of the fragment (residues 13–20). Analysis of the free energy landscape of Aβ(12–28) reveals differences highlighted by altered populations of a looplike conformer in the presence of inhibitors. We conclude that intrinsic disorder of Aβ persists at the level of binding small molecules and that inhibitors can significantly alter properties of monomeric Aβ via multiple routes of differing specificity. PMID:21969380

  7. Small Molecule Approach to Study the Function of Mitotic Kinesins.

    PubMed

    Al-Obaidi, Naowras; Kastl, Johanna; Mayer, Thomas U

    2016-01-01

    Mitotic motor proteins of the kinesin superfamily are critical for the faithful segregation of chromosomes and the formation of the two daughter cells during meiotic and mitotic M-phase. Of the 45 human kinesins, roughly a dozen are involved in the assembly of the bipolar spindle, alignment of chromosomes at the spindle equator, chromosome segregation, and cytokinesis. The functions of kinesins in these processes are highly diverse and include the transport of cargo molecules, sliding and bundling of microtubules, and regulation of microtubule dynamics. In light of this multitude of diverse functions and the complex functional interplay of different kinesins during M-phase, it is not surprising that one of the greatest challenges in cell biology is the functional dissection of individual motor proteins. Reversible and fast acting small molecules are powerful tools to accomplish this challenge. However, the validity of conclusions drawn from small molecule studies strictly depends on compound specificity. In this chapter, we present methods for the identification of small molecule inhibitors of a motor protein of interest. In particular, we focus on a protein-based large throughput screen to identify inhibitors of the ATPase activity of kinesins. Furthermore, we provide protocols and guidelines for secondary screens to validate hits and select for specific inhibitors. PMID:27193856

  8. Intercalation of small hydrophobic molecules in lipid bilayers containing cholesterol

    SciTech Connect

    Worcester, D.L.; Hamacher, K.; Kaiser, H.; Kulasekere, R.; Torbet, J.

    1994-12-31

    Partitioning of small hydrophobic molecules into lipid bilayers containing cholesterol has been studied using the 2XC diffractometer at the University of Missouri Research Reactor. Locations of the compounds were determined by Fourier difference methods with data from both deuterated and undeuterated compounds introduced into the bilayers from the vapor phase. Data fitting procedures were developed for determining how well the compounds were localized. The compounds were found to be localized in a narrow region at the center of the hydrophobic layer, between the two halves of the bilayer. The structures are therefore intercalated structures with the long axis of the molecules in the plane of the bilayer.

  9. Spectroscopic and dynamical studies of highly energized small polyatomic molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Field, R.W.; Silbey, R.J.

    1990-01-01

    The formyl radical and the acetylene molecule were chosen for these studies. The visible and fluorescence spectra of the formyl radical were recorded, and the spectral results are used as a basis to explain the electronic structure. Optical-optical double resonance studies of acetylene were recorded, and the spectral results are interpreted. The results of Zeeman and Stark anticrossing and quantum beat studies of acetylene are reported, and they provide an unusually detailed view of both Intersystem Crossing and Internal Conversion in small polyatomic molecules. 22 references are cited as resulting from Department of Energy sponsorship of this project.

  10. Intercalation of small hydrophobic molecules in lipid bilayers containing cholesterol.

    PubMed

    Worcester, D L; Hamacher, K; Kaiser, H; Kulasekere, R; Torbet, J

    1996-01-01

    Partitioning of small hydrophobic molecules into lipid bilayers containing cholesterol has been studied using the 2XC diffractometer at the University of Missouri Research Reactor. Locations of the compounds were determined by Fourier difference methods with data from both deuterated and undeuterated compounds introduced into the bilayers from the vapor phase. Data fitting procedures were developed for determining how well the compounds were localized. The compounds were found to be localized in a narrow region at the center of the hydrophobic layer, between the two halves of the bilayer. The structures are therefore intercalated structures with the long axis of the molecules in the plane of the bilayer. PMID:9031514

  11. Validating and understanding ring conformations using small molecule crystallographic data.

    PubMed

    Cottrell, Simon J; Olsson, Tjelvar S G; Taylor, Robin; Cole, Jason C; Liebeschuetz, John W

    2012-04-23

    Understanding the conformational preferences of ring structures is fundamental to structure-based drug design. Although the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) provides information on the preferred conformations of small molecules, analyzing this data can be very time-consuming. In order to overcome this hurdle, tools have been developed for quickly extracting geometrical preferences from the CSD. Here we describe how the program Mogul has been extended to analyze and compare ring conformations, using a library derived from over 900 000 ring fragments in the CSD. We illustrate how these can be used to understand the conformational preferences of molecules in a crystal lattice and bound to proteins. PMID:22372622

  12. Getting Across the Cell Membrane: An Overview for Small Molecules, Peptides, and Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Nicole J.; Hinner, Marlon J.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to efficiently access cytosolic proteins is desired in both biological research and medicine. However, targeting intracellular proteins is often challenging, because to reach the cytosol, exogenous molecules must first traverse the cell membrane. This review provides a broad overview of how certain molecules are thought to cross this barrier, and what kinds of approaches are being made to enhance the intracellular delivery of those that are impermeable. We first discuss rules that govern the passive permeability of small molecules across the lipid membrane, and mechanisms of membrane transport that have evolved in nature for certain metabolites, peptides, and proteins. Then, we introduce design strategies that have emerged in the development of small molecules and peptides with improved permeability. Finally, intracellular delivery systems that have been engineered for protein payloads are surveyed. Viewpoints from varying disciplines have been brought together to provide a cohesive overview of how the membrane barrier is being overcome. PMID:25560066

  13. Small and Large Molecules in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Takeshi; Huang, Jane

    2014-06-01

    Although molecules with a wide range of sizes exist in dense clouds (e.g. H(C≡C)_nC≡N with n = 0 - 5), molecules identified in diffuse clouds are all small ones. Since the initial discovery of CH, CN, and CH^+, all molecules detected in the optical region are diatomics except for H_3^+ in the infrared and C_3 in the visible. Radio observations have been limited up to triatomic molecules except for H_2CO and the ubiquitous C_3H_2. The column densities of all molecules are less than 1014 cm-2 with the two exceptions of CO and H_3^+ as well as CH and C_2 in a few special sightlines. Larger molecules with many carbon atoms have been searched for but have not been detected. On the other hand, the observations of a great many diffuse interstellar bands (380 toward HD 204827 and 414 toward HD 183143) with equivalent widths from 1 to 5700 m Å indicate high column densities of many heavy molecules. If an electronic transition dipole moment of 1 Debye is assumed, the observed equivalent widths translate to column densities from 5 × 1011 cm-2 to 3 × 1015 cm-2. It seems impossible that these large molecules are formed from chemical reactions in space from small molecules. It is more likely that they are fragments of aggregates, perhaps mixed aromatic/aliphatic organic nanoparticles (MAONS). MAONS and their large fragment molecules are stable against photodissociation in the diffuse ISM because the energy of absorbed photons is divided into statistical distributions of vibrational energy and emitted in the infrared rather than breaking a chemical bond. We use a simple Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus theory to estimate the molecular size required for the stabilization. Snow, T. P. & McCall, B. J. 2006, ARA&A, 44 367 Hobbs, L. M., York, D. G., Snow, T. P., Oka, T., Thorburn, J. A., et al. 2008, ApJ, 680 1256 Hobbs, L. M., York, D. G., Thorburn, J. A., Snow, T. P., Bishof, M., et al. 2009, ApJ, 705 32 Kwok, S. & Zhang, S. 2013, ApJ, 771 5 Freed, K. F., Oka, T., & Suzuki, H

  14. Computational design of protein-small molecule interfaces.

    PubMed

    Allison, Brittany; Combs, Steven; DeLuca, Sam; Lemmon, Gordon; Mizoue, Laura; Meiler, Jens

    2014-02-01

    The computational design of proteins that bind small molecule ligands is one of the unsolved challenges in protein engineering. It is complicated by the relatively small size of the ligand which limits the number of intermolecular interactions. Furthermore, near-perfect geometries between interacting partners are required to achieve high binding affinities. For apolar, rigid small molecules the interactions are dominated by short-range van der Waals forces. As the number of polar groups in the ligand increases, hydrogen bonds, salt bridges, cation-π, and π-π interactions gain importance. These partial covalent interactions are longer ranged, and additionally, their strength depends on the environment (e.g. solvent exposure). To assess the current state of protein-small molecule interface design, we benchmark the popular computer algorithm Rosetta on a diverse set of 43 protein-ligand complexes. On average, we achieve sequence recoveries in the binding site of 59% when the ligand is allowed limited reorientation, and 48% when the ligand is allowed full reorientation. When simulating the redesign of a protein binding site, sequence recovery among residues that contribute most to binding was 52% when slight ligand reorientation was allowed, and 27% when full ligand reorientation was allowed. As expected, sequence recovery correlates with ligand displacement. PMID:23962892

  15. A general strategy to construct small molecule biosensors in eukaryotes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Feng, Justin; Jester, Benjamin W.; Tinberg, Christine E.; Mandell, Daniel J.; Antunes, Mauricio S.; Chari, Raj; Morey, Kevin J.; Rios, Xavier; Medford, June I.; Church, George M.; et al

    2015-12-29

    Biosensors for small molecules can be used in applications that range from metabolic engineering to orthogonal control of transcription. Here, we produce biosensors based on a ligand-binding domain (LBD) by using a method that, in principle, can be applied to any target molecule. The LBD is fused to either a fluorescent protein or a transcriptional activator and is destabilized by mutation such that the fusion accumulates only in cells containing the target ligand. We illustrate the power of this method by developing biosensors for digoxin and progesterone. Addition of ligand to yeast, mammalian, or plant cells expressing a biosensor activatesmore » transcription with a dynamic range of up to ~100-fold. We use the biosensors to improve the biotransformation of pregnenolone to progesterone in yeast and to regulate CRISPR activity in mammalian cells. This work provides a general methodology to develop biosensors for a broad range of molecules in eukaryotes.« less

  16. Systems-based discovery of tomatidine as a natural small molecule inhibitor of skeletal muscle atrophy.

    PubMed

    Dyle, Michael C; Ebert, Scott M; Cook, Daniel P; Kunkel, Steven D; Fox, Daniel K; Bongers, Kale S; Bullard, Steven A; Dierdorff, Jason M; Adams, Christopher M

    2014-05-23

    Skeletal muscle atrophy is a common and debilitating condition that lacks an effective therapy. To address this problem, we used a systems-based discovery strategy to search for a small molecule whose mRNA expression signature negatively correlates to mRNA expression signatures of human skeletal muscle atrophy. This strategy identified a natural small molecule from tomato plants, tomatidine. Using cultured skeletal myotubes from both humans and mice, we found that tomatidine stimulated mTORC1 signaling and anabolism, leading to accumulation of protein and mitochondria, and ultimately, cell growth. Furthermore, in mice, tomatidine increased skeletal muscle mTORC1 signaling, reduced skeletal muscle atrophy, enhanced recovery from skeletal muscle atrophy, stimulated skeletal muscle hypertrophy, and increased strength and exercise capacity. Collectively, these results identify tomatidine as a novel small molecule inhibitor of muscle atrophy. Tomatidine may have utility as a therapeutic agent or lead compound for skeletal muscle atrophy. PMID:24719321

  17. Inkjet printing of photopolymerizable small molecules for OLED applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olivier, Simon; Derue, Lionel; Geffroy, Bernard; Ishow, Eléna; Maindron, Tony

    2015-09-01

    The elaboration of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) via a solution deposition process turns out to be a cheaper alternative to the vacuum evaporation technique. However the most popular spin-coating wet deposition process mainly used in the semiconductor industry is not applicable for large mother glass substrates used in display applications. The inkjet technology addresses this drawback and appears to be a good solution to produce on a large scale wet deposited OLEDs1. This process has been commonly used for polymer deposition and only a few examples2-4 have demonstrated the possibility of depositing small molecules in functional devices. Deposition of small molecules from inkjet printing is supposed to be easier than polymers because monomers do not show polydispersity and consequently the viscosity of the solution containing the monomers, the ink, is easily controllable in production. This work aims at fabricating OLEDs composed of inkjet-printed hole-transporting molecules and a new class of fluorescent molecules that have been further UV-photopolymerized right after deposition.

  18. Small molecules with antiviral activity against the Ebola virus.

    PubMed

    Litterman, Nadia; Lipinski, Christopher; Ekins, Sean

    2015-01-01

    The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has highlighted the clear shortage of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs for emerging viruses. There are numerous FDA approved drugs and other small molecules described in the literature that could be further evaluated for their potential as antiviral compounds. These molecules are in addition to the few new antivirals that have been tested in Ebola patients but were not originally developed against the Ebola virus, and may play an important role as we await an effective vaccine. The balance between using FDA approved drugs versus novel antivirals with minimal safety and no efficacy data in humans should be considered. We have evaluated 55 molecules from the perspective of an experienced medicinal chemist as well as using simple molecular properties and have highlighted 16 compounds that have desirable qualities as well as those that may be less desirable. In addition we propose that a collaborative database for sharing such published and novel information on small molecules is needed for the research community studying the Ebola virus. PMID:25713700

  19. Small molecules with antiviral activity against the Ebola virus

    PubMed Central

    Litterman, Nadia; Lipinski, Christopher; Ekins, Sean

    2015-01-01

    The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has highlighted the clear shortage of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs for emerging viruses. There are numerous FDA approved drugs and other small molecules described in the literature that could be further evaluated for their potential as antiviral compounds. These molecules are in addition to the few new antivirals that have been tested in Ebola patients but were not originally developed against the Ebola virus, and may play an important role as we await an effective vaccine. The balance between using FDA approved drugs versus novel antivirals with minimal safety and no efficacy data in humans should be considered. We have evaluated 55 molecules from the perspective of an experienced medicinal chemist as well as using simple molecular properties and have highlighted 16 compounds that have desirable qualities as well as those that may be less desirable. In addition we propose that a collaborative database for sharing such published and novel information on small molecules is needed for the research community studying the Ebola virus. PMID:25713700

  20. Improved abiotic stress tolerance of bermudagrass by exogenous small molecules.

    PubMed

    Chan, Zhulong; Shi, Haitao

    2015-01-01

    As a widely used warm-season turfgrass in landscapes and golf courses, bermudagrass encounters multiple abiotic stresses during the growth and development. Physiology analysis indicated that abiotic stresses induced the accumulation of ROS and decline of photosynthesis, resulting in increased cell damage and inhibited growth. Proteomic and metabolomic approaches showed that antioxidant enzymes and osmoprotectant contents (sugar, sucrose, dehydrin, proline) were extensively changed under abiotic stress conditions. Exogenous application of small molecules, such as ABA, NO, CaCl2, H2S, polyamine and melatonin, could effectively alleviate damages caused by multiple abiotic stresses, including drought, salt, heat and cold. Based on high through-put RNA seq analysis, genes involved in ROS, transcription factors, hormones, and carbohydrate metabolisms were largely enriched. The data indicated that small molecules induced the accumulation of osmoprotectants and antioxidants, kept cell membrane integrity, increased photosynthesis and kept ion homeostasis, which protected bermudagrass from damages caused by abiotic stresses. PMID:25757363

  1. Probing small molecule microarrays with tagged proteins in cell lysates

    PubMed Central

    Pop, Marius S.; Wassaf, Dina; Koehler, Angela N.

    2014-01-01

    The technique of small-molecule microarray (SMM) screening is based on the ability of small molecules to bind to various soluble proteins. This type of interaction is easily detected by the presence of a fluorescence signal produced by labeled antibodies that specifically recognize a unique sequence (tag) present on the target protein. The fluorescent signal intensity values are determined based on signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). SMM screening is a high throughput, unbiased method that can rapidly identify novel direct ligands for various protein targets. This binding-based assay format is generally applicable to most proteins, but it is especially useful for protein targets that do not possess an enzymatic activity. SMMs enable screening a protein in a purified form or in the context of a cellular lysate, likely providing a more physiologically relevant screening environment. PMID:25445177

  2. Fluorous photoaffinity labeling to probe protein-small molecule interactions.

    PubMed

    Huang, Weigang; Zhang, Qisheng

    2015-01-01

    Identifying cellular targets of bioactive small molecules is essential for their applications as chemical probes or drug candidates. Of equal importance is to determine their "off-target" interactions, which usually account for unwanted properties including toxicity. Among strategies to profile small molecule-interacting proteins, photoaffinity labeling has been widely used because of its distinct advantages such as sensitivity. When combined with mass spectrometry, this approach can provide additional structural and mechanistic information, such as drug-target stoichiometry and exact interacting amino acid residues. We have described a novel fluorous photoaffinity labeling approach, in which a fluorous tag is incorporated into the photoaffinity labeling reagent to enable the enrichment of the labeled species from complex mixtures for analysis. This new feature likely makes the fluorous photoaffinity labeling approach suitable to identify transient interactions, and low-abundant, low-affinity interacting proteins in a cellular environment. PMID:25618351

  3. Zebrafish small molecule screen in reprogramming/cell fate modulation

    PubMed Central

    Munson, Kathleen M.; Yeh, Jing-Ruey J.

    2010-01-01

    Embryonic zebrafish have long been used for lineage tracing studies. In zebrafish embryos, the cell fate identities can be determined by whole-mount in situ hybridization, or by visualization of live embryos if using fluorescent reporter lines. We use embryonic zebrafish to study the effects of a leukemic oncogene AML1-ETO on modulating hematopoietic cell fate. Induced expression of AML1-ETO is able to efficiently reprogram hematopoietic progenitor cells from erythroid to myeloid cell fate. Using the zebrafish model of AML1-ETO, we performed a chemical screen to identify small molecules that suppress the cell fate switch in the presence of AML1-ETO. The methods discussed herein may be broadly applicable for identifying small molecules that modulate other cell fate decisions. PMID:20336532

  4. Allosteric Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the AKT Kinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalafave, D. S.

    This research addresses computational design of small druglike molecules for possible anticancer applications. AKT and SGK are kinases that control important cellular functions. They are highly homologous, having similar activators and targets. Cancers with increased SGK activity may develop resistance to AKT-specific inhibitors. Our goal was to design new molecules that would bind both AKT and SGK, thus preventing the development of drug resistance. Most kinase inhibitors target the kinase ATP-binding site. However, the high similarity in this site among kinases makes it difficult to target specifically. Furthermore, mutations in this site can cause resistance to ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors. We used existing AKT inhibitors as initial templates to design molecules that could potentially bind the allosteric sites of both AKT and SGK. Molecules with no implicit toxicities and optimal drug-like properties were used for docking studies. Binding energies of the stable complexes that the designed molecules formed with AKT and SGK were calculated. Possible applications of the designed putative inhibitors against cancers with overexpressed AKT/SGK is discussed.

  5. Automation of AMOEBA polarizable force field parameterization for small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Johnny C.; Chattree, Gaurav

    2012-01-01

    A protocol to generate parameters for the AMOEBA polarizable force field for small organic molecules has been established, and polarizable atomic typing utility, Poltype, which fully automates this process, has been implemented. For validation, we have compared with quantum mechanical calculations of molecular dipole moments, optimized geometry, electrostatic potential, and conformational energy for a variety of neutral and charged organic molecules, as well as dimer interaction energies of a set of amino acid side chain model compounds. Furthermore, parameters obtained in gas phase are substantiated in liquid-phase simulations. The hydration free energy (HFE) of neutral and charged molecules have been calculated and compared with experimental values. The RMS error for the HFE of neutral molecules is less than 1 kcal/mol. Meanwhile, the relative error in the predicted HFE of salts (cations and anions) is less than 3% with a correlation coefficient of 0.95. Overall, the performance of Poltype is satisfactory and provides a convenient utility for applications such as drug discovery. Further improvement can be achieved by the systematic study of various organic compounds, particularly ionic molecules, and refinement and expansion of the parameter database. PMID:22505837

  6. High resolution studies of atoms and small molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Bushaw, B.A.; Tonkyn, R.G.; Miller, R.J.

    1992-10-01

    High resolution, continuous wave lasers have been utilized successfully in studies of small molecules. Examples of two-photon excitation schemes and of multiple resonance excitation sequences will be discussed within the framework of the spectroscopy and dynamics of selected Rydberg states of nitric oxide. Initial results on the circular dichroism of angular distributions in photoelectron spectra of individual hyperfine states of cesium will also be discussed, but no data given.

  7. Prioritizing Cancer Therapeutic Small Molecules by Integrating Multiple OMICS Datasets

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Sali; Xu, Yanjun; Chen, Xin; Li, Yan; Li, Ronghong; Wang, Qianghu

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Drug design is crucial for the effective discovery of anti-cancer drugs. The success or failure of drug design often depends on the leading compounds screened in pre-clinical studies. Many efforts, such as in vivo animal experiments and in vitro drug screening, have improved this process, but these methods are usually expensive and laborious. In the post-genomics era, it is possible to seek leading compounds for large-scale candidate small-molecule screening with multiple OMICS datasets. In the present study, we developed a computational method of prioritizing small molecules as leading compounds by integrating transcriptomics and toxicogenomics data. This method provides priority lists for the selection of leading compounds, thereby reducing the time required for drug design. We found 11 known therapeutic small molecules for breast cancer in the top 100 candidates in our list, 2 of which were in the top 10. Furthermore, another 3 of the top 10 small molecules were recorded as closely related to cancer treatment in the DrugBank database. A comparison of the results of our approach with permutation tests and shared gene methods demonstrated that our OMICS data-based method is quite competitive. In addition, we applied our method to a prostate cancer dataset. The results of this analysis indicated that our method surpasses both the shared gene method and random selection. These analyses suggest that our method may be a valuable tool for directing experimental studies in cancer drug design, and we believe this time- and cost-effective computational strategy will be helpful in future studies in cancer therapy. PMID:22917481

  8. Polymer and small molecule based hybrid light source

    DOEpatents

    Choong, Vi-En; Choulis, Stelios; Krummacher, Benjamin Claus; Mathai, Mathew; So, Franky

    2010-03-16

    An organic electroluminescent device, includes: a substrate; a hole-injecting electrode (anode) coated over the substrate; a hole injection layer coated over the anode; a hole transporting layer coated over the hole injection layer; a polymer based light emitting layer, coated over the hole transporting layer; a small molecule based light emitting layer, thermally evaporated over the polymer based light emitting layer; and an electron-injecting electrode (cathode) deposited over the electroluminescent polymer layer.

  9. Chemical detoxification of small molecules by C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Stupp, Gregory S.; von Reuss, Stephan H.; Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Ajredini, Ramadan; Schroeder, Frank C.; Edison, Arthur S.

    2012-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans lives in compost and decaying fruit, eats bacteria and is exposed to pathogenic microbes. We show that C. elegans is able to modify diverse microbial small-molecule toxins via both O-and N-glucosylation as well as unusual 3′-O-phosphorylation of the resulting glucosides. The resulting glucosylated derivatives have significantly reduced toxicity to C. elegans, suggesting that these chemical modifications represent a general mechanism for worms to detoxify their environments. PMID:23163740

  10. Enhanced Raman scattering of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montoya, Joseph R.

    The results presented in this thesis, originate from the aspiration to develop an identification algorithm for Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis (S. enterica), Escherichia coli (E. coli), Bacillus globigii ( B. globigii), and Bacillus megaterium ( B. megaterium) using "enhanced" Raman scattering. We realized our goal, with a method utilizing an immunoassay process in a spectroscopic technique, and the direct use of the enhanced spectral response due to bacterial surface elements. The enhanced Raman signal originates from Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) and/or Morphological Dependent Resonances (MDR's). We utilized a modified Lee-Meisel colloidal production method to produce a SERS active substrate, which was applied to a SERS application for the amino acid Glycine. The comparison indicates that the SERS/FRACTAL/MDR process can produce an increase of 107 times more signal than the bulk Raman signal from Glycine. In the extension of the Glycine results, we studied the use of SERS related to S. enterica, where we have shown that the aromatic amino acid contribution from Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, and Tryptophan produces a SERS response that can be used to identify the associated SERS vibrational modes of a S. enterica one or two antibody complexes. The "fingerprint" associated with the spectral signature in conjunction with an enhanced Raman signal allows conclusions to be made: (1) about the orientation of the secondary structure on the metal; (2) whether bound/unbound antibody can be neglected; (3) whether we can lower the detection limit. We have lowered the detection limit of S. enterica to 106 bacteria/ml. We also show a profound difference between S. enterica and E. coli SERS spectra even when there exists non-specific binding on E. coli indicating a protein conformation change induced by the addition of the antigen S. enterica. We confirm TEM imagery data, indicating that the source of the aromatic amino acid SERS response is originating from

  11. Recent advances in small molecule OLED-on-silicon microdisplays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, Amalkumar P.; Ali, Tariq A.; Khayrullin, Ilyas; Vazan, Fridrich; Prache, Olivier F.; Wacyk, Ihor

    2009-08-01

    High resolution OLED-on-silicon microdisplay technology is unique and challenging since it requires very small subpixel dimensions (~ 2-5 microns). eMagin's OLED microdisplay is based on white top emitter architecture using small molecule organic materials. The devices are fabricated using high Tg materials. The devices are hermetically sealed with vacuum deposited thin film layers. LCD-type color filters are patterned using photolithography methods to generate primary R, G, B colors. Results of recent improvements in the OLED-on-silicon microdisplay technology, with emphasis on efficiencies, lifetimes, grey scale and CIE color coordinates for SVGA and SXGA resolution microdisplays is presented.

  12. Small Molecule Deubiquitinase Inhibitors Promote Macrophage Anti-Infective Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Charbonneau, Marie-Eve; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Marta J.; Showalter, Hollis D.; Donato, Nicholas J.; Wobus, Christiane E.; O’Riordan, Mary X. D.

    2014-01-01

    The global spread of anti-microbial resistance requires urgent attention, and diverse alternative strategies have been suggested to address this public health concern. Host-directed immunomodulatory therapies represent one approach that could reduce selection for resistant bacterial strains. Recently, the small molecule deubiquitinase inhibitor WP1130 was reported as a potential anti-infective drug against important human food-borne pathogens, notably Listeria monocytogenes and noroviruses. Utilization of WP1130 itself is limited due to poor solubility, but given the potential of this new compound, we initiated an iterative rational design approach to synthesize new derivatives with increased solubility that retained anti-infective activity. Here, we test a small library of novel synthetic molecules based on the structure of the parent compound, WP1130, for anti-infective activity in vitro. Our studies identify a promising candidate, compound 9, which reduced intracellular growth of L. monocytogenes at concentrations that caused minimal cellular toxicity. Compound 9 itself had no bactericidal activity and only modestly slowed Listeria growth rate in liquid broth culture, suggesting that this drug acts as an anti-infective compound by modulating host-cell function. Moreover, this new compound also showed anti-infective activity against murine norovirus (MNV-1) and human norovirus, using the Norwalk virus replicon system. This small molecule inhibitor may provide a chemical platform for further development of therapeutic deubiquitinase inhibitors with broad-spectrum anti-infective activity. PMID:25093325

  13. Small-Molecule Binding Aptamers: Selection Strategies, Characterization, and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria C.

    2016-01-01

    Aptamers are single-stranded, synthetic oligonucleotides that fold into 3-dimensional shapes capable of binding non-covalently with high affinity and specificity to a target molecule. They are generated via an in vitro process known as the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment, from which candidates are screened and characterized, and then used in various applications. These applications range from therapeutic uses to biosensors for target detection. Aptamers for small molecule targets such as toxins, antibiotics, molecular markers, drugs, and heavy metals will be the focus of this review. Their accurate detection is needed for the protection and wellbeing of humans and animals. However, the small molecular weights of these targets, including the drastic size difference between the target and the oligonucleotides, make it challenging to select, characterize, and apply aptamers for their detection. Thus, recent (since 2012) notable advances in small molecule aptamers, which have overcome some of these challenges, are presented here, while defining challenges that still exist are discussed. PMID:27242994

  14. Small-Molecule Binding Aptamers: Selection Strategies, Characterization, and Applications.

    PubMed

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria C

    2016-01-01

    Aptamers are single-stranded, synthetic oligonucleotides that fold into 3-dimensional shapes capable of binding non-covalently with high affinity and specificity to a target molecule. They are generated via an in vitro process known as the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment, from which candidates are screened and characterized, and then used in various applications. These applications range from therapeutic uses to biosensors for target detection. Aptamers for small molecule targets such as toxins, antibiotics, molecular markers, drugs, and heavy metals will be the focus of this review. Their accurate detection is needed for the protection and wellbeing of humans and animals. However, the small molecular weights of these targets, including the drastic size difference between the target and the oligonucleotides, make it challenging to select, characterize, and apply aptamers for their detection. Thus, recent (since 2012) notable advances in small molecule aptamers, which have overcome some of these challenges, are presented here, while defining challenges that still exist are discussed. PMID:27242994

  15. Examining small molecule: HIV RNA interactions using arrayed imaging reflectometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaimayo, Wanaruk; Miller, Benjamin L.

    2014-03-01

    Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has been the subject of intense research for more than three decades as it causes an uncurable disease: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, AIDS. In the pursuit of a medical treatment, RNAtargeted small molecules are emerging as promising targets. In order to understand the binding kinetics of small molecules and HIV RNA, association (ka) and dissociation (kd) kinetic constants must be obtained, ideally for a large number of sequences to assess selectivity. We have developed Aqueous Array Imaged Reflectometry (Aq-AIR) to address this challenge. Using a simple light interference phenomenon, Aq-AIR provides real-time high-throughput multiplex capabilities to detect binding of targets to surface-immobilized probes in a label-free microarray format. The second generation of Aq-AIR consisting of high-sensitivity CCD camera and 12-μL flow cell was fabricated. The system performance was assessed by real-time detection of MBNL1-(CUG)10 and neomycin B - HIV RNA bindings. The results establish this second-generation Aq-AIR to be able to examine small molecules binding to RNA sequences specific to HIV.

  16. Reprogramming with Small Molecules instead of Exogenous Transcription Factors.

    PubMed

    Lin, Tongxiang; Wu, Shouhai

    2015-01-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could be employed in the creation of patient-specific stem cells, which could subsequently be used in various basic and clinical applications. However, current iPSC methodologies present significant hidden risks with respect to genetic mutations and abnormal expression which are a barrier in realizing the full potential of iPSCs. A chemical approach is thought to be a promising strategy for safety and efficiency of iPSC generation. Many small molecules have been identified that can be used in place of exogenous transcription factors and significantly improve iPSC reprogramming efficiency and quality. Recent studies have shown that the use of small molecules results in the generation of chemically induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. These studies might lead to new areas of stem cell research and medical applications, not only human iPSC by chemicals alone, but also safe generation of somatic stem cells for cell based clinical trials and other researches. In this paper, we have reviewed the recent advances in small molecule approaches for the generation of iPSCs. PMID:25922608

  17. Small-Molecule Hormones: Molecular Mechanisms of Action

    PubMed Central

    Budzińska, Monika

    2013-01-01

    Small-molecule hormones play crucial roles in the development and in the maintenance of an adult mammalian organism. On the molecular level, they regulate a plethora of biological pathways. Part of their actions depends on their transcription-regulating properties, exerted by highly specific nuclear receptors which are hormone-dependent transcription factors. Nuclear hormone receptors interact with coactivators, corepressors, basal transcription factors, and other transcription factors in order to modulate the activity of target genes in a manner that is dependent on tissue, age and developmental and pathophysiological states. The biological effect of this mechanism becomes apparent not earlier than 30–60 minutes after hormonal stimulus. In addition, small-molecule hormones modify the function of the cell by a number of nongenomic mechanisms, involving interaction with proteins localized in the plasma membrane, in the cytoplasm, as well as with proteins localized in other cellular membranes and in nonnuclear cellular compartments. The identity of such proteins is still under investigation; however, it seems that extranuclear fractions of nuclear hormone receptors commonly serve this function. A direct interaction of small-molecule hormones with membrane phospholipids and with mRNA is also postulated. In these mechanisms, the reaction to hormonal stimulus appears within seconds or minutes. PMID:23533406

  18. Torsional sensing of small-molecule binding using magnetic tweezers.

    PubMed

    Lipfert, Jan; Klijnhout, Sven; Dekker, Nynke H

    2010-11-01

    DNA-binding small molecules are widespread in the cell and heavily used in biological applications. Here, we use magnetic tweezers, which control the force and torque applied to single DNAs, to study three small molecules: ethidium bromide (EtBr), a well-known intercalator; netropsin, a minor-groove binding anti-microbial drug; and topotecan, a clinically used anti-tumor drug. In the low-force limit in which biologically relevant torques can be accessed (<10 pN), we show that ethidium intercalation lengthens DNA ∼1.5-fold and decreases the persistence length, from which we extract binding constants. Using our control of supercoiling, we measure the decrease in DNA twist per intercalation to be 27.3±1° and demonstrate that ethidium binding delays the accumulation of torsional stress in DNA, likely via direct reduction of the torsional modulus and torque-dependent binding. Furthermore, we observe that EtBr stabilizes the DNA duplex in regimes where bare DNA undergoes structural transitions. In contrast, minor groove binding by netropsin affects neither the contour nor persistence length significantly, yet increases the twist per base of DNA. Finally, we show that topotecan binding has consequences similar to those of EtBr, providing evidence for an intercalative binding mode. These insights into the torsional consequences of ligand binding can help elucidate the effects of small-molecule drugs in the cellular environment. PMID:20624816

  19. Small-molecule inhibitors of ricin and Shiga toxins.

    PubMed

    Wahome, Paul G; Robertus, Jon D; Mantis, Nicholas J

    2012-01-01

    This review summarizes the successes and continuing challenges associated with the identification of small-molecule inhibitors of ricin and Shiga toxins, members of the RNA N-glycosidase family of toxins that irreversibly inactivate eukaryotic ribosomes through the depurination of a conserved adenosine residue within the sarcin-ricin loop (SRL) of 28S rRNA. Virtual screening of chemical libraries has led to the identification of at least three broad classes of small molecules that bind in or near the toxin's active sites and thereby interfere with RNA N-glycosidase activity. Rational design is being used to improve the specific activity and solubility of a number of these compounds. High-throughput cell-based assays have also led to the identification of small molecules that partially, or in some cases, completely protect cells from ricin- and Shiga-toxin-induced death. A number of these recently identified compounds act on cellular proteins associated with intracellular trafficking or pro-inflammatory/cell death pathways, and one was reported to be sufficient to protect mice in a ricin challenge model. PMID:22006183

  20. Reprogramming with Small Molecules instead of Exogenous Transcription Factors

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shouhai

    2015-01-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could be employed in the creation of patient-specific stem cells, which could subsequently be used in various basic and clinical applications. However, current iPSC methodologies present significant hidden risks with respect to genetic mutations and abnormal expression which are a barrier in realizing the full potential of iPSCs. A chemical approach is thought to be a promising strategy for safety and efficiency of iPSC generation. Many small molecules have been identified that can be used in place of exogenous transcription factors and significantly improve iPSC reprogramming efficiency and quality. Recent studies have shown that the use of small molecules results in the generation of chemically induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. These studies might lead to new areas of stem cell research and medical applications, not only human iPSC by chemicals alone, but also safe generation of somatic stem cells for cell based clinical trials and other researches. In this paper, we have reviewed the recent advances in small molecule approaches for the generation of iPSCs. PMID:25922608

  1. Turning ON Caspases with Genetics and Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Charles W.; Julien, Olivier; Unger, Elizabeth K.; Shah, Nirao M.; Wells, James A.

    2014-01-01

    Caspases, aspartate-specific cysteine proteases, have fate-determining roles in many cellular processes including apoptosis, differentiation, neuronal remodeling, and inflammation (for review, see Yuan & Kroemer, 2010). There are a dozen caspases in humans alone, yet their individual contributions toward these phenotypes are not well understood. Thus, there has been considerable interest in activating individual caspases or using their activity to drive these processes in cells and animals. We envision that such experimental control of caspase activity can not only afford novel insights into fundamental biological problems but may also enable new models for disease and suggest possible routes to therapeutic intervention. In particular, localized, genetic, and small-molecule-controlled caspase activation has the potential to target the desired cell type in a tissue. Suppression of caspase activation is one of the hallmarks of cancer and thus there has been significant enthusiasm for generating selective small-molecule activators that could bypass upstream mutational events that prevent apoptosis. Here, we provide a practical guide that investigators have devised, using genetics or small molecules, to activate specific caspases in cells or animals. Additionally, we show genetically controlled activation of an executioner caspase to target the function of a defined group of neurons in the adult mammalian brain. PMID:24974291

  2. Characterizing aptamer small molecule interactions with backscattering interferometry.

    PubMed

    Kammer, Michael N; Olmsted, Ian R; Kussrow, Amanda K; Morris, Mark J; Jackson, George W; Bornhop, Darryl J

    2014-11-21

    Aptamers are segments of single-strand DNA or RNA used in a wide array of applications, including sensors, therapeutics, and cellular process regulators. Aptamers can bind many target species, including proteins, peptides, and small molecules (SM) with high affinity and specificity. They are advantageous because they can be identified in vitro by SELEX, produced rapidly and relatively economically using oligonucleotide synthesis. The use of aptamers as SM probes has experienced a recent rebirth, and because of their unique properties they represent an attractive alternative to antibodies. Current assay methodology for characterizing small molecule-aptamer binding is limited by either mass sensitivity, as in biolayer interferometry (BLI) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR), or the need for using a fluorophore, as in thermophoresis. Here we report that backscattering interferometry (BSI), a label-free and free-solution sensing technique, can be used to effectively characterize SM-aptamer interactions, providing Kd values on microliter sample quantities and at low nanomolar sensitivity. To demonstrate this capability we measured the aptamer affinity for three previously reported small molecules; bisphenol A, tenofovir, and epirubicin showing BSI provided values consistent with those published previously. We then quantified the Kd values for aptamers to ampicillin, tetracycline and norepinephrine. All measurements produced R(2) values >0.95 and an excellent signal to noise ratio at target concentrations that enable true Kd values to be obtained. No immobilization or labeling chemistry was needed, expediting the assay which is also insensitive to the large relative mass difference between the interacting molecules. PMID:25229067

  3. Saccharide sensing molecules having enhanced fluorescent properties

    DOEpatents

    Satcher Jr., Joe H.; Lane, Stephen M.; Darrow, Christopher B.; Cary, Douglas R.; Tran, Joe Anh

    2004-01-06

    The present invention provides formulae for fluorescent compounds that have a number of properties which make them uniquely suited for use in sensors of analytes such as saccharides. The advantageous fluorescent properties include favorable excitation wavelengths, emission wavelengths, fluorescence lifetimes, and photostability. Additional advantageous properties include enhanced aqueous solubility, as well as temperature and pH sensitivity. The compound comprises an aryl or a substituted phenyl botonic acid that acts as a substrate recognition component, a fluorescence switch component, and a fluorophore. Fluorescent compounds are described that are excited at wavelengths greater than 400 nm and emit at wavelengths greater than 450 nm, which is advantageous for optical transmission through skin. The fluorophore is typically selected from transition metal-ligand complexes and thiazine, oxazine, oxazone, or oxazine-one as well as anthracene compounds. The fluorescent compound can be immobilized in a glucose permeable biocompatible polymer matrix that is implantable below the skin.

  4. Composite microsphere-functionalized scaffold for the controlled release of small molecules in tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Pandolfi, Laura; Minardi, Silvia; Taraballi, Francesca; Liu, Xeuwu; Ferrari, Mauro; Tasciotti, Ennio

    2016-01-01

    Current tissue engineering strategies focus on restoring damaged tissue architectures using biologically active scaffolds. The ideal scaffold would mimic the extracellular matrix of any tissue of interest, promoting cell proliferation and de novo extracellular matrix deposition. A plethora of techniques have been evaluated to engineer scaffolds for the controlled and targeted release of bioactive molecules to provide a functional structure for tissue growth and remodeling, as well as enhance recruitment and proliferation of autologous cells within the implant. Recently, novel approaches using small molecules, instead of growth factors, have been exploited to regulate tissue regeneration. The use of small synthetic molecules could be very advantageous because of their stability, tunability, and low cost. Herein, we propose a chitosan-gelatin scaffold functionalized with composite microspheres consisting of mesoporous silicon microparticles and poly(dl-lactic-co-glycolic acid) for the controlled release of sphingosine-1-phospate, a small molecule of interest. We characterized the platform with scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and confocal microscopy. Finally, the biocompatibility of this multiscale system was analyzed by culturing human mesenchymal stem cells onto the scaffold. The presented strategy establishes the basis of a versatile scaffold for the controlled release of small molecules and for culturing mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine applications. PMID:26977286

  5. Composite microsphere-functionalized scaffold for the controlled release of small molecules in tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Pandolfi, Laura; Minardi, Silvia; Taraballi, Francesca; Liu, Xeuwu; Ferrari, Mauro; Tasciotti, Ennio

    2016-01-01

    Current tissue engineering strategies focus on restoring damaged tissue architectures using biologically active scaffolds. The ideal scaffold would mimic the extracellular matrix of any tissue of interest, promoting cell proliferation and de novo extracellular matrix deposition. A plethora of techniques have been evaluated to engineer scaffolds for the controlled and targeted release of bioactive molecules to provide a functional structure for tissue growth and remodeling, as well as enhance recruitment and proliferation of autologous cells within the implant. Recently, novel approaches using small molecules, instead of growth factors, have been exploited to regulate tissue regeneration. The use of small synthetic molecules could be very advantageous because of their stability, tunability, and low cost. Herein, we propose a chitosan–gelatin scaffold functionalized with composite microspheres consisting of mesoporous silicon microparticles and poly(dl-lactic-co-glycolic acid) for the controlled release of sphingosine-1-phospate, a small molecule of interest. We characterized the platform with scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and confocal microscopy. Finally, the biocompatibility of this multiscale system was analyzed by culturing human mesenchymal stem cells onto the scaffold. The presented strategy establishes the basis of a versatile scaffold for the controlled release of small molecules and for culturing mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine applications. PMID:26977286

  6. A New Class of Pluripotent Stem Cell Cytotoxic Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Gwendoline Tze Wei; Seng, Eng Khuan; Guo, Xu Ming; Tan, Cherine Mei Fong; Chan, Woon-Khiong; Lee, Joel Mun Kin

    2014-01-01

    A major concern in Pluripotent Stem Cell (PSC)-derived cell replacement therapy is the risk of teratoma formation from contaminating undifferentiated cells. Removal of undifferentiated cells from differentiated cultures is an essential step before PSC-based cell therapies can be safely deployed in a clinical setting. We report a group of novel small molecules that are cytotoxic to PSCs. Our data indicates that these molecules are specific and potent in their activity allowing rapid eradication of undifferentiated cells. Experiments utilizing mixed PSC and primary human neuronal and cardiomyocyte cultures demonstrate that up to a 6-fold enrichment for specialized cells can be obtained without adversely affecting cell viability and function. Several structural variants were synthesized to identify key functional groups and to improve specificity and efficacy. Comparative microarray analysis and ensuing RNA knockdown studies revealed involvement of the PERK/ATF4/DDIT3 ER stress pathway. Surprisingly, cell death following ER stress induction was associated with a concomitant decrease in endogenous ROS levels in PSCs. Undifferentiated cells treated with these molecules preceding transplantation fail to form teratomas in SCID mice. Furthermore, these molecules remain non-toxic and non-teratogenic to zebrafish embryos suggesting that they may be safely used in vivo. PMID:24647085

  7. A new class of pluripotent stem cell cytotoxic small molecules.

    PubMed

    Richards, Mark; Phoon, Chee Wee; Goh, Gwendoline Tze Wei; Seng, Eng Khuan; Guo, Xu Ming; Tan, Cherine Mei Fong; Chan, Woon-Khiong; Lee, Joel Mun Kin

    2014-01-01

    A major concern in Pluripotent Stem Cell (PSC)-derived cell replacement therapy is the risk of teratoma formation from contaminating undifferentiated cells. Removal of undifferentiated cells from differentiated cultures is an essential step before PSC-based cell therapies can be safely deployed in a clinical setting. We report a group of novel small molecules that are cytotoxic to PSCs. Our data indicates that these molecules are specific and potent in their activity allowing rapid eradication of undifferentiated cells. Experiments utilizing mixed PSC and primary human neuronal and cardiomyocyte cultures demonstrate that up to a 6-fold enrichment for specialized cells can be obtained without adversely affecting cell viability and function. Several structural variants were synthesized to identify key functional groups and to improve specificity and efficacy. Comparative microarray analysis and ensuing RNA knockdown studies revealed involvement of the PERK/ATF4/DDIT3 ER stress pathway. Surprisingly, cell death following ER stress induction was associated with a concomitant decrease in endogenous ROS levels in PSCs. Undifferentiated cells treated with these molecules preceding transplantation fail to form teratomas in SCID mice. Furthermore, these molecules remain non-toxic and non-teratogenic to zebrafish embryos suggesting that they may be safely used in vivo. PMID:24647085

  8. A synthetic small molecule that can walk down a track.

    PubMed

    von Delius, Max; Geertsema, Edzard M; Leigh, David A

    2010-02-01

    Although chemists have made small-molecule rotary motors, to date there have been no reports of small-molecule linear motors. Here we describe the synthesis and operation of a 21-atom two-legged molecular unit that is able to walk up and down a four-foothold molecular track. High processivity is conferred by designing the track-binding interactions of the two feet to be labile under different sets of conditions such that each foot can act as a temporarily fixed pivot for the other. The walker randomly and processively takes zero or one step along the track using a 'passing-leg' gait each time the environment is switched between acid and base. Replacing the basic step with a redox-mediated, disulfide-exchange reaction directionally transports the bipedal molecules away from the minimum-energy distribution by a Brownian ratchet mechanism. The ultimate goal of such studies is to produce artificial, linear molecular motors that move directionally along polymeric tracks to transport cargoes and perform tasks in a manner reminiscent of biological motor proteins. PMID:21124398

  9. Seeking small molecules for singlet fission: a heteroatom substitution strategy.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Tao; Ananth, Nandini; Hoffmann, Roald

    2014-09-10

    We design theoretically small molecule candidates for singlet fission chromophores, aiming to achieve a balance between sufficient diradical character and kinetic persistence. We develop a perturbation strategy based on the captodative effect to introduce diradical character into small π-systems. Specifically, this can be accomplished by replacing pairs of not necessarily adjacent C atoms with isoelectronic and isosteric pairs of B and N atoms. Three rules of thumb emerge from our studies to aid further design: (i) Lewis structures provide insight into likely diradical character; (ii) formal radical centers of the diradical must be well-separated; (iii) stabilization of radical centers by a donor (N) and an acceptor (B) is essential. Following the rules, we propose candidate molecules. Employing reliable multireference calculations for excited states, we identify three likely candidate molecules for SF chromophores. These include a benzene, a napthalene, and an azulene, where four C atoms are replaced by a pair of B and a pair of N atoms. PMID:25140824

  10. Mass Spectrometry-Based Tissue Imaging of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Carly N.; Fowler, Joseph W.M.; Waxer, Jonathan F.; Gatti, Richard A.; Loo, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) of tissue samples is a promising analytical tool that has quickly become associated with biomedical and pharmacokinetic studies. It eliminates several labor-intensive protocols associated with more classical imaging techniques, and provides accurate, histological data at a rapid pace. Because mass spectrometry is used as the readout, MSI can be applied to almost any molecule, especially those that are biologically relevant. Many examples of its utility in the study of peptides and proteins have been reported; here we discuss its value in the mass range of small molecules. We explore its success and potential in the analysis of lipids, medicinals, and metal-based compounds by featuring representative studies from mass spectrometry imaging laboratories around the globe. PMID:24952187

  11. Small-molecule organic solar cells with improved stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Q. L.; Li, F. Y.; Yang, H.; Wu, H. R.; Wang, X. Z.; Zhou, W.; Zhao, J. M.; Ding, X. M.; Huang, C. H.; Hou, X. Y.

    2005-11-01

    A stable small-molecule organic photovoltaic device with structure of ITO⧹donor⧹acceptor⧹buffer⧹cathode is presented. A thin layer (˜60 Å) of tris-8-hydroxy-quinolinato aluminum (Alq 3) instead of bathocuproine (BCP) is adopted as the buffer of the device, resulting in 150 times longer lifetime. The power conversion efficiency of the device is 2.11% under 75 mW/cm 2 AM1.5G simulated illumination, and no perceptible efficiency degradation is observed for long-term storage of the device in vacuum or nitrogen-filled glove box. More effective blocking of Alq 3 than BCP against diffusion of cathode atoms and permeation of oxygen and/or water molecules is considered as the main reason for the improved performance of the new device.

  12. Capillary electrophoresis of small ssDNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopecka, Katerina; Slater, Gary W.; Drouin, Guy

    2004-03-01

    Recently, the electrophoretic separation of small ssDNA fragments (bellow 250 bases) has attracted a lot of attention because of applications related to Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms. In order to optimize these systems, we require a better understanding of DNA migration behavior in this size range. While the reptation model provides an excellent understanding of the dynamics of long DNA fragments in gel electrophoresis, the properties of small DNA fragments has not been studied extensively yet. At least three theoretical formulas have been proposed to explain the mobility of short ssDNA molecules in this regime. Specifically, the Ogston regime was introduced for small molecules having radii-of-gyration comparable to or smaller than the pore size of the sieving matrix. We introduce these three different formulas and discuss how their free parameters are related to actual physical parameters. We then test these formulas with new data obtained by capillary electrophoresis in our laboratory using poly(dimethylacrylamide) sieving matrices. Our results show that all three formulas provide decent fits, and that their fitting parameters are consistent with one another. This is the first step towards the development of a systematic approach to optimizing sequencing systems for this size range.

  13. Enhancement of Ultracold Molecule Formation Using Shaped Nanosecond Frequency Chirps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carini, Jennifer; Kallush, Shimshon; Kosloff, Ronnie; Gould, Phillip

    2016-05-01

    We demonstrate that judicious shaping of a nanosecond-time-scale frequency chirp can dramatically enhance the formation rate of ultracold molecules. Starting with ultracold 87 Rb atoms, we apply pulses of frequency-chirped light to first photoassociate the atoms into excited molecules and then, later in the chirp, de-excite these molecules into a high vibrational level of the lowest triplet state. The enhancing chirp shape passes through the absorption and stimulated emission transitions relatively slowly, thus increasing their adiabaticity, but jumps quickly between them to minimize the effects of spontaneous emission. Comparisons with quantum simulations for various chirp shapes support this enhancement mechanism. Schemes for further improvements of the formation rate will also be presented. This work is supported by DOE and BSF.

  14. An autonomous chemically fuelled small-molecule motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Miriam R.; Solà, Jordi; Carlone, Armando; Goldup, Stephen M.; Lebrasseur, Nathalie; Leigh, David A.

    2016-06-01

    Molecular machines are among the most complex of all functional molecules and lie at the heart of nearly every biological process. A number of synthetic small-molecule machines have been developed, including molecular muscles, synthesizers, pumps, walkers, transporters and light-driven and electrically driven rotary motors. However, although biological molecular motors are powered by chemical gradients or the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), so far there are no synthetic small-molecule motors that can operate autonomously using chemical energy (that is, the components move with net directionality as long as a chemical fuel is present). Here we describe a system in which a small molecular ring (macrocycle) is continuously transported directionally around a cyclic molecular track when powered by irreversible reactions of a chemical fuel, 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl chloride. Key to the design is that the rate of reaction of this fuel with reactive sites on the cyclic track is faster when the macrocycle is far from the reactive site than when it is near to it. We find that a bulky pyridine-based catalyst promotes carbonate-forming reactions that ratchet the displacement of the macrocycle away from the reactive sites on the track. Under reaction conditions where both attachment and cleavage of the 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl groups occur through different processes, and the cleavage reaction occurs at a rate independent of macrocycle location, net directional rotation of the molecular motor continues for as long as unreacted fuel remains. We anticipate that autonomous chemically fuelled molecular motors will find application as engines in molecular nanotechnology.

  15. An autonomous chemically fuelled small-molecule motor.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Miriam R; Solà, Jordi; Carlone, Armando; Goldup, Stephen M; Lebrasseur, Nathalie; Leigh, David A

    2016-06-01

    Molecular machines are among the most complex of all functional molecules and lie at the heart of nearly every biological process. A number of synthetic small-molecule machines have been developed, including molecular muscles, synthesizers, pumps, walkers, transporters and light-driven and electrically driven rotary motors. However, although biological molecular motors are powered by chemical gradients or the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), so far there are no synthetic small-molecule motors that can operate autonomously using chemical energy (that is, the components move with net directionality as long as a chemical fuel is present). Here we describe a system in which a small molecular ring (macrocycle) is continuously transported directionally around a cyclic molecular track when powered by irreversible reactions of a chemical fuel, 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl chloride. Key to the design is that the rate of reaction of this fuel with reactive sites on the cyclic track is faster when the macrocycle is far from the reactive site than when it is near to it. We find that a bulky pyridine-based catalyst promotes carbonate-forming reactions that ratchet the displacement of the macrocycle away from the reactive sites on the track. Under reaction conditions where both attachment and cleavage of the 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl groups occur through different processes, and the cleavage reaction occurs at a rate independent of macrocycle location, net directional rotation of the molecular motor continues for as long as unreacted fuel remains. We anticipate that autonomous chemically fuelled molecular motors will find application as engines in molecular nanotechnology. PMID:27279219

  16. Engineered Protein Polymer-Gold Nanoparticle Hybrid Materials for Small Molecule Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Min; Frezzo, JA; Sharma, E; Chen, R; Singh, N; Yuvienco, C; Caglar, E; Xiao, S; Saxena, A; Montclare, JK

    2016-01-01

    We have fabricated protein polymer-gold nanoparticle (P-GNP) nanocomposites that exhibit enhanced binding and delivery properties of the small hydrophobic molecule drug, curcumin, to the model breast cancer cell line, MCF-7. These hybrid biomaterials are constructed via in situ GNP templated-synthesis with genetically engineered histidine tags. The P-GNP nanocomposites exhibit enhanced small molecule loading, sustained release and increased uptake by MCF-7 cells. When compared to the proteins polymers alone, the P-GNPs demonstrate a greater than 7-fold increase in curcumin binding, a nearly 50% slower release profile and more than 2-fold increase in cellular uptake of curcumin. These results suggest that P-GNP nanocomposites serve as promising candidates for drug delivery vehicles. PMID:27081576

  17. Discovery of small molecule antagonists of TRPV1.

    PubMed

    Rami, Harshad K; Thompson, Mervyn; Wyman, Paul; Jerman, Jeffrey C; Egerton, Julie; Brough, Stephen; Stevens, Alexander J; Randall, Andrew D; Smart, Darren; Gunthorpe, Martin J; Davis, John B

    2004-07-16

    Small molecule antagonists of the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1, also known as VR1) are disclosed. Ureas such as 5 (SB-452533) were used to explore the structure activity relationship with several potent analogues identified. Pharmacological studies using electrophysiological and FLIPR Ca(2+) based assays showed compound 5 was an antagonist versus capsaicin, noxious heat and acid mediated activation of TRPV1. Study of a quaternary salt of 5 supports a mode of action in which compounds from this series cause inhibition via an extracellularly accessible binding site on the TRPV1 receptor. PMID:15203132

  18. Spectroscopic and dynamical studies of highly energized small polyatomic molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Field, R.W.; Silbey, R.J.

    1993-12-01

    The authors have initiated a program to perform spectroscopic and dynamic studies of small molecules. Large amplitude motions in excited acetylene were discussed along with plans to record the dispersed fluorescence (DF) and the stimulated emission pumping (SEP) spectra. SEP spectra were reported for the formyl radical. A Fourier transform spectrometer was discussed with respect to its ability to probe the structure of radicals. This instrument is capable of performing studies using various techniques such as magnetic rotation spectroscopy and sub-Doppler sideband-OODR Zeman (SOODRZ) spectroscopy.

  19. A new small molecule inhibitor of soluble guanylate cyclase

    PubMed Central

    Mota, Filipa; Gane, Paul; Hampden-Smith, Kathryn; Allerston, Charles K.; Garthwaite, John; Selwood, David L.

    2015-01-01

    Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a haem containing enzyme that regulates cardiovascular homeostasis and multiple mechanisms in the central and peripheral nervous system. Commonly used inhibitors of sGC activity act through oxidation of the haem moiety, however they also bind haemoglobin and this limits their bioavailability for in vivo studies. We have discovered a new class of small molecule inhibitors of sGC and have characterised a compound designated D12 (compound 10) which binds to the catalytic domain of the enzyme with a KD of 11 μM in a SPR assay. PMID:26264842

  20. Anti-Ebola Activity of Diazachrysene Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Selaković, Života; Soloveva, Veronica; Gharaibeh, Dima N; Wells, Jay; Šegan, Sandra; Panchal, Rekha G; Šolaja, Bogdan A

    2015-06-12

    Herein we report on a diazachrysene class of small molecules that exhibit potent antiviral activity against the Ebola (EBOV) virus. The antiviral compounds are easily synthesized, and the most active compounds have excellent in vitro activity (0.34-0.70 μM) and are significantly less lipophilic than their predecessors. The three most potent diazachrysene antivirals do not exhibit any toxicity in vivo and protected 70-90% of the mice at 10 mg/kg following EBOV challenge. Together, these studies suggest that diazachrysenes are a promising class of compounds for hit to lead optimization and as potential Ebola therapeutics. PMID:27622742

  1. Computer Simulations of Small Molecules in Membranes: Insights from Computer Simulations into the Interactions of Small Molecules with Lipid Bilayers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; New, Michael H.; Schweighofer, Karl; Wilson, Michael A.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Two of Ernest Overton's lasting contributions to biology are the Meyer-Overton relationship between the potency of an anesthetic and its solubility in oil, and the Overton rule which relates the permeability of a membrane to the oil-water partition coefficient of the permeating molecule. A growing body of experimental evidence, however, cannot be reconciled with these theories. In particular, the molecular nature of membranes, unknown to Overton, needs to be included in any description of these phenomena. Computer simulations are ideally suited for providing atomic-level information about the behavior of small molecules in membranes. The authors discuss simulation studies relevant to Overton's ideas. Through simulations it was found that anesthetics tend to concentrate at interfaces and their anesthetic potency correlates better with solubility at the water-membrane interface than with solubility in oil. Simulation studies of membrane permeation revealed the anisotropic nature of the membranes, as evidenced, for example, by the highly nonuniform distribution of free volume in the bilayer. This, in turn, influences the diffusion rates of solutes, which increase with the depth in the membrane. Small solutes tend to move by hopping between voids in the bilayer, and this hopping motion may be responsible for the deviation from the Overton rule of the permeation rates of these molecules.

  2. A "roller-wheel" Pt-containing small molecule that outperforms its polymer analogs in organic solar cells

    DOE PAGESBeta

    He, Wenhan; Wu, Qin; Livshits, Maksim Y.; Dickie, Diane A.; Yang, Jianzhong; Quinnett, Rachel; Rack, Jeffrey R.; Qin, Yang

    2016-05-23

    A novel Pt-bisacetylide small molecule (Pt-SM) featuring “roller-wheel” geometry was synthesized and characterized. When compared with conventional Pt-containing polymers and small molecules having “dumbbell” shaped structures, Pt-SM displays enhanced crystallinity and intermolecular π–π interactions, as well as favorable panchromatic absorption behaviors. Furthermore, organic solar cells (OSCs) employing Pt-SM achieve power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) up to 5.9%, the highest reported so far for Pt-containing polymers and small molecules.

  3. A guest molecule-host cavity fitting algorithm to mine PDB for small molecule targets.

    PubMed

    Byrem, William C; Armstead, Stephen C; Kobayashi, Shunji; Eckenhoff, Roderic G; Eckmann, David M

    2006-08-01

    Inhaled anesthetic molecule occupancy of a protein internal cavity depends in part on the volumes of the guest molecule and the host site. Current algorithms to determine volume and surface area of cavities in proteins whose structures have been determined and cataloged make no allowance for shape or small degrees of shape adjustment to accommodate a guest. We developed an algorithm to determine spheroid dimensions matching cavity volume and surface area and applied it to screen the cavities of 6,658 nonredundant structures stored in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) for potential targets of halothane (2-bromo-2-chloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane). Our algorithm determined sizes of prolate and oblate spheroids matching dimensions of each cavity found. If those spheroids could accommodate halothane (radius 2.91 A) as a guest, we determined the packing coefficient. 394,766 total cavities were identified. Of 58,681 cavities satisfying the fit criteria for halothane, 11,902 cavities had packing coefficients in the range of 0.46-0.64. This represents 20.3% of cavities large enough to hold halothane, 3.0% of all cavities processed, and found in 2,432 protein structures. Our algorithm incorporates shape dependence to screen guest-host relationships for potential small molecule occupancy of protein cavities. Proteins with large numbers of such cavities are more likely to be functionally altered by halothane. PMID:16904958

  4. An in vitro selection for small molecule induced switching RNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Martini, Laura; Ellington, Andrew D; Mansy, Sheref S

    2016-08-15

    The selection of RNA and DNA aptamers now has a long history. However, the ability to directly select for conformational changes upon ligand binding has remained elusive. These difficulties have stymied attempts at making small molecule responsive strand displacement circuitry as well as synthetic riboswitches. Herein we present a detailed strand displacement based selection protocol to directly select for RNA molecules with switching activity. The library was based on a previously selected thiamine pyrophosphate riboswitch. The fully in vitro methodology gave sequences that showed strong strand displacement activity in the presence of thiamine pyrophosphate. Further, the selected sequences possessed riboswitch activity similar to that of natural riboswitches. The presented methodology should aid in the design of more complex, environmentally responsive strand displacement circuitry and in the selection of riboswitches responsive to toxic ligands. PMID:26899430

  5. A general strategy to construct small molecule biosensors in eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Justin; Jester, Benjamin W; Tinberg, Christine E; Mandell, Daniel J; Antunes, Mauricio S; Chari, Raj; Morey, Kevin J; Rios, Xavier; Medford, June I; Church, George M; Fields, Stanley; Baker, David

    2015-01-01

    Biosensors for small molecules can be used in applications that range from metabolic engineering to orthogonal control of transcription. Here, we produce biosensors based on a ligand-binding domain (LBD) by using a method that, in principle, can be applied to any target molecule. The LBD is fused to either a fluorescent protein or a transcriptional activator and is destabilized by mutation such that the fusion accumulates only in cells containing the target ligand. We illustrate the power of this method by developing biosensors for digoxin and progesterone. Addition of ligand to yeast, mammalian, or plant cells expressing a biosensor activates transcription with a dynamic range of up to ~100-fold. We use the biosensors to improve the biotransformation of pregnenolone to progesterone in yeast and to regulate CRISPR activity in mammalian cells. This work provides a general methodology to develop biosensors for a broad range of molecules in eukaryotes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10606.001 PMID:26714111

  6. Mechanism of cellular response to nanoscale aggregates of small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuang, Yi

    This dissertation research focused on the illustration of the molecular mechanism of cellular response to nanoscale aggregates formed by small molecules. There are five chapters in this dissertation. Chapter 1 summarizes the current research on the evaluation of cell response (i.e., biocompatibility/cytotoxicity) to small molecular hydrogelators. Chapter 2 describes an interesting phenomenon that supramolecular hydrogelators consisting of N-terminated dipeptides, which exhibit selective inhibitory effects against cancer cells. This study calls for the development of a new approach for identification of protein targets of the hydrogelators. Chapter 3 describes the evaluation of interactions between cytosol proteins of a mammalian cell line and morphologically different nanoscale molecular aggregates formed by small peptidic molecules. Chapter 4 describes the research on the mechanism of a type of molecular aggregates, which cluster short microtubules to prevent the growth of microtubule. This unprecedented mechanism of "self-assembly to interfere with self-organization " contributes to inhibiting growth of cancer cells in several mammalian cell based assays and a xenograft tumor mice model. At the end, Chapter 5 reports a novel supramolecular hydrogelator, which consists of fluorene and the pentapeptide epitope (TIGYG) of potassium ion (K+) channels, to self-assemble in water to form the tunable, hierarchical nanostructures dictated by the concentration of K+. In conclusion, this dissertation research demonstrates a new approach for investigating cellular target and molecular mechanism of self-assembled aggregates formed by small peptide derivatives based hydrogelators, which will make contribution to the development of supramolecular hydrogelators as biomaterials. Moreover, the differential cytotoxicity of molecular aggregates illustrated in this research promises a new direction for developing anti-cancer drug based on interactions between molecular aggregates and

  7. Structure Based Discovery of Small Molecules to Regulate the Activity of Human Insulin Degrading Enzyme

    PubMed Central

    Çakir, Bilal; Dağliyan, Onur; Dağyildiz, Ezgi; Bariş, İbrahim; Kavakli, Ibrahim Halil; Kizilel, Seda; Türkay, Metin

    2012-01-01

    Background Insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) is an allosteric Zn+2 metalloprotease involved in the degradation of many peptides including amyloid-β, and insulin that play key roles in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), respectively. Therefore, the use of therapeutic agents that regulate the activity of IDE would be a viable approach towards generating pharmaceutical treatments for these diseases. Crystal structure of IDE revealed that N-terminal has an exosite which is ∼30 Å away from the catalytic region and serves as a regulation site by orientation of the substrates of IDE to the catalytic site. It is possible to find small molecules that bind to the exosite of IDE and enhance its proteolytic activity towards different substrates. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, we applied structure based drug design method combined with experimental methods to discover four novel molecules that enhance the activity of human IDE. The novel compounds, designated as D3, D4, D6, and D10 enhanced IDE mediated proteolysis of substrate V, insulin and amyloid-β, while enhanced degradation profiles were obtained towards substrate V and insulin in the presence of D10 only. Conclusion/Significance This paper describes the first examples of a computer-aided discovery of IDE regulators, showing that in vitro and in vivo activation of this important enzyme with small molecules is possible. PMID:22355395

  8. Oral small molecule therapy for lysosomal storage diseases.

    PubMed

    Weinreb, Neal J

    2013-11-01

    For more than 20 years, "enzyme replacement therapy" (ERT) has been the prevalent treatment approach for lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). Unfortunately, ERT, as currently administered, is ineffective for primary neuronopathic LSDs. For LSDs whose major disease burden is non-neurological, ERT efficacy is limited by uneven tissue distribution and penetration, immunological intolerance, and disturbed intracellular homeostasis associated with persistent mutant enzymes that are not "replaced" by ERT. Many of these limitations might be circumvented by oral, low molecular weight pharmaceuticals that address relevant LSD pathophysiology and distribute widely in steady state concentrations in all cells and body tissues including the CNS. Two oral small molecule drugs (miglustat and cysteamine) are currently approved for clinical use and two (eliglustat and migalastat) are in advanced stage clinical trials. Several others are in early stages of clinical or pre-clinical investigation. This article reviews current knowledge of small molecule treatment for LSDs including approaches such as substrate synthesis inhibition, pharmacological chaperones, and proteostasis modification. PMID:24380126

  9. Discovery and development of small molecule SHIP phosphatase modulators.

    PubMed

    Viernes, Dennis R; Choi, Lydia B; Kerr, William G; Chisholm, John D

    2014-07-01

    Inositol phospholipids play an important role in the transfer of signaling information across the cell membrane in eukaryotes. These signals are often governed by the phosphorylation patterns on the inositols, which are mediated by a number of inositol kinases and phosphatases. The src homology 2 (SH2) containing inositol 5-phosphatase (SHIP) plays a central role in these processes, influencing signals delivered through the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. SHIP modulation by small molecules has been implicated as a treatment in a number of human disease states, including cancer, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, alteration of SHIP phosphatase activity may provide a means to facilitate bone marrow transplantation and increase blood cell production. This review discusses the cellular signaling pathways and protein-protein interactions that provide the molecular basis for targeting the SHIP enzyme in these disease states. In addition, a comprehensive survey of small molecule modulators of SHIP1 and SHIP2 is provided, with a focus on the structure, potency, selectivity, and solubility properties of these compounds. PMID:24302498

  10. Structural basis of AMPK regulation by small molecule activators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Bing; Sanders, Matthew J.; Carmena, David; Bright, Nicola J.; Haire, Lesley F.; Underwood, Elizabeth; Patel, Bhakti R.; Heath, Richard B.; Walker, Philip A.; Hallen, Stefan; Giordanetto, Fabrizio; Martin, Stephen R.; Carling, David; Gamblin, Steven J.

    2013-12-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a major role in regulating cellular energy balance by sensing and responding to increases in AMP/ADP concentration relative to ATP. Binding of AMP causes allosteric activation of the enzyme and binding of either AMP or ADP promotes and maintains the phosphorylation of threonine 172 within the activation loop of the kinase. AMPK has attracted widespread interest as a potential therapeutic target for metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes and, more recently, cancer. A number of direct AMPK activators have been reported as having beneficial effects in treating metabolic diseases, but there has been no structural basis for activator binding to AMPK. Here we present the crystal structure of human AMPK in complex with a small molecule activator that binds at a site between the kinase domain and the carbohydrate-binding module, stabilising the interaction between these two components. The nature of the activator-binding pocket suggests the involvement of an additional, as yet unidentified, metabolite in the physiological regulation of AMPK. Importantly, the structure offers new opportunities for the design of small molecule activators of AMPK for treatment of metabolic disorders.

  11. Biosensor-based small molecule fragment screening with biolayer interferometry.

    PubMed

    Wartchow, Charles A; Podlaski, Frank; Li, Shirley; Rowan, Karen; Zhang, Xiaolei; Mark, David; Huang, Kuo-Sen

    2011-07-01

    Biosensor-based fragment screening is a valuable tool in the drug discovery process. This method is advantageous over many biochemical methods because primary hits can be distinguished from non-specific or non-ideal interactions by examining binding profiles and responses, resulting in reduced false-positive rates. Biolayer interferometry (BLI), a technique that measures changes in an interference pattern generated from visible light reflected from an optical layer and a biolayer containing proteins of interest, is a relatively new method for monitoring small molecule interactions. The BLI format is based on a disposable sensor that is immersed in 96-well or 384-well plates. BLI has been validated for small molecule detection and fragment screening with model systems and well-characterized targets where affinity constants and binding profiles are generally similar to those obtained with surface plasmon resonsance (SPR). Screens with challenging targets involved in protein-protein interactions including BCL-2, JNK1, and eIF4E were performed with a fragment library of 6,500 compounds, and hit rates were compared for these targets. For eIF4E, a protein containing a PPI site and a nucleotide binding site, results from a BLI fragment screen were compared to results obtained in biochemical HTS screens. Overlapping hits were observed for the PPI site, and hits unique to the BLI screen were identified. Hit assessments with SPR and BLI are described. PMID:21660516

  12. Rational design of small molecules as vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tom Y-H; Singh, Manmohan; Miller, Andrew T; De Gregorio, Ennio; Doro, Francesco; D'Oro, Ugo; Skibinski, David A G; Mbow, M Lamine; Bufali, Simone; Herman, Ann E; Cortez, Alex; Li, Yongkai; Nayak, Bishnu P; Tritto, Elaine; Filippi, Christophe M; Otten, Gillis R; Brito, Luis A; Monaci, Elisabetta; Li, Chun; Aprea, Susanna; Valentini, Sara; Calabrό, Samuele; Laera, Donatello; Brunelli, Brunella; Caproni, Elena; Malyala, Padma; Panchal, Rekha G; Warren, Travis K; Bavari, Sina; O'Hagan, Derek T; Cooke, Michael P; Valiante, Nicholas M

    2014-11-19

    Adjuvants increase vaccine potency largely by activating innate immunity and promoting inflammation. Limiting the side effects of this inflammation is a major hurdle for adjuvant use in vaccines for humans. It has been difficult to improve on adjuvant safety because of a poor understanding of adjuvant mechanism and the empirical nature of adjuvant discovery and development historically. We describe new principles for the rational optimization of small-molecule immune potentiators (SMIPs) targeting Toll-like receptor 7 as adjuvants with a predicted increase in their therapeutic indices. Unlike traditional drugs, SMIP-based adjuvants need to have limited bioavailability and remain localized for optimal efficacy. These features also lead to temporally and spatially restricted inflammation that should decrease side effects. Through medicinal and formulation chemistry and extensive immunopharmacology, we show that in vivo potency can be increased with little to no systemic exposure, localized innate immune activation and short in vivo residence times of SMIP-based adjuvants. This work provides a systematic and generalizable approach to engineering small molecules for use as vaccine adjuvants. PMID:25411473

  13. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation

    PubMed Central

    Brahmbhatt, Hetal; Uehling, David; Al-awar, Rima; Leber, Brian; Andrews, David

    2016-01-01

    The pro-apoptotic protein Bax commits a cell to death by permeabilizing the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM). To obtain small-molecule probes for elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) of Bax activation, we screened for compounds that induced Bax-mediated liposome permeabilization. We identified five structurally different small molecules that promoted both Bax targeting to and oligomerization at membranes. All five compounds initiated Bax oligomerization in the absence of membranes by a mechanism unlike Bax activation by Bcl-2 homology 3 domain (BH3) proteins. Some of the compounds induced Bax/Bak-dependent apoptosis in cells. Activation of Bax by the most active compound was poorly inhibited by the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL and requires a cysteine residue at position 126 of Bax that is not required for activation by BH3 proteins. Our results reveal a novel pathway for Bax activation independent of pro-apoptotic BH3 proteins that may have important implications for the regulation of Bax activity in cells. PMID:26916338

  14. Small-molecule SMAC mimetics as new cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Bai, Longchuan; Smith, David C; Wang, Shaomeng

    2014-10-01

    Apoptosis is a tightly regulated cellular process and faulty regulation of apoptosis is a hallmark of human cancers. Targeting key apoptosis regulators with the goal to restore apoptosis in tumor cells has been pursued as a new cancer therapeutic strategy. XIAP, cIAP1, and cIAP2, members of inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins, are critical regulators of cell death and survival and are attractive targets for new cancer therapy. The SMAC/DIABLO protein is an endogenous antagonist of XIAP, cIAP1, and cIAP2. In the last decade, intense research efforts have resulted in the design and development of several small-molecule SMAC mimetics now in clinical trials for cancer treatment. In this review, we will discuss the roles of XIAP, cIAP1, and cIAP2 in regulation of cell death and survival, and the design and development of small-molecule SMAC mimetics as novel cancer treatments. PMID:24841289

  15. Neurobehavioral consequences of small molecule-drug immunosuppression.

    PubMed

    Bösche, Katharina; Weissenborn, Karin; Christians, Uwe; Witzke, Oliver; Engler, Harald; Schedlowski, Manfred; Hadamitzky, Martin

    2015-09-01

    60 years after the first successful kidney transplantation in humans, transplant patients have decent survival rates owing to a broad spectrum of immunosuppressive medication available today. Not only transplant patients, but also patients with inflammatory autoimmune diseases or cancer benefit from these life-saving immunosuppressive and anti-proliferative medications. However, this success is gained with the disadvantage of neuropsychological disturbances and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and impaired quality of life after long-term treatment with immunosuppressive drugs. So far, surprisingly little is known about unwanted neuropsychological side effects of immunosuppressants and anti-proliferative drugs from the group of so called small molecule-drugs. This is partly due to the fact that it is difficult to disentangle whether and to what extent the observed neuropsychiatric disturbances are a direct result of the patient's medical history or of the immunosuppressive treatment. Thus, here we summarize experimental as well as clinical data of mammalian and human studies, with the focus on selected small-molecule drugs that are frequently employed in solid organ transplantation, autoimmune disorders or cancer therapy and their effects on neuropsychological functions, mood, and behavior. These data reveal the necessity to develop immunosuppressive and anti-proliferative drugs inducing fewer or no unwanted neuropsychological side effects, thereby increasing the quality of life in patients requiring long term immunosuppressive treatment. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. PMID:25529273

  16. Reprogramming the assembly of unmodified DNA with a small molecule.

    PubMed

    Avakyan, Nicole; Greschner, Andrea A; Aldaye, Faisal; Serpell, Christopher J; Toader, Violeta; Petitjean, Anne; Sleiman, Hanadi F

    2016-04-01

    The ability of DNA to store and encode information arises from base pairing of the four-letter nucleobase code to form a double helix. Expanding this DNA 'alphabet' by synthetic incorporation of new bases can introduce new functionalities and enable the formation of novel nucleic acid structures. However, reprogramming the self-assembly of existing nucleobases presents an alternative route to expand the structural space and functionality of nucleic acids. Here we report the discovery that a small molecule, cyanuric acid, with three thymine-like faces, reprogrammes the assembly of unmodified poly(adenine) (poly(A)) into stable, long and abundant fibres with a unique internal structure. Poly(A) DNA, RNA and peptide nucleic acid (PNA) all form these assemblies. Our studies are consistent with the association of adenine and cyanuric acid units into a hexameric rosette, which brings together poly(A) triplexes with a subsequent cooperative polymerization. Fundamentally, this study shows that small hydrogen-bonding molecules can be used to induce the assembly of nucleic acids in water, which leads to new structures from inexpensive and readily available materials. PMID:27001733

  17. Small molecule microarrays for drug residue detection in foodstuffs.

    PubMed

    Peng, Zuo; Bang-Ce, Ye

    2006-09-20

    Microarrays have been used as tools for analyzing biological compositions at different levels. In this study, we proposed a small molecule microarray (SMM) method for detection of three veterinary drug residues, chloramphenicol, clenbuterol, and tylosin, in foodstuffs simultaneously and quantitatively. The small drug molecules were immobilized on the surface of the modified glass slides. Then the mixture of drug corresponding antibodies and standards or samples was added to the reaction area. After incubation, the antigen-antibody binding was detected using cy5 labeled secondary antibody. The calibration curves of the residues were drawn, and they indicated the lowest detection limit the linearity range. The detectable concentrations of the three residues are lower than the maximum residue levels (MRLs). No cross reactivity was found among the three residues. The coefficient of variation of the spot intensities was below 5% in a subarray, and below 15% among subarrays. The spike sample test and the comparison of detection results by SMMs and ELISA demonstrated the accuracy of the proposed SMMs method. PMID:16968051

  18. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation.

    PubMed

    Brahmbhatt, Hetal; Uehling, David; Al-Awar, Rima; Leber, Brian; Andrews, David

    2016-04-15

    The pro-apoptotic protein Bax commits a cell to death by permeabilizing the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM). To obtain small-molecule probes for elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) of Bax activation, we screened for compounds that induced Bax-mediated liposome permeabilization. We identified five structurally different small molecules that promoted both Bax targeting to and oligomerization at membranes. All five compounds initiated Bax oligomerization in the absence of membranes by a mechanism unlike Bax activation by Bcl-2 homology 3 domain (BH3) proteins. Some of the compounds induced Bax/Bak-dependent apoptosis in cells. Activation of Bax by the most active compound was poorly inhibited by the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL and requires a cysteine residue at position 126 of Bax that is not required for activation by BH3 proteins. Our results reveal a novel pathway for Bax activation independent of pro-apoptotic BH3 proteins that may have important implications for the regulation of Bax activity in cells. PMID:26916338

  19. Reprogramming the assembly of unmodified DNA with a small molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avakyan, Nicole; Greschner, Andrea A.; Aldaye, Faisal; Serpell, Christopher J.; Toader, Violeta; Petitjean, Anne; Sleiman, Hanadi F.

    2016-04-01

    The ability of DNA to store and encode information arises from base pairing of the four-letter nucleobase code to form a double helix. Expanding this DNA ‘alphabet’ by synthetic incorporation of new bases can introduce new functionalities and enable the formation of novel nucleic acid structures. However, reprogramming the self-assembly of existing nucleobases presents an alternative route to expand the structural space and functionality of nucleic acids. Here we report the discovery that a small molecule, cyanuric acid, with three thymine-like faces, reprogrammes the assembly of unmodified poly(adenine) (poly(A)) into stable, long and abundant fibres with a unique internal structure. Poly(A) DNA, RNA and peptide nucleic acid (PNA) all form these assemblies. Our studies are consistent with the association of adenine and cyanuric acid units into a hexameric rosette, which brings together poly(A) triplexes with a subsequent cooperative polymerization. Fundamentally, this study shows that small hydrogen-bonding molecules can be used to induce the assembly of nucleic acids in water, which leads to new structures from inexpensive and readily available materials.

  20. Small and Innovative Molecules as New Strategy to Revert MDR.

    PubMed

    Zinzi, Laura; Capparelli, Elena; Cantore, Mariangela; Contino, Marialessandra; Leopoldo, Marcello; Colabufo, Nicola Antonio

    2014-01-01

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a complex phenomenon principally due to the overexpression of some transmembrane proteins belonging to the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter family. Among these transporters, P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is mostly involved in MDR and its overexpression is the major cause of cancer therapy failure. The classical approach used to overcome MDR is the co-administration of a P-gp inhibitor and the classic antineoplastic drugs, although the results were often unsatisfactory. Different classes of P-gp ligands have been developed and, among them, Tariquidar has been extensively studied both in vitro and in vivo. Although Tariquidar has been considered for several years as the lead compound for the development of P-gp inhibitors, recent studies demonstrated it to be a substrate and inhibitor, in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, Tariquidar structure-activity relationship studies were difficult to carry out because of the complexity of the structure that does not allow establishing the role of each moiety for P-gp activity. For this purpose, SMALL molecules bearing different scaffolds such as tetralin, biphenyl, arylthiazole, furoxane, furazan have been developed. Many of these ligands have been tested both in in vitro assays and in in vivo PET studies. These preliminary evaluations lead to obtain a library of P-gp interacting agents useful to conjugate chemotherapeutic agents displaying reduced pharmacological activity and appropriate small molecules. These molecules could get over the limits due to the antineoplastic-P-gp inhibitor co-administration since pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles are related to a dual innovative drug. PMID:24478983

  1. Small and Innovative Molecules as New Strategy to Revert MDR

    PubMed Central

    Zinzi, Laura; Capparelli, Elena; Cantore, Mariangela; Contino, Marialessandra; Leopoldo, Marcello; Colabufo, Nicola Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a complex phenomenon principally due to the overexpression of some transmembrane proteins belonging to the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter family. Among these transporters, P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is mostly involved in MDR and its overexpression is the major cause of cancer therapy failure. The classical approach used to overcome MDR is the co-administration of a P-gp inhibitor and the classic antineoplastic drugs, although the results were often unsatisfactory. Different classes of P-gp ligands have been developed and, among them, Tariquidar has been extensively studied both in vitro and in vivo. Although Tariquidar has been considered for several years as the lead compound for the development of P-gp inhibitors, recent studies demonstrated it to be a substrate and inhibitor, in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, Tariquidar structure–activity relationship studies were difficult to carry out because of the complexity of the structure that does not allow establishing the role of each moiety for P-gp activity. For this purpose, SMALL molecules bearing different scaffolds such as tetralin, biphenyl, arylthiazole, furoxane, furazan have been developed. Many of these ligands have been tested both in in vitro assays and in in vivo PET studies. These preliminary evaluations lead to obtain a library of P-gp interacting agents useful to conjugate chemotherapeutic agents displaying reduced pharmacological activity and appropriate small molecules. These molecules could get over the limits due to the antineoplastic-P-gp inhibitor co-administration since pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles are related to a dual innovative drug. PMID:24478983

  2. OPLS3: A Force Field Providing Broad Coverage of Drug-like Small Molecules and Proteins.

    PubMed

    Harder, Edward; Damm, Wolfgang; Maple, Jon; Wu, Chuanjie; Reboul, Mark; Xiang, Jin Yu; Wang, Lingle; Lupyan, Dmitry; Dahlgren, Markus K; Knight, Jennifer L; Kaus, Joseph W; Cerutti, David S; Krilov, Goran; Jorgensen, William L; Abel, Robert; Friesner, Richard A

    2016-01-12

    The parametrization and validation of the OPLS3 force field for small molecules and proteins are reported. Enhancements with respect to the previous version (OPLS2.1) include the addition of off-atom charge sites to represent halogen bonding and aryl nitrogen lone pairs as well as a complete refit of peptide dihedral parameters to better model the native structure of proteins. To adequately cover medicinal chemical space, OPLS3 employs over an order of magnitude more reference data and associated parameter types relative to other commonly used small molecule force fields (e.g., MMFF and OPLS_2005). As a consequence, OPLS3 achieves a high level of accuracy across performance benchmarks that assess small molecule conformational propensities and solvation. The newly fitted peptide dihedrals lead to significant improvements in the representation of secondary structure elements in simulated peptides and native structure stability over a number of proteins. Together, the improvements made to both the small molecule and protein force field lead to a high level of accuracy in predicting protein-ligand binding measured over a wide range of targets and ligands (less than 1 kcal/mol RMS error) representing a 30% improvement over earlier variants of the OPLS force field. PMID:26584231

  3. Synthetic Small-Molecule Prohormone Convertase 2 Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Kowalska, Dorota; Liu, Jin; Appel, Jon R.; Ozawa, Akihiko; Nefzi, Adel; Mackin, Robert B.; Houghten, Richard A.; Lindberg, Iris

    2009-01-01

    The proprotein convertases are believed to be responsible for the proteolytic maturation of a large number of peptide hormone precursors. Although potent furin inhibitors have been identified, thus far, no small-molecule prohormone convertase 1/3 or prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) inhibitors have been described. After screening 38 small-molecule positional scanning libraries against recombinant mouse PC2, two promising chemical scaffolds were identified: bicyclic guanidines, and pyrrolidine bis-piperazines. A set of individual compounds was designed from each library and tested against PC2. Pyrrolidine bis-piperazines were irreversible, time-dependent inhibitors of PC2, exhibiting noncompetitive inhibition kinetics; the most potent inhibitor exhibited a Ki value for PC2 of 0.54 μM. In contrast, the most potent bicyclic guanidine inhibitor exhibited a Ki value of 3.3 μM. Cross-reactivity with other convertases was limited: pyrrolidine bis-piperazines exhibited Ki values greater than 25 μM for PC1/3 or furin, whereas the Ki values of bicyclic guanidines for these other convertases were more than 15 μM. We conclude that pyrrolidine bis-piperazines and bicyclic guanidines represent promising initial leads for the optimization of therapeutically active PC2 inhibitors. PC2-specific inhibitors may be useful in the pharmacological blockade of PC2-dependent cleavage events, such as glucagon production in the pancreas and ectopic peptide production in small-cell carcinoma, and to study PC2-dependent proteolytic events, such as opioid peptide production. PMID:19074544

  4. Mechanisms of small molecule-DNA interactions probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Almaqwashi, Ali A; Paramanathan, Thayaparan; Rouzina, Ioulia; Williams, Mark C

    2016-05-19

    There is a wide range of applications for non-covalent DNA binding ligands, and optimization of such interactions requires detailed understanding of the binding mechanisms. One important class of these ligands is that of intercalators, which bind DNA by inserting aromatic moieties between adjacent DNA base pairs. Characterizing the dynamic and equilibrium aspects of DNA-intercalator complex assembly may allow optimization of DNA binding for specific functions. Single-molecule force spectroscopy studies have recently revealed new details about the molecular mechanisms governing DNA intercalation. These studies can provide the binding kinetics and affinity as well as determining the magnitude of the double helix structural deformations during the dynamic assembly of DNA-ligand complexes. These results may in turn guide the rational design of intercalators synthesized for DNA-targeted drugs, optical probes, or integrated biological self-assembly processes. Herein, we survey the progress in experimental methods as well as the corresponding analysis framework for understanding single molecule DNA binding mechanisms. We discuss briefly minor and major groove binding ligands, and then focus on intercalators, which have been probed extensively with these methods. Conventional mono-intercalators and bis-intercalators are discussed, followed by unconventional DNA intercalation. We then consider the prospects for using these methods in optimizing conventional and unconventional DNA-intercalating small molecules. PMID:27085806

  5. Influence of Lithium Additives in Small Molecule Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells.

    PubMed

    Lin, Kuo-Yao; Bastatas, Lyndon D; Suhr, Kristin J; Moore, Matthew D; Holliday, Bradley J; Minary-Jolandan, Majid; Slinker, Jason D

    2016-07-01

    Light-emitting electrochemical cells (LEECs) utilizing small molecule emitters such as iridium complexes have great potential as low-cost emissive devices. In these devices, ions rearrange during operation to facilitate carrier injection, bringing about efficient operation from simple, single layer devices. Recent work has shown that the luminance, efficiency, and responsiveness of iridium-based LEECs are greatly enhanced by the inclusion of small amounts of lithium salts (≤0.5%/wt) into the active layer. However, the origin of this enhancement has yet to be demonstrated experimentally. Furthermore, although iridium-based devices have been the longstanding leader among small molecule LEECs, fundamental understanding of the ionic distribution in these devices under operation is lacking. Herein, we use scanning Kelvin probe microscopy to measure the in situ potential profiles and electric field distributions of planar iridium-based LEECs and clarify the role of ionic lithium additives. In pristine devices, it is found that ions do not pack densely at the cathode, and ionic redistribution is slow. Inclusion of small amounts of Li[PF6] greatly increases ionic space charge near the cathode that doubles the peak electric fields and enhances electronic injection relative to pristine devices. This study confirms and clarifies a number of longstanding hypotheses regarding iridium LEECs and recent postulates concerning optimization of their operation. PMID:27299981

  6. Evidence that small molecule enhancement of β-hexosaminidase activity corrects the behavioral phenotype in Dutch APP(E693Q) mice through reduction of ganglioside-bound Aβ.

    PubMed

    Knight, E M; Williams, H N; Stevens, A C; Kim, S H; Kottwitz, J C; Morant, A D; Steele, J W; Klein, W L; Yanagisawa, K; Boyd, R E; Lockhart, D J; Sjoberg, E R; Ehrlich, M E; Wustman, B A; Gandy, S

    2015-02-01

    Certain mutant Alzheimer's amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides (that is, Dutch mutant APP(E693Q)) form complexes with gangliosides (GAβ). These mutant Aβ peptides may also undergo accelerated aggregation and accumulation upon exposure to GM2 and GM3. We hypothesized that increasing β-hexosaminidase (β-hex) activity would lead to a reduction in GM2 levels, which in turn, would cause a reduction in Aβ aggregation and accumulation. The small molecule OT1001 is a β-hex-targeted pharmacological chaperone with good bioavailability, blood-brain barrier penetration, high selectivity for β-hex and low cytotoxicity. Dutch APP(E693Q) transgenic mice accumulate oligomeric Aβ as they age, as well as Aβ oligomer-dose-dependent anxiety and impaired novel object recognition (NOR). Treatment of Dutch APP(E693Q) mice with OT1001 caused a dose-dependent increase in brain β-hex levels up to threefold over those observed at baseline. OT1001 treatment was associated with reduced anxiety, improved learning behavior in the NOR task and dramatically reduced GAβ accumulation in the subiculum and perirhinal cortex, both of which are brain regions required for normal NOR. Pharmacological chaperones that increase β-hex activity may be useful in reducing accumulation of certain mutant species of Aβ and in preventing the associated behavioral pathology. PMID:25349165

  7. Small molecule inhibitors of HCV replication from pomegranate.

    PubMed

    Reddy, B Uma; Mullick, Ranajoy; Kumar, Anuj; Sudha, Govindarajan; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy; Das, Saumitra

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the causative agent of end-stage liver disease. Recent advances in the last decade in anti HCV treatment strategies have dramatically increased the viral clearance rate. However, several limitations are still associated, which warrant a great need of novel, safe and selective drugs against HCV infection. Towards this objective, we explored highly potent and selective small molecule inhibitors, the ellagitannins, from the crude extract of Pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit peel. The pure compounds, punicalagin, punicalin, and ellagic acid isolated from the extract specifically blocked the HCV NS3/4A protease activity in vitro. Structural analysis using computational approach also showed that ligand molecules interact with the catalytic and substrate binding residues of NS3/4A protease, leading to inhibition of the enzyme activity. Further, punicalagin and punicalin significantly reduced the HCV replication in cell culture system. More importantly, these compounds are well tolerated ex vivo and'no observed adverse effect level' (NOAEL) was established upto an acute dose of 5000 mg/kg in BALB/c mice. Additionally, pharmacokinetics study showed that the compounds are bioavailable. Taken together, our study provides a proof-of-concept approach for the potential use of antiviral and non-toxic principle ellagitannins from pomegranate in prevention and control of HCV induced complications. PMID:24958333

  8. Catalytic in vivo protein knockdown by small-molecule PROTACs.

    PubMed

    Bondeson, Daniel P; Mares, Alina; Smith, Ian E D; Ko, Eunhwa; Campos, Sebastien; Miah, Afjal H; Mulholland, Katie E; Routly, Natasha; Buckley, Dennis L; Gustafson, Jeffrey L; Zinn, Nico; Grandi, Paola; Shimamura, Satoko; Bergamini, Giovanna; Faelth-Savitski, Maria; Bantscheff, Marcus; Cox, Carly; Gordon, Deborah A; Willard, Ryan R; Flanagan, John J; Casillas, Linda N; Votta, Bartholomew J; den Besten, Willem; Famm, Kristoffer; Kruidenier, Laurens; Carter, Paul S; Harling, John D; Churcher, Ian; Crews, Craig M

    2015-08-01

    The current predominant therapeutic paradigm is based on maximizing drug-receptor occupancy to achieve clinical benefit. This strategy, however, generally requires excessive drug concentrations to ensure sufficient occupancy, often leading to adverse side effects. Here, we describe major improvements to the proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) method, a chemical knockdown strategy in which a heterobifunctional molecule recruits a specific protein target to an E3 ubiquitin ligase, resulting in the target's ubiquitination and degradation. These compounds behave catalytically in their ability to induce the ubiquitination of super-stoichiometric quantities of proteins, providing efficacy that is not limited by equilibrium occupancy. We present two PROTACs that are capable of specifically reducing protein levels by >90% at nanomolar concentrations. In addition, mouse studies indicate that they provide broad tissue distribution and knockdown of the targeted protein in tumor xenografts. Together, these data demonstrate a protein knockdown system combining many of the favorable properties of small-molecule agents with the potent protein knockdown of RNAi and CRISPR. PMID:26075522

  9. Small molecule inhibitors of HCV replication from Pomegranate

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, B. Uma; Mullick, Ranajoy; Kumar, Anuj; Sudha, Govindarajan; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy; Das, Saumitra

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the causative agent of end-stage liver disease. Recent advances in the last decade in anti HCV treatment strategies have dramatically increased the viral clearance rate. However, several limitations are still associated, which warrant a great need of novel, safe and selective drugs against HCV infection. Towards this objective, we explored highly potent and selective small molecule inhibitors, the ellagitannins, from the crude extract of Pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit peel. The pure compounds, punicalagin, punicalin, and ellagic acid isolated from the extract specifically blocked the HCV NS3/4A protease activity in vitro. Structural analysis using computational approach also showed that ligand molecules interact with the catalytic and substrate binding residues of NS3/4A protease, leading to inhibition of the enzyme activity. Further, punicalagin and punicalin significantly reduced the HCV replication in cell culture system. More importantly, these compounds are well tolerated ex vivo and‘no observed adverse effect level' (NOAEL) was established upto an acute dose of 5000 mg/kg in BALB/c mice. Additionally, pharmacokinetics study showed that the compounds are bioavailable. Taken together, our study provides a proof-of-concept approach for the potential use of antiviral and non-toxic principle ellagitannins from pomegranate in prevention and control of HCV induced complications. PMID:24958333

  10. Current status of the prebiotic synthesis of small molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Stanley L.

    1986-01-01

    Experiments designed to simulate conditions on the primitive earth and to demonstrate how the organic compounds that made up the first living organisms were synthesized are described. Simulated atmospheres with CH4, N2, NH3, and H2O were found to be most effective for synthesis of small prebiotic molecules, although atmospheres with H2, CO, N2, and H2O, and with H2, CO2, N2, and H2O also give good yields of organic compounds provided the H2/CO and H2/CO2 ratios are above 1 and 2, respectively. The spark discharge (which is a good source of HCN) and UV light are also important. Reasonable prebiotic syntheses were worked out for the amino acids that occur in proteins (with the exception of lysine, arginine, and histidine), and for purines, pyrimidines, sugars, and nicotinic acid. Many of the molecules that have been produced in these simulated primitive-earth experiments are found in carbonaceous chondrites.