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Sample records for immobilizing small molecule

  1. Developing an Efficient and General Strategy for Immobilization of Small Molecules onto Microarrays Using Isocyanate Chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Chenggang; Zhu, Xiangdong; Landry, James P.; Cui, Zhaomeng; Li, Quanfu; Dang, Yongjun; Mi, Lan; Zheng, Fengyun; Fei, Yiyan

    2016-01-01

    Small-molecule microarray (SMM) is an effective platform for identifying lead compounds from large collections of small molecules in drug discovery, and efficient immobilization of molecular compounds is a pre-requisite for the success of such a platform. On an isocyanate functionalized surface, we studied the dependence of immobilization efficiency on chemical residues on molecular compounds, terminal residues on isocyanate functionalized surface, lengths of spacer molecules, and post-printing treatment conditions, and we identified a set of optimized conditions that enable us to immobilize small molecules with significantly improved efficiencies, particularly for those molecules with carboxylic acid residues that are known to have low isocyanate reactivity. We fabricated microarrays of 3375 bioactive compounds on isocyanate functionalized glass slides under these optimized conditions and confirmed that immobilization percentage is over 73%. PMID:26999137

  2. Developing an Efficient and General Strategy for Immobilization of Small Molecules onto Microarrays Using Isocyanate Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Chenggang; Zhu, Xiangdong; Landry, James P; Cui, Zhaomeng; Li, Quanfu; Dang, Yongjun; Mi, Lan; Zheng, Fengyun; Fei, Yiyan

    2016-01-01

    Small-molecule microarray (SMM) is an effective platform for identifying lead compounds from large collections of small molecules in drug discovery, and efficient immobilization of molecular compounds is a pre-requisite for the success of such a platform. On an isocyanate functionalized surface, we studied the dependence of immobilization efficiency on chemical residues on molecular compounds, terminal residues on isocyanate functionalized surface, lengths of spacer molecules, and post-printing treatment conditions, and we identified a set of optimized conditions that enable us to immobilize small molecules with significantly improved efficiencies, particularly for those molecules with carboxylic acid residues that are known to have low isocyanate reactivity. We fabricated microarrays of 3375 bioactive compounds on isocyanate functionalized glass slides under these optimized conditions and confirmed that immobilization percentage is over 73%. PMID:26999137

  3. PAH/DAS covalently cross-linked layer-by-layer multilayers: a "nano-net" superstratum immobilizes nanoparticles and remains permeable to small molecules.

    PubMed

    An, Qi; Nie, Kun; Zhang, Yihe; Wang, Yue; Hu, Yingmo; Dutschk, Victoria; Luan, Xinglong

    2015-09-14

    A "nano-net" superstratum strategy is developed to stabilize layer-by-layer (LbL) films that incorporate nanoparticles. The superstratum immobilizes silica, gold, or magnetic nanoparticles and at the same time is permeable to small molecules. Unlike most strategies to stabilize LbL multilayers reported in the literature, our strategy does not directly cross-link the nanoparticles and polymers in the adjacent layer, thus circumventing the tedious processes of (surface) modification of the nanoparticles or polymers. The unique advantage of our strategy is further employed in the preparation of a model functional device, where mesoporous silica nanoparticles are held in the composite multilayers with enhanced stabilities. A model drug, methylene blue, is then loaded in large amounts due to the porous structure of the silica particles, and could be released in a delayed manner up to 55 h. PMID:26235250

  4. 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

  5. Selective dielectrophoretic manipulation of surface-immobilized DNA molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    André Germishuizen, W.; Wälti, Christoph; Wirtz, René; Johnston, Michael B.; Pepper, Michael; Davies, A. Giles; Middelberg, Anton P. J.

    2003-08-01

    The fabrication of nanoscale molecular devices is becoming increasingly important and research into their fabrication has intensified over the last few years. In particular, the attachment of molecular objects onto various surfaces has attracted considerable attention. Here, we report a multistep surface immobilization procedure, which allows the specific and controlled attachment of very long DNA molecules onto gold electrodes. Further, we report the effect of dielectrophoresis on these surface-bound DNA molecules with respect to amplitude and frequency, and we show that selected surface-immobilized DNA molecules can be manipulated by dielectrophoresis. Finally, we investigated the use of dielectrophoresis in conjunction with the multistep surface immobilization of fluorescently labelled, surface-bound lambda-DNA in a basic data-storage device.

  6. The immobilization of DNA molecules to electrodes in confined channels at physiological pH

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dukkipati, V. R.; Pang, S. W.

    2008-11-01

    Large numbers of DNA molecules are immobilized to electrodes at the physiological pH of 8.0, and the length of the immobilized DNA molecules is controlled using an ac voltage. Efficient DNA immobilization at physiological pH has been demonstrated by integrating electrodes in confined channels 500 nm wide and 100 nm deep. The low volume of the channels allows large numbers of DNA molecules to access the electrode surfaces, leading to efficient immobilization.

  7. Detection and classification of related lipopolysaccharides via a small array of immobilized antimicrobial peptides.

    PubMed

    Uzarski, Joshua R; Mello, Charlene M

    2012-09-01

    A small array of antimicrobial peptides comprising three cysteine-terminated natural sequences covalently immobilized to pendant surface maleimide groups are used to bind and successfully discriminate five types of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) molecules. Using surface plasmon resonance, LPSs isolated from four strains of Escherichia coli and one strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa yield distinct binding profiles to the three immobilized peptides. Linear discriminant analysis generated 100% training set and 80% validation set classification success for the 40 samples evaluated. This work demonstrates the discriminatory binding capabilities of immobilized antimicrobial peptides toward LPS molecules and alludes to their use as probes in pathogen sensing devices potentially superior to the current state-of-the-art. PMID:22881053

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Strength of interactions between immobilized dye molecules and sol-gel matrices.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Fanya; Schoenleber, Monika; Mansour, Rolan; Bastani, Behnam; Fielden, Peter; Goddard, Nicholas J

    2011-02-21

    In this paper we present a new theory to re-examine the immobilization technique of dye doped sol-gel films, define the strength and types of possible bonds between the immobilized molecule and sol-gel glass, and show that the immobilized molecule is not free inside the pores as was previously thought. Immobilizing three different pH sensitive dyes with different size and functional groups inside the same sol-gel films revealed important information about the nature of the interaction between the doped molecule and the sol-gel matrix. The samples were characterized by means of ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer (UV-VIS), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), mercury porosimetry (MP), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((29)Si NMR) and field-emission environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM-FEG). It was found that the doped molecule itself has a great effect on the strength and types of the bonds. A number of factors were identified, such as number and types of the functional groups, overall charge, size, pK(a) and number of the silanol groups which surround the immobilized molecule. These results were confirmed by the successful immobilization of bromocresol green (BCG) after a completely polymerized sol-gel was made. The sol-gel consisted of 50% tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and 50% methyltriethoxysilane (MTEOS) (w/w). Moreover, the effect of the immobilized molecule on the structure of the sol-gel was studied by means of a leaky waveguide (LW) mode for doped films made before and after polymerization of the sol-gel. PMID:21120245

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Surface-immobilization of molecules for detection of chemical warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Bhowmick, Indrani; Neelam

    2014-09-01

    Fabrication of nanoscale molecular assemblies with advanced functionalities is an emerging field. These systems provide new perspectives for the detection and degradation of chemical warfare agents (CWAs). The main concern in this context is the design and fabrication of "smart surfaces" able to immobilize functional molecules which can perform a certain function or under the input of external stimuli. This review addresses the above points dealing with immobilization of various molecules on different substrates and describes their adequacy as sensors for the detection of CWAs. PMID:24998209

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. - 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Dextran hydrogel coated surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) sensor for sensitive and label-free detection of small molecule drugs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shaopeng; Yang, Mo; Zhou, Wenfei; Johnston, Trevor G.; Wang, Rui; Zhu, Jinsong

    2015-11-01

    The label-free and sensitive detection of small molecule drugs on SPRi is still a challenging task, mainly due to the limited surface immobilization capacity of the sensor. In this research, a dextran hydrogel-coated gold sensor chip for SPRi was successfully fabricated via photo-cross-linking for enhanced surface immobilization capacity. The density of the dextran hydrogel was optimized for protein immobilization and sensitive small molecule detection. The protein immobilization capacity of the hydrogel was 10 times greater than a bare gold surface, and 20 times greater than an 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA) surface. Such a drastic improvement in immobilization capacity allowed the SPRi sensor to detect adequate response signals when probing small molecule binding events. The binding signal of 4 nM liquid-phase biotin to streptavidin immobilized on the dextran surface reached 435 RU, while no response was observed on bare gold or MUA surfaces. The dextran hydrogel-coated SPRi sensor was also applied in a kinetic study of the binding between an immunosuppressive drug (FK506) and its target protein (FKBP12) in a high-throughput microarray format. The measured binding affinity was shown to be consistent with reported literature values, and a detection limit of 0.5 nM was achieved.

  8. Hydrodynamic guiding for addressing subsets of immobilized cells and molecules in microfluidic systems

    PubMed Central

    Brevig, Thomas; Krühne, Ulrich; Kahn, Rachel A; Ahl, Thomas; Beyer, Michael; Pedersen, Lars H

    2003-01-01

    Background The interest in microfluidics and surface patterning is increasing as the use of these technologies in diverse biomedical applications is substantiated. Controlled molecular and cellular surface patterning is a costly and time-consuming process. Methods for keeping multiple separate experimental conditions on a patterned area are, therefore, needed to amplify the amount of biological information that can be retrieved from a patterned surface area. We describe, in three examples of biomedical applications, how this can be achieved in an open microfluidic system, by hydrodynamically guiding sample fluid over biological molecules and living cells immobilized on a surface. Results A microfluidic format of a standard assay for cell-membrane integrity showed a fast and dose-dependent toxicity of saponin on mammalian cells. A model of the interactions of human mononuclear leukocytes and endothelial cells was established. By contrast to static adhesion assays, cell-cell adhesion in this dynamic model depended on cytokine-mediated activation of both endothelial and blood cells. The microfluidic system allowed the use of unprocessed blood as sample material, and a specific and fast immunoassay for measuring the concentration of C-reactive protein in whole blood was demonstrated. Conclusion The use of hydrodynamic guiding made multiple and dynamic experimental conditions on a small surface area possible. The ability to change the direction of flow and produce two-dimensional grids can increase the number of reactions per surface area even further. The described microfluidic system is widely applicable, and can take advantage of surfaces produced by current and future techniques for patterning in the micro- and nanometer scale. PMID:12875662

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Thiol-based, site-specific and covalent immobilization of biomolecules for single-molecule experiments.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Julia L; Nicolaus, Thomas; Neuert, Gregor; Blank, Kerstin

    2010-06-01

    The success of single-molecule (SM) experiments critically depends on the functional immobilization of the biomolecule(s) to be studied. With the continuing trend of combining SM fluorescence with SM force experiments, methods are required that are suitable for both types of measurements. We describe a general protocol for the site-specific and covalent coupling of any type of biomolecule that can be prepared with a free thiol group. The protocol uses a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) spacer, which carries an N-hydroxy succinimide (NHS) group on one end and a maleimide group on the other. After reacting the NHS group with an amino-functionalized surface, the relatively stable but highly reactive maleimide group allows the coupling of the biomolecule. This protocol provides surfaces with low fluorescence background, low nonspecific binding and a large number of reactive sites. Surfaces containing immobilized biomolecules can be obtained within 6 h. PMID:20448543

  12. Immobilization of biorecognition molecules on O2 plasma-functionalized SWCNT electrodes for biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Joon-Hyung; Kim, Joon Hyub; Lee, Jun-Yong; Min, Nam Ki

    2012-11-01

    Biointerfaces capable of biological recognition and specificity are very important for the development of carbon nanotube based biosensors. Here, we explore experimentally the effects of O2 plasma treatment on the biomolecule immobilization properties of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) electrodes for electrochemical biosensing. The SWCNT film was integrated into an electrochemical three-electrode system on a glass substrate and then treated with an O2 plasma to improve its electrochemical response. Glucose oxidases, antibodies, and deoxyribonucleic acids (DNAs) were covalently immobilized on the plasma-functionalized (pf) SWCNT working electrodes, and the electrochemical and bioelectrocatalytic properties of three biomolecular assemblies generated on the pf-SWCNT electrodes were investigated using cyclic voltammetry, square-wave voltammetry, and chronoamperometry. The pf-SWCNT films were found to provide electrochemical biosensing electrodes having high electroactivity and sensitivity for detecting glucoses, antigens, and DNA molecules.

  13. 4 °C preparation of ferrite nanoparticles having protein molecules immobilized on their surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimura, K.; Hasegawa, M.; Ogura, Y.; Nishi, T.; Kataoka, K.; Handa, H.; Abe, M.

    2002-05-01

    Trypsin, a proteolytic enzyme or a protein, was immobilized onto the surfaces of ferrite (a Fe3O4-γFe2O3 mixed solution) fine particles, ˜8 nm in size, during the process in which the particles were synthesized from an aqueous solution. The process was performed in the open air at a temperature as low as 4 °C and on near-neutral condition of pH⩽9, which is compatible with most of the bioactive molecules as well as trypsin. Therefore this technique is advantageous for preparing magnetite particles having biomolecules immobilized on their surfaces, which will be used for biomedical applications utilizing magnetic separation technique.

  14. Thermodynamics of association to a molecule immobilized in an electric double layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vainrub, Arnold; Pettitt, B. Montgomery

    2000-06-01

    A thermodynamic theory of association to a molecule immobilized near a surface has been developed. Exact equations for the binding enthalpy, entropy and equilibrium reaction constant for an immobilized complex are derived. Using linear Poisson-Boltzmann theory of the electric double-layer interaction between an ion-penetrable sphere and a hard plate allows a closed form evaluation. We briefly discuss application of the theory to a DNA chip at high (1 M NaCl) and low (0.01 M NaCl) ionic strength for dielectric and metallic substrates. Predicted strong electrostatic effects suggest the feasibility of electronic control of DNA hybridization and design of chips avoiding the DNA folding problem.

  15. Thermodynamics of Association to a Molecule Immobilized in an Electric Double Layer

    SciTech Connect

    Vainrub, Arnold; Pettitt, Bernard M.

    2000-08-09

    A thermodynamic theory of association to a molecule immobilized near a surface has been developed. Exact equations for the binding enthalpy, entropy and equilibrium reaction constant for an immobilized complex are derived. Using linear Poisson?Boltzmann theory of the electric double-layer interaction between an ion-penetrable sphere and a hard plate allows a closed form evaluation. We briefly discuss application of the theory to a DNA chip at high 1 M NaCl and low 0.01 M. NaCl ionic strength for dielectric and metallic substrates. Predicted strong electrostatic effects suggest the feasibility of electronic control of DNA hybridization and design of chips avoiding the DNA folding problem

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Evidence for a radical relay mechanism during reaction of surface-immobilized molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Buchanan, A.C. III; Britt, P.F.; Thomas, K.B.; Biggs, C.A.

    1996-03-06

    The impact of restricted mass transport on high-temperature, free-radical reactions has been explored through the use of organic compounds immobilized on silica surfaces by a thermally robust Si-O-C{sub aromatic} linkage. The rate of thermolysis of surface-immobilized 1,3-diphenylpropane(=DPP) at 375{degree}C under vacuum, by a free-radical chain pathway, was found to be very sensitive (factor of 40 variation) to the structure and orientation of a second, neighboring spacer molecule on the surface. Compared with the inert aromatic spacers, (e.g., biphenyl) it was found that spacer molecules containing reactive benzylic C-H bonds (e.g., diphenylmethane) are capable of accelerating the =DPP thermolysis by a process that is unique to diffusionally constrained systems. A mechanism involving rapid serial hydrogen transfer steps on the surface is proposed, which results in radical intermediates being relayed across the surface and hence overcoming classical diffusional limitations. 33 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  1. 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

  2. Chemical immobilization of felids, ursids, and small ungulates.

    PubMed

    Morris, P J

    2001-01-01

    Private ownership of wild animals is on the rise. With the advent of potent new sedative agents, many practitioners now receiving these cases have the means to increase the safety and effectiveness of chemical immobilization in many wildlife species. Chemical immobilization is actually the induction of anesthesia. In many cases, induction alone suffices to achieve some management or medical goal, whereas in other cases, maintenance anesthesia is required. One quickly realizes that once these species are induced, maintenance anesthesia is often familiar, based on experiences with domestic animals that bear close similarity to the species discussed in this chapter. Induction and recovery of wild animals requires special attention to details to prevent "fight or flight" responses from marring the success of a sedation procedure. Although potent novel drugs allow veterinarians to expand their practice horizons, it is vital to evaluate legal and safety issues thoroughly before engaging in the care of wildlife species on a regular basis. PMID:11217464

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. An aptameric graphene nanosensor for label-free detection of small-molecule biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Cheng; Kim, Jinho; Zhu, Yibo; Yang, Jaeyoung; Lee, Gwan-Hyoung; Lee, Sunwoo; Yu, Jaeeun; Pei, Renjun; Liu, Guohua; Nuckolls, Colin; Hone, James; Lin, Qiao

    2015-09-15

    This paper presents an aptameric graphene nanosensor for detection of small-molecule biomarkers. To address difficulties in direct detection of small molecules associated with their low molecular weight and electrical charge, we incorporate an aptamer-based competitive affinity assay in a graphene field effect transistor (FET), and demonstrate the utility of the nanosensor with dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), a small-molecule steroid hormone, as the target analyte. In the competitive affinity assay, DHEA-S specifically binds to aptamer molecules pre-hybridized to their complementary DNA anchor molecules immobilized on the graphene surface. This results in the competitive release of the strongly charged aptamer from the DNA anchor and hence a change in electrical properties of the graphene, which can be measured to achieve the detection of DHEA-S. We present experimental data on the label-free, specific and quantitative detection of DHEA-S at clinically appropriate concentrations with an estimated detection limit of 44.7 nM, and analyze the trend observed in the experiments using molecular binding kinetics theory. These results demonstrate the potential of our nanosensor in the detection of DHEA-S and other small molecules in biomedical applications. PMID:25912678

  6. 3D-Printed Small-Animal Immobilizer for Use in Preclinical Radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    McCarroll, Rachel E; Rubinstein, Ashley E; Kingsley, Charles V; Yang, Jinzhong; Yang, Peiying; Court, Laurence E

    2015-01-01

    We have designed a method for immobilizing the subjects of small-animal studies using a study group–specific 3D-printed immobilizer that significantly reduces interfraction rotational variation. A cone-beam CT scan acquired from a single specimen in a study group was used to create a 3D-printed immobilizer that can be used for all specimens in the same study group. 3D printing allows for the incorporation of study-specific features into the immobilizer design, including geometries suitable for use in MR and CT scanners, holders for fiducial markers, and anesthesia nose cones of various sizes. Using metrics of rotational setup variations, we compared the current setup in our small-animal irradiation system, a half-pipe bed, with the 3D-printed device. We also assessed translational displacement within the immobilizer. The printed design significantly reduced setup variation, with average reductions in rotational displacement of 76% ± 3% (1.57 to 0.37°) in pitch, 78% ± 3% (1.85 to 0.41°) in yaw, and 87% ± 3% (5.39 to 0.70°) in roll. Translational displacement within the printed immobilizer was less than 1.5 ± 0.3 mm. This method of immobilization allows for repeatable setup when using MR or CT scans for the purpose of radiotherapy, streamlines the workflow, and places little burden on the study subjects. PMID:26424253

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Detection of Protein–Small Molecule Binding Using a Self-Referencing External Cavity Laser Biosensor

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput screening has enabled the identification of small molecule modulators of important drug targets via well-established colorimetric or fluorimetric activity assays. However, existing methods to identify small molecule binders of nonenzymatic protein targets lack either the simplicity (e.g., require labeling one of the binding partners with a reporter) or throughput inherent in enzymatic assays widely used for HTS. Thus, there is intense interest in the development of high-throughput technologies for label-free detection of protein–small molecule interactions. Here we describe a novel self-referencing external cavity laser (ECL) biosensor approach that achieves high resolution and high sensitivity, while eliminating thermal noise with subpicometer wavelength accuracy. Using the self-referencing ECL biosensor, we demonstrate detection of binding between small molecules and a variety of immobilized protein targets, pairs that have binding affinities or inhibition constants ranging from subnanomolar to low micromolar. Finally, a “needle-in-the-haystack” screen for inhibitors against carbonic anhydrase isozyme II is performed, in which known inhibitors are clearly differentiated from inactive molecules within a compound library. PMID:24720510

  12. Detection of protein-small molecule binding using a self-referencing external cavity laser biosensor.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Meng; Peh, Jessie; Hergenrother, Paul J; Cunningham, Brian T

    2014-04-23

    High-throughput screening has enabled the identification of small molecule modulators of important drug targets via well-established colorimetric or fluorimetric activity assays. However, existing methods to identify small molecule binders of nonenzymatic protein targets lack either the simplicity (e.g., require labeling one of the binding partners with a reporter) or throughput inherent in enzymatic assays widely used for HTS. Thus, there is intense interest in the development of high-throughput technologies for label-free detection of protein-small molecule interactions. Here we describe a novel self-referencing external cavity laser (ECL) biosensor approach that achieves high resolution and high sensitivity, while eliminating thermal noise with subpicometer wavelength accuracy. Using the self-referencing ECL biosensor, we demonstrate detection of binding between small molecules and a variety of immobilized protein targets, pairs that have binding affinities or inhibition constants ranging from subnanomolar to low micromolar. Finally, a "needle-in-the-haystack" screen for inhibitors against carbonic anhydrase isozyme II is performed, in which known inhibitors are clearly differentiated from inactive molecules within a compound library. PMID:24720510

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Interaction of small molecules with fungal laccase: A Surface Plasmon Resonance based study.

    PubMed

    Surwase, Swati V; Patil, Sushama A; Srinivas, Sistla; Jadhav, Jyoti P

    2016-01-01

    Laccases have a great potential for use in industrial and biotechnological applications. It has affinity towards phenolics and finds major applications in the field of bioremediation. Here, Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) as a biosensor with immobilized laccase on chip surface has been studied. Laccase was immobilized by thiol coupling method and compounds containing increasing number of hydroxyl groups were analyzed for their binding affinity at various concentrations in millimolar range. The small molecules like phloroglucinol (1.532×10(-8) M), crocin (3.204×10(-3) M), ascorbic acid (8.331×10(-8) M), kojic acid (6.411×10(-7) M) and saffron (3.466×10(-7) M) were studied and respective KD values are obtained. The results were also confirmed by inhibition assay and IC50 values were calculated. All these molecules showed different affinity towards laccase in terms of KD values. This method may be useful for preliminary screening and characterization of small molecules as laccase substrates, inhibitors or modulators of activity. This method will be useful for rapid screening of phenolics in waste water because of high sensitivity. PMID:26672456

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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)…

  1. 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

  2. Blu-ray based optomagnetic aptasensor for detection of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jaeyoung; Donolato, Marco; Pinto, Alessandro; Bosco, Filippo Giacomo; Hwu, En-Te; Chen, Ching-Hsiu; Alstrøm, Tommy Sonne; Lee, Gwan-Hyoung; Schäfer, Thomas; Vavassori, Paolo; Boisen, Anja; Lin, Qiao; Hansen, Mikkel Fougt

    2016-01-15

    This paper describes an aptamer-based optomagnetic biosensor for detection of a small molecule based on target binding-induced inhibition of magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) clustering. For the detection of a target small molecule, two mutually exclusive binding reactions (aptamer-target binding and aptamer-DNA linker hybridization) are designed. An aptamer specific to the target and a DNA linker complementary to a part of the aptamer sequence are immobilized onto separate MNPs. Hybridization of the DNA linker and the aptamer induces formation of MNP clusters. The target-to-aptamer binding on MNPs prior to the addition of linker-functionalized MNPs significantly hinders the hybridization reaction, thus reducing the degree of MNP clustering. The clustering state, which is thus related to the target concentration, is then quantitatively determined by an optomagnetic readout technique that provides the hydrodynamic size distribution of MNPs and their clusters. A commercial Blu-ray optical pickup unit is used for optical signal acquisition, which enables the establishment of a low-cost and miniaturized biosensing platform. Experimental results show that the degree of MNP clustering correlates well with the concentration of a target small molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in this work, in the range between 10µM and 10mM. This successful proof-of-concept indicates that our optomagnetic aptasensor can be further developed as a low-cost biosensing platform for detection of small molecule biomarkers in an out-of-lab setting. PMID:26342583

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Single Molecule FRET of Protein-Nucleic Acid and Protein-Protein complexes: Surface Passivation and Immobilization

    PubMed Central

    Lamichhane, Rajan; Solem, Amanda; Black, Will; Rueda, David

    2010-01-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy reveals the real time dynamics that occur during biomolecular interactions that would otherwise be hidden by the ensemble average. It also removes the requirement to synchronize reactions, thus providing a very intuitive approach to study kinetics of biological systems. Surface immobilization is commonly used to increase observation times to the minute time scale, but it can be detrimental if the sample interacts non-specifically with the surface. Here, we review detailed protocols to prevent such interactions by passivating the surface or by trapping the molecules inside surface immobilized lipid vesicles. Finally, we discuss recent examples where these methods were applied to study the dynamics of important cellular processes at the single molecule level. PMID:20554047

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Native Serotonin Membrane Receptors Recognize 5-Hydroxytryptophan-Functionalized Substrates: Enabling Small-Molecule Recognition

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Recognition of small diffusible molecules by large biomolecules is ubiquitous in biology. To investigate these interactions, it is important to be able to immobilize small ligands on substrates; however, preserving recognition by biomolecule-binding partners under these circumstances is challenging. We have developed methods to modify substrates with serotonin, a small-molecule neurotransmitter important in brain function and psychiatric disorders. To mimic soluble serotonin, we attached its amino acid precursor, 5-hydroxytryptophan, via the ancillary carboxyl group to oligo(ethylene glycol)-terminated alkanethiols self-assembled on gold. Anti-5-hydroxytryptophan antibodies recognize these substrates, demonstrating bioavailability. Interestingly, 5-hydroxytryptophan-functionalized surfaces capture membrane-associated serotonin receptors enantiospecifically. By contrast, surfaces functionalized with serotonin itself fail to bind serotonin receptors. We infer that recognition by biomolecules evolved to distinguish small-molecule ligands in solution requires tethering of the latter via ectopic moieties. Membrane proteins, which are notoriously difficult to isolate, or other binding partners can be captured for identification, mapping, expression, and other purposes using this generalizable approach. PMID:22778841

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yanting

    Small organic molecules, including small molecule based fluorescent probes, small molecule based drugs or prodrugs, and smart multifunctional fluorescent drug delivery systems play important roles in biological research, drug discovery, and clinical practices. Despite the significant progress made in these fields, the development of novel and diverse small molecules is needed to meet various demands for research and clinical applications. My Ph.D study focuses on the development of novel functional molecules for recognition, imaging and drug release. In the first part, a turn-on fluorescent probe is developed for the detection of intracellular adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) levels based on multiplexing recognitions. Considering the unique and complicated structure of ATP molecules, a fluorescent probe has been implemented with improved sensitivity and selectivity due to two synergistic binding recognitions by incorporating of 2, 2'-dipicolylamine (Dpa)-Zn(II) for targeting of phospho anions and phenylboronic acid group for cis-diol moiety. The novel probe is able to detect intracellular ATP levels in SH-SY5Y cells. Meanwhile, the advantages of multiplexing recognition design concept have been demonstrated using two control molecules. In the second part, a prodrug system is developed to deliver multiple drugs within one small molecule entity. The prodrug is designed by using 1-(2-nitrophenyl)ethyl (NPE) as phototrigger, and biphenol biquaternary ammonium as the prodrug. With controlled photo activation, both DNA cross-linking agents mechlorethamine and o-quinone methide are delivered and released at the preferred site, leading to efficient DNA cross-links formation and cell death. The prodrug shows negligible cytotoxicity towards normal skin cells (Hekn cells) with and without UV activation, but displays potent activity towards cancer cells (HeLa cells) upon UV activation. The multiple drug release system may hold a great potential for practical application. In the

  5. ELAKCA: Enzyme-Linked Aptamer Kissing Complex Assay as a Small Molecule Sensing Platform.

    PubMed

    Chovelon, Benoit; Durand, Guillaume; Dausse, Eric; Toulmé, Jean-Jacques; Faure, Patrice; Peyrin, Eric; Ravelet, Corinne

    2016-03-01

    We report herein a novel sandwich-type enzyme-linked assay for the "signal-on" colorimetric detection of small molecules. The approach (referred to as enzyme-linked aptamer kissing complex assay (ELAKCA)) relied on the kissing complex-based recognition of the target-bound hairpin aptamer conformational state by a specific RNA hairpin probe. The aptamer was covalently immobilized on a microplate well surface to act as target capture element. Upon small analyte addition, the folded aptamer was able to bind to the biotinylated RNA hairpin module through loop-loop interaction. The formed ternary complex was then revealed by the introduction of the streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase conjugate that catalytically converted the 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine substrate into a colorimetric product. ELAKCA was successfully designed for two different systems allowing detecting the adenosine and theophylline molecules. The potential practical applicability in terms of biological sample analysis (human plasma), temporal stability, and reusability was also reported. Owing to the variety of both hairpin functional nucleic acids, kissing motifs, and enzyme-based signaling systems, ELAKCA opens up new prospects for developing small molecule sensing platforms of wide applications. PMID:26832823

  6. 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

  7. Metal-organic frameworks with functional pores for recognition of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Chen, Banglin; Xiang, Shengchang; Qian, Guodong

    2010-08-17

    strong interactions between open metal sites within porous MOFs and gas molecules such as hydrogen and acetylene, we have developed several MOF materials with extraordinary acetylene storage capacity at room temperature. We have also immobilized Lewis acidic and basic sites into luminescent porous MOFs to recognize and sense neutral and ionic species. Using the strategy to systematically immobilize different open metal sites within porous MOFs from the metalloligand precursors, we have developed the first microporous mixed-metal-organic framework (M'MOF) with enhanced affinity for hydrogen molecules, which successfully separated D(2) from H(2) using kinetic isotope quantum molecular sieving. Because we can functionalize the pores to direct their specific recognition of small molecules, the emerging porous MOFs serve as novel functional materials for gas storage, separation, heterogeneous catalysis, and sensing. PMID:20450174

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Electrochemical immobilization of Fluorescent labelled probe molecules on a FTO surface for affinity detection based on photo-excited current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haruyama, Tetsuya; Wakabayashi, Ryo; Cho, Takeshi; Matsuyama, Sho-taro

    2011-10-01

    Photo-excited current can be generated at a molecular interface between a photo-excited molecules and a semi-conductive material in appropriate condition. The system has been recognized for promoting photo-energy devices such as an organic dye sensitized solar-cell. The photo-current generated reactions are totally dependent on the interfacial energy reactions, which are in a highly fluctuated interfacial environment. The authors investigated the photo-excited current reaction to develop a smart affinity detection method. However, in order to perform both an affinity reaction and a photo-excited current reaction at a molecular interface, ordered fabrications of the functional (affinity, photo-excitation, etc.) molecules layer on a semi-conductive surface is required. In the present research, we would like to present the fabrication and functional performance of photo-excited current-based affinity assay device and its application for detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals. On the FTO surface, fluorescent pigment labelled affinity peptide was immobilized through the EC tag (electrochemical-tag) method. The modified FTO produced a current when it was irradiated with diode laser light. However, the photo current decreased drastically when estrogen (ES) coexisted in the reaction solution. In this case, immobilized affinity probe molecules formed a complex with ES and estrogen receptor (ER). The result strongly suggests that the photo-excited current transduction between probe molecule-labelled cyanine pigment and the FTO surface was partly inhibited by a complex that formed at the affinity oligo-peptide region in a probe molecule on the FTO electrode. The bound bulky complex may act as an impediment to perform smooth transduction of photo-excited current in the molecular interface. The present system is new type of photo-reaction-based analysis. This system can be used to perform simple high-sensitive homogeneous assays.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Universal quantum dot-based sandwich-like immunoassay strategy for rapid and ultrasensitive detection of small molecules using portable and reusable optofluidic nano-biosensing platform.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Liping; Zhu, Anna; Lou, Xuening; Song, Dan; Yang, Rong; Shi, Hanchang; Long, Feng

    2016-01-28

    A universal sandwich-like immunoassay strategy based on quantum-dots immunoprobe (QD-labeled anti-mouse IgG antibody) was developed for rapid and ultrasensitive detection of small molecules. A portable and reusable optofluidic nano-biosensing platform was applied to investigate the sandwich-like immunoassay mechanism and format of small molecules, as well as the binding kinetics between QD immunoprobe and anti-small molecule antibody. A two-step immunoassay method that involves pre-incubation mixture of different concentration of small molecule and anti-small molecule antibody, and subsequent introduction of QD immunoprobe into the optofluidic cell was conducted for small molecule determination. Compared with the one-step immunoassay method, the two-step immunoassay method can obtain higher fluorescence signal and higher sensitivity index, thus improving the nano-biosensing performance. Based on the proposed strategy, two mode targets, namely, microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and Bisphenol A (BPA) were tested with high sensitivity, rapidity, and ease of use. A higher concentration of small molecules in the sample led to less anti-small molecule antibody bound with antigen-carrier protein conjugate immobilized onto the sensor surface, and less QD immunoprobes bound with anti-small molecule antibody. This phenomenon lowered the fluorescence signal detected by nano-biosensing platform. Under optimal operating conditions, MC-LR and BPA exhibited a limit of detection of 0.003 and 0.04 μg/L, respectively. The LODs were better than those of the indirect competitive immunoassay method for small molecules via Cy5.5-labeled anti-small molecule antibody. The proposed QD-based sandwich-like immunoassay strategy was evaluated in spiked water samples, and showed good recovery, precision and accuracy without complicated sample pretreatments. All these results demonstrate that the new detection strategy could be readily applied to the other trace small molecules in real water samples

  2. On-bead antibody-small molecule conjugation using high-capacity magnetic beads.

    PubMed

    Nath, Nidhi; Godat, Becky; Benink, Hélène; Urh, Marjeta

    2015-11-01

    Antibodies labeled with small molecules such as fluorophore, biotin or drugs play an important role in various areas of biological research, drug discovery and diagnostics. However, the majority of current methods for labeling antibodies is solution-based and has several limitations including the need for purified antibodies at high concentrations and multiple buffer exchange steps. In this study, a method (on-bead conjugation) is described that addresses these limitations by combining antibody purification and conjugation in a single workflow. This method uses high capacity-magnetic Protein A or Protein G beads to capture antibodies directly from cell media followed by conjugation with small molecules and elution of conjugated antibodies from the beads. High-capacity magnetic antibody capture beads are key to this method and were developed by combining porous and hydrophilic cellulose beads with oriented immobilization of Protein A and Protein G using HaloTag technology. With a variety of fluorophores it is shown that the on-bead conjugation method is compatible with both thiol- and amine-based chemistry. This method enables simple and rapid processing of multiple samples in parallel with high-efficiency antibody recovery. It is further shown that recovered antibodies are functional and compatible with downstream applications. PMID:26316179

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Screening of the Binding of Small Molecules to Proteins by Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Combined with Protein Microarray

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Chenxi; Wang, Tao; Zhang, Buqing; He, Dacheng; Na, Na; Ouyang, Jin

    2015-11-01

    The interaction between bioactive small molecule ligands and proteins is one of the important research areas in proteomics. Herein, a simple and rapid method is established to screen small ligands that bind to proteins. We designed an agarose slide to immobilize different proteins. The protein microarrays were allowed to interact with different small ligands, and after washing, the microarrays were screened by desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI MS). This method can be applied to screen specific protein binding ligands and was shown for seven proteins and 34 known ligands for these proteins. In addition, a high-throughput screening was achieved, with the analysis requiring approximately 4 s for one sample spot. We then applied this method to determine the binding between the important protein matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and 88 small compounds. The molecular docking results confirmed the MS results, demonstrating that this method is suitable for the rapid and accurate screening of ligands binding to proteins.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Small-angle neutron scattering from polymer hydrogels with memory effect for medicine immobilization

    SciTech Connect

    Kulvelis, Yu. V. Lebedev, V. T.; Trunov, V. A.; Pavlyuchenko, V. N.; Ivanchev, S. S.; Primachenko, O. N.; Khaikin, S. Ya.

    2011-12-15

    Hydrogels synthesized based on cross-linked copolymers of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate and functional monomers (acrylic acid or dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate), having a memory effect with respect to target medicine (cefazolin), have been investigated by small-angle neutron scattering. The hydrogels are found to have a two-level structural organization: large (up to 100 nm) aggregates filled with network cells (4-7 nm in size). The structural differences in the anionic, cationic, and amphiphilic hydrogels and the relationship between their structure and the ability of hydrogels to absorb moisture are shown. A relationship between the memory effect during cefazolin immobilization and the internal structure of hydrogels, depending on their composition and type of functional groups, is established.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Small molecule inhibitors of HCV replication from Pomegranate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  3. Construction of DNA Hemicatenanes from Two Small Circular DNA Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Gaillard, Claire; Strauss, François

    2015-01-01

    DNA hemicatenanes, one of the simplest possible junctions between two double stranded DNA molecules, have frequently been mentioned in the literature for their possible function in DNA replication, recombination, repair, and organization in chromosomes. They have been little studied experimentally, however, due to the lack of an appropriate method for their preparation. Here we have designed a method to build hemicatenanes from two small circular DNA molecules. The method involves, first, the assembly of two linear single strands and their circularization to form a catenane of two single stranded circles, and, second, the addition and base-pairing of the two single stranded circles complementary to the first ones, followed by their annealing using DNA topoisomerase I. The product was purified by gel electrophoresis and characterized. The arrangement of strands was as expected for a hemicatenane and clearly distinct from a full catenane. In addition, each circle was unwound by an average of half a double helical turn, also in excellent agreement with the structure of a hemicatenane. It was also observed that hemicatenanes are quickly destabilized by a single cut on either of the two strands passing inside the junction, strongly suggesting that DNA strands are able to slide easily inside the hemicatenane. This method should make it possible to study the biochemical properties of hemicatenanes and to test some of the hypotheses that have been proposed about their function, including a possible role for this structure in the organization of complex genomes in loops and chromosomal domains. PMID:25799010

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    The current predominant theapeutic 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

  5. Shape shifting leads to small molecule allosteric drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Sarah H.; Ramirez, Ursula D.; Tang, Lei; Fazliyev, Farit; Kundrat, Lenka; Markham, George D.; Jaffe, Eileen K.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Enzymes that regulate their activity by modulating an equilibrium of alternate, non-additive, functionally distinct oligomeric assemblies (morpheeins) define a novel mode of allostery (Jaffe, TiBS 30:490-7, 2005). The oligomeric equilibrium for porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS) consists of high-activity octamers, low-activity hexamers, and two dimer conformations. A phylogenetically diverse allosteric site specific to hexamers is proposed as an inhibitor binding site. Inhibitor binding is predicted to draw the oligomeric equilibrium toward the low-activity hexamer. In silico docking enriched a selection from a small molecule library for compounds predicted to bind to this allosteric site. In vitro testing of selected compounds identified one compound whose inhibition mechanism is species-specific conversion of PBGS octamers to hexamers. We propose that this novel strategy for inhibitor discovery can be applied to other proteins that use the morpheein model for allosteric regulation. PMID:18559269

  6. Small-molecule modulators of PXR and CAR.

    PubMed

    Chai, Sergio C; Cherian, Milu T; Wang, Yue-Ming; Chen, Taosheng

    2016-09-01

    Two nuclear receptors, the pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), participate in the xenobiotic detoxification system by regulating the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters in order to degrade and excrete foreign chemicals or endogenous metabolites. This review aims to expand the perceived relevance of PXR and CAR beyond their established role as master xenosensors to disease-oriented areas, emphasizing their modulation by small molecules. Structural studies of these receptors have provided much-needed insight into the nature of their binding promiscuity and the important elements that lead to ligand binding. Reports of species- and isoform-selective activation highlight the need for further scrutiny when extrapolating from animal data to humans, as animal models are at the forefront of early drug discovery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Xenobiotic nuclear receptors: New Tricks for An Old Dog, edited by Dr. Wen Xie. PMID:26921498

  7. 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

  8. Probing the Probes: Fitness Factors For Small Molecule Tools

    PubMed Central

    Workman, Paul; Collins, Ian

    2010-01-01

    Chemical probes for interrogating biological processes are of considerable current interest. Cell permeable small molecule tools have a major role in facilitating the functional annotation of the human genome, understanding both physiological and pathological processes, and validating new molecular targets. To be valuable, chemical tools must satisfy necessary criteria and recent publications have suggested objective guidelines for what makes a useful chemical probe. Although recognizing that such guidelines may be valuable, we caution against overly restrictive rules that may stifle innovation in favor of a “fit-for-purpose” approach. Reviewing the literature and providing examples from the cancer field, we recommend a series of “fitness factors” to be considered when assessing chemical probes. We hope this will encourage innovative chemical biology research while minimizing the generation of poor quality and misleading biological data, thus increasing understanding of the particular biological area, to the benefit of basic research and drug discovery. PMID:20609406

  9. Identification and characterization of small-molecule inhibitors of hepsin

    PubMed Central

    Chevillet, John R.; Park, Gemma J.; Bedalov, Antonio; Simon, Julian A.; Vasioukhin, Valeri I.

    2009-01-01

    Hepsin is a type-II transmembrane serine protease overexpressed in the majority of human prostate cancers. We recently demonstrated that hepsin promotes prostate cancer progression and metastasis and thus represents a potential therapeutic target. Here we report the identification of novel small-molecule inhibitors of hepsin catalytic activity. We utilized purified human hepsin for high-throughput screening of established drug and chemical diversity libraries and identified sixteen inhibitory compounds with IC50 values against hepsin ranging from 0.23–2.31μM and relative selectivity of up to 86-fold or greater. Two compounds are orally administered drugs established for human use. Four compounds attenuated hepsin-dependent pericellular serine protease activity in a dose dependent manner with limited or no cytotoxicity to a range of cell types. These compounds may be used as leads to develop even more potent and specific inhibitors of hepsin to prevent prostate cancer progression and metastasis. PMID:18852137

  10. Coalescence during emulsification. 2. Role of small molecule surfactants.

    PubMed

    Lobo, Lloyd; Svereika, Aileen

    2003-05-15

    An oil-soluble hexadecyl pyrene (HDP) probe is used to monitor coalescence of hexadecane oil-in-water emulsions, during emulsification, in stirred systems and in a high-pressure homogenizer (microfluidizer), when small molecule surfactants are used as emulsifiers. The effect of sodium dodecyl sulfate concentration and salt concentration on the amount of coalescence and final drop size is studied. The behavior of oil-soluble surfactants and mixtures of oil-soluble and water-soluble surfactants on emulsification performance is also discussed. For high-pressure homogenizers, the drop sizes obtained are found to depend mostly on the ability of surfactants to stabilize the drops against coalescence, rather than their ability to reduce the interfacial tension. Increasing oil phase fractions increase the coalescence rate, because of the increase in collision frequency, which, in turn, impacts the drop size of the homogenized emulsion. PMID:16256561

  11. Small-Molecule-Based Lineage Reprogramming Creates Functional Astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Tian, E; Sun, Guoqiang; Sun, Guihua; Chao, Jianfei; Ye, Peng; Warden, Charles; Riggs, Arthur D; Shi, Yanhong

    2016-07-19

    Growing evidence indicates important roles for astrocytes in neurodevelopment and diseases. However, astrocytes and their roles in these processes remain poorly understood. Despite recent progress in reprogramming somatic cells into different types of neural cells, reprogramming to astrocytes has lagged. Here, we show that functional astrocytes can be generated from mammalian fibroblasts using only small molecules. Induced mouse astrocytes resemble primary astrocytes in astrocytic gene expression and epigenomic status and exhibit functional properties in promoting neuronal maturation, glutamate uptake, and calcium signaling. Moreover, these cells can recapitulate the Alexander disease phenotype of protein aggregation when expressing Gfap with a disease-causing mutation. The same compounds can also reprogram human fibroblasts into astroglial progenitor cells that can further mature into functional astrocytes. These chemically induced astrocytes may provide cellular models to uncover roles of astrocytes in normal neurodevelopment and pathogenesis of neurological diseases. PMID:27396343

  12. Targeting Gli Transcription Activation by Small Molecule Suppresses Tumor Growth

    PubMed Central

    Bosco-Clément, Geneviève; Zhang, Fang; Chen, Zhao; Zhou, Hai-Meng; Li, Hui; Mikami, Iwao; Hirata, Tomomi; Yagui-Beltran, Adam; Lui, Natalie; Do, Hanh T.; Cheng, Tiffany; Tseng, Hsin-Hui; Choi, Helen; Fang, Li-Tai; Kim, Il-Jin; Yue, Dongsheng; Wang, Changli; Zheng, Qingfeng; Fujii, Naoaki; Mann, Michael; Jablons, David M.; He, Biao

    2014-01-01

    Targeted inhibition of Hedgehog signaling at the cell membrane has been associated with anti-cancer activity in preclinical and early clinical studies. Hedgehog signaling involves activation of Gli transcription factors that can also be induced by alternative pathways. In this study we identified an interaction between Gli proteins and a transcription co-activator TAF9, and validated its functional relevance in regulating Gli transactivation. We also describe a novel, synthetic small molecule, FN1-8, that efficiently interferes with Gli/TAF9 interaction and down-regulate Gli/TAF9 dependent transcriptional activity. More importantly, FN1-8 suppresses cancer cell proliferation in vitro and inhibits tumor growth in vivo. Our results suggest that blocking Gli transactivation, a key control point of multiple oncogenic pathways, may be an effective anti-cancer strategy. PMID:23686308

  13. Detection of small molecules with a flow immunosensor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kusterbeck, Anne W.; Ligler, Frances S.

    1991-01-01

    We describe the development of an easy-to-use sensor with widespread applications for detecting small molecules. The flow immunosensor can analyze discrete samples in under one minute or continuously monitor a flowing stream for the presence of specific analytes. This detection system is extremely specific, and achieves a level of sensitivity which meets or exceeds the detection limits reported for rival assays. Because the system is also compact, transportable, and automated, it has the potential to impact diverse areas. For example, the flow immunosensor has successfully detected drugs of abuse and explosives, and may well address many of the needs of the environmental community with respect to continuous monitoring for pollutants. Efforts are underway to engineer a portable device in the field.

  14. Microbial Modulation of Host Immunity with the Small Molecule Phosphorylcholine

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Sarah E.

    2013-01-01

    All microorganisms dependent on persistence in a host for survival rely on either hiding from or modulating host responses to infection. The small molecule phosphorylcholine, or choline phosphate (ChoP), is used for both of these purposes by a wide array of bacterial and parasitic microbes. While the mechanisms underlying ChoP acquisition and expression are diverse, a unifying theme is the use of ChoP to reduce the immune response to infection, creating an advantage for ChoP-expressing microorganisms. In this minireview, we discuss several benefits of ChoP expression during infection as well as how the immune system fights back against ChoP-expressing pathogens. PMID:23230294

  15. Toward Reprogramming Bacteria with Small Molecules and RNA

    PubMed Central

    Gallivan, Justin P.

    2007-01-01

    Summary A major goal of synthetic biology is to reprogram bacteria to carry out complex tasks, such as synthesizing and delivering drugs, and seeking and destroying environmental pollutants. Advances in molecular biology and bacterial genetics have made it straightforward to modify, insert, or delete genes in many bacterial strains, and advances in gene synthesis have opened the door to replacing entire genomes. However, rewriting the underlying genetic code is only part of the challenge of reprogramming cellular behavior. A remaining challenge is to control how and when the modified genes are expressed. Several recent studies have highlighted how synthetic riboswitches, which are RNA sequences that undergo a ligand-induced conformational change to alter gene expression, can be used to reprogram how bacteria respond to small molecules. PMID:17967431

  16. Virtual screening in small molecule discovery for epigenetic targets.

    PubMed

    Li, Guo-Bo; Yang, Ling-Ling; Yuan, Yiming; Zou, Jun; Cao, Yu; Yang, Sheng-Yong; Xiang, Rong; Xiang, Mingli

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are critical mechanisms that regulate many biological processes and establish normal cellular phenotypes. Aberrant epigenetic modifications are frequently linked to the development and maintenance of several diseases including cancer, inflammation and metabolic diseases and so on. The key proteins that mediate epigenetic modifications have been thus recognized as potential therapeutic targets for these diseases. Consequently, discovery of small molecule inhibitors for epigenetic targets has received considerable attention in recent years. Here, virtual screening methods and their applications in the discovery of epigenetic target inhibitors are the focus of this review. Newly emerging approaches or strategies including rescoring methods, docking pose filtering methods, machine learning methods and 3D molecular similarity methods were also underlined. They are expected to be employed for identifying novel inhibitors targeting epigenetic regulation more efficiently. PMID:25462557

  17. Cytoprotective small molecule modulators of endoplasmic reticulum stress.

    PubMed

    Munshi, Soumyabrata; Dahl, Russell

    2016-06-01

    Cellular health depends on the normal function of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to fold, assemble, and modify critical proteins to maintain viability. When the ER cannot process proteins effectively, a condition known as ER stress ensues. When this stress is excessive or prolonged, cell death via apoptotic pathways is triggered. Interestingly, most major diseases have been shown to be intimately linked to ER stress, including diabetes, stroke, neurodegeneration, and many cancers. Thus, controlling ER stress presents a significant strategy for drug development for these diseases. The goal of this review is to present various small molecules that alleviate ER stress with the intention that they may serve as useful starting points for therapeutic agent development. PMID:27091069

  18. Toward reprogramming bacteria with small molecules and RNA.

    PubMed

    Gallivan, Justin P

    2007-12-01

    A major goal of synthetic biology is to reprogram bacteria to carry out complex tasks, such as synthesizing and delivering drugs, and seeking and destroying environmental pollutants. Advances in molecular biology and bacterial genetics have made it straightforward to modify, insert, or delete genes in many bacterial strains, and advances in gene synthesis have opened the door to replacing entire genomes. However, rewriting the underlying genetic code is only part of the challenge of reprogramming cellular behavior. A remaining challenge is to control how and when the modified genes are expressed. Several recent studies have highlighted how synthetic riboswitches, which are RNA sequences that undergo a ligand-induced conformational change to alter gene expression, can be used to reprogram how bacteria respond to small molecules. PMID:17967431

  19. Small Molecule Inhibitors Targeting Activator Protein 1 (AP-1)

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Activator protein 1 (AP-1) is a pivotal transcription factor that regulates a wide range of cellular processes including proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, survival, cell migration, and transformation. Accumulating evidence supports that AP-1 plays an important role in several severe disorders including cancer, fibrosis, and organ injury, as well as inflammatory disorders such as asthma, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. AP-1 has emerged as an actively pursued drug discovery target over the past decade. Excitingly, a selective AP-1 inhibitor T-5224 (51) has been investigated in phase II human clinical trials. Nevertheless, no effective AP-1 inhibitors have yet been approved for clinical use. Despite significant advances achieved in understanding AP-1 biology and function, as well as the identification of small molecules modulating AP-1 associated signaling pathways, medicinal chemistry efforts remain an urgent need to yield selective and efficacious AP-1 inhibitors as a viable therapeutic strategy for human diseases. PMID:24831826

  20. Development of a Unique Small Molecule Modulator of CXCR4

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Younghyoun; Lin, Songbai; Sasaki, Maiko; Klapproth, Jan-Michael A.; Yang, Hua; Grossniklaus, Hans E.; Xu, Jianguo; Rojas, Mauricio; Voll, Ronald J.; Goodman, Mark M.; Arrendale, Richard F.; Liu, Jin; Yun, C. Chris; Snyder, James P.; Liotta, Dennis C.; Shim, Hyunsuk

    2012-01-01

    Background Metastasis, the spread and growth of tumor cells to distant organ sites, represents the most devastating attribute and plays a major role in the morbidity and mortality of cancer. Inflammation is crucial for malignant tumor transformation and survival. Thus, blocking inflammation is expected to serve as an effective cancer treatment. Among anti-inflammation therapies, chemokine modulation is now beginning to emerge from the pipeline. CXC chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) and its ligand stromal cell-derived factor-1 (CXCL12) interaction and the resulting cell signaling cascade have emerged as highly relevant targets since they play pleiotropic roles in metastatic progression. The unique function of CXCR4 is to promote the homing of tumor cells to their microenvironment at the distant organ sites. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe the actions of N,N′-(1,4-phenylenebis(methylene))dipyrimidin-2-amine (designated MSX-122), a novel small molecule and partial CXCR4 antagonist with properties quite unlike that of any other reported CXCR4 antagonists, which was prepared in a single chemical step using a reductive amination reaction. Its specificity toward CXCR4 was tested in a binding affinity assay and a ligand competition assay using 18F-labeled MSX-122. The potency of the compound was determined in two functional assays, Matrigel invasion assay and cAMP modulation. The therapeutic potential of MSX-122 was evaluated in three different murine models for inflammation including an experimental colitis, carrageenan induced paw edema, and bleomycin induced lung fibrosis and three different animal models for metastasis including breast cancer micrometastasis in lung, head and neck cancer metastasis in lung, and uveal melanoma micrometastasis in liver in which CXCR4 was reported to play crucial roles. Conclusions/Significance We developed a novel small molecule, MSX-122, that is a partial CXCR4 antagonist without mobilizing stem cells, which can be safer for

  1. Advances in structure elucidation of small molecules using mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Fiehn, Oliver

    2010-01-01

    The structural elucidation of small molecules using mass spectrometry plays an important role in modern life sciences and bioanalytical approaches. This review covers different soft and hard ionization techniques and figures of merit for modern mass spectrometers, such as mass resolving power, mass accuracy, isotopic abundance accuracy, accurate mass multiple-stage MS(n) capability, as well as hybrid mass spectrometric and orthogonal chromatographic approaches. The latter part discusses mass spectral data handling strategies, which includes background and noise subtraction, adduct formation and detection, charge state determination, accurate mass measurements, elemental composition determinations, and complex data-dependent setups with ion maps and ion trees. The importance of mass spectral library search algorithms for tandem mass spectra and multiple-stage MS(n) mass spectra as well as mass spectral tree libraries that combine multiple-stage mass spectra are outlined. The successive chapter discusses mass spectral fragmentation pathways, biotransformation reactions and drug metabolism studies, the mass spectral simulation and generation of in silico mass spectra, expert systems for mass spectral interpretation, and the use of computational chemistry to explain gas-phase phenomena. A single chapter discusses data handling for hyphenated approaches including mass spectral deconvolution for clean mass spectra, cheminformatics approaches and structure retention relationships, and retention index predictions for gas and liquid chromatography. The last section reviews the current state of electronic data sharing of mass spectra and discusses the importance of software development for the advancement of structure elucidation of small molecules. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12566-010-0015-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:21289855

  2. 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

  3. Targeting Th17 Cells with Small Molecules and Small Interference RNA

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Hui; Song, Pingfang; Zhao, Yi; Xue, Li-Jia; Liu, Yi; Chu, Cong-Qiu

    2015-01-01

    T helper 17 (Th17) cells play a central role in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases via the production of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin- (IL-) 17, IL-17F, and IL-22. Anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibodies show potent efficacy in psoriasis but poor effect in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease. Alternative agents targeting Th17 cells may be a better way to inhibit the development and function of Th17 cells than antibodies of blocking a single effector cytokine. Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt) which acts as the master transcription factor of Th17 differentiation has been an attractive pharmacologic target for the treatment of Th17-mediated autoimmune disease. Recent progress in technology of chemical screen and engineering nucleic acid enable two new classes of therapeutics targeting RORγt. Chemical screen technology identified several small molecule specific inhibitors of RORγt from a small molecule library. Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) technology enabled target specific aptamers to be isolated from a random sequence oligonucleotide library. In this review, we highlight the development and therapeutic potential of small molecules inhibiting Th17 cells by targeting RORγt and aptamer mediated CD4+ T cell specific delivery of small interference RNA against RORγt gene expression to inhibit pathogenic effector functions of Th17 lineage. PMID:26792955

  4. Small molecule screening in context: Lipid-catalyzed amyloid formation

    PubMed Central

    Hebda, James A; Magzoub, Mazin; Miranker, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Islet Amyloid Polypeptide (IAPP) is a 37-residue hormone cosecreted with insulin by the β-cells of the pancreas. Amyloid fiber aggregation of IAPP has been correlated with the dysfunction and death of these cells in type II diabetics. The likely mechanisms by which IAPP gains toxic function include energy independent cell membrane penetration and induction of membrane depolarization. These processes have been correlated with solution biophysical observations of lipid bilayer catalyzed acceleration of amyloid formation. Although the relationship between amyloid formation and toxicity is poorly understood, the fact that conditions promoting one also favor the other suggests related membrane active structural states. Here, a novel high throughput screening protocol is described that capitalizes on this correlation to identify compounds that target membrane active species. Applied to a small library of 960 known bioactive compounds, we are able to report identification of 37 compounds of which 36 were not previously reported as active toward IAPP fiber formation. Several compounds tested in secondary cell viability assays also demonstrate cytoprotective effects. It is a general observation that peptide induced toxicity in several amyloid diseases (such as Alzhiemer’s and Parkinson’s) involves a membrane bound, preamyloid oligomeric species. Our data here suggest that a screening protocol based on lipid-catalyzed assembly will find mechanistically informative small molecule hits in this subclass of amyloid diseases. PMID:25043951

  5. High performance photovoltaic applications using solution-processed small molecules.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yongsheng; Wan, Xiangjian; Long, Guankui

    2013-11-19

    Energy remains a critical issue for the survival and prosperity of humancivilization. Many experts believe that the eventual solution for sustainable energy is the use of direct solar energy as the main energy source. Among the options for renewable energy, photovoltaic technologies that harness solar energy offer a way to harness an unlimited resource and minimum environment impact in contrast with other alternatives such as water, nuclear, and wind energy. Currently, almost all commercial photovoltaic technologies use Si-based technology, which has a number of disadvantages including high cost, lack of flexibility, and the serious environmental impact of the Si industry. Other technologies, such as organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells, can overcome some of these issues. Today, polymer-based OPV (P-OPV) devices have achieved power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) that exceed 9%. Compared with P-OPV, small molecules based OPV (SM-OPV) offers further advantages, including a defined structure for more reproducible performance, higher mobility and open circuit voltage, and easier synthetic control that leads to more diversified structures. Therefore, while largely undeveloped, SM-OPV is an important emerging technology with performance comparable to P-OPV. In this Account, we summarize our recent results on solution-processed SM-OPV. We believe that solution processing is essential for taking full advantage of OPV technologies. Our work started with the synthesis of oligothiophene derivatives with an acceptor-donor-acceptor (A-D-A) structure. Both the backbone conjugation length and electron withdrawing terminal groups play an important role in the light absorption, energy levels and performance of the devices. Among those molecules, devices using a 7-thiophene-unit backbone and a 3-ethylrhodanine (RD) terminal unit produced a 6.1% PCE. With the optimized conjugation length and terminal unit, we borrowed from the results with P-OPV devices to optimize the backbone. Thus we

  6. Small Molecule Proprotein Convertase Inhibitors for Inhibition of Embryo Implantation

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Huiting; Singh, Harmeet; Heng, Sophea; Nero, Tracy L.; Paule, Sarah; Parker, Michael W.; Johnson, Alan T.; Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Nie, Guiying

    2013-01-01

    Uterine proprotein convertase (PC) 6 plays a critical role in embryo implantation and is pivotal for pregnancy establishment. Inhibition of PC6 may provide a novel approach for the development of non-hormonal and female-controlled contraceptives. We investigated a class of five synthetic non-peptidic small molecule compounds that were previously reported as potent inhibitors of furin, another PC member. We examined (i) the potency of these compounds in inhibiting PC6 activity in vitro; (ii) their binding modes in the PC6 active site in silico; (iii) their efficacy in inhibiting PC6-dependent cellular processes essential for embryo implantation using human cell-based models. All five compounds showed potent inhibition of PC6 activity in vitro, and in silico docking demonstrated that these inhibitors could adopt a similar binding mode in the PC6 active site. However, when these compounds were tested for their inhibition of decidualization of primary human endometrial stromal cells, a PC6-dependent cellular process critical for embryo implantation, only one (compound 1o) showed potent inhibition. The lack of activity in the cell-based assay may reflect the inability of the compounds to penetrate the cell membrane. Because compound's lipophilicity is linked to cell penetration, a measurement of lipophilicity (logP) was calculated for each compound. Compound 1o is unique as it appears the most lipophilic among the five compounds. Compound 1o also inhibited another crucial PC6-dependent process, the attachment of human trophoblast spheroids to endometrial epithelial cells (a model for human embryo attachment). We thus identified compound 1o as a potent small molecule PC6 inhibitor with pharmaceutical potential to inhibit embryo implantation. Our findings also highlight that human cell-based functional models are vital to complement the biochemical and in silico analyses in the selection of promising drug candidates. Further investigations for compound 1o are warranted in

  7. Targeting Drivers of Melanoma with Synthetic Small Molecules and Phytochemicals

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Leah Ray; Pal, Harish Chandra; Elmets, Craig A.; Afaq, Farrukh

    2015-01-01

    Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, but it is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths. Traditional therapeutics and immunomodulatory agents have not shown much efficacy against metastatic melanoma. Agents that target the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK (MAPK) signaling pathway—the BRAF inhibitors vemurafenib and dabrafenib, and the MEK1/2 inhibitor trametinib—have increased survival in patients with metastatic melanoma. Further, the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib has been shown to be superior to single agent therapy for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. However, resistance to these agents develops rapidly. Studies of additional agents and combinations targeting the MAPK, PI3K/AKT/mTOR (PI3K), c-kit, and other signaling pathways are currently underway. Furthermore, studies of phytochemicals have yielded promising results against proliferation, survival, invasion, and metastasis by targeting signaling pathways with established roles in melanomagenesis. The relatively low toxicities of phytochemicals make their adjuvant use an attractive treatment option. The need for improved efficacy of current melanoma treatments calls for further investigation of each of these strategies. In this review, we will discuss synthetic small molecule inhibitors, combined therapies and current progress in the development of phytochemical therapies. PMID:25597784

  8. Small-molecule control of protein degradation using split adaptors

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Joseph H.; Baker, Tania A.; Sauer, Robert T.

    2011-01-01

    Targeted intracellular degradation provides a method to study the biological function of proteins and has numerous applications in biotechnology. One promising approach uses adaptor proteins to target substrates with genetically encoded degradation tags for proteolysis. Here, we describe an engineered split-adaptor system, in which adaptor assembly and delivery of substrates to the ClpXP protease depends on a small molecule (rapamycin). This degradation system does not require modification of endogenous proteases, functions robustly over a wide range of adaptor concentrations, and does not require new synthesis of adaptors or proteases to initiate degradation. We demonstrate the efficacy of this system in E. coli by degrading tagged variants of LacI repressor and FtsA, an essential cell-division protein. In the latter case, addition of rapamycin causes pronounced filamentation because daughter cells cannot divide. Strikingly, washing rapamycin away reverses this phenotype. Our system is highly modular, with clearly-defined interfaces for substrate binding, protease binding, and adaptor assembly, providing a clear path to extend this system to other degradation tags, proteases, or induction systems. Together, these new reagents should be useful in controlling protein degradation in bacteria. PMID:21866931

  9. Targeting signaling pathways with small molecules to treat autoimmune disorders.

    PubMed

    Kaminska, Bozena; Swiatek-Machado, Karolina

    2008-01-01

    Chronic activation of immune responses, mediated by inflammatory mediators and involving different effector cells of the innate and acquired immune system characterizes autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis and septic shock syndrome. MAPKs are crucial intracellular mediators of inflammation. MAPK inhibitors are attractive anti-inflammatory drugs, because they are capable of reducing the synthesis of inflammation mediators at multiple levels and are effective in blocking proinflammatory cytokine signaling. Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway converts cytokine signals into genomic responses regulating proliferation and differentiation of the immune cells. JAK inhibitors are a new class of immunomodulatory agents with immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties. This review discusses the rationale behind current strategies of targeting MAPK and JAK/STAT signaling pathways, and the overall effects of signal transduction inhibitors in animal models of inflammatory disorders. Signal transduction inhibitors are small molecules that can be administered orally, and initial results of clinical trials have shown clinical benefits in patients with chronic inflammatory disorders. PMID:20477590

  10. Small-molecule PSMA ligands. Current state, SAR and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Machulkin, Alexey E; Ivanenkov, Yan A; Aladinskaya, Anastasia V; Veselov, Mark S; Aladinskiy, Vladimir A; Beloglazkina, Elena K; Koteliansky, Victor E; Shakhbazyan, Artem G; Sandulenko, Yuri B; Majouga, Alexander G

    2016-09-01

    Prostate cancer (PC) is the prevalent malignancy widespread among men in the Western World. Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is an established PC marker and has been considered as a promising biological target for anti-PC drug delivery and diagnostics. The protein was found to be overexpressed in PC cells, including metastatic, and the neovasculature of solid tumors. These properties make PSMA-based approach quite appropriate for effective PC imaging and specific drug therapy. Through the past decade, a variety of PSMA-targeted agents has been systematically evaluated. Small-molecule compounds have several advantages over other classes, such as improved pharmacokinetics and rapid blood clearance. These low-weight ligands have similar structure and can be divided into three basic categories in accordance with the type of their zinc-binding core-head. Several PSMA binders are currently undergoing clinical trials generally for PC imaging. The main goal of the present review is to describe the recent progress achieved within the title field and structure activity relationships (SAR) disclosed for different PSMA ligands. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies for each type of the compounds described have also been briefly summarized. PMID:26887438

  11. Chemiluminescence spectra of small molecules containing sulfur, selenium, and tellurium

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, C.D. )

    1989-04-01

    To help identify a novel emission feature extending from 550 nm to 880 nm produced in the gas-phase reaction of F{sub 2} with CS{sub 2}, the reaction of F{sub 2} with CSe{sub 2} has been studied. This reaction yields a previously observed emission feature from SeF(A) extending from 500 nm to 870 nm and a banded feature between 350 and 500 nm that resembles fluorescence from Se{sub 2}(A) but requires further analysis. An apparently new, broad feature extending from 600 nm to the near IR appears by itself under certain reaction conditions. This broad feature is unresolved at 0.1 nm resolution and is not very useful in understanding the F{sub 2}/CS{sub 2} feature. Reactions of F{sub 2} with CH{sub 3}XCH{sub 3}, where X=Se, Se{sub 2}, Te, and Te{sub 2}, are being studied as sources for emission spectra of CH{sub 2}Se and CH{sub 2}Te. Fruitful chemical trends and analogies are being exploited in effort to identify new spectra of hard-to-study small molecules in chemiluminescence.

  12. Antiobesity Effect of a Small Molecule Repressor of RORγ

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Mi Ra; He, Yuanjun; Khan, Tanya M.; Kuruvilla, Dana S.; Garcia-Ordonez, Ruben; Corzo, Cesar A.; Unger, Thaddeus J.; White, David W.; Khan, Susan; Lin, Li; Cameron, Michael D.; Kamenecka, Theodore M.

    2015-01-01

    The orphan nuclear receptor RORγ is a key regulator for T helper 17 (TH17) cell differentiation, which regulates metabolic and circadian rhythm genes in peripheral tissues. Previously, it was shown that the small molecule inverse agonist of RORγ SR1555 [1-(4-((4′-(1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-hydroxypropan-2-yl)-[1,1′-biphenyl]-4-yl)methyl)piperazin-1-yl) ethanone] suppressed TH17 differentiation and stimulated induced T regulatory (iTreg) cells. Here, we show that treatment of cultured pre-adipocyctes with SR1555 represses the expression of RORγ while leading to increased expression of FGF21 and adipoQ. Chronic administration of SR1555 to obese diabetic mice resulted in a modest reduction in food intake accompanied with significant reduction in fat mass, resulting in reduced body weight and improved insulin sensitivity. Analysis ex vivo of treated mice demonstrates that SR1555 induced expression of the thermogenic gene program in fat depots. Further studies in cultured cells showed that SR1555 inhibited activation of hormone-sensitive lipase and increased fatty acid oxidation. Combined, these results suggest that pharmacological repression of RORγ may represent a strategy for treatment of obesity by increasing thermogenesis and fatty acid oxidation, while inhibition of hormone-sensitive lipase activity results in a reduction of serum free fatty acids, leading to improved peripheral insulin sensitivity. PMID:25904554

  13. Small-molecule control of protein degradation using split adaptors.

    PubMed

    Davis, Joseph H; Baker, Tania A; Sauer, Robert T

    2011-11-18

    Targeted intracellular degradation provides a method to study the biological function of proteins and has numerous applications in biotechnology. One promising approach uses adaptor proteins to target substrates with genetically encoded degradation tags for proteolysis. Here, we describe an engineered split-adaptor system, in which adaptor assembly and delivery of substrates to the ClpXP protease depends on a small molecule (rapamycin). This degradation system does not require modification of endogenous proteases, functions robustly over a wide range of adaptor concentrations, and does not require new synthesis of adaptors or proteases to initiate degradation. We demonstrate the efficacy of this system in E. coli by degrading tagged variants of LacI repressor and FtsA, an essential cell-division protein. In the latter case, addition of rapamycin causes pronounced filamentation because daughter cells cannot divide. Strikingly, washing rapamycin away reverses this phenotype. Our system is highly modular, with clearly defined interfaces for substrate binding, protease binding, and adaptor assembly, providing a clear path to extend this system to other degradation tags, proteases, or induction systems. Together, these new reagents should be useful in controlling protein degradation in bacteria. PMID:21866931

  14. Electrocatalytic recycling of CO2 and small organic molecules.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaeyoung; Kwon, Youngkook; Machunda, Revocatus L; Lee, Hye Jin

    2009-10-01

    As global warming directly affects the ecosystems and humankind in the 21st century, attention and efforts are continuously being made to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, there have been numerous efforts to electrochemically convert CO2 gas to small organic molecules (SOMs) and vice versa. Herein, we highlight recent advances made in the electrocatalytic recycling of CO2 and SOMs including (i) the overall trend of research activities made in this area, (ii) the relations between reduction conditions and products in the aqueous phase, (iii) the challenges in the use of gas diffusion electrodes for the continuous gas phase CO2 reduction, as well as (iv) the development of state of the art hybrid techniques for industrial applications. Perspectives geared to fully exploit the potential of zero-gap cells for CO2 reduction in the gaseous phase and the high applicability on a large scale are also presented. We envision that the hybrid system for CO2 reduction supported by sustainable solar, wind, and geothermal energies and waste heat will provide a long term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and will allow for continued use of the abundant fossil fuels by industries and/or power plants but with zero emissions. PMID:19579251

  15. 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.

  16. Small molecule glutaminase inhibitors block glutamate release from stimulated microglia.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Ajit G; O'Driscoll, Cliona M; Bressler, Joseph; Kaufmann, Walter; Rojas, Camilo J; Slusher, Barbara S

    2014-01-01

    Glutaminase plays a critical role in the generation of glutamate, a key excitatory neurotransmitter in the CNS. Excess glutamate release from activated macrophages and microglia correlates with upregulated glutaminase suggesting a pathogenic role for glutaminase. Both glutaminase siRNA and small molecule inhibitors have been shown to decrease excess glutamate and provide neuroprotection in multiple models of disease, including HIV-associated dementia (HAD), multiple sclerosis and ischemia. Consequently, inhibition of glutaminase could be of interest for treatment of these diseases. Bis-2-(5-phenylacetimido-1,2,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)ethyl sulfide (BPTES) and 6-diazo-5-oxo-l-norleucine (DON), two most commonly used glutaminase inhibitors, are either poorly soluble or non-specific. Recently, several new BPTES analogs with improved physicochemical properties were reported. To evaluate these new inhibitors, we established a cell-based microglial activation assay measuring glutamate release. Microglia-mediated glutamate levels were significantly augmented by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands coincident with increased glutaminase activity. While several potent glutaminase inhibitors abrogated the increase in glutamate, a structurally related analog devoid of glutaminase activity was unable to block the increase. In the absence of glutamine, glutamate levels were significantly attenuated. These data suggest that the in vitro microglia assay may be a useful tool in developing glutaminase inhibitors of therapeutic interest. PMID:24269238

  17. Progress in Small Molecule and Biologic Therapeutics Targeting Ghrelin Signaling.

    PubMed

    McGovern, Kayleigh R; Darling, Joseph E; Hougland, James L

    2016-01-01

    Ghrelin is a circulating peptide hormone involved in regulation of a wide array of physiological processes. As an endogenous ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR1a), ghrelin is responsible for signaling involved in energy homeostasis, including appetite stimulation, glucose metabolism, insulin signaling, and adiposity. Ghrelin has also been implicated in modulation of several neurological processes. Dysregulation of ghrelin signaling is implicated in diseases related to these pathways, including obesity, type II diabetes, and regulation of appetite and body weight in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. Multiple steps in the ghrelin signaling pathway are available for targeting in the development of therapeutics for these diseases. Agonists and antagonists of GHS-R1a have been widely studied and have shown varying levels of effectiveness within ghrelin-related physiological pathways. Agents targeting ghrelin directly, either through depletion of ghrelin levels in circulation or inhibitors of ghrelin O-acyltransferase whose action is required for ghrelin to become biologically active, are receiving increasing attention as potential therapeutic options. We discuss the approaches utilized to target ghrelin signaling and highlight the current challenges toward developing small-molecule agents as potential therapeutics for ghrelin-related diseases. PMID:26202202

  18. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the Myc Oncoprotein

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Steven; Prochownik, Edward V.

    2014-01-01

    The c-Myc (Myc) oncoprotein is among the most attractive of cancer targets given that is deregulated in the majority of tumors and that its inhibition profoundly affects their growth and/or survival. However, its role as a seldom-mutated transcription factor, its lack of enzymatic activity for which suitable pharmaceutical inhibitors could be crafted and its expression by normal cells have largely been responsible for its being viewed as “undruggable”. Work over the past several years, however, has begun to reverse this idea by allowing us to view Myc within the larger context of global gene regulatory control. Thus, Myc and its obligate heterodimeric partner, Max, are integral to the coordinated recruitment and post-translational modification of components of the core transcriptional machinery. Moreover, Myc over-expression re-programs numerous critical cellular functions and alters the cell’s susceptibility to their inhibition. This new knowledge has therefore served as a framework upon which to develop new pharmaceutical approaches. These include the continuing development of small molecules which act directly to inhibit the critical Myc-Max interaction, those which act indirectly to prevent Myc-directed post-translational modifications necessary to initiate productive transcription and those which inhibit vital pathways upon which the Myc-transformed cell is particularly reliant. PMID:24657798

  19. A Chemical Screen Identifies Small Molecules that Regulate Hepcidin Expression

    PubMed Central

    Gaun, Vera; Patchen, Bonnie; Volovetz, Josephine; Zhen, Aileen W.; Andreev, Aleksandr; Pollastri, Michael P.; Fraenkel, Paula G.

    2014-01-01

    Hepcidin, a peptide hormone produced in the liver, decreases intestinal iron absorption and macrophage iron release via effects on ferroportin. Bone morphogenic protein and Stat3 signaling regulate Hepcidin's transcription. Hepcidin is a potential drug target for patients with iron overload syndromes because its levels are inappropriately low in these individuals. To generate a tool for identifying small molecules that modulate Hepcidin expression, we stably transfected human hepatocytes (HepG2) cells with a reporter construct containing 2.7 kilobases of the human Hepcidin promoter upstream of a firefly reporter gene. We used high throughput methods to screen 10,169 chemicals in duplicate for their effect on Hepcidin expression and cell viability. Regulators were identified as chemicals that caused a change >3 standard deviations above or >1.5 standard deviations below the mean of the other chemicals (z-score >3 or <-1.5), while not adversely affecting cell viability, quantified by fluorescence assay. Following validation assays, we identified 16 chemicals in a broad range of functional classes that promote Hepcidin expression. All of the chemicals identified increased expression of bone morphogenic protein-dependent and/or Stat3-dependent genes, however none of them strongly increased phosphorylation of Smad1,5,8 or Stat3. PMID:24998898

  20. Ion Momentum Imaging of Dissociative Electron Attachment to Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogle, Michael

    2015-09-01

    In recent years, low energy dissociative electron attachment (DEA) interactions have been of interest to varying biological and technological applications. To study the dynamics resulting from DEA, we used an ion-momentum imaging apparatus based on the Cold Target Recoil Ion Momentum Spectroscopy (COLTRIMS) technique in which a molecular beam is crossed by a pulsed electron beam. The beam interaction takes place in a 4 π pulsed electrostatic spectrometer that collects the anion fragments resulting from DEA. The molecular beam is formed by a supersonic expansion which results in a well-localized and cold target. Using this apparatus we have investigated the DEA dynamics for several small molecules: CO2 at the 4 eV shape resonance and the 8 eV Feshbach resonance; N2O at the 2.3 eV shape resonance; HCCH at the 3 eV shape resonance; and CF4 near the 7 eV resonance. An overview of these experimental ion-momentum results will be compared to ab initio electronic structure and fixed-nuclei scattering calculations to gauge the resulting dynamics driven by DEA. In many cases, conical intersections play a pivotal role in driving the dynamics. Some of these systems exhibit non-axial recoil conditions indicative of a bending dynamics in the transitory negative ion state while others exhibit a direct axial recoil dissociation without any bending. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Contract NSF-PHYS1404366.

  1. Studies Relevent to Catalytic Activation Co & other small Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Ford, Peter C

    2005-02-22

    Detailed annual and triannual reports describing the progress accomplished during the tenure of this grant were filed with the Program Manager for Catalysis at the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. To avoid unnecessary duplication, the present report will provide a brief overview of the research areas that were sponsored by this grant and list the resulting publications and theses based on this DOE supported research. The scientific personnel participating in (and trained by) this grant's research are also listed. Research carried out under this DOE grant was largely concerned with the mechanisms of the homogeneous catalytic and photocatalytic activation of small molecules such as carbon monoxide, dihydrogen and various hydrocarbons. Much of the more recent effort has focused on the dynamics and mechanisms of reactions relevant to substrate carbonylations by homogeneous organometallic catalysts. A wide range of modern investigative techniques were employed, including quantitative fast reaction methodologies such as time-resolved optical (TRO) and time-resolved infrared (TRIR) spectroscopy and stopped flow kinetics. Although somewhat diverse, this research falls within the scope of the long-term objective of applying quantitative techniques to elucidate the dynamics and understand the principles of mechanisms relevant to the selective and efficient catalytic conversions of fundamental feedstocks to higher value materials.

  2. A novel small-molecule inhibitor of HIV-1 entry

    PubMed Central

    Heredia, Alonso; Latinovic, Olga S; Barbault, Florent; de Leeuw, Erik PH

    2015-01-01

    Background Antiretroviral therapy has transformed HIV-1 infection into a managed condition with near-normal life expectancy. However, a significant number of patients remain with limited therapeutic options due to HIV-1 resistance, side effects, or drug costs. Further, it is likely that current drugs will not retain efficacy, due to risks of side effects and transmitted resistance. Results We describe compound 5660386 (3-ethyl-2-[3-(1,3,3-trimethyl-1,3-dihydro-2H-indol-2-ylidene)-1-propen-1-yl]-1,3-benzothiazol-3-ium) as a novel inhibitor of HIV-1 entry. Compound 5660386 inhibits HIV-1 entry in cell lines and primary cells, binds to HIV-1 envelope protein, and inhibits the interaction of GP120 to CD4. Further, compound 5660386 showed a unique and broad-range activity against primary HIV-1 isolates from different subtypes and geographical areas. Conclusion Development of small-molecule entry inhibitors of HIV-1 such as 5660386 may lead to novel classes of anti-HIV-1 therapeutics. These inhibitors may be particularly effective against viruses resistant to current antiretroviral drugs and could have potential applications in both treatment and prevention. PMID:26491257

  3. Small Molecule Identification with MOLGEN and Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Meringer, Markus; Schymanski, Emma L.

    2013-01-01

    This paper details the MOLGEN entries for the 2012 CASMI contest for small molecule identification to demonstrate structure elucidation using structure generation approaches. Different MOLGEN programs were used for different categories, including MOLGEN–MS/MS for Category 1, MOLGEN 3.5 and 5.0 for Category 2 and MOLGEN–MS for Categories 3 and 4. A greater focus is given to Categories 1 and 2, as most CASMI participants entered these categories. The settings used and the reasons behind them are described in detail, while various evaluations are used to put these results into perspective. As one author was also an organiser of CASMI, these submissions were not part of the official CASMI competition, but this paper provides an insight into how unknown identification could be performed using structure generation approaches. The approaches are semi-automated (category dependent) and benefit greatly from user experience. Thus, the results presented and discussed here may be better than those an inexperienced user could obtain with MOLGEN programs. PMID:24958000

  4. Application of Optical Biosensors in Small-Molecule Screening Activities

    PubMed Central

    Geschwindner, Stefan; Carlsson, Johan F.; Knecht, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    The last two decades have seen remarkable progress and improvements in optical biosensor systems such that those are currently seen as an important and value-adding component of modern drug screening activities. In particular the introduction of microplate-based biosensor systems holds the promise to match the required throughput without compromising on data quality thus representing a sought-after complement to traditional fluidic systems. This article aims to highlight the application of the two most prominent optical biosensor technologies, namely surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and optical waveguide grating (OWG), in small-molecule screening and will present, review and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different assay formats on these platforms. A particular focus will be on the specific advantages of the inhibition in solution assay (ISA) format in contrast to traditional direct binding assays (DBA). Furthermore we will discuss different application areas for both fluidic as well as plate-based biosensor systems by considering the individual strength of the platforms. PMID:22666031

  5. Fiber optic immunosensors to monitor small-molecule analytes in groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ives, Jeffrey T.; Doss, Heide M.; Sullivan, Brian J.; Stires, John C.; Bechtel, James H.

    1999-02-01

    Analytical characterization of environmental sites has become a DLR1 to DLR2 billion dollar industry, and field methods to provide lower cost, more rapid analyses are being developed and commercialized. Antibody kits and fieldable gas chromatographs are examples of this work, but they still require extensive manual sample collection and preparation. As a further advance, we are developing a fieldable environmental monitor based on antibodies, fiber optic probes, and compact optoelectronics. Antibodies are immobilized to the surface of etched optical fiber tips, and a displacement reaction between the target molecules and fluor-labeled target analogs is monitored remotely. For extended, autonomous operation, fluor-labeled reagents are contained within a size-selective membrane that surrounds the fiber tip. This creates a small probe head that easily fits within a standard 2' diameter groundwater well. A hand- sized instrument with laser diode, 20-bit A/D, 12 MHz microcontroller, and associated components has also been assembled. Detection limits of 1 ppb for BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) have been measured. Molecular imprints as lower cost and potentially most durable biomimetic analogs to the antibodies are also being investigated. Preliminary results with toluene and trichloroethylene targets have been obtained with molecularly imprinted fiber optic sensors.

  6. Enzyme-linked small-molecule detection using split aptamer ligation.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Ashwani K; Kent, Alexandra D; Heemstra, Jennifer M

    2012-07-17

    Here we report an aptamer-based analogue of the widely used sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This assay utilizes the cocaine split aptamer, which is comprised of two DNA strands that only assemble in the presence of the target small molecule. One split aptamer fragment is immobilized on a microplate, then a test sample is added containing the second split aptamer fragment. If cocaine is present in the test sample, it directs assembly of the split aptamer and promotes a chemical ligation between azide and cyclooctyne functional groups appended to the termini of the split aptamer fragments. Ligation results in covalent attachment of biotin to the microplate and provides a colorimetric output upon conjugation to streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase. Using this assay, we demonstrate detection of cocaine at concentrations of 100 nM-100 μM in buffer and 1-100 μM human blood serum. The detection limit of 1 μM in serum represents an improvement of two orders of magnitude over previously reported split aptamer-based sensors and highlights the utility of covalently trapping split aptamer assembly events. PMID:22715870

  7. Development of an acoustic wave based biosensor for vapor phase detection of small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stubbs, Desmond

    For centuries scientific ingenuity and innovation have been influenced by Mother Nature's perfect design. One of her more elusive designs is that of the sensory olfactory system, an array of highly sensitive receptors responsible for chemical vapor recognition. In the animal kingdom this ability is magnified among canines where ppt (parts per trillion) sensitivity values have been reported. Today, detection dogs are considered an essential part of the US drug and explosives detection schemes. However, growing concerns about their susceptibility to extraneous odors have inspired the development of highly sensitive analytical detection tools or biosensors known as "electronic noses". In general, biosensors are distinguished from chemical sensors in that they use an entity of biological origin (e.g. antibody, cell, enzyme) immobilized onto a surface as the chemically-sensitive film on the device. The colloquial view is that the term "biosensors" refers to devices which detect the presence of entities of biological origin, such as proteins or single-stranded DNA and that this detection must take place in a liquid. Our biosensor utilizes biomolecules, specifically IgG monoclonal antibodies, to achieve molecular recognition of relatively small molecules in the vapor phase.

  8. Phosphate binding energy and catalysis by small and large molecules.

    PubMed

    Morrow, Janet R; Amyes, Tina L; Richard, John P

    2008-04-01

    Catalysis is an important process in chemistry and enzymology. The rate acceleration for any catalyzed reaction is the difference between the activation barriers for the uncatalyzed (Delta G(HO)(#)) and catalyzed (Delta G(Me)(#)) reactions, which corresponds to the binding energy (Delta G(S)(#) = Delta G(Me)(#)-Delta G(HO)(#)) for transfer of the reaction transition state from solution to the catalyst. This transition state binding energy is a fundamental descriptor of catalyzed reactions, and its evaluation is necessary for an understanding of any and all catalytic processes. We have evaluated the transition state binding energies obtained from interactions between low molecular weight metal ion complexes or high molecular weight protein catalysts and the phosphate group of bound substrate. Work on catalysis by small molecules is exemplified by studies on the mechanism of action of Zn2(1)(H2O). A binding energy of Delta G(S)(#) = -9.6 kcal/mol was determined for Zn2(1)(H2O)-catalyzed cleavage of the RNA analogue HpPNP. The pH-rate profile for this cleavage reaction showed that there is optimal catalytic activity at high pH, where the catalyst is in the basic form [Zn2(1)(HO-)]. However, it was also shown that the active form of the catalyst is Zn2(1)(H2O) and that this recognizes the C2-oxygen-ionized substrate in the cleavage reaction. The active catalyst Zn2(1)(H2O) shows a high affinity for oxyphosphorane transition state dianions and a stable methyl phosphate transition state analogue, compared with the affinity for phosphate monoanion substrates. The transition state binding energies, Delta G(S)(#), for cleavage of HpPNP catalyzed by a variety of Zn2+ and Eu3+ metal ion complexes reflect the increase in the catalytic activity with increasing total positive charge at the catalyst. These values of Delta G(S)(#) are affected by interactions between the metal ion and its ligands, but these effects are small in comparison with Delta G(S)(#) observed for catalysis

  9. Small molecules and Alzheimer's disease: misfolding, metabolism and imaging.

    PubMed

    Patel, Viharkumar; Zhang, Xueli; Tautiva, Nicolas A; Nyabera, Akwe N; Owa, Opeyemi O; Baidya, Melvin; Sung, Hee Chang; Taunk, Pardeep S; Abdollahi, Shahrzad; Charles, Stacey; Gonnella, Rachel A; Gadi, Nikhita; Duong, Karen T; Fawver, Janelle N; Ran, Chongzhao; Jalonen, Tuula O; Murray, Ian V J

    2015-01-01

    Small molecule interactions with amyloid proteins have had a huge impact in Alzheimer's disease (AD), especially in three specific areas: amyloid folding, metabolism and brain imaging. Amyloid plaque amelioration or prevention have, until recently, driven drug development, and only a few drugs have been advanced for use in AD. Amyloid proteins undergo misfolding and oligomerization via intermediates, eventually forming protease resistant amyloid fibrils. These fibrils accumulate to form the hallmark amyloid plaques and tangles of AD. Amyloid binding compounds can be grouped into three categories, those that: i) prevent or reverse misfolding, ii) halt misfolding or trap intermediates, and iii) accelerate the formation of stable and inert amyloid fibrils. Such compounds include hydralazine, glycosaminoglycans, curcumin, beta sheet breakers, catecholamines, and ATP. The versatility of amyloid binding compounds suggests that the amyloid structure may serve as a scaffold for the future development of sensors to detect such compounds. Metabolic dysfunction is one of the earliest pathological features of AD. In fact, AD is often referred to as type 3 diabetes due to the presence of insulin resistance in the brain. A recent study indicates that altering metabolism improves cognitive function. While metabolic reprogramming is one therapeutic avenue for AD, it is more widely used in some cancer therapies. FDA approved drugs such as metformin, dichloroacetic acid (DCA), and methylene blue can alter metabolism. These drugs can therefore be potentially applied in alleviating metabolic dysfunction in AD. Brain imaging has made enormous strides over the past decade, offering a new window to the mind. Recently, there has been remarkable development of compounds that have the ability to image both types of pathological amyloids: tau and amyloid beta. We have focused on the low cost, simple to use, near infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging probes for amyloid beta (Aβ), with

  10. Antidiabetic effects of glucokinase regulatory protein small-molecule disruptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, David J.; St Jean, David J.; Kurzeja, Robert J. M.; Wahl, Robert C.; Michelsen, Klaus; Cupples, Rod; Chen, Michelle; Wu, John; Sivits, Glenn; Helmering, Joan; Komorowski, Renée; Ashton, Kate S.; Pennington, Lewis D.; Fotsch, Christopher; Vazir, Mukta; Chen, Kui; Chmait, Samer; Zhang, Jiandong; Liu, Longbin; Norman, Mark H.; Andrews, Kristin L.; Bartberger, Michael D.; van, Gwyneth; Galbreath, Elizabeth J.; Vonderfecht, Steven L.; Wang, Minghan; Jordan, Steven R.; Véniant, Murielle M.; Hale, Clarence

    2013-12-01

    Glucose homeostasis is a vital and complex process, and its disruption can cause hyperglycaemia and type II diabetes mellitus. Glucokinase (GK), a key enzyme that regulates glucose homeostasis, converts glucose to glucose-6-phosphate in pancreatic β-cells, liver hepatocytes, specific hypothalamic neurons, and gut enterocytes. In hepatocytes, GK regulates glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis, suppresses glucose production, and is subject to the endogenous inhibitor GK regulatory protein (GKRP). During fasting, GKRP binds, inactivates and sequesters GK in the nucleus, which removes GK from the gluconeogenic process and prevents a futile cycle of glucose phosphorylation. Compounds that directly hyperactivate GK (GK activators) lower blood glucose levels and are being evaluated clinically as potential therapeutics for the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus. However, initial reports indicate that an increased risk of hypoglycaemia is associated with some GK activators. To mitigate the risk of hypoglycaemia, we sought to increase GK activity by blocking GKRP. Here we describe the identification of two potent small-molecule GK-GKRP disruptors (AMG-1694 and AMG-3969) that normalized blood glucose levels in several rodent models of diabetes. These compounds potently reversed the inhibitory effect of GKRP on GK activity and promoted GK translocation both in vitro (isolated hepatocytes) and in vivo (liver). A co-crystal structure of full-length human GKRP in complex with AMG-1694 revealed a previously unknown binding pocket in GKRP distinct from that of the phosphofructose-binding site. Furthermore, with AMG-1694 and AMG-3969 (but not GK activators), blood glucose lowering was restricted to diabetic and not normoglycaemic animals. These findings exploit a new cellular mechanism for lowering blood glucose levels with reduced potential for hypoglycaemic risk in patients with type II diabetes mellitus.