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Sample records for optimization improved small-molecule

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Small-Molecule CD4-Mimics: Structure-Based Optimization of HIV-1 Entry Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Melillo, Bruno; Liang, Shuaiyi; Park, Jongwoo; Schön, Arne; Courter, Joel R; LaLonde, Judith M; Wendler, Daniel J; Princiotto, Amy M; Seaman, Michael S; Freire, Ernesto; Sodroski, Joseph; Madani, Navid; Hendrickson, Wayne A; Smith, Amos B

    2016-03-10

    The optimization, based on computational, thermodynamic, and crystallographic data, of a series of small-molecule ligands of the Phe43 cavity of the envelope glycoprotein gp120 of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been achieved. Importantly, biological evaluation revealed that the small-molecule CD4 mimics (4-7) inhibit HIV-1 entry into target cells with both significantly higher potency and neutralization breadth than previous congeners, while maintaining high selectivity for the target virus. Their binding mode was characterized via thermodynamic and crystallographic studies. PMID:26985324

  5. Dose Finding of Small-Molecule Oncology Drugs: Optimization throughout the Development Life Cycle.

    PubMed

    Jänne, Pasi A; Kim, Geoffrey; Shaw, Alice T; Sridhara, Rajeshwari; Pazdur, Richard; McKee, Amy E

    2016-06-01

    In the current era of rapid marketing approval for promising new products in oncology, dose finding and optimization for small-molecule oncology drugs occurs throughout the development cycle and into the postmarketing setting. Many trials that support a regulatory application have high rates of dose reductions and discontinuations, which may result in postmarketing requirements (PMR) to study alternate doses or dosing schedules. Kinase inhibitors particularly have been susceptible to this problem, and among the 31 approved drugs of this class, the approvals of eight have included such PMRs and/or commitments. Thus, the current paradigm for dose finding and optimization could be improved. Newer strategies for dose finding rather than traditional 3 + 3 designs should be considered where feasible, and dose optimization should be continued after phase I and throughout development. Such strategies will increase the likelihood of a right dose for the right drug at the time of regulatory approval. Clin Cancer Res; 22(11); 2613-7. ©2016 AACR SEE ALL ARTICLES IN THIS CCR FOCUS SECTION, "NEW APPROACHES FOR OPTIMIZING DOSING OF ANTICANCER AGENTS". PMID:27250931

  6. Nonclinical Evaluations of Small-Molecule Oncology Drugs: Integration into Clinical Dose Optimization and Toxicity Management.

    PubMed

    Dambach, Donna M; Simpson, Natalie E; Jones, Thomas W; Brennan, Richard J; Pazdur, Richard; Palmby, Todd R

    2016-06-01

    Multidisciplinary approaches that incorporate nonclinical pharmacologic and toxicologic characterization of small-molecule oncology drugs into clinical development programs may facilitate improved benefit-risk profiles and clinical toxicity management in patients. The performance of the current nonclinical safety-testing scheme was discussed, highlighting current strengths and areas for improvement. While current nonclinical testing appears to predict the clinical outcome where the prevalence of specific adverse effects are high, nonclinical testing becomes less reliable for predicting clinical adverse effects that occur infrequently, as with some kinase inhibitors. Although adverse effects associated with kinase inhibitors can often be predicted on the basis of target biology, drugs can be promiscuous and inhibit targets with poorly defined function and associated risks. Improvements in adverse effect databases and better characterization of the biologic activities of drug targets may enable better use of computational modeling approaches in predicting adverse effects with kinase inhibitors. Assessing safety of a lead candidate in parallel with other drug properties enables incorporation of a molecule's best features during chemical design, eliminates the worst molecules early, and permits timely investigation/characterization of toxicity mechanisms for identified liabilities. A safety lead optimization and candidate identification strategy that reduces intrinsic toxicity and metabolic risk and enhances selectivity can deliver selective kinase inhibitors that demonstrate on-target adverse effects identified nonclinically. Integrating clinical and nonclinical data during drug development can facilitate better identification and management of oncology drugs. Follow-up nonclinical studies may be used to better understand the risks in a given patient population and minimize or manage these risks more appropriately. Clin Cancer Res; 22(11); 2618-22. ©2016 AACR SEE ALL

  7. Charge transfer through amino groups-small molecules interface improving the performance of electroluminescent devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havare, Ali Kemal; Can, Mustafa; Tozlu, Cem; Kus, Mahmut; Okur, Salih; Demic, Şerafettin; Demirak, Kadir; Kurt, Mustafa; Icli, Sıddık

    2016-05-01

    A carboxylic group functioned charge transporting was synthesized and self-assembled on an indium tin oxide (ITO) anode. A typical electroluminescent device [modified ITO/TPD (50 nm)/Alq3 (60 nm)/LiF (2 nm)/(120 nm)] was fabricated to investigate the effect of the amino groups-small molecules interface on the characteristics of the device. The increase in the surface work function of ITO is expected to facilitate the hole injection from the ITO anode to the Hole Transport Layer (HTL) in electroluminescence. The modified electroluminescent device could endure a higher current and showed a much higher luminance than the nonmodified one. For the produced electroluminescent devices, the I-V characteristics, optical characterization and quantum yields were performed. The external quantum efficiency of the modified electroluminescent device is improved as the result of the presence of the amino groups-small molecules interface.

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

    PubMed Central

    Karanicolas, John

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Panel docking of small-molecule libraries - Prospects to improve efficiency of lead compound discovery.

    PubMed

    Sarnpitak, Pakornwit; Mujumdar, Prashant; Taylor, Paul; Cross, Megan; Coster, Mark J; Gorse, Alain-Dominique; Krasavin, Mikhail; Hofmann, Andreas

    2015-11-01

    Computational docking as a means to prioritise small molecules in drug discovery projects remains a highly popular in silico screening approach. Contemporary docking approaches without experimental parametrisation can reliably differentiate active and inactive chemotypes in a protein binding site, but the absence of a correlation between the score of a predicted binding pose and the biological activity of the molecule presents a clear limitation. Several novel or improved computational approaches have been developed in the recent past to aid in screening and profiling of small-molecule ligands for drug discovery, but also more broadly in developing conceptual relationships between different protein targets by chemical probing. Among those new methodologies is a strategy known as inverse virtual screening, which involves the docking of a compound into different protein structures. In the present article, we review the different computational screening methodologies that employ docking of atomic models, and, by means of a case study, present an approach that expands the inverse virtual screening concept. By computationally screening a reasonably sized library of 1235 compounds against a panel of 48 mostly human kinases, we have been able to identify five groups of putative lead compounds with substantial diversity when compared to each other. One representative of each of the five groups was synthesised, and tested in kinase inhibition assays, yielding two compounds with micro-molar inhibition in five human kinases. This highly economic and cost-effective methodology holds great promise for drug discovery projects, especially in cases where a group of target proteins share high structural similarity in their binding sites. PMID:26025037

  10. Identification and optimization of small-molecule agonists of the human relaxin hormone receptor RXFP1.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Jingbo; Huang, Zaohua; Chen, Catherine Z; Agoulnik, Irina U; Southall, Noel; Hu, Xin; Jones, Raisa E; Ferrer, Marc; Zheng, Wei; Agoulnik, Alexander I; Marugan, Juan J

    2013-01-01

    The anti-fibrotic, vasodilatory and pro-angiogenic therapeutic properties of recombinant relaxin peptide hormone have been investigated in several diseases, and recent clinical trial data has shown benefit in treating acute heart failure. However, the remodelling capacity of these peptide hormones is difficult to study in chronic settings because of their short half-life and the need for intravenous administration. Here we present the first small-molecule series of human relaxin/insulin-like family peptide receptor 1 agonists. These molecules display similar efficacy as the natural hormone in several functional assays. Mutagenesis studies indicate that the small molecules activate relaxin receptor through an allosteric site. These compounds have excellent physical and in vivo pharmacokinetic properties to support further investigation of relaxin biology and animal efficacy studies of the therapeutic benefits of relaxin/insulin-like family peptide receptor 1 activation. PMID:23764525

  11. Identification and optimization of small-molecule agonists of the human relaxin hormone receptor RXFP1

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Jingbo; Huang, Zaohua; Chen, Catherine Z.; Agoulnik, Irina U.; Southall, Noel; Hu, Xin; Jones, Raisa E.; Ferrer, Marc; Zheng, Wei; Agoulnik, Alexander I.; Marugan, Juan J.

    2016-01-01

    The anti-fibrotic, vasodilatory, and pro-angiogenic therapeutic properties of recombinant relaxin peptide hormone have been investigated in several diseases and recent clinical trial data has shown benefit in treating acute heart failure. However, the remodeling capacity of these peptide hormones is difficult to study in chronic settings due to their short half-life and the need for intravenous administration. Here we present the first small-molecule series of human relaxin receptor 1 (RXFP1) agonists. These molecules display similar efficacy as the natural hormone in several functional assays. Mutagenesis studies indicate that the small molecules activate relaxin receptor through an allosteric site. These compounds have excellent physical and in vivo pharmacokinetic properties to support further investigation of relaxin biology and animal efficacy studies of the therapeutic benefits of RXFP1 activation. PMID:23764525

  12. Discovery and Optimization of Small Molecule Splicing Modifiers of Survival Motor Neuron 2 as a Treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Woll, Matthew G; Qi, Hongyan; Turpoff, Anthony; Zhang, Nanjing; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Chen, Guangming; Li, Chunshi; Huang, Song; Yang, Tianle; Moon, Young-Choon; Lee, Chang-Sun; Choi, Soongyu; Almstead, Neil G; Naryshkin, Nikolai A; Dakka, Amal; Narasimhan, Jana; Gabbeta, Vijayalakshmi; Welch, Ellen; Zhao, Xin; Risher, Nicole; Sheedy, Josephine; Weetall, Marla; Karp, Gary M

    2016-07-14

    The underlying cause of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a deficiency of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. Starting from hits identified in a high-throughput screening campaign and through structure-activity relationship investigations, we have developed small molecules that potently shift the alternative splicing of the SMN2 exon 7, resulting in increased production of the full-length SMN mRNA and protein. Three novel chemical series, represented by compounds 9, 14, and 20, have been optimized to increase the level of SMN protein by >50% in SMA patient-derived fibroblasts at concentrations of <160 nM. Daily administration of these compounds to severe SMA Δ7 mice results in an increased production of SMN protein in disease-relevant tissues and a significant increase in median survival time in a dose-dependent manner. Our work supports the development of an orally administered small molecule for the treatment of patients with SMA. PMID:27299569

  13. Incorporating small molecules or biologics into nanofibers for optimized drug release: A review.

    PubMed

    Sebe, István; Szabó, Péter; Kállai-Szabó, Barnabás; Zelkó, Romána

    2015-10-15

    Over the past several decades, the formulation of novel nanofiber-based drug delivery systems focusing on specific delivery purposes has been investigated worldwide with a continuous level of interest. The unique structure and properties of nanoscale fibrous systems, such as their high specific-area-to-volume ratio and high porosity and the possibility of controlling their crystalline-amorphous phase transitions, make them a desirable formulation pathway to satisfy the needs of recent pharmaceutical development. Fibrous delivery systems can facilitate the accelerated dissolution and increased solubility of small molecules and can also be useful in controlling drug delivery over time (for local or systemic drug administration). In the latter case, the release periods can be tuned over a wide range (from hours to weeks), e.g., by adjusting the fiber diameter and selecting the appropriate polymers. The solubility of the polymer, the fiber diameter and the fiber structure are the primary parameters affecting drug release. In addition to immediate and sustained release, other release profiles, such as biphasic release, can also be achieved. Chemical conjugation and surface functionalization offer further possibilities for the control of drug release. In the case of small molecules, developments focus mostly on overcoming the unfavorable physicochemical nature of the active agents. By contrast, in the preparation of macromolecule-loaded nanofibers, maximizing the biological activity of the macromolecules presents the greatest challenge. The authors' intent is to provide a comprehensive overview of the key parameters of advanced drug delivery systems of this type. PMID:26307263

  14. Structure-guided optimization of small molecules inhibiting human immunodeficiency virus 1 Tat association with the human coactivator p300/CREB binding protein-associated factor.

    PubMed

    Pan, Chongfeng; Mezei, Mihaly; Mujtaba, Shiraz; Muller, Michaela; Zeng, Lei; Li, Jiaming; Wang, Zhiyong; Zhou, Ming-Ming

    2007-05-17

    Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) trans-activator Tat recruits the human transcriptional coactivator PCAF (p300/CREB binding protein-associated factor) to facilitate transcription of the integrated HIV-1 provirus. We report here structure-based lead optimization of small-molecule inhibitors that block selectively Tat and PCAF association in cells. Our lead optimization was guided by grand-canonical ensemble simulation of the receptor/lead complex that leads to definition of chemical modifications with improved lead affinity through displacing weakly bound water molecules at the ligand-receptor interface. PMID:17444627

  15. Discovery and computer aided potency optimization of a novel class of small molecule CXCR4 antagonists.

    PubMed

    Vinader, Victoria; Ahmet, Djevdet S; Ahmed, Mohaned S; Patterson, Laurence H; Afarinkia, Kamyar

    2013-01-01

    Amongst the chemokine signalling axes involved in cancer, chemokine CXCL12 acting on chemokine receptor CXCR4 is particularly significant since it orchestrates migration of cancer cells in a tissue-specific metastatic process. High CXCR4 tumour expression is associated with poor prognosis of lung, brain, CNS, blood and breast cancers. We have identified a new class of small molecule CXCR4 antagonists based on the use of computational modelling studies in concert with experimental determination of in vitro activity against CXCL12-induced intracellular calcium mobilisation, proliferation and chemotaxis. Molecular modelling proved to be a useful tool in rationalising our observed potencies, as well as informing the direction of the synthetic efforts aimed at producing more potent compounds. PMID:24205302

  16. Discovery and Computer Aided Potency Optimization of a Novel Class of Small Molecule CXCR4 Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Vinader, Victoria; Ahmet, Djevdet S.; Ahmed, Mohaned S.; Patterson, Laurence H.; Afarinkia, Kamyar

    2013-01-01

    Amongst the chemokine signalling axes involved in cancer, chemokine CXCL12 acting on chemokine receptor CXCR4 is particularly significant since it orchestrates migration of cancer cells in a tissue-specific metastatic process. High CXCR4 tumour expression is associated with poor prognosis of lung, brain, CNS, blood and breast cancers. We have identified a new class of small molecule CXCR4 antagonists based on the use of computational modelling studies in concert with experimental determination of in vitro activity against CXCL12-induced intracellular calcium mobilisation, proliferation and chemotaxis. Molecular modelling proved to be a useful tool in rationalising our observed potencies, as well as informing the direction of the synthetic efforts aimed at producing more potent compounds. PMID:24205302

  17. Improved small-molecule macroarray platform for the rapid synthesis and discovery of antibacterial chalcones.

    PubMed

    Stringer, Joseph R; Bowman, Matthew D; Weisblum, Bernard; Blackwell, Helen E

    2011-03-14

    Bacterial resistance to current antibiotics is a major global health threat. Consequently, there is an urgent need for the identification of new antibacterial agents. We are applying the small-molecule macroarray platform to rapidly synthesize and screen compounds for activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Herein, we report the synthesis of a 1,3-diphenyl-2-propen-1-one (chalcone) macroarray using a Rink-amide linker-derivatized cellulose support. The Rink linker allowed for the incorporation of a broader array of library building blocks relative to our previous syntheses because milder reaction conditions could be utilized; significantly higher compound loadings were also achieved (~80% vs ~15%). Analysis of the 174-member chalcone macroarray in off-support antibacterial screening assays revealed three chalcones with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values against MRSA comparable to currently used antibacterial drugs and low hemolytic activities. These results serve to further showcase and extend the utility of the small molecule macroarray for antibacterial discovery. PMID:21210707

  18. Small Molecules Greatly Improve Conversion of Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to the Neuronal Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Mak, Sally K.; Huang, Y. Anne; Iranmanesh, Shifteh; Vangipuram, Malini; Sundararajan, Ramya; Nguyen, Loan; Langston, J. William; Schüle, Birgitt

    2012-01-01

    Efficient in vitro differentiation into specific cell types is more important than ever after the breakthrough in nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells and its potential for disease modeling and drug screening. Key success factors for neuronal differentiation are the yield of desired neuronal marker expression, reproducibility, length, and cost. Three main neuronal differentiation approaches are stromal-induced neuronal differentiation, embryoid body (EB) differentiation, and direct neuronal differentiation. Here, we describe our neurodifferentiation protocol using small molecules that very efficiently promote neural induction in a 5-stage EB protocol from six induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) lines from patients with Parkinson's disease and controls. This protocol generates neural precursors using Dorsomorphin and SB431542 and further maturation into dopaminergic neurons by replacing sonic hedgehog with purmorphamine or smoothened agonist. The advantage of this approach is that all patient-specific iPSC lines tested in this study were successfully and consistently coaxed into the neural lineage. PMID:22567022

  19. Computer assisted optimization of liquid chromatographic separations of small molecules using mixed-mode stationary phases.

    PubMed

    Ordoñez, Edgar Y; Benito Quintana, José; Rodil, Rosario; Cela, Rafael

    2012-05-18

    Mixed-mode stationary phases are gaining adepts in liquid chromatography (LC) as more and more applications are published and new commercial columns appear in the market ought to their ability to retain and separate analytes with multiple functionalities. The increased number of adjustable variables gives these columns an enhanced value for the chromatographer, but, on the other hand, it complicates the process of developing satisfactory separations when complex samples must be analyzed. Thus, the availability of computer assisted methods development (CAMD) tools is highly desirable in this field. Therefore, the first specific tool for the CAMD of LC separations in mixed-mode columns is presented. The tool consists in two processes. The first one develops a retention model for peaks in a predefined experimental domain of pH and buffer concentration. In this domain, the retention as a function of the proportion of organic modifier is modeled using a two-stage re-calibration process departing from isocratic retention data and then, from gradient elutions. With this two-stage approach, reliability is gained. In the second process, the model is finally interpolated and used for the unattended optimization of the different possible elution modes available in these columns. This optimization process is driven by an evolutionary algorithm. The development and application of this new chemometrics tool is demonstrated by the optimization of a mixture of neutral and ionizable compounds. Hence, several different types of gradients were generated, showing a good agreement between simulated and experimental data, with retention time errors lower than 5% in most cases. On the other hand, classical CAMD tools, such as design of experiments, were unable to efficiently deal with mixed-mode optimizations, rendering errors above 30% for several compounds. PMID:22494641

  20. Buffer optimization of thermal melt assays of Plasmodium proteins for detection of small-molecule ligands.

    PubMed

    Crowther, Gregory J; Napuli, Alberto J; Thomas, Andrew P; Chung, Diana J; Kovzun, Kuzma V; Leibly, David J; Castaneda, Lisa J; Bhandari, Janhavi; Damman, Christopher J; Hui, Raymond; Hol, Wim G J; Buckner, Frederick S; Verlinde, Christophe L M J; Zhang, Zhongsheng; Fan, Erkang; van Voorhis, Wesley C

    2009-07-01

    In the past decade, thermal melt/thermal shift assays have become a common tool for identifying ligands and other factors that stabilize specific proteins. Increased stability is indicated by an increase in the protein's melting temperature (Tm). In optimizing the assays for subsequent screening of compound libraries, it is important to minimize the variability of Tm measurements so as to maximize the assay's ability to detect potential ligands. The authors present an investigation of Tm variability in recombinant proteins from Plasmodium parasites. Ligands of Plasmodium proteins are particularly interesting as potential starting points for drugs for malaria, and new drugs are urgently needed. A single standard buffer (100 mM HEPES [pH 7.5], 150 mM NaCl) permitted estimation of Tm for 58 of 61 Plasmodium proteins tested. However, with several proteins, Tm could not be measured with a consistency suitable for high-throughput screening unless alternative protein-specific buffers were employed. The authors conclude that buffer optimization to minimize variability in Tm measurements increases the success of thermal melt screens involving proteins for which a standard buffer is suboptimal. PMID:19470714

  1. Organic soluble and uniform film forming oligoethylene glycol substituted BODIPY small molecules with improved hole mobility.

    PubMed

    Singh, Saumya; Venugopalan, Vijay; Krishnamoorthy, Kothandam

    2014-07-14

    Judiciously chosen side chains of conjugated molecules have a positive impact on charge transport properties when used as the active material in organic electronic devices. Amongst the side chains, oligoethylene glycols (OEGs) have been relatively unexplored due to their hydrophilic nature. OEGs also affect the smooth film formation of conjugated molecules, which preclude device fabrication. However, X-ray diffraction studies have shown that OEGs facilitate intermolecular contact, which is a desirable property for the fabrication of organic electronic devices. Thus the challenge is to design and synthesize organic solvent soluble and uniform film forming conjugated molecules with OEG side chains. We have designed and synthesized conjugated small molecules (CSMs) comprising BODIPY as acceptor and triphenylamine as donor with an OEG side chain. This molecule forms smooth films when processed from organic solvents. In order to understand the impact of the OEG side chain, we have also synthesized alkyl chain analogs. All the molecules exhibit exactly the same HOMO and LUMO energy levels, but the packing in the solid state is different. CSM with methyl side chains exhibit an inter planar distance of 4.15 Å. Contrary to this, the OEG side chain containing CSM showed an inter planar spacing of 4.30 Å, which is 0.2 Å less than the alkyl side chain comprising CSMs. Please note that the length of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic side chains is the same. Interestingly, the OEG side chain comprising CSM showed two orders of higher hole carrier mobilities compared to all the other derivatives. The same molecule also showed an extremely low threshold voltage of -0.27 V indicating the OEG side chains' favourable interaction between substrate as well as between molecules. PMID:24874914

  2. An Enantiomer of an Oral Small-Molecule TSH Receptor Agonist Exhibits Improved Pharmacologic Properties

    PubMed Central

    Neumann, Susanne; Padia, Umesh; Cullen, Mary Jane; Eliseeva, Elena; Nir, Eshel A.; Place, Robert F.; Morgan, Sarah J.; Gershengorn, Marvin C.

    2016-01-01

    We are developing an orally available small-molecule, allosteric TSH receptor (TSHR) agonist for follow-up diagnostics of patients with thyroid cancer. The agonist C2 (NCGC00161870) that we have studied so far is a racemic mixture containing equal amounts of two enantiomers, E1 and E2. As enantiomers of many drugs exhibit different pharmacologic properties, we assessed the properties of E1 and E2. We separated the two enantiomers by chiral chromatography and determined E2 as the (S)-(+) isomer via crystal structure analysis. E1 and E2 were shown to bind differently to a homology model of the transmembrane domain of TSHR in which E2 was calculated to exhibit lower binding energy than E1 and was, therefore, predicted to be more potent than E1. In HEK293 cells expressing human TSHRs, C2, E1, and E2 were equally efficacious in stimulating cAMP production, but their potencies were different. E2 was more potent (EC50 = 18 nM) than C2 (EC50 = 46 nM), which was more potent than E1 (EC50 = 217 nM). In primary cultures of human thyrocytes, C2, E1, and E2 stimulated increases in thyroperoxidase mRNA of 92-, 55-, and 137-fold and in sodium–iodide symporter mRNA of 20-, 4-, and 121-fold above basal levels, respectively. In mice, C2 stimulated an increase in radioactive iodine uptake of 1.5-fold and E2 of 2.8-fold above basal level, whereas E1 did not have an effect. C2 stimulated an increase in serum T4 of 2.4-fold, E1 of 1.9-fold, and E2 of 5.6-fold above basal levels, and a 5-day oral dosing regimen of E2 increased serum T4 levels comparable to recombinant human TSH (rhTSH, Thyrogen®). Thus, E2 is more effective than either C2 or E1 in stimulating thyroid function and as efficacious as rhTSH in vivo. E2 represents the next step toward developing an oral drug for patients with thyroid cancer. PMID:27512388

  3. An Enantiomer of an Oral Small-Molecule TSH Receptor Agonist Exhibits Improved Pharmacologic Properties.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Susanne; Padia, Umesh; Cullen, Mary Jane; Eliseeva, Elena; Nir, Eshel A; Place, Robert F; Morgan, Sarah J; Gershengorn, Marvin C

    2016-01-01

    We are developing an orally available small-molecule, allosteric TSH receptor (TSHR) agonist for follow-up diagnostics of patients with thyroid cancer. The agonist C2 (NCGC00161870) that we have studied so far is a racemic mixture containing equal amounts of two enantiomers, E1 and E2. As enantiomers of many drugs exhibit different pharmacologic properties, we assessed the properties of E1 and E2. We separated the two enantiomers by chiral chromatography and determined E2 as the (S)-(+) isomer via crystal structure analysis. E1 and E2 were shown to bind differently to a homology model of the transmembrane domain of TSHR in which E2 was calculated to exhibit lower binding energy than E1 and was, therefore, predicted to be more potent than E1. In HEK293 cells expressing human TSHRs, C2, E1, and E2 were equally efficacious in stimulating cAMP production, but their potencies were different. E2 was more potent (EC50 = 18 nM) than C2 (EC50 = 46 nM), which was more potent than E1 (EC50 = 217 nM). In primary cultures of human thyrocytes, C2, E1, and E2 stimulated increases in thyroperoxidase mRNA of 92-, 55-, and 137-fold and in sodium-iodide symporter mRNA of 20-, 4-, and 121-fold above basal levels, respectively. In mice, C2 stimulated an increase in radioactive iodine uptake of 1.5-fold and E2 of 2.8-fold above basal level, whereas E1 did not have an effect. C2 stimulated an increase in serum T4 of 2.4-fold, E1 of 1.9-fold, and E2 of 5.6-fold above basal levels, and a 5-day oral dosing regimen of E2 increased serum T4 levels comparable to recombinant human TSH (rhTSH, Thyrogen(®)). Thus, E2 is more effective than either C2 or E1 in stimulating thyroid function and as efficacious as rhTSH in vivo. E2 represents the next step toward developing an oral drug for patients with thyroid cancer. PMID:27512388

  4. Adaptive Particle Swarm Optimizer with Varying Acceleration Coefficients for Finding the Most Stable Conformer of Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Shikha; Silakari, Sanjay; Agrawal, Jitendra

    2015-11-01

    A novel parameter automation strategy for Particle Swarm Optimization called APSO (Adaptive PSO) is proposed. The algorithm is designed to efficiently control the local search and convergence to the global optimum solution. Parameters c1 controls the impact of the cognitive component on the particle trajectory and c2 controls the impact of the social component. Instead of fixing the value of c1 and c2 , this paper updates the value of these acceleration coefficients by considering time variation of evaluation function along with varying inertia weight factor in PSO. Here the maximum and minimum value of evaluation function is use to gradually decrease and increase the value of c1 and c2 respectively. Molecular energy minimization is one of the most challenging unsolved problems and it can be formulated as a global optimization problem. The aim of the present paper is to investigate the effect of newly developed APSO on the highly complex molecular potential energy function and to check the efficiency of the proposed algorithm to find the global minimum of the function under consideration. The proposed algorithm APSO is therefore applied in two cases: Firstly, for the minimization of a potential energy of small molecules with up to 100 degrees of freedom and finally for finding the global minimum energy conformation of 1,2,3-trichloro-1-flouro-propane molecule based on a realistic potential energy function. The computational results of all the cases show that the proposed method performs significantly better than the other algorithms. PMID:27491033

  5. A Small Molecule that Targets r(CGG)exp and Improves Defects in Fragile X-Associated Tremor Ataxia Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Disney, Matthew D.; Liu, Biao; Yang, Wang-Yong; Sellier, Chantal; Tran, Tuan; Charlet-Berguerand, Nicolas; Childs-Disney, Jessica L.

    2012-01-01

    The development of small molecule chemical probes or therapeutics that target RNA remains a significant challenge despite the great interest in such compounds. The most significant barrier to compound development is a lack of knowledge of the chemical and RNA motif spaces that interact specifically. Herein, we describe a bioactive small molecule probe that targets expanded r(CGG) repeats, or r(CGG)exp , that causes Fragile X-associated Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). The compound was identified by using information on the chemotypes and RNA motifs that interact. Specifically, 9-hydroxy-5,11-dimethyl-2-(2-(piperidin-1-yl)ethyl)-6H-pyrido[4,3-b]carbazol-2-ium, binds the 5’CGG/3’GGC motifs in r(CGG)exp and disrupts a toxic r(CGG)exp -protein complex in vitro. Structure-activity relationships (SAR) studies determined that the alkylated pyridyl and phenolic side chains are important chemotypes that drive molecular recognition to r(CGG)exp . Importantly, the compound is efficacious in FXTAS model cellular systems as evidenced by its ability to improve FXTAS-associated pre-mRNA splicing defects and to reduce the size and number of r(CGG)exp -protein aggregates. This approach may establish a general strategy to identify lead ligands that target RNA while also providing a chemical probe to dissect the varied mechanisms by which r(CGG)exp promotes toxicity. PMID:22948243

  6. A small molecule that targets r(CGG)(exp) and improves defects in fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D; Liu, Biao; Yang, Wang-Yong; Sellier, Chantal; Tran, Tuan; Charlet-Berguerand, Nicolas; Childs-Disney, Jessica L

    2012-10-19

    The development of small molecule chemical probes or therapeutics that target RNA remains a significant challenge despite the great interest in such compounds. The most significant barrier to compound development is defining which chemical and RNA motif spaces interact specifically. Herein, we describe a bioactive small molecule probe that targets expanded r(CGG) repeats, or r(CGG)(exp), that causes Fragile X-associated Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). The compound was identified by using information on the chemotypes and RNA motifs that interact. Specifically, 9-hydroxy-5,11-dimethyl-2-(2-(piperidin-1-yl)ethyl)-6H-pyrido[4,3-b]carbazol-2-ium binds the 5'CGG/3'GGC motifs in r(CGG)(exp) and disrupts a toxic r(CGG)(exp)-protein complex in vitro. Structure-activity relationship studies determined that the alkylated pyridyl and phenolic side chains are important chemotypes that drive molecular recognition of r(CGG)(exp). Importantly, the compound is efficacious in FXTAS model cellular systems as evidenced by its ability to improve FXTAS-associated pre-mRNA splicing defects and to reduce the size and number of r(CGG)(exp)-containing nuclear foci. This approach may establish a general strategy to identify lead ligands that target RNA while also providing a chemical probe to dissect the varied mechanisms by which r(CGG)(exp) promotes toxicity. PMID:22948243

  7. DG-AMMOS: A New tool to generate 3D conformation of small molecules using Distance Geometry and Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization for in silico Screening

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Discovery of new bioactive molecules that could enter drug discovery programs or that could serve as chemical probes is a very complex and costly endeavor. Structure-based and ligand-based in silico screening approaches are nowadays extensively used to complement experimental screening approaches in order to increase the effectiveness of the process and facilitating the screening of thousands or millions of small molecules against a biomolecular target. Both in silico screening methods require as input a suitable chemical compound collection and most often the 3D structure of the small molecules has to be generated since compounds are usually delivered in 1D SMILES, CANSMILES or in 2D SDF formats. Results Here, we describe the new open source program DG-AMMOS which allows the generation of the 3D conformation of small molecules using Distance Geometry and their energy minimization via Automated Molecular Mechanics Optimization. The program is validated on the Astex dataset, the ChemBridge Diversity database and on a number of small molecules with known crystal structures extracted from the Cambridge Structural Database. A comparison with the free program Balloon and the well-known commercial program Omega generating the 3D of small molecules is carried out. The results show that the new free program DG-AMMOS is a very efficient 3D structure generator engine. Conclusion DG-AMMOS provides fast, automated and reliable access to the generation of 3D conformation of small molecules and facilitates the preparation of a compound collection prior to high-throughput virtual screening computations. The validation of DG-AMMOS on several different datasets proves that generated structures are generally of equal quality or sometimes better than structures obtained by other tested methods. PMID:19912625

  8. 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

  9. The small-molecule fast skeletal troponin activator, CK-2127107, improves exercise tolerance in a rat model of heart failure.

    PubMed

    Hwee, Darren T; Kennedy, Adam R; Hartman, James J; Ryans, Julie; Durham, Nickie; Malik, Fady I; Jasper, Jeffrey R

    2015-04-01

    Heart failure-mediated skeletal myopathy, which is characterized by muscle atrophy and muscle metabolism dysfunction, often manifests as dyspnea and limb muscle fatigue. We have previously demonstrated that increasing Ca(2+) sensitivity of the sarcomere by a small-molecule fast skeletal troponin activator improves skeletal muscle force and exercise performance in healthy rats and models of neuromuscular disease. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a novel fast skeletal troponin activator, CK-2127107 (2-aminoalkyl-5-N-heteroarylpyrimidine), on skeletal muscle function and exercise performance in rats exhibiting heart failure-mediated skeletal myopathy. Rats underwent a left anterior descending coronary artery ligation, resulting in myocardial infarction and a progressive decline in cardiac function [left anterior descending coronary artery heart failure (LAD-HF)]. Compared with sham-operated control rats, LAD-HF rat hindlimb and diaphragm muscles exhibited significant muscle atrophy. Fatigability was increased during repeated in situ isokinetic plantar flexor muscle contractions. CK-2127107 produced a leftward shift in the force-Ca(2+) relationship of skinned, single diaphragm, and extensor digitorum longus fibers. Exercise performance, which was assessed by rotarod running, was lower in vehicle-treated LAD-HF rats than in sham controls (116 ± 22 versus 193 ± 31 seconds, respectively; mean ± S.E.M.; P = 0.04). In the LAD-HF rats, a single oral dose of CK-2127107 (10 mg/kg p.o.) increased running time compared with vehicle treatment (283 ± 47 versus 116 ± 22 seconds; P = 0.0004). In summary, CK-2127107 substantially increases exercise performance in this heart failure model, suggesting that modulation of skeletal muscle function by a fast skeletal troponin activator may be a useful therapeutic in heart failure-associated exercise intolerance. PMID:25678535

  10. Optimal Classes of Chemotherapeutic Agents Sensitized by Specific Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Akt In Vitro and In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yan; Liu, Xuesong; Han, Edward K.; Guan, Ran; Shoemaker, Alexander R.; Oleksijew, Anatol; Woods, Keith W.; Fisher, John P.; Klinghofer, Vered; Lasko, Loren; McGonigal, Thomas; Li, Qun; Rosenberg, Saul H.; Giranda, Vincent L.; Luo, Yan

    2005-01-01

    Abstract Akt is a serine/threonine kinase that transduces survival signals from survival/growth factors. Deregulation and signal imbalance in cancer cells make them prone to apoptosis. Upregulation or activation of Akt to aid the survival of cancer cells is a common theme in human malignancies. We have developed small-molecule Akt inhibitors that are potent and specific. These Akt inhibitors can inhibit Akt activity and block phosphorylation by Akt on multiple downstream targets in cells. Synergy in apoptosis induction was observed when Akt inhibitors were combined with doxorubicin or camptothecin. Akt inhibitor–induced enhancement of topoisomerase inhibitor cytotoxicity was also evident in long-term cell survival assay. Synergy with paclitaxel in apoptosis induction was evident in cells pretreated with paclitaxel, and enhancement of tumor delay by paclitaxel was demonstrated through cotreatment with Akt inhibitor Compound A (A-443654). Combination with other classes of chemotherapeutic agents did not yield any enhancement of cytotoxicity. These findings provide important guidance in selecting appropriate classes of chemotherapeutic agents for combination with Akt inhibitors in cancer treatment. PMID:16331885

  11. Use of a small molecule cell cycle inhibitor to control cell growth and improve specific productivity and product quality of recombinant proteins in CHO cell cultures

    PubMed Central

    Du, Zhimei; Treiber, David; McCarter, John D; Fomina-Yadlin, Dina; Saleem, Ramsey A; McCoy, Rebecca E; Zhang, Yuling; Tharmalingam, Tharmala; Leith, Matthew; Follstad, Brian D; Dell, Brad; Grisim, Brent; Zupke, Craig; Heath, Carole; Morris, Arvia E; Reddy, Pranhitha

    2015-01-01

    The continued need to improve therapeutic recombinant protein productivity has led to ongoing assessment of appropriate strategies in the biopharmaceutical industry to establish robust processes with optimized critical variables, that is, viable cell density (VCD) and specific productivity (product per cell, qP). Even though high VCD is a positive factor for titer, uncontrolled proliferation beyond a certain cell mass is also undesirable. To enable efficient process development to achieve consistent and predictable growth arrest while maintaining VCD, as well as improving qP, without negative impacts on product quality from clone to clone, we identified an approach that directly targets the cell cycle G1-checkpoint by selectively inhibiting the function of cyclin dependent kinases (CDK) 4/6 with a small molecule compound. Results from studies on multiple recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines demonstrate that the selective inhibitor can mediate a complete and sustained G0/G1 arrest without impacting G2/M phase. Cell proliferation is consistently and rapidly controlled in all recombinant cell lines at one concentration of this inhibitor throughout the production processes with specific productivities increased up to 110 pg/cell/day. Additionally, the product quality attributes of the mAb, with regard to high molecular weight (HMW) and glycan profile, are not negatively impacted. In fact, high mannose is decreased after treatment, which is in contrast to other established growth control methods such as reducing culture temperature. Microarray analysis showed major differences in expression of regulatory genes of the glycosylation and cell cycle signaling pathways between these different growth control methods. Overall, our observations showed that cell cycle arrest by directly targeting CDK4/6 using selective inhibitor compound can be utilized consistently and rapidly to optimize process parameters, such as cell growth, qP, and glycosylation profile in

  12. Property Focused Structure-Based Optimization of Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Protein-Protein Interaction between Menin and Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL).

    PubMed

    Borkin, Dmitry; Pollock, Jonathan; Kempinska, Katarzyna; Purohit, Trupta; Li, Xiaoqin; Wen, Bo; Zhao, Ting; Miao, Hongzhi; Shukla, Shirish; He, Miao; Sun, Duxin; Cierpicki, Tomasz; Grembecka, Jolanta

    2016-02-11

    Development of potent small molecule inhibitors of protein-protein interactions with optimized druglike properties represents a challenging task in lead optimization process. Here, we report synthesis and structure-based optimization of new thienopyrimidine class of compounds, which block the protein-protein interaction between menin and MLL fusion proteins that plays an important role in acute leukemias with MLL translocations. We performed simultaneous optimization of both activity and druglike properties through systematic exploration of substituents introduced to the indole ring of lead compound 1 (MI-136) to identify compounds suitable for in vivo studies in mice. This work resulted in the identification of compound 27 (MI-538), which showed significantly increased activity, selectivity, polarity, and pharmacokinetic profile over 1 and demonstrated a pronounced effect in a mouse model of MLL leukemia. This study, which reports detailed structure-activity and structure-property relationships for the menin-MLL inhibitors, demonstrates challenges in optimizing inhibitors of protein-protein interactions for potential therapeutic applications. PMID:26744767

  13. Small molecule-mediated up-regulation of microRNA targeting a key cell death modulator BNIP3 improves cardiac function following ischemic injury

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Se-Yeon; Lee, Seahyoung; Choi, Eunhyun; Ham, Onju; Lee, Chang Youn; Lee, Jiyun; Seo, Hyang-Hee; Cha, Min-Ji; Mun, Bohyun; Lee, Yunmi; Yoon, Cheesoon; Hwang, Ki-Chul

    2016-01-01

    Genetic ablation of BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa protein-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), an essential regulator of cardiac cell death, is an effective way to prevent cardiac cell death triggered by pathologic conditions. However, currently there exists no known means, such as inhibitors, to down-regulate BNIP3 in mature heart. Here, we report that a small molecule inducer of microRNA-182 (miR-182) suppressed ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced cardiac cell death by down-regulating BNIP3. We first selected miR-182 as a potent BNIP3-targeting miRNA based on miRNA-target prediction databases and empirical data. The subsequent screening of small molecules for inducing miR-182 expression identified Kenpaullone as a hit compound. Both exogenous miR-182 and Kenpaullone significantly suppressed hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte death in vitro. To investigate the effect of changing substituents of Kenpaullone on miR-182 expression, we synthesized 9 derivatives of Kenpaullone. Among these derivatives, compound 5 showed significantly improved ability to induce miR-182 expression. The results of the in vivo study showed that compound 5 significantly improved heart function following I/R-injury in rats. Our study provides strong evidence that the small molecule-mediated up-regulation of miRNAs is a viable strategy to down-regulate target proteins with no known chemical inhibitor and that compound 5 may have potential to prevent I/R-inflicted cardiac cell death. PMID:27008992

  14. Small molecule-mediated up-regulation of microRNA targeting a key cell death modulator BNIP3 improves cardiac function following ischemic injury.

    PubMed

    Lee, Se-Yeon; Lee, Seahyoung; Choi, Eunhyun; Ham, Onju; Lee, Chang Youn; Lee, Jiyun; Seo, Hyang-Hee; Cha, Min-Ji; Mun, Bohyun; Lee, Yunmi; Yoon, Cheesoon; Hwang, Ki-Chul

    2016-01-01

    Genetic ablation of BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa protein-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), an essential regulator of cardiac cell death, is an effective way to prevent cardiac cell death triggered by pathologic conditions. However, currently there exists no known means, such as inhibitors, to down-regulate BNIP3 in mature heart. Here, we report that a small molecule inducer of microRNA-182 (miR-182) suppressed ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced cardiac cell death by down-regulating BNIP3. We first selected miR-182 as a potent BNIP3-targeting miRNA based on miRNA-target prediction databases and empirical data. The subsequent screening of small molecules for inducing miR-182 expression identified Kenpaullone as a hit compound. Both exogenous miR-182 and Kenpaullone significantly suppressed hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte death in vitro. To investigate the effect of changing substituents of Kenpaullone on miR-182 expression, we synthesized 9 derivatives of Kenpaullone. Among these derivatives, compound 5 showed significantly improved ability to induce miR-182 expression. The results of the in vivo study showed that compound 5 significantly improved heart function following I/R-injury in rats. Our study provides strong evidence that the small molecule-mediated up-regulation of miRNAs is a viable strategy to down-regulate target proteins with no known chemical inhibitor and that compound 5 may have potential to prevent I/R-inflicted cardiac cell death. PMID:27008992

  15. Small molecule TBTC as a new selective retinoid X receptor α agonist improves behavioral deficit in Alzheimer's disease model mice.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yanyan; Fan, Jun; Zhu, Zhiyuan; Guo, Xiaodan; Zhou, Tingting; Duan, Wenhu; Shen, Xu

    2015-09-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease, which is characterized by progressive cognitive impairments. The β-amyloid (Aβ)-induced neurodegeneration is determined as the main pathogenesis of AD, and either decrease of Aβ production or increase of Aβ clearance is beneficial in the treatment of AD, while Aβ clearance regulation seems to be more attractive as a promising therapeutic strategy against AD based on the fact that the insufficient clearance of Aβ is tightly associated with the late onset of AD that is represented as the majority of AD cases. Here, we report that the small molecular compound, methyl 2-amino-6-(tert-butyl)-4,5,6,7-tetrahydrobenzo[b]thiophene-3-carboxylate (TBTC), as a selective agonist of retinoid X receptor α (RXRα) can effectively activate the heterodimerization of RXRα with either liver X receptor α (LXRα) or peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ), stimulate the expressions of the genes of apoE, ABCA1 and ABCG1, and decrease Aβ content both in cells and animal models. In addition, administration of TBTC (30mg/kg/day) in the transgenic APP-PS1 mice could also reduce the formation of senile plaques and improve the daily living activity of the mice. Therefore, our findings have suggested that TBTC might hold the potential as a drug lead compound for the treatment of AD. PMID:26026644

  16. Sustained functional improvement by hepatocyte growth factor-like small molecule BB3 after focal cerebral ischemia in rats and mice

    PubMed Central

    Chaparro, Rafael E; Izutsu, Miwa; Sasaki, Toshihiro; Sheng, Huaxin; Zheng, Yi; Sadeghian, Homa; Qin, Tao; von Bornstadt, Daniel; Herisson, Fanny; Duan, Bin; Li, Jing-Song; Jiang, Kai; Pearlstein, Molly; Pearlstein, Robert D; Smith, David E; Goldberg, Itzhak D; Ayata, Cenk; Warner, David S

    2015-01-01

    Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), efficacious in preclinical models of acute central nervous system injury, is burdened by administration of full-length proteins. A multiinstitutional consortium investigated the efficacy of BB3, a small molecule with HGF-like activity that crosses the blood–brain barrier in rodent focal ischemic stroke using Stroke Therapy Academic Industry Roundtable (STAIR) and Good Laboratory Practice guidelines. In rats, BB3, begun 6 hours after temporary middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) reperfusion, or permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) onset, and continued for 14 days consistently improved long-term neurologic function independent of sex, age, or laboratory. BB3 had little effect on cerebral infarct size and no effect on blood pressure. BB3 increased HGF receptor c-Met phosphorylation and synaptophysin expression in penumbral tissue consistent with a neurorestorative mechanism from HGF-like activity. In mouse tMCAO, BB3 starting 10 minutes after reperfusion and continued for 14 days improved neurologic function that persisted for 8 weeks in some, but not all measures. Study in animals with comorbidities and those exposed to common stroke drugs are the next steps to complete preclinical assessment. These data, generated in independent, masked, and rigorously controlled settings, are the first to suggest that the HGF pathway can potentially be harnessed by BB3 for neurologic benefit after ischemic stroke. PMID:25712497

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. Structure-Based Optimization of a Small Molecule Antagonist of the Interaction Between WD Repeat-Containing Protein 5 (WDR5) and Mixed-Lineage Leukemia 1 (MLL1).

    PubMed

    Getlik, Matthäus; Smil, David; Zepeda-Velázquez, Carlos; Bolshan, Yuri; Poda, Gennady; Wu, Hong; Dong, Aiping; Kuznetsova, Ekaterina; Marcellus, Richard; Senisterra, Guillermo; Dombrovski, Ludmila; Hajian, Taraneh; Kiyota, Taira; Schapira, Matthieu; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H; Brown, Peter J; Vedadi, Masoud; Al-Awar, Rima

    2016-03-24

    WD repeat-containing protein 5 (WDR5) is an important component of the multiprotein complex essential for activating mixed-lineage leukemia 1 (MLL1). Rearrangement of the MLL1 gene is associated with onset and progression of acute myeloid and lymphoblastic leukemias, and targeting the WDR5-MLL1 interaction may result in new cancer therapeutics. Our previous work showed that binding of small molecule ligands to WDR5 can modulate its interaction with MLL1, suppressing MLL1 methyltransferase activity. Initial structure-activity relationship studies identified N-(2-(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)-5-substituted-phenyl) benzamides as potent and selective antagonists of this protein-protein interaction. Guided by crystal structure data and supported by in silico library design, we optimized the scaffold by varying the C-1 benzamide and C-5 substituents. This allowed us to develop the first highly potent (Kdisp < 100 nM) small molecule antagonists of the WDR5-MLL1 interaction and demonstrate that N-(4-(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)-3'-(morpholinomethyl)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-3-yl)-6-oxo-4-(trifluoromethyl)-1,6-dihydropyridine-3-carboxamide 16d (OICR-9429) is a potent and selective chemical probe suitable to help dissect the biological role of WDR5. PMID:26958703

  6. Real time HR-MAS NMR: application in reaction optimization, mechanism elucidation and kinetic analysis for heterogeneous reagent catalyzed small molecule chemistry.

    PubMed

    Roy, Abhijeet Deb; Jayalakshmi, K; Dasgupta, Somnath; Roy, Raja; Mukhopadhyay, Balaram

    2008-12-01

    A novel application of in situ (1)H high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) NMR technique for real-time monitoring of H(2)SO(4)-silica promoted formation of 2, 2-disubstituted quinozolin-4(3H)-ones is reported. The detailed NMR spectroscopic data led to elucidation of the mechanism, reaction optimization, kinetics and quantitative analysis of the product accurately and efficiently. The translation of the optimized parameters obtained by (1)H HR-MAS NMR in the wet laboratory provided similar results. It is proposed that (1)H HR-MAS has a potential utility for optimization of various organic transformations in solid supported catalyzed reactions. PMID:18853391

  7. The identification, characterization and optimization of small molecule probes of cysteine proteases: experiences of the Penn Center for Molecular Discovery with cathepsin B and cathepsin L.

    PubMed

    Huryn, Donna M; Smith, Amos B

    2009-01-01

    During the pilot phase of the NIH Molecular Library Screening Network, the Penn Center for Molecular Discovery focused on a series of projects aimed at high throughput screening and the development of probes of a variety of protease targets. This review provides our medicinal chemistry experience with two such targets--cathepsin B and cathepsin L. We describe our approach for hit validation, characterization and triage that led to a critical understanding of the nature of hits from the cathepsin B project. In addition, we detail our experience at hit identification and optimization that led to the development of a novel thiocarbazate probe of cathepsin L. PMID:19807666

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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)…

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Auxin biology revealed by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-05-01

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

  19. 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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Pathways for Small Molecule Delivery to the Central Nervous System Across the Blood-Brain Barrier

    PubMed Central

    Mikitsh, John L; Chacko, Ann-Marie

    2014-01-01

    The treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disease has long been difficult due to the ineffectiveness of drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This review summarizes important concepts of the BBB in normal versus pathophysiology and how this physical, enzymatic, and efflux barrier provides necessary protection to the CNS during drug delivery, and consequently treatment challenging. Small molecules account for the vast majority of available CNS drugs primarily due to their ability to penetrate the phospholipid membrane of the BBB by passive or carrier-mediated mechanisms. Physiochemical and biological factors relevant for designing small molecules with optimal capabilities for BBB permeability are discussed, as well as the most promising classes of transporters suitable for small-molecule drug delivery. Clinically translatable imaging methodologies for detecting and quantifying drug uptake and targeting in the brain are discussed as a means of further understanding and refining delivery parameters for both drugs and imaging probes in preclinical and clinical domains. This information can be used as a guide to design drugs with preserved drug action and better delivery profiles for improved treatment outcomes over existing therapeutic approaches. PMID:24963272

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  11. Small molecule inhibition of RISC loading.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-17

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Discovery of Methyl 4′-Methyl-5-(7-nitrobenzo[c][1,2,5]oxadiazol-4-yl)-[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-carboxylate, an Improved Small-Molecule Inhibitor of c-Myc–Max Dimerization

    PubMed Central

    Yap, Jeremy L.; Sabato, Philip E.; Hu, Angela; Prochownik, Edward V.; Fletcher, Steven

    2014-01-01

    c-Myc is a bHLH-ZIP transcription factor that is responsible for the transcription of a wide range of target genes involved in many cancer-related cellular processes, such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and metabolism. Over-expression of c-Myc has been observed in, and directly contributes to, a variety of human cancers including those of the hematopoietic system, lung, prostate and colon. To become transcriptionally active, c-Myc must first dimerize with Max via its own bHLH-ZIP domain. A proven strategy towards the inhibition of c-Myc oncogenic activity is to interfere with the structural integrity of the c-Myc–Max heterodimer. The small-molecule 10074-G5 is an inhibitor of c-Myc–Max dimerization (IC50 = 146 μM) that operates by binding and stabilizing c-Myc in its monomeric form. Herein, we report on our on-going efforts to optimize the c-Myc–Max inhibitory activity of 10074-G5-related molecules in vitro and in cancer cells that over-express c-Myc. Specifically, we have identified a congener of 10074-G5, termed 3jc48-3, that is about five times as potent (IC50 = 34 μM) at inhibiting c-Myc–Max dimerization as the parent compound. In addition, 3jc48-3 exhibited an approximate two-fold selectivity for c-Myc–Max heterodimers over Max–Max dimers, suggesting that, like its predecessor, its mode of action is through binding c-Myc. 3jc48-3 inhibited the proliferation of c-Myc-over-expressing HL60 and Daudi cells with single-digit micromolar IC50 values by causing growth arrest at the G0/G1 phase. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation studies indicated that 3jc48-3 inhibits c-Myc–Max dimerization in cells, which was further substantiated by the specific silencing of a c-Myc-driven luciferase reporter gene. Finally, unlike previously described 10074-G5 analogues, which are rapidly released and/or metabolized by cells following their uptake, 3jc48-3’s intracellular half-life was >17 h. Collectively, these data demonstrate 3jc48-3 to be one of

  16. Suppression of acute proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine upregulation by post-injury administration of a novel small molecule improves long-term neurologic outcome in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Eric; Somera-Molina, Kathleen; Van Eldik, Linda J; Watterson, D Martin; Wainwright, Mark S

    2008-01-01

    Background Traumatic brain injury (TBI) with its associated morbidity is a major area of unmet medical need that lacks effective therapies. TBI initiates a neuroinflammatory cascade characterized by activation of astrocytes and microglia, and increased production of immune mediators including proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. This inflammatory response contributes both to the acute pathologic processes following TBI including cerebral edema, in addition to longer-term neuronal damage and cognitive impairment. However, activated glia also play a neuroprotective and reparative role in recovery from injury. Thus, potential therapeutic strategies targeting the neuroinflammatory cascade must use careful dosing considerations, such as amount of drug and timing of administration post injury, in order not to interfere with the reparative contribution of activated glia. Methods We tested the hypothesis that attenuation of the acute increase in proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines following TBI would decrease neurologic injury and improve functional neurologic outcome. We used the small molecule experimental therapeutic, Minozac (Mzc), to suppress TBI-induced up-regulation of glial activation and proinflammatory cytokines back towards basal levels. Mzc was administered in a clinically relevant time window post-injury in a murine closed-skull, cortical impact model of TBI. Mzc effects on the acute increase in brain cytokine and chemokine levels were measured as well as the effect on neuronal injury and neurobehavioral function. Results Administration of Mzc (5 mg/kg) at 3 h and 9 h post-TBI attenuates the acute increase in proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine levels, reduces astrocyte activation, and the longer term neurologic injury, and neurobehavioral deficits measured by Y maze performance over a 28-day recovery period. Mzc-treated animals also have no significant increase in brain water content (edema), a major cause of the neurologic morbidity associated

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Reprogramming with Small Molecules instead of Exogenous Transcription Factors

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shouhai

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ekins, Sean; Southan, Christopher; Coffee, Megan

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Methods to enable the design of bioactive small molecules targeting RNA

    PubMed Central

    Disney, Matthew D.; Yildirim, Ilyas; Childs-Disney, Jessica L.

    2014-01-01

    RNA is an immensely important target for small molecule therapeutics or chemical probes of function. However, methods that identify, annotate, and optimize RNA-small molecule interactions that could enable the design of compounds that modulate RNA function are in their infancies. This review describes recent approaches that have been developed to understand and optimize RNA motif-small molecule interactions, including Structure-Activity Relationships Through Sequencing (StARTS), quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR), chemical similarity searching, structure-based design and docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Case studies described include the design of small molecules targeting RNA expansions, the bacterial A-site, viral RNAs, and telomerase RNA. These approaches can be combined to afford a synergistic method to exploit the myriad of RNA targets in the transcriptome. PMID:24357181

  8. Methods to enable the design of bioactive small molecules targeting RNA.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D; Yildirim, Ilyas; Childs-Disney, Jessica L

    2014-02-21

    RNA is an immensely important target for small molecule therapeutics or chemical probes of function. However, methods that identify, annotate, and optimize RNA-small molecule interactions that could enable the design of compounds that modulate RNA function are in their infancies. This review describes recent approaches that have been developed to understand and optimize RNA motif-small molecule interactions, including structure-activity relationships through sequencing (StARTS), quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR), chemical similarity searching, structure-based design and docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Case studies described include the design of small molecules targeting RNA expansions, the bacterial A-site, viral RNAs, and telomerase RNA. These approaches can be combined to afford a synergistic method to exploit the myriad of RNA targets in the transcriptome. PMID:24357181

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-07-24

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-24

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-08-01

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

  20. 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

  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. Efficient polymer solar cells employing a non-conjugated small-molecule electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouyang, Xinhua; Peng, Ruixiang; Ai, Ling; Zhang, Xingye; Ge, Ziyi

    2015-08-01

    Polymer solar cells have drawn a great deal of attention due to the attractiveness of their use in renewable energy sources that are potentially lightweight and low in cost. Recently, numerous significant research efforts have resulted in polymer solar cells with power conversion efficiencies in excess of 9% (ref. 1). Nevertheless, further improvements in performance are sought for commercial applications. Here, we report polymer solar cells with a power conversion efficiency of 10.02% that employ a non-conjugated small-molecule electrolyte as an interlayer. The material offers good contact for photogenerated charge carrier collection and allows optimum photon harvesting in the device. Furthermore, the enhanced performance is attributed to improved electron mobility, enhanced active-layer absorption and properly active-layer microstructures with optimal horizontal phase separation and vertical phase gradation. Our discovery opens a new avenue for single-junction devices by fully exploiting the potential of various material systems with efficiency over 10%.

  3. Structure of the myotonic dystrophy type 2 RNA and designed small molecules that reduce toxicity.

    PubMed

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Yildirim, Ilyas; Park, HaJeung; Lohman, Jeremy R; Guan, Lirui; Tran, Tuan; Sarkar, Partha; Schatz, George C; Disney, Matthew D

    2014-02-21

    Myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is an incurable neuromuscular disorder caused by a r(CCUG) expansion (r(CCUG)(exp)) that folds into an extended hairpin with periodically repeating 2×2 nucleotide internal loops (5'CCUG/3'GUCC). We designed multivalent compounds that improve DM2-associated defects using information about RNA-small molecule interactions. We also report the first crystal structure of r(CCUG) repeats refined to 2.35 Å. Structural analysis of the three 5'CCUG/3'GUCC repeat internal loops (L) reveals that the CU pairs in L1 are each stabilized by one hydrogen bond and a water-mediated hydrogen bond, while CU pairs in L2 and L3 are stabilized by two hydrogen bonds. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations reveal that the CU pairs are dynamic and stabilized by Na(+) and water molecules. MD simulations of the binding of the small molecule to r(CCUG) repeats reveal that the lowest free energy binding mode occurs via the major groove, in which one C residue is unstacked and the cross-strand nucleotides are displaced. Moreover, we modeled the binding of our dimeric compound to two 5'CCUG/3'GUCC motifs, which shows that the scaffold on which the RNA-binding modules are displayed provides an optimal distance to span two adjacent loops. PMID:24341895

  4. Structure of the Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2 RNA and Designed Small Molecules That Reduce Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Park, HaJeung; Lohman, Jeremy R.; Guan, Lirui; Tran, Tuan; Sarkar, Partha; Schatz, George C.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is an untreatable neuromuscular disorder caused by a r(CCUG) expansion (r(CCUG)exp) that folds into an extended hairpin with periodically repeating 2×2 nucleotide internal loops (5’CCUG/3’GUCC). We designed multivalent compounds that improve DM2-associated defects using information about RNA-small molecule interactions. We also report the first crystal structure of r(CCUG)exp refined to 2.35 Å. Structural analysis of the three 5’CCUG/3’GUCC repeat internal loops (L) reveals that the CU pairs in L1 are each stabilized by one hydrogen bond and a water-mediated hydrogen bond while CU pairs in L2 and L3 are stabilized by two hydrogen bonds. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations reveal that the CU pairs are dynamic and stabilized by Na+ and water molecules. MD simulations of the binding of the small molecule to r(CCUG) repeats reveal that the lowest free energy binding mode occurs via the major groove, in which one C residue is unstacked and the cross-strand nucleotides are displaced. Moreover, we modeled the binding of our dimeric compound to two 5’CCUG/3’GUCC motifs, which shows that the scaffold on which the RNA-binding modules are displayed provides an optimal distance to span two adjacent loops. PMID:24341895

  5. Sensors and Biosensors for the Determination of Small Molecule Biological Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiang-Hong; Wang, Shuo

    2008-01-01

    The following review of sensors and biosensors focuses on the determination of commonly studied small molecule biological toxins, including mycotoxins and small molecule neurotoxins. Because of the high toxicity of small molecule toxins, an effective analysis technique for determining their toxicity is indispensable. Sensors and biosensors have emerged as sensitive and rapid techniques for toxicity analysis in the past decade. Several different sensors for the determination of mycotoxins and other small molecule neurotoxins have been reported in the literature, and many of these sensors such as tissue biosensors, enzyme sensors, optical immunosensors, electrochemical sensors, quartz crystal sensors, and surface plasmon resonance biosensors are reviewed in this paper. Sensors are a practical and convenient monitoring tool in the area of routine analysis, and their specificity, sensitivity, reproducibility and analysis stability should all be improved in future work. In addition, accuracy field portable sensing devices and multiplexing analysis devices will be important requirement for the future.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. A D-π-A1-π-A2 push-pull small molecule donor for solution processed bulk heterojunction organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Prabhat; Misra, Rajneesh; Biswas, Subhayan; Sharma, Ganesh D

    2016-05-18

    Herein, benzothiadiazole (BTD), as an acceptor A1, has been used as a backbone to link triphenylamine (TPA) as donor and naphthalimide (NPI) as acceptor (A2) moieties through ethylene linkers to design a small molecule. The donor-π-acceptor-π-acceptor (D-π-A1-π-A2) type small molecule denoted as was synthesized. In order to use it as an electron donor for solution processed bulk heterojunction small molecule solar cells its photonic and electronic properties were explored. The small molecule organic solar cells based on the optimized blend of with PC71BM processed in chloroform showed a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 2.21%, which was significantly improved up to 6.67%, when a two-step annealing (TSA) treated blend was used as an active layer. The increase in the PCE was due to the enhancement in both Jsc and FF. The improvement in Jsc was related to the enhancement in the light harvesting efficiency of a TSA treated active layer relative to the as-cast layer, which is reflected in a better IPCE and better charge collection. The TSA treatment also leads to better nanoscale morphology for exciton dissociation into free charge carriers and improved crystallinity for balanced charge transport. PMID:27149659

  9. 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.

  10. An improved cockroach swarm optimization.

    PubMed

    Obagbuwa, I C; Adewumi, A O

    2014-01-01

    Hunger component is introduced to the existing cockroach swarm optimization (CSO) algorithm to improve its searching ability and population diversity. The original CSO was modelled with three components: chase-swarming, dispersion, and ruthless; additional hunger component which is modelled using partial differential equation (PDE) method is included in this paper. An improved cockroach swarm optimization (ICSO) is proposed in this paper. The performance of the proposed algorithm is tested on well known benchmarks and compared with the existing CSO, modified cockroach swarm optimization (MCSO), roach infestation optimization RIO, and hungry roach infestation optimization (HRIO). The comparison results show clearly that the proposed algorithm outperforms the existing algorithms. PMID:24959611

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. In vitro selection and amplification protocols for isolation of aptameric sensors for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Yang, Kyung-Ae; Pei, Renjun; Stojanovic, Milan N

    2016-08-15

    We recently optimized a procedure that directly yields aptameric sensors for small molecules in so-called structure-switching format. The protocol has a high success rate, short time, and is sufficiently simple to be readily implemented in a non-specialist laboratory. We provide a stepwise guide to this selection protocol. PMID:27155227

  20. Recent advances in inorganic materials for LDI-MS analysis of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Shi, C Y; Deng, C H

    2016-05-10

    In this review, various inorganic materials were summarized for the analysis of small molecules by laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS). Due to its tremendous advantages, such as simplicity, high speed, high throughput, small analyte volumes and tolerance towards salts, LDI-MS has been widely used in various analytes. During the ionization process, a suitable agent is required to assist the ionization, such as an appropriate matrix for matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). However, it is normally difficult to analyze small molecules with the MALDI technique because conventional organic matrices may produce matrix-related peaks in the low molecular-weight region, which limits the detection of small molecules (m/z < 700 Da). Therefore, more and more inorganic materials, including carbon-based materials, silicon-based materials and metal-based materials, have been developed to assist the ionization of small molecules. These inorganic materials can transfer energy and improve the ionization efficiency of analytes. In addition, functionalized inorganic materials can act as both an adsorbent and an agent in the enrichment and ionization of small molecules. In this review, we mainly focus on present advances in inorganic materials for the LDI-MS analysis of small molecules in the last five years, which contains the synthetic protocols of novel inorganic materials and the detailed results achieved by inorganic materials. On the other hand, this review also summarizes the application of inorganic materials as adsorbents in the selective enrichment of small molecules, which provides a new field for the application of inorganic materials. PMID:27050451

  1. Inforna 2.0: A Platform for the Sequence-Based Design of Small Molecules Targeting Structured RNAs.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D; Winkelsas, Audrey M; Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Southern, Mark; Fallahi, Mohammad; Childs-Disney, Jessica L

    2016-06-17

    The development of small molecules that target RNA is challenging yet, if successful, could advance the development of chemical probes to study RNA function or precision therapeutics to treat RNA-mediated disease. Previously, we described Inforna, an approach that can mine motifs (secondary structures) within target RNAs, which is deduced from the RNA sequence, and compare them to a database of known RNA motif-small molecule binding partners. Output generated by Inforna includes the motif found in both the database and the desired RNA target, lead small molecules for that target, and other related meta-data. Lead small molecules can then be tested for binding and affecting cellular (dys)function. Herein, we describe Inforna 2.0, which incorporates all known RNA motif-small molecule binding partners reported in the scientific literature, a chemical similarity searching feature, and an improved user interface and is freely available via an online web server. By incorporation of interactions identified by other laboratories, the database has been doubled, containing 1936 RNA motif-small molecule interactions, including 244 unique small molecules and 1331 motifs. Interestingly, chemotype analysis of the compounds that bind RNA in the database reveals features in small molecule chemotypes that are privileged for binding. Further, this updated database expanded the number of cellular RNAs to which lead compounds can be identified. PMID:27097021

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Solution processable organic polymers and small molecules for bulk-heterojunction solar cells: A review

    SciTech Connect

    Sharma, G. D.

    2011-10-20

    Solution processed bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic solar cells (OSCs) have gained wide interest in past few years and are established as one of the leading next generation photovoltaic technologies for low cost power production. Power conversion efficiencies up to 6% and 6.5% have been reported in the literature for single layer and tandem solar cells, respectively using conjugated polymers. A recent record efficiency about 8.13% with active area of 1.13 cm{sup 2} has been reported. However Solution processable small molecules have been widely applied for photovoltaic (PV) devices in recent years because they show strong absorption properties, and they can be easily purified and deposited onto flexible substrates at low cost. Introducing different donor and acceptor groups to construct donor--acceptor (D--A) structure small molecules has proved to be an efficient way to improve the properties of organic solar cells (OSCs). The power conversion efficiency about 4.4 % has been reported for OSCs based on the small molecules. This review deals with the recent progress of solution processable D--A structure small molecules and discusses the key factors affecting the properties of OSCs based on D--A structure small molecules: sunlight absorption, charge transport and the energy level of the molecules.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Multimodality Plant Imaging of Small Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    DeJesus, Onofre T.

    2015-03-12

    Positron emission tomography (PET) is a non-invasive imaging technique used to diagnose disease and monitor therapy. PET imaging has had tremendous impact in healthcare delivery resulting in improved outcomes and reduced costs. The discovery and development of PET is one of the achievements of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) support of the peaceful uses of the atom. This project is a logical extension of the use of the PET technique to live plant imaging to advance DOE’s biological and environmental initiatives.

  11. 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

  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 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-12

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

  3. Bioorthogonal Cyclization-Mediated In Situ Self-Assembly of Small Molecule Probes for Imaging Caspase Activity in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Deju; Shuhendler, Adam J.; Cui, Lina; Tong, Ling; Tee, Sui Seng; Tikhomirov, Grigory; Felsher, Dean W.; Rao, Jianghong

    2014-01-01

    Directed self-assembly of small molecules in living systems could enable a myriad of applications in biology and medicine, and it has been widely used to synthesize supramolecules and nano/microstructures in solution and in living cells. However, controlling self-assembly of synthetic small molecules in living animals is challenging because of the complex and dynamic in vivo physiological environment. Here we employed an optimized first-order bioorthogonal cyclization reaction to control self-assembly of a fluorescent small molecule, and demonstrated its in vivo applicability by imaging of casapae-3/7 activity in human tumor xenograft mouse models of chemotherapy. The in situ assembled fluorescent nanoparticles have been successfully imaged in both apoptotic cells and tumor tissues using three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy. This strategy combines the advantages offered by small molecules with those of nanomaterials and should find widespread use for non-invasive imaging of enzyme activity in vivo. PMID:24848238

  4. Bioorthogonal cyclization-mediated in situ self-assembly of small-molecule probes for imaging caspase activity in vivo.

    PubMed

    Ye, Deju; Shuhendler, Adam J; Cui, Lina; Tong, Ling; Tee, Sui Seng; Tikhomirov, Grigory; Felsher, Dean W; Rao, Jianghong

    2014-06-01

    Directed self-assembly of small molecules in living systems could enable a myriad of applications in biology and medicine, and already this has been used widely to synthesize supramolecules and nano/microstructures in solution and in living cells. However, controlling the self-assembly of synthetic small molecules in living animals is challenging because of the complex and dynamic in vivo physiological environment. Here we employ an optimized first-order bioorthogonal cyclization reaction to control the self-assembly of a fluorescent small molecule, and demonstrate its in vivo applicability by imaging caspase-3/7 activity in human tumour xenograft mouse models of chemotherapy. The fluorescent nanoparticles assembled in situ were imaged successfully in both apoptotic cells and tumour tissues using three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy. This strategy combines the advantages offered by small molecules with those of nanomaterials and should find widespread use for non-invasive imaging of enzyme activity in vivo. PMID:24848238

  5. Understanding the morphology of solution processed fullerene-free small molecule bulk heterojunction blends.

    PubMed

    Namepetra, Andrew; Kitching, Elizabeth; Eftaiha, Ala'a F; Hill, Ian G; Welch, Gregory C

    2016-05-14

    Bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) molecular blends prepared from small molecules based on diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) and perylene-diimide (PDI) chromophores have been studied using optical absorption, cyclic voltammetry, photoluminescence quenching, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, and current-voltage measurements. The results provided useful insights into the use of DPP and PDI based molecules as donor-acceptor composites for organic photovoltaic (OPV) applications. Beside optoelectronic compatibility, the choice of active layer processing conditions is of key importance to improve the performance of BHJ solar cells. In this context, post-production treatments, viz. thermal and solvent vapour annealing, and the use of 1,8-diiodooctane as a solvent additive were employed to optimize the morphology of blend films. X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy indicated that the aforementioned processing strategies led to non-optimal composite morphologies with significantly large crystallites in comparison to exciton diffusion lengths. Although the open circuit voltage of the OPV devices was satisfactory (0.78 V), it was anticipated that the bulky domains hamper charge dissociation and transport, which resulted in low photovoltaic performance. PMID:27087259

  6. 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

  7. In Silico Investigation of the Neurotensin Receptor 1 Binding Site: Overlapping Binding Modes for Small Molecule Antagonists and the Endogenous Peptide Agonist.

    PubMed

    Lückmann, Michael; Holst, Birgitte; Schwartz, Thue W; Frimurer, Thomas M

    2016-01-01

    The neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1) belongs to the family of 7TM, G protein-coupled receptors, and is activated by the 13-amino-acid peptide neurotensin (NTS) that has been shown to play important roles in neurological disorders and the promotion of cancer cells. Recently, a high-resolution x-ray crystal structure of NTSR1 in complex with NTS8-13 has been determined, providing novel insights into peptide ligand recognition by 7TM receptors. SR48692, a potent and selective small molecule antagonist has previously been used extensively as a tool compound to study NTSR1 receptor signaling properties. To investigate the binding mode of SR48692 and other small molecule compounds to NTSR1, we applied an Automated Ligand-guided Backbone Ensemble Receptor Optimization protocol (ALiBERO), taking receptor flexibility and ligand knowledge into account. Structurally overlapping binding poses for SR48692 and NTS8-13 were observed, despite their distinct chemical nature and inverse pharmacological profiles. The optimized models showed significantly improved ligand recognition in a large-scale virtual screening assessment compared to the crystal structure. Our models provide new insights into small molecule ligand binding to NTSR1 and could facilitate the structure-based design of non-peptide ligands for the evaluation of the pharmacological potential of NTSR1 in neurological disorders and cancer. PMID:27491650

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Novel small-molecule AMPK activator orally exerts beneficial effects on diabetic db/db mice.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuan-Yuan; Yu, Li-Fang; Zhang, Li-Na; Qiu, Bei-Ying; Su, Ming-Bo; Wu, Fang; Chen, Da-Kai; Pang, Tao; Gu, Min; Zhang, Wei; Ma, Wei-Ping; Jiang, Hao-Wen; Li, Jing-Ya; Nan, Fa-Jun; Li, Jia

    2013-12-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is a pivotal guardian of whole-body energy metabolism, has become an attractive therapeutic target for metabolic syndrome. Previously, using a homogeneous scintillation proximity assay, we identified the small-molecule AMPK activator C24 from an optimization based on the original allosteric activator PT1. In this paper, the AMPK activation mechanism of C24 and its potential beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism on db/db mice were investigated. C24 allosterically stimulated inactive AMPK α subunit truncations and activated AMPK heterotrimers by antagonizing autoinhibition. In primary hepatocytes, C24 increased the phosphorylation of AMPK downstream target acetyl-CoA carboxylase dose-dependently without changing intracellular AMP/ATP ratio, indicating its allosteric activation in cells. Through activating AMPK, C24 decreased glucose output by down-regulating mRNA levels of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) in primary hepatocytes. C24 also decreased the triglyceride and cholesterol contents in HepG2 cells. Due to its improved bioavailability, chronic oral treatment with multiple doses of C24 significantly reduced blood glucose and lipid levels in plasma, and improved the glucose tolerance of diabetic db/db mice. The hepatic transcriptional levels of PEPCK and G6Pase were reduced. These results demonstrate that this orally effective activator of AMPK represents a novel approach to the treatment of metabolic syndrome. PMID:24055643

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Design of a bioactive small molecule that targets r(AUUCU) repeats in spinocerebellar ataxia 10.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wang-Yong; Gao, Rui; Southern, Mark; Sarkar, Partha S; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-01-01

    RNA is an important target for chemical probes of function and lead therapeutics; however, it is difficult to target with small molecules. One approach to tackle this problem is to identify compounds that target RNA structures and utilize them to multivalently target RNA. Here we show that small molecules can be identified to selectively bind RNA base pairs by probing a library of RNA-focused small molecules. A small molecule that selectively binds AU base pairs informed design of a dimeric compound (2AU-2) that targets the pathogenic RNA, expanded r(AUUCU) repeats, that causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10) in patient-derived cells. Indeed, 2AU-2 (50 nM) ameliorates various aspects of SCA10 pathology including improvement of mitochondrial dysfunction, reduced activation of caspase 3, and reduction of nuclear foci. These studies provide a first-in-class chemical probe to study SCA10 RNA toxicity and potentially define broadly applicable compounds targeting RNA AU base pairs in cells. PMID:27248057

  17. Design of a bioactive small molecule that targets r(AUUCU) repeats in spinocerebellar ataxia 10

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Wang-Yong; Gao, Rui; Southern, Mark; Sarkar, Partha S.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2016-01-01

    RNA is an important target for chemical probes of function and lead therapeutics; however, it is difficult to target with small molecules. One approach to tackle this problem is to identify compounds that target RNA structures and utilize them to multivalently target RNA. Here we show that small molecules can be identified to selectively bind RNA base pairs by probing a library of RNA-focused small molecules. A small molecule that selectively binds AU base pairs informed design of a dimeric compound (2AU-2) that targets the pathogenic RNA, expanded r(AUUCU) repeats, that causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10) in patient-derived cells. Indeed, 2AU-2 (50 nM) ameliorates various aspects of SCA10 pathology including improvement of mitochondrial dysfunction, reduced activation of caspase 3, and reduction of nuclear foci. These studies provide a first-in-class chemical probe to study SCA10 RNA toxicity and potentially define broadly applicable compounds targeting RNA AU base pairs in cells. PMID:27248057

  18. Multi-small molecule conjugations as new targeted delivery carriers for tumor therapy

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Lingling; Liu, Ming; Wu, Chao; Zhao, Liang; Li, Siwen; Xu, Lisheng; Cao, Wengen; Gao, Guizhen; Gu, Yueqing

    2015-01-01

    In response to the challenges of cancer chemotherapeutics, including poor physicochemical properties, low tumor targeting ability, and harmful side effects, we developed a new tumor-targeted multi-small molecule drug delivery platform. Using paclitaxel (PTX) as a model therapeutic, we prepared two prodrugs, ie, folic acid-fluorescein-5(6)-isothiocyanate-arginine-paclitaxel (FA-FITC-Arg-PTX) and folic acid-5-aminofluorescein-glutamic-paclitaxel (FA-5AF-Glu-PTX), composed of folic acid (FA, target), amino acids (Arg or Glu, linker), and fluorescent dye (fluorescein in vitro or near-infrared fluorescent dye in vivo) in order to better understand the mechanism of PTX prodrug targeting. In vitro and acute toxicity studies demonstrated the low toxicity of the prodrug formulations compared with the free drug. In vitro and in vivo studies indicated that folate receptor-mediated uptake of PTX-conjugated multi-small molecule carriers induced high antitumor activity. Notably, compared with free PTX and with PTX-loaded macromolecular carriers from our previous study, this multi-small molecule-conjugated strategy improved the water solubility, loading rate, targeting ability, antitumor activity, and toxicity profile of PTX. These results support the use of multi-small molecules as tumor-targeting drug delivery systems. PMID:26366078

  19. Discovery and Development of Small Molecule Allosteric Modulators of Glycoprotein Hormone Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Nataraja, Selvaraj G.; Yu, Henry N.; Palmer, Stephen S.

    2015-01-01

    Glycoprotein hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) are heterodimeric proteins with a common α-subunit and hormone-specific β-subunit. These hormones are dominant regulators of reproduction and metabolic processes. Receptors for the glycoprotein hormones belong to the family of G protein-coupled receptors. FSH receptor (FSHR) and LH receptor are primarily expressed in somatic cells in ovary and testis to promote egg and sperm production in women and men, respectively. TSH receptor is expressed in thyroid cells and regulates the secretion of T3 and T4. Glycoprotein hormones bind to the large extracellular domain of the receptor and cause a conformational change in the receptor that leads to activation of more than one intracellular signaling pathway. Several small molecules have been described to activate/inhibit glycoprotein hormone receptors through allosteric sites of the receptor. Small molecule allosteric modulators have the potential to be administered orally to patients, thus improving the convenience of treatment. It has been a challenge to develop a small molecule allosteric agonist for glycoprotein hormones that can mimic the agonistic effects of the large natural ligand to activate similar signaling pathways. However, in the past few years, there have been several promising reports describing distinct chemical series with improved potency in preclinical models. In parallel, proposal of new structural model for FSHR and in silico docking studies of small molecule ligands to glycoprotein hormone receptors provide a giant leap on the understanding of the mechanism of action of the natural ligands and new chemical entities on the receptors. This review will focus on the current status of small molecule allosteric modulators of glycoprotein hormone receptors, their effects on common signaling pathways in cells, their utility for clinical application as demonstrated in preclinical models

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Small-Molecule Anticonvulsant Agents with Potent in vitro Neuroprotection and Favorable Drug-like Properties

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Garry R.; Brenneman, Douglas E.; Zhang, Yan; Du, Yanming; Reitz, Allen B.

    2014-01-01

    Severe seizure activity is associated with reoccurring cycles of excitotoxicity and oxidative stress that result in progressive neuronal damage and death. Intervention with these pathological processes is a compelling disease-modifying strategy for the treatment of seizure disorders. We have optimized a series of small molecules for neuroprotective and anticonvulsant activity as well as altered their physical properties to address potential metabolic liabilities, to improve CNS penetration and to prolong the duration of action in vivo. Utilizing phenotypic screening of hippocampal cultures with nutrient medium depleted of antioxidants as a disease model, cell death and decreased neuronal viability produced by acute treatment with glutamate or hydrogen peroxide were prevented. Modifications to our previously reported proof of concept compounds have resulted in a lead which has full neuroprotective action at < 1 nM and antiseizure activity across six animal models, including the kindled rat, and displays excellent pharmacokinetics including high exposure to the brain. These modifications have also eliminated the requirement for a chiral molecule, removing the possibility of racemization and making large scale synthesis more easily accessible. These studies strengthen our earlier findings which indicate that potent, multifunctional neuroprotective anticonvulsants are feasible within a single molecular entity which also possesses favorable CNS-active drug properties in vitro and in vivo. PMID:24277343

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Combinatorics of feedback in cellular uptake and metabolism of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Krishna, Sandeep; Semsey, Szabolcs; Sneppen, Kim

    2007-12-26

    We analyze the connection between structure and function for regulatory motifs associated with cellular uptake and usage of small molecules. Based on the boolean logic of the feedback we suggest four classes: the socialist, consumer, fashion, and collector motifs. We find that the socialist motif is good for homeostasis of a useful but potentially poisonous molecule, whereas the consumer motif is optimal for nutrition molecules. Accordingly, examples of these motifs are found in, respectively, the iron homeostasis system in various organisms and in the uptake of sugar molecules in bacteria. The remaining two motifs have no obvious analogs in small molecule regulation, but we illustrate their behavior using analogies to fashion and obesity. These extreme motifs could inspire construction of synthetic systems that exhibit bistable, history-dependent states, and homeostasis of flux (rather than concentration). PMID:18093927

  10. Comparison of Different Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry Modes for Small Molecule Quantitative Analysis.

    PubMed

    Chindarkar, Nandkishor S; Park, Hyung-Doo; Stone, Judith A; Fitzgerald, Robert L

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the use of time of flight (TOF)-mass spectrometry (MS) in quantitative analysis of small molecules is rare. Recently, the quantitative performance of TOF mass analyzers has improved due to the advancements in TOF technology. We evaluated a Q-TOF-MS in different modes, i.e., Q-TOF-full scan (Q-TOF-FS), Q-TOF-enhanced-full scan (Q-TOF-En-FS), MS(E), Q-TOF-targeted (Q-TOF-TGT), Q-TOF-enhanced-targeted (Q-TOF-En-TGT), and compared their quantitative performance against a unit resolution LC-MS-MS (tandem quadrupole) platform. The five modes were investigated for sensitivity, linearity, signal-to-noise ratio, recovery and precision using 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) as a model compound in electrospray ionization (ESI) with negative polarity. Preliminary studies indicated that Q-TOF-FS mode was the least linear and precise; hence, it was eliminated from further investigation. Total imprecision in remaining four modes was <10%. The Q-TOF-En-FS and Q-TOF-En-TGT showed better signal intensity than their respective modes without enhancement. Overall, peak signal intensity was the highest in MS(E) mode, whereas the signal-to-noise ratio was the best in the Q-TOF-En-TGT mode. Relatively, MS(E) and Q-TOF-En-TGT modes were the best overall performers compared with the other modes. Both MS(E) and Q-TOF-En-TGT modes showed excellent precision (coefficient of variation <6%), patient correlation (r > 0.99) and linearity (range, 5-455 ng/mL) for THC-COOH analysis when compared with LC-MS-MS. We also investigated the performance of the same four modes using methamphetamine in positive ESI. Quantitative data obtained by Q-TOF-En-TGT and MS(E), using both positive and negative ESI, suggest that these modes performed better than the other modes. While unit resolution LC-MS-MS remains the optimal technique for quantification, our data showed that Q-TOF-MS can also be used to quantify small molecules in complex biological specimens. PMID:26239972

  11. Potent New Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Endopeptidase Developed by Synthesis-Based Computer-Aided Molecular Design

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Yuan-Ping; Vummenthala, Anuradha; Mishra, Rajesh K.; Park, Jewn Giew; Wang, Shaohua; Davis, Jon; Millard, Charles B.; Schmidt, James J.

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNTA) causes a life-threatening neuroparalytic disease known as botulism. Current treatment for post exposure of BoNTA uses antibodies that are effective in neutralizing the extracellular toxin to prevent further intoxication but generally cannot rescue already intoxicated neurons. Effective small-molecule inhibitors of BoNTA endopeptidase (BoNTAe) are desirable because such inhibitors potentially can neutralize the intracellular BoNTA and offer complementary treatment for botulism. Previously we reported a serotype-selective, small-molecule BoNTAe inhibitor with a Kiapp value of 3.8±0.8 µM. This inhibitor was developed by lead identification using virtual screening followed by computer-aided optimization of a lead with an IC50 value of 100 µM. However, it was difficult to further improve the lead from micromolar to even high nanomolar potency due to the unusually large enzyme-substrate interface of BoNTAe. The enzyme-substrate interface area of 4,840 Å2 for BoNTAe is about four times larger than the typical protein-protein interface area of 750–1,500 Å2. Inhibitors must carry several functional groups to block the unusually large interface of BoNTAe, and syntheses of such inhibitors are therefore time-consuming and expensive. Herein we report the development of a serotype-selective, small-molecule, and competitive inhibitor of BoNTAe with a Ki value of 760±170 nM using synthesis-based computer-aided molecular design (SBCAMD). This new approach accounts the practicality and efficiency of inhibitor synthesis in addition to binding affinity and selectivity. We also report a three-dimensional model of BoNTAe in complex with the new inhibitor and the dynamics of the complex predicted by multiple molecular dynamics simulations, and discuss further structural optimization to achieve better in vivo efficacy in neutralizing BoNTA than those of our early micromolar leads. This work provides new insight into structural modification

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. Following the nanostructural molecular orientation guidelines for sulfur versus thiophene units in small molecule photovoltaic cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yu Jin; Park, Chan Eon

    2016-03-01

    In bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaics, particularly those using small molecules, electron donor and/or electron acceptor materials form a distributed network in the photoactive layer where critical photo-physical processes occur. Extensive research has recently focused on the importance of sulfur atoms in the small molecules. Little is known about the three-dimensional orientation of these sulfur atom-containing molecules. Herein, we report on our research concerning the heterojunction textures of the crystalline molecular orientation of small compounds having sulfur-containing units in the side chains, specifically, compounds known as DR3TSBDT that contain the alkylthio group and DR3TBDTT that does not. The improved performance of the DR3TBDTT-based devices, particularly in the photocurrent and the fill factor, was attributed to the large population of donor compound crystallites with a favorable face-on orientation along the perpendicular direction. This orientation resulted in efficient charge transport and a reduction in charge recombination. These findings underscore the great potential of small-molecule solar cells and suggest that even higher efficiencies can be achieved through materials development and molecular orientation control.In bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaics, particularly those using small molecules, electron donor and/or electron acceptor materials form a distributed network in the photoactive layer where critical photo-physical processes occur. Extensive research has recently focused on the importance of sulfur atoms in the small molecules. Little is known about the three-dimensional orientation of these sulfur atom-containing molecules. Herein, we report on our research concerning the heterojunction textures of the crystalline molecular orientation of small compounds having sulfur-containing units in the side chains, specifically, compounds known as DR3TSBDT that contain the alkylthio group and DR3TBDTT that does not

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Convertino, Marino; Vitalis, Andreas; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Identification of the first small-molecule inhibitor of the REV7 DNA repair protein interaction.

    PubMed

    Actis, Marcelo L; Ambaye, Nigus D; Evison, Benjamin J; Shao, Youming; Vanarotti, Murugendra; Inoue, Akira; McDonald, Ezelle T; Kikuchi, Sotaro; Heath, Richard; Hara, Kodai; Hashimoto, Hiroshi; Fujii, Naoaki

    2016-09-15

    DNA interstrand crosslink (ICL) repair (ICLR) has been implicated in the resistance of cancer cells to ICL-inducing chemotherapeutic agents. Despite the clinical significance of ICL-inducing chemotherapy, few studies have focused on developing small-molecule inhibitors for ICLR. The mammalian DNA polymerase ζ, which comprises the catalytic subunit REV3L and the non-catalytic subunit REV7, is essential for ICLR. To identify small-molecule compounds that are mechanistically capable of inhibiting ICLR by targeting REV7, high-throughput screening and structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis were performed. Compound 1 was identified as an inhibitor of the interaction of REV7 with the REV7-binding sequence of REV3L. Compound 7 (an optimized analog of compound 1) bound directly to REV7 in nuclear magnetic resonance analyses, and inhibited the reactivation of a reporter plasmid containing an ICL in between the promoter and reporter regions. The normalized clonogenic survival of HeLa cells treated with cisplatin and compound 7 was lower than that for cells treated with cisplatin only. These findings indicate that a small-molecule inhibitor of the REV7/REV3L interaction can chemosensitize cells by inhibiting ICLR. PMID:27448776

  12. Chitosan derivatives/reduced graphene oxide/alginate beads for small-molecule drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kaihang; Ling, Yunzhi; Cao, Cong; Li, Xiaoyun; Chen, Xiao; Wang, Xiaoying

    2016-12-01

    This work reported chitosan derivatives (CSD)/reduced graphene oxide (rGO) blending with alginate to prepare hydrogel beads for small-molecule drug delivery for the first time. At the beginning, graphene oxide (GO) was successfully reduced using diverse CSD as reducing and stabilizing agents via facile heating. Then the obtained CSD/rGO was blended with alginate and crosslinked into hydrogel beads in CaCl2 solution. Finally, the beads were systematically evaluated as novel vehicles for pH-responsive small-molecule drug delivery. The optimal CSD/rGO/alginate beads showed a high drug-loading efficiency of 82.8% on small-molecule fluorescein sodium (FL), outstanding sustainable release of 71.6% upon 150h at a physiological pH and quick-release of 82.4% drug content at 20h in an acidic medium. Additionally, the cytotoxicity assay result suggested that the CSD/rGO/alginate beads showed negligible cytotoxicity to hepatic stellate cell lines, opening up possibilities for safe and efficient drug delivery. PMID:27612820

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

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Nicole J.; Hinner, Marlon J.

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Phage Anti-Immune complex Assay (PHAIA): a general strategy for noncompetitive immunodetection of small molecules

    PubMed Central

    González-Techera, A; Vanrell, L; Last, J.; Hammock, B.D; González-Sapienza, G.

    2008-01-01

    Due to their size, small molecules can not be simultaneously bound by two antibodies precluding their detection by noncompetitive two-site immunoassays, which are superior to competitive ones in terms of sensitivity, kinetics, and working range. This has prompted the development of anti-immune complex antibodies, but these are difficult to produce, and often exhibit high cross-reactivity with the unliganded primary antibody. This work demonstrates that anti-immune complex antibodies can be substituted by phage particles isolated from phage display peptide libraries. Phages bearing specific small peptide loops allowed to focus the recognition to changes in the binding area of the immune complex. The concept was tested using environmental and drug analytes; with improved sensitivity and ready adaptation into onsite formats. Peptides specific for different immune complexes can be isolated from different peptide libraries in a simple and systematic fashion allowing the rapid development of noncompetitive assays for small molecules PMID:17845007

  15. Using RosettaLigand for Small Molecule Docking into Comparative Models

    PubMed Central

    Kaufmann, Kristian W.; Meiler, Jens

    2012-01-01

    Computational small molecule docking into comparative models of proteins is widely used to query protein function and in the development of small molecule therapeutics. We benchmark RosettaLigand docking into comparative models for nine proteins built during CASP8 that contain ligands. We supplement the study with 21 additional protein/ligand complexes to cover a wider space of chemotypes. During a full docking run in 21 of the 30 cases, RosettaLigand successfully found a native-like binding mode among the top ten scoring binding modes. From the benchmark cases we find that careful template selection based on ligand occupancy provides the best chance of success while overall sequence identity between template and target do not appear to improve results. We also find that binding energy normalized by atom number is often less than −0.4 in native-like binding modes. PMID:23239984

  16. Bottom-up design of small molecules that stimulate exon 10 skipping in mutant MAPT pre-mRNA.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yiling; Disney, Matthew D

    2014-09-22

    One challenge in chemical biology is to develop small molecules that control cellular protein content. The amount and identity of proteins are influenced by the RNAs that encode them; thus, protein content in a cell could be affected by targeting mRNA. However, RNA has been traditionally difficult to target with small molecules. In this report, we describe controlling the protein products of the mutated microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) mature mRNA with a small molecule. MAPT mutations in exon 10 are associated with inherited frontotemporal dementia and Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17), an incurable disease that is directly caused by increased inclusion of exon 10 in MAPT mRNA. Recent studies have shown that mutations within a hairpin at the MAPT exon 10-intron junction decrease the thermodynamic stability of the RNA, increasing binding to U1 snRNP and thus exon 10 inclusion. Therefore, we designed small molecules that bind and stabilize a mutant MAPT by using Inforna, a computational approach based on information about RNA-small-molecule interactions. The optimal compound selectively bound the mutant MAPT hairpin and thermodynamically stabilized its folding, facilitating exon 10 exclusion. PMID:25115866

  17. Novel small-molecule AMPK activator orally exerts beneficial effects on diabetic db/db mice

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yuan-Yuan; Yu, Li-Fang; Zhang, Li-Na; Qiu, Bei-Ying; Su, Ming-Bo; Wu, Fang; Chen, Da-Kai; Pang, Tao; Gu, Min; Zhang, Wei; Ma, Wei-Ping; Jiang, Hao-Wen; Li, Jing-Ya Nan, Fa-Jun Li, Jia

    2013-12-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is a pivotal guardian of whole-body energy metabolism, has become an attractive therapeutic target for metabolic syndrome. Previously, using a homogeneous scintillation proximity assay, we identified the small-molecule AMPK activator C24 from an optimization based on the original allosteric activator PT1. In this paper, the AMPK activation mechanism of C24 and its potential beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism on db/db mice were investigated. C24 allosterically stimulated inactive AMPK α subunit truncations and activated AMPK heterotrimers by antagonizing autoinhibition. In primary hepatocytes, C24 increased the phosphorylation of AMPK downstream target acetyl-CoA carboxylase dose-dependently without changing intracellular AMP/ATP ratio, indicating its allosteric activation in cells. Through activating AMPK, C24 decreased glucose output by down-regulating mRNA levels of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) in primary hepatocytes. C24 also decreased the triglyceride and cholesterol contents in HepG2 cells. Due to its improved bioavailability, chronic oral treatment with multiple doses of C24 significantly reduced blood glucose and lipid levels in plasma, and improved the glucose tolerance of diabetic db/db mice. The hepatic transcriptional levels of PEPCK and G6Pase were reduced. These results demonstrate that this orally effective activator of AMPK represents a novel approach to the treatment of metabolic syndrome. - Highlights: • C24 activates AMPK through antagonizing autoinhibition within α subunit. • C24 activates AMPK in hepatocytes and decreases glucose output via AMPK. • C24 exerts beneficial effects on diabetic db/db mice. • C24 represents a novel therapeutic for treatment of metabolic syndrome.

  18. Following the nanostructural molecular orientation guidelines for sulfur versus thiophene units in small molecule photovoltaic cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yu Jin; Park, Chan Eon

    2016-03-31

    In bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaics, particularly those using small molecules, electron donor and/or electron acceptor materials form a distributed network in the photoactive layer where critical photo-physical processes occur. Extensive research has recently focused on the importance of sulfur atoms in the small molecules. Little is known about the three-dimensional orientation of these sulfur atom-containing molecules. Herein, we report on our research concerning the heterojunction textures of the crystalline molecular orientation of small compounds having sulfur-containing units in the side chains, specifically, compounds known as that contain the alkylthio group and that does not. The improved performance of the -based devices, particularly in the photocurrent and the fill factor, was attributed to the large population of donor compound crystallites with a favorable face-on orientation along the perpendicular direction. This orientation resulted in efficient charge transport and a reduction in charge recombination. These findings underscore the great potential of small-molecule solar cells and suggest that even higher efficiencies can be achieved through materials development and molecular orientation control. PMID:26987868

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Novel Oxindole Sulfonamides and Sulfamides: EPZ031686, the First Orally Bioavailable Small Molecule SMYD3 Inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Lorna H; Boriack-Sjodin, P Ann; Smith, Sherri; Thomenius, Michael; Rioux, Nathalie; Munchhof, Michael; Mills, James E; Klaus, Christine; Totman, Jennifer; Riera, Thomas V; Raimondi, Alejandra; Jacques, Suzanne L; West, Kip; Foley, Megan; Waters, Nigel J; Kuntz, Kevin W; Wigle, Tim J; Scott, Margaret Porter; Copeland, Robert A; Smith, Jesse J; Chesworth, Richard

    2016-02-11

    SMYD3 has been implicated in a range of cancers; however, until now no potent selective small molecule inhibitors have been available for target validation studies. A novel oxindole series of SMYD3 inhibitors was identified through screening of the Epizyme proprietary histone methyltransferase-biased library. Potency optimization afforded two tool compounds, sulfonamide EPZ031686 and sulfamide EPZ030456, with cellular potency at a level sufficient to probe the in vitro biology of SMYD3 inhibition. EPZ031686 shows good bioavailability following oral dosing in mice making it a suitable tool for potential in vivo target validation studies. PMID:26985287

  5. High performance small-molecule organic thin film transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Chung-Chen

    The roadmap of developing microelectronics has a new branch: organic electronics. Organic electronics, which utilizes the electrical properties of organic materials in the active or passive layers, is an emerging technology that has received much attention. In conjunction with today's demands for new materials and devices, many technologies have emerged for developing organic electronics and consolidating applications and markets. An organic thin-film transistor is the essential device in this paradigm in addition to organic photodiodes and organic light emitting diodes. This thesis presents advances made in design and fabrication of organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) using small-molecule organic semiconductors (pentacene, anthradithiophene, and their derivatives) as the active layer with record device performance. In this work OTFT test structures fabricated on oxidized silicon substrates were utilized to provide a convenient substrate, gate contact, and gate insulator for the processing and characterization of vapor-deposited organic materials and their transistors. By developing a gate dielectric treatment using silane coupling agents the performance and yield of pentacene OTFTs was improved and a field-effect mobility of larger than 2 cm2/V-s was achieved. Such device performance is comparable to a-Si:H TFTs and have the potential for electronic applications. In addition, the first direct photolithographic process for top contacts to pentacene OTFTs on oxidized silicon with an acceptable performance (a field-effect mobility of 0.3 cm2/V-s, an on/off current ratio of 10 7, and a subthreshold slope of 1 V/decade) was developed. The multiple layer photoresist process demonstrated the feasibility of creating source and drain metallic electrodes on vapor-deposited pentacene thin films with a resolution less than 10 mum. Subsequently, solution-processed OTFTs were then investigated and high performance transistors, with field-effect mobilities > 1 cm2/V-s and an

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. An enzymatic deconjugation method for the analysis of small molecule active drugs on antibody-drug conjugates.

    PubMed

    Li, Yi; Gu, Christine; Gruenhagen, Jason; Yehl, Peter; Chetwyn, Nik P; Medley, Colin D

    2016-01-01

    Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are complex therapeutic agents that use the specific targeting properties of antibodies and the highly potent cytotoxicity of small molecule drugs to selectively eliminate tumor cells while limiting the toxicity to normal healthy tissues. Two critical quality attributes of ADCs are the purity and stability of the active small molecule drug linked to the ADC, but these are difficult to assess once the drug is conjugated to the antibody. In this study, we report a enzyme deconjugation approach to cleave small molecule drugs from ADCs, which allows the drugs to be subsequently characterized by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. The model ADC we used in this study utilizes a valine-citrulline linker that is designed to be sensitive to endoproteases after internalization by tumor cells. We screened several proteases to determine the most effective enzyme. Among the 3 cysteine proteases evaluated, papain had the best efficiency in cleaving the small molecule drug from the model ADC. The deconjugation conditions were further optimized to achieve complete cleavage of the small molecule drug. This papain deconjugation approach demonstrated excellent specificity and precision. The purity and stability of the active drug on an ADC drug product was evaluated and the major degradation products of the active drug were identified. The papain deconjugation method was also applied to several other ADCs, with the results suggesting it could be applied generally to ADCs containing a valine-citrulline linker. Our results indicate that the papain deconjugation method is a powerful tool for characterizing the active small molecule drug conjugated to an ADC, and may be useful in ensuring the product quality, efficacy and the safety of ADCs. PMID:26891281

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  3. UPLC-MS-ELSD-PDA as a powerful dereplication tool to facilitate compound identification from small molecule natural product libraries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Generation of natural product libraries containing column fractions, each with only a few small molecules, by a high throughput, automated fractionation system has made it possible to implement an improved dereplication strategy for selection and prioritization of hits in a natural product discovery...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. General Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer Homogeneous Immunoassay for Small Molecules Based on Quantum Dots.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xuezhi; Wen, Kai; Wang, Zhanhui; Zhang, Xiya; Li, Chenglong; Zhang, Suxia; Shen, Jianzhong

    2016-04-01

    Here, we describe a general bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) homogeneous immunoassay based on quantum dots (QDs) as the acceptor and Renilla luciferase (Rluc) as the donor (QD-BRET) for the determination of small molecules. The ratio of the donor-acceptor that could produce energy transfer varied in the presence of different concentrations of free enrofloxacin (ENR), an important small molecule in food safety. The calculated Förster distance (R0) was 7.86 nm. Under optimized conditions, the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) for ENR was less than 1 ng/mL and the linear range covered 4 orders of magnitude (0.023 to 25.60 ng/mL). The cross-reactivities (CRs) of seven representative fluoroquinolones (FQs) were similar to the data obtained by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The average intra- and interassay recoveries from spiked milk of were 79.8-118.0%, and the relative standard deviations (RSDs) were less than 10%, meeting the requirement of residue detection, which was a satisfactory result. Furthermore, we compared the influence of different luciferase substrates on the performance of the assay. Considering sensitivity and stability, coelenterazine-h was the most appropriate substrate. The results from this study will enable better-informed decisions on the choice of Rluc substrate for QD-BRET systems. For the future, the QD-BRET immunosensor could easily be extended to other small molecules and thus represents a versatile strategy in food safety, the environment, clinical diagnosis, and other fields. PMID:26948147

  9. Multiscale Molecular Simulation of Solution Processing of SMDPPEH: PCBM Small-Molecule Organic Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Cheng-Kuang; Pao, Chun-Wei

    2016-08-17

    Solution-processed small-molecule organic solar cells are a promising renewable energy source because of their low production cost, mechanical flexibility, and light weight relative to their pure inorganic counterparts. In this work, we developed a coarse-grained (CG) Gay-Berne ellipsoid molecular simulation model based on atomistic trajectories from all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of smaller system sizes to systematically study the nanomorphology of the SMDPPEH/PCBM/solvent ternary blend during solution processing, including the blade-coating process by applying external shear to the solution. With the significantly reduced overall system degrees of freedom and computational acceleration from GPU, we were able to go well beyond the limitation of conventional all-atom molecular simulations with a system size on the order of hundreds of nanometers with mesoscale molecular detail. Our simulations indicate that, similar to polymer solar cells, the optimal blending ratio in small-molecule organic solar cells must provide the highest specific interfacial area for efficient exciton dissociation, while retaining balanced hole/electron transport pathway percolation. We also reveal that blade-coating processes have a significant impact on nanomorphology. For given donor/acceptor blending ratios, applying an external shear force can effectively promote donor/acceptor phase segregation and stacking in the SMDPPEH domains. The present study demonstrated the capability of an ellipsoid-based coarse-grained model for studying the nanomorphology evolution of small-molecule organic solar cells during solution processing/blade-coating and provided links between fabrication protocols and device nanomorphologies. PMID:27435212

  10. A Remote Arene-Binding Site on Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen Revealed by Antibody-Recruiting Small Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Andrew X.; Murelli, Ryan P.; Barinka, Cyril; Michel, Julien; Cocleaza, Alexandra; Jorgensen, William L.; Lubkowski, Jacek; Spiegel, David A.

    2010-09-27

    Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a membrane-bound glutamate carboxypeptidase overexpressed in many forms of prostate cancer. Our laboratory has recently disclosed a class of small molecules, called ARM-Ps (antibody-recruiting molecule targeting prostate cancer) that are capable of enhancing antibody-mediated immune recognition of prostate cancer cells. Interestingly, during the course of these studies, we found ARM-Ps to exhibit extraordinarily high potencies toward PSMA, compared to previously reported inhibitors. Here, we report in-depth biochemical, crystallographic, and computational investigations which elucidate the origin of the observed affinity enhancement. These studies reveal a previously unreported arene-binding site on PSMA, which we believe participates in an aromatic stacking interaction with ARMs. Although this site is composed of only a few amino acid residues, it drastically enhances small molecule binding affinity. These results provide critical insights into the design of PSMA-targeted small molecules for prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment; more broadly, the presence of similar arene-binding sites throughout the proteome could prove widely enabling in the optimization of small molecule-protein interactions.

  11. Structures of Clostridium Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Light Chain Complexed with Small-Molecule Inhibitors Highlight Active-Site Flexibility

    SciTech Connect

    Silvaggi,N.; Boldt, G.; Hixon, M.; Kennedy, J.; Tzipori, S.; Janda, K.; Allen, K.

    2007-01-01

    The potential for the use of Clostridial neurotoxins as bioweapons makes the development of small-molecule inhibitors of these deadly toxins a top priority. Recently, screening of a random hydroxamate library identified a small-molecule inhibitor of C. botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Light Chain (BoNT/A-LC), 4-chlorocinnamic hydroxamate, a derivative of which has been shown to have in vivo efficacy in mice and no toxicity. We describe the X-ray crystal structures of BoNT/A-LC in complexes with two potent small-molecule inhibitors. The structures of the enzyme with 4-chlorocinnamic hydroxamate or 2,4-dichlorocinnamic hydroxamate bound are compared to the structure of the enzyme complexed with L-arginine hydroxamate, an inhibitor with modest affinity. Taken together, this suite of structures provides surprising insights into the BoNT/A-LC active site, including unexpected conformational flexibility at the S1' site that changes the electrostatic environment of the binding pocket. Information gained from these structures will inform the design and optimization of more effective small-molecule inhibitors of BoNT/A-LC.

  12. Discovery of Small-Molecule Modulators of the Human Y4 Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Weaver, David; Beck-Sickinger, Annette G.; Meiler, Jens

    2016-01-01

    The human neuropeptide Y4 receptor (Y4R) and its native ligand, pancreatic polypeptide, are critically involved in the regulation of human metabolism by signaling satiety and regulating food intake, as well as increasing energy expenditure. Thus, this receptor represents a putative target for treatment of obesity. With respect to new approaches to treat complex metabolic disorders, especially in multi-receptor systems, small molecule allosteric modulators have been in the focus of research in the last years. However, no positive allosteric modulators or agonists of the Y4R have been described so far. In this study, small molecule compounds derived from the Niclosamide scaffold were identified by high-throughput screening to increase Y4R activity. Compounds were characterized for their potency and their effects at the human Y4R and as well as their selectivity towards Y1R, Y2R and Y5R. These compounds provide a structure-activity relationship profile around this common scaffold and lay the groundwork for hit-to-lead optimization and characterization of positive allosteric modulators of the Y4R. PMID:27294784

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  14. Targeting the r(CGG) Repeats That Cause FXTAS with Modularly Assembled Small Molecules and Oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We designed small molecules that bind the structure of the RNA that causes fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), an incurable neuromuscular disease. FXTAS is caused by an expanded r(CGG) repeat (r(CGG)exp) that inactivates a protein regulator of alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Our designed compounds modulate r(CGG)exp toxicity in cellular models of FXTAS, and pull-down experiments confirm that they bind r(CGG)expin vivo. Importantly, compound binding does not affect translation of the downstream open reading frame (ORF). We compared molecular recognition properties of our optimal compound to oligonucleotides. Studies show that r(CGG)exp’s self-structure is a significant energetic barrier for oligonucleotide binding. A fully modified 2′-OMethyl phosphorothioate is incapable of completely reversing an FXTAS-associated splicing defect and inhibits translation of the downstream ORF, which could have deleterious effects. Taken together, these studies suggest that a small molecule that recognizes structure may be more well suited for targeting highly structured RNAs that require strand invasion by a complementary oligonucleotide. PMID:24506227

  15. Targeting the r(CGG) repeats that cause FXTAS with modularly assembled small molecules and oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Tran, Tuan; Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Liu, Biao; Guan, Lirui; Rzuczek, Suzanne; Disney, Matthew D

    2014-04-18

    We designed small molecules that bind the structure of the RNA that causes fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), an incurable neuromuscular disease. FXTAS is caused by an expanded r(CGG) repeat (r(CGG)(exp)) that inactivates a protein regulator of alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Our designed compounds modulate r(CGG)(exp) toxicity in cellular models of FXTAS, and pull-down experiments confirm that they bind r(CGG)(exp) in vivo. Importantly, compound binding does not affect translation of the downstream open reading frame (ORF). We compared molecular recognition properties of our optimal compound to oligonucleotides. Studies show that r(CGG)(exp)'s self-structure is a significant energetic barrier for oligonucleotide binding. A fully modified 2'-OMethyl phosphorothioate is incapable of completely reversing an FXTAS-associated splicing defect and inhibits translation of the downstream ORF, which could have deleterious effects. Taken together, these studies suggest that a small molecule that recognizes structure may be more well suited for targeting highly structured RNAs that require strand invasion by a complementary oligonucleotide. PMID:24506227

  16. Discovery of Small-Molecule Modulators of the Human Y4 Receptor.

    PubMed

    Sliwoski, Gregory; Schubert, Mario; Stichel, Jan; Weaver, David; Beck-Sickinger, Annette G; Meiler, Jens

    2016-01-01

    The human neuropeptide Y4 receptor (Y4R) and its native ligand, pancreatic polypeptide, are critically involved in the regulation of human metabolism by signaling satiety and regulating food intake, as well as increasing energy expenditure. Thus, this receptor represents a putative target for treatment of obesity. With respect to new approaches to treat complex metabolic disorders, especially in multi-receptor systems, small molecule allosteric modulators have been in the focus of research in the last years. However, no positive allosteric modulators or agonists of the Y4R have been described so far. In this study, small molecule compounds derived from the Niclosamide scaffold were identified by high-throughput screening to increase Y4R activity. Compounds were characterized for their potency and their effects at the human Y4R and as well as their selectivity towards Y1R, Y2R and Y5R. These compounds provide a structure-activity relationship profile around this common scaffold and lay the groundwork for hit-to-lead optimization and characterization of positive allosteric modulators of the Y4R. PMID:27294784

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Polypharmacology of small molecules targeting the ubiquitin–proteasome and ubiquitin-like systems

    PubMed Central

    Amelio, Ivano; Landré, Vivien; Knight, Richard A.; Lisitsa, Andrey; Melino, Gerry; Antonov, Alexey V.

    2015-01-01

    Targeting the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) and ubiquitin-like signalling systems (UBL) has been considered a promising therapeutic strategy to treat cancer, neurodegenerative and immunological disorders. There have been multiple efforts recently to identify novel compounds that efficiently modulate the activities of different disease-specific components of the UPS-UBL. However, it is evident that polypharmacology (the ability to affect multiple independent protein targets) is a basic property of small molecules and even highly potent molecules would have a number of “off target” effects. Here we have explored publicly available high-throughput screening data covering a wide spectrum of currently accepted drug targets in order to understand polypharmacology of small molecules targeting different components of the UPS-UBL. We have demonstrated that molecules targeting a given UPS-UBL protein also have high odds to target a given off target spectrum. Moreover, the off target spectrum differs significantly between different components of UPS-UBL. This information can be utilized further in drug discovery efforts, to improve drug efficiency and to reduce the risk of potential side effects of the prospective drugs designed to target specific UPS-UBL components. PMID:25991664

  20. Incretin-like effects of small molecule trace amine-associated receptor 1 agonists

    PubMed Central

    Raab, Susanne; Wang, Haiyan; Uhles, Sabine; Cole, Nadine; Alvarez-Sanchez, Ruben; Künnecke, Basil; Ullmer, Christoph; Matile, Hugues; Bedoucha, Marc; Norcross, Roger D.; Ottaway-Parker, Nickki; Perez-Tilve, Diego; Conde Knape, Karin; Tschöp, Matthias H.; Hoener, Marius C.; Sewing, Sabine

    2015-01-01

    Objective Type 2 diabetes and obesity are emerging pandemics in the 21st century creating worldwide urgency for the development of novel and safe therapies. We investigated trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) as a novel target contributing to the control of glucose homeostasis and body weight. Methods We investigated the peripheral human tissue distribution of TAAR1 by immunohistochemistry and tested the effect of a small molecule TAAR1 agonist on insulin secretion in vitro using INS1E cells and human islets and on glucose tolerance in C57Bl6, and db/db mice. Body weight effects were investigated in obese DIO mice. Results TAAR1 activation by a selective small molecule agonist increased glucose-dependent insulin secretion in INS1E cells and human islets and elevated plasma PYY and GLP-1 levels in mice. In diabetic db/db mice, the TAAR1 agonist normalized glucose excursion during an oral glucose tolerance test. Sub-chronic treatment of diet-induced obese (DIO) mice with the TAAR1 agonist resulted in reduced food intake and body weight. Furthermore insulin sensitivity was improved and plasma triglyceride levels and liver triglyceride content were lower than in controls. Conclusions We have identified TAAR1 as a novel integrator of metabolic control, which acts on gastrointestinal and pancreatic islet hormone secretion. Thus TAAR1 qualifies as a novel and promising target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. PMID:26844206

  1. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of GSK-3: Structural Insights and Their Application to Alzheimer's Disease Models

    PubMed Central

    Kramer, Thomas; Schmidt, Boris; Lo Monte, Fabio

    2012-01-01

    The world health organization (WHO) estimated that 18 million people are struck by Alzheimer's disease (AD). The USA, France, Germany, and other countries launched major programmes targeting the identification of risk factors, the improvement of caretaking, and fundamental research aiming to postpone the onset of AD. The glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) is implicated in multiple cellular processes and has been linked to the pathogenesis of several diseases including diabetes mellitus, cancer, and AD. Inhibition of GSK-3 leads to neuroprotective effects, decreased β-amyloid production, and a reduction in tau hyperphosphorylation, which are all associated with AD. Various classes of small molecule GSK-3 inhibitors have been published in patents and original publications. Herein, we present a comprehensive summary of small molecules reported to interact with GSK-3. We illustrate the interactions of the inhibitors with the active site. Furthermore, we refer to the biological characterisation in terms of activity and selectivity for GSK-3, elucidate in vivo studies and pre-/clinical trials. PMID:22888461

  2. Inhibition of Non-ATG Translational Events in Cells via Covalent Small Molecules Targeting RNA

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Wang-Yong; Wilson, Henry D.; Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep

    2016-01-01

    One major class of disease-causing RNAs is expanded repeating transcripts. These RNAs cause diseases via multiple mechanisms, including: (i) gain-of-function, in which repeating RNAs bind and sequester proteins involved in RNA biogenesis and (ii) repeat associated non-ATG (RAN) translation, in which repeating transcripts are translated into toxic proteins without use of a canonical, AUG, start codon. Herein, we develop and study chemical probes that bind and react with an expanded r(CGG) repeat (r(CGG)exp) present in a 5′ untranslated region that causes fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Reactive compounds bind to r(CGG)exp in cellulo as shown with Chem-CLIP-Map, an approach to map small molecule binding sites within RNAs in cells. Compounds also potently improve FXTAS-associated pre-mRNA splicing and RAN translational defects, while not affecting translation of the downstream open reading frame. In contrast, oligonucleotides affect both RAN and canonical translation when they bind to r(CGG)exp, which is mechanistically traced to a decrease in polysome loading. Thus, designer small molecules that react with RNA targets can be used to profile the RNAs to which they bind in cells, including identification of binding sites, and can modulate several aspects of RNA-mediated disease pathology in a manner that may be more beneficial than oligonucleotides. PMID:25825793

  3. Inhibition of Non-ATG Translational Events in Cells via Covalent Small Molecules Targeting RNA.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wang-Yong; Wilson, Henry D; Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Disney, Matthew D

    2015-04-29

    One major class of disease-causing RNAs is expanded repeating transcripts. These RNAs cause diseases via multiple mechanisms, including: (i) gain-of-function, in which repeating RNAs bind and sequester proteins involved in RNA biogenesis and (ii) repeat associated non-ATG (RAN) translation, in which repeating transcripts are translated into toxic proteins without use of a canonical, AUG, start codon. Herein, we develop and study chemical probes that bind and react with an expanded r(CGG) repeat (r(CGG)(exp)) present in a 5' untranslated region that causes fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Reactive compounds bind to r(CGG)(exp) in cellulo as shown with Chem-CLIP-Map, an approach to map small molecule binding sites within RNAs in cells. Compounds also potently improve FXTAS-associated pre-mRNA splicing and RAN translational defects, while not affecting translation of the downstream open reading frame. In contrast, oligonucleotides affect both RAN and canonical translation when they bind to r(CGG)(exp), which is mechanistically traced to a decrease in polysome loading. Thus, designer small molecules that react with RNA targets can be used to profile the RNAs to which they bind in cells, including identification of binding sites, and can modulate several aspects of RNA-mediated disease pathology in a manner that may be more beneficial than oligonucleotides. PMID:25825793

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. Late intervention with the small molecule BB3 mitigates postischemic kidney injury.

    PubMed

    Narayan, Prakash; Duan, Bin; Jiang, Kai; Li, Jingsong; Paka, Latha; Yamin, Michael A; Friedman, Scott L; Weir, Matthew R; Goldberg, Itzhak D

    2016-08-01

    Ischemia-reperfusion-mediated acute kidney injury can necessitate renal replacement therapy and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. We have identified BB3, a small molecule, which when first administered at 24 h after renal ischemia in rats, improved survival, augmented urine output, and reduced the increase in serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen. Compared with control kidneys, the kidneys of BB3-treated animals exhibited reduced levels of kidney injury molecule-1, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, and reduced tubular apoptosis and acute tubular necrosis but enhanced tubular regeneration. Consistent with its hepatocyte growth factor-like mode of action, BB3 treatment promoted phosphorylation of renal cMet and Akt and upregulated renal expression of the survival protein Bcl-2. These data suggest that the kidney is amenable to pharmacotherapy even 24 h after ischemia-reperfusion and that activation of the hepatocyte growth factor signaling pathway with the small molecule BB3 confers interventional benefits late into ischemia-reperfusion injury. These data formed, in part, the basis for the use of BB3 in a clinical trial in kidney recipients presenting with delayed graft function. PMID:27252491

  6. In situ click chemistry: from small molecule discovery to synthetic antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Agnew, Heather D.; Lai, Bert; Lee, Su Seong; Lim, Jaehong; Nag, Arundhati; Pitram, Suresh; Rohde, Rosemary; Heath, James R.

    2013-01-01

    Advances in the fields of proteomics, molecular imaging, and therapeutics are closely linked to the availability of affinity reagents that selectively recognize their biological targets. Here we present a review of Iterative Peptide In Situ Click Chemistry (IPISC), a novel screening technology for designing peptide multiligands with high affinity and specificity. This technology builds upon in situ click chemistry, a kinetic target-guided synthesis approach where the protein target catalyzes the conjugation of two small molecules, typically through the azide–alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition. Integrating this methodology with solid phase peptide libraries enables the assembly of linear and branched peptide multiligands we refer to as Protein Catalyzed Capture Agents (PCC Agents). The resulting structures can be thought of as analogous to the antigen recognition site of antibodies and serve as antibody replacements in biochemical and cell-based applications. In this review, we discuss the recent progress in ligand design through IPISC and related approaches, focusing on the improvements in affinity and specificity as multiligands are assembled by target-catalyzed peptide conjugation. We compare the IPISC process to small molecule in situ click chemistry with particular emphasis on the advantages and technical challenges of constructing antibody-like PCC Agents. PMID:22836343

  7. Dense small molecule labeling enables activator-dependent STORM by proximity mapping.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ye; Gu, Min; Gunning, Peter W; Russell, Sarah M

    2016-09-01

    Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) enables high-resolution imaging, but multi-channel 3D imaging is problematic because of chromatic aberrations and alignment errors. The use of activator-dependent STORM in which spectrally distinct activators can be coupled with a single reporter can circumvent such issues. However, the standard approach of linking activators and reporters to a single antibody molecule is hampered by low labeling density and the large size of the antibody. We proposed that small molecule labels might enable activator-dependent STORM if the reporter or activator were linked to separate small molecules that bound within 3.5 nm of each other. This would greatly increase the labeling density and therefore improve resolution. We tested various mixtures of phalloidin- or mCling-conjugated fluorophore to demonstrate this feasibility. The specific activation was dependent on the choice of activator, its density, a matching activating laser and its power. In addition to providing an effective means of multi-channel 3D STORM imaging, this method also provides information about the local proximity between labels, potentially enabling super-resolved mapping of the conformation of the labeled structures. PMID:27246003

  8. Toward Understanding the Outer Membrane Uptake of Small Molecules by Pseudomonas aeruginosa*

    PubMed Central

    Eren, Elif; Parkin, Jamie; Adelanwa, Ayodele; Cheneke, Belete; Movileanu, Liviu; Khalid, Syma; van den Berg, Bert

    2013-01-01

    Because small molecules enter Gram-negative bacteria via outer membrane (OM) channels, understanding OM transport is essential for the rational design of improved and new antibiotics. In the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, most small molecules are taken up by outer membrane carboxylate channel (Occ) proteins, which can be divided into two distinct subfamilies, OccD and OccK. Here we characterize substrate transport mediated by Occ proteins belonging to both subfamilies. Based on the determination of the OccK2-glucuronate co-crystal structure, we identify the channel residues that are essential for substrate transport. We further show that the pore regions of the channels are rigid in the OccK subfamily and highly dynamic in the OccD subfamily. We also demonstrate that the substrate carboxylate group interacts with central residues of the basic ladder, a row of arginine and lysine residues that leads to and away from the binding site at the channel constriction. Moreover, the importance of the basic ladder residues corresponds to their degree of conservation. Finally, we apply the generated insights by converting the archetype of the entire family, OccD1, from a basic amino acid-specific channel into a channel with a preference for negatively charged amino acids. PMID:23467408

  9. Direct and Propagated Effects of Small Molecules on Protein–Protein Interaction Networks

    PubMed Central

    Cesa, Laura C.; Mapp, Anna K.; Gestwicki, Jason E.

    2015-01-01

    Networks of protein–protein interactions (PPIs) link all aspects of cellular biology. Dysfunction in the assembly or dynamics of PPI networks is a hallmark of human disease, and as such, there is growing interest in the discovery of small molecules that either promote or inhibit PPIs. PPIs were once considered undruggable because of their relatively large buried surface areas and difficult topologies. Despite these challenges, recent advances in chemical screening methodologies, combined with improvements in structural and computational biology have made some of these targets more tractable. In this review, we highlight developments that have opened the door to potent chemical modulators. We focus on how allostery is being used to produce surprisingly robust changes in PPIs, even for the most challenging targets. We also discuss how interfering with one PPI can propagate changes through the broader web of interactions. Through this analysis, it is becoming clear that a combination of direct and propagated effects on PPI networks is ultimately how small molecules re-shape biology. PMID:26380257

  10. Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of Choline Kinase Identified by Fragment-Based Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Zech, Stephan G; Kohlmann, Anna; Zhou, Tianjun; Li, Feng; Squillace, Rachel M; Parillon, Lois E; Greenfield, Matthew T; Miller, David P; Qi, Jiwei; Thomas, R Mathew; Wang, Yihan; Xu, Yongjin; Miret, Juan J; Shakespeare, William C; Zhu, Xiaotian; Dalgarno, David C

    2016-01-28

    Choline kinase α (ChoKα) is an enzyme involved in the synthesis of phospholipids and thereby plays key roles in regulation of cell proliferation, oncogenic transformation, and human carcinogenesis. Since several inhibitors of ChoKα display antiproliferative activity in both cellular and animal models, this novel oncogene has recently gained interest as a promising small molecule target for cancer therapy. Here we summarize our efforts to further validate ChoKα as an oncogenic target and explore the activity of novel small molecule inhibitors of ChoKα. Starting from weakly binding fragments, we describe a structure based lead discovery approach, which resulted in novel highly potent inhibitors of ChoKα. In cancer cell lines, our lead compounds exhibit a dose-dependent decrease of phosphocholine, inhibition of cell growth, and induction of apoptosis at low micromolar concentrations. The druglike lead series presented here is optimizable for improvements in cellular potency, drug target residence time, and pharmacokinetic parameters. These inhibitors may be utilized not only to further validate ChoKα as antioncogenic target but also as novel chemical matter that may lead to antitumor agents that specifically interfere with cancer cell metabolism. PMID:26700752

  11. Small-molecule activation of SERCA2a SUMOylation for the treatment of heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Kho, Changwon; Lee, Ahyoung; Jeong, Dongtak; Oh, Jae Gyun; Gorski, Przemek A.; Fish, Kenneth; Sanchez, Roberto; DeVita, Robert J.; Christensen, Geir; Dahl, Russell; Hajjar, Roger J.

    2015-01-01

    Decreased activity and expression of the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA2a), a critical pump regulating calcium cycling in cardiomyocyte, are hallmarks of heart failure. We have previously described a role for the small ubiquitin-like modifier type 1 (SUMO-1) as a regulator of SERCA2a and have shown that gene transfer of SUMO-1 in rodents and large animal models of heart failure restores cardiac function. Here, we identify and characterize a small molecule, N106, which increases SUMOylation of SERCA2a. This compound directly activates the SUMO-activating enzyme, E1 ligase, and triggers intrinsic SUMOylation of SERCA2a. We identify a pocket on SUMO E1 likely to be responsible for N106's effect. N106 treatment increases contractile properties of cultured rat cardiomyocytes and significantly improves ventricular function in mice with heart failure. This first-in-class small-molecule activator targeting SERCA2a SUMOylation may serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for treatment of heart failure. PMID:26068603

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Small-Molecule Fluorescent Sensors for Investigating Zinc Metalloneurochemistry

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Elizabeth M.; Lippard, Stephen J.

    2008-01-01

    Conspectus Metal ions are involved in many neurobiological processes relevant to human health and disease. The metalloneurochemistry of Zn(II) is of substantial current interest. Zinc is the second most abundant d-block metal ion in the human brain and its distribution varies, with relatively high concentrations found in the hippocampus. Brain zinc is generally divided into two categories: protein-bound and loosely-bound. The latter pool is also referred to as histochemically observable, chelatable, labile, or mobile zinc. The neurophysiological and neuropathological significance of such mobile Zn(II) remains enigmatic. Studies of Zn(II) distribution, translocation, and function in vivo require tools for its detection. Because Zn(II) has a closed-shell d10 configuration and no convenient spectroscopic signature, fluorescence is a suitable method for monitoring Zn(II) in biological contexts. This Account summarizes work by our laboratory addressing the design, preparation, characterization, and use of small-molecule fluorescent sensors for imaging mobile Zn(II) in living cells and samples of brain tissue. These sensors provide “turn-on” or ratiometric Zn(II) detection in aqueous solution at neutral pH. By making alterations to the Zn(II)-binding unit and fluorophore platform, we have devised sensors with varied photophysical and metal-binding properties. We used several of these probes to image Zn(II) distribution, uptake, and mobilization in a variety of cell types, including neuronal cultures. Goals for the future include developing strategies for multi-color imaging, further defining the quenching and turn-on mechanisms of the sensors, and employing the probes to elucidate the functional significance of Zn(II) in neurobiology. PMID:18989940

  16. Inhibition of Protein-Protein Interactions and Signaling by Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freire, Ernesto

    2010-03-01

    Protein-protein interactions are at the core of cell signaling pathways as well as many bacterial and viral infection processes. As such, they define critical targets for drug development against diseases such as cancer, arthritis, obesity, AIDS and many others. Until now, the clinical inhibition of protein-protein interactions and signaling has been accomplished with the use of antibodies or soluble versions of receptor molecules. Small molecule replacements of these therapeutic agents have been extremely difficult to develop; either the necessary potency has been hard to achieve or the expected biological effect has not been obtained. In this presentation, we show that a rigorous thermodynamic approach that combines differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) provides a unique platform for the identification and optimization of small molecular weight inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. Recent advances in the development of cell entry inhibitors of HIV-1 using this approach will be discussed.

  17. Fully Integrated Approach to Compute Vibrationally Resolved Optical Spectra: From Small Molecules to Macrosystems.

    PubMed

    Barone, Vincenzo; Bloino, Julien; Biczysko, Malgorzata; Santoro, Fabrizio

    2009-03-10

    A general and effective time-independent approach to compute vibrationally resolved electronic spectra from first principles has been integrated into the Gaussian computational chemistry package. This computational tool offers a simple and easy-to-use way to compute theoretical spectra starting from geometry optimization and frequency calculations for each electronic state. It is shown that in such a way it is straightforward to combine calculation of Franck-Condon integrals with any electronic computational model. The given examples illustrate the calculation of absorption and emission spectra, all in the UV-vis region, of various systems from small molecules to large ones, in gas as well as in condensed phases. The computational models applied range from fully quantum mechanical descriptions to discrete/continuum quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical/polarizable continuum models. PMID:26610221

  18. Solution-Procesed Small-Molecule OLED Luminaire for Interior Illumination

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, Ian

    2012-02-29

    Prototype lighting panels and luminaires were fabricated using DuPont Displays solution-processed small-molecule OLED technology. These lighting panels were based on a spatially-patterned, 3-color design, similar in concept to an OLED display panel, with materials chosen to maximize device efficacy. The majority of the processing steps take place in air (rather than high vacuum). Optimization of device architecture, processing and construction was undertaken, with a final prototype design of 50 cm{sup 2} being fabricated and tested. Performance of these panels reached 35 lm/W at illuminant-A. A unique feature of this technology is the ability to color tune the emission, and color temperatures ranging from 2700 to > 6,500K were attained in the final build. Significant attention was paid to low-cost fabrication techniques.

  19. Small-Molecule Targeting of E3 Ligase Adaptor SPOP in Kidney Cancer.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhong-Qiang; Zheng, Tong; Chen, Baoen; Luo, Cheng; Ouyang, Sisheng; Gong, Shouzhe; Li, Jiafei; Mao, Liu-Liang; Lian, Fulin; Yang, Yong; Huang, Yue; Li, Li; Lu, Jing; Zhang, Bidong; Zhou, Luming; Ding, Hong; Gao, Zhiwei; Zhou, Liqun; Li, Guoqiang; Zhou, Ran; Chen, Ke; Liu, Jingqiu; Wen, Yi; Gong, Likun; Ke, Yuwen; Yang, Shang-Dong; Qiu, Xiao-Bo; Zhang, Naixia; Ren, Jin; Zhong, Dafang; Yang, Cai-Guang; Liu, Jiang; Jiang, Hualiang

    2016-09-12

    In the cytoplasm of virtually all clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) is overexpressed and misallocated, which may induce proliferation and promote kidney tumorigenesis. In normal cells, however, SPOP is located in the nucleus and induces apoptosis. Here we show that a structure-based design and subsequent hit optimization yield small molecules that can inhibit the SPOP-substrate protein interaction and can suppress oncogenic SPOP-signaling pathways. These inhibitors kill human ccRCC cells that are dependent on oncogenic cytoplasmic SPOP. Notably, these inhibitors minimally affect the viability of other cells in which SPOP is not accumulated in the cytoplasm. Our findings validate the SPOP-substrate protein interaction as an attractive target specific to ccRCC that may yield novel drug discovery efforts. PMID:27622336

  20. Small Molecule Detection in Saliva Facilitates Portable Tests of Marijuana Abuse.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung-Rok; Choi, Joohong; Shultz, Tyler O; Wang, Shan X

    2016-08-01

    As medical and recreational use of cannabis, or marijuana, becomes more prevalent, law enforcement needs a tool to evaluate whether drivers are operating vehicles under the influence of cannabis, specifically the psychoactive substance, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, the cutoff concentration of THC that causes impairment is still controversial, and current on-site screening tools are not sensitive enough to detect trace amounts of THC in oral fluids. Here we present a novel sensing platform that employs giant magnetoresistive (GMR) biosensors integrated with a portable reader system and smartphone to detect THC in saliva using competitive assays. With a simple saliva collection scheme, we have optimized the assay to measure THC in the range from 0 to 50 ng/mL, covering most cutoff values proposed in previous studies. This work facilitates on-site screening for THC and shows potential for testing of other small molecule drugs and analytes in point-of-care (POC) settings. PMID:27434697

  1. Link between hopping models and percolation scaling laws for charge transport in mixtures of small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ha, Dong-Gwang; Kim, Jang-Joo; Baldo, Marc A.

    2016-04-01

    Mixed host compositions that combine charge transport materials with luminescent dyes offer superior control over exciton formation and charge transport in organic light emitting devices (OLEDs). Two approaches are typically used to optimize the fraction of charge transport materials in a mixed host composition: either an empirical percolative model, or a hopping transport model. We show that these two commonly-employed models are linked by an analytic expression which relates the localization length to the percolation threshold and critical exponent. The relation is confirmed both numerically and experimentally through measurements of the relative conductivity of Tris(4-carbazoyl-9-ylphenyl)amine (TCTA) :1,3-bis(3,5-dipyrid-3-yl-phenyl)benzene (BmPyPb) mixtures with different concentrations, where the TCTA plays a role as hole conductor and the BmPyPb as hole insulator. The analytic relation may allow the rational design of mixed layers of small molecules for high-performance OLEDs.

  2. pKa prediction of monoprotic small molecules the SMARTS way.

    PubMed

    Lee, Adam C; Yu, Jing-Yu; Crippen, Gordon M

    2008-10-01

    Realizing favorable absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination, and toxicity profiles is a necessity due to the high attrition rate of lead compounds in drug development today. The ability to accurately predict bioavailability can help save time and money during the screening and optimization processes. As several robust programs already exist for predicting logP, we have turned our attention to the fast and robust prediction of pK(a) for small molecules. Using curated data from the Beilstein Database and Lange's Handbook of Chemistry, we have created a decision tree based on a novel set of SMARTS strings that can accurately predict the pK(a) for monoprotic compounds with R(2) of 0.94 and root mean squared error of 0.68. Leave-some-out (10%) cross-validation achieved Q(2) of 0.91 and root mean squared error of 0.80. PMID:18826209

  3. Discovery of small molecules with vasodilating characteristics and adjustable hydrolytic behavior.

    PubMed

    Brunhofer-Bolzer, Gerda; Gabriel, Mario; Studenik, Christian R; Erker, Thomas

    2015-08-01

    In this contribution the development of a new class of vasodilating compounds obtained by lead structure optimization is described. Three groups of compounds were synthesized and tested for their activity on various smooth muscle preparations of the guinea pig. Beside the lead compound 3a, the most interesting derivative was 1H-imidazole-1-carbothioic acid O-cyclohexyl ester hydrochloride (5b) with a good selective vasodilating potential on aorta and pulmonary artery rings (EC50 14 μM and 24 μM, respectively). Due to the properties of small molecules the hydrolysis behavior of the compounds can be easily adapted hence opening a new route in terms of duration of the agent's effect. With the aid of structure-activity relationship studies, structural motifs influencing the biological activity on isolated smooth muscle cell preparations of the synthesized compounds were proposed. The presented compounds offer good tools in identifying promising molecules as emergency therapy in myocardial infarction. PMID:26072172

  4. Lessons Learned: Dose Selection of Small Molecule-Targeted Oncology Drugs.

    PubMed

    Bullock, Julie M; Rahman, Atiqur; Liu, Qi

    2016-06-01

    Evaluation of dose plays a critical role in a successful oncology development program. Typically for oncology agents, the first-in-man phase I dose-escalation trials are conducted to determine a maximum tolerated dose (MTD). This MTD is taken forward into subsequent trials to establish the safety and efficacy of the drug product. Although this approach was appropriate historically for cytotoxics, the application of MTD as the recommend phase II dose has been problematic for the newer small molecule-targeted oncology agents. Promising alternative approaches using dose and exposure exploration, including lessons learned from recent targeted oncology agent development and approvals, are summarized and discussed. Clin Cancer Res; 22(11); 2630-8. ©2016 AACR SEE ALL ARTICLES IN THIS CCR FOCUS SECTION, "NEW APPROACHES FOR OPTIMIZING DOSING OF ANTICANCER AGENTS". PMID:27250934

  5. Small molecule based N-phenyl carbazole substituted diketopyrrolopyrroles as donors for solution-processed bulk heterojunction organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Patil, Yuvraj; Misra, Rajneesh; Chen, F C; Sharma, Ganesh D

    2016-08-17

    We report two acetylene-bridged small molecules DPP5 and DPP6 with low HOMO-LUMO gaps as donors along with PC71BM as an acceptor for the fabrication of solution-processed bulk heterojunction solar cells. After the optimization, i.e. weight ratio of donor to acceptor and surface treatment of the active layer, we achieved overall power conversion efficiencies up to 4.65% (Jsc = 8.19 mA cm(-2), Voc = 0.98 V and FF = 0.58) and 5.73% (Jsc = 9.58 mA cm(-2), Voc = 0.98 V and FF = 0.61), for DPP5:PC71BM and DPP6:PC71BM respectively, which are superior to those for the devices based on as-cast active layers. The significant change in the power conversion efficiency is attributed to the improvement in nanoscale morphology, balanced charge transport and charge collection efficiency, induced through the surface treatment. PMID:27489031

  6. Harnessing Connectivity in a Large-Scale Small-Molecule Sensitivity Dataset | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    Identifying genetic alterations that prime a cancer cell to respond to a particular therapeutic agent can facilitate the development of precision cancer medicines. Cancer cell-line (CCL) profiling of small-molecule sensitivity has emerged as an unbiased method to assess the relationships between genetic or cellular features of CCLs and small-molecule response. Here, we developed annotated cluster multidimensional enrichment analysis to explore the associations between groups of small molecules and groups of CCLs in a new, quantitative sensitivity dataset.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  8. Structure-based Discovery of Novel Small Molecule Wnt Signaling Inhibitors by Targeting the Cysteine-rich Domain of Frizzled*

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ho-Jin; Bao, Ju; Miller, Ami; Zhang, Chi; Wu, Jibo; Baday, Yiressy C.; Guibao, Cristina; Li, Lin; Wu, Dianqing; Zheng, Jie J.

    2015-01-01

    Frizzled is the earliest discovered glycosylated Wnt protein receptor and is critical for the initiation of Wnt signaling. Antagonizing Frizzled is effective in inhibiting the growth of multiple tumor types. The extracellular N terminus of Frizzled contains a conserved cysteine-rich domain that directly interacts with Wnt ligands. Structure-based virtual screening and cell-based assays were used to identify five small molecules that can inhibit canonical Wnt signaling and have low IC50 values in the micromolar range. NMR experiments confirmed that these compounds specifically bind to the Wnt binding site on the Frizzled8 cysteine-rich domain with submicromolar dissociation constants. Our study confirms the feasibility of targeting the Frizzled cysteine-rich domain as an effective way of regulating canonical Wnt signaling. These small molecules can be further optimized into more potent therapeutic agents for regulating abnormal Wnt signaling by targeting Frizzled. PMID:26504084

  9. 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

  10. Efficient small-molecule photovoltaic cells using nanostructured template

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taima, Tetsuya; Zhou, Ying; Kuwabara, Takayuki; Takahashi, Kohshin

    2014-03-01

    We report a simple method to achieve efficient nanostructured organic photovoltaics via patterning copper iodide (CuI) nano-rod template on indium tin oxide. The CuI nano-rod sheet was fabricated by glancing angle deposition method. The strong interfacial interaction between zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc) and CuI leads to the formation of nano-pillar arrays with lying-down crystalline order, which greatly improve absorption efficiency and surface roughness for exciton dissociation. Optimized ZnPc/C60 bilayer cell has a power conversion efficiency of 4.0 +/- 0.1%, which is about three-fold larger than that of conventional planar cell. In addition, we also reported the new type of nano-structured template based on organic semiconductor. As the template material, diindenoperylene (DIP) was introduced into bilayer photovoltaic cells using based on tetraphenyldibenzoperifl anthene (DBP) and C60. While the basic molecular structure of DIP is similar to that of DBP, DIP shows higher crystallinity than DBP one. We obtained power conversion efficiency of 5.2% and high fill factor of 0.72 due to high crystallinity of DIP nano-structured template.

  11. Supported gold catalysis: from small molecule activation to green chemical synthesis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiang; He, Lin; Liu, Yong-Mei; Cao, Yong

    2014-03-18

    With diminishing natural resources, there is an ever-increasing demand for cost-effective and sustainable production of fine and commodity chemicals. For this purpose, there is a need for new catalytic methods that can permit efficient and targeted conversion of fossil and biorenewable feedstocks with lower energy requirements and environmental impact. A significant number of industrial catalytic processes are performed by platinum-group-metal (PGM)-based heterogeneous catalysts capable of activating a range of important small molecules, such as CO, O2, H2, and N2. In contrast, there is a general feeling that gold (Au) cannot act as an efficient catalyst because of its inability to activate most molecules, which is essential to any catalytic processes. As a consequence, researchers have long neglected the potential for use of gold as a catalyst. In recent years, however, chemists have put forth tremendous effort and progress in the use of supported gold catalysts to facilitate a variety of useful synthetic transformations. The seminal discovery by Haruta in 1987 that suitably prepared Au-based catalysts were surprisingly active for CO oxidation even at 200 K initiated rapid development of the field. Since then, researchers have widely employed Au-based catalysts in many types of mild chemical processes, with special focus on selective reactions involving small molecules (for example, CO, H2O, O2, or H2) as a reactant. That gold in the form of tiny nanoparticles (NPs, generally less than 5 nm in diameter) can subtly activate the reactant molecules under mild conditions has been evoked to explain the superior effectiveness of gold compared with conventional PGMs. In this context, Au-based catalysts are gaining great significance in developing new green processes with improved selectivity and energy minimization. In this Account, we describe our efforts toward the development of a range of green and selective processes largely through the appropriate choice of Au

  12. Efficient new ribozyme mimics: direct mapping of molecular design principles from small molecules to macromolecular, biomimetic catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Putnam, William C.; Daniher, Andrew T.; Trawick, Bobby N.; Bashkin, James K.

    2001-01-01

    Dramatic improvements in ribozyme mimics have been achieved by employing the principles of small molecule catalysis to the design of macromolecular, biomimetic reagents. Ribozyme mimics derived from the ligand 2,9-dimethylphenanthroline (neocuproine) show at least 30-fold improvements in efficiency at sequence-specific RNA cleavage when compared with analogous o-phenanthroline- and terpyridine-derived reagents. The suppression of hydroxide-bridged dimers and the greater activation of coordinated water by Cu(II) neocuproine (compared with the o-phananthroline and terpyridine complexes) better allow Cu(II) to reach its catalytic potential as a biomimetic RNA cleavage agent. This work demonstrates the direct mapping of molecular design principles from small-molecule cleavage to macromolecular cleavage events, generating enhanced biomimetic, sequence-specific RNA cleavage agents. PMID:11353090

  13. Treating Entropy and Conformational Changes in Implicit Solvent Simulations of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Mobley, David L.; Dill, Ken A.; Chodera, John D.

    2009-01-01

    Implicit solvent models are increasingly popular for estimating aqueous solvation (hydration) free energies in molecular simulations and other applications. In many cases, parameters for these models are derived to reproduce experimental values for small molecule hydration free energies. Often, these hydration free energies are computed for a single solute conformation, neglecting solute conformational changes upon solvation. Here, we incorporate these effects using alchemical free energy methods. We find significant errors when hydration free energies are estimated using only a single solute conformation, even for relatively small, simple, rigid solutes. For example, we find conformational entropy (TΔS) changes of up to 2.3 kcal/mol upon hydration. Interestingly, these changes in conformational entropy correlate poorly (R2 = 0.03) with the number of rotatable bonds. The present study illustrates that implicit solvent modeling can be improved by eliminating the approximation that solutes are rigid. PMID:18171044

  14. Small-molecule probes elucidate global enzyme activity in a proteomic context

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jun-Seok; Yoo, Young-Hwa; Yoon, Chang No

    2014-01-01

    The recent dramatic improvements in high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) have revolutionized the speed and scope of proteomic studies. Conventional MS-based proteomics methodologies allow global protein profiling based on expression levels. Although these techniques are promising, there are numerous biological activities yet to be unveiled, such as the dynamic regulation of enzyme activity. Chemical proteomics is an emerging field that extends these types proteomic profiling. In particular, activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) utilizes small-molecule probes to monitor enzyme activity directly in living intact subjects. In this mini-review, we summarize the unique roles of smallmolecule probes in proteomics studies and highlight some recent examples in which this principle has been applied. [BMB Reports 2014; 47(3): 149-157] PMID:24499666

  15. Treating entropy and conformational changes in implicit solvent simulations of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Mobley, David L; Dill, Ken A; Chodera, John D

    2008-01-24

    Implicit solvent models are increasingly popular for estimating aqueous solvation (hydration) free energies in molecular simulations and other applications. In many cases, parameters for these models are derived to reproduce experimental values for small molecule hydration free energies. Often, these hydration free energies are computed for a single solute conformation, neglecting solute conformational changes upon solvation. Here, we incorporate these effects using alchemical free energy methods. We find significant errors when hydration free energies are estimated using only a single solute conformation, even for relatively small, simple, rigid solutes. For example, we find conformational entropy (TDeltaS) changes of up to 2.3 kcal/mol upon hydration. Interestingly, these changes in conformational entropy correlate poorly (R2 = 0.03) with the number of rotatable bonds. The present study illustrates that implicit solvent modeling can be improved by eliminating the approximation that solutes are rigid. PMID:18171044

  16. Synergistic Effects of Morphological Control and Complementary Absorption in Efficient All-Small-Molecule Ternary-Blend Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Farahat, Mahmoud E; Patra, Dhananjaya; Lee, Chih-Hao; Chu, Chih-Wei

    2015-10-14

    In this study, we combined two small-molecule donors-a diketopyrrolopyrrole-based small molecule (SMD) and a benzodithiophene-based molecule (BDT6T)-with [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM) to form ternary blend solar cells. The power conversion efficiency of the binary SMD:PC61BM bulk heterojunction solar cell improved from 4.57 to 6.28% after adding an appropriate amount BDT6T as a guest. We attribute this 37% improvement in device performance to the complementary absorption behavior of BDT6T and SMD, as evidenced by the increase in the short circuit current. After addition of BDT6T to form the ternary blend, the crystallinity and morphology of the active layer were enhanced. For example, the features observed in the ternary active layers were finer than those in the binary blends. This means that BDT6T as a third component in the ternary blend has effective role on both the absorption and the morphology. In addition, adding BDT6T to form the ternary blend also led to an increase in the open-circuit voltage. Our findings suggest that the preparation of such simple all-small-molecule ternary blends can be an effective means of improving the efficiency of photovoltaic devices. PMID:26389528

  17. Blast optimization for improved dragline productivity

    SciTech Connect

    Humphreys, M.; Baldwin, G.

    1994-12-31

    A project aimed at blast optimization for large open pit coal mines is utilizing blast monitoring and analysis techniques, advanced dragline monitoring equipment, and blast simulation software, to assess the major controlling factors affecting both blast performance and subsequent dragline productivity. This has involved collaborative work between the explosives supplier, mine operator, monitoring equipment manufacturer, and a mining research organization. The results from trial blasts and subsequently monitored dragline production have yielded promising results and continuing studies are being conducted as part of a blast optimization program. It should be stressed that the optimization of blasting practices for improved dragline productivity is a site specific task, achieved through controlled and closely monitored procedures. The benefits achieved at one location can not be simply transferred to another minesite unless similar improvement strategies are first implemented.

  18. Rationally designed small molecules targeting the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 are potently bioactive.

    PubMed

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Hoskins, Jason; Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Thornton, Charles A; Disney, Matthew D

    2012-05-18

    RNA is an important drug target, but it is difficult to design or discover small molecules that modulate RNA function. In the present study, we report that rationally designed, modularly assembled small molecules that bind the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) are potently bioactive in cell culture models. DM1 is caused when an expansion of r(CUG) repeats, or r(CUG)(exp), is present in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the dystrophia myotonica protein kinase (DMPK) mRNA. r(CUG)(exp) folds into a hairpin with regularly repeating 5'CUG/3'GUC motifs and sequesters muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1). A variety of defects are associated with DM1, including (i) formation of nuclear foci, (ii) decreased translation of DMPK mRNA due to its nuclear retention, and (iii) pre-mRNA splicing defects due to inactivation of MBNL1, which controls the alternative splicing of various pre-mRNAs. Previously, modularly assembled ligands targeting r(CUG)(exp) were designed using information in an RNA motif-ligand database. These studies showed that a bis-benzimidazole (H) binds the 5'CUG/3'GUC motif in r(CUG)(exp.) Therefore, we designed multivalent ligands to bind simultaneously multiple copies of this motif in r(CUG)(exp). Herein, we report that the designed compounds improve DM1-associated defects including improvement of translational and pre-mRNA splicing defects and the disruption of nuclear foci. These studies may establish a foundation to exploit other RNA targets in genomic sequence. PMID:22332923

  19. Rationally Designed Small Molecules Targeting the RNA That Causes Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 Are Potently Bioactive

    PubMed Central

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L.; Hoskins, Jason; Rzuczek, Suzanne G.; Thornton, Charles A.; Disney, Matthew D.

    2012-01-01

    RNA is an important drug target, but it is difficult to design or discover small molecules that modulate RNA function. In the present study, we report that rationally designed, modularly assembled small molecules that bind the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) are potently bioactive in cell culture models. DM1 is caused when an expansion of r(CUG) repeats, or r(CUG)exp, is present in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of the dystrophia myotonica protein kinase (DMPK) mRNA. r(CUG)exp folds into a hairpin with regularly repeating 5′CUG/3′GUC motifs and sequester muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1). A variety of defects are associated with DM1 including: (i) formation of nuclear foci, (ii) decreased translation of DMPK mRNA due to its nuclear retention, and (iii) pre-mRNA splicing defects due to inactivation of MBNL1, which controls the alternative splicing of various pre-mRNAs. Previously, modularly assembled ligands targeting r(CUG)exp were designed using information in an RNA motif-ligand database. These studies showed that a bis-benzimidazole (H) binds the 5′CUG/3′GUC motif in r(CUG)exp. Therefore, we designed multivalent ligands to bind multiple copies of this motif simultaneously in r(CUG)exp. Herein, we report that the designed compounds improve DM1-associated defects including improvement of translational and pre-mRNA splicing defects and the disruption of nuclear foci. These studies may establish a foundation to exploit other RNA targets in genomic sequence. PMID:22332923

  20. 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

  1. Evaluation of Small Molecules as Front Cell Donor Materials for High-Efficiency Tandem Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Wan, Xiangjian; Liu, Feng; Kan, Bin; Li, Miaomiao; Feng, Huanran; Zhang, Hongtao; Russell, Thomas P; Chen, Yongsheng

    2016-08-01

    Three small molecules as front cell donors for tandem cells are thoroughly evaluated and a high power conversion efficiency of 11.47% is achieved, which demonstrates that the oligomer-like small molecules offer a good choice for high-performance tandem solar cells. PMID:27214707

  2. Group specific internal standard technology (GSIST) for simultaneous identification and quantification of small molecules

    DOEpatents

    Adamec, Jiri; Yang, Wen-Chu; Regnier, Fred E

    2014-01-14

    Reagents and methods are provided that permit simultaneous analysis of multiple diverse small molecule analytes present in a complex mixture. Samples are labeled with chemically identical but isotopically distince forms of the labeling reagent, and analyzed using mass spectrometry. A single reagent simultaneously derivatizes multiple small molecule analytes having different reactive functional groups.

  3. Cardiac action of the first G protein biased small molecule apelin agonist.

    PubMed

    Read, Cai; Fitzpatrick, Christopher M; Yang, Peiran; Kuc, Rhoda E; Maguire, Janet J; Glen, Robert C; Foster, Richard E; Davenport, Anthony P

    2016-09-15

    Apelin peptide analogues displaying bias towards G protein signalling pathways have beneficial cardiovascular actions compared with the native peptide in humans in vivo. Our aim was to determine whether small molecule agonists could retain G protein bias. We have identified a biased small molecule, CMF-019, and characterised it in vitro and in vivo. In competition radioligand binding experiments in heart homogenates, CMF-019 bound to the human, rat and mouse apelin receptor with high affinity (pKi=8.58±0.04, 8.49±0.04 and 8.71±0.06 respectively). In cell-based functional assays, whereas, CMF-019 showed similar potency for the Gαi pathway to the endogenous agonist [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 (pD2=10.00±0.13 vs 9.34±0.15), in β-arrestin and internalisation assays it was less potent (pD2=6.65±0.15 vs 8.65±0.10 and pD2=6.16±0.21 vs 9.28±0.10 respectively). Analysis of these data demonstrated a bias of ∼400 for the Gαi over the β-arrestin pathway and ∼6000 over receptor internalisation. CMF-019 was tested for in vivo activity using intravenous injections into anaesthetised male Sprague-Dawley rats fitted with a pressure-volume catheter in the left ventricle. CMF-019 caused a significant increase in cardiac contractility of 606±112mmHg/s (p<0.001) at 500nmol. CMF-019 is the first biased small molecule identified at the apelin receptor and increases cardiac contractility in vivo. We have demonstrated that Gαi over β-arrestin/internalisation bias can be retained in a non-peptide analogue and predict that such bias will have the therapeutic benefit following chronic use. CMF-019 is suitable as a tool compound and provides the basis for design of biased agonists with improved pharmacokinetics for treatment of cardiovascular conditions such as pulmonary arterial hypertension. PMID:27475715

  4. Structural Insights into the Activation of Human Relaxin Family Peptide Receptor 1 by Small-Molecule Agonists.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xin; Myhr, Courtney; Huang, Zaohua; Xiao, Jingbo; Barnaeva, Elena; Ho, Brian A; Agoulnik, Irina U; Ferrer, Marc; Marugan, Juan J; Southall, Noel; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2016-03-29

    The GPCR relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1) mediates the action of relaxin peptide hormone, including its tissue remodeling and antifibrotic effects. The peptide has a short half-life in plasma, limiting its therapeutic utility. However, small-molecule agonists of human RXFP1 can overcome this limitation and may provide a useful therapeutic approach, especially for chronic diseases such as heart failure and fibrosis. The first small-molecule agonists of RXFP1 were recently identified from a high-throughput screening, using a homogeneous cell-based cAMP assay. Optimization of the hit compounds resulted in a series of highly potent and RXFP1 selective agonists with low cytotoxicity, and excellent in vitro ADME and pharmacokinetic properties. Here, we undertook extensive site-directed mutagenesis studies in combination with computational modeling analysis to probe the molecular basis of the small-molecule binding to RXFP1. The results showed that the agonists bind to an allosteric site of RXFP1 in a manner that closely interacts with the seventh transmembrane domain (TM7) and the third extracellular loop (ECL3). Several residues were determined to play an important role in the agonist binding and receptor activation, including a hydrophobic region at TM7 consisting of W664, F668, and L670. The G659/T660 motif within ECL3 is crucial to the observed species selectivity of the agonists for RXFP1. The receptor binding and activation effects by the small molecule ML290 were compared with the cognate ligand, relaxin, providing valuable insights on the structural basis and molecular mechanism of receptor activation and selectivity for RXFP1. PMID:26866459

  5. Advancing Biological Understanding and Therapeutics Discovery with Small-Molecule Probes.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-06-01

    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 NIH 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. D-A-D-π-D-A-D type diketopyrrolopyrrole based small molecule electron donors for bulk heterojunction organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Patil, Yuvraj; Misra, Rajneesh; Sharma, Abhishek; Sharma, Ganesh D

    2016-06-22

    Two organic small molecules based on diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) units having a D-A-D-π-D-A-D structure denoted as and were synthesized. Their optical and electrochemical properties relevant to organic solar cells were investigated. The wider optical absorption coverage from 450-800 nm, the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) (-5.23 eV and -5.34 eV for and , respectively) and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) (-3.47 and -3.45 eV for and , respectively) make these small molecules suitable as donors for bulk heterojunction organic solar cells. The bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic solar cells based on an active layer consists of a blend of these small molecules as donors and PC71BM as an acceptor with an optimized weight ratio of 1 : 2 cast from chloroform (CF) showed overall power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of 1.98% (with Jsc = 5.38 mA cm(-2), Voc = 0.84 V and FF = 0.42) and 1.85% (with Jsc = 4.56 mA cm(-2), Voc = 0.96 V and FF = 0.42) for and respectively. The relatively high Voc value based on the based device has been attributed to the deeper HOMO of compared to . The optimized  : PC71BM (1 : 2) and  : PC71BM (1 : 2) active layers were subjected to two step annealing (TSA), i.e. thermal annealing and subsequent solvent vapor annealing and the corresponding BHJ organic solar cells showed a PCE of 5.28% (Jsc = 11.53 mA cm(-2), Voc = 0.79 V and FF = 0.58) and 5.52% (Jsc = 10.84 mA cm(-2), Voc = 0.91 V and FF = 0.56), respectively. The enhancement in PCE is mainly due to the improvement in Jsc and FF, related to light absorption in an active layer, a better nanoscale morphology, and an increase in the crystalline nature of the active layer and balanced charge transport, induced by the TSA treatment. PMID:27292157

  8. Discovery of GSK2795039, a Novel Small Molecule NADPH Oxidase 2 Inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Hirano, Kazufumi; Chen, Woei Shin; Chueng, Adeline L.W.; Dunne, Angela A.; Seredenina, Tamara; Filippova, Aleksandra; Ramachandran, Sumitra; Bridges, Angela; Chaudry, Laiq; Pettman, Gary; Allan, Craig; Duncan, Sarah; Lee, Kiew Ching; Lim, Jean; Ma, May Thu; Ong, Agnes B.; Ye, Nicole Y.; Nasir, Shabina; Mulyanidewi, Sri; Aw, Chiu Cheong; Oon, Pamela P.; Liao, Shihua; Li, Dizheng; Johns, Douglas G.; Miller, Neil D.; Davies, Ceri H.; Browne, Edward R.; Matsuoka, Yasuji; Chen, Deborah W.; Jaquet, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Aims: The NADPH oxidase (NOX) family of enzymes catalyzes the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). NOX enzymes not only have a key role in a variety of physiological processes but also contribute to oxidative stress in certain disease states. To date, while numerous small molecule inhibitors have been reported (in particular for NOX2), none have demonstrated inhibitory activity in vivo. As such, there is a need for the identification of improved NOX inhibitors to enable further evaluation of the biological functions of NOX enzymes in vivo as well as the therapeutic potential of NOX inhibition. In this study, both the in vitro and in vivo pharmacological profiles of GSK2795039, a novel NOX2 inhibitor, were characterized in comparison with other published NOX inhibitors. Results: GSK2795039 inhibited both the formation of ROS and the utilization of the enzyme substrates, NADPH and oxygen, in a variety of semirecombinant cell-free and cell-based NOX2 assays. It inhibited NOX2 in an NADPH competitive manner and was selective over other NOX isoforms, xanthine oxidase, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase enzymes. Following systemic administration in mice, GSK2795039 abolished the production of ROS by activated NOX2 enzyme in a paw inflammation model. Furthermore, GSK2795039 showed activity in a murine model of acute pancreatitis, reducing the levels of serum amylase triggered by systemic injection of cerulein. Innovation and Conclusions: GSK2795039 is a novel NOX2 inhibitor that is the first small molecule to demonstrate inhibition of the NOX2 enzyme in vivo. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 23, 358–374. PMID:26135714

  9. Tailorable Release of Small Molecules Utilizing Plant Viral Nanoparticles and Fibrous Matrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Jing

    We have engineered Red clover necrotic mosaic virus (RCNMV) derived plant viral nanoparticles (PVNs) within a fibrous matrix to optimize its application for delivery and controlled release of active ingredients. RCNMV's structure and unique response to divalent cation depletion and re-addition enables the infusion of small molecules into its viral capsid through a pore formation mechanism. While this PVN technology shows a potential use in nano-scale therapeutic drug delivery, its inherent molecular dynamics to environmental stimuli places a constraint on its application and functionality as a vehicle for tailorable release of loading cargo. In this study, we enhance the understanding of the PVN technology by elucidating its mechanism for loading and triggered release of doxorubicin (Dox), a chemotherapeutic drug for breast cancer. Of critical importance is the methodology for manipulation of Dox's loading capacity and its binding location on either the exterior or interior of the virion capsid. The ability to control the active ingredient binding location provides an additional approach of tunable release from the PVN delivery vehicle besides its inherent pH- and ion- responsive release of loading cargo. The efficacious and controlled release strategy for agricultural active ingredients, such as nematicides, is also a large social need right now. Crop infestation of plant parasite nematodes causes in excess of 157 billion in worldwide crop damage annually. If an effective control strategy for these pests could be developed, it is estimated that the current market for effective nematicides is between 700 million and $1 billion each year worldwide. In this study, we report on the utilization of PVN technology to encapsulate the biological nematicide, abamectin (Abm), within the PVN's interior capsid (PVNAbm). Creating PVNAbm addresses Abm's issues of soil immobility while rendering a controlled release strategy for its bioavailability to root knot nematodes (RKNs

  10. Small-molecule labeling of live cell surfaces for three-dimensional super-resolution microscopy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Marissa K; Rai, Prabin; Williams, Jarrod; Twieg, Robert J; Moerner, W E

    2014-10-01

    Precise imaging of the cell surface of fluorescently labeled bacteria requires super-resolution methods because the size-scale of these cells is on the order of the diffraction limit. In this work, we present a photocontrollable small-molecule rhodamine spirolactam emitter suitable for non-toxic and specific labeling of the outer surface of cells for three-dimensional (3D) super-resolution (SR) imaging. Conventional rhodamine spirolactams photoswitch to the emitting form with UV light; however, these wavelengths can damage cells. We extended photoswitching to visible wavelengths >400 nm by iterative synthesis and spectroscopic characterization to optimize the substitution on the spirolactam. Further, an N-hydroxysuccinimide-functionalized derivative enabled covalent labeling of amines on the surface of live Caulobacter crescentus cells. Resulting 3D SR reconstructions of the labeled cell surface reveal uniform and specific sampling with thousands of localizations per cell and excellent localization precision in x, y, and z. The distribution of cell stalk lengths (a sub-diffraction-sized cellular structure) was quantified for a mixed population of cells. Pulse-chase experiments identified sites of cell surface growth. Covalent labeling with the optimized rhodamine spirolactam label provides a general strategy to study the surfaces of living cells with high specificity and resolution down to 10-20 nm. PMID:25222297

  11. Small-Molecule Labeling of Live Cell Surfaces for Three-Dimensional Super-Resolution Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Precise imaging of the cell surface of fluorescently labeled bacteria requires super-resolution methods because the size-scale of these cells is on the order of the diffraction limit. In this work, we present a photocontrollable small-molecule rhodamine spirolactam emitter suitable for non-toxic and specific labeling of the outer surface of cells for three-dimensional (3D) super-resolution (SR) imaging. Conventional rhodamine spirolactams photoswitch to the emitting form with UV light; however, these wavelengths can damage cells. We extended photoswitching to visible wavelengths >400 nm by iterative synthesis and spectroscopic characterization to optimize the substitution on the spirolactam. Further, an N-hydroxysuccinimide-functionalized derivative enabled covalent labeling of amines on the surface of live Caulobacter crescentus cells. Resulting 3D SR reconstructions of the labeled cell surface reveal uniform and specific sampling with thousands of localizations per cell and excellent localization precision in x, y, and z. The distribution of cell stalk lengths (a sub-diffraction-sized cellular structure) was quantified for a mixed population of cells. Pulse-chase experiments identified sites of cell surface growth. Covalent labeling with the optimized rhodamine spirolactam label provides a general strategy to study the surfaces of living cells with high specificity and resolution down to 10–20 nm. PMID:25222297

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-07

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

  13. Characterization and performance of MALDI on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer for analysis and quantification of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Gobey, Jason; Cole, Mark; Janiszewski, John; Covey, Thomas; Chau, Tung; Kovarik, Peter; Corr, Jay

    2005-09-01

    The usefulness of MALDI for small-molecule work has been limited by matrix chemical interference in the mass range of interest, tedious sample preparation, and various crystallization and sample deposition issues. We report instrument characterization and small-molecule quantification performance data from a high repetition rate laser MALDI ion source coupled to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. The high repetition rate laser improves sensitivity and precision and allows a proportional increase in sample throughput. Tandem mass spectrometry is used to discriminate the signal from the high chemical background caused by the MALDI matrix. Successful quantification requires use of an internal standard and a means of sample cleanup for typical in vitro sample compositions. This instrument combination and analysis technique is relatively insensitive to sample crystal quality and spot homogeneity. Quantitative performance results are characterized for 53 small-molecule pharmaceutical compounds and compared to those obtained by ESI-MS/MS. Further comparison between MALDI and ESI is examined, and the potential for high-throughput MALDI-MS/MS quantification is demonstrated. PMID:16131077

  14. Enzymatic cleavage and mass amplification strategy for small molecule detection using aptamer-based fluorescence polarization biosensor.

    PubMed

    Kang, Liping; Yang, Bin; Zhang, Xiaobing; Cui, Liang; Meng, Hongmin; Mei, Lei; Wu, Cuichen; Ren, Songlei; Tan, Weihong

    2015-06-16

    Fluorescence polarization (FP) assays incorporated with fluorophore-labeled aptamers have attracted great interest in recent years. However, detecting small molecules through the use of FP assays still remains a challenge because small-molecule binding only results in negligible changes in the molecular weight of the fluorophore-labeled aptamer. To address this issue, we herein report a fluorescence polarization (FP) aptamer assay that incorporates a novel signal amplification strategy for highly sensitive detection of small molecules. In the absence of adenosine, our model target, free FAM-labeled aptamer can be digested by nuclease, resulting in the release of FAM-labeled nucleotide segments from the dT-biotin/streptavidin complex with weak background signal. However, in the presence of target, the FAM-labeled aptamer-target complex protects the FAM-labeled aptamer from nuclease cleavage, allowing streptavidin to act as a molar mass amplifier. The resulting increase in molecular mass and FP intensity of the aptamer-target complex provides improved sensitivity for concentration measurement. The probe could detect adenosine from 0.5 μM to 1000 μM, with a detection limit of 500 nM, showing that the sensitivity of the probe is superior to aptamer-based FP approaches previously reported for adenosine. Importantly, FP could resist environmental interferences, making it useful for complex biological samples without any tedious sample pretreatments. Our results demonstrate that this dual-amplified, aptamer-based strategy can be used to design fluorescence polarization probes for rapid, sensitive, and selective measurement of small molecules in complicated biological environment. PMID:26002482

  15. Hide and seek: Identification and confirmation of small molecule protein targets.

    PubMed

    Ursu, Andrei; Waldmann, Herbert

    2015-08-15

    Target identification and confirmation for small molecules is often the rate limiting step in drug discovery. A robust method to identify proteins addressed by small molecules is affinity chromatography using chemical probes. These usually consist of the compound of interest equipped with a linker molecule and a proper tag. Recently, methods emerged that allow the identification of protein targets without prior functionalization of the small molecule of interest. The digest offers an update on the newest developments in the area of target identification with special focus on confirmation techniques. PMID:26115575

  16. Discovery of Potent, Orally Bioavailable, Small-Molecule Inhibitors of WNT Signaling from a Cell-Based Pathway Screen

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    WNT signaling is frequently deregulated in malignancy, particularly in colon cancer, and plays a key role in the generation and maintenance of cancer stem cells. We report the discovery and optimization of a 3,4,5-trisubstituted pyridine 9 using a high-throughput cell-based reporter assay of WNT pathway activity. We demonstrate a twisted conformation about the pyridine–piperidine bond of 9 by small-molecule X-ray crystallography. Medicinal chemistry optimization to maintain this twisted conformation, cognisant of physicochemical properties likely to maintain good cell permeability, led to 74 (CCT251545), a potent small-molecule inhibitor of WNT signaling with good oral pharmacokinetics. We demonstrate inhibition of WNT pathway activity in a solid human tumor xenograft model with evidence for tumor growth inhibition following oral dosing. This work provides a successful example of hypothesis-driven medicinal chemistry optimization from a singleton hit against a cell-based pathway assay without knowledge of the biochemical target. PMID:25680029

  17. Development, validation and quantitative assessment of an enzymatic assay suitable for small molecule screening and profiling: A case-study

    PubMed Central

    Sancenon, Vicente; Goh, Wei Hau; Sundaram, Aishwarya; Er, Kai Shih; Johal, Nidhi; Mukhina, Svetlana; Carr, Grant; Dhakshinamoorthy, Saravanakumar

    2015-01-01

    The successful discovery and subsequent development of small molecule inhibitors of drug targets relies on the establishment of robust, cost-effective, quantitative, and physiologically relevant in vitro assays that can support prolonged screening and optimization campaigns. The current study illustrates the process of developing and validating an enzymatic assay for the discovery of small molecule inhibitors using alkaline phosphatase from bovine intestine as model target. The assay development workflow includes an initial phase of optimization of assay materials, reagents, and conditions, continues with a process of miniaturization and automation, and concludes with validation by quantitative measurement of assay performance and signal variability. The assay is further evaluated for dose–response and mechanism-of-action studies required to support structure–activity-relationship studies. Emphasis is placed on the most critical aspects of assay optimization and other relevant considerations, including the technology, assay materials, buffer constituents, reaction conditions, liquid handling equipment, analytical instrumentation, and quantitative assessments. Examples of bottlenecks encountered during assay development and strategies to address them are provided. PMID:27077032

  18. An inverse small molecule screen to design a chemically defined medium supporting long-term growth of Drosophila cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Burnette, M.; Brito-Robinson, T.; Li, J.; Zartman, J.

    2015-01-01

    Drosophila cell culture is used as a model system with multiple applications including the identification of new therapeutic targets in screens, the study of conserved signal transduction pathway mechanisms, and as an expression system for recombinant proteins. However, in vitro methods for Drosophila cell and organ culture are relatively undeveloped. To characterize the minimal requirements for long-term maintenance of Drosophila cell lines, we developed an inverse screening strategy to identify small molecules and synergies stimulating proliferation in a chemically defined medium. In this chemical-genetics approach, a compound-protein interaction database is used to systematically score genetic targets on a screen-wide scale to extract further information about cell growth. In the pilot screen, we focused on two well-characterized cell lines, Clone 8 (Cl.8) and Schneider 2 (S2). Validated factors were investigated for their ability to maintain cell growth over multiple passages in the chemically defined medium (CDM). The polyamine spermidine proved to be the critical component that enables the CDM to support the long-term maintenance of Cl.8 cells. Spermidine supplementation upregulates DNA synthesis for Cl.8 and S2 cells and increases MAPK signaling for Cl.8 cells. The CDM also supports the long-term growth of Kc167 cells. Our target scoring approach validated the importance of polyamines, with enrichment for multiple polyamine ontologies found for both cell lines. Future iterations of the screen will enable the identification of compound combinations optimized for specific applications—maintenance and generation of new cell lines or the production and purification of recombinant proteins— thus increasing the versatility of Drosophila cell culture as both a genetic and biochemical model system. Our cumulative target scoring approach improves on traditional chemical-genetics methods and is extensible to biological processes in other species. PMID:25096480

  19. Conversion of human fibroblasts into functional cardiomyocytes by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Cao, Nan; Huang, Yu; Zheng, Jiashun; Spencer, C Ian; Zhang, Yu; Fu, Ji-Dong; Nie, Baoming; Xie, Min; Zhang, Mingliang; Wang, Haixia; Ma, Tianhua; Xu, Tao; Shi, Guilai; Srivastava, Deepak; Ding, Sheng

    2016-06-01

    Reprogramming somatic fibroblasts into alternative lineages would provide a promising source of cells for regenerative therapy. However, transdifferentiating human cells into specific homogeneous, functional cell types is challenging. Here we show that cardiomyocyte-like cells can be generated by treating human fibroblasts with a combination of nine compounds that we term 9C. The chemically induced cardiomyocyte-like cells uniformly contracted and resembled human cardiomyocytes in their transcriptome, epigenetic, and electrophysiological properties. 9C treatment of human fibroblasts resulted in a more open-chromatin conformation at key heart developmental genes, enabling their promoters and enhancers to bind effectors of major cardiogenic signals. When transplanted into infarcted mouse hearts, 9C-treated fibroblasts were efficiently converted to chemically induced cardiomyocyte-like cells. This pharmacological approach to lineage-specific reprogramming may have many important therapeutic implications after further optimization to generate mature cardiac cells. PMID:27127239

  20. Small Molecule Radiopharmaceuticals – A Review of Current Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Chaturvedi, Shubhra; Mishra, Anil K.

    2016-01-01

    Radiopharmaceuticals are an integral component of nuclear medicine and are widely applied in diagnostics and therapy. Though widely applied, the development of an “ideal” radiopharmaceutical can be challenging. Issues such as specificity, selectivity, sensitivity, and feasible chemistry challenge the design and synthesis of radiopharmaceuticals. Over time, strategies to address the issues have evolved by making use of new technological advances in the fields of biology and chemistry. This review presents the application of few advances in design and synthesis of radiopharmaceuticals. The topics covered are bivalent ligand approach and lipidization as part of design modifications for enhanced selectivity and sensitivity and novel synthetic strategies for optimized chemistry and radiolabeling of radiopharmaceuticals. PMID:26942181

  1. De Novo-Designed Enzymes as Small-Molecule-Regulated Fluorescence Imaging Tags and Fluorescent Reporters

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Enzyme-based tags attached to a protein-of-interest (POI) that react with a small molecule, rendering the conjugate fluorescent, are very useful for studying the POI in living cells. These tags are typically based on endogenous enzymes, so protein engineering is required to ensure that the small-molecule probe does not react with the endogenous enzyme in the cell of interest. Here we demonstrate that de novo-designed enzymes can be used as tags to attach to POIs. The inherent bioorthogonality of the de novo-designed enzyme–small-molecule probe reaction circumvents the need for protein engineering, since these enzyme activities are not present in living organisms. Herein, we transform a family of de novo-designed retroaldolases into variable-molecular-weight tags exhibiting fluorescence imaging, reporter, and electrophoresis applications that are regulated by tailored, reactive small-molecule fluorophores. PMID:25209927

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Banglin; Xiang, Shengchang; Qian, Guodong

    2010-08-17

    Molecular recognition, an important process in biological and chemical systems, governs the diverse functions of a variety of enzymes and unique properties of some synthetic receptors. Because molecular recognition is based on weak interactions between receptors and substrates, the design and assembly of synthetic receptors to mimic biological systems and the development of novel materials to discriminate different substrates for selective recognition of specific molecules has proved challenging. The extensive research on synthetic receptors for molecular recognition, particularly on noncovalent complexes self-assembled by hydrogen bonding and metal-organic coordination, has revealed some underlying principles. In particular, these studies have demonstrated that the shapes of the supramolecular receptors play significant roles in their specific and selective recognition of substrates: receptors can offer concave surfaces that complement their convex targets. This Account describes our research to develop a synthetic molecular recognition platform using porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). These materials contain functional pores to direct their specific and unique recognition of small molecules through several types of interactions: van der Waals interactions of the framework surface with the substrate, metal-substrate interactions, and hydrogen bonding of the framework surface with the substrate. These materials have potential applications for gas storage, separation, and sensing. We demonstrate a simple strategy to construct a primitive cubic net of interpenetrated microporous MOFs from the self-assembly of the paddle-wheel clusters M(2)(CO(2))(4) (M = Cu(2+), Zn(2+), and Co(2+)) with two types of organic dicarboxylic acid and pillar bidentate linkers. This efficient method allows us to rationally tune the micropores to size-exclusively sort different small gas molecules, leading to the highly selective separation and purification of gases. By optimizing the

  3. Chemically Defined and Small Molecule-Based Generation of Human Cardiomyocytes

    PubMed Central

    Burridge, Paul W.; Matsa, Elena; Shukla, Praveen; Lin, Ziliang C.; Churko, Jared M.; Ebert, Antje D.; Lan, Feng; Diecke, Sebastian; Huber, Bruno; Mordwinkin, Nicholas M.; Plews, Jordan R.; Abilez, Oscar J.; Cui, Bianxiao; Gold, Joseph D.; Wu, Joseph C.

    2014-01-01

    Existing methodologies for human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) cardiac differentiation are efficient but require the use of complex, undefined medium constituents that hinder further elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of cardiomyogenesis. Using hiPSCs derived under chemically defined conditions on synthetic matrices, we systematically developed a highly optimized cardiac differentiation strategy, employing a chemically defined medium consisting of just three components: the basal medium RPMI 1640, L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, and rice-derived recombinant human albumin. Along with small molecule-based differentiation induction, this protocol produced contractile sheets of up to 95% TNNT2+ cardiomyocytes at a yield of up to 100 cardiomyocytes for every input pluripotent cell, and was effective in 11 hiPSC lines tested. This is the first fully chemically defined platform for cardiac specification of hiPSCs, and allows the elucidation of cardiomyocyte macromolecular and metabolic requirements whilst providing a minimally complex system for the study of maturation and subtype specification. PMID:24930130

  4. Antitumor activity of a small-molecule inhibitor of the histone kinase Haspin

    PubMed Central

    Huertas, D; Soler, M; Moreto, J; Villanueva, A; Martinez, A; Vidal, A; Charlton, M; Moffat, D; Patel, S; McDermott, J; Owen, J; Brotherton, D; Krige, D; Cuthill, S; Esteller, M

    2012-01-01

    The approval of histone deacetylase inhibitors for treatment of lymphoma subtypes has positioned histone modifications as potential targets for the development of new classes of anticancer drugs. Histones also undergo phosphorylation events, and Haspin is a protein kinase the only known target of which is phosphorylation of histone H3 at Thr3 residue (H3T3ph), which is necessary for mitosis progression. Mitotic kinases can be blocked by small drugs and several clinical trials are underway with these agents. As occurs with Aurora kinase inhibitors, Haspin might be an optimal candidate for the pharmacological development of these compounds. A high-throughput screening for Haspin inhibitors identified the CHR-6494 compound as being one promising such agent. We demonstrate that CHR-6494 reduces H3T3ph levels in a dose-dependent manner and causes a mitotic catastrophe characterized by metaphase misalignment, spindle abnormalities and centrosome amplification. From the cellular standpoint, the identified small-molecule Haspin inhibitor causes arrest in G2/M and subsequently apoptosis. Importantly, ex vivo assays also demonstrate its anti-angiogenetic features; in vivo, it shows antitumor potential in xenografted nude mice without any observed toxicity. Thus, CHR-6494 is a first-in-class Haspin inhibitor with a wide spectrum of anticancer effects that merits further preclinical research as a new member of the family of mitotic kinase inhibitors. PMID:21804608

  5. Link between hopping models and percolation scaling laws for charge transport in mixtures of small molecules

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ha, Dong -Gwang; Kim, Jang -Joo; Baldo, Marc A.

    2016-04-29

    Mixed host compositions that combine charge transport materials with luminescent dyes offer superior control over exciton formation and charge transport in organic light emitting devices (OLEDs). Two approaches are typically used to optimize the fraction of charge transport materials in a mixed host composition: either an empirical percolative model, or a hopping transport model. We show that these two commonly-employed models are linked by an analytic expression which relates the localization length to the percolation threshold and critical exponent. The relation is confirmed both numerically and experimentally through measurements of the relative conductivity of Tris(4-carbazoyl-9-ylphenyl) amine (TCTA) :1,3-bis(3,5-dipyrid-3-yl-phenyl) benzene (BmPyPb)more » mixtures with different concentrations, where the TCTA plays a role as hole conductor and the BmPyPb as hole insulator. Furthermore, the analytic relation may allow the rational design of mixed layers of small molecules for high-performance OLEDs.« less

  6. A small molecule mitigates hearing loss in a mouse model of Usher syndrome III.

    PubMed

    Alagramam, Kumar N; Gopal, Suhasini R; Geng, Ruishuang; Chen, Daniel H-C; Nemet, Ina; Lee, Richard; Tian, Guilian; Miyagi, Masaru; Malagu, Karine F; Lock, Christopher J; Esmieu, William R K; Owens, Andrew P; Lindsay, Nicola A; Ouwehand, Krista; Albertus, Faywell; Fischer, David F; Bürli, Roland W; MacLeod, Angus M; Harte, William E; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Imanishi, Yoshikazu

    2016-06-01

    Usher syndrome type III (USH3), characterized by progressive deafness, variable balance disorder and blindness, is caused by destabilizing mutations in the gene encoding the clarin-1 (CLRN1) protein. Here we report a new strategy to mitigate hearing loss associated with a common USH3 mutation CLRN1(N48K) that involves cell-based high-throughput screening of small molecules capable of stabilizing CLRN1(N48K), followed by a secondary screening to eliminate general proteasome inhibitors, and finally an iterative process to optimize structure-activity relationships. This resulted in the identification of BioFocus 844 (BF844). To test the efficacy of BF844, we developed a mouse model that mimicked the progressive hearing loss associated with USH3. BF844 effectively attenuated progressive hearing loss and prevented deafness in this model. Because the CLRN1(N48K) mutation causes both hearing and vision loss, BF844 could in principle prevent both sensory deficiencies in patients with USH3. Moreover, the strategy described here could help identify drugs for other protein-destabilizing monogenic disorders. PMID:27110679

  7. BH3 Response Profiles From Neuroblastoma Mitochondria Predict Activity of Small Molecule Bcl-2 Family Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Goldsmith, Kelly C.; Lestini, Brian J.; Gross, Michelle; Ip, Laura; Bhumbla, Ashish; Zhang, Xuemei; Zhao, Huaqing; Liu, Xueyuan; Hogarty, Michael D.

    2009-01-01

    Bcl-2 family proteins regulate mitochondrial apoptosis downstream of diverse stressors. Cancer cells frequently deregulate Bcl-2 proteins leading to chemoresistance. We have optimized a platform for solid tumors in which Bcl-2 family resistance patterns are inferred. Functional mitochondria were isolated from neuroblastoma cell lines, exposed to distinct BH3-domain peptides, and assayed for cytochrome c release. Such BH3 profiles revealed three patterns of cytochrome c response. A subset had a dominant NoxaBH3 response implying Mcl1-dependence. These cells were more sensitive to small molecules that antagonize Mcl1 (AT-101) than those that antagonize Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Bcl-w (ABT-737). A second subset had a dominant BikBH3 response, implying a Bcl-xL/-w dependence, and was exquisitely sensitive to ABT-737 (IC50 <200 nM). Finally, most neuroblastoma cell lines derived at relapse were relatively resistant to pro-death BH3 peptides and Bcl-2 antagonists. Our findings define heterogeneity for apoptosis resistance in neuroblastoma, help triage emerging Bcl-2 antagonists for clinical use, and provide a platform for studies to characterize post-therapy resistance mechanisms for neuroblastoma and other solid tumors. PMID:19893570

  8. Efficient solution-processed small molecule: Cadmium selenide quantum dot bulk heterojunction solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Gupta, Vinay; Upreti, Tanvi; Chand, Suresh

    2013-12-16

    We report bulk heterojunction solar cells based on blends of solution-processed small molecule [7,7′-(4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-silolo[3,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene-2,6-diyl) bis(6-fluoro-4-(5′-hexyl-[2,2′-bithiophen]-5yl)benzo[c] [1,2,5] thiadiazole)] p-DTS(FBTTh{sub 2}){sub 2}: Cadmium Selenide (CdSe) (70:30, 60:40, 50:50, and 40:60) in the device configuration: Indium Tin Oxide /poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS)/p-DTS(FBTTh{sub 2}){sub 2}: CdSe/Ca/Al. The optimized ratio of p-DTS(FBTTh{sub 2}){sub 2}:CdSe::60:40 leads to a short circuit current density (J{sub sc}) = 5.45 mA/cm{sup 2}, open circuit voltage (V{sub oc}) = 0.727 V, and fill factor (FF) = 51%, and a power conversion efficiency = 2.02% at 100 mW/cm{sup 2} under AM1.5G illumination. The J{sub sc} and FF are sensitive to the ratio of p-DTS(FBTTh{sub 2}){sub 2}:CdSe, which is a crucial factor for the device performance.

  9. Identification and Validation of Novel Small Molecule Disruptors of HuR-mRNA Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaoqing; Lan, Lan; Wilson, David Michael; Marquez, Rebecca T.; Tsao, Wei-chung; Gao, Philip; Roy, Anuradha; Turner, Benjamin Andrew; McDonald, Peter; Tunge, Jon A; Rogers, Steven A; Dixon, Dan A.; Aubé, Jeffrey; Xu, Liang

    2015-01-01

    HuR, an RNA binding protein, binds to adenine- and uridine-rich elements (ARE) in the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of target mRNAs, regulating their stability and translation. HuR is highly abundant in many types of cancer, and it promotes tumorigenesis by interacting with cancer-associated mRNAs, which encode proteins that are implicated in different tumor processes including cell proliferation, cell survival, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Drugs that disrupt the stabilizing effect of HuR upon mRNA targets could have dramatic effects on inhibiting cancer growth and persistence. In order to identify small molecules that directly disrupt the HuR–ARE interaction, we established a fluorescence polarization (FP) assay optimized for high throughput screening (HTS) using HuR protein and an ARE oligo from Musashi RNA-binding protein 1 (Msi1) mRNA, a HuR target. Following the performance of an HTS of ~6000 compounds, we discovered a cluster of potential disruptors, which were then validated by AlphaLISA (Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation (RNP IP) assay, and luciferase reporter functional studies. These compounds disrupted HuR–ARE interactions at the nanomolar level and blocked HuR function by competitive binding to HuR. These results support future studies toward chemical probes for a HuR function study and possibly a novel therapy for HuR-overexpressing cancers. PMID:25750985

  10. High-resolution mass spectrometry of small molecules bound to membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Gault, Joseph; Donlan, Joseph A C; Liko, Idlir; Hopper, Jonathan T S; Gupta, Kallol; Housden, Nicholas G; Struwe, Weston B; Marty, Michael T; Mize, Todd; Bechara, Cherine; Zhu, Ya; Wu, Beili; Kleanthous, Colin; Belov, Mikhail; Damoc, Eugen; Makarov, Alexander; Robinson, Carol V

    2016-04-01

    Small molecules are known to stabilize membrane proteins and to modulate their function and oligomeric state, but such interactions are often hard to precisely define. Here we develop and apply a high-resolution, Orbitrap mass spectrometry-based method for analyzing intact membrane protein-ligand complexes. Using this platform, we resolve the complexity of multiple binding events, quantify small molecule binding and reveal selectivity for endogenous lipids that differ only in acyl chain length. PMID:26901650

  11. Imaging Self-assembly Dependent Spatial Distribution of Small Molecules in Cellular Environment

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yuan; Kuang, Yi; Du, Xuewen; Zhou, Jie; Chandran, Preethi; Horkay, Ferenc; Xu, Bing

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly of small molecules, as a more common phenomenon than one previously thought, can be either beneficial or detrimental to cells. Despite its profound biological implications, how the self-assembly of small molecules behave in cellular environment is largely unknown and barely explored. This work studies four fluorescent molecules that consist of the same peptidic backbone (e.g., Phe-Phe-Lys) and enzyme trigger (e.g., a phosphotyrosine residue), but bear different fluorophores on the side chain of the lysine residue of the peptidic motif. These molecules, however, exhibit different ability of self-assembly before and after enzymatic transformation (e.g., dephosphorylation). Fluorescent imaging reveals that self-assembly directly affects the distribution of these small molecules in cellular environment. Moreover, cell viability tests suggest that the states and the location of the molecular assemblies in the cellular environment control the phenotypes of the cells. For example, the molecular nanofibers of one of the small molecules apparently stabilize actin filaments and alleviate the insult of an F-actin toxin (e.g., latrunculin A). Combining fluorescent imaging and enzyme-instructed self-assembly of small peptidic molecules, this work not only demonstrates that self-assembly as a key factor for dictating the spatial distribution of small molecules in cellular environment. In addition, it illustrates a useful approach, based on enzyme-instructed self-assembly of small molecules, to modulate spatiotemporal profiles of small molecules in cellular environment, which allows the use of the emergent properties of small molecules to control the fate of cells. PMID:24266765

  12. Imaging self-assembly dependent spatial distribution of small molecules in a cellular environment.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yuan; Kuang, Yi; Du, Xuewen; Zhou, Jie; Chandran, Preethi; Horkay, Ferenc; Xu, Bing

    2013-12-10

    Self-assembly of small molecules, as a more common phenomenon than one previously thought, can be either beneficial or detrimental to cells. Despite its profound biological implications, how the self-assembly of small molecules behave in a cellular environment is largely unknown and barely explored. This work studies four fluorescent molecules that consist of the same peptidic backbone (e.g., Phe-Phe-Lys) and enzyme trigger (e.g., a phosphotyrosine residue), but bear different fluorophores on the side chain of the lysine residue of the peptidic motif. These molecules, however, exhibit a different ability of self-assembly before and after enzymatic transformation (e.g., dephosphorylation). Fluorescent imaging reveals that self-assembly directly affects the distribution of these small molecules in a cellular environment. Moreover, cell viability tests suggest that the states and the locations of the molecular assemblies in the cellular environment control the phenotypes of the cells. For example, the molecular nanofibers of one of the small molecules apparently stabilize actin filaments and alleviate the insult of an F-actin toxin (e.g., latrunculin A). Combining fluorescent imaging and enzyme-instructed self-assembly of small peptidic molecules, this work demonstrates self-assembly as a key factor for dictating the spatial distribution of small molecules in a cellular environment. In addition, it illustrates a useful approach, based on enzyme-instructed self-assembly of small molecules, to modulate spatiotemporal profiles of small molecules in a cellular environment, which allows the use of the emergent properties of small molecules to control the fate of cells. PMID:24266765

  13. Prdm4 induction by the small molecule butein promotes white adipose tissue browning.

    PubMed

    Song, No-Joon; Choi, Seri; Rajbhandari, Prashant; Chang, Seo-Hyuk; Kim, Suji; Vergnes, Laurent; Kwon, So-Mi; Yoon, Jung-Hoon; Lee, Sukchan; Ku, Jin-Mo; Lee, Jeong-Soo; Reue, Karen; Koo, Seung-Hoi; Tontonoz, Peter; Park, Kye Won

    2016-07-01

    Increasing the thermogenic activity of adipocytes holds promise as an approach to combating human obesity and related metabolic diseases. We identified induction of mouse PR domain containing 4 (Prdm4) by the small molecule butein as a means to induce expression of uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1), increase energy expenditure, and stimulate the generation of thermogenic adipocytes. This study highlights a Prdm4-dependent pathway, modulated by small molecules, that stimulates browning of white adipose tissue. PMID:27159578

  14. 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.

  15. Peptide toxins and small-molecule blockers of BK channels.

    PubMed

    Yu, Mu; Liu, San-ling; Sun, Pei-bei; Pan, Hao; Tian, Chang-lin; Zhang, Long-hua

    2016-01-01

    Large conductance, Ca(2+)-activated potassium (BK) channels play important roles in the regulation of neuronal excitability and the control of smooth muscle contractions. BK channels can be activated by changes in both the membrane potential and intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. Here, we provide an overview of the structural and pharmacological properties of BK channel blockers. First, the properties of different venom peptide toxins from scorpions and snakes are described, with a focus on their characteristic structural motifs, including their disulfide bond formation pattern, the binding interface between the toxin and BK channel, and the functional consequence of the blockage of BK channels by these toxins. Then, some representative non-peptide blockers of BK channels are also described, including their molecular formula and pharmacological effects on BK channels. The detailed categorization and descriptions of these BK channel blockers will provide mechanistic insights into the blockade of BK channels. The structures of peptide toxins and non-peptide compounds could provide templates for the design of new channel blockers, and facilitate the optimization of lead compounds for further therapeutic applications in neurological disorders or cardiovascular diseases. PMID:26725735

  16. Discovery of selective RIO2 kinase small molecule ligand.

    PubMed

    Varin, Thibault; Godfrey, Alexander G; Masquelin, Thierry; Nicolaou, Christos A; Evans, David A; Vieth, Michal

    2015-10-01

    We report the discovery and initial optimization of diphenpyramide and several of its analogs as hRIO2 kinase ligands. One of these analogs is the most selective hRIO2 ligand reported to date. Diphenpyramide is a Cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 inhibitor that was used as an anti-inflammatory agent. The RIO2 kinase affinity of diphenpyramide was discovered by serendipity while profiling of 13 marketed drugs on a large 456 kinase assay panel. The inhibition values also suggested a relative selectivity of diphenpyramide for RIO2 against the other kinases in the panel. Subsequently three available and eight newly synthesized analogs were assayed, one of which showed a 10 fold increased hRIO2 binding affinity. Additionally, this compound shows significantly better selectivity over assayed kinases, when compared to currently known RIO2 inhibitors. As RIO2 is involved in the biosynthesis of the ribosome and cell cycle regulation, our selective ligand may be useful for the delineation of the biological role of this kinase. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Inhibitors of Protein Kinases. PMID:25891899

  17. Peptide toxins and small-molecule blockers of BK channels

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Mu; Liu, San-ling; Sun, Pei-bei; Pan, Hao; Tian, Chang-lin; Zhang, Long-hua

    2016-01-01

    Large conductance, Ca2+-activated potassium (BK) channels play important roles in the regulation of neuronal excitability and the control of smooth muscle contractions. BK channels can be activated by changes in both the membrane potential and intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. Here, we provide an overview of the structural and pharmacological properties of BK channel blockers. First, the properties of different venom peptide toxins from scorpions and snakes are described, with a focus on their characteristic structural motifs, including their disulfide bond formation pattern, the binding interface between the toxin and BK channel, and the functional consequence of the blockage of BK channels by these toxins. Then, some representative non-peptide blockers of BK channels are also described, including their molecular formula and pharmacological effects on BK channels. The detailed categorization and descriptions of these BK channel blockers will provide mechanistic insights into the blockade of BK channels. The structures of peptide toxins and non-peptide compounds could provide templates for the design of new channel blockers, and facilitate the optimization of lead compounds for further therapeutic applications in neurological disorders or cardiovascular diseases. PMID:26725735

  18. Novel small molecules potentiate premature termination codon readthrough by aminoglycosides.

    PubMed

    Baradaran-Heravi, Alireza; Balgi, Aruna D; Zimmerman, Carla; Choi, Kunho; Shidmoossavee, Fahimeh S; Tan, Jason S; Bergeaud, Célia; Krause, Alexandra; Flibotte, Stéphane; Shimizu, Yoko; Anderson, Hilary J; Mouly, Vincent; Jan, Eric; Pfeifer, Tom; Jaquith, James B; Roberge, Michel

    2016-08-19

    Nonsense mutations introduce premature termination codons and underlie 11% of genetic disease cases. High concentrations of aminoglycosides can restore gene function by eliciting premature termination codon readthrough but with low efficiency. Using a high-throughput screen, we identified compounds that potentiate readthrough by aminoglycosides at multiple nonsense alleles in yeast. Chemical optimization generated phthalimide derivative CDX5-1 with activity in human cells. Alone, CDX5-1 did not induce readthrough or increase TP53 mRNA levels in HDQ-P1 cancer cells with a homozygous TP53 nonsense mutation. However, in combination with aminoglycoside G418, it enhanced readthrough up to 180-fold over G418 alone. The combination also increased readthrough at all three nonsense codons in cancer cells with other TP53 nonsense mutations, as well as in cells from rare genetic disease patients with nonsense mutations in the CLN2, SMARCAL1 and DMD genes. These findings open up the possibility of treating patients across a spectrum of genetic diseases caused by nonsense mutations. PMID:27407112

  19. ChemBank: a small-molecule screening and cheminformatics resource database

    PubMed Central

    Seiler, Kathleen Petri; George, Gregory A.; Happ, Mary Pat; Bodycombe, Nicole E.; Carrinski, Hyman A.; Norton, Stephanie; Brudz, Steve; Sullivan, John P.; Muhlich, Jeremy; Serrano, Martin; Ferraiolo, Paul; Tolliday, Nicola J.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Clemons, Paul A.

    2008-01-01

    ChemBank (http://chembank.broad.harvard.edu/) is a public, web-based informatics environment developed through a collaboration between the Chemical Biology Program and Platform at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. This knowledge environment includes freely available data derived from small molecules and small-molecule screens and resources for studying these data. ChemBank is unique among small-molecule databases in its dedication to the storage of raw screening data, its rigorous definition of screening experiments in terms of statistical hypothesis testing, and its metadata-based organization of screening experiments into projects involving collections of related assays. ChemBank stores an increasingly varied set of measurements derived from cells and other biological assay systems treated with small molecules. Analysis tools are available and are continuously being developed that allow the relationships between small molecules, cell measurements, and cell states to be studied. Currently, ChemBank stores information on hundreds of thousands of small molecules and hundreds of biomedically relevant assays that have been performed at the Broad Institute by collaborators from the worldwide research community. The goal of ChemBank is to provide life scientists unfettered access to biomedically relevant data and tools heretofore available primarily in the private sector. PMID:17947324

  20. Antithrombotic functions of small molecule-capped gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Yue; Zhao, Yuyun; Zheng, Wenfu; Zhang, Wei; Jiang, Xingyu

    2014-07-01

    Here we report the antithrombotic functions of pyrimidinethiol-capped gold nanoparticles (Au_DAPT NPs). They can prolong coagulation parameters when injected intravenously in normal mice. Applied in two typical thrombosis models, mice tail thrombosis and pulmonary thromboembolism, gold NPs can inhibit both thrombosis and improve the survival rates of mice tremendously, without increasing the bleeding risk. The anticoagulant mechanisms include inhibiting the platelet aggregation as well as interfering with thrombin and fibrin generation.Here we report the antithrombotic functions of pyrimidinethiol-capped gold nanoparticles (Au_DAPT NPs). They can prolong coagulation parameters when injected intravenously in normal mice. Applied in two typical thrombosis models, mice tail thrombosis and pulmonary thromboembolism, gold NPs can inhibit both thrombosis and improve the survival rates of mice tremendously, without increasing the bleeding risk. The anticoagulant mechanisms include inhibiting the platelet aggregation as well as interfering with thrombin and fibrin generation. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr01937g

  1. Imidazolium salts as small-molecule urinary bladder exfoliants in a murine model.

    PubMed

    Wagers, Patrick O; Tiemann, Kristin M; Shelton, Kerri L; Kofron, William G; Panzner, Matthew J; Wooley, Karen L; Youngs, Wiley J; Hunstad, David A

    2015-09-01

    We present a novel family of small-molecule urinary bladder exfoliants that are expected to be of great value in preclinical studies of urologic conditions and have improved potential for translation compared with prior agents. There is broad urologic interest in the therapeutic potential of such exfoliating agents. The primary agent used in preclinical models, the cationic peptide protamine sulfate (PS), has limited translational potential due to concerns including systemic adverse reactions and bladder tissue injury. Intravesical application of a safe, systemically nontoxic exfoliant would have potential utility in the eradication of Escherichia coli and other uropathogens that reside in the bladder epithelium following cystitis, as well as in chronic bladder pain and bladder cancer. Here, we introduce a family of imidazolium salts with potent and focused exfoliating activity on the bladder epithelium. Synthesis and purification were straightforward and scalable, and the compounds exhibited prolonged stability in lyophilized form. Most members of the compound family were cytotoxic to cultured uroepithelial cells, with >10-fold differences in potency across the series. Upon topical (intravesical) administration of selected compounds to the murine bladder, complete epithelial exfoliation was achieved with physiologically relevant imidazolium concentrations and brief contact times. The exfoliative activity of these compounds was markedly improved in comparison to PS, as assessed by microscopy, immunofluorescence, and immunoblotting for uroplakins. Bladder uroepithelium regenerated within days to yield a histologically normal appearance, and no toxicity was observed. Finally, the chemical scaffold offers an opportunity for inclusion of antimicrobials or conjugation with chemotherapeutic or other moieties. PMID:26124168

  2. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the Receptor Tyrosine Kinases: Promising Tools for Targeted Cancer Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Hojjat-Farsangi, Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    Chemotherapeutic and cytotoxic drugs are widely used in the treatment of cancer. In spite of the improvements in the life quality of patients, their effectiveness is compromised by several disadvantages. This represents a demand for developing new effective strategies with focusing on tumor cells and minimum side effects. Targeted cancer therapies and personalized medicine have been defined as a new type of emerging treatments. Small molecule inhibitors (SMIs) are among the most effective drugs for targeted cancer therapy. The growing number of approved SMIs of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) i.e., tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in the clinical oncology imply the increasing attention and application of these therapeutic tools. Most of the current approved RTK–TKIs in preclinical and clinical settings are multi-targeted inhibitors with several side effects. Only a few specific/selective RTK–TKIs have been developed for the treatment of cancer patients. Specific/selective RTK–TKIs have shown less deleterious effects compared to multi-targeted inhibitors. This review intends to highlight the importance of specific/selective TKIs for future development with less side effects and more manageable agents. This article provides an overview of: (1) the characteristics and function of RTKs and TKIs; (2) the recent advances in the improvement of specific/selective RTK–TKIs in preclinical or clinical settings; and (3) emerging RTKs for targeted cancer therapies by TKIs. PMID:25110867

  3. Imidazolium Salts as Small-Molecule Urinary Bladder Exfoliants in a Murine Model

    PubMed Central

    Wagers, Patrick O.; Tiemann, Kristin M.; Shelton, Kerri L.; Kofron, William G.; Panzner, Matthew J.; Wooley, Karen L.; Youngs, Wiley J.

    2015-01-01

    We present a novel family of small-molecule urinary bladder exfoliants that are expected to be of great value in preclinical studies of urologic conditions and have improved potential for translation compared with prior agents. There is broad urologic interest in the therapeutic potential of such exfoliating agents. The primary agent used in preclinical models, the cationic peptide protamine sulfate (PS), has limited translational potential due to concerns including systemic adverse reactions and bladder tissue injury. Intravesical application of a safe, systemically nontoxic exfoliant would have potential utility in the eradication of Escherichia coli and other uropathogens that reside in the bladder epithelium following cystitis, as well as in chronic bladder pain and bladder cancer. Here, we introduce a family of imidazolium salts with potent and focused exfoliating activity on the bladder epithelium. Synthesis and purification were straightforward and scalable, and the compounds exhibited prolonged stability in lyophilized form. Most members of the compound family were cytotoxic to cultured uroepithelial cells, with >10-fold differences in potency across the series. Upon topical (intravesical) administration of selected compounds to the murine bladder, complete epithelial exfoliation was achieved with physiologically relevant imidazolium concentrations and brief contact times. The exfoliative activity of these compounds was markedly improved in comparison to PS, as assessed by microscopy, immunofluorescence, and immunoblotting for uroplakins. Bladder uroepithelium regenerated within days to yield a histologically normal appearance, and no toxicity was observed. Finally, the chemical scaffold offers an opportunity for inclusion of antimicrobials or conjugation with chemotherapeutic or other moieties. PMID:26124168

  4. XTC MRI: sensitivity improvement through parameter optimization.

    PubMed

    Ruppert, Kai; Mata, Jaime F; Wang, Hsuan-Tsung J; Tobias, William A; Cates, Gordon D; Brookeman, James R; Hagspiel, Klaus D; Mugler, John P

    2007-06-01

    Xenon polarization Transfer Contrast (XTC) MRI pulse sequences permit the gas exchange of hyperpolarized xenon-129 in the lung to be measured quantitatively. However, the pulse sequence parameter values employed in previously published work were determined empirically without considering the now-known gas exchange rates and the underlying lung physiology. By using a theoretical model for the consumption of magnetization during data acquisition, the noise intensity in the computed gas-phase depolarization maps was minimized as a function of the gas-phase depolarization rate. With such optimization the theoretical model predicted an up to threefold improvement in precision. Experiments in rabbits demonstrated that for typical imaging parameter values the optimized XTC pulse sequence yielded a median noise intensity of only about 3% in the depolarization maps. Consequently, the reliable detection of variations in the average alveolar wall thickness of as little as 300 nm can be expected. This improvement in the precision of the XTC MRI technique should lead to a substantial increase in its sensitivity for detecting pathological changes in lung function. PMID:17534927

  5. Small Molecules, Inhibitors of DNA-PK, Targeting DNA Repair, and Beyond

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, David; Amrein, Lilian; Panasci, Lawrence; Aloyz, Raquel

    2012-01-01

    Many current chemotherapies function by damaging genomic DNA in rapidly dividing cells ultimately leading to cell death. This therapeutic approach differentially targets cancer cells that generally display rapid cell division compared to normal tissue cells. However, although these treatments are initially effective in arresting tumor growth and reducing tumor burden, resistance and disease progression eventually occur. A major mechanism underlying this resistance is increased levels of cellular DNA repair. Most cells have complex mechanisms in place to repair DNA damage that occurs due to environmental exposures or normal metabolic processes. These systems, initially overwhelmed when faced with chemotherapy induced DNA damage, become more efficient under constant selective pressure and as a result chemotherapies become less effective. Thus, inhibiting DNA repair pathways using target specific small molecule inhibitors may overcome cellular resistance to DNA damaging chemotherapies. Non-homologous end joining a major mechanism for the repair of double-strand breaks (DSB) in DNA is regulated in part by the serine/threonine kinase, DNA dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). The DNA-PK holoenzyme acts as a scaffold protein tethering broken DNA ends and recruiting other repair molecules. It also has enzymatic activity that may be involved in DNA damage signaling. Because of its’ central role in repair of DSBs, DNA-PK has been the focus of a number of small molecule studies. In these studies specific DNA-PK inhibitors have shown efficacy in synergizing chemotherapies in vitro. However, compounds currently known to specifically inhibit DNA-PK are limited by poor pharmacokinetics: these compounds have poor solubility and have high metabolic lability in vivo leading to short serum half-lives. Future improvement in DNA-PK inhibition will likely be achieved by designing new molecules based on the recently reported crystallographic structure of DNA-PK. Computer based drug

  6. Nanoscale structure, dynamics and power conversion efficiency correlations in small molecule and oligomer-based photovoltaic devices

    PubMed Central

    Szarko, Jodi M.; Guo, Jianchang; Rolczynski, Brian S.; Chen, Lin X.

    2011-01-01

    Photovoltaic functions in organic materials are intimately connected to interfacial morphologies of molecular packing in films on the nanometer scale and molecular levels. This review will focus on current studies on correlations of nanoscale morphologies in organic photovoltaic (OPV) materials with fundamental processes relevant to photovoltaic functions, such as light harvesting, exciton splitting, exciton diffusion, and charge separation (CS) and diffusion. Small molecule photovoltaic materials will be discussed here. The donor and acceptor materials in small molecule OPV devices can be fabricated in vacuum-deposited, multilayer, crystalline thin films, or spin-coated together to form blended bulk heterojunction (BHJ) films. These two methods result in very different morphologies of the solar cell active layers. There is still a formidable debate regarding which morphology is favored for OPV optimization. The morphology of the conducting films has been systematically altered; using variations of the techniques above, the whole spectrum of film qualities can be fabricated. It is possible to form a highly crystalline material, one which is completely amorphous, or an intermediate morphology. In this review, we will summarize the past key findings that have driven organic solar cell research and the current state-of-the-art of small molecule and conducting oligomer materials. We will also discuss the merits and drawbacks of these devices. Finally, we will highlight some works that directly compare the spectra and morphology of systematically elongated oligothiophene derivatives and compare these oligomers to their polymer counterparts. We hope this review will shed some new light on the morphology differences of these two systems. PMID:22110870

  7. Cost-effective differentiation of hepatocyte-like cells from human pluripotent stem cells using small molecules.

    PubMed

    Tasnim, Farah; Phan, Derek; Toh, Yi-Chin; Yu, Hanry

    2015-11-01

    Significant efforts have been invested into the differentiation of stem cells into functional hepatocyte-like cells that can be used for cell therapy, disease modeling and drug screening. Most of these efforts have been concentrated on the use of growth factors to recapitulate developmental signals under in vitro conditions. Using small molecules instead of growth factors would provide an attractive alternative since small molecules are cell-permeable and cheaper than growth factors. We have developed a protocol for the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into hepatocyte-like cells using a predominantly small molecule-based approach (SM-Hep). This 3 step differentiation strategy involves the use of optimized concentrations of LY294002 and bromo-indirubin-3'-oxime (BIO) for the generation of definitive endoderm; sodium butyrate and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) for the generation of hepatoblasts and SB431542 for differentiation into hepatocyte-like cells. Activin A is the only growth factor required in this protocol. Our results showed that SM-Hep were morphologically and functionally similar or better compared to the hepatocytes derived from the growth-factor induced differentiation (GF-Hep) in terms of expression of hepatic markers, urea and albumin production and cytochrome P450 (CYP1A2 and CYP3A4) activities. Cell viability assays following treatment with paradigm hepatotoxicants Acetaminophen, Chlorpromazine, Diclofenac, Digoxin, Quinidine and Troglitazone showed that their sensitivity to these drugs was similar to human primary hepatocytes (PHHs). Using SM-Hep would result in 67% and 81% cost reduction compared to GF-Hep and PHHs respectively. Therefore, SM-Hep can serve as a robust and cost effective replacement for PHHs for drug screening and development. PMID:26310107

  8. Tailoring the interface using thiophene small molecules in TiO2/P3HT hybrid solar cells.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Flavio S; Clifford, John N; Palomares, Emilio; Nogueira, Ana F

    2012-09-14

    In this paper we focus on the effect of carboxylated thiophene small molecules as interface modifiers in TiO(2)/P3HT hybrid solar cells. Our results show that small differences in the chemical structure of these molecules, for example, the presence of the -CH(2)- group in the 2-thiopheneacetic acid (TAA), can greatly increase the TiO(2) surface wettability, improving the TiO(2)/polymer contact. This effect is important to enhance exciton splitting and charge separation. PMID:22842849

  9. BCL::Conf: small molecule conformational sampling using a knowledge based rotamer library.

    PubMed

    Kothiwale, Sandeepkumar; Mendenhall, Jeffrey L; Meiler, Jens

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of a small molecule with a protein target depends on its ability to adopt a three-dimensional structure that is complementary. Therefore, complete and rapid prediction of the conformational space a small molecule can sample is critical for both structure- and ligand-based drug discovery algorithms such as small molecule docking or three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationships. Here we have derived a database of small molecule fragments frequently sampled in experimental structures within the Cambridge Structure Database and the Protein Data Bank. Likely conformations of these fragments are stored as 'rotamers' in analogy to amino acid side chain rotamer libraries used for rapid sampling of protein conformational space. Explicit fragments take into account correlations between multiple torsion bonds and effect of substituents on torsional profiles. A conformational ensemble for small molecules can then be generated by recombining fragment rotamers with a Monte Carlo search strategy. BCL::Conf was benchmarked against other conformer generator methods including Confgen, Moe, Omega and RDKit in its ability to recover experimentally determined protein bound conformations of small molecules, diversity of conformational ensembles, and sampling rate. BCL::Conf recovers at least one conformation with a root mean square deviation of 2 Å or better to the experimental structure for 99 % of the small molecules in the Vernalis benchmark dataset. The 'rotamer' approach will allow integration of BCL::Conf into respective computational biology programs such as Rosetta.Graphical abstract:Conformation sampling is carried out using explicit fragment conformations derived from crystallographic structure databases. Molecules from the database are decomposed into fragments and most likely conformations/rotamers are used to sample correspondng sub-structure of a molecule of interest. PMID:26473018

  10. Small-molecule nociceptin receptor agonist ameliorates mast cell activation and pain in sickle mice.

    PubMed

    Vang, Derek; Paul, Jinny A; Nguyen, Julia; Tran, Huy; Vincent, Lucile; Yasuda, Dennis; Zaveri, Nurulain T; Gupta, Kalpna

    2015-12-01

    Treatment of pain with morphine and its congeners in sickle cell anemia is suboptimal, warranting the need for analgesics devoid of side effects, addiction and tolerance liability. Small-molecule nociceptin opioid receptor ligands show analgesic efficacy in acute and chronic pain models. We show that AT-200, a high affinity nociceptin opioid receptor agonist with low efficacy at the mu opioid receptor, ameliorated chronic and hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced mechanical, thermal and deep tissue/musculoskeletal hyperalgesia in HbSS-BERK sickle mice. The antinociceptive effect of AT-200 was antagonized by SB-612111, a nociceptin opioid receptor antagonist, but not naloxone, a non-selective mu opioid receptor antagonist. Daily 7-day treatment with AT-200 did not develop tolerance and showed a sustained anti-nociceptive effect, which improved over time and led to reduced plasma serum amyloid protein, neuropeptides, inflammatory cytokines and mast cell activation in the periphery. These data suggest that AT-200 ameliorates pain in sickle mice via the nociceptin opioid receptor by reducing inflammation and mast cell activation without causing tolerance. Thus, nociceptin opioid receptor agonists are promising drugs for treating pain in sickle cell anemia. PMID:26294734

  11. Small-molecule nociceptin receptor agonist ameliorates mast cell activation and pain in sickle mice

    PubMed Central

    Vang, Derek; Paul, Jinny A.; Nguyen, Julia; Tran, Huy; Vincent, Lucile; Yasuda, Dennis; Zaveri, Nurulain T.; Gupta, Kalpna

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of pain with morphine and its congeners in sickle cell anemia is suboptimal, warranting the need for analgesics devoid of side effects, addiction and tolerance liability. Small-molecule nociceptin opioid receptor ligands show analgesic efficacy in acute and chronic pain models. We show that AT-200, a high affinity nociceptin opioid receptor agonist with low efficacy at the mu opioid receptor, ameliorated chronic and hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced mechanical, thermal and deep tissue/musculoskeletal hyperalgesia in HbSS-BERK sickle mice. The antinociceptive effect of AT-200 was antagonized by SB-612111, a nociceptin opioid receptor antagonist, but not naloxone, a non-selective mu opioid receptor antagonist. Daily 7-day treatment with AT-200 did not develop tolerance and showed a sustained anti-nociceptive effect, which improved over time and led to reduced plasma serum amyloid protein, neuropeptides, inflammatory cytokines and mast cell activation in the periphery. These data suggest that AT-200 ameliorates pain in sickle mice via the nociceptin opioid receptor by reducing inflammation and mast cell activation without causing tolerance. Thus, nociceptin opioid receptor agonists are promising drugs for treating pain in sickle cell anemia. PMID:26294734

  12. 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

  13. The small-molecule BGP-15 protects against heart failure and atrial fibrillation in mice.

    PubMed

    Sapra, Geeta; Tham, Yow Keat; Cemerlang, Nelly; Matsumoto, Aya; Kiriazis, Helen; Bernardo, Bianca C; Henstridge, Darren C; Ooi, Jenny Y Y; Pretorius, Lynette; Boey, Esther J H; Lim, Lydia; Sadoshima, Junichi; Meikle, Peter J; Mellet, Natalie A; Woodcock, Elizabeth A; Marasco, Silvana; Ueyama, Tomomi; Du, Xiao-Jun; Febbraio, Mark A; McMullen, Julie R

    2014-01-01

    Heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) share common risk factors, frequently coexist and are associated with high mortality. Treatment of HF with AF represents a major unmet need. Here we show that a small molecule, BGP-15, improves cardiac function and reduces arrhythmic episodes in two independent mouse models, which progressively develop HF and AF. In these models, BGP-15 treatment is associated with increased phosphorylation of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), which is depressed in atrial tissue samples from patients with AF. Cardiac-specific IGF1R transgenic overexpression in mice with HF and AF recapitulates the protection observed with BGP-15. We further demonstrate that BGP-15 and IGF1R can provide protection independent of phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt and heat-shock protein 70; signalling mediators often defective in the aged and diseased heart. As BGP-15 is safe and well tolerated in humans, this study uncovers a potential therapeutic approach for HF and AF. PMID:25489988

  14. Identification of Drug-Like Inhibitors of Insulin-Regulated Aminopeptidase Through Small-Molecule Screening.

    PubMed

    Engen, Karin; Rosenström, Ulrika; Axelsson, Hanna; Konda, Vivek; Dahllund, Leif; Otrocka, Magdalena; Sigmundsson, Kristmundur; Nikolaou, Alexandros; Vauquelin, Georges; Hallberg, Mathias; Jenmalm Jensen, Annika; Lundbäck, Thomas; Larhed, Mats

    2016-04-01

    Intracerebroventricular injection of angiotensin IV, a ligand of insulin-regulated aminopeptidase (IRAP), has been shown to improve cognitive functions in several animal models. Consequently, IRAP is considered a potential target for treatment of cognitive disorders. To identify nonpeptidic IRAP inhibitors, we adapted an established enzymatic assay based on membrane preparations from Chinese hamster ovary cells and a synthetic peptide-like substrate for high-throughput screening purposes. The 384-well microplate-based absorbance assay was used to screen a diverse set of 10,500 compounds for their inhibitory capacity of IRAP. The assay performance was robust with Z'-values ranging from 0.81 to 0.91, and the screen resulted in 23 compounds that displayed greater than 60% inhibition at a compound concentration of 10 μM. After hit confirmation experiments, purity analysis, and promiscuity investigations, three structurally different compounds were considered particularly interesting as starting points for the development of small-molecule-based IRAP inhibitors. After resynthesis, all three compounds confirmed low μM activity and were shown to be rapidly reversible. Additional characterization included activity in a fluorescence-based orthogonal assay and in the presence of a nonionic detergent and a reducing agent, respectively. Importantly, the characterized compounds also showed inhibition of the human ortholog, prompting our further interest in these novel IRAP inhibitors. PMID:27078680

  15. Identification of small molecule aggregators from large compound libraries by support vector machines.

    PubMed

    Rao, Hanbing; Li, Zerong; Li, Xiangyuan; Ma, Xiaohua; Ung, Choongyong; Li, Hu; Liu, Xianghui; Chen, Yuzong

    2010-03-01

    Small molecule aggregators non-specifically inhibit multiple unrelated proteins, rendering them therapeutically useless. They frequently appear as false hits and thus need to be eliminated in high-throughput screening campaigns. Computational methods have been explored for identifying aggregators, which have not been tested in screening large compound libraries. We used 1319 aggregators and 128,325 non-aggregators to develop a support vector machines (SVM) aggregator identification model, which was tested by four methods. The first is five fold cross-validation, which showed comparable aggregator and significantly improved non-aggregator identification rates against earlier studies. The second is the independent test of 17 aggregators discovered independently from the training aggregators, 71% of which were correctly identified. The third is retrospective screening of 13M PUBCHEM and 168K MDDR compounds, which predicted 97.9% and 98.7% of the PUBCHEM and MDDR compounds as non-aggregators. The fourth is retrospective screening of 5527 MDDR compounds similar to the known aggregators, 1.14% of which were predicted as aggregators. SVM showed slightly better overall performance against two other machine learning methods based on five fold cross-validation studies of the same settings. Molecular features of aggregation, extracted by a feature selection method, are consistent with published profiles. SVM showed substantial capability in identifying aggregators from large libraries at low false-hit rates. PMID:19569201

  16. Laser desorption ionization of small molecules assisted by tungsten oxide and rhenium oxide particles.

    PubMed

    Bernier, Matthew C; Wysocki, Vicki H; Dagan, Shai

    2015-07-01

    Inorganic metal oxides have shown potential as matrices for assisting in laser desorption ionization with advantages over the aromatic acids typically used. Rhenium and tungsten oxides are attractive options due to their high work functions and relative chemical inertness. In this work, it is shown that ReO3 and WO3 , in microparticle (μP) powder forms, can efficiently facilitate ionization of various types of small molecules and provide minimized background contamination at analyte concentrations below 1 ng/µL. This study shows that untreated inorganic WO3 and ReO3 particles are valid matrix options for detection of protonatable, radical, and precharged species under laser desorption ionization. Qualitatively, the WO3 μP showed improved detection of apigenin, sodiated glucose, and precharged analyte choline, while the ReO3 μP allowed better detection of protonated cocaine, quinuclidine, ametryn, and radical ions of polyaromatic hydrocarbons at detection levels as low as 50 pg/µL. For thermometer ion survival yield experiments, it was also shown that the ReO3 powder was significantly softer than α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnaminic acid. Furthermore, it provided higher intensities of cocaine and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, at laser flux values equal to those used with α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnaminic acid. PMID:26349643

  17. Small molecule ambient mass spectrometry imaging by infrared laser ablation metastable-induced chemical ionization.

    PubMed

    Galhena, Asiri S; Harris, Glenn A; Nyadong, Leonard; Murray, Kermit K; Fernández, Facundo M

    2010-03-15

    Presented here is a novel ambient ion source termed infrared laser ablation metastable-induced chemical ionization (IR-LAMICI). IR-LAMICI integrates IR laser ablation and direct analysis in real time (DART)-type metastable-induced chemical ionization for open air mass spectrometry (MS) ionization. The ion generation in the IR-LAMICI source is a two step process. First, IR laser pulses impinge the sample surface ablating surface material. Second, a portion of ablated material reacts with the metastable reactive plume facilitating gas-phase chemical ionization of analyte molecules generating protonated or deprotonated species in positive and negative ion modes, respectively. The successful coupling of IR-laser ablation with metastable-induced chemical ionization resulted in an ambient plasma-based spatially resolved small molecule imaging platform for mass spectrometry (MS). The analytical capabilities of IR-LAMICI are explored by imaging pharmaceutical tablets, screening counterfeit drugs, and probing algal tissue surfaces for natural products. The resolution of a chemical image is determined by the crater size produced with each laser pulse but not by the size of the metastable gas jet. The detection limits for an active pharmaceutical ingredient (acetaminophen) using the IR-LAMICI source is calculated to be low picograms. Furthermore, three-dimensional computational fluid dynamic simulations showed improvements in the IR-LAMICI ion source are possible. PMID:20155978

  18. Laser Desorption Ionization of small molecules assisted by Tungsten oxide and Rhenium oxide particles

    PubMed Central

    Bernier, Matthew; Wysocki, Vicki; Dagan, Shai

    2015-01-01

    Inorganic metal oxides have shown potential as matrices for assisting in laser desorption ionization (LDI) with advantages over the aromatic acids typically used. Rhenium and tungsten oxides are an attractive option due to their high work functions and relative chemical inertness. In this work, it is shown that ReO3 and WO3, in microparticle (μP) powder forms, can efficiently ionize various types of small molecules and provide minimized background contamination at analyte concentrations below 1 ng/μL. This study shows that untreated inorganic WO3 and ReO3 particles are valid matrix options for detection of protonatable, radical, and precharged species under LDI. Qualitatively, the WO3 μP showed an improved detection of apigenin, sodiated glucose, and the precharged analyte choline, while the ReO3 μP allowed detection of protonated cocaine, quinuclidine, ametryn, and radical ions of polyaromatic hydrocarbons at detection levels as low as 50 pg/μL. For thermometer ion survival yield experiments, it was also shown that the ReO3 powder was significantly softer than CCA. Furthermore, it provided higher intensities of cocaine and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, at laser flux values equal to that used with CCA. PMID:26349643

  19. Small Molecule Modulators of Keap1-Nrf2-ARE Pathway as Potential Preventive and Therapeutic Agents$

    PubMed Central

    Magesh, Sadagopan; Chen, Yu; Hu, Longqin

    2012-01-01

    Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway represents one of the most important cellular defense mechanisms against oxidative stress and xenobiotic damage. Activation of Nrf2 signaling induces the transcriptional regulation of ARE-dependent expression of various detoxifying and antioxidant defense enzymes and proteins. Keap1-Nrf2-ARE signaling has become an attractive target for the prevention and treatment of oxidative stress-related diseases and conditions including cancer, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. Over the last few decades, numerous Nrf2 inducers have been developed and some of them are currently undergoing clinical trials. Recently, over-activation of Nrf2 has been implicated in cancer progression as well as in drug resistance to cancer chemotherapy. Thus, Nrf2 inhibitors could potentially be used to improve the effectiveness of cancer therapy. Herein, we review the signaling mechanism of Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway, its disease relevance, and currently known classes of small molecule modulators. We also discuss several aspects of Keap1-Nrf2 interaction, Nrf2-based peptide inhibitor design, and the screening assays currently used for the discovery of direct inhibitors of Keap1-Nrf2 interaction. PMID:22549716

  20. Design of a Small-Molecule Entry Inhibitor with Activity against Primary Measles Virus Strains

    PubMed Central

    Plemper, Richard K.; Doyle, Joshua; Sun, Aiming; Prussia, Andrew; Cheng, Li-Ting; Rota, Paul A.; Liotta, Dennis C.; Snyder, James P.; Compans, Richard W.

    2005-01-01

    The incidence of measles virus (MV) infection has been significantly reduced in many nations through extensive vaccination; however, the virus still causes significant morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Measles outbreaks also occur in some developed countries that have failed to maintain high vaccine coverage rates. While vaccination is essential in preventing the spread of measles, case management would greatly benefit from the use of therapeutic agents to lower morbidity. Thus, the development of new therapeutic strategies is desirable. We previously reported the generation of a panel of small-molecule MV entry inhibitors. Here we show that our initial lead compound, although providing proof of concept for our approach, has a short half-life (<16 h) under physiological conditions. In order to combine potent antiviral activity with increased compound stability, a targeted library of candidate molecules designed on the structural basis of the first lead has been synthesized and tested against MV. We have identified an improved lead with low toxicity and high stability (half-life ≫ 16 h) that prevents viral entry and hence infection. This compound shows high MV specificity and strong activity (50% inhibitory concentration = 0.6 to 3.0 μM, depending on the MV genotype) against a panel of wild-type MV strains representative of viruses that are currently endemic in the field. PMID:16127050

  1. Structure-Based Design, Synthesis and Validation of CD4-Mimetic Small Molecule Inhibitors of HIV-1 Entry: Conversion of a Viral Entry Agonist to an Antagonist

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Conspectus This Account provides an overview of a multidisciplinary consortium focused on structure-based strategies to devise small molecule antagonists of HIV-1 entry into human T-cells, which if successful would hold considerable promise for the development of prophylactic modalities to prevent HIV transmission and thereby alter the course of the AIDS pandemic. Entry of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) into target T-cells entails an interaction between CD4 on the host T-cell and gp120, a component of the trimeric envelope glycoprotein spike on the virion surface. The resultant interaction initiates a series of conformational changes within the envelope spike that permits binding to a chemokine receptor, formation of the gp41 fusion complex, and cell entry. A hydrophobic cavity at the CD4–gp120 interface, defined by X-ray crystallography, provided an initial site for small molecule antagonist design. This site however has evolved to facilitate viral entry. As such, the binding of prospective small molecule inhibitors within this gp120 cavity can inadvertently trigger an allosteric entry signal. Structural characterization of the CD4–gp120 interface, which provided the foundation for small molecule structure-based inhibitor design, will be presented first. An integrated approach combining biochemical, virological, structural, computational, and synthetic studies, along with a detailed analysis of ligand binding energetics, revealed that modestly active small molecule inhibitors of HIV entry can also promote viral entry into cells lacking the CD4 receptor protein; these competitive inhibitors were termed small molecule CD4 mimetics. Related congeners were subsequently identified with both improved binding affinity and more potent viral entry inhibition. Further assessment of the affinity-enhanced small molecule CD4 mimetics demonstrated that premature initiation of conformational change within the viral envelope spike, prior to cell encounter, can lead to

  2. Comparative metabolomics and structural characterizations illuminate colibactin pathway-dependent small molecules.

    PubMed

    Vizcaino, Maria I; Engel, Philipp; Trautman, Eric; Crawford, Jason M

    2014-07-01

    The gene cluster responsible for synthesis of the unknown molecule "colibactin" has been identified in mutualistic and pathogenic Escherichia coli. The pathway endows its producer with a long-term persistence phenotype in the human bowel, a probiotic activity used in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, and a carcinogenic activity under host inflammatory conditions. To date, functional small molecules from this pathway have not been reported. Here we implemented a comparative metabolomics and targeted structural network analyses approach to identify a catalog of small molecules dependent on the colibactin pathway from the meningitis isolate E. coli IHE3034 and the probiotic E. coli Nissle 1917. The structures of 10 pathway-dependent small molecules are proposed based on structural characterizations and network relationships. The network will provide a roadmap for the structural and functional elucidation of a variety of other small molecules encoded by the pathway. From the characterized small molecule set, in vitro bacterial growth inhibitory and mammalian CNS receptor antagonist activities are presented. PMID:24932672

  3. Identification and biological activities of a new antiangiogenic small molecule that suppresses mitochondrial reactive oxygen species

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Ki Hyun; Park, Ju Yeol; Jung, Hye Jin; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2011-01-07

    Research highlights: {yields} YCG063 was screened as a new angiogenesis inhibitor which suppresses mitochondrial ROS generation in a phenotypic cell-based screening of a small molecule-focused library. {yields} The compound inhibited in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis in a dose-dependent manner. {yields} This new small molecule tool will provide a basis for a better understanding of angiogenesis driven under hypoxic conditions. -- Abstract: Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) are associated with multiple cellular functions such as cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In particular, high levels of mitochondrial ROS in hypoxic cells regulate many angiogenesis-related diseases, including cancer and ischemic disorders. Here we report a new angiogenesis inhibitor, YCG063, which suppressed mitochondrial ROS generation in a phenotypic cell-based screening of a small molecule-focused library with an ArrayScan HCS reader. YCG063 suppressed mitochondrial ROS generation under a hypoxic condition in a dose-dependent manner, leading to the inhibition of in vitro angiogenic tube formation and chemoinvasion as well as in vivo angiogenesis of the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) at non-toxic doses. In addition, YCG063 decreased the expression levels of HIF-1{alpha} and its target gene, VEGF. Collectively, a new antiangiogenic small molecule that suppresses mitochondrial ROS was identified. This new small molecule tool will provide a basis for a better understanding of angiogenesis driven under hypoxic conditions.

  4. Small molecules targeting microRNA for cancer therapy: Promises and obstacles.

    PubMed

    Wen, Di; Danquah, Michael; Chaudhary, Amit Kumar; Mahato, Ram I

    2015-12-10

    Aberrant expression of miRNAs is critically implicated in cancer initiation and progression. Therapeutic approaches focused on regulating miRNAs are therefore a promising approach for treating cancer. Antisense oligonucleotides, miRNA sponges, and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing systems are being investigated as tools for regulating miRNAs. Despite the accruing insights in the use of these tools, delivery concerns have mitigated clinical application of such systems. In contrast, little attention has been given to the potential of small molecules to modulate miRNA expression for cancer therapy. In these years, many researches proved that small molecules targeting cancer-related miRNAs might have greater potential for cancer treatment. Small molecules targeting cancer related miRNAs showed significantly promising results in different cancer models. However, there are still several obstacles hindering the progress and clinical application in this area. This review discusses the development, mechanisms and application of small molecules for modulating oncogenic miRNAs (oncomiRs). Attention has also been given to screening technologies and perspectives aimed to facilitate clinical translation for small molecule-based miRNA therapeutics. PMID:26256260

  5. Increased Efficiency in Small Molecule Organic Solar Cells Through the Use of a 56-π Electron Acceptor - Methano Indene Fullerene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, James W.; Matsuo, Yutaka

    2015-02-01

    Organic solar cells (OSCs) offer the possibility of harnessing the sun's ubiquitous energy in a low-cost, environmentally friendly and renewable manner. OSCs based on small molecule semiconductors (SMOSCs) - have made a substantial improvement in recent years and are now achieving power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) that match those achieved for polymer:fullerene OSCs. To date, all efficient SMOSCs have relied on the same fullerene acceptor, PCBM, in order to achieve high performance. The use of PCBM however, is unfavourable due to its low lying LUMO level, which limits the open-circuit voltage (VOC). Alternative fullerene derivatives with higher lying LUMOs are thus required to improve the VOC. The challenge, however, is to prevent the typical concomitant decrease in the short circuit current density (JSC) when using a higher LUMO fullerene. In this communication, we address the issue by applying methano indene fullerene, MIF, a bis-functionalised C60 fullerene that has a LUMO level 140 mV higher than PCBM, in solution processed SMOSCs with a well known small molecule donor, DPP(TBFu)2. MIF-based devices show an improved VOC of 140 mV over PC61BM and only a small decrease in the JSC, with the PCE increasing to 5.1% (vs. 4.5% for PC61BM).

  6. Constant pH Molecular Dynamics Reveals pH-Modulated Binding of Two Small-Molecule BACE1 Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Christopher R; Tsai, Cheng-Chieh; Hou, Xinjun; Shen, Jana

    2016-03-17

    Targeting β-secretase (BACE1) with small-molecule inhibitors offers a promising route for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. However, the intricate pH dependence of BACE1 function and inhibitor efficacy has posed major challenges for structure-based drug design. Here we investigate two structurally similar BACE1 inhibitors that have dramatically different inhibitory activity using continuous constant pH molecular dynamics (CpHMD). At high pH, both inhibitors are stably bound to BACE1; however, within the enzyme active pH range, only the iminopyrimidinone-based inhibitor remains bound, while the aminothiazine-based inhibitor becomes partially dissociated following the loss of hydrogen bonding with the active site and change of the 10s loop conformation. The drastically lower activity of the second inhibitor is due to the protonation of a catalytic aspartate and the lack of a propyne tail. This work demonstrates that CpHMD can be used for screening pH-dependent binding profiles of small-molecule inhibitors, providing a new tool for structure-based drug design and optimization. PMID:26905811

  7. Spatially resolved analysis of small molecules by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometric imaging (MALDI-MSI).

    PubMed

    Peukert, Manuela; Matros, Andrea; Lattanzio, Giuseppe; Kaspar, Stephanie; Abadía, Javier; Mock, Hans-Peter

    2012-02-01

    • Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometric imaging (MALDI-MSI) of tissues provides the means to analyse the spatial distributions of small molecules and proteins within tissues. This imaging technique is commonplace in medicinal and pharmaceutical research, but its application in plant science is very recent. Broader introduction requires specific adaptations for plant tissues. Sample preparation is of paramount importance in order to obtain high-quality spectra providing sufficient spatial resolution for compounds. Optimization is required for sectioning, choice of matrix and means of matrix deposition. • Here, we present our current protocols for the detection of small molecules in cryodissected immature barley (Hordeum vulgare) grains and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) roots. • Examples of MALDI-MSI measurements are provided, and the level of reproducibility across biological replicates is addressed. Furthermore, our approaches for the validation of distribution patterns and for the identification of molecules are described. • Finally, we discuss how MALDI-MSI can contribute to applied plant research. PMID:22126099

  8. Quantitative High Throughput Screening Using a Live Cell cAMP Assay Identifies Small Molecule Agonists of the TSH Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Titus, Steve; Neumann, Susanne; Zheng, Wei; Southall, Noel; Michael, Sam; Klumpp, Carleen; Yasgar, Adam; Shinn, Paul; Thomas, Craig J.; Inglese, Jim; Gershengorn, Marvin C.; Austin, Christopher P.

    2009-01-01

    The thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) belongs to the glycoprotein hormone receptor subfamily of seven-transmembrane spanning receptors. TSHR is expressed in thyroid follicular cells and is activated by TSH, which regulates growth and function of these cells. Recombinant TSH is used in diagnostic screens for thyroid cancer, especially in patients after thyroid cancer surgery. Currently, no selective small molecule agonist of the TSHR is available. To screen for novel TSHR agonists, we miniaturized a cell-based cAMP assay into 1536-well plate format. This assay uses a HEK293 cell line stably expressing the TSHR and a cyclic nucleotide gated ion channel (CNG), which functions as a biosensor. From a quantitative high-throughput screen of 73,180 compounds in parallel with a parental cell line (without the TSHR), 276 primary active compounds were identified. The activities of the selected active compounds were further confirmed in an orthogonal HTRF cAMP-based assay. 49 compounds in several structural classes have been confirmed as small molecule TSHR agonists that will serve as starting compounds for chemical optimization and studies of thyroid physiology in health and disease. PMID:18216391

  9. High-throughput fluorescence polarization assay to identify small molecule inhibitors of BRCT domains of breast cancer gene 1.

    PubMed

    Lokesh, G L; Rachamallu, Aparna; Kumar, G D Kishore; Natarajan, Amarnath

    2006-05-01

    The C-terminus region of the 1863 residue early onset of breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) nuclear protein contains a tandem globular carboxy terminus domain termed BRCT. The BRCT repeats in BRCA1 are phosphoserine- and/or phosphothreonine-specific binding modules. The interaction of the BRCT(BRCA1) domains with phosphorylated BRCA1-associated carboxyl terminal helicase (BACH1) is cell cycle regulated and is essential for DNA damage-induced checkpoint control during the transition from the G(2) phase to the M phase of the cell cycle. Development of a competitive, homogeneous, high-throughput fluorescence polarization (FP) assay to identify small molecule inhibitors of BRCT(BRCA1)-BACH1 interaction is reported here. The FP assay was used for measuring binding affinities and inhibition constants of BACH1 peptides and small molecule inhibitors of BRCT(BRCA1) domains, respectively. A fluorescently labeled wild-type BACH1 decapeptide (BDP1) containing the critical phosphoserine, a phenylalanine at (P+3), and a GST-BRCT fusion protein were used to establish the FP assay. BDP1 has a dissociation constant (K(d)) of 1.58+/-0.01microM and a dynamic range (DeltamP) of 164.9+/-1.9. The assay tolerates 20% dimethyl sulfoxide, which enables screening poorly soluble compounds. Under optimized conditions, a Z' factor of 0.87 was achieved in a 384-well format for high-throughput screening. PMID:16500609

  10. Structural and optoelectronic properties of hybrid bulk-heterojunction materials based on conjugated small molecules and mesostructured TiO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Phan, Hung; Jahnke, Justin P.; Chmelka, Bradley F.; Nguyen, Thuc-Quyen

    2014-06-09

    Improved hybrid bulk-heterojunction materials was fabricated by spin-casting a benchmark conjugated small molecule, namely, 3,6-bis(5-(benzofuran-2-yl)thiophen-2-yl)-2,5-bis(2-ethylhexyl) pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4(2H,5H)-dione (DPP(TBFu){sub 2}), into mesostructured TiO{sub 2}. Due to both a reduced molecular size and less hydrophobic nature of the conjugated molecules (relative to conjugated polymers), homogeneous and improved infiltration into the mesoporous TiO{sub 2} are achieved without the need for pre-treatment of the TiO{sub 2}. Remarkably, this small molecule can realize loadings of up to 25% of the total pore volume—2.5× the typical loadings achieved for conjugated polymers. The small molecule loading was determined using dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy and absorption spectroscopy. Further characterization such as charge transfer and nanoscale conducting atomic force microscopy helps to demonstrate the promise and viability of small molecule donors for hybrid optoelectronic devices.

  11. Studying a Drug-like, RNA-Focused Small Molecule Library Identifies Compounds That Inhibit RNA Toxicity in Myotonic Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Southern, Mark R; Disney, Matthew D

    2015-12-18

    There are many RNA targets in the transcriptome to which small molecule chemical probes and lead therapeutics are desired. However, identifying compounds that bind and modulate RNA function in cellulo is difficult. Although rational design approaches have been developed, they are still in their infancies and leave many RNAs "undruggable". In an effort to develop a small molecule library that is biased for binding RNA, we computationally identified "drug-like" compounds from screening collections that have favorable properties for binding RNA and for suitability as lead drugs. As proof-of-concept, this collection was screened for binding to and modulating the cellular dysfunction of the expanded repeating RNA (r(CUG)(exp)) that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1. Hit compounds bind the target in cellulo, as determined by the target identification approach Competitive Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull-down (C-ChemCLIP), and selectively improve several disease-associated defects. The best compounds identified from our 320-member library are more potent in cellulo than compounds identified by high-throughput screening (HTS) campaigns against this RNA. Furthermore, the compound collection has a higher hit rate (9% compared to 0.01-3%), and the bioactive compounds identified are not charged; thus, RNA can be "drugged" with compounds that have favorable pharmacological properties. Finally, this RNA-focused small molecule library may serve as a useful starting point to identify lead "drug-like" chemical probes that affect the biological (dys)function of other RNA targets by direct target engagement. PMID:26414664

  12. Discovery, Synthesis, And Structure-Based Optimization of a Series of N-(tert-Butyl)-2-(N-arylamido)-2-(pyridin-3-yl) Acetamides (ML188) as Potent Noncovalent Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) 3CL Protease

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobs, Jon; Grum-Tokars, Valerie; Zhou, Ya; Turlington, Mark; Saldanha, S. Adrian; Chase, Peter; Eggler, Aimee; Dawson, Eric S.; Baez-Santos, Yahira M.; Tomar, Sakshi; Mielech, Anna M.; Baker, Susan C.; Lindsley, Craig W.; Hodder, Peter; Mesecar, Andrew; Stauffer, Shaun R.

    2012-12-11

    A high-throughput screen of the NIH molecular libraries sample collection and subsequent optimization of a lead dipeptide-like series of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) main protease (3CLpro) inhibitors led to the identification of probe compound ML188 (16-(R), (R)-N-(4-(tert-butyl)phenyl)-N-(2-(tert-butylamino)-2-oxo-1-(pyridin-3-yl)ethyl)furan-2-carboxamide, Pubchem CID: 46897844). But, unlike the majority of reported coronavirus 3CLpro inhibitors that act via covalent modification of the enzyme, 16-(R) is a noncovalent SARS-CoV 3CLpro inhibitor with moderate MW and good enzyme and antiviral inhibitory activity. A multicomponent Ugi reaction was utilized to rapidly explore structure–activity relationships within S1', S1, and S2enzyme binding pockets. Moreover, the X-ray structure of SARS-CoV 3CLpro bound with 16-(R) was instrumental in guiding subsequent rounds of chemistry optimization. 16-(R) provides an excellent starting point for the further design and refinement of 3CLpro inhibitors that act by a noncovalent mechanism of action.

  13. New Small Molecule Entry Inhibitors Targeting Hemagglutinin-Mediated Influenza A Virus Fusion

    PubMed Central

    Antanasijevic, Aleksandar; Wang, Minxiu; Li, Bing; Mills, Debra M.; Ames, Jessica A.; Nash, Peter J.; Williams, John D.; Peet, Norton P.; Moir, Donald T.; Prichard, Mark N.; Keith, Kathy A.; Barnard, Dale L.; Caffrey, Michael; Rong, Lijun; Bowlin, Terry L.

    2014-01-01

    Influenza viruses are a major public health threat worldwide, and options for antiviral therapy are limited by the emergence of drug-resistant virus strains. The influenza virus glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) plays critical roles in the early stage of virus infection, including receptor binding and membrane fusion, making it a potential target for the development of anti-influenza drugs. Using pseudotype virus-based high-throughput screens, we have identified several new small molecules capable of inhibiting influenza virus entry. We prioritized two novel inhibitors, MBX2329 and MBX2546, with aminoalkyl phenol ether and sulfonamide scaffolds, respectively, that specifically inhibit HA-mediated viral entry. The two compounds (i) are potent (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] of 0.3 to 5.9 μM); (ii) are selective (50% cytotoxicity concentration [CC50] of >100 μM), with selectivity index (SI) values of >20 to 200 for different influenza virus strains; (iii) inhibit a wide spectrum of influenza A viruses, which includes the 2009 pandemic influenza virus A/H1N1/2009, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus A/H5N1, and oseltamivir-resistant A/H1N1 strains; (iv) exhibit large volumes of synergy with oseltamivir (36 and 331 μM2 % at 95% confidence); and (v) have chemically tractable structures. Mechanism-of-action studies suggest that both MBX2329 and MBX2546 bind to HA in a nonoverlapping manner. Additional results from HA-mediated hemolysis of chicken red blood cells (cRBCs), competition assays with monoclonal antibody (MAb) C179, and mutational analysis suggest that the compounds bind in the stem region of the HA trimer and inhibit HA-mediated fusion. Therefore, MBX2329 and MBX2546 represent new starting points for chemical optimization and have the potential to provide valuable future therapeutic options and research tools to study the HA-mediated entry process. PMID:24198411

  14. A Small Molecule Screen Exposes mTOR Signaling Pathway Involvement in Radiation-Induced Apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Sharlow, Elizabeth R; Leimgruber, Stephanie; Lira, Ana; McConnell, Michael J; Norambuena, Andrés; Bloom, George S; Epperly, Michael W; Greenberger, Joel S; Lazo, John S

    2016-05-20

    Individuals are at risk of exposure to acute ionizing radiation (IR) from a nuclear accident or terrorism, but we lack effective therapies to mitigate the lethal IR effects. In the current study, we exploited an optimized, cell-based, high throughput screening assay to interrogate a small molecule library comprising 3437 known pharmacologically active compounds for mitigation against IR-induced apoptosis. Thirty-three library compounds significantly reduced apoptosis when administered 1 h after 4 Gy IR. Two- or three-dimensional computational structural analyses of the compounds indicated only one or two chemical clusters with most of the compounds being unique structures. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitor, rapamycin, was the most potent compound, and it mitigated apoptosis by 50% at 200 ± 50 pM. Other mTOR inhibitors, namely everolimus, AZD8055, and torin 1, also suppressed apoptosis, providing additional pharmacological evidence for mTOR pathway involvement in regulating cell death after IR. Everolimus and torin 1 treatment after IR decreased the S phase population and enforced both G1 and G2 phase arrest. This prorogation of cell cycle progression was accompanied by decreased IR-induced DNA damage measured by γH2AX phosphorylation at Ser139. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of the respective mTORC1 and mTORC2 subunits, Raptor or Rictor, also mitigated IR-induced apoptosis. Collectively, this study suggests a central role for the mTOR signaling in the cytotoxic response to IR and offers a useful platform to probe for additional agents. PMID:26938669

  15. Amelioration of Cisplatin-Induced Experimental Peripheral Neuropathy by a Small Molecule Targeting p75NTR

    PubMed Central

    Friesland, Amy; Weng, Zhiying; Duenas, Maria; Massa, Stephen M.; Longo, Frank M.; Lu, Qun

    2014-01-01

    Cisplatin is an effective and widely used first-line chemotherapeutic drug for treating cancers. However, many patients sustain cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), often leading to a reduction in drug dosages or complete cessation of treatment altogether. Therefore, it is important to understand cisplatin mechanisms in peripheral nerve tissue mediating its toxicity and identify signaling pathways for potential intervention. Rho GTPase activation is increased following trauma in several models of neuronal injury. Thus, we investigated whether components of the Rho signaling pathway represent important neuroprotective targets with the potential to ameliorate CIPN and thereby optimize current chemotherapy treatment regimens. We have developed a novel CIPN model in the mouse. Using this model and primary neuronal culture, we determined whether LM11A-31, a small-molecule, orally bioavailable ligand of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), can modulate Rho GTPase signaling and reduce CIPN. Von Frey filament analysis of sural nerve function showed that LM11A-31 treatment prevented decreases in peripheral nerve sensation seen with cisplatin treatment. Morphometric analysis of harvested sural nerves revealed that cisplatin-induced abnormal nerve fiber morphology and the decreases in fiber area were alleviated with concurrent LM11A-31 treatment. Cisplatin treatment increased RhoA activity accompanied by the reduced tyrosine phosphorylation of SHP-2, which was reversed by LM11A-31. LM11A-31 also countered the effects of calpeptin, which activated RhoA by inhibiting SHP-2 tyrosine phosphatase. Therefore, suppression of RhoA signaling by LM11A-31 that blocks proNGF binding to p75NTR or activates SHP-2 tyrosine phosphatase downstream of NGF receptor enhances neuroprotection in experimental CIPN in mouse model. PMID:25277379

  16. Protein kinase small molecule inhibitors for rheumatoid arthritis: Medicinal chemistry/clinical perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Malemud, Charles J; Blumenthal, David E

    2014-01-01

    Medicinal chemistry strategies have contributed to the development, experimental study of and clinical trials assessment of the first type of protein kinase small molecule inhibitor to target the Janus kinase/Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway. The orally administered small molecule inhibitor, tofacitinib, is the first drug to target the JAK/STAT pathway for entry into the armamentarium of the medical therapy of rheumatoid arthritis. The introduction of tofacitinib into general rheumatologic practice coupled with increasing understanding that additional cellular signal transduction pathways including the mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositide-3-kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin pathways as well as spleen tyrosine kinase also contribute to immune-mediated inflammatory in rheumatoid arthritis makes it likely that further development of orally administered protein kinase small molecule inhibitors for rheumatoid arthritis will occur in the near future. PMID:25232525

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-23

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

  18. Mapping the cellular response to small molecules using chemogenomic fitness signatures.

    PubMed

    Lee, Anna Y; St Onge, Robert P; Proctor, Michael J; Wallace, Iain M; Nile, Aaron H; Spagnuolo, Paul A; Jitkova, Yulia; Gronda, Marcela; Wu, Yan; Kim, Moshe K; Cheung-Ong, Kahlin; Torres, Nikko P; Spear, Eric D; Han, Mitchell K L; Schlecht, Ulrich; Suresh, Sundari; Duby, Geoffrey; Heisler, Lawrence E; Surendra, Anuradha; Fung, Eula; Urbanus, Malene L; Gebbia, Marinella; Lissina, Elena; Miranda, Molly; Chiang, Jennifer H; Aparicio, Ana Maria; Zeghouf, Mahel; Davis, Ronald W; Cherfils, Jacqueline; Boutry, Marc; Kaiser, Chris A; Cummins, Carolyn L; Trimble, William S; Brown, Grant W; Schimmer, Aaron D; Bankaitis, Vytas A; Nislow, Corey; Bader, Gary D; Giaever, Guri

    2014-04-11

    Genome-wide characterization of the in vivo cellular response to perturbation is fundamental to understanding how cells survive stress. Identifying the proteins and pathways perturbed by small molecules affects biology and medicine by revealing the mechanisms of drug action. We used a yeast chemogenomics platform that quantifies the requirement for each gene for resistance to a compound in vivo to profile 3250 small molecules in a systematic and unbiased manner. We identified 317 compounds that specifically perturb the function of 121 genes and characterized the mechanism of specific compounds. Global analysis revealed that the cellular response to small molecules is limited and described by a network of 45 major chemogenomic signatures. Our results provide a resource for the discovery of functional interactions among genes, chemicals, and biological processes. PMID:24723613

  19. A Unified Sensor Architecture for Isothermal Detection of Double-Stranded DNA, Oligonucleotides, and Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Carl W.; Lakin, Matthew R.; Fabry-Wood, Aurora; Horwitz, Eli K.; Baker, Nicholas A.; Stefanovic, Darko; Graves, Steven W.

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen detection is an important problem in many areas of medicine and agriculture, which may involve genomic or transcriptomic signatures, or small molecule metabolites. We report a unified, DNA-based sensor architecture capable of isothermal detection of double-stranded DNA targets, single-stranded oligonucleotides, and small molecules. Each sensor contains independent target detection and reporter modules, enabling rapid design. We detected gene variants on plasmids via a straightforward isothermal denaturation protocol. The sensors were highly specific, even with a randomized DNA background. We achieved a limit of detection of ~15 pM for single-stranded targets and ~5 nM for targets on denatured plasmids. By incorporating a blocked aptamer sequence, we also detected small molecules using the same sensor architecture. This work provides a starting point for multiplexed detection of multi-strain pathogens, and disease states caused by genetic variants (e.g., sickle cell anemia). PMID:25663617

  20. Mapping the Cellular Response to Small Molecules Using Chemogenomic Fitness Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Anna Y.; St.Onge, Robert P.; Proctor, Michael J.; Wallace, Iain M.; Nile, Aaron H.; Spagnuolo, Paul A.; Jitkova, Yulia; Gronda, Marcela; Wu, Yan; Kim, Moshe K.; Cheung-Ong, Kahlin; Torres, Nikko P.; Spear, Eric D.; Han, Mitchell K. L.; Schlecht, Ulrich; Suresh, Sundari; Duby, Geoffrey; Heisler, Lawrence E.; Surendra, Anuradha; Fung, Eula; Urbanus, Malene L.; Gebbia, Marinella; Lissina, Elena; Miranda, Molly; Chiang, Jennifer H.; Aparicio, Ana Maria; Zeghouf, Mahel; Davis, Ronald W.; Cherfils, Jacqueline; Boutry, Marc; Kaiser, Chris A.; Cummins, Carolyn L.; Trimble, William S.; Brown, Grant W.; Schimmer, Aaron D.; Bankaitis, Vytas A.; Nislow, Corey; Bader, Gary D.; Giaever, Guri

    2014-01-01

    Genome-wide characterization of the in vivo cellular response to perturbation is fundamental to understanding how cells survive stress. Identifying the proteins and pathways perturbed by small molecules affects biology and medicine by revealing the mechanisms of drug action. We used a yeast chemogenomics platform that quantifies the requirement for each gene for resistance to a compound in vivo to profile 3250 small molecules in a systematic and unbiased manner. We identified 317 compounds that specifically perturb the function of 121 genes and characterized the mechanism of specific compounds. Global analysis revealed that the cellular response to small molecules is limited and described by a network of 45 major chemogenomic signatures. Our results provide a resource for the discovery of functional interactions among genes, chemicals, and biological processes. PMID:24723613

  1. In situ hybridization assay-based small molecule screening in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Jing, Lili; Durand, Ellen M.; Ezzio, Catherine; Pagliuca, Stephanie M.; Zon, Leonard I.

    2012-01-01

    In vitro biochemical and cell-based small molecule screens have been widely used to identify compounds that target specific signaling pathways. But the identified compounds frequently fail at the animal testing stage, largely due to the in vivo absorption, metabolism and toxicity of chemicals. Zebrafish has recently emerged as a vertebrate whole organism model for small molecule screening. The in vivo bioactivity and specificity of compounds are examined from the very beginning of zebrafish screens. In addition, zebrafish is suitable for chemical screens at a large scale similar to cellular assays. This protocol describes an approach for in situ hybridization (ISH)-based chemical screening in zebrafish, which, in principle, can be used to screen any gene product. The described protocol has been used to identify small molecules affecting specific molecular pathways and biological processes. It can also be adapted to zebrafish screens with different readouts. PMID:23001521

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Small molecule screen for inhibitors of expression from canonical CREB response element-containing promoters

    PubMed Central

    Mitton, Bryan; Hsu, Katie; Dutta, Ritika; Tiu, Bruce C.; Cox, Nick; McLure, Kevin G.; Chae, Hee-Don; Smith, Mark; Eklund, Elizabeth A.; Solow-Cordero, David E.; Sakamoto, Kathleen M.

    2016-01-01

    The transcription factor CREB (cAMP Response Element Binding Protein) is an important determinant in the growth of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) cells. CREB overexpression increases AML cell growth by driving the expression of key regulators of apoptosis and the cell cycle. Conversely, CREB knockdown inhibits proliferation and survival of AML cells but not normal hematopoietic cells. Thus, CREB represents a promising drug target for the treatment of AML, which carries a poor prognosis. In this study, we performed a high-throughput small molecule screen to identify compounds that disrupt CREB function in AML cells. We screened ∼114,000 candidate compounds from Stanford University's small molecule library, and identified 5 molecules that inhibit CREB function at micromolar concentrations, but are non-toxic to normal hematopoietic cells. This study suggests that targeting CREB function using small molecules could provide alternative approaches to treat AML. PMID:26840025

  4. Constructing and characterizing a bioactive small molecule and microRNA association network for Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Fanlin; Dai, Enyu; Yu, Xuexin; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Xiaowen; Liu, Xinyi; Wang, Shuyuan; Wang, Lihua; Jiang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an incurable neurodegenerative disorder. Much effort has been devoted to developing effective therapeutic agents. Recently, targeting microRNAs (miRNAs) with small molecules has become a novel therapy for human diseases. In this study, we present a systematic computational approach to construct a bioactive Small molecule and miRNA association Network in AD (SmiRN-AD), which is based on the gene expression signatures of bioactive small molecule perturbation and AD-related miRNA regulation. We also performed topological and functional analysis of the SmiRN-AD from multiple perspectives. At the significance level of p ≤ 0.01, 496 small molecule–miRNA associations, including 25 AD-related miRNAs and 275 small molecules, were recognized and used to construct the SmiRN-AD. The drugs that were connected with the same miRNA tended to share common drug targets (p = 1.72 × 10−4) and belong to the same therapeutic category (p = 4.22 × 10−8). The miRNAs that were linked to the same small molecule regulated more common miRNA targets (p = 6.07 × 10−3). Further analysis of the positive connections (quinostatin and miR-148b, amantadine and miR-15a) and the negative connections (melatonin and miR-30e-5p) indicated that our large-scale predictions afforded specific biological insights into AD pathogenesis and therapy. This study proposes a holistic strategy for deciphering the associations between small molecules and miRNAs in AD, which may be helpful for developing a novel effective miRNA-associated therapeutic strategy for AD. A comprehensive database for the SmiRN-AD and the differential expression patterns of the miRNA targets in AD is freely available at http://bioinfo.hrbmu.edu.cn/SmiRN-AD/. PMID:24352679

  5. Small Molecule Microarrays Enable the Identification of a Selective, Quadruplex-Binding Inhibitor of MYC Expression

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor MYC plays a pivotal role in cancer initiation, progression, and maintenance. However, it has proven difficult to develop small molecule inhibitors of MYC. One attractive route to pharmacological inhibition of MYC has been the prevention of its expression through small molecule-mediated stabilization of the G-quadruplex (G4) present in its promoter. Although molecules that bind globally to quadruplex DNA and influence gene expression are well-known, the identification of new chemical scaffolds that selectively modulate G4-driven genes remains a challenge. Here, we report an approach for the identification of G4-binding small molecules using small molecule microarrays (SMMs). We use the SMM screening platform to identify a novel G4-binding small molecule that inhibits MYC expression in cell models, with minimal impact on the expression of other G4-associated genes. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and thermal melt assays demonstrated that this molecule binds reversibly to the MYC G4 with single digit micromolar affinity, and with weaker or no measurable binding to other G4s. Biochemical and cell-based assays demonstrated that the compound effectively silenced MYC transcription and translation via a G4-dependent mechanism of action. The compound induced G1 arrest and was selectively toxic to MYC-driven cancer cell lines containing the G4 in the promoter but had minimal effects in peripheral blood mononucleocytes or a cell line lacking the G4 in its MYC promoter. As a measure of selectivity, gene expression analysis and qPCR experiments demonstrated that MYC and several MYC target genes were downregulated upon treatment with this compound, while the expression of several other G4-driven genes was not affected. In addition to providing a novel chemical scaffold that modulates MYC expression through G4 binding, this work suggests that the SMM screening approach may be broadly useful as an approach for the identification of new G4-binding small

  6. Harnessing Chaperones to Generate Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Amyloid β Aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gestwicki, Jason E.; Crabtree, Gerald R.; Graef, Isabella A.

    2004-10-01

    Protein aggregation is involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and hence is considered an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. However, protein-protein interactions are exceedingly difficult to inhibit. Small molecules lack sufficient steric bulk to prevent interactions between large peptide surfaces. To yield potent inhibitors of β-amyloid (Aβ) aggregation, we synthesized small molecules that increase their steric bulk by binding to chaperones but also have a moiety available for interaction with Aβ. This strategy yields potent inhibitors of Aβ aggregation and could lead to therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of neurodegeneration.

  7. [Progress in sample preparation and analytical methods for trace polar small molecules in complex samples].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qianchun; Luo, Xialin; Li, Gongke; Xiao, Xiaohua

    2015-09-01

    Small polar molecules such as nucleosides, amines, amino acids are important analytes in biological, food, environmental, and other fields. It is necessary to develop efficient sample preparation and sensitive analytical methods for rapid analysis of these polar small molecules in complex matrices. Some typical materials in sample preparation, including silica, polymer, carbon, boric acid and so on, are introduced in this paper. Meanwhile, the applications and developments of analytical methods of polar small molecules, such as reversed-phase liquid chromatography, hydrophilic interaction chromatography, etc., are also reviewed. PMID:26753274

  8. The Connectivity Map: using gene-expression signatures to connect small molecules, genes, and disease.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Justin; Crawford, Emily D; Peck, David; Modell, Joshua W; Blat, Irene C; Wrobel, Matthew J; Lerner, Jim; Brunet, Jean-Philippe; Subramanian, Aravind; Ross, Kenneth N; Reich, Michael; Hieronymus, Haley; Wei, Guo; Armstrong, Scott A; Haggarty, Stephen J; Clemons, Paul A; Wei, Ru; Carr, Steven A; Lander, Eric S; Golub, Todd R

    2006-09-29

    To pursue a systematic approach to the discovery of functional connections among diseases, genetic perturbation, and drug action, we have created the first installment of a reference collection of gene-expression profiles from cultured human cells treated with bioactive small molecules, together with pattern-matching software to mine these data. We demonstrate that this "Connectivity Map" resource can be used to find connections among small molecules sharing a mechanism of action, chemicals and physiological processes, and diseases and drugs. These results indicate the feasibility of the approach and suggest the value of a large-scale community Connectivity Map project. PMID:17008526

  9. Small Molecule Inhibitors in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: From the Bench to the Clinic

    PubMed Central

    Al-Hussaini, Muneera; DiPersio, John F.

    2014-01-01

    Many patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) will eventually develop refractory or relapsed disease. In the absence of standard therapy for this population, there is currently an urgent unmet need for novel therapeutic agents. Targeted therapy with small molecule inhibitors (SMIs) represents a new therapeutic intervention that has been successful for the treatment of multiple tumors (e.g., gastrointestinal stromal tumors, chronic myelogenous leukemia). Hence, there has been great interest in generating selective small molecule inhibitors targeting critical pathways of proliferation and survival in AML. This review highlights a selective group of intriguing therapeutic agents and their presumed targets in both preclinical models and in early human clinical trials. PMID:25025370

  10. Small-Molecule High-Throughput Screening Utilizing Xenopus Egg Extract

    PubMed Central

    Broadus, Matthew R.; Yew, P. Renee; Hann, Stephen R.; Lee, Ethan

    2015-01-01

    Screens for small-molecule modulators of biological pathways typically utilize cultured cell lines, purified proteins, or, recently, model organisms (e.g., zebrafish, Drosophila, C. elegans). Herein, we describe a method for using Xenopus laevis egg extract, a biologically active and highly tractable cell-free system that recapitulates a legion of complex chemical reactions found in intact cells. Specifically, we focus on the use of a luciferase-based fusion system to identify small-molecule modulators that affect protein turnover. PMID:25618336

  11. Optimizing correlation techniques for improved earthquake location

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schaff, D.P.; Bokelmann, G.H.R.; Ellsworth, W.L.; Zanzerkia, E.; Waldhauser, F.; Beroza, G.C.

    2004-01-01

    Earthquake location using relative arrival time measurements can lead to dramatically reduced location errors and a view of fault-zone processes with unprecedented detail. There are two principal reasons why this approach reduces location errors. The first is that the use of differenced arrival times to solve for the vector separation of earthquakes removes from the earthquake location problem much of the error due to unmodeled velocity structure. The second reason, on which we focus in this article, is that waveform cross correlation can substantially reduce measurement error. While cross correlation has long been used to determine relative arrival times with subsample precision, we extend correlation measurements to less similar waveforms, and we introduce a general quantitative means to assess when correlation data provide an improvement over catalog phase picks. We apply the technique to local earthquake data from the Calaveras Fault in northern California. Tests for an example streak of 243 earthquakes demonstrate that relative arrival times with normalized cross correlation coefficients as low as ???70%, interevent separation distances as large as to 2 km, and magnitudes up to 3.5 as recorded on the Northern California Seismic Network are more precise than relative arrival times determined from catalog phase data. Also discussed are improvements made to the correlation technique itself. We find that for large time offsets, our implementation of time-domain cross correlation is often more robust and that it recovers more observations than the cross spectral approach. Longer time windows give better results than shorter ones. Finally, we explain how thresholds and empirical weighting functions may be derived to optimize the location procedure for any given region of interest, taking advantage of the respective strengths of diverse correlation and catalog phase data on different length scales.

  12. A phenotypic small molecule screen identifies an orphan ligand-receptor pair that regulates neural stem cell differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Saxe, Jonathan P.; Wu, Hao; Kelly, Theresa K.; Phelps, Michael E.; Sun, Yi E.; Kornblum, Harley I.; Huang, Jing

    2009-01-01

    Summary High-throughput identification of small molecules that selectively modulate molecular, cellular or systems-level properties of the mammalian brain is a significant challenge. Here we report the chemical genetic identification of the orphan ligand phosphoserine (P-Ser) as an enhancer of neurogenesis. P-Ser inhibits neural stem cell/progenitor proliferation and self-renewal, enhances neurogenic fate commitment, and improves neuronal survival. We further demonstrate that the effects of P-Ser are mediated by the group III metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4). siRNA-mediated knockdown of mGluR4 abolished the effects of P-Ser and increased neurosphere proliferation, at least in part through upregulation of mTOR pathway activity. We also found that P-Ser increases neurogenesis in human embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived neural progenitors. This work highlights the tremendous potential of developing effective small molecule drugs for use in regenerative medicine or transplantation therapy. PMID:17884634

  13. Recent advances in targeting the telomeric G-quadruplex DNA sequence with small molecules as a strategy for anticancer therapies.

    PubMed

    Islam, Mohammad K; Jackson, Paul Jm; Rahman, Khondaker M; Thurston, David E

    2016-07-01

    Human telomeric DNA (hTelo), present at the ends of chromosomes to protect their integrity during cell division, comprises tandem repeats of the sequence d(TTAGGG) which is known to form a G-quadruplex secondary structure. This unique structural formation of DNA is distinct from the well-known helical structure that most genomic DNA is thought to adopt, and has recently gained prominence as a molecular target for new types of anticancer agents. In particular, compounds that can stabilize the intramolecular G-quadruplex formed within the human telomeric DNA sequence can inhibit the activity of the enzyme telomerase which is known to be upregulated in tumor cells and is a major contributor to their immortality. This provides the basis for the discovery and development of small molecules with the potential for selective toxicity toward tumor cells. This review summarizes the various families of small molecules reported in the literature that have telomeric quadruplex stabilizing properties, and assesses the potential for compounds of this type to be developed as novel anticancer therapies. A future perspective is also presented, emphasizing the need for researchers to adopt approaches that will allow the discovery of molecules with more drug-like properties in order to improve the chances of lead molecules reaching the clinic in the next decade. PMID:27442231

  14. Small molecule activators of pre-mRNA 3′ cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Ryan, Kevin; Khleborodova, Asya; Pan, Jingyi; Ryan, Xiaozhou P.

    2009-01-01

    3′ Cleavage and polyadenylation are obligatory steps in the biogenesis of most mammalian pre-mRNAs. In vitro reconstitution of the 3′ cleavage reaction from human cleavage factors requires high concentrations of creatine phosphate (CP), though how CP activates cleavage is not known. Previously, we proposed that CP might work by competitively inhibiting a cleavage-suppressing serine/threonine (S/T) phosphatase. Here we show that fluoride/EDTA, a general S/T phosphatase inhibitor, activates in vitro cleavage in place of CP. Subsequent testing of inhibitors specific for different S/T phosphatases showed that inhibitors of the PPM family of S/T phosphatases, which includes PP2C, but not the PPP family, which includes PP1, PP2A, and PP2B, activated 3′ cleavage in vitro. In particular, NCI 83633, an inhibitor of PP2C, activated extensive 3′ cleavage at a concentration 50-fold below that required by fluoride or CP. The testing of structural analogs led to the identification of a more potent compound that activated 3′ cleavage at 200 μM. While testing CP analogs to understand the origin of its cleavage activation effect, we found phosphocholine to be a more effective activator than CP. The minimal structural determinants of 3′ cleavage activation by phosphocholine were identified. Our results describe a much improved small molecule activator of in vitro pre-mRNA cleavage, identify the molecular determinants of cleavage activation by phosphoamines such as phosphocholine, and suggest that a PPM family phosphatase is involved in the negative regulation of mammalian pre-mRNA 3′ cleavage. PMID:19155323

  15. ML264, A Novel Small-Molecule Compound That Potently Inhibits Growth of Colorectal Cancer.

    PubMed

    Ruiz de Sabando, Ainara; Wang, Chao; He, Yuanjun; García-Barros, Mónica; Kim, Julie; Shroyer, Kenneth R; Bannister, Thomas D; Yang, Vincent W; Bialkowska, Agnieszka B

    2016-01-01

    Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in Western civilization. Studies have shown that colorectal cancer arises as a consequence of the modification of genes that regulate important cellular functions. Deregulation of the WNT and RAS/MAPK/PI3K signaling pathways has been shown to be important in the early stages of colorectal cancer development and progression. Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is a transcription factor that is highly expressed in the proliferating intestinal crypt epithelial cells. Previously, we showed that KLF5 is a mediator of RAS/MAPK and WNT signaling pathways under homeostatic conditions and that it promotes their tumorigenic functions during the development and progression of intestinal adenomas. Recently, using an ultrahigh-throughput screening approach we identified a number of novel small molecules that have the potential to provide therapeutic benefits for colorectal cancer by targeting KLF5 expression. In the current study, we show that an improved analogue of one of these screening hits, ML264, potently inhibits proliferation of colorectal cancer cells in vitro through modifications of the cell-cycle profile. Moreover, in an established xenograft mouse model of colon cancer, we demonstrate that ML264 efficiently inhibits growth of the tumor within 5 days of treatment. We show that this effect is caused by a significant reduction in proliferation and that ML264 potently inhibits the expression of KLF5 and EGR1, a transcriptional activator of KLF5. These findings demonstrate that ML264, or an analogue, may hold a promise as a novel therapeutic agent to curb the development and progression of colorectal cancer. PMID:26621868

  16. Antitumor effect of dehydroxymethylepoxyquinomicin, a small molecule inhibitor of nuclear factor-κB, on glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Fukushima, Tsuyoshi; Kawaguchi, Makiko; Yorita, Kenji; Tanaka, Hiroyuki; Takeshima, Hideo; Umezawa, Kazuo; Kataoka, Hiroaki

    2012-01-01

    Glioblastoma is the most malignant type of brain tumor. Despite recent advances in therapeutic modalities, the prognosis of glioblastoma remains very poor. Recent studies have indicated that RelA/nuclear factor (NF)-κB is consistently activated in human glioblastoma. In this study, we searched for a new treatment modality for glioblastoma, by examining the effects of dehydroxymethylepoxyquinomicin (DHMEQ), a unique small molecule inhibitor of NF-κB. Addition of DHMEQ to cultured human glioblastoma cells inhibited the nuclear translocation of RelA. It also reduced the growth rate of human glioblastoma cells significantly in 6 cell lines and modestly in 3 among 10 cell lines examined. Then, we performed further analyses using 3 sensitive cell lines (U87, U251, and YKG-1). The growth retardation was accompanied by G2/M arrest in vitro. Increased apoptosis was observed in U87 and YKG-1, but not U251 cells after DHMEQ treatment. Then, we tested the efficacy of DHMEQ in chemoprevention through the use of a nude mouse model. Subcutaneous tumors formed by U87 or U251 cells were reduced by ∼40% in size by intraperitoneal administration of DHMEQ started immediately after implantation of the cells. DHMEQ treatment achieved statistically significant improvements in survival curves of mice intracranially implanted with U87 or U251 cells. Histological analysis revealed increased areas of necrosis, increased numbers of collapsed microvessels, decreased nuclear immunoreactivity of RelA, and decreased immunoreactivity of urokinase-type plasminogen activator in the DHMEQ-treated U87 tumor tissues. These results suggest that the targeting of NF-κB by DHMEQ may serve as a promising treatment modality in glioblastoma. PMID:21968049

  17. Release of Small Molecules during Germination of Spores of Bacillus Species▿

    PubMed Central

    Setlow, Barbara; Wahome, Paul G.; Setlow, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Free amino acids, dipicolinic acid, and unidentified small molecules were released early in Bacillus spore germination before hydrolysis of the peptidoglycan cortex, but adenine nucleotides and 3-phosphoglycerate were not. These results indicate that early in germination there is a major selective change in the permeability of the spore's inner membrane. PMID:18469112

  18. Small-Molecule-Directed Hepatocyte-Like Cell Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Mathapati, Santosh; Siller, Richard; Impellizzeri, Agata A R; Lycke, Max; Vegheim, Karianne; Almaas, Runar; Sullivan, Gareth J

    2016-01-01

    Hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) generated in vitro from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) provide an invaluable resource for basic research, regenerative medicine, drug screening, toxicology, and modeling of liver disease and development. This unit describes a small-molecule-driven protocol for in vitro differentiation of hPSCs into HLCs without the use of growth factors. hPSCs are coaxed through a developmentally relevant route via the primitive streak to definitive endoderm (DE) using the small molecule CHIR99021 (a Wnt agonist), replacing the conventional growth factors Wnt3A and activin A. The small-molecule-derived DE is then differentiated to hepatoblast-like cells in the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide. The resulting hepatoblasts are then differentiated to HLCs with N-hexanoic-Tyr, Ile-6 aminohexanoic amide (Dihexa, a hepatocyte growth factor agonist) and dexamethasone. The protocol provides an efficient and reproducible procedure for differentiation of hPSCs into HLCs utilizing small molecules. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27532814

  19. 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

  20. A physicist's view of biotechnology. [small molecule crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kroes, Roger L.

    1987-01-01

    Theories and techniques for small molecule crystal growth are reviewed, with emphasis on space processing possibilities, particularly for protein crystal growth. The general principles of nucleation, growth, and mass and heat transport are first discussed. Optical systems using schlieren, shadowgraph, and holographic techniques are considered, and are illustrated with the example of the NASA developed Fluids Experiment System flow aboard Spacelab 3.

  1. Small Molecule-Assisted Exfoliation of Layered Zirconium Phosphate Nanoplatelets by Ionic Liquids.

    PubMed

    Xia, Fangqing; Yong, Huaisong; Han, Xiao; Sun, Dazhi

    2016-12-01

    Exfoliation of layered inorganic nanomaterials into single-layered sheets has been widely interested in materials chemistry and composite fabrication. Here, we report the exfoliation of layered zirconium phosphate nanoplatelets by using small molecule intercalating agents in ionic liquids, which opens a new platform for fabricating single-layered inorganic materials from synthetic layered compounds. PMID:27460596

  2. Small molecule-assisted fabrication of black phosphorus quantum dots with a broadband nonlinear optical response.

    PubMed

    Gao, Lin-Feng; Xu, Jing-Yin; Zhu, Zhi-Yuan; Hu, Chen-Xia; Zhang, Lei; Wang, Qiang; Zhang, Hao-Li

    2016-08-18

    Ultrathin BP QDs with a uniform size of ∼3.4 nm were prepared via small molecule-assisted liquid phase exfoliation and they exhibited superior broadband nonlinear saturable absorption promising for nonlinear optical applications. Laser photolysis measurement implied that the nonlinear response origin was related to the long-lived electron-hole pairs delocalized within the BP QDs. PMID:27491959

  3. TNF Superfamily Protein–Protein Interactions: Feasibility of Small-Molecule Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yun; Buchwald, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily (TNFSF) contains about thirty structurally related receptors (TNFSFRs) and about twenty protein ligands that bind to one or more of these receptors. Almost all of these cell surface protein-protein interactions (PPIs) represent high-value therapeutic targets for inflammatory or immune modulation in autoimmune diseases, transplant recipients, or cancers, and there are several biologics including antibodies and fusion proteins targeting them that are in various phases of clinical development. Small-molecule inhibitors or activators could represent possible alternatives if the difficulties related to the targeting of protein-protein interactions by small molecules can be addressed. Compounds proving the feasibility of such approaches have been identified through different drug discovery approaches for a number of these TNFSFR-TNFSF type PPIs including CD40-CD40L, BAFFR-BAFF, TRAIL-DR5, and OX40-OX40L. Corresponding structural, signaling, and medicinal chemistry aspects are briefly reviewed here. While none of these small-molecule modulators identified so far seems promising enough to be pursued for clinical development, they provide proof-of-principle evidence that these interactions are susceptible to small-molecule modulation and can serve as starting points toward the identification of more potent and selective candidates. PMID:25706111

  4. A Direct, Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) as a Quantitative Technique for Small Molecules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powers, Jennifer L.; Rippe, Karen Duda; Imarhia, Kelly; Swift, Aileen; Scholten, Melanie; Islam, Naina

    2012-01-01

    ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is a widely used technique with applications in disease diagnosis, detection of contaminated foods, and screening for drugs of abuse or environmental contaminants. However, published protocols with a focus on quantitative detection of small molecules designed for teaching laboratories are limited. A…

  5. Discovery of Small Molecules that Inhibit the Disordered Protein, p27Kip1

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Iconaru, Luigi I.; Ban, David; Bharatham, Kavitha; Ramanathan, Arvind; Zhang, Weixing; Shelat, Anang A.; Zuo, Jian; Kriwacki, Richard W.

    2015-10-28

    In disordered proteins we see that they are highly prevalent in biological systems. They control myriad signaling and regulatory processes, and their levels and/or cellular localization are often altered in human disease. In contrast to folded proteins, disordered proteins, due to conformational heterogeneity and dynamics, are not considered viable drug targets. We challenged this paradigm by identifying through NMR-based screening small molecules that bound specifically, albeit weakly, to the disordered cell cycle regulator, p27Kip1 (p27). Moreover, two groups of molecules bound to sites created by transient clusters of aromatic residues within p27. Conserved chemical features within these two groups ofmore » small molecules exhibited complementarity to their binding sites within p27, establishing structure-activity relationships for small molecule: disordered protein interactions. Finally, one compound counteracted the Cdk2/cyclin A inhibitory function of p27 in vitro, providing proof-of- principle that small molecules can inhibit the function of a disordered protein (p27) through sequestration in a conformation incapable of folding and binding to a natural regulatory target (Cdk2/cyclin A).« less

  6. Discovery of Small Molecules that Inhibit the Disordered Protein, p27Kip1

    PubMed Central

    Iconaru, Luigi I.; Ban, David; Bharatham, Kavitha; Ramanathan, Arvind; Zhang, Weixing; Shelat, Anang A.; Zuo, Jian; Kriwacki, Richard W.

    2015-01-01

    Disordered proteins are highly prevalent in biological systems, they control myriad signaling and regulatory processes, and their levels and/or cellular localization are often altered in human disease. In contrast to folded proteins, disordered proteins, due to conformational heterogeneity and dynamics, are not considered viable drug targets. We challenged this paradigm by identifying through NMR-based screening small molecules that bound specifically, albeit weakly, to the disordered cell cycle regulator, p27Kip1 (p27). Two groups of molecules bound to sites created by transient clusters of aromatic residues within p27. Conserved chemical features within these two groups of small molecules exhibited complementarity to their binding sites within p27, establishing structure-activity relationships for small molecule:disordered protein interactions. Finally, one compound counteracted the Cdk2/cyclin A inhibitory function of p27 in vitro, providing proof-of-principle that small molecules can inhibit the function of a disordered protein (p27) through sequestration in a conformation incapable of folding and binding to a natural regulatory target (Cdk2/cyclin A). PMID:26507530

  7. Conformational Heat Capacity of Interacting Systems of Polymers and Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pyda, M.; Bartkowiak, M.; Wunderlich, B.

    1998-03-01

    The total heat capacity of systems of macromolecules interacting with small molecules is estimated as a sum of the vibrational, external and conformational contributions. The conformational contribution is calculated using a simple model in which monolayers or clusters of small molecules (such as polar or dispersive solvents) are assumed to interact with the flexible liner chains of the macromolecules. The conformational states of the chain are described by Ising variables. The interaction influences the conformational states energies, and the resulting one-dimensional model is solved exactly using the transfer matrix method. Depending on the model parameters, the presence of the small molecules can lead to a double-peaked structure of the heat capacity as a function of temperature. The interaction causes an increase of the heat capacity in the low temperature region. Formation of cluster of small molecules leads to a significant conformational heat capacity contribution for high temperatures. Specific results for polyethylene (PE), poly(oxyethylene) (POE), poly(oxymethylene) (POM) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) are presented as examples. The proposed approach can also be used to provide a more realistic description of heat capacities of protein-water, cellulose-water or starch-water systems.

  8. Identification of a small molecule [beta]-secretase inhibitor that binds without catalytic aspartate engagement

    SciTech Connect

    Steele, Thomas G.; Hills, Ivory D.; Nomland, Ashley A.; de León, Pablo; Allison, Timothy; McGaughey, Georgia; Colussi, Dennis; Tugusheva, Katherine; Haugabook, Sharie J.; Espeseth, Amy S.; Zuck, Paul; Graham, Samuel L.; Stachel, Shawn J.

    2010-09-02

    A small molecule inhibitor of beta-secretase with a unique binding mode has been developed. Crystallographic determination of the enzyme-inhibitor complex shows the catalytic aspartate residues in the active site are not engaged in inhibitor binding. This unprecedented binding mode in the field of aspartyl protease inhibition is described.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Computational Approaches to Analyze and Predict Small Molecule Transport and Distribution at Cellular and Subcellular Levels

    PubMed Central

    Ah Min, Kyoung; Zhang, Xinyuan; Yu, Jing-yu; Rosania, Gus R.

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) studies and mechanistic mathematical modeling approaches have been independently employed for analyzing and predicting the transport and distribution of small molecule chemical agents in living organisms. Both of these computational approaches have been useful to interpret experiments measuring the transport properties of small molecule chemical agents, in vitro and in vivo. Nevertheless, mechanistic cell-based pharmacokinetic models have been especially useful to guide the design of experiments probing the molecular pathways underlying small molecule transport phenomena. Unlike QSAR models, mechanistic models can be integrated from microscopic to macroscopic levels, to analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of small molecule chemical agents from intracellular organelles to whole organs, well beyond the experiments and training data sets upon which the models are based. Based on differential equations, mechanistic models can also be integrated with other differential equations-based systems biology models of biochemical networks or signaling pathways. Although the origin and evolution of mathematical modeling approaches aimed at predicting drug transport and distribution has occurred independently from systems biology, we propose that the incorporation of mechanistic cell-based computational models of drug transport and distribution into a systems biology modeling framework is a logical next-step for the advancement of systems pharmacology research. PMID:24218242

  11. Molecular entrapment of small molecules within the interior of horse spleen ferritin.

    PubMed

    Webb, B; Frame, J; Zhao, Z; Lee, M L; Watt, G D

    1994-02-15

    A procedure for trapping small molecules inside the interior of horse spleen ferritin (HoSF) and methods for characterizing HoSF and its small entrapped molecules are described. HoSF is first dissociated into subunits by adjustment to pH 2 in the presence of the small molecules to be trapped. The pH of the dissociated HoSF is then increased to 7 at which time the dissociated subunits reassemble reforming the 24-mer HoSF, thereby trapping solvent within its interior. HoSF is then separated from unbound molecules by dialysis, ultrafiltration, and/or ammonium sulfate precipitation. Sephadex G-25 and DEAE chromatographic methods were also used to separate HoSF from unbound small molecules. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) was used to demonstrate the association of small molecules with HoSF after the pH-induced unfolding-refolding process. The pH indicator neutral red was clearly associated with HoSF and presumed trapped within the ferritin interior. Acid/base titrations suggested that the trapped indicator had a different pKa than the free indicator, a result which indicates that the ferritin interior is different than the external solution. The utility of using trapped molecules for gaining information on ferritin function is proposed and discussed. PMID:8117106

  12. Discovery of Small Molecules that Inhibit the Disordered Protein, p27Kip1

    SciTech Connect

    Iconaru, Luigi I.; Ban, David; Bharatham, Kavitha; Ramanathan, Arvind; Zhang, Weixing; Shelat, Anang A.; Zuo, Jian; Kriwacki, Richard W.

    2015-10-28

    In disordered proteins we see that they are highly prevalent in biological systems. They control myriad signaling and regulatory processes, and their levels and/or cellular localization are often altered in human disease. In contrast to folded proteins, disordered proteins, due to conformational heterogeneity and dynamics, are not considered viable drug targets. We challenged this paradigm by identifying through NMR-based screening small molecules that bound specifically, albeit weakly, to the disordered cell cycle regulator, p27Kip1 (p27). Moreover, two groups of molecules bound to sites created by transient clusters of aromatic residues within p27. Conserved chemical features within these two groups of small molecules exhibited complementarity to their binding sites within p27, establishing structure-activity relationships for small molecule: disordered protein interactions. Finally, one compound counteracted the Cdk2/cyclin A inhibitory function of p27 in vitro, providing proof-of- principle that small molecules can inhibit the function of a disordered protein (p27) through sequestration in a conformation incapable of folding and binding to a natural regulatory target (Cdk2/cyclin A).

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. A blend of small molecules regulates both mating and development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many organisms, population density sensing and sexual attraction rely on small molecule-based signaling systems. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, population density is monitored via specific glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose that promote entry into an alternate larval stage, the no...

  16. Treatment of Prostate Cancer using Anti-androgen Small Molecules | NCI Technology Transfer Center | TTC

    Cancer.gov

    The National Cancer Institute seeks parties interested in collaborative research to co-develop and commercialize a new class of small molecules for the treatment of prostate cancer. General information on co-development research collaborations, can be found on our web site (http://ttc.nci.nih.gov/forms).

  17. Comparison of small molecules and oligonucleotides that target a toxic, non-coding RNA.

    PubMed

    Costales, Matthew G; Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-06-01

    Potential RNA targets for chemical probes and therapeutic modalities are pervasive in the transcriptome. Oligonucleotide-based therapeutics are commonly used to target RNA sequence. Small molecules are emerging as a modality to target RNA structures selectively, but their development is still in its infancy. In this work, we compare the activity of oligonucleotides and several classes of small molecules that target the non-coding r(CCUG) repeat expansion (r(CCUG)(exp)) that causes myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2), an incurable disease that is the second-most common cause of adult onset muscular dystrophy. Small molecule types investigated include monomers, dimers, and multivalent compounds synthesized on-site by using RNA-templated click chemistry. Oligonucleotides investigated include phosphorothioates that cleave their target and vivo-morpholinos that modulate target RNA activity via binding. We show that compounds assembled on-site that recognize structure have the highest potencies amongst small molecules and are similar in potency to a vivo-morpholino modified oligonucleotide that targets sequence. These studies are likely to impact the design of therapeutic modalities targeting other repeats expansions that cause fragile X syndrome and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, for example. PMID:27117425

  18. Cellular reprogramming for pancreatic β-cell regeneration: clinical potential of small molecule control

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Recent scientific breakthroughs in stem cell biology suggest that a sustainable treatment approach to cure diabetes mellitus (DM) can be achieved in the near future. However, the transplantation complexities and the difficulty in obtaining the stem cells from adult cells of pancreas, liver, bone morrow and other cells is a major concern. The epoch-making strategy of transcription-factor based cellular reprogramming suggest that these barriers could be overcome, and it is possible to reprogram any cells into functional β cells. Contemporary biological and analytical techniques help us to predict the key transcription factors needed for β-cell regeneration. These β cell-specific transcription factors could be modulated with diverse reprogramming protocols. Among cellular reprogramming strategies, small molecule approach gets proclaimed to have better clinical prospects because it does not involve genetic manipulation. Several small molecules targeting certain epigenetic enzymes and/or signaling pathways have been successful in helping to induce pancreatic β-cell specification. Recently, a synthetic DNA-based small molecule triggered targeted transcriptional activation of pancreas-related genes to suggest the possibility of achieving desired cellular phenotype in a precise mode. Here, we give a brief overview of treating DM by regenerating pancreatic β-cells from various cell sources. Through a comprehensive overview of the available transcription factors, small molecules and reprogramming strategies available for pancreatic β-cell regeneration, this review compiles the current progress made towards the generation of clinically relevant insulin-producing β-cells. PMID:24679123

  19. 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

  20. High-resolution electrohydrodynamic jet printing of small-molecule organic light-emitting diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Kukjoo; Kim, Gyeomuk; Lee, Bo Ram; Ji, Sangyoon; Kim, So-Yun; An, Byeong Wan; Song, Myoung Hoon; Park, Jang-Ung

    2015-08-01

    The development of alternative organic light-emitting diode (OLED) fabrication technologies for high-definition and low-cost displays is an important research topic as conventional fine metal mask-assisted vacuum evaporation has reached its limit to reduce pixel sizes and manufacturing costs. Here, we report an electrohydrodynamic jet (e-jet) printing method to fabricate small-molecule OLED pixels with high resolution (pixel width of 5 μm), which significantly exceeds the resolutions of conventional inkjet or commercial OLED display pixels. In addition, we print small-molecule emitting materials which provide a significant advantage in terms of device efficiency and lifetime compared to those with polymers.The development of alternative organic light-emitting diode (OLED) fabrication technologies for high-definition and low-cost displays is an important research topic as conventional fine metal mask-assisted vacuum evaporation has reached its limit to reduce pixel sizes and manufacturing costs. Here, we report an electrohydrodynamic jet (e-jet) printing method to fabricate small-molecule OLED pixels with high resolution (pixel width of 5 μm), which significantly exceeds the resolutions of conventional inkjet or commercial OLED display pixels. In addition, we print small-molecule emitting materials which provide a significant advantage in terms of device efficiency and lifetime compared to those with polymers. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr03034j

  1. Small Molecules Take a Big Step by Converting Fibroblasts into Neurons.

    PubMed

    Babos, Kimberley; Ichida, Justin K

    2015-08-01

    Direct lineage conversion could provide a rich source of somatic cell types for translational medicine, but concerns over the use of transgenic reprogramming factors have limited its potential. In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Li et al. (2015) and Hu et al. (2015) identify small-molecule cocktails that can convert fibroblasts into functional neurons without exogenous genetic factors. PMID:26253195

  2. Small Molecule-Assisted Exfoliation of Layered Zirconium Phosphate Nanoplatelets by Ionic Liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Fangqing; Yong, Huaisong; Han, Xiao; Sun, Dazhi

    2016-07-01

    Exfoliation of layered inorganic nanomaterials into single-layered sheets has been widely interested in materials chemistry and composite fabrication. Here, we report the exfoliation of layered zirconium phosphate nanoplatelets by using small molecule intercalating agents in ionic liquids, which opens a new platform for fabricating single-layered inorganic materials from synthetic layered compounds.

  3. Design and synthesis of small molecule-sulfotyrosine mimetics that inhibit HIV-1 entry.

    PubMed

    Dogo-Isonagie, Cajetan; Lee, Su-Lin; Lohith, Katheryn; Liu, Hongbing; Mandadapu, Sivakoteswara R; Lusvarghi, Sabrina; O'Connor, Robert D; Bewley, Carole A

    2016-04-15

    In the absence of a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS, small molecule inhibitors remain an attractive choice for antiviral therapeutics. Recent structural and functional studies of the HIV-1 surface envelope glycoprotein gp120 have revealed sites of vulnerability that can be targeted by small molecule and peptide inhibitors, thereby inhibiting HIV-1 infection. Here we describe a series of small molecule entry inhibitors that were designed to mimic the sulfated N-terminal peptide of the HIV-1 coreceptor CCR5. From a panel of hydrazonothiazolyl pyrazolinones, we demonstrate that compounds containing naphthyl di- and tri-sulfonic acids inhibit HIV-1 infection in single round infectivity assays with the disulfonic acids being the most potent. Molecular docking supports the observed structure activity relationship, and SPR confirmed binding to gp120. In infectivity assays treatment with a representative naphthyl disulfonate and a disulfated CCR5 N-terminus peptide results in competitive inhibition, with combination indices >2. In total this work shows that gp120 and HIV-1 infection can be inhibited by small molecules that mimic the function of, and are competitive with the natural sulfated CCR5 N-terminus. PMID:26968647

  4. Synthesis and structure-property relationships of phthalimide and naphthalimide based organic π-conjugated small molecules.

    PubMed

    Payne, Abby-Jo; Hendsbee, Arthur D; McAfee, Seth M; Paul, Devproshad K; Karan, Kunal; Welch, Gregory C

    2016-06-01

    Five organic π-conjugated small molecules with bithiophene-phthalimide backbones bearing alkyl chains of different symmetry, length and branching character were synthesized using optimized microwave and direct heteroarylation protocols. The chosen alkyl chains were 1-ethylpropyl, 1-methylbutyl, pentyl, hexyl and octyl. A sixth compound was also synthesized replacing the phthalimide terminal units with octylnaphthalimide for additional scope. Through the thorough analysis of both thermal and optical properties and the investigation of self-assembly tendencies by single crystal X-ray diffraction and variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry it is evident that alkyl side chains and building block size influence many facets of material properties. Within this class of materials the 1-ethylpropyl derivative exhibited the most unique behaviour. PMID:27185588

  5. Microplate-based screening for small molecule inhibitors of neuropilin-2/vascular endothelial growth factor-C interactions.

    PubMed

    Parker, Matthew W; Vander Kooi, Craig W

    2014-05-15

    Vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) is a secreted growth factor essential for lymphangiogenesis. VEGF-C functions in both physiological and pathological lymphangiogenesis, particularly in tumor metastasis, making it an attractive therapeutic target. Members of two families of cell surface receptors transduce VEGF-C signals: neuropilin-2 (Nrp2) and VEGF-receptor (VEGFR)-2/3. Nrp2 is a promising target for inhibition because it is highly expressed in lymphatic vessels. Here we describe a microplate-based assay for discovery of VEGF-C/Nrp2 inhibitors. We optimize this assay for use in screening an inhibitor library and identify three novel Nrp2/VEGF-C binding inhibitors from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Collection small molecule library. PMID:24583243

  6. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    DOEpatents

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J

    2013-07-30

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  7. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    DOEpatents

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J.

    2012-12-25

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  8. Utilizing Yeast Surface Human Proteome Display Libraries to Identify Small Molecule-Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bidlingmaier, Scott; Liu, Bin

    2016-01-01

    The identification of proteins that interact with small bioactive molecules is a critical but often difficult and time-consuming step in understanding cellular signaling pathways or molecular mechanisms of drug action. Numerous methods for identifying small molecule-interacting proteins have been developed and utilized, including affinity-based purification followed by mass spectrometry analysis, protein microarrays, phage display, and three-hybrid approaches. Although all these methods have been used successfully, there remains a need for additional techniques for analyzing small molecule-protein interactions. A promising method for identifying small molecule-protein interactions is affinity-based selection of yeast surface-displayed human proteome libraries. Large and diverse libraries displaying human protein fragments on the surface of yeast cells have been constructed and subjected to FACS-based enrichment followed by comprehensive exon microarray-based output analysis to identify protein fragments with affinity for small molecule ligands. In a recent example, a proteome-wide search has been successfully carried out to identify cellular proteins binding to the signaling lipids PtdIns(4,5)P2 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. Known phosphatidylinositide-binding proteins such as pleckstrin homology domains were identified, as well as many novel interactions. Intriguingly, many novel nuclear phosphatidylinositide-binding proteins were discovered. Although the existence of an independent pool of nuclear phosphatidylinositides has been known about for some time, their functions and mechanism of action remain obscure. Thus, the identification and subsequent study of nuclear phosphatidylinositide-binding proteins is expected to bring new insights to this important biological question. Based on the success with phosphatidylinositides, it is expected that the screening of yeast surface-displayed human proteome libraries will be of general use for the discovery of novel small

  9. A chemical screen for biological small molecule-RNA conjugates reveals CoA-linked RNA.

    PubMed

    Kowtoniuk, Walter E; Shen, Yinghua; Heemstra, Jennifer M; Agarwal, Isha; Liu, David R

    2009-05-12

    Compared with the rapidly expanding set of known biological roles for RNA, the known chemical diversity of cellular RNA has remained limited primarily to canonical RNA, 3'-aminoacylated tRNAs, nucleobase-modified RNAs, and 5'-capped mRNAs in eukaryotes. We developed two methods to detect in a broad manner chemically labile cellular small molecule-RNA conjugates. The methods were validated by the detection of known tRNA and rRNA modifications. The first method analyzes small molecules cleaved from RNA by base or nucleophile treatment. Application to Escherichia coli and Streptomyces venezuelae RNA revealed an RNA-linked hydroxyfuranone or succinyl ester group, in addition to a number of other putative small molecule-RNA conjugates not previously reported. The second method analyzes nuclease-generated mononucleotides before and after treatment with base or nucleophile and also revealed a number of new putative small molecule-RNA conjugates, including 3'-dephospho-CoA and its succinyl-, acetyl-, and methylmalonyl-thioester derivatives. Subsequent experiments established that these CoA species are attached to E. coli and S. venezuelae RNA at the 5' terminus. CoA-linked RNA cannot be generated through aberrant transcriptional initiation by E. coli RNA polymerase in vitro, and CoA-linked RNA in E. coli is only found among smaller (approximately < 200 nucleotide) RNAs that have yet to be identified. These results provide examples of small molecule-RNA conjugates and suggest that the chemical diversity of cellular RNA may be greater than previously understood. PMID:19416889

  10. Utilizing Yeast Surface Human Proteome Display Libraries to Identify Small Molecule-Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Bidlingmaier, Scott; Liu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    The identification of proteins that interact with small bioactive molecules is a critical but often difficult and time-consuming step in understanding cellular signaling pathways or molecular mechanisms of drug action. Numerous methods for identifying small molecule-interacting proteins have been developed and utilized, including affinity-based purification followed by mass spectrometry analysis, protein microarrays, phage display, and three-hybrid approaches. Although all these methods have been used successfully, there remains a need for additional techniques for analyzing small molecule-protein interactions. A promising method for identifying small molecule-protein interactions is affinity-based selection of yeast surface-displayed human proteome libraries. Large and diverse libraries displaying human protein fragments on the surface of yeast cells have been constructed and subjected to FACS-based enrichment followed by comprehensive exon microarray-based output analysis to identify protein fragments with affinity for small molecule ligands. In a recent example, a proteome-wide search has been successfully carried out to identify cellular proteins binding to the signaling lipids PtdIns(4,5)P2 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. Known phosphatidylinositide-binding proteins such as pleckstrin homology domains were identified, as well as many novel interactions. Intriguingly, many novel nuclear phosphatidylinositide-binding proteins were discovered. Although the existence of an independent pool of nuclear phosphatidylinositides has been known about for some time, their functions and mechanism of action remain obscure. Thus, the identification and subsequent study of nuclear phosphatidylinositide-binding proteins is expected to bring new insights to this important biological question. Based on the success with phosphatidylinositides, it is expected that the screening of yeast surface-displayed human proteome libraries will be of general use for the discovery of novel small

  11. Carbon Dots and 9AA as a Binary Matrix for the Detection of Small Molecules by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yongli; Gao, Dan; Bai, Hangrui; Liu, Hongxia; Lin, Shuo; Jiang, Yuyang

    2016-07-01

    Application of matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) to analyze small molecules have some limitations, due to the inhomogeneous analyte/matrix co-crystallization and interference of matrix-related peaks in low m/z region. In this work, carbon dots (CDs) were for the first time applied as a binary matrix with 9-Aminoacridine (9AA) in MALDI MS for small molecules analysis. By 9AA/CDs assisted desorption/ionization (D/I) process, a wide range of small molecules, including nucleosides, amino acids, oligosaccharides, peptides, and anticancer drugs with a higher sensitivity were demonstrated in the positive ion mode. A detection limit down to 5 fmol was achieved for cytidine. 9AA/CDs matrix also exhibited excellent reproducibility compared with 9AA matrix. Moreover, by exploring the ionization mechanism of the matrix, the influence factors might be attributed to the four parts: (1) the strong UV absorption of 9AA/CDs due to their π-conjugated network; (2) the carboxyl groups modified on the CDs surface act as protonation sites for proton transfer in positive ion mode; (3) the thin layer crystal of 9AA/CDs could reach a high surface temperature more easily and lower transfer energy for LDI MS; (4) CDs could serve as a matrix additive to suppress 9AA ionization. Furthermore, this matrix was allowed for the analysis of glucose as well as nucleosides in human urine, and the level of cytidine was quantified with a linear range of 0.05-5 mM (R2 > 0.99). Therefore, the 9AA/CDs matrix was proven to be an effective MALDI matrix for the analysis of small molecules with improved sensitivity and reproducibility. This work provides an alternative solution for small molecules detection that can be further used in complex samples analysis.

  12. Carbon Dots and 9AA as a Binary Matrix for the Detection of Small Molecules by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yongli; Gao, Dan; Bai, Hangrui; Liu, Hongxia; Lin, Shuo; Jiang, Yuyang

    2016-07-01

    Application of matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) to analyze small molecules have some limitations, due to the inhomogeneous analyte/matrix co-crystallization and interference of matrix-related peaks in low m/z region. In this work, carbon dots (CDs) were for the first time applied as a binary matrix with 9-Aminoacridine (9AA) in MALDI MS for small molecules analysis. By 9AA/CDs assisted desorption/ionization (D/I) process, a wide range of small molecules, including nucleosides, amino acids, oligosaccharides, peptides, and anticancer drugs with a higher sensitivity were demonstrated in the positive ion mode. A detection limit down to 5 fmol was achieved for cytidine. 9AA/CDs matrix also exhibited excellent reproducibility compared with 9AA matrix. Moreover, by exploring the ionization mechanism of the matrix, the influence factors might be attributed to the four parts: (1) the strong UV absorption of 9AA/CDs due to their π-conjugated network; (2) the carboxyl groups modified on the CDs surface act as protonation sites for proton transfer in positive ion mode; (3) the thin layer crystal of 9AA/CDs could reach a high surface temperature more easily and lower transfer energy for LDI MS; (4) CDs could serve as a matrix additive to suppress 9AA ionization. Furthermore, this matrix was allowed for the analysis of glucose as well as nucleosides in human urine, and the level of cytidine was quantified with a linear range of 0.05-5 mM (R(2) > 0.99). Therefore, the 9AA/CDs matrix was proven to be an effective MALDI matrix for the analysis of small molecules with improved sensitivity and reproducibility. This work provides an alternative solution for small molecules detection that can be further used in complex samples analysis. Graphical Abstract ᅟ. PMID:27075876

  13. Carbon Dots and 9AA as a Binary Matrix for the Detection of Small Molecules by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yongli; Gao, Dan; Bai, Hangrui; Liu, Hongxia; Lin, Shuo; Jiang, Yuyang

    2016-04-01

    Application of matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) to analyze small molecules have some limitations, due to the inhomogeneous analyte/matrix co-crystallization and interference of matrix-related peaks in low m/z region. In this work, carbon dots (CDs) were for the first time applied as a binary matrix with 9-Aminoacridine (9AA) in MALDI MS for small molecules analysis. By 9AA/CDs assisted desorption/ionization (D/I) process, a wide range of small molecules, including nucleosides, amino acids, oligosaccharides, peptides, and anticancer drugs with a higher sensitivity were demonstrated in the positive ion mode. A detection limit down to 5 fmol was achieved for cytidine. 9AA/CDs matrix also exhibited excellent reproducibility compared with 9AA matrix. Moreover, by exploring the ionization mechanism of the matrix, the influence factors might be attributed to the four parts: (1) the strong UV absorption of 9AA/CDs due to their π-conjugated network; (2) the carboxyl groups modified on the CDs surface act as protonation sites for proton transfer in positive ion mode; (3) the thin layer crystal of 9AA/CDs could reach a high surface temperature more easily and lower transfer energy for LDI MS; (4) CDs could serve as a matrix additive to suppress 9AA ionization. Furthermore, this matrix was allowed for the analysis of glucose as well as nucleosides in human urine, and the level of cytidine was quantified with a linear range of 0.05-5 mM (R2 > 0.99). Therefore, the 9AA/CDs matrix was proven to be an effective MALDI matrix for the analysis of small molecules with improved sensitivity and reproducibility. This work provides an alternative solution for small molecules detection that can be further used in complex samples analysis.

  14. Identification of a small molecule inhibitor of serine 276 phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB using in silico molecular docking

    PubMed Central

    Law, Mary; Corsino, Patrick; Parker, Nicole Teoh; Law, Brian K.

    2009-01-01

    NF-κB is activated in many types of cancer. Phosphorylation of p65 at serine 276 is required for the expression of a subset of NF-κB regulated genes, including vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and interleukin-8 (IL-8). Thus, inhibition of serine 276 phosphorylation may prevent metastasis and angiogenesis in certain tumor types. Using in silico molecular docking, small molecules that are predicted to bind to a structural pocket near serine 276 were identified. One compound, NSC-127102, hinders serine 276 phosphorylation and the expression of IL-8 and VCAM-1. Small molecules such as NSC-127102 may be optimized for the future treatment of cancer. PMID:19910110

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

    PubMed Central

    Melaine, Feriel; Roupioz, Yoann; Buhot, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

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

  16. IP-FCM Measures Physiologic Protein-Protein Interactions Modulated by Signal Transduction and Small-Molecule Drug Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Stephen E. P.; Bida, Anya T.; Davis, Tessa R.; Sicotte, Hugues; Patterson, Steven E.; Gil, Diana; Schrum, Adam G.

    2012-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions (PPI) mediate the formation of intermolecular networks that control biological signaling. For this reason, PPIs are of outstanding interest in pharmacology, as they display high specificity and may represent a vast pool of potentially druggable targets. However, the study of physiologic PPIs can be limited by conventional assays that often have large sample requirements and relatively low sensitivity. Here, we build on a novel method, immunoprecipitation detected by flow cytometry (IP-FCM), to assess PPI modulation during either signal transduction or pharmacologic inhibition by two different classes of small-molecule compounds. First, we showed that IP-FCM can detect statistically significant differences in samples possessing a defined PPI change as low as 10%. This sensitivity allowed IP-FCM to detect a PPI that increases transiently during T cell signaling, the antigen-inducible interaction between ZAP70 and the T cell antigen receptor (TCR)/CD3 complex. In contrast, IP-FCM detected no ZAP70 recruitment when T cells were stimulated with antigen in the presence of the src-family kinase inhibitor, PP2. Further, we tested whether IP-FCM possessed sufficient sensitivity to detect the effect of a second, rare class of compounds called SMIPPI (small-molecule inhibitor of PPI). We found that the first-generation non-optimized SMIPPI, Ro-26-4550, inhibited the IL-2:CD25 interaction detected by IP-FCM. This inhibition was detectable using either a recombinant CD25-Fc chimera or physiologic full-length CD25 captured from T cell lysates. Thus, we demonstrate that IP-FCM is a sensitive tool for measuring physiologic PPIs that are modulated by signal transduction and pharmacologic inhibition. PMID:23029201

  17. A Target-Based High Throughput Screen Yields Trypanosoma brucei Hexokinase Small Molecule Inhibitors with Antiparasitic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sharlow, Elizabeth R.; Lyda, Todd A.; Dodson, Heidi C.; Mustata, Gabriela; Morris, Meredith T.; Leimgruber, Stephanie S.; Lee, Kuo-Hsiung; Kashiwada, Yoshiki; Close, David; Lazo, John S.; Morris, James C.

    2010-01-01

    Background The parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei utilizes glycolysis exclusively for ATP production during infection of the mammalian host. The first step in this metabolic pathway is mediated by hexokinase (TbHK), an enzyme essential to the parasite that transfers the γ-phospho of ATP to a hexose. Here we describe the identification and confirmation of novel small molecule inhibitors of bacterially expressed TbHK1, one of two TbHKs expressed by T. brucei, using a high throughput screening assay. Methodology/Principal Findings Exploiting optimized high throughput screening assay procedures, we interrogated 220,233 unique compounds and identified 239 active compounds from which ten small molecules were further characterized. Computation chemical cluster analyses indicated that six compounds were structurally related while the remaining four compounds were classified as unrelated or singletons. All ten compounds were ∼20-17,000-fold more potent than lonidamine, a previously identified TbHK1 inhibitor. Seven compounds inhibited T. brucei blood stage form parasite growth (0.03≤EC50<3 µM) with parasite specificity of the compounds being demonstrated using insect stage T. brucei parasites, Leishmania promastigotes, and mammalian cell lines. Analysis of two structurally related compounds, ebselen and SID 17387000, revealed that both were mixed inhibitors of TbHK1 with respect to ATP. Additionally, both compounds inhibited parasite lysate-derived HK activity. None of the compounds displayed structural similarity to known hexokinase inhibitors or human African trypanosomiasis therapeutics. Conclusions/Significance The novel chemotypes identified here could represent leads for future therapeutic development against the African trypanosome. PMID:20405000

  18. Establishment of a novel cell-based assay for screening small molecule antagonists of human interleukin-6 receptor

    PubMed Central

    He, Yang-yang; Yan, Yu; Zhang, Chang; Li, Peng-yuan; Wu, Ping; Du, Peng; Zeng, Da-di; Fang, Jian-song; Wang, Shuang; Du, Guan-hua

    2014-01-01

    Aim: Blockade of interleukin-6 (IL-6) or its receptor (IL-6R) is effective in preventing the progression of autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. In the present study, we established a novel cell-based assay for identifying small molecule IL-6R antagonists. Methods: HEK293A cells were transfected with recombinant plasmids pTaglite-SNAP-IL6R and pABhFc-IL6 to obtain membrane-bound IL-6R and recombinant human IL-6 coupled with human Fc fragment (rhIL-6), respectively. A novel screening assay based on the interaction between IL-6R and rhIL-6 was established, optimized and validated. The stability of the assay was also assessed by calculating the Z′-factor. Results: RhIL-6 dose-dependently bound to IL-6R expressed at HEK293A cell surface. The IC50 value of the known antagonist ab47215 was 0.38±0.08 μg/mL, which was consistent with that obtained using the traditional method (0.36±0.14 μg/mL). The value of Z′-factor was 0.68, suggesting that the novel assay was stable for high throughput screening. A total of 474 compounds were screened using the novel screening assay, and 3 compounds exhibited antagonistic activities (IC50=8.73±0.28, 32.32±9.08, 57.83±4.24 μg/mL). Furthermore, the active compounds dose-dependently inhibited IL-6-induced proliferation of 7TD1 cells, and reduced IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation in U937 cells. Conclusion: A novel cell-based screening assay for identifying small molecule IL-6R antagonists was established, which simplifies the procedures in traditional cellular ELISA screening and profiling and reduces the costs. PMID:25345743

  19. Wnt Signaling Orchestration with a Small Molecule DYRK Inhibitor Provides Long-Term Xeno-Free Human Pluripotent Cell Expansion

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Kouichi; Yasuda, Shin-ya; Teo, Jia-Ling; Nguyen, Cu; McMillan, Michael; Hsieh, Chih-Lin; Suemori, Hirofumi; Nakatsuji, Norio; Yamamoto, Masashi; Miyabayashi, Tomoyuki; Lutzko, Carolyn; Pera, Martin F.

    2012-01-01

    An optimal culture system for human pluripotent stem cells should be fully defined and free of animal components. To date, most xeno-free culture systems require human feeder cells and/or highly complicated culture media that contain activators of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling pathways, and none provide for replacement of FGF/TGFβ ligands with chemical compounds. The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays an important role in mouse embryonic stem cells in leukemia inhibitory factor-independent culture; however, the role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in human pluripotent stem cell is still poorly understood and controversial because of the dual role of Wnts in proliferation and differentiation. Building on our previous investigations of small molecules modulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling in mouse embryonic stem cells, we identified a compound, ID-8, that could support Wnt-induced human embryonic stem cell proliferation and survival without differentiation. Dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase (DYRK) is the target of the small molecule ID-8. Its role in human pluripotent cell renewal was confirmed by DYRK knockdown in human embryonic stem cells. Using Wnt and the DYRK inhibitor ID-8, we have developed a novel and simple chemically defined xeno-free culture system that allows for long-term expansion of human pluripotent stem cells without FGF or TGFβ activation. These culture conditions do not include xenobiotic supplements, serum, serum replacement, or albumin. Using this culture system, we have shown that several human pluripotent cell lines maintained pluripotency (>20 passages) and a normal karyotype and still retained the ability to differentiate into derivatives of all three germ layers. This Wnt-dependent culture system should provide a platform for complete replacement of growth factors with chemical compounds. PMID:23197636

  20. Protein-Observed Fluorine NMR: A Bioorthogonal Approach for Small Molecule Discovery.

    PubMed

    Arntson, Keith E; Pomerantz, William C K

    2016-06-01

    The (19)F isotope is 100% naturally abundant and is the second most sensitive and stable NMR-active nucleus. Unlike the ubiquitous hydrogen atom, fluorine is nearly absent in biological systems, making it a unique bioorthogonal atom for probing molecular interactions in biology. Over 73 fluorinated proteins have been studied by (19)F NMR since the seminal studies of Hull and Sykes in 1974. With advances in cryoprobe production and fluorinated amino acid incorporation strategies, protein-based (19)F NMR offers opportunities to the medicinal chemist for characterizing and ultimately discovering new small molecule protein ligands. This review will highlight new advances using (19)F NMR for characterizing small molecule interactions with both small and large proteins as well as detailing NMR resonance assignment challenges and amino acid incorporation approaches. PMID:26599421

  1. A Small Molecule Inhibitor of Inducible Heat Shock Protein 70 (HSP70)

    PubMed Central

    Leu, J. I-Ju; Pimkina, Julia; Frank, Amanda; Murphy, Maureen E.; George, Donna L.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY The multifunctional, stress-inducible, molecular chaperone HSP70 has important roles in aiding protein folding and maintaining protein homeostasis. HSP70 expression is elevated in many cancers, contributing to tumor cell survival and resistance to therapy. We have determined that a small molecule called 2-Phenylethynesulfonamide (PES) interacts selectively with HSP70, and leads to a disruption of the association between HSP70 and several of its co-chaperones and substrate proteins. Treatment of cultured tumor cells with PES promotes cell death that is associated with protein aggregation, impaired autophagy, and inhibition of lysosomal function. Moreover, this small molecule is able to suppress tumor development and enhance survival in a mouse model of Myc-induced lymphomagenesis. The data demonstrate that PES disrupts actions of HSP70 in multiple cell signaling pathways offering an opportunity to better understand the diverse functions of this molecular chaperone, and also to aid in the development of new cancer therapies. PMID:19818706

  2. Functional Characterization of a Small-Molecule Inhibitor of the DKK1-LRP6 Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Iozzi, Sara; Remelli, Rosaria; Lelli, Barbara; Diamanti, Daniela; Pileri, Silvia; Bracci, Luisa; Roncarati, Renza; Caricasole, Andrea; Bernocco, Simonetta

    2012-01-01

    Background. DKK1 antagonizes canonical Wnt signalling through high-affinity binding to LRP5/6, an essential component of the Wnt receptor complex responsible for mediating downstream canonical Wnt signalling. DKK1 overexpression is known for its pathological implications in osteoporosis, cancer, and neurodegeneration, suggesting the interaction with LRP5/6 as a potential therapeutic target. Results. We show that the small-molecule NCI8642 can efficiently displace DKK1 from LRP6 and block DKK1 inhibitory activity on canonical Wnt signalling, as shown in binding and cellular assays, respectively. We further characterize NCI8642 binding activity on LRP6 by Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technology. Conclusions. This study demonstrates that the DKK1-LRP6 interaction can be the target of small molecules and unlocks the possibility of new therapeutic tools for diseases associated with DKK1 dysregulation. PMID:27398238

  3. Kinetics of small molecule interactions with membrane proteins in single cells measured with mechanical amplification

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Yan; Shan, Xiaonan; Zhang, Fenni; Wang, Shaopeng; Chen, Hong-Yuan; Tao, Nongjian

    2015-01-01

    Measuring small molecule interactions with membrane proteins in single cells is critical for understanding many cellular processes and for screening drugs. However, developing such a capability has been a difficult challenge. We show that molecular interactions with membrane proteins induce a mechanical deformation in the cellular membrane, and real-time monitoring of the deformation with subnanometer resolution allows quantitative analysis of small molecule–membrane protein interaction kinetics in single cells. This new strategy provides mechanical amplification of small binding signals, making it possible to detect small molecule interactions with membrane proteins. This capability, together with spatial resolution, also allows the study of the heterogeneous nature of cells by analyzing the interaction kinetics variability between different cells and between different regions of a single cell. PMID:26601298

  4. TIPS-DBC small molecule O-FETs fabricated by evaporation and solution processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruszecki, Daniel; Singh, Birendra; Bown, Mark; Lewis, David

    2012-02-01

    The performance of organic field effect transistors using the small molecule, tri-isopropyl- silane-di-benzo chrysene (TIPS-DBC) is reported. The field effect mobility μFE is found to depend on the deposition conditions, which affect the morphology of the film. A mobility in the range of 1.5 × 10-6 to 2.4 × 10-4 cm2 V-1 s-1 is obtained from the evaporated films depending on the substrate treatment and deposition temperature, while films deposited by solution-processing techniques yield mobilities in the range of 0.7 × 10-3 to 1.5 × 10-3 cm2 V-1 s-1. The enhanced performance in polycrystalline solution-processed coatings and its relationship to crystallite size is an important parameter in the design of high-performance devices based on small molecules.

  5. Exploiting Transient Protein States for the Design of Small-Molecule Stabilizers of Mutant p53

    PubMed Central

    Joerger, Andreas C.; Bauer, Matthias R.; Wilcken, Rainer; Baud, Matthias G.J.; Harbrecht, Hannes; Exner, Thomas E.; Boeckler, Frank M.; Spencer, John; Fersht, Alan R.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The destabilizing p53 cancer mutation Y220C creates an extended crevice on the surface of the protein that can be targeted by small-molecule stabilizers. Here, we identify different classes of small molecules that bind to this crevice and determine their binding modes by X-ray crystallography. These structures reveal two major conformational states of the pocket and a cryptic, transiently open hydrophobic subpocket that is modulated by Cys220. In one instance, specifically targeting this transient protein state by a pyrrole moiety resulted in a 40-fold increase in binding affinity. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that both open and closed states of this subsite were populated at comparable frequencies along the trajectories. Our data extend the framework for the design of high-affinity Y220C mutant binders for use in personalized anticancer therapy and, more generally, highlight the importance of implementing protein dynamics and hydration patterns in the drug-discovery process. PMID:26636255

  6. Landmark studies on the glucagon subfamily of GPCRs: from small molecule modulators to a crystal structure

    PubMed Central

    Yang, De-hua; Zhou, Cai-hong; Liu, Qing; Wang, Ming-wei

    2015-01-01

    The glucagon subfamily of class B G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has been proposed to be a crucial drug target for the tretmaent of type 2 diabetes. The challenges associated with determining the crystal structures of class B GPCRs relate to their large amino termini and the lack of available small molecule ligands to stabilize the receptor proteins. Following our discovery of non-peptidic agonists for glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) that have therapeutic effects, we initiated collaborative efforts in structural biology and recently solved the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the human glucagon receptor (GCGR) 7-transmembrane domain, providing in-depth information about the underlying signaling mechanisms. In this review, some key milestones in this endeavor are highlighted, including discoveries of small molecule ligands, their roles in receptor crystallization, conformational changes in transmembrane domains (TMDs) upon activation and structure-activity relationship analyses. PMID:26279155

  7. Remote control of therapeutic T cells through a small molecule-gated chimeric receptor.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chia-Yung; Roybal, Kole T; Puchner, Elias M; Onuffer, James; Lim, Wendell A

    2015-10-16

    There is growing interest in using engineered cells as therapeutic agents. For example, synthetic chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) can redirect T cells to recognize and eliminate tumor cells expressing specific antigens. Despite promising clinical results, these engineered T cells can exhibit excessive activity that is difficult to control and can cause severe toxicity. We designed "ON-switch" CARs that enable small-molecule control over T cell therapeutic functions while still retaining antigen specificity. In these split receptors, antigen-binding and intracellular signaling components assemble only in the presence of a heterodimerizing small molecule. This titratable pharmacologic regulation could allow physicians to precisely control the timing, location, and dosage of T cell activity, thereby mitigating toxicity. This work illustrates the potential of combining cellular engineering with orthogonal chemical tools to yield safer therapeutic cells that tightly integrate cell-autonomous recognition and user control. PMID:26405231

  8. Targeting Mutant KRAS for Anticancer Therapeutics: A Review of Novel Small Molecule Modulators

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yuanxiang; Kaiser, Christine E.; Frett, Brendan; Li, Hong-yu

    2015-01-01

    The RAS proteins play a role in cell differentiation, proliferation, and survival. Aberrant RAS signaling has been found to play a role in 30% of all cancers. KRAS, a key member of the RAS protein family, is an attractive cancer target, as frequent point mutations in the KRAS gene render the protein constitutively active. A number of attempts have been made to target aberrant KRAS signaling by identifying small molecule compounds that (1) are synthetic lethal to mutant KRAS, (2) block KRAS/GEF interactions, (3) inhibit downstream KRAS effectors, or (4) inhibit the post-translational processing of RAS proteins. In addition, inhibition of novel targets outside the main KRAS signaling pathway, specifically the cell cycle related kinase PLK1, has been shown have an effect in cells that harbor mutant KRAS. Herein we review the use of various high-throughput screening assays utilized to identify new small-molecule compounds capable of targeting mutant KRAS-driven cancers. PMID:23566315

  9. Growth factor and small molecule influence on urological tissue regeneration utilizing cell seeded scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Arun K; Cheng, Earl Y

    2015-03-01

    Regenerative medicine strategies combine various attributes from multiple disciplines including stem cell biology, chemistry, materials science and medicine. The junction at which these disciplines intersect provides a means to address unmet medical needs in an assortment of pathologies with the goal of creating sustainable, functional replacement tissues. Tissue damage caused by trauma for example, requires rapid responses in order to mitigate further tissue deterioration. Cell/scaffold composites have been utilized to initiate and stabilize regenerative responses in vivo with the hope that functional tissue can be attained. Along with the gross reconfiguration of regenerating tissues, small molecules and growth factors also play a pivotal role in tissue regeneration. Several regenerative studies targeting a variety of urological tissues demonstrate the utility of these small molecules or growth factors in an in vivo setting. PMID:25446138

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

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Jia; Gan, Jianhua; Huang, Zhen

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Luminescent zinc metal-organic framework (ZIF-90) for sensing metal ions, anions and small molecules.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang; Yan, Bing

    2015-09-26

    We synthesize a zinc zeolite-type metal-organic framework, the zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF-90), which exhibits an intense blue luminescence excited under visible light. Luminescent studies indicate that ZIF-90 could be an efficient multifunctional fluorescence material for high sensitivity metal ions, anions and organic small molecules, especially for Cd(2+), Cu(2+), CrO4(2-) and acetone. The luminescence intensity of ZIF-90 increases with the concentration of Cd(2+) and decreases proportionally with the concentration of Cu(2+), while the same quenched experimental phenomena appear in the sensing of CrO4(2-). With the increase of the amount of acetone, the luminescence intensity decreases gradually in the emulsions of ZIF-90. The mechanism of the sensing properties is studied in detail as well. This study shows that ZIF-90 could be a useful luminescent sensor for metal ions, anions and organic small molecules. PMID:26123790

  12. Structure based approaches for targeting non-coding RNAs with small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Shortridge, Matthew D.; Varani, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    The increasing appreciation of the central role of non-coding RNAs (miRNAs and long non coding RNAs) in chronic and degenerative human disease makes them attractive therapeutic targets. This would not be unprecedented: the bacterial ribosomal RNA is a mainstay for antibacterial treatment, while the conservation and functional importance of viral RNA regulatory elements has long suggested they would constitute attractive targets for new antivirals. Oligonucleotide-based chemistry has obvious appeals but also considerable pharmacological limitations that are yet to be addressed satisfactorily. Recent studies identifying small molecules targeting non-coding RNAs may provide an alternative approach to oligonucleotide methods. Here we review recent work investigating new structural and chemical principles for targeting RNA with small molecules. PMID:25687935

  13. Small-Molecule Library Synthesis on Silicon-Functionalized SynPhase Lanterns

    PubMed Central

    Duvall, Jeremy R.; Vrcic, Anita; Marcaurelle, Lisa A.

    2011-01-01

    Silicon-functionalized SynPhase Lanterns are useful for the combinatorial synthesis of small-molecule libraries. Lanterns bearing an alkyl tethered diisopropylarylsilane are first activated with triflic acid to afford the corresponding diisopropylsilyl triflate, which is then reacted with a library scaffold bearing a free alcohol. Once the scaffold has been loaded onto the solid phase, a variety of transformations can be run, including amine cappings, cross-coupling reactions and amide bond formation. These reactions can yield a variety of products when run sequentially using split-pool synthesis strategies. Upon completion of the solid-phase transformations, the small-molecules are released from the Lanterns using HF/pyridine. Using the techniques described within, libraries can be made ranging from a few compounds to >10,000 members in a highly efficient manner. PMID:22679566

  14. Remote control of therapeutic T cells through a small molecule-gated chimeric receptor

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chia-Yung; Roybal, Kole T.; Puchner, Elias M.; Onuffer, James; Lim, Wendell A.

    2016-01-01

    There is growing promise in using engineered cells as therapeutic agents. For example, synthetic Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) can redirect T cells to recognize and eliminate tumor cells expressing specific antigens. Despite promising clinical results, excessive activity and poor control over such engineered T cells can cause severe toxicities. We present the design of “ON-switch” CARs that enable small molecule-control over T cell therapeutic functions, while still retaining antigen specificity. In these split receptors, antigen binding and intracellular signaling components only assemble in the presence of a heterodimerizing small molecule. This titratable pharmacologic regulation could allow physicians to precisely control the timing, location, and dosage of T cell activity, thereby mitigating toxicity. This work illustrates the potential of combining cellular engineering with orthogonal chemical tools to yield safer therapeutic cells that tightly integrate both cell autonomous recognition and user control. PMID:26405231

  15. Approaches to Validate and Manipulate RNA Targets with Small Molecules in Cells.

    PubMed

    Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-01-01

    RNA has become an increasingly important target for therapeutic interventions and for chemical probes that dissect and manipulate its cellular function. Emerging targets include human RNAs that have been shown to directly cause cancer, metabolic disorders, and genetic disease. In this review, we describe various routes to obtain bioactive compounds that target RNA, with a particular emphasis on the development of small molecules. We use these cases to describe approaches that are being developed for target validation, which include target-directed cleavage, classic pull-down experiments, and covalent cross-linking. Thus, tools are available to design small molecules to target RNA and to identify the cellular RNAs that are their targets. PMID:26514201

  16. Small-molecule-mediated G-quadruplex isolation from human cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Sebastian; Kumari, Sunita; Rodriguez, Raphaël; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2010-12-01

    Nucleic acids containing stretches of tandem guanines can fold into four-stranded structures called G-quadruplexes. The existence of such sequences in genomic DNA suggests the occurrence of these motifs in cells, with potential implications in a number of biological processes relevant to cancer. Small molecules have proven to be valuable tools to dissect cell circuitry. Here, we describe a synthetic small molecule derived from an N,N'-bis(2-quinolinyl)pyridine-2,6-dicarboxamide, which is designed to mediate the selective isolation of G-quadruplex nucleic acids. The methodology was successfully applied to a range of DNA and RNA G-quadruplexes in vitro. We demonstrate the general applicability of the method by isolating telomeric DNA-containing G-quadruplex motifs from cells. We show that telomeres are targets for the probe, providing further evidence of the formation of G-quadruplexes in human cells.

  17. Self-assembled nanoparticle of common food constituents that carries a sparingly soluble small molecule.

    PubMed

    Bhopatkar, Deepak; Feng, Tao; Chen, Feng; Zhang, Genyi; Carignano, Marcelo; Park, Sung Hyun; Zhuang, Haining; Campanella, Osvaldo H; Hamaker, Bruce R

    2015-05-01

    A previously reported nanoparticle formed through the self-assembly of common food constituents (amylose, protein, and fatty acids) was shown to have the capacity to carry a sparingly soluble small molecule (1-naphthol) in a dispersed system. Potentiometric titration showed that 1-naphthol locates in the lumen of the amylose helix of the nanoparticle. This finding was further supported by calorimetric measurements, showing higher enthalpies of dissociation and reassociation in the presence of 1-naphthol. Visually, the 1-naphthol-loaded nanoparticle appeared to be well-dispersed in aqueous solution. Molecular dynamics simulation showed that the self-assembly was favorable, and at 500 ns, the 1-naphthol molecule resided in the helix of the amylose lumen in proximity to the hydrophobic tail of the fatty acid. Thus, sparingly soluble small molecules, such as some nutraceuticals or drugs, could be incorporated and delivered by this soft nanoparticle carrier. PMID:25880884

  18. Transcriptional analysis of antiviral small molecule therapeutics as agonists of the RLR pathway

    PubMed Central

    Green, R.R.; Wilkins, C.; Pattabhi, S.; Dong, R.; Loo, Y.; Gale, M.

    2016-01-01

    The recognition of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRR) during viral infection initiates the induction of antiviral signaling pathways, including activation of the Interferon Regulator Factor 3 (IRF3). We identified small molecule compounds that activate IRF3 through MAVS, thereby inhibiting infection by viruses of the families Flaviviridae (West Nile virus, dengue virus and hepatitis C virus), Filoviridae (Ebola virus), Orthomyxoviridae (influenza A virus), Arenaviridae (Lassa virus) and Paramyxoviridae (respiratory syncytial virus, Nipah virus) (1). In this study, we tested a lead compound along with medicinal chemistry-derived analogs to compare the gene transcriptional profiles induced by these molecules to that of other known MAVS-dependent IRF3 agonists. Transcriptional analysis of these small molecules revealed the induction of specific antiviral genes and identified a novel module of host driven immune regulated genes that suppress infection of a range of RNA viruses. Microarray data can be found in Gene Expression Omnibus (GSE74047). PMID:26981429

  19. High-resolution electrohydrodynamic jet printing of small-molecule organic light-emitting diodes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kukjoo; Kim, Gyeomuk; Lee, Bo Ram; Ji, Sangyoon; Kim, So-Yun; An, Byeong Wan; Song, Myoung Hoon; Park, Jang-Ung

    2015-08-28

    The development of alternative organic light-emitting diode (OLED) fabrication technologies for high-definition and low-cost displays is an important research topic as conventional fine metal mask-assisted vacuum evaporation has reached its limit to reduce pixel sizes and manufacturing costs. Here, we report an electrohydrodynamic jet (e-jet) printing method to fabricate small-molecule OLED pixels with high resolution (pixel width of 5 μm), which significantly exceeds the resolutions of conventional inkjet or commercial OLED display pixels. In addition, we print small-molecule emitting materials which provide a significant advantage in terms of device efficiency and lifetime compared to those with polymers. PMID:26214140

  20. Probing small-molecule microarrays with tagged proteins in cell lysates.

    PubMed

    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 (SNRs). 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

  1. Progress in the development and application of small molecule inhibitors of bromodomain-acetyl-lysine interactions.

    PubMed

    Hewings, David S; Rooney, Timothy P C; Jennings, Laura E; Hay, Duncan A; Schofield, Christopher J; Brennan, Paul E; Knapp, Stefan; Conway, Stuart J

    2012-11-26

    Bromodomains, protein modules that recognize and bind to acetylated lysine, are emerging as important components of cellular machinery. These acetyl-lysine (KAc) "reader" domains are part of the write-read-erase concept that has been linked with the transfer of epigenetic information. By reading KAc marks on histones, bromodomains mediate protein-protein interactions between a diverse array of partners. There has been intense activity in developing potent and selective small molecule probes that disrupt the interaction between a given bromodomain and KAc. Rapid success has been achieved with the BET family of bromodomains, and a number of potent and selective probes have been reported. These compounds have enabled linking of the BET bromodomains with diseases, including cancer and inflammation, suggesting that bromodomains are druggable targets. Herein, we review the biology of the bromodomains and discuss the SAR for the existing small molecule probes. The biology that has been enabled by these compounds is summarized. PMID:22924434

  2. Small-Molecule Library Synthesis on Silicon-Functionalized SynPhase Lanterns.

    PubMed

    Duvall, Jeremy R; Vrcic, Anita; Marcaurelle, Lisa A

    2010-01-01

    Silicon-functionalized SynPhase Lanterns are useful for the combinatorial synthesis of small-molecule libraries. Lanterns bearing an alkyl tethered diisopropylarylsilane are first activated with triflic acid to afford the corresponding diisopropylsilyl triflate, which is then reacted with a library scaffold bearing a free alcohol. Once the scaffold has been loaded onto the solid phase, a variety of transformations can be run, including amine cappings, cross-coupling reactions and amide bond formation. These reactions can yield a variety of products when run sequentially using split-pool synthesis strategies. Upon completion of the solid-phase transformations, the small-molecules are released from the Lanterns using HF/pyridine. Using the techniques described within, libraries can be made ranging from a few compounds to >10,000 members in a highly efficient manner. PMID:22679566

  3. Transcriptional analysis of antiviral small molecule therapeutics as agonists of the RLR pathway.

    PubMed

    Green, R R; Wilkins, C; Pattabhi, S; Dong, R; Loo, Y; Gale, M

    2016-03-01

    The recognition of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRR) during viral infection initiates the induction of antiviral signaling pathways, including activation of the Interferon Regulator Factor 3 (IRF3). We identified small molecule compounds that activate IRF3 through MAVS, thereby inhibiting infection by viruses of the families Flaviviridae (West Nile virus, dengue virus and hepatitis C virus), Filoviridae (Ebola virus), Orthomyxoviridae (influenza A virus), Arenaviridae (Lassa virus) and Paramyxoviridae (respiratory syncytial virus, Nipah virus) (1). In this study, we tested a lead compound along with medicinal chemistry-derived analogs to compare the gene transcriptional profiles induced by these molecules to that of other known MAVS-dependent IRF3 agonists. Transcriptional analysis of these small molecules revealed the induction of specific antiviral genes and identified a novel module of host driven immune regulated genes that suppress infection of a range of RNA viruses. Microarray data can be found in Gene Expression Omnibus (GSE74047). PMID:26981429

  4. Identification of small-molecule HSF1 amplifiers by high content screening in protection of cells from stress induced injury.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bin; Au, Qingyan; Yoon, Il Sang; Tremblay, Marie-Helene; Yip, Gary; Zhou, Yuefen; Barber, Jack R; Ng, Shi Chung

    2009-12-18

    Small molecule amplifiers of heat shock response have shown promising results in rescuing stress related injury through chaperone amplification. Herein, we report the results of a high content target-based primary screening of several known bioactive libraries. Screening resulted in the identification of three potent gedunin derivatives and a sappanone A derivative. Western blot results confirmed compound-induced activation of HSF1 and increased expression level of HSP70. These compounds rescued cells from cell death caused by proteasome inhibitor MG-132 and RNAi knockdown of HSF1 significantly reversed the cytoprotective effects, confirming an HSF1-dependent mechanism of action. These HSF1 amplifiers were tested in two mammalian cell based models of Huntington's disease (HD) and found to improve survival. Therefore, these screening hits may have therapeutic potential for HD and possibly other protein conformational disorders. PMID:19852939

  5. Nanocarrier-based co-delivery of small molecules and siRNA/miRNA for treatment of cancer.

    PubMed

    Chitkara, Deepak; Singh, Saurabh; Mittal, Anupama

    2016-04-01

    Aberrant gene expression can trigger several vital molecular events that not only result in carcinogenesis but also cause chemoresistance, metastasis and relapse. Gene-based therapies using siRNA/miRNA have been suggested as new treatment method to improve the current regimen. Although these agents can restore the normal molecular cascade thereby resensitizing the cancer cells, delivering a standard regimen (either subsequently or simultaneously) is necessary to achieve the therapeutic benefit. However, co-delivery using a single carrier could give an additional advantage of similar biodistribution profile of the loaded agents. While much research has been carried out in this field in recent years, challenges involved in designing combination formulations including efficient coloading, stability, appropriate biodistribution and target specificity have hampered their clinical translation. This article highlights current aspects of nano-carriers used for co-delivery of small molecules and genes to treat cancer. PMID:27010986

  6. A Novel Small-molecule Tumor Necrosis Factor α Inhibitor Attenuates Inflammation in a Hepatitis Mouse Model*

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Li; Gong, Haiyan; Zhu, Haiyan; Ji, Qing; Su, Pei; Liu, Peng; Cao, Shannan; Yao, Jianfeng; Jiang, Linlin; Han, Mingzhe; Ma, Xiaotong; Xiong, Dongsheng; Luo, Hongbo R.; Wang, Fei; Zhou, Jiaxi; Xu, Yuanfu

    2014-01-01

    Overexpression of tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) is a hallmark of many inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and septic shock and hepatitis, making it a potential therapeutic target for clinical interventions. To explore chemical inhibitors against TNFα activity, we applied computer-aided drug design combined with in vitro and cell-based assays and identified a lead chemical compound, (E)-4-(2-(4-chloro-3-nitrophenyl) (named as C87 thereafter), which directly binds to TNFα, potently inhibits TNFα-induced cytotoxicity (IC50 = 8.73 μm) and effectively blocks TNFα-triggered signaling activities. Furthermore, by using a murine acute hepatitis model, we showed that C87 attenuates TNFα-induced inflammation, thereby markedly reducing injuries to the liver and improving animal survival. Thus, our results lead to a novel and highly specific small-molecule TNFα inhibitor, which can be potentially used to treat TNFα-mediated inflammatory diseases. PMID:24634219

  7. Mass amplifying probe for sensitive fluorescence anisotropy detection of small molecules in complex biological samples.

    PubMed

    Cui, Liang; Zou, Yuan; Lin, Ninghang; Zhu, Zhi; Jenkins, Gareth; Yang, Chaoyong James

    2012-07-01

    Fluorescence anisotropy (FA) is a reliable and excellent choice for fluorescence sensing. One of the key factors influencing the FA value for any molecule is the molar mass of the molecule being measured. As a result, the FA method with functional nucleic acid aptamers has been limited to macromolecules such as proteins and is generally not applicable for the analysis of small molecules because their molecular masses are relatively too small to produce observable FA value changes. We report here a molecular mass amplifying strategy to construct anisotropy aptamer probes for small molecules. The probe is designed in such a way that only when a target molecule binds to the probe does it activate its binding ability to an anisotropy amplifier (a high molecular mass molecule such as protein), thus significantly increasing the molecular mass and FA value of the probe/target complex. Specifically, a mass amplifying probe (MAP) consists of a targeting aptamer domain against a target molecule and molecular mass amplifying aptamer domain for the amplifier protein. The probe is initially rendered inactive by a small blocking strand partially complementary to both target aptamer and amplifier protein aptamer so that the mass amplifying aptamer domain would not bind to the amplifier protein unless the probe has been activated by the target. In this way, we prepared two probes that constitute a target (ATP and cocaine respectively) aptamer, a thrombin (as the mass amplifier) aptamer, and a fluorophore. Both probes worked well against their corresponding small molecule targets, and the detection limits for ATP and cocaine were 0.5 μM and 0.8 μM, respectively. More importantly, because FA is less affected by environmental interferences, ATP in cell media and cocaine in urine were directly detected without any tedious sample pretreatment. Our results established that our molecular mass amplifying strategy can be used to design aptamer probes for rapid, sensitive, and selective

  8. Water and Small-Molecule Permeation of Dormant Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Cermak, Nathan; Feijó Delgado, Francisco; Setlow, Barbara; Setlow, Peter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT We use a suspended microchannel resonator to characterize the water and small-molecule permeability of Bacillus subtilis spores based on spores' buoyant mass in different solutions. Consistent with previous results, we found that the spore coat is not a significant barrier to small molecules, and the extent to which small molecules may enter the spore is size dependent. We have developed a method to directly observe the exchange kinetics of intraspore water with deuterium oxide, and we applied this method to wild-type spores and a panel of congenic mutants with deficiencies in the assembly or structure of the coat. Compared to wild-type spores, which exchange in approximately 1 s, several coat mutant spores were found to have relatively high water permeability with exchange times below the ∼200-ms temporal resolution of our assay. In addition, we found that the water permeability of the spore correlates with the ability of spores to germinate with dodecylamine and with the ability of TbCl3 to inhibit germination with l-valine. These results suggest that the structure of the coat may be necessary for maintaining low water permeability. IMPORTANCE Spores of Bacillus species cause food spoilage and disease and are extremely resistant to standard decontamination methods. This hardiness is partly due to spores' extremely low permeability to chemicals, including water. We present a method to directly monitor the uptake of molecules into B. subtilis spores by weighing spores in fluid. The results demonstrate the exchange of core water with subsecond resolution and show a correlation between water permeability and the rate at which small molecules can initiate or inhibit germination in coat-damaged spores. The ability to directly measure the uptake of molecules in the context of spores with known structural or genetic deficiencies is expected to provide insight into the determinants of spores' extreme resistance. PMID:26483518

  9. Transportable, Chemical Genetic Methodology for the Small Molecule-Mediated Inhibition of Heat Shock Factor 1

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Christopher L.; Dewal, Mahender B.; Nekongo, Emmanuel E.; Santiago, Sebasthian; Lu, Nancy B.; Levine, Stuart S.; Shoulders, Matthew D.

    2016-01-01

    Proteostasis in the cytosol is governed by the heat shock response. The master regulator of the heat shock response, heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), and key chaperones whose levels are HSF1-regulated have emerged as high-profile targets for therapeutic applications ranging from protein misfolding-related disorders to cancer. Nonetheless, a generally applicable methodology to selectively and potently inhibit endogenous HSF1 in a small molecule-dependent manner in disease model systems remains elusive. Also problematic, the administration of even highly selective chaperone inhibitors often has the side effect of activating HSF1 and thereby inducing a compensatory heat shock response. Herein, we report a ligand-regulatable, dominant negative version of HSF1 that addresses these issues. Our approach, which required engineering a new dominant negative HSF1 variant, permits doseable inhibition of endogenous HSF1 with a selective small molecule in cell-based model systems of interest. The methodology allows us to uncouple the pleiotropic effects of chaperone inhibitors and environmental toxins from the concomitantly induced compensatory heat shock response. Integration of our method with techniques to activate HSF1 enables the creation of cell lines in which the cytosolic proteostasis network can be up- or down-regulated by orthogonal small molecules. Selective, small molecule-mediated inhibition of HSF1 has distinctive implications for the proteostasis of both chaperone-dependent globular proteins and aggregation-prone intrinsically disordered proteins. Altogether, this work provides critical methods for continued exploration of the biological roles of HSF1 and the therapeutic potential of heat shock response modulation. PMID:26502114

  10. Induction of sensory neurons from neuroepithelial stem cells by the ISX9 small molecule

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Rouknuddin Qasim; Blomberg, Evelina; Falk, Anna; Ährlund-Richter, Lars; Ulfendahl, Mats

    2016-01-01

    Hearing impairment most often involves loss of sensory hair cells and auditory neurons. As this loss is permanent in humans, a cell therapy approach has been suggested to replace damaged cells. It is thus of interest to generate lineage restricted progenitor cells appropriate for cell based therapies. Human long-term self-renewing neuroepithelial stem (lt-NES) cell lines exhibit in vitro a developmental potency to differentiate into CNS neural lineages, and importantly lack this potency in vivo, i.e do not form teratomas. Small-molecules-driven differentiation is today an established route obtain specific cell derivatives from stem cells. In this study, we have investigated the effects of three small molecules SB431542, ISX9 and Metformin to direct differentiation of lt-NES cells into sensory neurons. Exposure of lt-NES cells to Metformin or SB431542 did not induce any marked induction of markers for sensory neurons. However, a four days exposure to the ISX9 small molecule resulted in reduced expression of NeuroD1 mRNA as well as enhanced mRNA levels of GATA3, a marker and important player in auditory neuron specification and development. Subsequent culture in the presence of the neurotrophic factors BDNF and NT3 for another seven days yielded a further increase of mRNA expression for GATA3. This regimen resulted in a frequency of up to 25-30% of cells staining positive for Brn3a/Tuj1. We conclude that an approach with ISX9 small molecule induction of lt-NES cells into auditory like neurons may thus be an attractive route for obtaining safe cell replacement therapy of sensorineural hearing loss. PMID:27335699

  11. Identification of small molecule binding sites within proteins using phage display technology.

    SciTech Connect

    Rodi, D. J.; Agoston, G. E.; Manon, R.; Lapcevich, R.; Green, S. J.; Makowski, L.; Biosciences Division; EntreMed Inc.; Florida State Univ.

    2001-11-01

    Affinity selection of peptides displayed on phage particles was used as the basis for mapping molecular contacts between small molecule ligands and their protein targets. Analysis of the crystal structures of complexes between proteins and small molecule ligands revealed that virtually all ligands of molecular weight 300 Da or greater have a continuous binding epitope of 5 residues or more. This observation led to the development of a technique for binding site identification which involves statistical analysis of an affinity-selected set of peptides obtained by screening of libraries of random, phage-displayed peptides against small molecules attached to solid surfaces. A random sample of the selected peptides is sequenced and used as input for a similarity scanning program which calculates cumulative similarity scores along the length of the putative receptor. Regions of the protein sequence exhibiting the highest similarity with the selected peptides proved to have a high probability of being involved in ligand binding. This technique has been employed successfully to map the contact residues in multiple known targets of the anticancer drugs paclitaxel (Taxol), docetaxel (Taxotere) and 2-methoxyestradiol and the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan, and to identify a novel paclitaxel receptor [1]. These data corroborate the observation that the binding properties of peptides displayed on the surface of phage particles can mimic the binding properties of peptides in naturally occurring proteins. It follows directly that structural context is relatively unimportant for determining the binding properties of these disordered peptides. This technique represents a novel, rapid, high resolution method for identifying potential ligand binding sites in the absence of three-dimensional information and has the potential to greatly enhance the speed of development of novel small molecule pharmaceuticals.

  12. DEPTH: a web server to compute depth and predict small-molecule binding cavities in proteins.

    PubMed

    Tan, Kuan Pern; Varadarajan, Raghavan; Madhusudhan, M S

    2011-07-01

    Depth measures the extent of atom/residue burial within a protein. It correlates with properties such as protein stability, hydrogen exchange rate, protein-protein interaction hot spots, post-translational modification sites and sequence variability. Our server, DEPTH, accurately computes depth and solvent-accessible surface area (SASA) values. We show that depth can be used to predict small molecule ligand binding cavities in proteins. Often, some of the residues lining a ligand binding cavity are both deep and solvent exposed. Using the depth-SASA pair values for a residue, its likelihood to form part of a small molecule binding cavity is estimated. The parameters of the method were calibrated over a training set of 900 high-resolution X-ray crystal structures of single-domain proteins bound to small molecules (molecular weight <1.5  KDa). The prediction accuracy of DEPTH is comparable to that of other geometry-based prediction methods including LIGSITE, SURFNET and Pocket-Finder (all with Matthew's correlation coefficient of ∼0.4) over a testing set of 225 single and multi-chain protein structures. Users have the option of tuning several parameters to detect cavities of different sizes, for example, geometrically flat binding sites. The input to the server is a protein 3D structure in PDB format. The users have the option of tuning the values of four parameters associated with the computation of residue depth and the prediction of binding cavities. The computed depths, SASA and binding cavity predictions are displayed in 2D plots and mapped onto 3D representations of the protein structure using Jmol. Links are provided to download the outputs. Our server is useful for all structural analysis based on residue depth and SASA, such as guiding site-directed mutagenesis experiments and small molecule docking exercises, in the context of protein functional annotation and drug discovery. PMID:21576233

  13. Small molecule detection by lateral flow strips via aptamer-gated silica nanoprobes.

    PubMed

    Özalp, V Cengiz; Çam, Dilek; Hernandez, Frank J; Hernandez, Luiza I; Schäfer, Thomas; Öktem, Hüseyin A

    2016-04-21

    A fast, sensitive and ratiometric biosensor strategy for small molecule detection was developed through nanopore actuation. The new platform engineers together, a highly selective molecular recognition element, aptamers, and a novel signal amplification mechanism, gated nanopores. As a proof of concept, aptamer gated silica nanoparticles have been successfully used as a sensing platform for the detection of ATP concentrations at a wide linear range from 100 μM up to 2 mM. PMID:27041474

  14. Controlled self-assembly of small molecule probes and the related applications in bioanalysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yongxin; Zhou, Huipeng; Chen, Jian; Shahzad, Sohail Anjum; Yu, Cong

    2016-02-15

    Fluorescence spectroscopy is widely used in basic research, disease diagnosis, environmental monitoring, and the development of novel bioanalytical techniques. We mainly focus on the changes in fluorescence signal originated from the controlled self-assembly of small molecule probes, including aggregation caused quenching, aggregation induced emission, controlled turn-on of probe monomer emission, and the tunable monomer-excimer transition. Recent developments in the related bioanalytical techniques have been reviewed. PMID:26188711

  15. Targeting of the MYCN Protein with Small Molecule c-MYC Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Inga; Larsson, Karin; Frenzel, Anna; Oliynyk, Ganna; Zirath, Hanna; Prochownik, Edward V.; Westwood, Nicholas J.; Henriksson, Marie Arsenian

    2014-01-01

    Members of the MYC family are the most frequently deregulated oncogenes in human cancer and are often correlated with aggressive disease and/or poorly differentiated tumors. Since patients with MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma have a poor prognosis, targeting MYCN using small molecule inhibitors could represent a promising therapeutic approach. We have previously demonstrated that the small molecule 10058-F4, known to bind to the c-MYC bHLHZip dimerization domain and inhibiting the c-MYC/MAX interaction, also interferes with the MYCN/MAX dimerization in vitro and imparts anti-tumorigenic effects in neuroblastoma tumor models with MYCN overexpression. Our previous work also revealed that MYCN-inhibition leads to mitochondrial dysfunction resulting in accumulation of lipid droplets in neuroblastoma cells. To expand our understanding of how small molecules interfere with MYCN, we have now analyzed the direct binding of 10058-F4, as well as three of its analogs; #474, #764 and 10058-F4(7RH), one metabolite C-m/z 232, and a structurally unrelated c-MYC inhibitor 10074-G5, to the bHLHZip domain of MYCN. We also assessed their ability to induce apoptosis, neurite outgrowth and lipid accumulation in neuroblastoma cells. Interestingly, all c-MYC binding molecules tested also bind MYCN as assayed by surface plasmon resonance. Using a proximity ligation assay, we found reduced interaction between MYCN and MAX after treatment with all molecules except for the 10058-F4 metabolite C-m/z 232 and the non-binder 10058-F4(7RH). Importantly, 10074-G5 and 10058-F4 were the most efficient in inducing neuronal differentiation and lipid accumulation in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells. Together our data demonstrate MYCN-binding properties for a selection of small molecules, and provide functional information that could be of importance for future development of targeted therapies against MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma. PMID:24859015

  16. CSM-lig: a web server for assessing and comparing protein-small molecule affinities.

    PubMed

    Pires, Douglas E V; Ascher, David B

    2016-07-01

    Determining the affinity of a ligand for a given protein is a crucial component of drug development and understanding their biological effects. Predicting binding affinities is a challenging and difficult task, and despite being regarded as poorly predictive, scoring functions play an important role in the analysis of molecular docking results. Here, we present CSM-Lig (http://structure.bioc.cam.ac.uk/csm_lig), a web server tailored to predict the binding affinity of a protein-small molecule complex, encompassing both protein and small-molecule complementarity in terms of shape and chemistry via graph-based structural signatures. CSM-Lig was trained and evaluated on different releases of the PDBbind databases, achieving a correlation of up to 0.86 on 10-fold cross validation and 0.80 in blind tests, performing as well as or better than other widely used methods. The web server allows users to rapidly and automatically predict binding affinities of collections of structures and assess the interactions made. We believe CSM-lig would be an invaluable tool for helping assess docking poses, the effects of multiple mutations, including insertions, deletions and alternative splicing events, in protein-small molecule affinity, unraveling important aspects that drive protein-compound recognition. PMID:27151202

  17. Identification of a small molecule that stabilizes lipoprotein lipase in vitro and lowers triglycerides in vivo.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Mikael; Caraballo, Rémi; Ericsson, Madelene; Lookene, Aivar; Enquist, Per-Anders; Elofsson, Mikael; Nilsson, Stefan K; Olivecrona, Gunilla

    2014-07-25

    Patients at increased cardiovascular risk commonly display high levels of plasma triglycerides (TGs), elevated LDL cholesterol, small dense LDL particles and low levels of HDL-cholesterol. Many remain at high risk even after successful statin therapy, presumably because TG levels remain high. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) maintains TG homeostasis in blood by hydrolysis of TG-rich lipoproteins. Efficient clearance of TGs is accompanied by increased levels of HDL-cholesterol and decreased levels of small dense LDL. Given the central role of LPL in lipid metabolism we sought to find small molecules that could increase LPL activity and serve as starting points for drug development efforts against cardiovascular disease. Using a small molecule screening approach we have identified small molecules that can protect LPL from inactivation by the controller protein angiopoietin-like protein 4 during incubations in vitro. One of the selected compounds, 50F10, was directly shown to preserve the active homodimer structure of LPL, as demonstrated by heparin-Sepharose chromatography. On injection to hypertriglyceridemic apolipoprotein A-V deficient mice the compound ameliorated the postprandial response after an olive oil gavage. This is a potential lead compound for the development of drugs that could reduce the residual risk associated with elevated plasma TGs in dyslipidemia. PMID:24984153

  18. Rapid Discovery of Functional Small Molecule Ligands against Proteomic Targets through Library-Against-Library Screening.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chun-Yi; Wang, Don-Hong; Wang, Xiaobing; Dixon, Seth M; Meng, Liping; Ahadi, Sara; Enter, Daniel H; Chen, Chao-Yu; Kato, Jason; Leon, Leonardo J; Ramirez, Laura M; Maeda, Yoshiko; Reis, Carolina F; Ribeiro, Brianna; Weems, Brittany; Kung, Hsing-Jien; Lam, Kit S

    2016-06-13

    Identifying "druggable" targets and their corresponding therapeutic agents are two fundamental challenges in drug discovery research. The one-bead-one-compound (OBOC) combinatorial library method has been developed to discover peptides or small molecules that bind to a specific target protein or elicit a specific cellular response. The phage display cDNA expression proteome library method has been employed to identify target proteins that interact with specific compounds. Here, we combined these two high-throughput approaches, efficiently interrogated approximately 10(13) possible molecular interactions, and identified 91 small molecule compound beads that interacted strongly with the phage library. Of 19 compounds resynthesized, 4 were cytotoxic against cancer cells; one of these compounds was found to interact with EIF5B and inhibit protein translation. As more binding pairs are confirmed and evaluated, the "library-against-library" screening approach and the resulting small molecule-protein domain interaction database may serve as a valuable tool for basic research and drug development. PMID:27053324

  19. Suppression of the FOXM1 transcriptional program via novel small molecule inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Gormally, Michael V.; Dexheimer, Thomas S.; Marsico, Giovanni; Sanders, Deborah A.; Lowe, Christopher; Matak-Vinkovi, Dijana; Michael, Sam; Jadhav, Ajit; Rai, Ganesha; Maloney, David J.; Simeonov, Anton; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factor FOXM1 binds to sequence-specific motifs on DNA (C/TAAACA) through its DNA binding domain (DBD), and activates proliferation- and differentiation-associated genes. Aberrant overexpression of FOXM1 is a key feature in oncogenesis and progression of many human cancers. Here — from a high-throughput screen applied to a library of 54,211 small molecules — we identify novel small molecule inhibitors of FOXM1 that block DNA binding. One of the identified compounds: FDI-6 (NCGC00099374) is characterized in depth and is shown to bind directly to FOXM1 protein, to displace FOXM1 from genomic targets in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, and induce concomitant transcriptional down-regulation. Global transcript profiling of MCF-7 cells by RNA-seq shows that FDI-6 specifically down regulates FOXM1-activated genes with FOXM1 occupancy confirmed by ChIP-seq. This small molecule mediated effect is selective for FOXM1-controlled genes with no effect on genes regulated by homologous forkhead family factors. PMID:25387393

  20. New small-molecule drug design strategies for fighting resistant influenza A

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Zuyuan; Lou, Kaiyan; Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Influenza A virus is the major cause of seasonal or pandemic flu worldwide. Two main treatment strategies–vaccination and small molecule anti-influenza drugs are currently available. As an effective vaccine usually takes at least 6 months to develop, anti-influenza small molecule drugs are more effective for the first line of protection against the virus during an epidemic outbreak, especially in the early stage. Two major classes of anti-influenza drugs currently available are admantane-based M2 protein blockers (amantadine and rimantadine) and neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir). However, the continuous evolvement of influenza A virus and the rapid emergence of resistance to current drugs, particularly to amantadine, rimantadine, and oseltamivir, have raised an urgent need for developing new anti-influenza drugs against resistant forms of influenza A virus. In this review, we first give a brief introduction of the molecular mechanisms behind resistance, and then discuss new strategies in small-molecule drug development to overcome influenza A virus resistance targeting mutant M2 proteins and neuraminidases, and other viral proteins not associated with current drugs. PMID:26579472