Tonge, Peter J
The development of therapies for the treatment of neurological cancer faces a number of major challenges including the synthesis of small molecule agents that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Given the likelihood that in many cases drug exposure will be lower in the CNS than in systemic circulation, it follows that strategies should be employed that can sustain target engagement at low drug concentration. Time dependent target occupancy is a function of both the drug and target concentration as well as the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters that describe the binding reaction coordinate, and sustained target occupancy can be achieved through structural modifications that increase target (re)binding and/or that decrease the rate of drug dissociation. The discovery and deployment of compounds with optimized kinetic effects requires information on the structure-kinetic relationships that modulate the kinetics of binding, and the molecular factors that control the translation of drug-target kinetics to time-dependent drug activity in the disease state. This Review first introduces the potential benefits of drug-target kinetics, such as the ability to delineate both thermodynamic and kinetic selectivity, and then describes factors, such as target vulnerability, that impact the utility of kinetic selectivity. The Review concludes with a description of a mechanistic PK/PD model that integrates drug-target kinetics into predictions of drug activity.
Frearson, Julie A; Wyatt, Paul G; Gilbert, Ian H; Fairlamb, Alan H
Drug discovery is a high-risk, expensive and lengthy process taking at least 12 years and costing upwards of US$500 million per drug to reach the clinic. For neglected diseases, the drug discovery process is driven by medical need and guided by pre-defined target product profiles. Assessment and prioritisation of the most promising targets for entry into screening programmes is crucial for maximising the chances of success. Here, we describe criteria used in our drug discovery unit for target assessment and introduce the 'traffic-light' system as a prioritisation and management tool. We hope this brief review will stimulate basic scientists to acquire additional information necessary for drug discovery.
Balganesh, T S; Furr, B J A
Selection of appropriate targets for launching antituberculosis drug discovery programmes is challenging. This challenge is magnified by the limited repertoire of 'validated targets' and the paucity of clinically successful drugs. However, continued understanding of the biology of the microbe and its interaction with the host has enabled detailed evaluation of several interesting pathways and novel targets. The value of a target that is suitable for antituberculosis drug discovery needs to be defined not only in the context of its 'essentiality' for survival in vitro but also against a variety of properties relevant to activities in the drug discovery process, e.g.; selectivity, vulnerability, suitability for structural studies, ability to monitor inhibition in whole cells etc. It is also rarely feasible to obtain all the relevant information on the target prior to the launch of a discovery programme. Thus, there is a continuous confidence-building exercise on the validity of a target. Several novel approaches have enabled exploitation of the mycobacterial genome and prioritisation of putative targets; the concept of 'sterilisation' is now being evaluated not only through the availability of structurally diverse probe compounds but also by the ability to characterise metabolic pathways in vivo. The impact of the current knowledge base on the different facets of 'target validation' relevant to antituberculosis drug discovery is discussed in this article with emphasis on developing appropriate matrix systems to prioritise them. The article also discusses the influence of lead generation approaches with specific reference to antibacterial drug discovery.
Scott, Latanya. M.; Lawrence, Harshani. R.; Sebti, Saïd. M.; Lawrence, Nicholas. J.; Wu, Jie.
Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are a diverse family of enzymes encoded by 107 genes in the human genome. Together with protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs), PTPs regulate various cellular activities essential for the initiation and maintenance of malignant phenotypes. While PTK inhibitors are now used routinely for cancer treatment, the PTP inhibitor development field is still in the discovery phase. In this article, the suitability of targeting PTPs for novel anticancer drug discovery is discussed. Examples are presented for PTPs that have been targeted for anticancer drug discovery as well as potential new PTP targets for novel anticancer drug discovery. PMID:20337577
Tian, Hai-Feng; Chen, Bing; Wen, Jian-Fan
Giardiasis is a worldwide parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia in humans and other animals, especially live stocks. Here, we briefly review the current state of therapeutic availability for giardiasis, including chemical drugs and vaccines, and the dilemma in the prevention and treatment of this disease, including the emergence of drug resistance and the shortage of vaccine (especially for humans). Future efforts and progress in controlling giardiasis are expected in three aspects: clarification of the drug resistance mechanisms, development of efficient vaccines, and identification of more targets for new drugs and vaccines.
Frigeri, Antonio; Nicchia, Grazia Paola; Svelto, Maria
The intracellular hydric balance is an essential process of mammalian cells. The water movement across cell membranes is driven by osmotic and hydrostatic forces and the speed of this process is dependent on the presence of specific aquaporin water channels. Since the molecular identification of the first water channel, AQP1, by Peter Agre's group, 13 homologous members have been found in mammals with varying degree of homology. The fundamental importance of these proteins in all living cells is suggested by their genetic conservation in eukaryotic organisms through plants to mammals. A number of recent studies have revealed the importance of mammalian AQPs in both physiology and pathophysiology and have suggested that pharmacological modulation of aquaporins expression and activity may provide new tools for the treatment of variety of human disorders, such as brain edema, glaucoma, tumour growth, congestive heart failure and obesity in which water and small solute transport may be involved. This review will highlight the physiological role and the pathological involvement of AQPs in mammals and the potential use of some recent therapeutic approaches, such as RNAi and immunotherapy, for AQP-related diseases. Furthermore, strategies that can be developed for the discovery of selective AQP-drugs will be introduced and discussed.
The advances of genomics, sequencing, and high throughput technologies have led to the creation of large volumes of diverse datasets for drug discovery. Analyzing these datasets to better understand disease and discover new drugs is becoming more common. Recent open data initiatives in basic and clinical research have dramatically increased the types of data available to the public. The past few years have witnessed successful use of big data in many sectors across the whole drug discovery pipeline. In this review, we will highlight the state of the art in leveraging big data to identify new targets, drug indications, and drug response biomarkers in this era of precision medicine. PMID:26659699
Kang, Byoung Heon; Altieri, Dario C.
There is a plethora of attractive drug targets in cancer, but their therapeutic exploitation proved more difficult than expected, and only rarely truly successful. One possibility not often considered in drug discovery is that cancer signaling pathways are not randomly arranged in cells, but orchestrated in specialized subcellular compartments. The identification of Heat Shock Protein-90 (Hsp90) chaperones in mitochondria of tumors, but not most normal tissues, provides an example of a compartmentalized network of cell survival, opening fresh prospects for novel, subcellularly-targeted cancer drug discovery. PMID:19648961
Studies of two antibodies, efalizumab and natalizumab, have recently demonstrated that the blockade of leukocyte migration is of therapeutic benefit for the treatment of diseases such as psoriasis and multiple sclerosis. The role of chemokines in the control of cell traffic led to their receptors being considered one of the most promising family of targets aimed at disrupting cell recruitment in chronic inflammatory processes. Choosing the appropriate chemokine receptor for each disease was not easy, and the interpretation of target validation studies proved to be extremely difficult. Despite an intense effort in the search for chemokine receptor antagonists in the last decade, no compounds in advanced clinical trials exist as such. The inherent complexity of the family, the differences between the chemokine system in mice and men, and the species selectivity of small-molecule compounds could account for this fact. Pharmaceutical companies still believe in chemokine receptors as therapeutic targets, as demonstrated by the number of compounds reported to be in development. In the next years, the developmental progression of these compounds will reveal which target within the chemokine family is of real therapeutic value.
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA, 1-radyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-phosphate) is the prototype member of a family of lipid mediators and second messengers. LPA and its naturally occurring analogues interact with G protein-coupled receptors on the cell surface and a nuclear hormone receptor within the cell. In addition, there are several enzymes that utilize LPA as a substrate or generate it as a product and are under its regulatory control. LPA is present in biological fluids, and attempts have been made to link changes in its concentration and molecular composition to specific disease conditions. Through their many targets, members of the LPA family regulate cell survival, apoptosis, motility, shape, differentiation, gene transcription, malignant transformation and more. The present review depicts arbitrary aspects of the physiological and pathophysiological actions of LPA and attempts to link them with select targets. Many of us are now convinced that therapies targeting LPA biosynthesis and signalling are feasible for the treatment of devastating human diseases such as cancer, fibrosis and degenerative conditions. However, successful targeting of the pathways associated with this pleiotropic lipid will depend on the future development of as yet undeveloped pharmacons. PMID:20735414
Foulks, Jason M; Parnell, K Mark; Nix, Rebecca N; Chau, Suzanna; Swierczek, Krzysztof; Saunders, Michael; Wright, Kevin; Hendrickson, Thomas F; Ho, Koc-Kan; McCullar, Michael V; Kanner, Steven B
Epigenetic modification of DNA leads to changes in gene expression. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) comprise a family of nuclear enzymes that catalyze the methylation of CpG dinucleotides, resulting in an epigenetic methylome distinguished between normal cells and those in disease states such as cancer. Disrupting gene expression patterns through promoter methylation has been implicated in many malignancies and supports DNMTs as attractive therapeutic targets. This review focuses on the rationale of targeting DNMTs in cancer, the historical approach to DNMT inhibition, and current marketed hypomethylating therapeutics azacytidine and decitabine. In addition, we address novel DNMT inhibitory agents emerging in development, including CP-4200 and SGI-110, analogs of azacytidine and decitabine, respectively; the oligonucleotides MG98 and miR29a; and a number of reversible inhibitors, some of which appear to be selective against particular DNMT isoforms. Finally, we discuss future opportunities and challenges for next-generation therapeutics.
De Backer, Marianne D; Van Dijck, Patrick
Antifungal drug discovery is starting to benefit from the enormous advances in the genomics field, which have occurred in the past decade. As traditional drug screening on existing targets is not delivering the long-awaited potent antifungals, efforts to use novel genetics and genomics-based strategies to aid in the discovery of novel drug targets are gaining increased importance. The current paradigm in antifungal drug target discovery focuses on basically two main classes of targets to evaluate: genes essential for viability and virulence or pathogenicity factors. Here we report on recent advances in genetics and genomics-based technologies that will allow us not only to identify and validate novel fungal drug targets, but hopefully in the longer run also to discover potent novel therapeutic agents. Fungal pathogens have typically presented significant obstacles when subjected to genetics, but the creativity of scientists in the anti-infectives field and the cross-talk with scientists in other areas is now yielding exciting new tools and technologies to tackle the problem of finding potent, specific and non-toxic antifungal therapeutics.
McLachlan, Andrew J.; Quinn, Ronald J.; Simpson, Stephen J.; de Cabo, Rafael
Despite remarkable technological advances in genetics and drug screening, the discovery of new pharmacotherapies has slowed and new approaches to drug development are needed. Research into the biology of aging is generating many novel targets for drug development that may delay all age-related diseases and be used long term by the entire population. Drugs that successfully delay the aging process will clearly become “blockbusters.” To date, the most promising leads have come from studies of the cellular pathways mediating the longevity effects of caloric restriction (CR), particularly target of rapamycin and the sirtuins. Similar research into pathways governing other hormetic responses that influence aging is likely to yield even more targets. As aging becomes a more attractive target for drug development, there will be increasing demand to develop biomarkers of aging as surrogate outcomes for the testing of the effects of new agents on the aging process. PMID:21693687
Zheng, Chunli; Guo, Zihu; Huang, Chao; Wu, Ziyin; Li, Yan; Chen, Xuetong; Fu, Yingxue; Ru, Jinlong; Ali Shar, Piar; Wang, Yuan; Wang, Yonghua
A system-level identification of drug-target direct interactions is vital to drug repositioning and discovery. However, the biological means on a large scale remains challenging and expensive even nowadays. The available computational models mainly focus on predicting indirect interactions or direct interactions on a small scale. To address these problems, in this work, a novel algorithm termed weighted ensemble similarity (WES) has been developed to identify drug direct targets based on a large-scale of 98,327 drug-target relationships. WES includes: (1) identifying the key ligand structural features that are highly-related to the pharmacological properties in a framework of ensemble; (2) determining a drug’s affiliation of a target by evaluation of the overall similarity (ensemble) rather than a single ligand judgment; and (3) integrating the standardized ensemble similarities (Z score) by Bayesian network and multi-variate kernel approach to make predictions. All these lead WES to predict drug direct targets with external and experimental test accuracies of 70% and 71%, respectively. This shows that the WES method provides a potential in silico model for drug repositioning and discovery. PMID:26155766
Rylova, Gabriela; Ozdian, Tomas; Varanasi, Lakshman; Soural, Miroslav; Hlavac, Jan; Holub, Dusan; Dzubak, Petr; Hajduch, Marian
Target discovery using the molecular approach, as opposed to the more traditional systems approach requires the study of the cellular or biological process underlying a condition or disease. The approaches that are employed by the "bench" scientist may be genetic, genomic or proteomic and each has its rightful place in the drug-target discovery process. Affinity-based proteomic techniques currently used in drug-discovery draw upon several disciplines, synthetic chemistry, cell-biology, biochemistry and mass spectrometry. An important component of such techniques is the probe that is specifically designed to pick out a protein or set of proteins from amongst the varied thousands in a cell lysate. A second component, that is just as important, is liquid-chromatography tandem massspectrometry (LC-MS/MS). LC-MS/MS and the supporting theoretical framework has come of age and is the tool of choice for protein identification and quantification. These proteomic tools are critical to maintaining the drug-candidate supply, in the larger context of drug discovery.
Cromm, Philipp M; Crews, Craig M
Traditional pharmaceutical drug discovery is almost exclusively focused on directly controlling protein activity to cure diseases. Modulators of protein activity, especially inhibitors, are developed and applied at high concentration to achieve maximal effects. Thereby, reduced bioavailability and off-target effects can hamper compound efficacy. Nucleic acid-based strategies that control protein function by affecting expression have emerged as an alternative. However, metabolic stability and broad bioavailability represent development hurdles that remain to be overcome for these approaches. More recently, utilizing the cell's own protein destruction machinery for selective degradation of essential drivers of human disorders has opened up a new and exciting area of drug discovery. Small-molecule-induced proteolysis of selected substrates offers the potential of reaching beyond the limitations of the current pharmaceutical paradigm to expand the druggable target space. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Johnston, Jennifer A
The Ubiquitin Drug Discovery and Diagnostics Conference, held in Philadelphia, included topics covering the role of E3 ligases in disease. This conference report highlights selected presentations on E3-E2 ligase interactions, the SCF cyclin F ubiquitin ligase complex, and targeting HectH9 and KF-1 E3 ligases. Pharmaceutical research discussed includes E3 programs from Progenra and efforts to modulate the Parkin ligase at Elan Pharmaceuticals.
Several diseases are characterized by alterations in the molecular distribution of vascular structures, presenting the opportunity to use monoclonal antibodies for clinical therapies. This pharmaceutical strategy, often referred to as "vascular targeting", has promise in promoting the discovery and development of selective biological drugs to regulate angiogenesis-related diseases such as cancer. Various experimental approaches have been utilized to discover accessible vascular markers of health and disease at the protein level. Our group has developed a new chemical proteomics technology to identify and quantify accessible vascular proteins in normal organs and at disease sites. Our developed methodology relies on the perfusion of animal models with suitable ester derivatives of biotin, which react with the primary amine groups of proteins as soon as the molecules are attached. This presentation reports biomedical applications based on vascular targeting strategies, as well as methodologies that have been used to discover new vascular targets. The identification of antigens located in the stromal tissue of pathological blood vessels may provide attractive targets for the development of antibody drugs. This method will also provide an efficient discovery target that could lead to the development of novel antibody drugs.
Stitziel, Nathan O; Kathiresan, Sekar
Identifying appropriate molecular targets is a critical step in drug development. Despite many advantages, the traditional tools of observational epidemiology and cellular or animal models of disease can be misleading in identifying causal pathways likely to lead to successful therapeutics. Here, we review some favorable aspects of human genetics studies that have the potential to accelerate drug target discovery. These include using genetic studies to identify pathways relevant to human disease, leveraging human genetics to discern causal relationships between biomarkers and disease, and studying genetic variation in humans to predict the potential efficacy and safety of inhibitory compounds aimed at molecular targets. We present some examples taken from studies of plasma lipids and coronary artery disease to highlight how human genetics can accelerate therapeutics development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gilbert, Ian H
Target-based approaches for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) and related parasites can be a valuable route for drug discovery for these diseases. However, care needs to be taken in selection of both the actual drug target and the chemical matter that is developed. In this article, potential criteria to aid target selection are described. Then the physiochemical properties of typical oral drugs are discussed and compared to those of known anti-parasitics.
Płocinska, Renata; Korycka-Machala, Malgorzata; Plocinski, Przemyslaw; Dziadek, Jaroslaw
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is a leading infectious disease organism, causing millions of deaths each year. This serious pathogen has been greatly spread worldwide and recent years have observed an increase in the number of multi-drug resistant and totally drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains (WHO report, 2014). The danger of tuberculosis becoming an incurable disease has emphasized the need for the discovery of a new generation of antimicrobial agents. The development of novel alternative medical strategies, new drugs and the search for optimal drug targets are top priority areas of tuberculosis research. Key characteristics of mycobacteria include: slow growth, the ability to transform into a metabolically silent - latent state, intrinsic drug resistance and the relatively rapid development of acquired drug resistance. These factors make finding an ideal antituberculosis drug enormously challenging, even if it is designed to treat drug sensitive tuberculosis strains. A vast majority of canonical antibiotics including antituberculosis agents target bacterial cell wall biosynthesis or DNA/RNA processing. Novel therapeutic approaches are being tested to target mycobacterial cell division, twocomponent regulatory factors, lipid synthesis and the transition between the latent and actively growing states. This review discusses the choice of cellular targets for an antituberculosis therapy, describes putative drug targets evaluated in the recent literature and summarizes potential candidates under clinical and pre-clinical development. We focus on the key cellular process of DNA replication, as a prominent target for future antituberculosis therapy. We describe two main pathways: the biosynthesis of nucleic acids precursors - the nucleotides, and the synthesis of DNA molecules. We summarize data regarding replication associated proteins that are critical for nucleotide synthesis, initiation, unwinding and
Sotgia, Federica; Martinez-Outschoorn, Ubaldo E; Lisanti, Michael P
Recent studies in cancer metabolism directly implicate catabolic fibroblasts as a new rich source of i) energy and ii) biomass, for the growth and survival of anabolic cancer cells. Conversely, anabolic cancer cells upregulate oxidative mitochondrial metabolism, to take advantage of the abundant fibroblast fuel supply. This simple model of "metabolic-symbiosis" has now been independently validated in several different types of human cancers, including breast, ovarian, and prostate tumors. Biomarkers of metabolic-symbiosis are excellent predictors of tumor recurrence, metastasis, and drug resistance, as well as poor patient survival. New pre-clinical models of metabolic-symbiosis have been generated and they genetically validate that catabolic fibroblasts promote tumor growth and metastasis. Over 30 different stable lines of catabolic fibroblasts and >10 different lines of anabolic cancer cells have been created and are well-characterized. For example, catabolic fibroblasts harboring ATG16L1 increase tumor cell metastasis by >11.5-fold, despite the fact that genetically identical cancer cells were used. Taken together, these studies provide >40 novel validated targets, for new drug discovery and anti-cancer therapy. Since anabolic cancer cells amplify their capacity for oxidative mitochondrial metabolism, we should consider therapeutically targeting mitochondrial biogenesis and OXPHOS in epithelial cancer cells. As metabolic-symbiosis promotes drug-resistance and may represent the escape mechanism during anti-angiogenic therapy, new drugs targeting metabolic-symbiosis may also be effective in cancer patients with recurrent and advanced metastatic disease.
Sotgia, Federica; Martinez-Outschoorn, Ubaldo E.; Lisanti, Michael P.
Recent studies in cancer metabolism directly implicate catabolic fibroblasts as a new rich source of i) energy and ii) biomass, for the growth and survival of anabolic cancer cells. Conversely, anabolic cancer cells upregulate oxidative mitochondrial metabolism, to take advantage of the abundant fibroblast fuel supply. This simple model of “metabolic-symbiosis” has now been independently validated in several different types of human cancers, including breast, ovarian, and prostate tumors. Biomarkers of metabolic-symbiosis are excellent predictors of tumor recurrence, metastasis, and drug resistance, as well as poor patient survival. New pre-clinical models of metabolic-symbiosis have been generated and they genetically validate that catabolic fibroblasts promote tumor growth and metastasis. Over 30 different stable lines of catabolic fibroblasts and >10 different lines of anabolic cancer cells have been created and are well-characterized. For example, catabolic fibroblasts harboring ATG16L1 increase tumor cell metastasis by >11.5-fold, despite the fact that genetically identical cancer cells were used. Taken together, these studies provide >40 novel validated targets, for new drug discovery and anti-cancer therapy. Since anabolic cancer cells amplify their capacity for oxidative mitochondrial metabolism, we should consider therapeutically targeting mitochondrial biogenesis and OXPHOS in epithelial cancer cells. As metabolic-symbiosis promotes drug-resistance and may represent the escape mechanism during anti-angiogenic therapy, new drugs targeting metabolic-symbiosis may also be effective in cancer patients with recurrent and advanced metastatic disease. PMID:23896568
Sanyal, Gautam; Doig, Peter
The bacterial replisome is composed of a large number of enzymes, which work in exquisite coordination to accomplish chromosomal replication. Effective inhibition inside the bacterial cell of any of the 'essential' enzymes of the DNA replication pathway should be detrimental to cell survival. This review covers DNA replication enzymes that have been shown to have a potential for delivering antibacterial compounds or drug candidates including: type II topoisomerases, a clinically validated target family, and DNA ligase, which has yielded inhibitors with in vivo efficacy. A few of the 'replisome' enzymes that are structurally and functionally well characterized and have been subjects of antibacterial discovery efforts are also discussed. Identification of several essential genes in the bacterial replication pathway raised hopes that targeting these gene products would lead to novel antibacterials. However, none of these novel, single gene targets have delivered antibacterial drug candidates into clinical trials. This lack of productivity may be due to the target properties and inhibitor identification approaches employed. For DNA primase, DNA helicase and other replisome targets, with the exception of DNA ligase, the exploitation of structure for lead generation has not been tested to the same extent that it has for DNA gyrase. Utilization of structural information should be considered to augment HTS efforts and initiate fragment-based lead generation. The complex protein-protein interactions involved in regulation of replication may explain why biochemical approaches have been less productive for some replisome targets than more independently functioning targets such as DNA ligase or DNA gyrase. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.
Li, Xin; Xu, Huai-long; Liu, Yong-xi; An, Na; Zhao, Si; Bao, Jin-ku
Autophagy, an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process involving the engulfment and degradation of non-essential or abnormal cellular organelles and proteins, is crucial for homeostatic maintenance in living cells. This highly regulated, multi-step process has been implicated in diverse diseases including cancer. Autophagy can function as either a promoter or a suppressor of cancer, which makes it a promising and challenging therapeutic target. Herein, we overview the regulatory mechanisms and dual roles of autophagy in cancer. We also describe some of the representative agents that exert their anticancer effects by regulating autophagy. Additionally, some emerging strategies aimed at modulating autophagy are discussed as having the potential for future anticancer drug discovery. In summary, these findings will provide valuable information to better utilize autophagy in the future development of anticancer therapeutics that meet clinical requirements. PMID:23564085
Shakespeare, William C; Metcalf, Chester A; Wang, Yihan; Sundaramoorthi, Raji; Keenan, Terence; Weigele, Manfred; Bohacek, Regine S; Dalgarno, David C; Sawyer, Tomi K
Bone-targeted Src tyrosine kinase (STK) inhibitors have recently been developed for the treatment of osteoporosis and cancer-related bone diseases. The concept of bone targeting derives from bisphosphonates, and from the evolution of such molecules in terms of therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of bone disorders. Interestingly, some of the earliest bisphosphonates were recognized for their ability to inhibit calcium carbonate precipitation (scaling) by virtue of their affinity to chelate calcium. This chelating property was subsequently exploited in the development of bisphosphonate analogs as inhibitors of the bone-resorbing cells known as osteoclasts, giving rise to breakthrough medicines, such as Fosamax (for the treatment of osteoporosis) and Zometa (for the treatment of osteoporosis and bone metastases). Relative to these milestone achievements, there is a tremendous opportunity to explore beyond the limited chemical space (functional group diversity) of such bisphosphonates to design novel bone-targeting moieties, which may be used to develop other classes of promising small-molecule drugs affecting different biological pathways. Here, we review studies focused on bone-targeted inhibitors of STK, a key enzyme in osteoclast-dependent bone resorption. Two strategies are described relative to bone-targeted STK inhibitor drug discovery: (i) the development of novel Src homology (SH)-2 inhibitors incorporating non-hydrolyzable phosphotyrosine mimics and exhibiting molecular recognition and bone-targeting properties, leading to the in vivo-effective lead compound AP-22408; and (ii) the development of novel ATP-based Src kinase inhibitors incorporating bone-targeting moieties, leading to the in vivo-effective lead compound AP-23236. In summary, AP-22408 and AP-23236, which differ mechanistically by virtue of blocking Src-dependent non-catalytic or catalytic activities in osteoclasts, exemplify ARIAD Pharmaceuticals' structure-based design of novel bone-targeted
Mdluli, Khisimuzi; Kaneko, Takushi; Upton, Anna
The recent accelerated approval for use in extensively drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant-tuberculosis (MDR-TB) of two first-in-class TB drugs, bedaquiline and delamanid, has reinvigorated the TB drug discovery and development field. However, although several promising clinical development programs are ongoing to evaluate new TB drugs and regimens, the number of novel series represented is few. The global early-development pipeline is also woefully thin. To have a chance of achieving the goal of better, shorter, safer TB drug regimens with utility against drug-sensitive and drug-resistant disease, a robust and diverse global TB drug discovery pipeline is key, including innovative approaches that make use of recently acquired knowledge on the biology of TB. Fortunately, drug discovery for TB has resurged in recent years, generating compounds with varying potential for progression into developable leads. In parallel, advances have been made in understanding TB pathogenesis. It is now possible to apply the lessons learned from recent TB hit generation efforts and newly validated TB drug targets to generate the next wave of TB drug leads. Use of currently underexploited sources of chemical matter and lead-optimization strategies may also improve the efficiency of future TB drug discovery. Novel TB drug regimens with shorter treatment durations must target all subpopulations of Mycobacterium tuberculosis existing in an infection, including those responsible for the protracted TB treatment duration. This review summarizes the current TB drug development pipeline and proposes strategies for generating improved hits and leads in the discovery phase that could help achieve this goal.
Mdluli, Khisimuzi; Ma, Zhenkun
Bacterial DNA gyrase is an important target of antibacterial agents, including fluoroquinolones. In most bacterial species, fluoroquinolones inhibit DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV and cause bacterial cell-death. Other naturally occurring bacterial DNA gyrase inhibitors, such as novobiocin, are also known to be effective as antibacterial agents. DNA gyrase is an ATP-dependent enzyme that acts by creating a transient double-stranded DNA break. It is unique in catalyzing the negative supercoiling of DNA and is essential for efficient DNA replication, transcription, and recombination. DNA gyrase is a tetrameric A2B2 protein. The A subunit carries the breakage-reunion active site, whereas the B subunit promotes ATP hydrolysis. The M. tuberculosis genome analysis has identified a gyrB-gyrA contig in which gyrA and gyrB encode the A and B subunits, respectively. There is no evidence that M. tuberculosis has homologs of the topoisomerase IV, parC and parE genes, which are present in most other bacteria. Newer fluoroquinolones, including moxifloxacin and gatifloxacin, exhibit potent activity against M. tuberculosis, and show potential to shorten the duration for TB treatment. Resistance to fluoroquinolones remains uncommon in clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis DNA gyrase is thus a validated target for anti-tubercular drug discovery. Inhibitors of this enzyme are also active against non-replicating mycobacteria, which might be important for the eradication of persistent organisms. A novel inhibitor of M. tuberculosis DNA gyrase would be effective against multi-drug resistant (MDR)-TB, and it could also be effective against fluoroquinolone-resistant M. tuberculosis.
Bashari, O; Redko, B; Cohen, A; Luboshits, G; Gellerman, G; Firer, M A
Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) remains essentially incurable. Targeted Drug Delivery (TDD) systems may overcome the limitations of current mCRPC therapies. We describe the use of strict criteria to isolate novel prostate cancer cell targeting peptides that specifically deliver drugs into target cells. Phage from a libraries displaying 7mer peptides were exposed to PC-3 cells and only internalized phage were recovered. The ability of these phage to internalize into other prostate cancer cells (LNCaP, DU-145) was validated. The displayed peptides of selected phage clones were synthesized and their specificity for target cells was validated in vitro and in vivo. One peptide (P12) which specifically targeted PC-3 tumors in vivo was incorporated into mono-drug (Chlorambucil, Combretastatin or Camptothecin) and dual-drug (Chlorambucil/Combretastatin or Chlorambucil/Camptothecin) PDCs and the cytotoxic efficacy of these conjugates for target cells was tested. Conjugation of P12 into dual-drug PDCs allowed discovery of new drug combinations with synergistic effects. The use of strict selection criteria can lead to discovery of novel peptides for use as drug carriers for TDD. PDCs represent an effective alternative to current modes of free drug chemotherapy for prostate cancer. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
The aim of this study was to make a scientometric assessment of drug discovery efforts centered on pain-related molecular targets. The following scientometric indices were used: the popularity index, representing the share of articles (or patents) on a specific topic among all articles (or patents) on pain over the same 5-year period; the index of change, representing the change in the number of articles (or patents) on a topic from one 5-year period to the next; the index of expectations, representing the ratio of the number of all types of articles on a topic in the top 20 journals relative to the number of articles in all (>5,000) biomedical journals covered by PubMed over a 5-year period; the total number of articles representing Phase I-III trials of investigational drugs over a 5-year period; and the trial balance index, a ratio of Phase I-II publications to Phase III publications. Articles (PubMed database) and patents (US Patent and Trademark Office database) on 17 topics related to pain mechanisms were assessed during six 5-year periods from 1984 to 2013. During the most recent 5-year period (2009-2013), seven of 17 topics have demonstrated high research activity (purinergic receptors, serotonin, transient receptor potential channels, cytokines, gamma aminobutyric acid, glutamate, and protein kinases). However, even with these seven topics, the index of expectations decreased or did not change compared with the 2004-2008 period. In addition, publications representing Phase I-III trials of investigational drugs (2009-2013) did not indicate great enthusiasm on the part of the pharmaceutical industry regarding drugs specifically designed for treatment of pain. A promising development related to the new tool of molecular targeting, ie, monoclonal antibodies, for pain treatment has not yet resulted in real success. This approach has not yet demonstrated clinical effectiveness (at least with nerve growth factor) much beyond conventional analgesics, when its
The aim of this study was to make a scientometric assessment of drug discovery efforts centered on pain-related molecular targets. The following scientometric indices were used: the popularity index, representing the share of articles (or patents) on a specific topic among all articles (or patents) on pain over the same 5-year period; the index of change, representing the change in the number of articles (or patents) on a topic from one 5-year period to the next; the index of expectations, representing the ratio of the number of all types of articles on a topic in the top 20 journals relative to the number of articles in all (>5,000) biomedical journals covered by PubMed over a 5-year period; the total number of articles representing Phase I–III trials of investigational drugs over a 5-year period; and the trial balance index, a ratio of Phase I–II publications to Phase III publications. Articles (PubMed database) and patents (US Patent and Trademark Office database) on 17 topics related to pain mechanisms were assessed during six 5-year periods from 1984 to 2013. During the most recent 5-year period (2009–2013), seven of 17 topics have demonstrated high research activity (purinergic receptors, serotonin, transient receptor potential channels, cytokines, gamma aminobutyric acid, glutamate, and protein kinases). However, even with these seven topics, the index of expectations decreased or did not change compared with the 2004–2008 period. In addition, publications representing Phase I–III trials of investigational drugs (2009–2013) did not indicate great enthusiasm on the part of the pharmaceutical industry regarding drugs specifically designed for treatment of pain. A promising development related to the new tool of molecular targeting, ie, monoclonal antibodies, for pain treatment has not yet resulted in real success. This approach has not yet demonstrated clinical effectiveness (at least with nerve growth factor) much beyond conventional analgesics
Guo, Dong; Heitman, Laura H; IJzerman, Adriaan P
Traditionally structure-activity/affinity relationships (SAR) have dominated research in medicinal chemistry. However, structure-kinetics relationships (SKR) can be very informative too. In this viewpoint we explore the molecular determinants of binding kinetics and discuss challenges for future binding kinetics studies. A scheme for future kinetics-directed drug design and discovery is also proposed.
Progesterone A-Form as a Target for New Drug Discovery in Human Breast Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: James Voltz Paloma Giangrande Donald McDonnell, Ph.D...SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Human Progesterone A-Form as a Target for New Drug DAMD17-98-1-8070 Discovery in Human Breast Cancer 6. AUTHOR(S) James
Kathiravan, Muthu K; Khilare, Madhavi M; Nikoomanesh, Kiana; Chothe, Aparna S; Jain, Kishor S
DNA topoisomerases comprise a major aspect of basic cellular biology and are molecular targets for a variety of drugs like antibiotics, antibacterials and anticancer drugs. They act by inhibiting the topoisomerase molecule from relegating DNA strands after cleavage and convert the topoisomerases molecule into a DNA damaging agent. Though drugs of various categories acting through different mechanisms are available for the treatment, there are still problems associated with the currently available drugs. Therefore, Structural biologists, Structural chemists and Medicinal chemists all around the world have been identifying, designing, synthesizing and evaluating a variety of novel bioactive molecules targeting topoisomerase. This review summarizes types of topoisomerase and drug treating each class along with their structural requirement and activity. The emphasis has been laid in particular on the new potential heterocyles and the possible treatments as well as the current ongoing research status in the field of topoisomerase as dual targeting.
Taylor, Christina M.; Wang, Qi; Rosa, Bruce A.; Huang, Stanley Ching-Cheng; Powell, Kerrie; Schedl, Tim; Pearce, Edward J.; Abubucker, Sahar; Mitreva, Makedonka
Parasitic roundworm infections plague more than 2 billion people (1/3 of humanity) and cause drastic losses in crops and livestock. New anthelmintic drugs are urgently needed as new drug resistance and environmental concerns arise. A “chokepoint reaction” is defined as a reaction that either consumes a unique substrate or produces a unique product. A chokepoint analysis provides a systematic method of identifying novel potential drug targets. Chokepoint enzymes were identified in the genomes of 10 nematode species, and the intersection and union of all chokepoint enzymes were found. By studying and experimentally testing available compounds known to target proteins orthologous to nematode chokepoint proteins in public databases, this study uncovers features of chokepoints that make them successful drug targets. Chemogenomic screening was performed on drug-like compounds from public drug databases to find existing compounds that target homologs of nematode chokepoints. The compounds were prioritized based on chemical properties frequently found in successful drugs and were experimentally tested using Caenorhabditis elegans. Several drugs that are already known anthelmintic drugs and novel candidate targets were identified. Seven of the compounds were tested in Caenorhabditis elegans and three yielded a detrimental phenotype. One of these three drug-like compounds, Perhexiline, also yielded a deleterious effect in Haemonchus contortus and Onchocerca lienalis, two nematodes with divergent forms of parasitism. Perhexiline, known to affect the fatty acid oxidation pathway in mammals, caused a reduction in oxygen consumption rates in C. elegans and genome-wide gene expression profiles provided an additional confirmation of its mode of action. Computational modeling of Perhexiline and its target provided structural insights regarding its binding mode and specificity. Our lists of prioritized drug targets and drug-like compounds have potential to expedite the discovery
Kang, Lifeng; Chung, Bong Geun; Langer, Robert; Khademhosseini, Ali
Microfluidic technologies' ability to miniaturize assays and increase experimental throughput have generated significant interest in the drug discovery and development domain. These characteristics make microfluidic systems a potentially valuable tool for many drug discovery and development applications. Here, we review the recent advances of microfluidic devices for drug discovery and development and highlight their applications in different stages of the process, including target selection, lead identification, preclinical tests, clinical trials, chemical synthesis, formulations studies and product management.
Kang, Lifeng; Chung, Bong Geun; Langer, Robert; Khademhosseini, Ali
Microfluidic technologies’ ability to miniaturize assays and increase experimental throughput have generated significant interest in the drug discovery and development domain. These characteristics make microfluidic systems a potentially valuable tool for many drug discovery and development applications. Here, we review the recent advances of microfluidic devices for drug discovery and development and highlight their applications in different stages of the process, including target selection, lead identification, preclinical tests, clinical trials, chemical synthesis, formulations studies, and product management. PMID:18190858
Lv, Junfang; Shim, Joong Sup
Despite standard cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and targeted therapy have shown some efficacies, the cancer in many cases eventually relapses and metastasizes upon stopping the treatment. There is a small subpopulation of cancer cells within tumor, with specific characters similar to those found in stem cells. This group of cancer cells is known as tumor-initiating or cancer stem cells (CSCs), which have an ability to self-renew and give rise to cancer cell progeny. CSCs are related with drug resistance, metastasis and relapse of cancer, hence emerging as a crucial drug target for eliminating cancer. Rapid advancement of CSC biology has enabled researchers to isolate and culture CSCs in vitro, making the cells amenable to high-throughput drug screening. Recently, drug repositioning, which utilizes existing drugs to develop potential new indications, has been gaining popularity as an alternative approach for the drug discovery. As existing drugs have favorable bioavailability and safety profiles, drug repositioning is now actively exploited for prompt development of therapeutics for many serious diseases, such as cancer. In this review, we will introduce latest examples of attempted drug repositioning targeting CSCs and discuss potential use of the repositioned drugs for cancer therapy.
De novo experimental drug discovery is an expensive and time-consuming task. It requires the identification of drug-target interactions (DTIs) towards targets of biological interest, either to inhibit or enhance a specific molecular function. Dedicated computational models for protein simulation and DTI prediction are crucial for speed and to reduce the costs associated with DTI identification. In this paper we present a computational pipeline that enables the discovery of putative leads for drug repositioning that can be applied to any microbial proteome, as long as the interactome of interest is at least partially known. Network metrics calculated for the interactome of the bacterial organism of interest were used to identify putative drug-targets. Then, a random forest classification model for DTI prediction was constructed using known DTI data from publicly available databases, resulting in an area under the ROC curve of 0.91 for classification of out-of-sampling data. A drug-target network was created by combining 3,081 unique ligands and the expected ten best drug targets. This network was used to predict new DTIs and to calculate the probability of the positive class, allowing the scoring of the predicted instances. Molecular docking experiments were performed on the best scoring DTI pairs and the results were compared with those of the same ligands with their original targets. The results obtained suggest that the proposed pipeline can be used in the identification of new leads for drug repositioning. The proposed classification model is available at http://bioinformatics.ua.pt/software/dtipred/. PMID:27893735
Bouvard, Claire; Barefield, Colleen; Zhu, Shoutian
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in a growing list of malignancies and are believed to be responsible for cancer initiation, metastasis and relapse following certain therapies, even though they may only represent a small fraction of the cells in a given cancer. Like somatic stem cells and embryonic stem cells, CSCs are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into more mature, less tumorigenic cells that make up the bulk populations of cancer cells. Elimination of CSCs promises intriguing therapeutic potential and this concept has been adopted in preclinical drug discovery programs. Herein we will discuss the progress of these efforts, general considerations in practice, major challenges and possible solutions.
Carragher, Neil O; Unciti-Broceta, Asier; Cameron, David A
Current drug-discovery strategies are typically 'target-centric' and are based upon high-throughput screening of large chemical libraries against nominated targets and a selection of lead compounds with optimized 'on-target' potency and selectivity profiles. However, high attrition of targeted agents in clinical development suggest that combinations of targeted agents will be most effective in treating solid tumors if the biological networks that permit cancer cells to subvert monotherapies are identified and retargeted. Conventional drug-discovery and development strategies are suboptimal for the rational design and development of novel drug combinations. In this article, we highlight a series of emerging technologies supporting a less reductionist, more agile, drug-discovery and development approach for the rational design, validation, prioritization and clinical development of novel drug combinations.
Dunlop, John; Brandon, Nicholas J
Current therapeutics for schizophrenia, the typical and atypical antipsychotic class of drugs, derive their therapeutic benefit predominantly by antagonism of the dopamine D2 receptor subtype and have robust clinical benefit on positive symptoms of the disease with limited to no impact on negative symptoms and cognitive impairment. Driven by these therapeutic limitations of current treatments and the recognition that transmitter systems beyond the dopaminergic system in particular glutamatergic transmission contribute to the etiology of schizophrenia significant recent efforts have focused on the discovery and development of novel treatments for schizophrenia with mechanisms of action that are distinct from current drugs. Specifically, compounds selectively targeting the metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 subtype, phosphodiesterase subtype 10, glycine transporter subtype 1 and the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor have been the subject of intense drug discovery and development efforts. Here we review recent clinical experience with the most advanced drug candidates targeting each of these novel mechanisms and discuss whether these new agents are living up to expectations.
Gordon, Laurie J.; Wayne, Gareth J.; Almqvist, Helena; Axelsson, Hanna; Seashore-Ludlow, Brinton; Treyer, Andrea; Lundbäck, Thomas; West, Andy; Hann, Michael M.; Artursson, Per
Inadequate target exposure is a major cause of high attrition in drug discovery. Here, we show that a label-free method for quantifying the intracellular bioavailability (Fic) of drug molecules predicts drug access to intracellular targets and hence, pharmacological effect. We determined Fic in multiple cellular assays and cell types representing different targets from a number of therapeutic areas, including cancer, inflammation, and dementia. Both cytosolic targets and targets localized in subcellular compartments were investigated. Fic gives insights on membrane-permeable compounds in terms of cellular potency and intracellular target engagement, compared with biochemical potency measurements alone. Knowledge of the amount of drug that is locally available to bind intracellular targets provides a powerful tool for compound selection in early drug discovery. PMID:28701380
Ebner, David C; Bialek, Peter; El-Kattan, Ayman F; Ambler, Catherine M; Tu, Meihua
The targeting of drugs to skeletal muscle is an emerging area of research. Driven by the need for new therapies to treat a range of muscle-associated diseases, these strategies aim to provide improved drug exposure at the site of action in skeletal muscle with reduced concentration in other tissues where unwanted side effects could occur. By interacting with muscle-specific cell surface recognition elements, both tissue localization and selective uptake into skeletal muscle cells can be achieved. The design of molecules that are substrates for muscle uptake transporters can provide concentration in m uscle tissue. For example, drug conjugates with carnitine can provide improved muscle uptake via OCTN2 transport. Binding to muscle surface recognition elements followed by endocytosis can allow even large molecules such as antibodies to enter muscle cells. Monoclonal antibody 3E10 demonstrated selective uptake into skeletal muscle in vivo. Hybrid adeno-associated viral vectors have recently shown promise for high skeletal muscle selectivity in gene transfer applications. Delivery technology methods, including electroporation of DNA plasmids, have also been investigated for selective muscle uptake. This review discusses challenges and opportunities for skeletal muscle targeting, highlighting specific examples and areas in need of additional research.
Ojima, Iwao; Kumar, Kunal; Awasthi, Divya; Vineberg, Jacob G
Eukaryotic cell division or cytokinesis has been a major target for anticancer drug discovery. After the huge success of paclitaxel and docetaxel, microtubule-stabilizing agents (MSAs) appear to have gained a premier status in the discovery of next-generation anticancer agents. However, the drug resistance caused by MDR, point mutations, and overexpression of tubulin subtypes, etc., is a serious issue associated with these agents. Accordingly, the discovery and development of new-generation MSAs that can obviate various drug resistances has a significant meaning. In sharp contrast, prokaryotic cell division has been largely unexploited for the discovery and development of antibacterial drugs. However, recent studies on the mechanism of bacterial cytokinesis revealed that the most abundant and highly conserved cell division protein, FtsZ, would be an excellent new target for the drug discovery of next-generation antibacterial agents that can circumvent drug-resistances to the commonly used drugs for tuberculosis, MRSA and other infections. This review describes an account of our research on these two fronts in drug discovery, targeting eukaryotic as well as prokaryotic cell division.
Chakraborty, Chiranjib; Doss C, George Priya; Chen, Luonan; Zhu, Hailong
In silico pharmacology is a promising field in the current state-of drug discovery. This area exploits "protein-protein Interaction (PPI) network analysis for drug discovery using the drug "target class". To document the current status, we have discussed in this article how this an integrated system of PPI networks contribute to understand the disease pathways, present state-of-the-art drug target discovery and drug discovery process. This review article enhances our knowledge on conventional drug discovery and current drug discovery using in silico techniques, best "target class", universal architecture of PPI networks, the present scenario of disease pathways and protein-protein interaction networks as well as the method to comprehend the PPI networks. Taken all together, ultimately a snapshot has been discussed to be familiar with how PPI network architecture can used to validate a drug target. At the conclusion, we have illustrated the future directions of PPI in target discovery and drug-design.
BRD4, the most extensively studied member of the BET family, is an epigenetic regulator that localizes to DNA via binding to acetylated histones and controls the expression of therapeutically important gene regulatory networks through the recruitment of transcription factors to form mediator complexes, phosphorylating RNA polymerase II, and by its intrinsic histone acetyltransferase activity. Disrupting the protein–protein interactions between BRD4 and acetyl-lysine has been shown to effectively block cell proliferation in cancer, cytokine production in acute inflammation, and so forth. To date, significant efforts have been devoted to the development of BRD4 inhibitors, and consequently, a dozen have progressed to human clinical trials. Herein, we summarize the advances in drug discovery and development of BRD4 inhibitors by focusing on their chemotypes, in vitro and in vivo activity, selectivity, relevant mechanisms of action, and therapeutic potential. Opportunities and challenges to achieve selective and efficacious BRD4 inhibitors as a viable therapeutic strategy for human diseases are also highlighted. PMID:28195723
Ito, Takumi; Ando, Hideki; Handa, Hiroshi
Half a century ago, the sedative thalidomide caused a serious drug disaster because of its teratogenicity and was withdrawn from the market. However, thalidomide, which has returned to the market, is now used for the treatment of leprosy and multiple myeloma (MM) under strict control. The mechanism of thalidomide action had been a long-standing question. We developed a new affinity bead technology and identified cereblon (CRBN) as a thalidomide-binding protein. We found that CRBN functions as a substrate receptor of an E3 cullin-Ring ligase complex 4 (CRL4) and is a primary target of thalidomide teratogenicity. Recently, new thalidomide derivatives, called immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), have been developed by Celgene. Among them, lenalidomide (Len) and pomalidomide (Pom) were shown to exert strong therapeutic effects against MM. It was found that Len and Pom both bind CRBN-CRL4 and recruit neomorphic substrates (Ikaros and Aiolos). More recently it was reported that casein kinase 1a (Ck1a) was identified as a substrate for CRBN-CRL4 in the presence of Len, but not Pom. Ck1a breakdown explains why Len is specifically effective for myelodysplastic syndrome with 5q deletion. It is now proposed that binding of IMiDs to CRBN appears to alter the substrate specificity of CRBN-CRL4. In this review, we introduce recent findings on IMiDs.
Stoilova-McPhie, Svetla; Ali, Syed; Laezza, Fernanda
Protein-protein interactions (PPI) are key molecular elements that provide the basis of signaling in virtually all cellular processes. The precision and specificity of these molecular interactions have ignited a strong interest in pursuing PPI surfaces as new targets for drug discovery, especially against ion channels in the central nervous system (CNS) where selectivity and specificity are vital for developing drugs with limited side effects. Ion channels are large transmembrane domain proteins assembled with multiple regulatory proteins binding to the intracellular portion of channels. These macromolecular complexes are difficult to isolate, purify and reconstitute, posing a significant barrier in targeting these PPI for drug discovery purposes. Here, we will provide a short overview of salient features of PPI and discuss successful studies focusing on protein-channel interactions that could inspire new drug discovery campaigns targeting ion channel complexes. PMID:25485305
Malhotra, Sony; Thomas, Sherine E; Ochoa Montano, Bernardo; Blundell, Tom L
The use of protein crystallography in structure-guided drug discovery allows identification of potential inhibitor-binding sites and optimisation of interactions of hits and lead compounds with a target protein. An early example of this approach was the use of the structure of HIV protease in designing AIDS antivirals. More recently, use of structure-guided design with fragment-based drug discovery, which reduces the size of screening libraries by decreasing complexity, has improved ligand efficiency in drug design. Here, we discuss the use of structure-guided target identification and lead optimisation using fragment-based approaches in the development of new antimicrobials for mycobacterial infections.
Neelapu, Nageswara R R; Srimath-Tirumala-Peddinti, Ravi C P K; Nammi, Deepthi; Pasupuleti, Amita C M
The discovery and exploitation of new drug targets is a key focus for both the pharmaceutical industry and academic research. To provide an insight into trends in the exploitation of new drug targets, we have analysed different methods during the past six decades and advances made in drug target discovery. A special focus remains on different methods used for drug target discovery on infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, Gastritis, Malaria, Trypanosomiasis and Leishmaniasis. We herewith provide a paradigm that is can be used for drug target discovery in the near future.
Chang, Junghwa; Kwon, Ho Jeong
Natural products are valuable resources that provide a variety of bioactive compounds and natural pharmacophores in modern drug discovery. Discovery of biologically active natural products and unraveling their target proteins to understand their mode of action have always been critical hurdles for their development into clinical drugs. For effective discovery and development of bioactive natural products into novel therapeutic drugs, comprehensive screening and identification of target proteins are indispensable. In this review, a systematic approach to understanding the mode of action of natural products isolated using phenotypic screening involving chemical proteomics-based target identification is introduced. This review highlights three natural products recently discovered via phenotypic screening, namely glucopiericidin A, ecumicin, and terpestacin, as representative case studies to revisit the pivotal role of natural products as powerful tools in discovering the novel functions and druggability of targets in biological systems and pathological diseases of interest.
Xu, Zhijian; Yang, Zhuo; Liu, Yingtao; Lu, Yunxiang; Chen, Kaixian; Zhu, Weiliang
Halogen bond has attracted a great deal of attention in the past years for hit-to-lead-to-candidate optimization aiming at improving drug-target binding affinity. In general, heavy organohalogens (i.e., organochlorines, organobromines, and organoiodines) are capable of forming halogen bonds while organofluorines are not. In order to explore the possible roles that halogen bonds could play beyond improving binding affinity, we performed a detailed database survey and quantum chemistry calculation with close attention paid to (1) the change of the ratio of heavy organohalogens to organofluorines along the drug discovery and development process and (2) the halogen bonds between organohalogens and nonbiopolymers or nontarget biopolymers. Our database survey revealed that (1) an obviously increasing trend of the ratio of heavy organohalogens to organofluorines was observed along the drug discovery and development process, illustrating that more organofluorines are worn and eliminated than heavy organohalogens during the process, suggesting that heavy halogens with the capability of forming halogen bonds should have priority for lead optimization; and (2) more than 16% of the halogen bonds in PDB are formed between organohalogens and water, and nearly 20% of the halogen bonds are formed with the proteins that are involved in the ADME/T process. Our QM/MM calculations validated the contribution of the halogen bond to the binding between organohalogens and plasma transport proteins. Thus, halogen bonds could play roles not only in improving drug-target binding affinity but also in tuning ADME/T property. Therefore, we suggest that albeit halogenation is a valuable approach for improving ligand bioactivity, more attention should be paid in the future to the application of the halogen bond for ligand ADME/T property optimization.
Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Salimi, Fatemeh
Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS) is a neurocutaneous disease with clinical manifestations including ocular (glaucoma), cutaneous (port-wine birthmark), neurologic (seizures), and vascular problems. Molecular mechanisms of SWS pathogenesis are initiated by the somatic mutation in GNAQ. Therefore, no definite treatments exist for SWS and treatment options only mitigate the intensity of its clinical manifestations. Biological assay design for drug discovery against this syndrome demands comprehensive knowledge on mechanisms which are involved in its pathogenesis. By analysis of the interrelated molecular targets of SWS, some in vitro bioassay systems can be allotted for drug screening against its progression. Development of such platforms of bioassay can bring along the implementation of high-throughput screening of natural or synthetic compounds in drug discovery programs. Regarding the fact that study of molecular targets and their integration in biological assay design can facilitate the process of effective drug discovery; some potential biological targets and their respective biological assay for SWS drug discovery are propounded in this review. For this purpose, some biological targets for SWS drug discovery such as acetylcholinesterase, alkaline phosphatase, GABAergic receptors, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF)-1α and 2α are suggested. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Vandamme, Drieke; Minke, Benedikt A; Fitzmaurice, William; Kholodenko, Boris N; Kolch, Walter
The pharmaceutical industry is faced with a range of challenges with the ever-escalating costs of drug development and a drying out of drug pipelines. By harnessing advances in -omics technologies and moving away from the standard, reductionist model of drug discovery, there is significant potential to reduce costs and improve efficacy. Embedding systems biology approaches in drug discovery, which seek to investigate underlying molecular mechanisms of potential drug targets in a network context, will reduce attrition rates by earlier target validation and the introduction of novel targets into the currently stagnant market. Systems biology approaches also have the potential to assist in the design of multidrug treatments and repositioning of existing drugs, while stratifying patients to give a greater personalization of medical treatment.
Patel, Hershna; Kukol, Andreas
Sequence variations in the binding sites of influenza A proteins are known to limit the effectiveness of current antiviral drugs. Clinically, this leads to increased rates of virus transmission and pathogenicity. Potential influenza A inhibitors are continually being discovered as a result of high-throughput cell based screening studies, whereas the application of computational tools to aid drug discovery has further increased the number of predicted inhibitors reported. This review brings together the aspects that relate to the identification of influenza A drug target sites and the findings from recent antiviral drug discovery strategies.
Khurdayan, V; Davies, S
Sequences in Drug Discovery is a new series of distinct brief reports on breaking topics in the field of drug R&D. This month's Sequences in Drug Discovery contains the following reports: Spotlight on West Nile virus vaccines. p38alpha MAPK--a dynamic target in rheumatoid arthritis. The need for new contraceptives: targeting PDE3. Vasopeptidase inhibition with a triple mode of action. Current advances in the development of 5-HT(6) receptor antagonists.
The tumor microenvironment, characterized by regions of hypoxia, low nutrition, and acidosis due to incomplete blood vessel networks, has been recognized as a major factor that influences not only the response to conventional anti-cancer therapies but also malignant progression and metastasis. However, exploiting such a cumbersome tumor microenvironment for cancer treatment could provide tumor-specific therapeutic approaches. In particular, hypoxia is now considered a fundamentally important characteristic of the tumor microenvironment in which hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1-mediated gene regulation is considered essential for angiogenesis and tumor development. Additional oxygen sensitive signaling pathways including mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and signaling through activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) also contribute to the adaptation in the tumor microenvironment. This in turn has led to the current extensive interest in the signal molecules related to adaptive responses in the tumor microenvironment as potential molecular targets for cancer therapy against refractory cancer and recurrence in preparation for the aging society. Therefore, we should focus on the drug discovery for targeting the tumor microenvironment to develop tumor-specific cytostatic agents including angiogenesis inhibitors. In this paper, the development of hypoxia-selective prodrugs, HIF-1 inhibitors, and modulators of the tumor microenvironment will be discussed.
Ou-Yang, Si-sheng; Lu, Jun-yan; Kong, Xiang-qian; Liang, Zhong-jie; Luo, Cheng; Jiang, Hualiang
Computational drug discovery is an effective strategy for accelerating and economizing drug discovery and development process. Because of the dramatic increase in the availability of biological macromolecule and small molecule information, the applicability of computational drug discovery has been extended and broadly applied to nearly every stage in the drug discovery and development workflow, including target identification and validation, lead discovery and optimization and preclinical tests. Over the past decades, computational drug discovery methods such as molecular docking, pharmacophore modeling and mapping, de novo design, molecular similarity calculation and sequence-based virtual screening have been greatly improved. In this review, we present an overview of these important computational methods, platforms and successful applications in this field. PMID:22922346
Savino, Rocco; Paduano, Sergio; Preianò, Mariaimmacolata; Terracciano, Rosa
In the modern process of drug discovery, clinical, functional and chemical proteomics can converge and integrate synergies. Functional proteomics explores and elucidates the components of pathways and their interactions which, when deregulated, lead to a disease condition. This knowledge allows the design of strategies to target multiple pathways with combinations of pathway-specific drugs, which might increase chances of success and reduce the occurrence of drug resistance. Chemical proteomics, by analyzing the drug interactome, strongly contributes to accelerate the process of new druggable targets discovery. In the research area of clinical proteomics, proteome and peptidome mass spectrometry-profiling of human bodily fluid (plasma, serum, urine and so on), as well as of tissue and of cells, represents a promising tool for novel biomarker and eventually new druggable targets discovery. In the present review we provide a survey of current strategies of functional, chemical and clinical proteomics. Major issues will be presented for proteomic technologies used for the discovery of biomarkers for early disease diagnosis and identification of new drug targets. PMID:23203042
Pillutla, Renuka C; Fisher, Paul B; Blume, Arthur J; Goldstein, Neil I
After the successful completion of the human genome project, mapping of the human proteome has become the next important challenge facing the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Identification of the 'right' target(s) is now a critical part of the process because of the cost of drug discovery. Compounding this situation is the fact that the pharmaceutical industry faces a further challenge of being able to sustain current and historical growth rates. Hence, the discovery of new drug targets is important for developing new drug leads that can become preclinical drug candidates. Proteomics is the next phase of the effort whereby the human genome can be understood. However, mapping the human proteome presents a daunting challenge. Proteomics involves several essential components with the most significant being the discovery and description of all protein-protein interactions. Once this compendium is available, a secondary and equally important initiative will be to decipher proteins that are differentially expressed in any given disease condition. At this point, the critical focus will be to select the most relevant proteins, understand their partner interactions and then further winnow them to the point where they are relevant pharmaceutical target candidates. This paradigm can be compared to finding the relevant 'needle in the proteome haystack'. This review describes the use of genomic and protein-protein interaction technologies to identify and validate these 'needles' as the first step in the drug discovery process.
Waldmann, Herbert; Valeur, Eric; Guéret, Stéphanie M; Adihou, Hélène; Gopalakrishnan, Ranganath; Lemurell, Malin; Grossmann, Tom N; Plowright, Alleyn T
An ever increasing understanding of biological systems is providing a range of exciting novel biological targets whose modulation may enable novel therapeutic options in many diseases. These targets include protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions, which are, however, often refractory to classical small molecule approaches. Other types of molecules, or modalities, are therefore required to address these targets, which has led several academic research groups and pharmaceutical companies to increasingly use the concept of so-called 'New Modalities'. This review defines for the first time the scope of this term, which includes novel peptidic scaffolds, oligonucleotides, hybrids, molecular conjugates as well as new uses of classical small molecules. We provide herein a journey through the most representative examples of these modalities to target large binding surface areas such as those found in protein-protein interactions and for biological processes at the center of cell regulation.
Villellas, Cristina; Lu, Ping
ABSTRACT Drug-resistant mycobacterial infections are a serious global health challenge, leading to high mortality and socioeconomic burdens in developing countries worldwide. New innovative approaches, from identification of new targets to discovery of novel chemical scaffolds, are urgently needed. Recently, energy metabolism in mycobacteria, in particular the oxidative phosphorylation pathway, has emerged as an object of intense microbiological investigation and as a novel target pathway in drug discovery. New classes of antibacterials interfering with elements of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway are highly active in combating dormant or latent mycobacterial infections, with a promise of shortening tuberculosis chemotherapy. The regulatory approval of the ATP synthase inhibitor bedaquiline and the discovery of Q203, a candidate drug targeting the cytochrome bc1 complex, have highlighted the central importance of this new target pathway. In this review, we discuss key features and potential applications of inhibiting energy metabolism in our quest for discovering potent novel and sterilizing drug combinations for combating tuberculosis. We believe that the combination of drugs targeting elements of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway can lead to a completely new regimen for drug-susceptible and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. PMID:28400527
Bald, Dirk; Villellas, Cristina; Lu, Ping; Koul, Anil
Drug-resistant mycobacterial infections are a serious global health challenge, leading to high mortality and socioeconomic burdens in developing countries worldwide. New innovative approaches, from identification of new targets to discovery of novel chemical scaffolds, are urgently needed. Recently, energy metabolism in mycobacteria, in particular the oxidative phosphorylation pathway, has emerged as an object of intense microbiological investigation and as a novel target pathway in drug discovery. New classes of antibacterials interfering with elements of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway are highly active in combating dormant or latent mycobacterial infections, with a promise of shortening tuberculosis chemotherapy. The regulatory approval of the ATP synthase inhibitor bedaquiline and the discovery of Q203, a candidate drug targeting the cytochrome bc1 complex, have highlighted the central importance of this new target pathway. In this review, we discuss key features and potential applications of inhibiting energy metabolism in our quest for discovering potent novel and sterilizing drug combinations for combating tuberculosis. We believe that the combination of drugs targeting elements of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway can lead to a completely new regimen for drug-susceptible and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Copyright © 2017 Bald et al.
Crielaard, Bart J.; Lammers, Twan; Rivella, Stefano
Iron fulfils a central role in many essential biochemical processes in human physiology, which makes proper processing of iron crucial. Although iron metabolism is subject to relatively strict physiological control, in recent years numerous disorders, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, have been linked to deregulated iron homeostasis. Because of its involvement in the pathogenesis of these diseases, iron metabolism constitutes a promising and largely unexploited therapeutic target for the development of new pharmacological treatments. Several iron metabolism-targeted therapies are already under clinical evaluation for haematological disorders, and these and newly developed therapeutic agents will likely have substantial benefit in the clinical management of iron metabolism-associated diseases, for which few efficacious treatments are often available. PMID:28154410
Caldwell, Gary W
The target-based drug discovery process, including target selection, screening, hit-to-lead (H2L) and lead optimization stage gates, is the most common approach used in drug development. The full integration of in vitro and/or in vivo data with in silico tools across the entire process would be beneficial to R&D productivity by developing effective selection criteria and drug-design optimization strategies. This review focuses on understanding the impact and extent in the past 5 years of in silico tools on the various stage gates of the target-based drug discovery approach. There are a large number of in silico tools available for establishing selection criteria and drug-design optimization strategies in the target-based approach. However, the inconsistent use of in vitro and/or in vivo data integrated with predictive in silico multiparameter models throughout the process is contributing to R&D productivity issues. In particular, the lack of reliable in silico tools at the H2L stage gate is contributing to the suboptimal selection of viable lead compounds. It is suggested that further development of in silico multiparameter models and organizing biologists, medicinal and computational chemists into one team with a single accountable objective to expand the utilization of in silico tools in all phases of drug discovery would improve R&D productivity.
Rocha-Pereira, Joana; Neyts, Johan; Jochmans, Dirk
The development of antiviral strategies to treat or prevent norovirus infections is a pressing matter. Noroviruses are the number 1 cause of acute gastroenteritis, of foodborne illness, of sporadic gastroenteritis in all age groups and of severe acute gastroenteritis in children less than 5 years old seeking medical assistance [USA/CDC]. In developing countries, noroviruses are linked to significant mortality (~200,000 children <5 years old). Noroviruses are a major culprit for the closure of hospital wards, and associated with increased hospitalization and mortality among the elderly. Transplant patients have significant risk of acquiring persistent norovirus gastroenteritis. Control and prevention strategies are limited to the use of disinfectants and hand sanitizers, whose efficacy is frequently insufficient. Hence, there is an ample need for antiviral treatment and prophylaxis of norovirus infections. The fact that only a handful of inhibitors of norovirus replication have been reported can largely be attributable to the hampering inability to cultivate human noroviruses in cell culture. The Norwalk replicon-bearing cells and the murine norovirus-infected cell lines are the available models to assess in vitro antiviral activity of compounds. Human noroviruses have been shown to replicate (to some extent) in mice, calves, gnotobiotic pigs, and chimpanzees. Infection of interferon-deficient mice with the murine norovirus results in virus-induced diarrhea. Here we review recent developments in understanding which norovirus proteins or host cell factors may serve as targets for inhibition of viral replication. Given the recent advances, significant progress in the search for antiviral strategies against norovirus infections is expected in the upcoming years. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Huang, Lei; Li, Fuhai; Sheng, Jianting; Xia, Xiaofeng; Ma, Jinwen; Zhan, Ming; Wong, Stephen T.C.
Motivation: Currently there are no curative anticancer drugs, and drug resistance is often acquired after drug treatment. One of the reasons is that cancers are complex diseases, regulated by multiple signaling pathways and cross talks among the pathways. It is expected that drug combinations can reduce drug resistance and improve patients’ outcomes. In clinical practice, the ideal and feasible drug combinations are combinations of existing Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs or bioactive compounds that are already used on patients or have entered clinical trials and passed safety tests. These drug combinations could directly be used on patients with less concern of toxic effects. However, there is so far no effective computational approach to search effective drug combinations from the enormous number of possibilities. Results: In this study, we propose a novel systematic computational tool DrugComboRanker to prioritize synergistic drug combinations and uncover their mechanisms of action. We first build a drug functional network based on their genomic profiles, and partition the network into numerous drug network communities by using a Bayesian non-negative matrix factorization approach. As drugs within overlapping community share common mechanisms of action, we next uncover potential targets of drugs by applying a recommendation system on drug communities. We meanwhile build disease-specific signaling networks based on patients’ genomic profiles and interactome data. We then identify drug combinations by searching drugs whose targets are enriched in the complementary signaling modules of the disease signaling network. The novel method was evaluated on lung adenocarcinoma and endocrine receptor positive breast cancer, and compared with other drug combination approaches. These case studies discovered a set of effective drug combinations top ranked in our prediction list, and mapped the drug targets on the disease signaling network to highlight the
Blundell, Tom L; Sibanda, Bancinyane L; Montalvão, Rinaldo Wander; Brewerton, Suzanne; Chelliah, Vijayalakshmi; Worth, Catherine L; Harmer, Nicholas J; Davies, Owen; Burke, David
Impressive progress in genome sequencing, protein expression and high-throughput crystallography and NMR has radically transformed the opportunities to use protein three-dimensional structures to accelerate drug discovery, but the quantity and complexity of the data have ensured a central place for informatics. Structural biology and bioinformatics have assisted in lead optimization and target identification where they have well established roles; they can now contribute to lead discovery, exploiting high-throughput methods of structure determination that provide powerful approaches to screening of fragment binding. PMID:16524830
Background The demand for novel molecularly targeted drugs will continue to rise as we move forward toward the goal of personalizing cancer treatment to the molecular signature of individual tumors. However, the identification of targets and combinations of targets that can be safely and effectively modulated is one of the greatest challenges facing the drug discovery process. A promising approach is to use biological networks to prioritize targets based on their relative positions to one another, a property that affects their ability to maintain network integrity and propagate information-flow. Here, we introduce influence networks and demonstrate how they can be used to generate influence scores as a network-based metric to rank genes as potential drug targets. Results We use this approach to prioritize genes as drug target candidates in a set of ER + breast tumor samples collected during the course of neoadjuvant treatment with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole. We show that influential genes, those with high influence scores, tend to be essential and include a higher proportion of essential genes than those prioritized based on their position (i.e. hubs or bottlenecks) within the same network. Additionally, we show that influential genes represent novel biologically relevant drug targets for the treatment of ER + breast cancers. Moreover, we demonstrate that gene influence differs between untreated tumors and residual tumors that have adapted to drug treatment. In this way, influence scores capture the context-dependent functions of genes and present the opportunity to design combination treatment strategies that take advantage of the tumor adaptation process. Conclusions Influence networks efficiently find essential genes as promising drug targets and combinations of targets to inform the development of molecularly targeted drugs and their use. PMID:24495353
Chen, Lu; Calin, George A.; Zhang, Shuxing
Substantial progress in RNA biology highlights the importance of RNAs (e.g., microRNAs) in diseases and the potential of targeting RNAs for drug discovery. However, the lack of RNA-specific modeling techniques demands for development of new tools for RNA-targeted rational drug design. Herein, we implemented integrated approaches of accurate RNA modeling and virtual screening for RNA inhibitor discovery with the most comprehensive evaluation to date of five docking and 11 scoring methods. For the first time, statistical analysis was heavily employed to assess the significance of our predictions. We found that GOLD:GOLD Fitness and rDock:rDock_solv could accurately predict the RNA ligand poses, and ASP rescoring further improved the ranking of ligand binding poses. Due to the weak correlations (R2<0.3) of existing scoring with experimental binding affinities, we implemented two new RNA-specific scoring functions, iMDLScore1 and iMDLScore2, and obtained better correlations with R2=0.70 and 0.79, respectively. We also proposed a multi-step virtual screening approach and demonstrated that rDock:rDock_solv together with iMDLScore2 rescoring obtained the best enrichment on the flexible RNA targets, whereas GOLD:GOLD Fitness combined with rDock_solv rescoring outperformed other methods for rigid RNAs. This study provided practical strategies for RNA modeling and offered new insights into RNA-small molecule interactions for drug discovery. PMID:22947071
Molek, Peter; Strukelj, Borut; Bratkovic, Tomaz
Ligands selected from phage-displayed random peptide libraries tend to be directed to biologically relevant sites on the surface of the target protein. Consequently, peptides derived from library screenings often modulate the target protein's activity in vitro and in vivo and can be used as lead compounds in drug design and as alternatives to antibodies for target validation in both genomics and drug discovery. This review discusses the use of phage display to identify membrane receptor modulators with agonistic or antagonistic activities. Because isolating or producing recombinant membrane proteins for use as target molecules in library screening is often impossible, innovative selection strategies such as panning against whole cells or tissues, recombinant receptor ectodomains, or neutralizing antibodies to endogenous binding partners were devised. Prominent examples from a two-decade history of peptide phage display will be presented, focusing on the design of affinity selection experiments, methods for improving the initial hits, and applications of the identified peptides.
Jung, Hye Jin; Kwon, Ho Jeong
Identification of the target proteins of bioactive small molecules isolated from phenotypic screens plays an important role in chemical biology and drug discovery. However, discovering the targets of small molecules is often the most challenging and time-consuming step for chemical biology researchers. To overcome the bottlenecks in target identification, many new approaches based on genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics technologies have been developed. Here, we provide an overview of the current major methodologies for target deconvolution of bioactive small molecules. To obtain an integrated view of the mechanisms of action of small molecules, we propose a systematic approach that involves the combination of multi-omics-based target identification and validation and preclinical target validation.
Kauselmann, G; Dopazo, A; Link, W
The current paradigm for cancer therapy is undergoing a change from non-specific cytotoxic agents to more specific approaches based on unique molecular features of cancer cells. The identification and validation of disease relevant targets are crucial for the development of molecularly targeted anticancer therapies. Advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer together with novel approaches to interfere with signal transduction pathways have opened new horizons for anticancer target discovery. In particular, the image-based large scale analysis of cellular phenotypes that arise from genetic or chemical perturbations paved the way for the identification and validation of disease relevant molecular targets independent of preconceived notions of mechanistic relationships. In addition, novel and sophisticated techniques of genome manipulation allow for the use of mouse models that faithfully recapitulate critical elements of human cancer for target validation in vivo. We believe that these advances will translate into more and better validated drug targets.
Fu, Rong-Geng; Sun, Yuan; Sheng, Wen-Bing; Liao, Duan-Fang
The dominant paradigm in drug discovery is to design ligands with maximum selectivity to act on individual drug targets. With the target-based approach, many new chemical entities have been discovered, developed, and further approved as drugs. However, there are a large number of complex diseases such as cancer that cannot be effectively treated or cured only with one medicine to modulate the biological function of a single target. As simultaneous intervention of two (or multiple) cancer progression relevant targets has shown improved therapeutic efficacy, the innovation of multi-targeted drugs has become a promising and prevailing research topic and numerous multi-targeted anticancer agents are currently at various developmental stages. However, most multi-pharmacophore scaffolds are usually discovered by serendipity or screening, while rational design by combining existing pharmacophore scaffolds remains an enormous challenge. In this review, four types of multi-pharmacophore modes are discussed, and the examples from literature will be used to introduce attractive lead compounds with the capability of simultaneously interfering with different enzyme or signaling pathway of cancer progression, which will reveal the trends and insights to help the design of the next generation multi-targeted anticancer agents. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
An, Songzhu Michael; Ding, Qiang; Zhang, Jie; Xie, JingYi; Li, LingSong
Signaling pathways transduce extracellular stimuli into cells through molecular cascades to regulate cellular functions. In stem cells, a small number of pathways, notably those of TGF-β/BMP, Hedgehog, Notch, and Wnt, are responsible for the regulation of pluripotency and differentiation. During embryonic development, these pathways govern cell fate specifications as well as the formation of tissues and organs. In adulthood, their normal functions are important for tissue homeostasis and regeneration, whereas aberrations result in diseases, such as cancer and degenerative disorders. In complex biological systems, stem cell signaling pathways work in concert as a network and exhibit crosstalk, such as the negative crosstalk between Wnt and Notch. Over the past decade, genetic and genomic studies have identified a number of potential drug targets that are involved in stem cell signaling pathways. Indeed, discovery of new targets and drugs for these pathways has become one of the most active areas in both the research community and pharmaceutical industry. Remarkable progress has been made and several promising drug candidates have entered into clinical trials. This review focuses on recent advances in the discovery of novel drugs which target the Notch and Wnt pathways.
Hallenbeck, Kenneth K; Turner, David M; Renslo, Adam R; Arkin, Michelle R
The targeting of non-catalytic cysteine residues with small molecules is drawing increased attention from drug discovery scientists and chemical biologists. From a biological perspective, genomic and proteomic studies have revealed the presence of cysteine mutations in several oncogenic proteins, suggesting both a functional role for these residues and also a strategy for targeting them in an 'allele specific' manner. For the medicinal chemist, the structure-guided design of cysteine- reactive molecules is an appealing strategy to realize improved selectivity and pharmacodynamic properties in drug leads. Finally, for chemical biologists, the modification of cysteine residues provides a unique means to probe protein structure and allosteric regulation. Here, we review three applications of cysteinemodifying small molecules: 1) the optimization of existing drug leads, 2) the discovery of new lead compounds, and 3) the use of cysteine-reactive molecules as probes of protein dynamics. In each case, structure-guided design plays a key role in determining which cysteine residue(s) to target and in designing compounds with the proper geometry to enable both covalent interaction with the targeted cysteine and productive non-covalent interactions with nearby protein residues.
Hallenbeck, Kenneth K.; Turner, David M.; Renslo, Adam R.; Arkin, Michelle R.
The targeting of non-catalytic cysteine residues with small molecules is drawing increased attention from drug discovery scientists and chemical biologists. From a biological perspective, genomic and proteomic studies have revealed the presence of cysteine mutations in several oncogenic proteins, suggesting both a functional role for these residues and also a strategy for targeting them in an ‘allele specific’ manner. For the medicinal chemist, the structure-guided design of cysteine-reactive molecules is an appealing strategy to realize improved selectivity and pharmacodynamic properties in drug leads. Finally, for chemical biologists, the modification of cysteine residues provides a unique means to probe protein structure and allosteric regulation. Here, we review three applications of cysteine-modifying small molecules: 1) the optimization of existing drug leads, 2) the discovery of new lead compounds, and 3) the use of cysteine-reactive molecules as probes of protein dynamics. In each case, structure-guided design plays a key role in determining which cysteine residue(s) to target and in designing compounds with the proper geometry to enable both covalent interaction with the targeted cysteine and productive non-covalent interactions with nearby protein residues. PMID:27449257
Harvey, Alan L
Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. Copyright © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Lappano, Rosamaria; Maggiolini, Marcello
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) belong to a superfamily of cell surface signalling proteins that have a pivotal role in many physiological functions and in multiple diseases, including the development of cancer and cancer metastasis. Current drugs that target GPCRs - many of which have excellent therapeutic benefits - are directed towards only a few GPCR members. Therefore, huge efforts are currently underway to develop new GPCR-based drugs, particularly for cancer. We review recent findings that present unexpected opportunities to interfere with major tumorigenic signals by manipulating GPCR-mediated pathways. We also discuss current data regarding novel GPCR targets that may provide promising opportunities for drug discovery in cancer prevention and treatment.
San Lucas, F Anthony; Fowler, Jerry; Chang, Kyle; Kopetz, Scott; Vilar, Eduardo; Scheet, Paul
Large-scale cancer datasets such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) allow researchers to profile tumors based on a wide range of clinical and molecular characteristics. Subsequently, TCGA-derived gene expression profiles can be analyzed with the Connectivity Map (CMap) to find candidate drugs to target tumors with specific clinical phenotypes or molecular characteristics. This represents a powerful computational approach for candidate drug identification, but due to the complexity of TCGA and technology differences between CMap and TCGA experiments, such analyses are challenging to conduct and reproduce. We present Cancer in silico Drug Discovery (CiDD; scheet.org/software), a computational drug discovery platform that addresses these challenges. CiDD integrates data from TCGA, CMap, and Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) to perform computational drug discovery experiments, generating hypotheses for the following three general problems: (i) determining whether specific clinical phenotypes or molecular characteristics are associated with unique gene expression signatures; (ii) finding candidate drugs to repress these expression signatures; and (iii) identifying cell lines that resemble the tumors being studied for subsequent in vitro experiments. The primary input to CiDD is a clinical or molecular characteristic. The output is a biologically annotated list of candidate drugs and a list of cell lines for in vitro experimentation. We applied CiDD to identify candidate drugs to treat colorectal cancers harboring mutations in BRAF. CiDD identified EGFR and proteasome inhibitors, while proposing five cell lines for in vitro testing. CiDD facilitates phenotype-driven, systematic drug discovery based on clinical and molecular data from TCGA.
Coutard, Bruno; Decroly, Etienne; Li, Changqing; Sharff, Andrew; Lescar, Julien; Bricogne, Gérard; Barral, Karine
Seasonal and pandemic flaviviruses continue to be leading global health concerns. With the view to help drug discovery against Dengue virus (DENV), a fragment-based experimental approach was applied to identify small molecule ligands targeting two main components of the flavivirus replication complex: the NS3 helicase (Hel) and the NS5 mRNA methyltransferase (MTase) domains. A library of 500 drug-like fragments was first screened by thermal-shift assay (TSA) leading to the identification of 36 and 32 fragment hits binding Hel and MTase from DENV, respectively. In a second stage, we set up a fragment-based X-ray crystallographic screening (FBS-X) in order to provide both validated fragment hits and structural binding information. No fragment hit was confirmed for DENV Hel. In contrast, a total of seven fragments were identified as DENV MTase binders and structures of MTase-fragment hit complexes were solved at resolution at least 2.0Å or better. All fragment hits identified contain either a five- or six-membered aromatic ring or both, and three novel binding sites were located on the MTase. To further characterize the fragment hits identified by TSA and FBS-X, we performed enzymatic assays to assess their inhibition effect on the N7- and 2'-O-MTase enzymatic activities: five of these fragment hits inhibit at least one of the two activities with IC50 ranging from 180μM to 9mM. This work validates the FBS-X strategy for identifying new anti-flaviviral hits targeting MTase, while Hel might not be an amenable target for fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD). This approach proved to be a fast and efficient screening method for FBDD target validation and discovery of starting hits for the development of higher affinity molecules that bind to novel allosteric sites. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Brumlik, Michael J.; Pandeswara, Srilakshmi; Ludwig, Sara M.; Murthy, Kruthi; Curiel, Tyler J.
Protozoan pathogens are a highly diverse group of unicellular organisms, several of which are significant human pathogens. One group of protozoan pathogens includes obligate intracellular parasites such as agents of malaria, leishmaniasis, babesiosis, and toxoplasmosis. The other group includes extracellular pathogens such as agents of giardiasis and amebiasis. An unfortunate unifying theme for most human protozoan pathogens is that highly effective treatments for them are generally lacking. We will review targeting protozoan mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) as a novel drug discovery approach towards developing better therapies, focusing on Plasmodia, Leishmania, and Toxoplasma, about which the most is known. PMID:21637385
Lindsley, Craig W
The identification of sites on receptors topographically distinct from the orthosteric sites, so-called allosteric sites, has heralded novel approaches and modes of pharmacology for target modulation. Over the past 20 years, our understanding of allosteric modulation has grown significantly, and numerous advantages, as well as caveats (e.g., flat structure-activity relationships, species differences, "molecular switches"), have been identified. For multiple receptors and proteins, numerous examples have been described where unprecedented levels of selectivity are achieved along with improved physiochemical properties. While not a panacea, these novel approaches represent exciting opportunities for tool compound development to probe the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of discrete molecular targets, as well as new medicines. In this Perspective, in commemoration of the 2013 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship ( Lindsley , C. W. Adventures in allosteric drug discovery . Presented at the 246th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Indianapolis, IN, September 10, 2013 ; The 2013 Portoghese Lectureship ), several vignettes of drug discovery campaigns targeting novel allosteric mechanisms will be recounted, along with lessons learned and guidelines that have emerged for successful lead optimization.
The identification of sites on receptors topographically distinct from the orthosteric sites, so-called allosteric sites, has heralded novel approaches and modes of pharmacology for target modulation. Over the past 20 years, our understanding of allosteric modulation has grown significantly, and numerous advantages, as well as caveats (e.g., flat structure–activity relationships, species differences, “molecular switches”), have been identified. For multiple receptors and proteins, numerous examples have been described where unprecedented levels of selectivity are achieved along with improved physiochemical properties. While not a panacea, these novel approaches represent exciting opportunities for tool compound development to probe the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of discrete molecular targets, as well as new medicines. In this Perspective, in commemoration of the 2013 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship (LindsleyC. W.Adventures in allosteric drug discovery. Presented at the 246th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Indianapolis, IN, September 10, 2013; The 2013 Portoghese Lectureship), several vignettes of drug discovery campaigns targeting novel allosteric mechanisms will be recounted, along with lessons learned and guidelines that have emerged for successful lead optimization. PMID:25180768
Davies, Shelley L; Moral, Maria Angels; Bozzo, Jordi
Chronicles in Drug Discovery features special interest reports on advances in drug discovery. This month we highlight agents that target and deplete immunosuppressive regulatory T cells, which are produced by tumor cells to hinder innate immunity against, or chemotherapies targeting, tumor-associated antigens. Antiviral treatments for respiratory syncytial virus, a severe and prevalent infection in children, are limited due to their side effect profiles and cost. New strategies currently under clinical development include monoclonal antibodies, siRNAs, vaccines and oral small molecule inhibitors. Recent therapeutic lines for Huntington's disease include gene therapies that target the mutated human huntingtin gene or deliver neuroprotective growth factors and cellular transplantation in apoptotic regions of the brain. Finally, we highlight the antiinflammatory and antinociceptive properties of new compounds targeting the somatostatin receptor subtype sst4, which warrant further study for their potential application as clinical analgesics.
Moynie, Lucille; Schnell, Robert; McMahon, Stephen A.; Sandalova, Tatyana; Boulkerou, Wassila Abdelli; Schmidberger, Jason W.; Alphey, Magnus; Cukier, Cyprian; Duthie, Fraser; Kopec, Jolanta; Liu, Huanting; Jacewicz, Agata; Hunter, William N.; Naismith, James H.; Schneider, Gunter
Bacterial infections are increasingly difficult to treat owing to the spread of antibiotic resistance. A major concern is Gram-negative bacteria, for which the discovery of new antimicrobial drugs has been particularly scarce. In an effort to accelerate early steps in drug discovery, the EU-funded AEROPATH project aims to identify novel targets in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by applying a multidisciplinary approach encompassing target validation, structural characterization, assay development and hit identification from small-molecule libraries. Here, the strategies used for target selection are described and progress in protein production and structure analysis is reported. Of the 102 selected targets, 84 could be produced in soluble form and the de novo structures of 39 proteins have been determined. The crystal structures of eight of these targets, ranging from hypothetical unknown proteins to metabolic enzymes from different functional classes (PA1645, PA1648, PA2169, PA3770, PA4098, PA4485, PA4992 and PA5259), are reported here. The structural information is expected to provide a firm basis for the improvement of hit compounds identified from fragment-based and high-throughput screening campaigns. PMID:23295481
Moynie, Lucille; Schnell, Robert; McMahon, Stephen A; Sandalova, Tatyana; Boulkerou, Wassila Abdelli; Schmidberger, Jason W; Alphey, Magnus; Cukier, Cyprian; Duthie, Fraser; Kopec, Jolanta; Liu, Huanting; Jacewicz, Agata; Hunter, William N; Naismith, James H; Schneider, Gunter
Bacterial infections are increasingly difficult to treat owing to the spread of antibiotic resistance. A major concern is Gram-negative bacteria, for which the discovery of new antimicrobial drugs has been particularly scarce. In an effort to accelerate early steps in drug discovery, the EU-funded AEROPATH project aims to identify novel targets in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa by applying a multidisciplinary approach encompassing target validation, structural characterization, assay development and hit identification from small-molecule libraries. Here, the strategies used for target selection are described and progress in protein production and structure analysis is reported. Of the 102 selected targets, 84 could be produced in soluble form and the de novo structures of 39 proteins have been determined. The crystal structures of eight of these targets, ranging from hypothetical unknown proteins to metabolic enzymes from different functional classes (PA1645, PA1648, PA2169, PA3770, PA4098, PA4485, PA4992 and PA5259), are reported here. The structural information is expected to provide a firm basis for the improvement of hit compounds identified from fragment-based and high-throughput screening campaigns.
Okombo, John; Chibale, Kelly
New, safe and effective drugs are urgently needed to treat and control malaria and tuberculosis, which affect millions of people annually. However, financial return on investment in the poor settings where these diseases are mostly prevalent is very minimal to support market-driven drug discovery and development. Moreover, the imminent loss of therapeutic lifespan of existing therapies due to evolution and spread of drug resistance further compounds the urgency to identify novel effective drugs. However, the advent of new public-private partnerships focused on tropical diseases and the recent release of large data sets by pharmaceutical companies on antimalarial and antituberculosis compounds derived from phenotypic whole cell high throughput screening have spurred renewed interest and opened new frontiers in malaria and tuberculosis drug discovery. This Account recaps the existing challenges facing antimalarial and antituberculosis drug discovery, including limitations associated with experimental animal models as well as biological complexities intrinsic to the causative pathogens. We enlist various highlights from a body of work within our research group aimed at identifying and characterizing new chemical leads, and navigating these challenges to contribute toward the global drug discovery and development pipeline in malaria and tuberculosis. We describe a catalogue of in-house efforts toward deriving safe and efficacious preclinical drug development candidates via cell-based medicinal chemistry optimization of phenotypic whole-cell medium and high throughput screening hits sourced from various small molecule chemical libraries. We also provide an appraisal of target-based screening, as invoked in our laboratory for mechanistic evaluation of the hits generated, with particular focus on the enzymes within the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic and hemoglobin degradation pathways, the latter constituting a heme detoxification process and an associated cysteine
Deigan, Katherine E; Ferré-D'Amaré, Adrian R
Riboswitches are messenger RNA (mRNA) domains that regulate gene function in response to the intracellular concentration of a variety of metabolites and second messengers. They control essential genes in many pathogenic bacteria, thus representing an inviting new class of biomolecular target for the development of antibiotics and chemical-biological tools. In this Account, we briefly review the discovery of riboswitches in the first years of the 21st century and their ensuing characterization over the past decade. We then discuss the progress achieved so far in using riboswitches as a focus for drug discovery, considering both the value of past serendipity and the particular challenges that confront current researchers. Five mechanisms of gene regulation have been determined for riboswitches. Most bacterial riboswitches modulate either transcription termination or translation initiation in response to ligand binding. All known examples of eukaryotic riboswitches, and some bacterial riboswitches, control gene expression by alternative splicing. The glmS riboswitch, which is widespread in Gram-positive bacteria, is a catalytic RNA activated by ligand binding: its self-cleavage destabilizes the mRNA of which it is part. Finally, one example of a trans-acting riboswitch is known. Three-dimensional structures have been determined for representatives of 13 structurally distinct riboswitch classes, providing atomic-level insight into their mechanisms of ligand recognition. While cellular and viral RNAs have attracted widespread interest as potential drug targets, riboswitches show special promise due to the diversity of small-molecule recognition strategies that are on display in their ligand-binding pockets. Moreover, riboswitches have evolved to recognize small-molecule ligands, which is unique among known structured RNA domains. Structural and biochemical advances in the study of riboswitches provide an impetus for the development of methods for the discovery of novel
Pierce, Christopher G.; Lopez-Ribot, Jose L.
Introduction Targeting pathogenetic mechanisms rather than essential processes represents a very attractive alternative for the development of new antibiotics. This may be particularly important in the case of antimycotics, due to the urgent need for novel antifungal drugs and the paucity of selective fungal targets. The opportunistic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans is the main etiological agent of candidiasis, the most common human fungal infection. These infections carry unacceptably high mortality rates, a clear reflection of the many shortcomings of current antifungal therapy, including the limited armamentarium of antifungal agents, their toxicity, and the emergence of resistance. Moreover the antifungal pipeline is mostly dry. Areas covered This review covers some of the most recent progress towards understanding C. albicans pathogenetic processes and how to harness this information for the development of anti-virulence agents. The two principal areas covered are filamentation and biofilm formation, as C. albicans pathogenicity is intimately linked to its ability to undergo morphogenetic conversions between yeast and filamentous morphologies and to its ability to form biofilms. Expert opinion We argue that filamentation and biofilm formation represent high value targets, yet clinically unexploited, for the development of novel anti-virulence approaches against candidiasis. Although this has proved a difficult task despite increasing understanding at the molecular level of C. albicans virulence, we highlight new opportunities and prospects for antifungal drug development targeting these two important biological processes. PMID:23738751
Kumari, Shraddha; Kumar, Awanish; Samant, Mukesh; Singh, Neeloo; Dube, Anuradha
Among the three clinical forms (cutaneous, mucosal and visceral) of leishmaniasis visceral (VL) one is the most devastating type caused by the invasion of the reticuloendothelial system of human by Leishmania donovani, L. infantum and L. chagasi. India and Sudan account for about half the world's burden of VL. Current control strategy is based on chemotherapy, which is difficult to administer, expensive and becoming ineffective due to the emergence of drug resistance. An understanding of resistance mechanism(s) operating in clinical isolates might provide additional leads for the development of new drugs. Further, due to the lack of fully effective treatment the search for novel immune targets is also needed. So far, no vaccine exists for VL despite indications of naturally developing immunity. Therefore, an urgent need for new and effective leishmanicidal agents and for this identification of novel drug and vaccine targets is imperative. The availability of the complete genome sequence of Leishmania has revolutionised many areas of leishmanial research and facilitated functional genomic studies as well as provided a wide range of novel targets for drug designing. Most notably, proteomics and transcriptomics have become important tools in gaining increased understanding of the biology of Leishmania to be explored on a global scale, thus accelerating the pace of discovery of vaccine/drug targets. In addition, these approaches provide the information regarding genes and proteins that are expressed and under which conditions. This review provides a comprehensive view about those proteins/genes identified using proteomics and transcriptomic tools for the development of vaccine/drug against VL.
Cohen, Seth M
Metal-dependent enzymes (i.e., metalloenzymes) make up a large fraction of all enzymes and are critically important in a wide range of biological processes, including DNA modification, protein homeostasis, antibiotic resistance, and many others. Consequently, metalloenzymes represent a vast and largely untapped space for drug development. The discovery of effective therapeutics that target metalloenzymes lies squarely at the interface of bioinorganic and medicinal chemistry and requires expertise, methods, and strategies from both fields to mount an effective campaign. In this Account, our research program that brings together the principles and methods of bioinorganic and medicinal chemistry are described, in an effort to bridge the gap between these fields and address an important class of medicinal targets. Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is an important drug discovery approach that is particularly well suited for metalloenzyme inhibitor development. FBDD uses relatively small but diverse chemical structures that allow for the assembly of privileged molecular collections that focus on a specific feature of the target enzyme. For metalloenzyme inhibition, the specific feature is rather obvious, namely, a metal-dependent active site. Surprisingly, prior to our work, the exploration of diverse molecular fragments for binding the metal active sites of metalloenzymes was largely unexplored. By assembling a modest library of metal-binding pharmacophores (MBPs), we have been able to find lead hits for many metalloenzymes and, from these hits, develop inhibitors that act via novel mechanisms of action. A specific case study on the use of this strategy to identify a first-in-class inhibitor of zinc-dependent Rpn11 (a component of the proteasome) is highlighted. The application of FBDD for the development of metalloenzyme inhibitors has raised several other compelling questions, such as how the metalloenzyme active site influences the coordination chemistry of bound
Khurdayan, V; Bozzo, J; Sorbera, L
Chronicles in Drug Discovery is a series of brief reports on timely topics in the field of drug R&D. This month's chronicles contain the following reports: Targeting DNA repair enzymes instead of viral proteins provides a great advantage in preventing the emergence of resistant mutants. A striking increase in therapeutic approaches for the treatment of IBD has been fueled by an improved understanding of the mechanisms that underlie its pathophysiology. Peptide deformylase inhibitors are under active investigation for bacterial infections and cancer treatment. Dopamine D3 receptors present an attractive target for alcoholism therapy since they are involved in the mechanisms of alcohol dependency and abuse.
Andreol, Federico; Barbosa, Arménio Jorge Moura; Daniele Parenti, Marco; Rio, Alberto Del
Research on cancer epigenetics has flourished in the last decade. Nevertheless growing evidence point on the importance to understand the mechanisms by which epigenetic changes regulate the genesis and progression of cancer growth. Several epigenetic targets have been discovered and are currently under validation for new anticancer therapies. Drug discovery approaches aiming to target these epigenetic enzymes with small-molecules inhibitors have produced the first pre-clinical and clinical outcomes and many other compounds are now entering the pipeline as new candidate epidrugs. The most studied targets can be ascribed to histone deacetylases and DNA methyltransferases, although several other classes of enzymes are able to operate post-translational modifications to histone tails are also likely to represent new frontiers for therapeutic interventions. By acknowledging that the field of cancer epigenetics is evolving with an impressive rate of new findings, with this review we aim to provide a current overview of pre-clinical applications of small-molecules for cancer pathologies, combining them with the current knowledge of epigenetic targets in terms of available structural data and drug design perspectives. PMID:23016851
Wang, Zhiyu; Wang, Neng; Chen, Jianping; Shen, Jiangang
Molecular-targeted therapy has been developed for cancer chemoprevention and treatment. Cancer cells have different metabolic properties from normal cells. Normal cells mostly rely upon the process of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to produce energy whereas cancer cells have developed an altered metabolism that allows them to sustain higher proliferation rates. Cancer cells could predominantly produce energy by glycolysis even in the presence of oxygen. This alternative metabolic characteristic is known as the “Warburg Effect.” Although the exact mechanisms underlying the Warburg effect are unclear, recent progress indicates that glycolytic pathway of cancer cells could be a critical target for drug discovery. With a long history in cancer treatment, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is recognized as a valuable source for seeking bioactive anticancer compounds. A great progress has been made to identify active compounds from herbal medicine targeting on glycolysis for cancer treatment. Herein, we provide an overall picture of the current understanding of the molecular targets in the cancer glycolytic pathway and reviewed active compounds from Chinese herbal medicine with the potentials to inhibit the metabolic targets for cancer treatment. Combination of TCM with conventional therapies will provide an attractive strategy for improving clinical outcome in cancer treatment. PMID:22844340
Moran, Josue D.; Giuste, Felipe O.; Du, Yuhong; Ivanov, Andrei A.; Johns, Margaret A.; Khuri, Fadlo R.; Fu, Haian
Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate the transmission and regulation of oncogenic signals that are essential to cellular proliferation and survival, and thus represent potential targets for anti-cancer therapeutic discovery. Despite their significance, there is no method to experimentally disrupt and interrogate the essentiality of individual endogenous PPIs. The ability to computationally predict or infer PPI essentiality would help prioritize PPIs for drug discovery and help advance understanding of cancer biology. Here we introduce a computational method (MEDICI) to predict PPI essentiality by combining gene knockdown studies with network models of protein interaction pathways in an analytic framework. Our method uses network topology to model how gene silencing can disrupt PPIs, relating the unknown essentialities of individual PPIs to experimentally observed protein essentialities. This model is then deconvolved to recover the unknown essentialities of individual PPIs. We demonstrate the validity of our approach via prediction of sensitivities to compounds based on PPI essentiality and differences in essentiality based on genetic mutations. We further show that lung cancer patients have improved overall survival when specific PPIs are no longer present, suggesting that these PPIs may be potentially new targets for therapeutic development. Software is freely available at https://github.com/cooperlab/MEDICI. Datasets are available at https://ctd2.nci.nih.gov/dataPortal. PMID:28118365
Harati, Sahar; Cooper, Lee A D; Moran, Josue D; Giuste, Felipe O; Du, Yuhong; Ivanov, Andrei A; Johns, Margaret A; Khuri, Fadlo R; Fu, Haian; Moreno, Carlos S
Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate the transmission and regulation of oncogenic signals that are essential to cellular proliferation and survival, and thus represent potential targets for anti-cancer therapeutic discovery. Despite their significance, there is no method to experimentally disrupt and interrogate the essentiality of individual endogenous PPIs. The ability to computationally predict or infer PPI essentiality would help prioritize PPIs for drug discovery and help advance understanding of cancer biology. Here we introduce a computational method (MEDICI) to predict PPI essentiality by combining gene knockdown studies with network models of protein interaction pathways in an analytic framework. Our method uses network topology to model how gene silencing can disrupt PPIs, relating the unknown essentialities of individual PPIs to experimentally observed protein essentialities. This model is then deconvolved to recover the unknown essentialities of individual PPIs. We demonstrate the validity of our approach via prediction of sensitivities to compounds based on PPI essentiality and differences in essentiality based on genetic mutations. We further show that lung cancer patients have improved overall survival when specific PPIs are no longer present, suggesting that these PPIs may be potentially new targets for therapeutic development. Software is freely available at https://github.com/cooperlab/MEDICI. Datasets are available at https://ctd2.nci.nih.gov/dataPortal.
Fostel, J M; Montgomery, D A; Shen, L L
Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen responsible for life-threatening infections in persons with impaired immune systems. Topoisomerase I is a potential target for novel antifungal agents; however, in order for this enzyme to be a therapeutically useful target, it needs to be demonstrated that the fungal and human topoisomerases differ sufficiently as to allow the fungal topoisomerase to be selectively targeted. To address this question, we isolated the topoisomerase I from C. albicans and compared its biochemical properties with those of the mammalian enzyme. Similar to other eukaryotic type I topoisomerases, the C. albicans type I topoisomerase has an apparent molecular mass of 102 kDa and covalently links to the 3' end of DNA, as shown after the reaction is interrupted by sodium dodecyl sulfate. Topoisomerase poisons such as camptothecin act by stabilizing the cleavage complex formed by the topoisomerase I and DNA. We observed that the C. albicans and mammalian type I topoisomerases differ in that the C. albicans cleavage complex is approximately 10-fold less sensitive to camptothecin than the mammalian cleavage complex is. In addition, we found that the antifungal agent eupolauridine can stabilize the cleavage complex formed by both the C. albicans and human topoisomerases and that the response of the C. albicans topoisomerase I to this drug is greater than that of the human enzyme. Thus, the topoisomerase I from C. albicans is sufficiently distinct from the human enzyme as to allow differential chemical targeting and will therefore make a good target for antifungal drug discovery. Images PMID:1332588
Song, Chenchen; Knöpfel, Thomas
Optogenetics - the use of light and genetics to manipulate and monitor the activities of defined cell populations - has already had a transformative impact on basic neuroscience research. Now, the conceptual and methodological advances associated with optogenetic approaches are providing fresh momentum to neuroscience drug discovery, particularly in areas that are stalled on the concept of 'fixing the brain chemistry'. Optogenetics is beginning to translate and transit into drug discovery in several key domains, including target discovery, high-throughput screening and novel therapeutic approaches to disease states. Here, we discuss the exciting potential of optogenetic technologies to transform neuroscience drug discovery.
Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate the transmission and regulation of oncogenic signals that are essential to cellular proliferation and survival, and thus represent potential targets for anti-cancer therapeutic discovery. Despite their significance, there is no method to experimentally disrupt and interrogate the essentiality of individual endogenous PPIs. The ability to computationally predict or infer PPI essentiality would help prioritize PPIs for drug discovery and help advance understanding of cancer biology.
Felciano, Ramon M; Bavari, Sina; Richards, Daniel R; Billaud, Jean-Noel; Warren, Travis; Panchal, Rekha; Krämer, Andreas
Knowledge of immune system and host-pathogen pathways can inform development of targeted therapies and molecular diagnostics based on a mechanistic understanding of disease pathogenesis and the host response. We investigated the feasibility of rapid target discovery for novel broad-spectrum molecular therapeutics through comprehensive systems biology modeling and analysis of pathogen and host-response pathways and mechanisms. We developed a system to identify and prioritize candidate host targets based on strength of mechanistic evidence characterizing the role of the target in pathogenesis and tractability desiderata that include optimal delivery of new indications through potential repurposing of existing compounds or therapeutics. Empirical validation of predicted targets in cellular and mouse model systems documented an effective target prediction rate of 34%, suggesting that such computational discovery approaches should be part of target discovery efforts in operational clinical or biodefense research initiatives. We describe our target discovery methodology, technical implementation, and experimental results. Our work demonstrates the potential for in silico pathway models to enable rapid, systematic identification and prioritization of novel targets against existing or emerging biological threats, thus accelerating drug discovery and medical countermeasures research.
Kigondu, Elizabeth M; Wasuna, Antonina; Warner, Digby F; Chibale, Kelly
There has been renewed interest in alternative strategies to address bottlenecks in antibiotic development. These include the repurposing of approved drugs for use as novel anti-infective agents, or their exploitation as leads in drug repositioning. Such approaches are especially attractive for tuberculosis (TB), a disease which remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally and, increasingly, is associated with the emergence of drug-resistance. In this review article, we introduce a refinement of traditional drug repositioning and repurposing strategies involving the development of drugs that are based on the active metabolite(s) of parental compounds with demonstrated efficacy. In addition, we describe an approach to repositioning the natural product antibiotic, fusidic acid, for use against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Finally, we consider the potential to exploit the chemical matter arising from these activities in combination screens and permeation assays which are designed to confirm mechanism of action (MoA), elucidate potential synergies in polypharmacy, and to develop rules for drug permeability in an organism that poses a special challenge to new drug development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wang, Zhenya; Chen, Xinli; Wu, Chunli; Xu, Haiwei; Liu, Hongmin
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major worldwide epidemic disease. It is estimated that more than 170 million individuals are infected with HCV and with three to four million new cases each year. Many new direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents that specifically target HCV NS3 protease or NS5B polymerase inhibitors are therefore in development, with a significant effect for the patient and for the market recently. The non-structural 4B (NS4B) protein, is among the least characterized of the HCV proteins. A variety of functions have been recognized for NS4B, such as the ability to induce the membranous web replication platform, RNA binding and NTPase activity. In order to maximize antiviral efficacy and prevent the emergence of resistance, novel NS4B inhibitors have been subjected to pharmacological studies. In this review, we discussed current understanding of the structure and function of NS4B, and novel drug discoveries targeting NS4B as anti-hepatitis C virus such as sulfonamide, piperidine, carboxamide, piperazinone and quinoline derivatives within the last three years.
Lee, Wen Hwa
There is a scarcity of novel treatments to address many unmet medical needs. Industry and academia are finally coming to terms with the fact that the prevalent models and incentives for innovation in early stage drug discovery are failing to promote progress quickly enough. Here we will examine how an open model of precompetitive public–private research partnership is enabling efficient derisking and acceleration in the early stages of drug discovery, whilst also widening the range of communities participating in the process, such as patient and disease foundations. PMID:26042736
Shen, L L; Baranowski, J; Fostel, J; Montgomery, D A; Lartey, P A
DNA topoisomerases, a class of enzymes that change the topological structure of DNA, have been shown to be the target of many therapeutic agents, including antibacterial agents (quinolones) and anticancer agents. These drugs inhibit the enzyme in a unique way so that the enzyme is converted into a cellular poison. Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger are two major opportunistic fungal pathogens. Our results show that these fungi have high levels of both type I and type II topoisomerases (with a minimum of 5 x 10(5) ATP-independent relaxation units and 2 x 10(5) P-4 unknotting units per liter of wild-type C. albicans). The ATP-dependent type II topoisomerase (termed C. albicans topoisomerase II) was purified by approximately 2,000-fold from C. albicans cells by using a simple isolation scheme that consists of three column procedures: hydroxylapatite, phosphocellulose, and heparin-agarose chromatographies. The responses of the Candida and the calf thymus topoisomerase II to some known topoisomerase II inhibitors were measured. Etoposide and 4'-(9-acridinylamino)methanesulfon-m-anisidide, compounds known to inhibit catalysis and to enhance DNA breakage by mammalian topoisomerase II, and A-80198, an etoposide derivative, enhanced cleavage by both enzymes at similar concentrations of these compounds, with the response of the calf thymus topoisomerase II from slightly to fourfold higher in magnitude than the response of the Candida enzyme in the same concentration range. In contrast, A-75272 (a cytotoxic tricyclic quinolone) shows a slightly stronger DNA cleavage enhancement effect with the Candida enzyme than with the mammalian counterpart. The abundance of the enzyme in cells and the different drug responses of the host enzyme and the fungal enzyme suggest that the fungal topoisomerase may serve as a target for the discovery of effective and safe antifungal agents.
de Mooij-van Malsen, Annetrude J G; Pjetri, Eneda; Kas, Martien J
Animal studies play a central role in the identification and testing of novel drugs for CNS disorders. In his longstanding career, Berend Olivier has significantly contributed to CNS drug discovery by applying and supporting novel views and methodologies in the fields of behavioral neuroscience, pharmacology, and (epi-) genetics. Here we review and put forward some of these integrated approaches that have led to a productive collaboration and new insights into the genetic and epigenetic regulation of neurobehavioural traits related to psychiatric disorders.
Hunter, William N
Two, simple, C5 compounds, dimethylally diphosphate and isopentenyl diphosphate, are the universal precursors of isoprenoids, a large family of natural products involved in numerous important biological processes. Two distinct biosynthetic pathways have evolved to supply these precursors. Humans use the mevalonate route whilst many species of bacteria including important pathogens, plant chloroplasts and apicomplexan parasites exploit the non-mevalonate pathway. The absence from humans, combined with genetic and chemical validation suggests that the non-mevalonate pathway holds the potential to support new drug discovery programmes targeting Gram-negative bacteria and the apicomplexan parasites responsible for causing serious human diseases, and also infections of veterinary importance. The non-mevalonate pathway relies on eight enzyme-catalyzed stages exploiting a range of cofactors and metal ions. A wealth of structural and mechanistic data, mainly derived from studies of bacterial enzymes, now exists for most components of the pathway and these will be described. Particular attention will be paid to how these data inform on the apicomplexan orthologues concentrating on the enzymes from Plasmodium spp. these cause malaria, one the most important parasitic diseases in the world today.
Multi-targeted hybrids combine two drugs in a single molecule to have greater medicinal effects than its individual components. Recently, a number of anti-cancer drug candidates such as CUDC-101 (Curis) have been designed based on linking properly two selected pharmacophores endowed with activity against different therapeutic targets.
Lipinski, Christopher A
The rule of five (Ro5), based on physicochemical profiles of phase II drugs, is consistent with structural limitations in protein targets and the drug target ligands. Three of four parameters in Ro5 are fundamental to the structure of both target and drug binding sites. The chemical structure of the drug ligand depends on the ligand chemistry and design philosophy. Two extremes of chemical structure and design philosophy exist; ligands constructed in the medicinal chemistry synthesis laboratory without input from natural selection and natural product (NP) metabolites biosynthesized based on evolutionary selection. Exceptions to Ro5 are found mostly among NPs. Chemistry chameleon-like behavior of some NPs due to intra-molecular hydrogen bonding as exemplified by cyclosporine A is a strong contributor to NP Ro5 outliers. The fragment derived, drug Navitoclax is an example of the extensive expertise, resources, time and key decisions required for the rare discovery of a non-NP Ro5 outlier.
Smith, Andrew M.; Ammar, Ron; Nislow, Corey; Giaever, Guri
Over the past decade, the development and application of chemical genomic assays using the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae has provided powerful methods to identify the mechanism of action of known drugs and novel small molecules in vivo. These assays identify drug target candidates, genes involved in buffering drug target pathways and also help to define the general cellular response to small molecules. In this review, we examine current yeast chemical genomic assays and summarize the potential applications of each approach. PMID:20546776
Chichester, Christine; Digles, Daniela; Siebes, Ronald; Loizou, Antonis; Groth, Paul; Harland, Lee
Modern data-driven drug discovery requires integrated resources to support decision-making and enable new discoveries. The Open PHACTS Discovery Platform (http://dev.openphacts.org) was built to address this requirement by focusing on drug discovery questions that are of high priority to the pharmaceutical industry. Although complex, most of these frequently asked questions (FAQs) revolve around the combination of data concerning compounds, targets, pathways and diseases. Computational drug discovery using workflow tools and the integrated resources of Open PHACTS can deliver answers to most of these questions. Here, we report on a selection of workflows used for solving these use cases and discuss some of the research challenges. The workflows are accessible online from myExperiment (http://www.myexperiment.org) and are available for reuse by the scientific community.
Liu, Ke; Liu, Yanli; Lau, Johnathan L; Min, Jinrong
Chromatin structure is dynamically modulated by various chromatin modifications, such as histone/DNA methylation and demethylation. We have reviewed histone methyltransferases and methyllysine binders in terms of small molecule screening and drug discovery in the first part of this review series. In this part, we will summarize recent progress in chemical probe and drug discovery of histone demethylases and DNA methyltransferases. Histone demethylation and DNA methylation have attracted a lot of attention regarding their biology and disease implications. Correspondingly, many small molecule compounds have been designed to modulate the activity of histone demethylases and DNA methyltransferases, and some of them have been developed into therapeutic drugs or put into clinical trials. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Recent years have seen a significant improvement in available treatment options for leishmaniasis. Two new drugs, miltefosine and paromomycin, have been registered for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in India since 2002. Combination therapy is now explored in clinical trials as a new treatment approach for VL to reduce the length of treatment and potentially prevent selection of resistant parasites. However there is still a need for new drugs due to safety, resistance, stability and cost issues with existing therapies. The search for topical treatments for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is ongoing. This review gives a brief overview of recent developments and approaches in anti-leishmanial drug discovery and development. PMID:21629509
Sheng, Jia; Gan, Jianhua; Huang, Zhen
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. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Sheng, Jia; Gan, Jianhua; Huang, Zhen
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
Li, Xiuyun; Hou, Yinglong; Yue, Longtao; Liu, Shuyuan; Du, Juan; Sun, Shujuan
Fungal infections, especially infections caused by Candida albicans, remain a challenging problem in clinical settings. Despite the development of more-effective antifungal drugs, their application is limited for various reasons. Thus, alternative treatments with drugs aimed at novel targets in C. albicans are needed. Knowledge of growth and virulence in fungal cells is essential not only to understand their pathogenic mechanisms but also to identify potential antifungal targets. This article reviews the current knowledge of the mechanisms of growth and virulence in C. albicans and examines potential targets for the development of new antifungal drugs.
Plasmodium . There are four species of Plasmodium that may cause malaria in humans: P. falciparum , P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. vivax. P...gold standard for drug discovery is the in vitro screen for efficacy against Plasmodium falciparum (fig. 1, yellow box). This assay acts as a... falciparum is the most dangerous, as it can cause severe anemia, kidney failure, and brain damage; it is often fatal, especially among children. In P. vivax
Abdolmalekia, Azizeh; Ghasemi, Jahan B
Finding high quality beginning compounds is a critical job at the start of the lead generation stage for multi-target drug discovery (MTDD). Designing hybrid compounds as a selective multi-target chemical entity is a challenge, opportunity, and new idea to better act against specific multiple targets. One hybrid molecule is formed by two (or more) pharmacophore group's participation. So, these new compounds often exhibit two or more activities going about as multi-target drugs (mt-drugs) and may have superior safety or efficacy. Application of integrating a range of information and sophisticated new in silico, bioinformatics, structural biology, pharmacogenomics methods may be useful to discover/design, and synthesis of the new hybrid molecules. In this regard, many rational and screening approaches have followed by medicinal chemists for the lead generation in MTDD. Here, we review some popular lead generation approaches that have been used for designing multiple ligands (DMLs). This paper focuses on dual- acting chemical entities that incorporate a part of two drugs or bioactive compounds to compose hybrid molecules. Also, it presents some of key concepts and limitations/strengths of lead generation methods by comparing combination framework method with screening approaches. Besides, a number of examples to represent applications of hybrid molecules in the drug discovery are included.
Reguera, Rosa M.; Calvo-Álvarez, Estefanía; Álvarez-Velilla, Raquel; Balaña-Fouce, Rafael
Drug discovery programs sponsored by public or private initiatives pursue the same ambitious goal: a crushing defeat of major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) during this decade. Both target-based and target-free screenings have pros and cons when it comes to finding potential small-molecule leads among chemical libraries consisting of myriads of compounds. Within the target-based strategy, crystals of pathogen recombinant-proteins are being used to obtain three-dimensional (3D) structures in silico for the discovery of structure-based inhibitors. On the other hand, genetically modified parasites expressing easily detectable reporters are in the pipeline of target-free (phenotypic) screenings. Furthermore, lead compounds can be scaled up to in vivo preclinical trials using rodent models of infection monitoring parasite loads by means of cutting-edge bioimaging devices. As such, those preferred are fluorescent and bioluminescent readouts due to their reproducibility and rapidity, which reduces the number of animals used in the trials and allows for an earlier stage detection of the infective process as compared with classical methods. In this review, we focus on the current differences between target-based and phenotypic screenings in Leishmania, as an approach that leads to the discovery of new potential drugs against leishmaniasis. PMID:25516847
Hughes, JP; Rees, S; Kalindjian, SB; Philpott, KL
Developing a new drug from original idea to the launch of a finished product is a complex process which can take 12–15 years and cost in excess of $1 billion. The idea for a target can come from a variety of sources including academic and clinical research and from the commercial sector. It may take many years to build up a body of supporting evidence before selecting a target for a costly drug discovery programme. Once a target has been chosen, the pharmaceutical industry and more recently some academic centres have streamlined a number of early processes to identify molecules which possess suitable characteristics to make acceptable drugs. This review will look at key preclinical stages of the drug discovery process, from initial target identification and validation, through assay development, high throughput screening, hit identification, lead optimization and finally the selection of a candidate molecule for clinical development. PMID:21091654
Hughes, J P; Rees, S; Kalindjian, S B; Philpott, K L
Developing a new drug from original idea to the launch of a finished product is a complex process which can take 12-15 years and cost in excess of $1 billion. The idea for a target can come from a variety of sources including academic and clinical research and from the commercial sector. It may take many years to build up a body of supporting evidence before selecting a target for a costly drug discovery programme. Once a target has been chosen, the pharmaceutical industry and more recently some academic centres have streamlined a number of early processes to identify molecules which possess suitable characteristics to make acceptable drugs. This review will look at key preclinical stages of the drug discovery process, from initial target identification and validation, through assay development, high throughput screening, hit identification, lead optimization and finally the selection of a candidate molecule for clinical development.
Alagappan, Muthuraman; Jiang, Dadi; Denko, Nicholas
In silico drug discovery refers to a combination of computational techniques that augment our ability to discover drug compounds from compound libraries. Many such techniques exist, including virtual high-throughput screening (vHTS), high-throughput screening (HTS), and mechanisms for data storage and querying. However, presently these tools are often used independent of one another. In this chapter, we describe a new multimodal in silico technique for the hit identification and lead generation phases of traditional drug discovery. Our technique leverages the benefits of three independent methods—virtual high-throughput screening, high-throughput screening, and structural fingerprint analysis—by using a fourth technique called topological data analysis (TDA). We describe how a compound library can be independently tested with vHTS, HTS, and fingerprint analysis, and how the results can be transformed into a topological data analysis network to identify compounds from a diverse group of structural families. This process of using TDA or similar clustering methods to identify drug leads is advantageous because it provides a mechanism for choosing structurally diverse compounds while maintaining the unique advantages of already established techniques such as vHTS and HTS. PMID:27325272
Alagappan, Muthuraman; Jiang, Dadi; Denko, Nicholas; Koong, Albert C
In silico drug discovery refers to a combination of computational techniques that augment our ability to discover drug compounds from compound libraries. Many such techniques exist, including virtual high-throughput screening (vHTS), high-throughput screening (HTS), and mechanisms for data storage and querying. However, presently these tools are often used independent of one another. In this chapter, we describe a new multimodal in silico technique for the hit identification and lead generation phases of traditional drug discovery. Our technique leverages the benefits of three independent methods-virtual high-throughput screening, high-throughput screening, and structural fingerprint analysis-by using a fourth technique called topological data analysis (TDA). We describe how a compound library can be independently tested with vHTS, HTS, and fingerprint analysis, and how the results can be transformed into a topological data analysis network to identify compounds from a diverse group of structural families. This process of using TDA or similar clustering methods to identify drug leads is advantageous because it provides a mechanism for choosing structurally diverse compounds while maintaining the unique advantages of already established techniques such as vHTS and HTS.
Geromichalos, George D; Alifieris, Constantinos E; Geromichalou, Elena G; Trafalis, Dimitrios T
Conventional drug design embraces the "one gene, one drug, one disease" philosophy. Nowadays, new generation of anti- cancer drugs, able to inhibit more than one pathway, is believed to play a major role in contemporary anticancer drug research. In this way, polypharmacology, focusing on multi-target drugs, has emerged as a new paradigm in drug discovery. A number of recent successful drugs have in part or in whole emerged from a structure-based research approach. Many advances including crystallography and informatics are behind these successes. Increasing insight into the genetics and molecular biology of cancer has resulted in the identification of an increasing number of potential molecular targets, for anticancer drug discovery and development. These targets can be approached through exploitation of emerging structural biology, "rational" drug design, screening of chemical libraries, or a combination of these methods. The result is the rapid discovery of new anticancer drugs. In this article we discuss the application of molecular modeling, molecular docking and virtual high-throughput screening to multi-targeted anticancer drug discovery. Efforts have been made to employ in silico methods for facilitating the search and design of selective multi-target agents. These computer aided molecular design methods have shown promising potential in facilitating drug discovery directed at selective multiple targets and is expected to contribute to intelligent lead anticancer drugs.
Ekins, S; Mestres, J; Testa, B
Computational (in silico) methods have been developed and widely applied to pharmacology hypothesis development and testing. These in silico methods include databases, quantitative structure-activity relationships, similarity searching, pharmacophores, homology models and other molecular modeling, machine learning, data mining, network analysis tools and data analysis tools that use a computer. Such methods have seen frequent use in the discovery and optimization of novel molecules with affinity to a target, the clarification of absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity properties as well as physicochemical characterization. The first part of this review discussed the methods that have been used for virtual ligand and target-based screening and profiling to predict biological activity. The aim of this second part of the review is to illustrate some of the varied applications of in silico methods for pharmacology in terms of the targets addressed. We will also discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of in silico methods with respect to in vitro and in vivo methods for pharmacology research. Our conclusion is that the in silico pharmacology paradigm is ongoing and presents a rich array of opportunities that will assist in expediating the discovery of new targets, and ultimately lead to compounds with predicted biological activity for these novel targets. PMID:17549046
El-Sherbeni, Ahmed A; El-Kadi, Ayman O S
Cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes are ancient electron-transfer-chain system of remarkable biological importance. Microsomal P450 enzymes are the P450 attached to endoplasmic reticulum, which, in humans, are critical for body's defenses against xenobiotics by mediating their metabolism, and cell signaling by mediating arachidonic acid (AA) transformation to several potent bioactive molecules. Only recently, modulating P450-mediated AA metabolism has risen as a promising new drug target. This review presents the therapeutic potential of finding effective, selective and safe treatments targeting P450-mediated AA metabolism, and the several approaches that have been used to find these treatments; among which, our focus was on modulators of P450 activities. We detailed the efforts done to develop new molecular entities designed to modulate P450, and the more recent efforts tried to employ our previous knowledge on drug metabolism to repurpose old drugs with the capacity to alter P450-mediated drug metabolism to target AA metabolism. Because of the long recognition of P450 role in xenobiotic metabolism, several clinically approved agents were identified to alter P450 activity. Repurposing old drugs as P450 modulators can facilitate bringing treatments targeting P450-mediated AA metabolism to clinical trials. However, the capacity of the modulation of P450-derived AA metabolites of clinically approved drugs has to be systematically investigated and validated for their new use in humans.
Shi, Junwei; Wang, Eric; Milazzo, Joseph P; Wang, Zihua; Kinney, Justin B; Vakoc, Christopher R
CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology holds great promise for discovering therapeutic targets in cancer and other diseases. Current screening strategies target CRISPR-Cas9-induced mutations to the 5' exons of candidate genes, but this approach often produces in-frame variants that retain functionality, which can obscure even strong genetic dependencies. Here we overcome this limitation by targeting CRISPR-Cas9 mutagenesis to exons encoding functional protein domains. This generates a higher proportion of null mutations and substantially increases the potency of negative selection. We also show that the magnitude of negative selection can be used to infer the functional importance of individual protein domains of interest. A screen of 192 chromatin regulatory domains in murine acute myeloid leukemia cells identifies six known drug targets and 19 additional dependencies. A broader application of this approach may allow comprehensive identification of protein domains that sustain cancer cells and are suitable for drug targeting.
Kobet, Robert A.; Pan, Xiaoping; Zhang, Baohong; Pak, Stephen C.; Asch, Adam S.; Lee, Myon-Hee
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique opportunity for biological and basic medical researches due to its genetic tractability and well-defined developmental lineage. It also provides an exceptional model for genetic, molecular, and cellular analysis of human disease-related genes. Recently, C. elegans has been used as an ideal model for the identification and functional analysis of drugs (or small-molecules) in vivo. In this review, we describe conserved oncogenic signaling pathways (Wnt, Notch, and Ras) and their potential roles in the development of cancer stem cells. During C. elegans germline development, these signaling pathways regulate multiple cellular processes such as germline stem cell niche specification, germline stem cell maintenance, and germ cell fate specification. Therefore, the aberrant regulations of these signaling pathways can cause either loss of germline stem cells or overproliferation of a specific cell type, resulting in sterility. This sterility phenotype allows us to identify drugs that can modulate the oncogenic signaling pathways directly or indirectly through a high-throughput screening. Current in vivo or in vitro screening methods are largely focused on the specific core signaling components. However, this phenotype-based screening will identify drugs that possibly target upstream or downstream of core signaling pathways as well as exclude toxic effects. Although phenotype-based drug screening is ideal, the identification of drug targets is a major challenge. We here introduce a new technique, called Drug Affinity Responsive Target Stability (DARTS). This innovative method is able to identify the target of the identified drug. Importantly, signaling pathways and their regulators in C. elegans are highly conserved in most vertebrates, including humans. Therefore, C. elegans will provide a great opportunity to identify therapeutic drugs and their targets, as well as to understand mechanisms underlying the
Liu, Qing; Wang, Ming-wei
Post-translational epigenetic modification of histones is controlled by a number of histone-modifying enzymes. Such modification regulates the accessibility of DNA and the subsequent expression or silencing of a gene. Human histone methyltransferases (HMTs)constitute a large family that includes histone lysine methyltransferases (HKMTs) and histone/protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). There is increasing evidence showing a correlation between HKMTs and cancer pathogenesis. Here, we present an overview of representative HKMTs, including their biological and biochemical properties as well as the profiles of small molecule inhibitors for a comprehensive understanding of HKMTs in drug discovery. PMID:27397541
Bullard, Kristen M; DeLisle, Robert Kirk; Keenan, Susan M
Malaria, the disease caused by infection with protozoan parasites from the genus Plasmodium, claims the lives of nearly 1 million people annually. Developing nations, particularly in the African Region, bear the brunt of this malaria burden. Alarmingly, the most dangerous etiologic agent of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, is becoming increasingly resistant to current first-line antimalarials. In light of the widespread devastation caused by malaria, the emergence of drug-resistant P. falciparum strains, and the projected decrease in funding for malaria eradication that may occur over the next decade, the identification of promising new targets for antimalarial drug design is imperative. P. falciparum kinases have been proposed as ideal drug targets for antimalarial drug design because they mediate critical cellular processes within the parasite and are, in many cases, structurally and mechanistically divergent when compared with kinases from humans. Identifying a molecule capable of inhibiting the activity of a target enzyme is generally an arduous and expensive process that can be greatly aided by utilizing in silico drug design techniques. Such methods have been extensively applied to human kinases, but as yet have not been fully exploited for the exploration and characterization of antimalarial kinase targets. This review focuses on in silico methods that have been used for the evaluation of potential antimalarials and the Plasmodium kinases that could be explored using these techniques.
Jiang, Guoqian; Wang, Chen; Zhu, Qian; Chute, Christopher G.
Knowledge-driven text mining is becoming an important research area for identifying pharmacogenomics target genes. However, few of such studies have been focused on the pharmacogenomics targets of adverse drug events (ADEs). The objective of the present study is to build a framework of knowledge integration and discovery that aims to support pharmacogenomics target predication of ADEs. We integrate a semantically annotated literature corpus Semantic MEDLINE with a semantically coded ADE knowledgebase known as ADEpedia using a semantic web based framework. We developed a knowledge discovery approach combining a network analysis of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and a gene functional classification approach. We performed a case study of drug-induced long QT syndrome for demonstrating the usefulness of the framework in predicting potential pharmacogenomics targets of ADEs. PMID:24303306
Morrow, John Kenneth; Tian, Longzhang; Zhang, Shuxing
Despite the dramatic increase of global spending on drug discovery and development, the approval rate for new drugs is declining, due chiefly to toxicity and undesirable side effects. Simultaneously, the growth of available biomedical data in the post-genomic era has provided fresh insight into the nature of redundant and compensatory drug-target pathways. This stagnation in drug approval can be overcome by the novel concept of polypharmacology, which is built on the fundamental concept that drugs modulate multiple targets. Polypharmacology can be studied with molecular networks which integrate multidisciplinary concepts including cheminformatics, bioinformatics, and systems biology. In silico techniques such as structure and ligand-based approaches can be employed to study molecular networks and reduce costs by predicting adverse drug reactions and toxicity in the early stage of drug development. By amalgamating strides in this informatics-driven era, designing polypharmacological drugs with molecular network technology exemplifies the next generation of therapeutics with less off-target properties and toxicity. In this review, we will first describe the challenges in drug discovery, and showcase successes using multi-target drugs toward diseases such as cancer and mood disorders. We will then focus on recent development of in silico polypharmacology predictions. Finally, our technologies in molecular network analysis will be presented. PMID:20932236
Wynn, Jessica E.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is an RNA virus that is prone to high rates of mutation. While the disease is managed with current antiretroviral therapies, drugs with a new mode of action are needed. A strategy towards this goal is aimed at targeting the native three-dimensional fold of conserved RNA structures. This perspective highlights medium-sized peptides and peptidomimetics used to target two conserved RNA structures of HIV-1. In particular, branched peptides have the capacity to bind in a multivalent fashion, utilizing a large surface area to achieve the necessary affinity and selectivity toward the target RNA. PMID:25958855
Dahlin, Jayme L; Inglese, James; Walters, Michael A
The number of academic drug discovery centres has grown considerably in recent years, providing new opportunities to couple the curiosity-driven research culture in academia with rigorous preclinical drug discovery practices used in industry. To fully realize the potential of these opportunities, it is important that academic researchers understand the risks inherent in preclinical drug discovery, and that translational research programmes are effectively organized and supported at an institutional level. In this article, we discuss strategies to mitigate risks in several key aspects of preclinical drug discovery at academic drug discovery centres, including organization, target selection, assay design, medicinal chemistry and preclinical pharmacology.
Ortiz, Diana; Forquer, Isaac; Boitz, Jan; Soysa, Radika; Elya, Carolyn; Fulwiler, Audrey; Nilsen, Aaron; Polley, Tamsen; Riscoe, Michael K; Ullman, Buddy; Landfear, Scott M
Endochin-like quinolones (ELQs) are potent and specific inhibitors of cytochrome bc1 from Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii and show promise for novel antiparasitic drug development. To determine whether the mitochondrial electron transport chain of Leishmania parasites could be targeted similarly for drug development, we investigated the activity of 134 structurally diverse ELQs. A cohort of ELQs was selectively toxic to amastigotes of Leishmania mexicana and L. donovani, with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) in the low micromolar range, but the structurally similar hydroxynaphthoquinone buparvaquone was by far the most potent inhibitor of electron transport, ATP production, and intracellular amastigote growth. Cytochrome bc1 is thus a promising target for novel antileishmanial drugs, and further improvements on the buparvaquone scaffold are warranted for development of enhanced therapeutics.
Ortiz, Diana; Forquer, Isaac; Boitz, Jan; Soysa, Radika; Elya, Carolyn; Fulwiler, Audrey; Nilsen, Aaron; Polley, Tamsen; Riscoe, Michael K.; Ullman, Buddy
Endochin-like quinolones (ELQs) are potent and specific inhibitors of cytochrome bc1 from Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii and show promise for novel antiparasitic drug development. To determine whether the mitochondrial electron transport chain of Leishmania parasites could be targeted similarly for drug development, we investigated the activity of 134 structurally diverse ELQs. A cohort of ELQs was selectively toxic to amastigotes of Leishmania mexicana and L. donovani, with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) in the low micromolar range, but the structurally similar hydroxynaphthoquinone buparvaquone was by far the most potent inhibitor of electron transport, ATP production, and intracellular amastigote growth. Cytochrome bc1 is thus a promising target for novel antileishmanial drugs, and further improvements on the buparvaquone scaffold are warranted for development of enhanced therapeutics. PMID:27297476
Eder, Jörg; Herrling, Paul L
Drugs discovered by the pharmaceutical industry over the past 100 years have dramatically changed the practice of medicine and impacted on many aspects of our culture. For many years, drug discovery was a target- and mechanism-agnostic approach that was based on ethnobotanical knowledge often fueled by serendipity. With the advent of modern molecular biology methods and based on knowledge of the human genome, drug discovery has now largely changed into a hypothesis-driven target-based approach, a development which was paralleled by significant environmental changes in the pharmaceutical industry. Laboratories became increasingly computerized and automated, and geographically dispersed research sites are now more and more clustered into large centers to capture technological and biological synergies. Today, academia, the regulatory agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry all contribute to drug discovery, and, in order to translate the basic science into new medical treatments for unmet medical needs, pharmaceutical companies have to have a critical mass of excellent scientists working in many therapeutic fields, disciplines, and technologies. The imperative for the pharmaceutical industry to discover breakthrough medicines is matched by the increasing numbers of first-in-class drugs approved in recent years and reflects the impact of modern drug discovery approaches, technologies, and genomics.
Despite striking advances in the biomedical sciences, the flow of new drugs has slowed to a trickle, impairing therapeutic advances as well as the commercial success of drug companies. Reduced productivity in the drug industry is caused mainly by corporate policies that discourage innovation. This is compounded by various consequences of mega-mergers, the obsession for blockbuster drugs, the shift of control of research from scientists to marketers, the need for fast sales growth, and the discontinuation of development compounds for nontechnical reasons. Lessons from the past indicate that these problems can be overcome, and herein, new and improved directions for drug discovery are suggested. PMID:17080187
Bosques, Carlos J; Manning, Anthony M
Autoantibody immune complexes (ICs) mediate pathogenesis in multiple autoimmune diseases via direct interference with target function, complement fixation, and interaction with Fc-gamma receptors (FcγRs). Through high avidity interactions, ICs are able to crosslink low affinity FcγRs expressed on a wide variety of effector cells, leading to secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators and inducing cytotoxicity, ultimately resulting in tissue injury. Given their relevance in numerous autoimmune diseases, FcγRs have been considered as attractive therapeutic targets for the last three decades. However, a limited number of investigational drug candidates have been developed targeting FcγRs and only a few approved therapeutics have been associated with impacting FcγRs. This review provides a historical overview of the different therapeutic approaches used to target FcγRs for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kimple, Adam J.; Bosch, Dustin E.; Giguère, Patrick M.
Because G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) continue to represent excellent targets for the discovery and development of small-molecule therapeutics, it is posited that additional protein components of the signal transduction pathways emanating from activated GPCRs themselves are attractive as drug discovery targets. This review considers the drug discovery potential of two such components: members of the “regulators of G-protein signaling” (RGS protein) superfamily, as well as their substrates, the heterotrimeric G-protein α subunits. Highlighted are recent advances, stemming from mouse knockout studies and the use of “RGS-insensitivity” and fast-hydrolysis mutations to Gα, in our understanding of how RGS proteins selectively act in (patho)physiologic conditions controlled by GPCR signaling and how they act on the nucleotide cycling of heterotrimeric G-proteins in shaping the kinetics and sensitivity of GPCR signaling. Progress is documented regarding recent activities along the path to devising screening assays and chemical probes for the RGS protein target, not only in pursuits of inhibitors of RGS domain-mediated acceleration of Gα GTP hydrolysis but also to embrace the potential of finding allosteric activators of this RGS protein action. The review concludes in considering the Gα subunit itself as a drug target, as brought to focus by recent reports of activating mutations to GNAQ and GNA11 in ocular (uveal) melanoma. We consider the likelihood of several strategies for antagonizing the function of these oncogene alleles and their gene products, including the use of RGS proteins with Gαq selectivity. PMID:21737532
Sharma, Charu; Sadek, Bassem; Goyal, Sameer N.; Sinha, Satyesh; Ojha, Shreesh
The cannabinoid molecules are derived from Cannabis sativa plant which acts on the cannabinoid receptors types 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) which have been explored as potential therapeutic targets for drug discovery and development. Currently, there are numerous cannabinoid based synthetic drugs used in clinical practice like the popular ones such as nabilone, dronabinol, and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol mediates its action through CB1/CB2 receptors. However, these synthetic based Cannabis derived compounds are known to exert adverse psychiatric effect and have also been exploited for drug abuse. This encourages us to find out an alternative and safe drug with the least psychiatric adverse effects. In recent years, many phytocannabinoids have been isolated from plants other than Cannabis. Several studies have shown that these phytocannabinoids show affinity, potency, selectivity, and efficacy towards cannabinoid receptors and inhibit endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes, thus reducing hyperactivity of endocannabinoid systems. Also, these naturally derived molecules possess the least adverse effects opposed to the synthetically derived cannabinoids. Therefore, the plant based cannabinoid molecules proved to be promising and emerging therapeutic alternative. The present review provides an overview of therapeutic potential of ligands and plants modulating cannabinoid receptors that may be of interest to pharmaceutical industry in search of new and safer drug discovery and development for future therapeutics. PMID:26664449
Kocyigit, Yucel; Seker, Huseyin
Identification of drug candidates is an important but also difficult process. Given drug resistance bacteria that we face, this process has become more important to identify protein candidates that demonstrate antibacterial activity. The aim of this study is therefore to develop a bioinformatics approach that is more capable of identifying a small but effective set of proteins that are expected to show antibacterial activity, subsequently to be used as antibiotic drug targets. As this is regarded as an imbalanced data classification problem due to smaller number of antibiotic drugs available, a hybrid classification model was developed and applied to the identification of antibiotic drugs. The model was developed by taking into account of various statistical models leading to the development of six different hybrid models. The best model has reached the accuracy of as high as 50% compared to earlier study with the accuracy of less than 1% as far as the proportion of the candidates identified and actual antibiotics in the candidate list is concerned.
Cox, Adrienne D; Der, Channing J; Philips, Mark R
RAS proteins require membrane association for their biologic activity, making this association a logical target for anti-RAS therapeutics. Lipid modification of RAS proteins by a farnesyl isoprenoid is an obligate step in that association, and is an enzymatic process. Accordingly, farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTI) were developed as potential anti-RAS drugs. The lack of efficacy of FTIs as anticancer drugs was widely seen as indicating that blocking RAS membrane association was a flawed approach to cancer treatment. However, a deeper understanding of RAS modification and trafficking has revealed that this was an erroneous conclusion. In the presence of FTIs, KRAS and NRAS, which are the RAS isoforms most frequently mutated in cancer, become substrates for alternative modification, can still associate with membranes, and can still function. Thus, FTIs failed not because blocking RAS membrane association is an ineffective approach, but because FTIs failed to accomplish that task. Recent findings regarding RAS isoform trafficking and the regulation of RAS subcellular localization have rekindled interest in efforts to target these processes. In particular, improved understanding of the palmitoylation/depalmitoylation cycle that regulates RAS interaction with the plasma membrane, endomembranes, and cytosol, and of the potential importance of RAS chaperones, have led to new approaches. Efforts to validate and target other enzymatically regulated posttranslational modifications are also ongoing. In this review, we revisit lessons learned, describe the current state of the art, and highlight challenging but promising directions to achieve the goal of disrupting RAS membrane association and subcellular localization for anti-RAS drug development. Clin Cancer Res; 21(8); 1819-27. ©2015 AACR. See all articles in this CCR Focus section, "Targeting RAS-Driven Cancers."
Cunningham, Mark L; Kwan, Bryan P; Nelson, Kirk J; Bensen, Daniel C; Shaw, Karen J
The macromolecular synthesis assay was optimized in both S. aureus and E. coli imp and used to define patterns of inhibition of DNA, RNA, protein, and cell wall biosynthesis of several drug classes. The concentration of drug required to elicit pathway inhibition differed among the antimicrobial agents tested, with inhibition detected at concentrations significantly below the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for tedizolid; within 4-fold of the MIC for ciprofloxacin, cefepime, vancomycin, tetracycline, and chloramphenicol; and significantly above the MIC for rifampicin and kanamycin. In a DNA gyrase/topoisomerase IV structure-based drug design optimization program, the assay rapidly identified undesirable off-target activity within certain chemotypes, altering the course of the program to focus on the series that maintained on-target activity.
Wohlleben, Wolfgang; Mast, Yvonne; Stegmann, Evi; Ziemert, Nadine
Due to the threat posed by the increase of highly resistant pathogenic bacteria, there is an urgent need for new antibiotics; all the more so since in the last 20 years, the approval for new antibacterial agents had decreased. The field of natural product discovery has undergone a tremendous development over the past few years. This has been the consequence of several new and revolutionizing drug discovery and development techniques, which is initiating a 'New Age of Antibiotic Discovery'. In this review, we concentrate on the most significant discovery approaches during the last and present years and comment on the challenges facing the community in the coming years. © 2016 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.
Kumalo, Hezekiel M; Bhakat, Soumendranath; Soliman, Mahmoud E
There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified based on the type of cell that is initially affected. If left untreated, cancer can result in serious health problems and eventually death. Recently, the paradigm of cancer chemotherapy has evolved to use a combination approach, which involves the use of multiple drugs each of which targets an individual protein. Inhibition of heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is one of the novel key cancer targets. Because of its ability to target several signaling pathways, Hsp90 inhibition emerged as a useful strategy to treat a wide variety of cancers. Molecular modeling approaches and methodologies have become 'close counterparts' to experiments in drug design and discovery workflows. A wide range of molecular modeling approaches have been developed, each of which has different objectives and outcomes. In this review, we provide an up-to-date systematic overview on the different computational models implemented toward the design of Hsp90 inhibitors as anticancer agents. Although this is the main emphasis of this review, different topics such as background and current statistics of cancer, different anticancer targets including Hsp90, and the structure and function of Hsp90 from an experimental perspective, for example, X-ray and NMR, are also addressed in this report. To the best of our knowledge, this review is the first account, which comprehensively outlines various molecular modeling efforts directed toward identification of anticancer drugs targeting Hsp90. We believe that the information, methods, and perspectives highlighted in this report would assist researchers in the discovery of potential anticancer agents. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Hellerstein, Marc K
Contemporary drug discovery and development (DDD) is dominated by a molecular target-based paradigm. Molecular targets that are potentially important in disease are physically characterized; chemical entities that interact with these targets are identified by ex vivo high-throughput screening assays, and optimized lead compounds enter testing as drugs. Contrary to highly publicized claims, the ascendance of this approach has in fact resulted in the lowest rate of new drug approvals in a generation. The primary explanation for low rates of new drugs is attrition, or the failure of candidates identified by molecular target-based methods to advance successfully through the DDD process. In this essay, I advance the thesis that this failure was predictable, based on modern principles of metabolic control that have emerged and been applied most forcefully in the field of metabolic engineering. These principles, such as the robustness of flux distributions, address connectivity relationships in complex metabolic networks and make it unlikely a priori that modulating most molecular targets will have predictable, beneficial functional outcomes. These same principles also suggest, however, that unexpected therapeutic actions will be common for agents that have any effect (i.e., that complexity can be exploited therapeutically). A potential operational solution (pathway-based DDD), based on observability rather than predictability, is described, focusing on emergent properties of key metabolic pathways in vivo. Recent examples of pathway-based DDD are described. In summary, the molecular target-based DDD paradigm is built on a naïve and misleading model of biologic control and is not heuristically adequate for advancing the mission of modern therapeutics. New approaches that take account of and are built on principles described by metabolic engineers are needed for the next generation of DDD.
Trindade, Marla; van Zyl, Leonardo Joaquim; Navarro-Fernández, José; Abd Elrazak, Ahmed
Microbial natural products exhibit immense structural diversity and complexity and have captured the attention of researchers for several decades. They have been explored for a wide spectrum of applications, most noteworthy being their prominent role in medicine, and their versatility expands to application as drugs for many diseases. Accessing unexplored environments harboring unique microorganisms is expected to yield novel bioactive metabolites with distinguishing functionalities, which can be supplied to the starved pharmaceutical market. For this purpose the oceans have turned out to be an attractive and productive field. Owing to the enormous biodiversity of marine microorganisms, as well as the growing evidence that many metabolites previously isolated from marine invertebrates and algae are actually produced by their associated bacteria, the interest in marine microorganisms has intensified. Since the majority of the microorganisms are uncultured, metagenomic tools are required to exploit the untapped biochemistry. However, after years of employing metagenomics for marine drug discovery, new drugs are vastly under-represented. While a plethora of natural product biosynthetic genes and clusters are reported, only a minor number of potential therapeutic compounds have resulted through functional metagenomic screening. This review explores specific obstacles that have led to the low success rate. In addition to the typical problems encountered with traditional functional metagenomic-based screens for novel biocatalysts, there are enormous limitations which are particular to drug-like metabolites. We also present how targeted and function-guided strategies, employing modern, and multi-disciplinary approaches have yielded some of the most exciting discoveries attributed to uncultured marine bacteria. These discoveries set the stage for progressing the production of drug candidates from uncultured bacteria for pre-clinical and clinical development. PMID:26379658
Trindade, Marla; van Zyl, Leonardo Joaquim; Navarro-Fernández, José; Abd Elrazak, Ahmed
Microbial natural products exhibit immense structural diversity and complexity and have captured the attention of researchers for several decades. They have been explored for a wide spectrum of applications, most noteworthy being their prominent role in medicine, and their versatility expands to application as drugs for many diseases. Accessing unexplored environments harboring unique microorganisms is expected to yield novel bioactive metabolites with distinguishing functionalities, which can be supplied to the starved pharmaceutical market. For this purpose the oceans have turned out to be an attractive and productive field. Owing to the enormous biodiversity of marine microorganisms, as well as the growing evidence that many metabolites previously isolated from marine invertebrates and algae are actually produced by their associated bacteria, the interest in marine microorganisms has intensified. Since the majority of the microorganisms are uncultured, metagenomic tools are required to exploit the untapped biochemistry. However, after years of employing metagenomics for marine drug discovery, new drugs are vastly under-represented. While a plethora of natural product biosynthetic genes and clusters are reported, only a minor number of potential therapeutic compounds have resulted through functional metagenomic screening. This review explores specific obstacles that have led to the low success rate. In addition to the typical problems encountered with traditional functional metagenomic-based screens for novel biocatalysts, there are enormous limitations which are particular to drug-like metabolites. We also present how targeted and function-guided strategies, employing modern, and multi-disciplinary approaches have yielded some of the most exciting discoveries attributed to uncultured marine bacteria. These discoveries set the stage for progressing the production of drug candidates from uncultured bacteria for pre-clinical and clinical development.
Bosc, Damien; Jakhlal, Jouda; Deprez, Benoit; Deprez-Poulain, Rebecca
For the last 15 years, kinetic target-guided syntheses, including in situ click chemistry, have been used as alternative methods to find ligands to therapeutically relevant proteins. In this review, a comprehensive survey of biological targets used in kinetic target-guided synthesis covers historical and recent examples. The chemical reactions employed and practical aspects, including controls, library sizes and product detection, are presented. A particular focus is on the reagents and warhead selection and design with a critical overview of the challenges encountered. As protein supply remains a key success factor, it appears that increased efforts should be taken toward miniaturization in order to expand the scope of this strategy and qualify it as a fully fledged drug discovery tool.
Cox, Adrienne D.; Der, Channing J.; Philips, Mark R.
RAS proteins require membrane association for their biological activity, making this association a logical target for anti-RAS therapeutics. Lipid modification of RAS proteins by a farnesyl isoprenoid is an obligate step in that association, and is an enzymatic process. Accordingly, farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) were developed as potential anti-RAS drugs. The lack of efficacy of FTIs as anti-cancer drugs was widely seen as indicating that blocking RAS membrane association was a flawed approach to cancer treatment. However, a deeper understanding of RAS modification and trafficking has revealed that this was an erroneous conclusion. In the presence of FTIs, KRAS and NRAS, which are the RAS isoforms most frequently mutated in cancer, become substrates for alternative modification, can still associate with membranes, and can still function. Thus, FTIs failed not because blocking RAS membrane association is an ineffective approach, but because FTIs failed to accomplish that task. Recent findings regarding RAS isoform trafficking and the regulation of RAS subcellular localization have rekindled interest in efforts to target these processes. In particular, improved understanding of the palmitoylation/depalmitoylation cycle that regulates RAS interaction with the plasma membrane, endomembranes and cytosol, and of the potential importance of RAS chaperones, have led to new approaches. Efforts to validate and target other enzymatically regulated post-translational modifications are also ongoing. In this review, we revisit lessons learned, describe the current state of the art, and highlight challenging but promising directions to achieve the goal of disrupting RAS membrane association and subcellular localization for anti-RAS drug development. PMID:25878363
Wuttke, Daniel; Wood, Shona H.; Plank, Michael; Vora, Chintan
Aging is the major biomedical challenge of this century. The percentage of elderly people, and consequently the incidence of age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, is projected to increase considerably in the coming decades. Findings from model organisms have revealed that aging is a surprisingly plastic process that can be manipulated by both genetic and environmental factors. Here we review a broad range of findings in model organisms, from environmental to genetic manipulations of aging, with a focus on those with underlying gene-environment interactions with potential for drug discovery and development. One well-studied dietary manipulation of aging is caloric restriction, which consists of restricting the food intake of organisms without triggering malnutrition and has been shown to retard aging in model organisms. Caloric restriction is already being used as a paradigm for developing compounds that mimic its life-extension effects and might therefore have therapeutic value. The potential for further advances in this field is immense; hundreds of genes in several pathways have recently emerged as regulators of aging and caloric restriction in model organisms. Some of these genes, such as IGF1R and FOXO3, have also been associated with human longevity in genetic association studies. The parallel emergence of network approaches offers prospects to develop multitarget drugs and combinatorial therapies. Understanding how the environment modulates aging-related genes may lead to human applications and disease therapies through diet, lifestyle, or pharmacological interventions. Unlocking the capacity to manipulate human aging would result in unprecedented health benefits. PMID:22090473
Sugimoto, Keiki; Hayakawa, Fumihiko; Shimada, Satoko; Morishita, Takanobu; Shimada, Kazuyuki; Katakai, Tomoya; Tomita, Akihiro; Kiyoi, Hitoshi; Naoe, Tomoki
Cell lines have been used for drug discovery as useful models of cancers; however, they do not recapitulate cancers faithfully, especially in the points of rapid growth rate and microenvironment independency. Consequently, the majority of conventional anti-cancer drugs are less sensitive to slow growing cells and do not target microenvironmental support, although most primary cancer cells grow slower than cell lines and depend on microenvironmental support. Here, we developed a novel high throughput drug screening system using patient-derived xenograft (PDX) cells of lymphoma that maintained primary cancer cell phenotype more than cell lines. The library containing 2613 known pharmacologically active substance and off-patent drugs were screened by this system. We could find many compounds showing higher cytotoxicity than conventional anti-tumor drugs. Especially, pyruvinium pamoate showed the highest activity and its strong anti-tumor effect was confirmed also in vivo. We extensively investigated its mechanism of action and found that it inhibited glutathione supply from stromal cells to lymphoma cells, implying the importance of the stromal protection from oxidative stress for lymphoma cell survival and a new therapeutic strategy for lymphoma. Our system introduces a primary cancer cell phenotype into cell-based phenotype screening and sheds new light on anti-cancer drug development. PMID:26278963
Sugimoto, Keiki; Hayakawa, Fumihiko; Shimada, Satoko; Morishita, Takanobu; Shimada, Kazuyuki; Katakai, Tomoya; Tomita, Akihiro; Kiyoi, Hitoshi; Naoe, Tomoki
Cell lines have been used for drug discovery as useful models of cancers; however, they do not recapitulate cancers faithfully, especially in the points of rapid growth rate and microenvironment independency. Consequently, the majority of conventional anti-cancer drugs are less sensitive to slow growing cells and do not target microenvironmental support, although most primary cancer cells grow slower than cell lines and depend on microenvironmental support. Here, we developed a novel high throughput drug screening system using patient-derived xenograft (PDX) cells of lymphoma that maintained primary cancer cell phenotype more than cell lines. The library containing 2613 known pharmacologically active substance and off-patent drugs were screened by this system. We could find many compounds showing higher cytotoxicity than conventional anti-tumor drugs. Especially, pyruvinium pamoate showed the highest activity and its strong anti-tumor effect was confirmed also in vivo. We extensively investigated its mechanism of action and found that it inhibited glutathione supply from stromal cells to lymphoma cells, implying the importance of the stromal protection from oxidative stress for lymphoma cell survival and a new therapeutic strategy for lymphoma. Our system introduces a primary cancer cell phenotype into cell-based phenotype screening and sheds new light on anti-cancer drug development.
Geromichalos, George D; Alifieris, Constantinos E; Geromichalou, Elena G; Trafalis, Dimitrios T
Conventional drug design embraces the "one gene, one drug, one disease" philosophy. Nowadays, new generation of anticancer drugs, able to inhibit more than one pathway, is believed to play a major role in contemporary anticancer drug research. In this way, polypharmacology, focusing on multi-target drugs, has emerged as a new paradigm in drug discovery. A number of recent successful drugs have in part or in whole emerged from a structure-based research approach. Many advances including crystallography and informatics are behind these successes. In this part II we will review the role and methodology of ligand-, structure- and fragment-based computer-aided drug design computer aided drug desing (CADD), virtual high throughput screening (vHTS), de novo drug design, fragment-based design and structure-based molecular docking, homology modeling, combinatorial chemistry and library design, pharmacophore model chemistry and informatics in modern drug discovery.
Winter, Anja; Higueruelo, Alicia P; Marsh, May; Sigurdardottir, Anna; Pitt, Will R; Blundell, Tom L
Drug discovery has classically targeted the active sites of enzymes or ligand-binding sites of receptors and ion channels. In an attempt to improve selectivity of drug candidates, modulation of protein-protein interfaces (PPIs) of multiprotein complexes that mediate conformation or colocation of components of cell-regulatory pathways has become a focus of interest. However, PPIs in multiprotein systems continue to pose significant challenges, as they are generally large, flat and poor in distinguishing features, making the design of small molecule antagonists a difficult task. Nevertheless, encouragement has come from the recognition that a few amino acids - so-called hotspots - may contribute the majority of interaction-free energy. The challenges posed by protein-protein interactions have led to a wellspring of creative approaches, including proteomimetics, stapled α-helical peptides and a plethora of antibody inspired molecular designs. Here, we review a more generic approach: fragment-based drug discovery. Fragments allow novel areas of chemical space to be explored more efficiently, but the initial hits have low affinity. This means that they will not normally disrupt PPIs, unless they are tethered, an approach that has been pioneered by Wells and co-workers. An alternative fragment-based approach is to stabilise the uncomplexed components of the multiprotein system in solution and employ conventional fragment-based screening. Here, we describe the current knowledge of the structures and properties of protein-protein interactions and the small molecules that can modulate them. We then describe the use of sensitive biophysical methods - nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray crystallography, surface plasmon resonance, differential scanning fluorimetry or isothermal calorimetry - to screen and validate fragment binding. Fragment hits can subsequently be evolved into larger molecules with higher affinity and potency. These may provide new leads for drug candidates
Hung, Che-Lun; Chen, Chi-Chun
Cellular proteins are the mediators of multiple organism functions being involved in physiological mechanisms and disease. By discovering lead compounds that affect the function of target proteins, the target diseases or physiological mechanisms can be modulated. Based on knowledge of the ligand-receptor interaction, the chemical structures of leads can be modified to improve efficacy, selectivity and reduce side effects. One rational drug design technology, which enables drug discovery based on knowledge of target structures, functional properties and mechanisms, is computer-aided drug design (CADD). The application of CADD can be cost-effective using experiments to compare predicted and actual drug activity, the results from which can used iteratively to improve compound properties. The two major CADD-based approaches are structure-based drug design, where protein structures are required, and ligand-based drug design, where ligand and ligand activities can be used to design compounds interacting with the protein structure. Approaches in structure-based drug design include docking, de novo design, fragment-based drug discovery and structure-based pharmacophore modeling. Approaches in ligand-based drug design include quantitative structure-affinity relationship and pharmacophore modeling based on ligand properties. Based on whether the structure of the receptor and its interaction with the ligand are known, different design strategies can be seed. After lead compounds are generated, the rule of five can be used to assess whether these have drug-like properties. Several quality validation methods, such as cost function analysis, Fisher's cross-validation analysis and goodness of hit test, can be used to estimate the metrics of different drug design strategies. To further improve CADD performance, multi-computers and graphics processing units may be applied to reduce costs. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Apelin is a recently isolated peptide that appears to act as an endogenous ligand for the previously orphaned G-protein-coupled receptor APJ. A number of studies have reported cardiovascular actions of apelin, including changes in the blood pressure and potent inotropic actions. Furthermore, perturbations of both apelin and APJ within the myocardial tissue and circulating levels of the peptide have been reported in a number of cardiovascular disease states. Taken together, these studies suggest a role for apelin in the pressure/volume homeostasis and in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases. However, findings in the literature to date are, at times, disparate. This review highlights key areas where further work is required to clarify the role of apelin/APJ in both normal physiology and pathophysiology. Nonetheless, preliminary evidence suggests that the manipulation of this receptor/ligand peptide system may be a target for drug development, thereby offering a therapeutic benefit in cardiovascular diseases.
Olson, Keith M.; Lei, Wei; Keresztes, Attila; LaVigne, Justin; Streicher, John M.
Opioid drugs like morphine and fentanyl are the gold standard for treating moderate to severe acute and chronic pain. However, opioid drug use can be limited by serious side effects, including constipation, tolerance, respiratory suppression, and addiction. For more than 100 years, we have tried to develop opioids that decrease or eliminate these liabilities, with little success. Recent advances in understanding opioid receptor signal transduction have suggested new possibilities to activate the opioid receptors to cause analgesia, while reducing or eliminating unwanted side effects. These new approaches include designing functionally selective ligands, which activate desired signaling cascades while avoiding signaling cascades that are thought to provoke side effects. It may also be possible to directly modulate downstream signaling through the use of selective activators and inhibitors. Separate from downstream signal transduction, it has also been found that when the opioid system is stimulated, various negative feedback systems are upregulated to compensate, which can drive side effects. This has led to the development of multi-functional molecules that simultaneously activate the opioid receptor while blocking various negative feedback receptor systems including cholecystokinin and neurokinin-1. Other novel approaches include targeting heterodimers of the opioid and other receptor systems which may drive side effects, and making endogenous opioid peptides druggable, which may also reduce opioid mediated side effects. Taken together, these advances in our molecular understanding provide a path forward to break the barrier in producing an opioid with reduced or eliminated side effects, especially addiction, which may provide relief for millions of patients. PMID:28356897
Isgut, Monica; Rao, Mukkavilli; Yang, Chunhua; Subrahmanyam, Vangala; Rida, Padmashree C G; Aneja, Ritu
Modern drug discovery efforts have had mediocre success rates with increasing developmental costs, and this has encouraged pharmaceutical scientists to seek innovative approaches. Recently with the rise of the fields of systems biology and metabolomics, network pharmacology (NP) has begun to emerge as a new paradigm in drug discovery, with a focus on multiple targets and drug combinations for treating disease. Studies on the benefits of drug combinations lay the groundwork for a renewed focus on natural products in drug discovery. Natural products consist of a multitude of constituents that can act on a variety of targets in the body to induce pharmacodynamic responses that may together culminate in an additive or synergistic therapeutic effect. Although natural products cannot be patented, they can be used as starting points in the discovery of potent combination therapeutics. The optimal mix of bioactive ingredients in natural products can be determined via phenotypic screening. The targets and molecular mechanisms of action of these active ingredients can then be determined using chemical proteomics, and by implementing a reverse pharmacokinetics approach. This review article provides evidence supporting the potential benefits of natural product-based combination drugs, and summarizes drug discovery methods that can be applied to this class of drugs. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Dlamini, Zodwa; Hull, Rodney
HIV-1 is able to express multiple protein types and isoforms from a single 9 kb mRNA transcript. These proteins are also expressed at particular stages of viral development, and this is achieved through the control of alternative splicing and the export of these transcripts from the nucleus. The nuclear export is controlled by the HIV protein Rev being required to transport incompletely spliced and partially spliced mRNA from the nucleus where they are normally retained. This implies a close relationship between the control of alternate splicing and the nuclear export of mRNA in the control of HIV-1 viral proliferation. This review discusses both the processes. The specificity and regulation of splicing in HIV-1 is controlled by the use of specific splice sites as well as exonic splicing enhancer and exonic splicing silencer sequences. The use of these silencer and enhancer sequences is dependent on the serine arginine family of proteins as well as the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein family of proteins that bind to these sequences and increase or decrease splicing. Since alternative splicing is such a critical factor in viral development, it presents itself as a promising drug target. This review aims to discuss the inhibition of splicing, which would stall viral development, as an anti-HIV therapeutic strategy. In this review, the most recent knowledge of splicing in human immunodeficiency viral development and the latest therapeutic strategies targeting human immunodeficiency viral splicing are discussed. PMID:28331370
Dlamini, Zodwa; Hull, Rodney
HIV-1 is able to express multiple protein types and isoforms from a single 9 kb mRNA transcript. These proteins are also expressed at particular stages of viral development, and this is achieved through the control of alternative splicing and the export of these transcripts from the nucleus. The nuclear export is controlled by the HIV protein Rev being required to transport incompletely spliced and partially spliced mRNA from the nucleus where they are normally retained. This implies a close relationship between the control of alternate splicing and the nuclear export of mRNA in the control of HIV-1 viral proliferation. This review discusses both the processes. The specificity and regulation of splicing in HIV-1 is controlled by the use of specific splice sites as well as exonic splicing enhancer and exonic splicing silencer sequences. The use of these silencer and enhancer sequences is dependent on the serine arginine family of proteins as well as the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein family of proteins that bind to these sequences and increase or decrease splicing. Since alternative splicing is such a critical factor in viral development, it presents itself as a promising drug target. This review aims to discuss the inhibition of splicing, which would stall viral development, as an anti-HIV therapeutic strategy. In this review, the most recent knowledge of splicing in human immunodeficiency viral development and the latest therapeutic strategies targeting human immunodeficiency viral splicing are discussed.
Randhawa, Vinay; Bagler, Ganesh
Network-biology inspired modeling of interactome data and computational chemistry have the potential to revolutionize drug discovery by complementing conventional methods. We consider asthma, a complex disease characterized by intricate molecular mechanisms, for our study. We aim to integrate prediction of potent drug targets using graph-theoretical methods and subsequent identification of small molecules capable of modulating activity of the best target. In this work, we construct the protein interactome underlying this disease: Asthma Protein Interactome (API). Using a strategy based on network analysis of the interactome, we identify a set of potential drug targets for asthma. Topologically and dynamically, v-src sarcoma (Schmidt-Ruppin A-2) viral oncogene homolog (SRC) emerges as the most central target in API. SRC is known to play an important role in promoting airway smooth muscle cell growth and facilitating migration in airway remodeling. From interactome analysis, and with the reported role in respiratory mechanisms, SRC emerges as a promising drug target for asthma. Further, we proceed to identify leads for SRC from a public database of small molecules. We predict two potential leads for SRC using ligand-based virtual screening methodology.
Parsons, Joshua B.; Rock, Charles O.
The emergence of resistance against most current drugs emphasizes the need to develop new approaches to control bacterial pathogens, particularly Staphylococcus aureus. Bacterial fatty acid synthesis is one such target that is being actively pursued by several research groups to develop anti-Staphylococcal agents. Recently, the wisdom of this approach has been challenged based on the ability of a Gram-positive bacterium to incorporate extracellular fatty acids and thus circumvent the inhibition of de novo fatty acid synthesis. The generality of this conclusion has been challenged, and there is enough diversity in the enzymes and regulation of fatty acid synthesis in bacteria to conclude that there isn’t a single organism that can be considered typical and representative of bacteria as a whole. We are left without a clear resolution to this ongoing debate and await new basic research to define the pathways for fatty acid uptake and that determine the biochemical and genetic mechanisms for the regulation of fatty acid synthesis in Gram-positive bacteria. These crucial experiments will determine whether diversity in the control of this important pathway accounts for the apparently different responses of Gram-positive bacteria to the inhibition of de novo fatty acid synthesis in presence of extracellular fatty acid supplements. PMID:21862391
Parsons, Joshua B; Rock, Charles O
The emergence of resistance against most current drugs emphasizes the need to develop new approaches to control bacterial pathogens, particularly Staphylococcus aureus. Bacterial fatty acid synthesis is one such target that is being actively pursued by several research groups to develop anti-Staphylococcal agents. Recently, the wisdom of this approach has been challenged based on the ability of a Gram-positive bacterium to incorporate extracellular fatty acids and thus circumvent the inhibition of de novo fatty acid synthesis. The generality of this conclusion has been challenged, and there is enough diversity in the enzymes and regulation of fatty acid synthesis in bacteria to conclude that there is not a single organism that can be considered typical and representative of bacteria as a whole. We are left without a clear resolution to this ongoing debate and await new basic research to define the pathways for fatty acid uptake and that determine the biochemical and genetic mechanisms for the regulation of fatty acid synthesis in Gram-positive bacteria. These crucial experiments will determine whether diversity in the control of this important pathway accounts for the apparently different responses of Gram-positive bacteria to the inhibition of de novo fatty acid synthesis in presence of extracellular fatty acid supplements.
Sliwoski, Gregory; Kothiwale, Sandeepkumar; Meiler, Jens
Computer-aided drug discovery/design methods have played a major role in the development of therapeutically important small molecules for over three decades. These methods are broadly classified as either structure-based or ligand-based methods. Structure-based methods are in principle analogous to high-throughput screening in that both target and ligand structure information is imperative. Structure-based approaches include ligand docking, pharmacophore, and ligand design methods. The article discusses theory behind the most important methods and recent successful applications. Ligand-based methods use only ligand information for predicting activity depending on its similarity/dissimilarity to previously known active ligands. We review widely used ligand-based methods such as ligand-based pharmacophores, molecular descriptors, and quantitative structure-activity relationships. In addition, important tools such as target/ligand data bases, homology modeling, ligand fingerprint methods, etc., necessary for successful implementation of various computer-aided drug discovery/design methods in a drug discovery campaign are discussed. Finally, computational methods for toxicity prediction and optimization for favorable physiologic properties are discussed with successful examples from literature. PMID:24381236
ABSTRACT Fungal diseases represent a major burden to health care globally. As with other pathogenic microbes, there is a limited number of agents suitable for use in treating fungal diseases, and resistance to these agents can develop rapidly. Cryptococcus neoformans is a basidiomycete fungus that causes cryptococcosis worldwide in both immunocompromised and healthy individuals. As a basidiomycete, it diverged from other common pathogenic or model ascomycete fungi more than 500 million years ago. Here, we report C. neoformans genes that are essential for viability as identified through forward and reverse genetic approaches, using an engineered diploid strain and genetic segregation after meiosis. The forward genetic approach generated random insertional mutants in the diploid strain, the induction of meiosis and sporulation, and selection for haploid cells with counterselection of the insertion event. More than 2,500 mutants were analyzed, and transfer DNA (T-DNA) insertions in several genes required for viability were identified. The genes include those encoding the thioredoxin reductase (Trr1), a ribosome assembly factor (Rsa4), an mRNA-capping component (Cet1), and others. For targeted gene replacement, the C. neoformans homologs of 35 genes required for viability in ascomycete fungi were disrupted, meiosis and sporulation were induced, and haploid progeny were evaluated for their ability to grow on selective media. Twenty-one (60%) were found to be required for viability in C. neoformans. These genes are involved in mitochondrial translation, ergosterol biosynthesis, and RNA-related functions. The heterozygous diploid mutants were evaluated for haploinsufficiency on a number of perturbing agents and drugs, revealing phenotypes due to the loss of one copy of an essential gene in C. neoformans. This study expands the knowledge of the essential genes in fungi using a basidiomycete as a model organism. Genes that have no mammalian homologs and are essential
Bulatov, Emil; Ciulli, Alessio
In the last decade, the ubiquitin–proteasome system has emerged as a valid target for the development of novel therapeutics. E3 ubiquitin ligases are particularly attractive targets because they confer substrate specificity on the ubiquitin system. CRLs [Cullin–RING (really interesting new gene) E3 ubiquitin ligases] draw particular attention, being the largest family of E3s. The CRLs assemble into functional multisubunit complexes using a repertoire of substrate receptors, adaptors, Cullin scaffolds and RING-box proteins. Drug discovery targeting CRLs is growing in importance due to mounting evidence pointing to significant roles of these enzymes in diverse biological processes and human diseases, including cancer, where CRLs and their substrates often function as tumour suppressors or oncogenes. In the present review, we provide an account of the assembly and structure of CRL complexes, and outline the current state of the field in terms of available knowledge of small-molecule inhibitors and modulators of CRL activity. A comprehensive overview of the reported crystal structures of CRL subunits, components and full-size complexes, alone or with bound small molecules and substrate peptides, is included. This information is providing increasing opportunities to aid the rational structure-based design of chemical probes and potential small-molecule therapeutics targeting CRLs. PMID:25886174
Hong, Lin; Sklar, Larry A.
Neurological diseases have placed heavy social and financial burdens on modern society. As the life expectancy of humans is extended, neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, have become increasingly common among senior populations. Although the enigmas of Parkinson’s diseases await resolution, more vivid pictures on the cause, progression, and control of the illness are emerging after years of research. On the molecular level, GTPases are implicated in the etiology of Parkinson’s disease and are rational pharmaceutical targets for their control. However, targeting individual GTPases, which belong to a superfamily of proteins containing multiple members with a conserved guanine nucleotide binding domain, has proven to be challenging. In contrast, pharmaceutical pursuit of inhibition of kinases, which constitute another superfamily of proteins with more than 500 members, has been fairly successful. We reviewed the breakthroughs in the history of kinase drug discovery to provide guidance for the GTPase field. We summarize recent progress made in the regulation of GTPase activity. We also present an efficient and cost effective approach to drug screening, which uses multiplex flow cytometry and mixture-based positional scanning libraries. These methods allow simultaneous measurements of both the activity and the selectivity of the screened library. Several GTPase activator clusters were identified which showed selectivity against different GTPase subfamilies. While the clusters need to be further deconvoluted to identify individual active compounds, the method described here and the structure information gathered create a foundation for further developments to build upon. PMID:24926233
Al-Ali, Hassan; Lemmon, Vance P; Bixby, John L
The inability of central nervous system (CNS) neurons to regenerate damaged axons and dendrites following traumatic brain injury (TBI) creates a substantial obstacle for functional recovery. Apoptotic cell death, deposition of scar tissue, and growth-repressive molecules produced by glia further complicate the problem and make it challenging for re-growing axons to extend across injury sites. To date, there are no approved drugs for the treatment of TBI, accentuating the need for relevant leads. Cell-based and organotypic bioassays can better mimic outcomes within the native CNS microenvironment than target-based screening methods and thus should speed the discovery of therapeutic agents that induce axon or dendrite regeneration. Additionally, when used to screen focused chemical libraries such as small-molecule protein kinase inhibitors, these assays can help elucidate molecular mechanisms involved in neurite outgrowth and regeneration as well as identify novel drug targets. Here, we describe a phenotypic cellular (high content) screening assay that utilizes brain-derived primary neurons for screening small-molecule chemical libraries.
The popularization of genomic high-throughput technologies is causing a revolution in biomedical research and, particularly, is transforming the field of drug discovery. Systems biology offers a framework to understand the extensive human genetic heterogeneity revealed by genomic sequencing in the context of the network of functional, regulatory and physical protein-drug interactions. Thus, approaches to find biomarkers and therapeutic targets will have to take into account the complex system nature of the relationships of the proteins with the disease. Pharmaceutical companies will have to reorient their drug discovery strategies considering the human genetic heterogeneity. Consequently, modeling and computational data analysis will have an increasingly important role in drug discovery.
Velazquez, Hector A; Riccardi, Demian; Xiao, Zhousheng; Quarles, L Darryl; Yates, C Ryan; Baudry, Jerome; Smith, Jeremy C
Ensemble docking is now commonly used in early-stage in silico drug discovery, and can be used to attack difficult problems such as finding lead compounds which can disrupt protein:protein interactions. We give an example of this methodology here, as applied to fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), a protein hormone that is responsible for regulating phosphate homeostasis. The first small molecule antagonists of FGF23 were recently discovered by combining ensemble docking with extensive experimental target validation data(1) . Here, we provide a detailed account of how ensemble-based high-throughput virtual screening was used to identify the antagonist compounds discovered in Ref. 1. Moreover, we perform further calculations, re-docking those antagonist compounds identified in Ref. 1 that performed well on drug-likeness filters, to predict possible binding regions. These predicted binding modes are rescored with the Molecular Mechanics Poisson Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) approach to calculate the most likely binding site. Our findings suggest that the antagonist compounds antagonize FGF23 through the disruption of protein-protein interactions between FGF23 and fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Rosen, Jon; Marschke, Keith; Rungta, Deepa
Nuclear receptors (NRs) are a superfamily of ligand-dependent transcription factors that control diverse aspects of growth, development and homeostasis, making them exciting and important targets for drug discovery. In this review, some of the recent advances in our understanding of NRs, and their application to the discovery of new ligands, will be discussed.
Zheng, Wei; Thorne, Natasha; McKew, John C.
The significant reduction in the number of newly approved drugs in past decade has been partially attributed to failures in discovery and validation of new targets. Evaluation of recently approved new drugs has revealed that the number of approved drugs discovered through phenotypic screens, an original drug screening paradigm, has exceeded those discovered through the molecular target-based approach. Phenotypic screening is thus gaining new momentum in drug discovery with the hope that this approach may revitalize drug discovery and improve the success rate of drug approval through the discovery of viable lead compounds and identification of novel drug targets. PMID:23850704
Curtin, Joshua C; Lorenzi, Matthew V
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a unique subset of cells within a tumor that possess self-renewal capacity and pluripotency, and can drive tumor initiation and maintenance. First identified in hematological malignancies, CSCs are now thought to play an important role in a wide variety of solid tumors such as NSCLC, breast and colorectal cancer. The role of CSCs in driving tumor formation illustrates the dysregulation of differentiation in tumorigenesis. The Wnt, Notch and Hedgehog (HH) pathways are developmental pathways that are commonly activated in many types of cancer. While substantial progress has been made in developing therapeutics targeting Notch and HH, the Wnt pathway has remained an elusive therapeutic target. This review will focus on the clinical relevance of the Wnt pathway in CSCs and tumor cell biology, as well as points of therapeutic intervention and recent advances in targeting Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
Okada, Ario; Gotoh, Yasuhiro; Watanabe, Takafumi; Furuta, Eiji; Yamamoto, Kaneyoshi; Utsumi, Ryutaro
We have developed two screening systems for isolating inhibitors that target bacterial two-component signal transduction: (1) a differential growth assay using a temperature-sensitive yycF mutant (CNM2000) of Bacillus subtilis, which is supersensitive to histidine kinase inhibitors, and (2) a high-throughput genetic system for targeting the homodimerization of histidine kinases essential for the bacterial two-component signal transduction. By using these methods, we have been able to identify various types of inhibitors that block the autophosphorylation of histidine kinases with different modes of actions.
Mitra, Partha P
Despite unquestionable success of the combination drug therapy, tuberculosis (TB) very recently has drawn major attention because of the global upsurge of MDR-TB, XDR -TB and HIV-TB co-infection cases. In the last four decades, only one compound is added to the treatment regimen leaving ample opportunities to find out a new generation of TB drugs. The modern concept of drug discovery utilizes the integrated knowledge of genomics, proteomics, molecular biology and systems biology to identify more specific targets. The purpose of this review is to revisit the field of tuberculosis drug discovery based on those new concepts to identify novel targets.
Shrestha, Liza; Bolaender, Alexander; Patel, Hardik J.; Taldone, Tony
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) present as a double edged sword. While they play an important role in maintaining protein homeostasis in a normal cell, cancer cells have evolved to co-opt HSP function to promote their own survival. As a result, HSPs such as HSP90 have attracted a great deal of interest as a potential anticancer target. These efforts have resulted in over 20 distinct compounds entering clinical evaluation for the treatment of cancer. However, despite the potent anticancer activity demonstrated in preclinical models, to date no HSP90 inhibitor has obtained regulatory approval. In this review we discuss the unique challenges faced in targeting HSPs that have likely contributed to their lack of progress in the clinic and suggest ways to overcome these so that the enormous potential of these compounds to benefit patients can finally be realized. We also provide a guideline for the future development of HSP-targeted agents based on the many lessons learned during the last two decades in developing HSP90 inhibitors. PMID:27072696
Lv, Jing; Wang, Jieqiong; Chang, Siyu; Liu, Mingyao; Pang, Xiufeng
RAS oncogene mutations are frequently detected in human cancers. Among RAS-mediated tumorigenesis, KRAS-driven cancers are the most frequently diagnosed and resistant to current therapies. Despite more than three decades of intensive efforts, there are still no specific therapies for mutant RAS proteins. While trying to block those well-established downstream pathways, such as the RAF-MAPK pathway and the PI3K-AKT pathway, attentions have been paid to potential effects of RAS on metabolic pathways and the feasibility for targeting these pathways. Recent studies have proved that RAS not only promotes aerobic glycolysis and glutamine metabolism reprograming to provide energy, but it also facilitates branched metabolism pathways, autophagy, and macropinocytosis. These alterations generate building blocks for tumor growth and strengthen antioxidant defense in tumor cells. All of these metabolic changes meet different demands of RAS-driven cancers, making them distinct from normal cells. Indeed, some achievements have been made to inhibit tumor growth through targeting specific metabolism rewiring in preclinical models. Although there is still a long way to elucidate the landscape of altered metabolism, we believe that specific metabolic enzymes or pathways could be therapeutically targeted for selective inhibition of RAS-driven cancers.
The RAS Drug Discovery group aims to develop assays that will reveal aspects of RAS biology upon which cancer cells depend. Successful assay formats are made available for high-throughput screening programs to yield potentially effective drug compounds.
Tiefenbrunn, Theresa; Forli, Stefano; Happer, Meaghan; Gonzalez, Ana; Tsai, Yingssu; Soltis, Michael; Elder, John H.; Olson, Arthur J.; Stout, C. David
A library of 68 brominated fragments was screened against a new crystal form of inhibited HIV-1 protease in order to probe surface sites in soaking experiments. Often fragments are weak binders with partial occupancy, resulting in weak, difficult-to-fit electron density. The use of a brominated fragment library addresses this challenge, as bromine can be located unequivocally via anomalous scattering. Data collection was carried out in an automated fashion using AutoDrug at SSRL. Novel hits were identified in the known surface sites: 3-bromo-2,6-dimethoxybenzoic acid (Br6) in the flap site, and 1-bromo-2-naphthoic acid (Br27) in the exosite, expanding the chemistry of known fragments for development of higher affinity potential allosteric inhibitors. At the same time, mapping the binding sites of a number of weaker binding Br-fragments provides further insight into the nature of these surface pockets. PMID:23998903
Tiefenbrunn, Theresa; Forli, Stefano; Happer, Meaghan; Gonzalez, Ana; Tsai, Yingssu; Soltis, Michael; Elder, John H; Olson, Arthur J; Stout, Charles D
A library of 68 brominated fragments was screened against a new crystal form of inhibited HIV-1 protease in order to probe surface sites in soaking experiments. Often, fragments are weak binders with partial occupancy, resulting in weak, difficult-to-fit electron density. The use of a brominated fragment library addresses this challenge, as bromine can be located unequivocally via anomalous scattering. Data collection was carried out in an automated fashion using AutoDrug at SSRL. Novel hits were identified in the known surface sites: 3-bromo-2,6-dimethoxybenzoic acid (Br6) in the flap site and 1-bromo-2-naphthoic acid (Br27) in the exosite, expanding the chemistry of known fragments for development of higher affinity potential allosteric inhibitors. At the same time, mapping the binding sites of a number of weaker binding Br-fragments provides further insight into the nature of these surface pockets.
YAN, KUO; GAO, LI-NA; CUI, YUAN-LU; ZHANG, YI; ZHOU, XIN
During development of disease, complex intracellular signaling pathways regulate an intricate series of events, including resistance to external toxins, the secretion of cytokines and the production of pathological phenomena. Adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) is a nucleotide that acts as a key second messenger in numerous signal transduction pathways. cAMP regulates various cellular functions, including cell growth and differentiation, gene transcription and protein expression. This review aimed to provide an understanding of the effects of the cAMP signaling pathway and the associated factors on disease occurrence and development by examining the information from a new perspective. These novel insights aimed to promote the development of novel therapeutic approaches and aid in the development of new drugs. PMID:27035868
Moorthy, N S Hari Narayana; Poongavanam, Vasanthanathan; Pratheepa, V
Influenza virus is an important RNA virus causing pandemics (Spanish Flu (1918), Asian Flu (1957), Hong Kong Flu (1968) and Swine Flu (2009)) over the last decades. Due to the spontaneous mutations of these viral proteins, currently available antiviral and anti-influenza drugs quickly develop resistance. To account this, only limited antiinfluenza drugs have been approved for the therapeutic use. These include amantadine and rimantadine (M2 proton channel blockers), zanamivir, oseltamivir and peramivir (neuraminidase inhibitors), favipravir (polymerase inhibitor) and laninamivir. This review provides an outline on the strategies to develop novel, potent chemotherapeutic agents against M2 proton channel. Primarily, the M2 proton channel blockers elicit pharmacological activity through destabilizing the helices by blocking the proton transport across the transmembrane. The biologically important compounds discovered using the scaffolds such as bisnoradmantane, noradamantane, triazine, spiroadamantane, isoxazole, amino alcohol, azaspiro, spirene, pinanamine, etc are reported to exhibit anti-influenza activity against wild or mutant type (S31N and V27A) of M2 proton channel protein. The reported studies explained that the adamantane based compounds (amantadine and rimantadine) strongly interact with His37 (through hydrogen bonding) and Ala30, Ile33 and Gly34 residues (hydrophobic interactions). The adamantane and the non-adamantane scaffolds fit perfectly in the active site pocket present in the wild type and the charged amino groups (ammonium) create positive electrostatic potential, which blocks the transport of protons across the pore. In the mutated proteins, larger or smaller binding pocket are created by small or large mutant residues, which do not allow the molecules fit in the active site. This causes the channel to be unblocked and the protons are allowed to transfer inside the pore. The structural analysis of the M2 proton channel blockers illustrated that
Wang, Xijun; Zhang, Aihua; Wang, Ping; Sun, Hui; Wu, Gelin; Sun, Wenjun; Lv, Haitao; Jiao, Guozheng; Xu, Hongying; Yuan, Ye; Liu, Lian; Zou, Dixin; Wu, Zeming; Han, Ying; Yan, Guangli; Dong, Wei; Wu, Fangfang; Dong, Tianwei; Yu, Yang; Zhang, Shuxiang; Wu, Xiuhong; Tong, Xin; Meng, Xiangcai
To enhance the therapeutic efficacy and reduce the adverse effects of traditional Chinese medicine, practitioners often prescribe combinations of plant species and/or minerals, called formulae. Unfortunately, the working mechanisms of most of these compounds are difficult to determine and thus remain unknown. In an attempt to address the benefits of formulae based on current biomedical approaches, we analyzed the components of Yinchenhao Tang, a classical formula that has been shown to be clinically effective for treating hepatic injury syndrome. The three principal components of Yinchenhao Tang are Artemisia annua L., Gardenia jasminoids Ellis, and Rheum Palmatum L., whose major active ingredients are 6,7-dimethylesculetin (D), geniposide (G), and rhein (R), respectively. To determine the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of this formula, we conducted a systematic analysis of the therapeutic effects of the DGR compound using immunohistochemistry, biochemistry, metabolomics, and proteomics. Here, we report that the DGR combination exerts a more robust therapeutic effect than any one or two of the three individual compounds by hitting multiple targets in a rat model of hepatic injury. Thus, DGR synergistically causes intensified dynamic changes in metabolic biomarkers, regulates molecular networks through target proteins, has a synergistic/additive effect, and activates both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways.
Aug 01) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Discovery of New Drugs that Target Peroxisomal DAMD17-00-1-0686 Proliferator-Activated Receptor...of breast tumor cells and can be used to develop new drugs to treat breast cancer. The specific aims of this proposal are: 1. Evaluate in vitro...Ft. Detrick, MD 21702-5012. AUTHORITY USAMRMC ltr, 28 Aug 2002 THIS PAGE IS UNCLASSIFIED AD Award Number: DAMD17-00-1-0686 TITLE: Discovery of New
Srinivas, Nuggehally R; Mullangi, Ramesh
Bioanalysis is an important aspect of drug discovery process regardless of the chosen therapeutic area. There is a general misconception that bioanalysis is seldom important during the drug discovery process because there is no scrutiny of the data from a regulatory perspective. However, bioanalytical data gathered during the discovery stage enable several key decision(s) inclusive of termination of the program and/or creating adequate differentiation from the lead competitive molecules. The review covers various stage gate screens and experimental designs where bioanalytical data are extensively used for making an informed decision during the process of drug discovery.
Galan, M Carmen; Benito-Alifonso, David; Watt, Gregory M
The multitude of roles that carbohydrates and their glyco-conjugates play in biological processes has stimulated great interest in determining the nature of their interactions in both normal and diseased states. Manipulating such interactions will provide leads for drug discovery. Of the major classes of biomolecule, carbohydrates are the most structurally diverse. This hetereogeneity makes isolation of pure samples, and in sufficient amounts, from biological sources extremely difficult. Chemical synthesis offers the advantage of producing pure and structurally defined oligosaccharides for biological investigations. Although the complex nature of carbohydrates means that this is challenging, recent advances in the field have facilitated access to these molecules. The synthesis and isolation of oligosaccharides combined with progress in glycoarray technology have aided the identification of new carbohydrate-binding drug targets. This review aims to provide an overview of the latest advancements in carbohydrate chemistry and the role of these complex molecules in drug discovery, focusing particularly on synthetic methodologies, glycosaminoglycans, glycoprotein synthesis and vaccine development over the last few years.
Yang, Yongliang; Adelstein, S James; Kassis, Amin I
Data mining of available biomedical data and information has greatly boosted target discovery in the 'omics' era. Target discovery is the key step in the biomarker and drug discovery pipeline to diagnose and fight human diseases. In biomedical science, the 'target' is a broad concept ranging from molecular entities (such as genes, proteins and miRNAs) to biological phenomena (such as molecular functions, pathways and phenotypes). Within the context of biomedical science, data mining refers to a bioinformatics approach that combines biological concepts with computer tools or statistical methods that are mainly used to discover, select and prioritize targets. In response to the huge demand of data mining for target discovery in the 'omics' era, this review explicates various data mining approaches and their applications to target discovery with emphasis on text and microarray data analysis. Two emerging data mining approaches, chemogenomic data mining and proteomic data mining, are briefly introduced. Also discussed are the limitations of various data mining approaches found in the level of database integration, the quality of data annotation, sample heterogeneity and the performance of analytical and mining tools. Tentative strategies of integrating different data sources for target discovery, such as integrated text mining with high-throughput data analysis and integrated mining with pathway databases, are introduced.
Yang, Yongliang; Adelstein, S James; Kassis, Amin I
Data mining of available biomedical data and information has greatly boosted target discovery in the 'omics' era. Target discovery is the key step in the biomarker and drug discovery pipeline to diagnose and fight human diseases. In biomedical science, the 'target' is a broad concept ranging from molecular entities (such as genes, proteins and miRNAs) to biological phenomena (such as molecular functions, pathways and phenotypes). Within the context of biomedical science, data mining refers to a bioinformatics approach that combines biological concepts with computer tools or statistical methods that are mainly used to discover, select and prioritize targets. In response to the huge demand of data mining for target discovery in the 'omics' era, this review explicates various data mining approaches and their applications to target discovery with emphasis on text and microarray data analysis. Two emerging data mining approaches, chemogenomic data mining and proteomic data mining, are briefly introduced. Also discussed are the limitations of various data mining approaches found in the level of database integration, the quality of data annotation, sample heterogeneity and the performance of analytical and mining tools. Tentative strategies of integrating different data sources for target discovery, such as integrated text mining with high-throughput data analysis and integrated mining with pathway databases, are introduced. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Guido, Rafael V C; Oliva, Glaucius; Andricopulo, Adriano D
The identification of promising hits and the generation of high quality leads are crucial steps in the early stages of drug discovery projects. The definition and assessment of both chemical and biological space have revitalized the screening process model and emphasized the importance of exploring the intrinsic complementary nature of classical and modern methods in drug research. In this context, the widespread use of combinatorial chemistry and sophisticated screening methods for the discovery of lead compounds has created a large demand for small organic molecules that act on specific drug targets. Modern drug discovery involves the employment of a wide variety of technologies and expertise in multidisciplinary research teams. The synergistic effects between experimental and computational approaches on the selection and optimization of bioactive compounds emphasize the importance of the integration of advanced technologies in drug discovery programs. These technologies (VS, HTS, SBDD, LBDD, QSAR, and so on) are complementary in the sense that they have mutual goals, thereby the combination of both empirical and in silico efforts is feasible at many different levels of lead optimization and new chemical entity (NCE) discovery. This paper provides a brief perspective on the evolution and use of key drug design technologies, highlighting opportunities and challenges.
Gawehn, Erik; Hiss, Jan A; Schneider, Gisbert
Artificial neural networks had their first heyday in molecular informatics and drug discovery approximately two decades ago. Currently, we are witnessing renewed interest in adapting advanced neural network architectures for pharmaceutical research by borrowing from the field of "deep learning". Compared with some of the other life sciences, their application in drug discovery is still limited. Here, we provide an overview of this emerging field of molecular informatics, present the basic concepts of prominent deep learning methods and offer motivation to explore these techniques for their usefulness in computer-assisted drug discovery and design. We specifically emphasize deep neural networks, restricted Boltzmann machine networks and convolutional networks.
Slusher, Barbara S.; Conn, P. Jeffrey; Frye, Stephen; Glicksman, Marcie; Arkin, Michelle
The newly formed Academic Drug Discovery Consortium (ADDC) aims to support the growing numbers of university centres engaged in drug discovery that have emerged in response to recent changes in the drug discovery ecosystem. PMID:24172316
Chen, Haijun; Wu, Jianlei; Gao, Yu; Chen, Haiying; Zhou, Jia
As commented by the Nobelist James Black that "The most fruitful basis of the discovery of a new drug is to start with an old drug", drug repurposing represents an attractive drug discovery strategy. Despite the success of several repurposed drugs on the market, the ultimate therapeutic potential of a large number of non-cancer drugs is hindered during their repositioning due to various issues including the limited efficacy and intellectual property. With the increasing knowledge about the pharmacological properties and newly identified targets, the scaffolds of the old drugs emerge as a great treasure-trove towards new cancer drug discovery. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the development of novel small molecules for cancer therapy by scaffold repurposing with highlighted examples. The relevant strategies, advantages, challenges and future research directions associated with this approach are also discussed.
Calderone, Richard; Sun, Nuo; Gay-Andrieu, Francoise; Groutas, William; Weerawarna, Pathum; Prasad, Sridhar; Alex, Deepu; Li, Dongmei
New data suggest that the global incidence of several types of fungal diseases have traditionally been under-documented. Of these, mortality caused by invasive fungal infections remains disturbingly high, equal to or exceeding deaths caused by drug-resistant tuberculosis and malaria. It is clear that basic research on new antifungal drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tools is needed. In this review, we focus upon antifungal drug discovery including in vitro assays, compound libraries and approaches to target identification. Genome mining has made it possible to identify fungal-specific targets; however, new compounds to these targets are apparently not in the antimicrobial pipeline. We suggest that ‘repurposing’ compounds (off patent) might be a more immediate starting point. Furthermore, we examine the dogma on antifungal discovery and suggest that a major thrust in technologies such as structural biology, homology modeling and virtual imaging is needed to drive discovery. PMID:25046525
Mehraei, Mani; Bashirov, Rza; Tüzmen, Şükrü
Recent molecular studies provide important clues into treatment of [Formula: see text]-thalassemia, sickle-cell anaemia and other [Formula: see text]-globin disorders revealing that increased production of fetal hemoglobin, that is normally suppressed in adulthood, can ameliorate the severity of these diseases. In this paper, we present a novel approach for drug prediction for [Formula: see text]-globin disorders. Our approach is centered upon quantitative modeling of interactions in human fetal-to-adult hemoglobin switch network using hybrid functional Petri nets. In accordance with the reverse pharmacology approach, we pose a hypothesis regarding modulation of specific protein targets that induce [Formula: see text]-globin and consequently fetal hemoglobin. Comparison of simulation results for the proposed strategy with the ones obtained for already existing drugs shows that our strategy is the optimal as it leads to highest level of [Formula: see text]-globin induction and thereby has potential beneficial therapeutic effects on [Formula: see text]-globin disorders. Simulation results enable verification of model coherence demonstrating that it is consistent with qPCR data available for known strategies and/or drugs.
Peltier, John M.; Askovic, Srdjan; Becklin, Robert R.; Chepanoske, Cindy Lou; Ho, Yew-Seng J.; Kery, Vladimir; Lai, Shuping; Mujtaba, Tahmina; Pyne, Mike; Robbins, Paul B.; Rechenberg, Moritz Von; Richardson, Bonnie; Savage, Justin; Sheffield, Peter; Thompson, Sam; Weir, Lawrence; Widjaja, Kartika; Xu, Nafei; Zhen, Yuejun; Boniface, J. Jay
Proteomics-based technologies have the potential to accelerate the development of drugs, but such technologies must be well integrated in order to have a positive impact. We describe, herein, a multi-step process for the discovery of protein-protein interactions. It is shown that process stages are interdependent and can influence, either positively or negatively, subsequent steps. Optimization of each step, in the context of the full process, is essential for the overall success of the experiment.
Hu, Wenhui; Ralay Ranaivo, Hantamalala; Craft, Jeffrey M; Van Eldik, Linda J; Watterson, D Martin
The neuroinflammation cycle has been proposed as a potential therapeutic target in the development of new approaches to altering Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression. However, the efficacy and toxicological profile of compounds that focus only on classical NSAID targets have been disappointing to date. Therefore, we recently initiated an unbiased, integrative chemical biology approach that used a hierarchal set of cell-based screens, followed by efficacy analysis in a new AD-relevant animal model that more closely resembles human pathology endpoints in terms of neuroinflammation and neuronal loss. The prior investigations provided a proof of concept that targeting the neuroinflammation cycle may be a viable drug discovery approach for AD. However, recent informatics analyses of the high attrition rate in drug development have identified the need for starting drug development with lead compounds that are well below cut off values in computed molecular properties in order to facilitate late stage medicinal chemistry refinement to improve in vivo functions. We describe here how we are leveraging our novel, unbiased, integrative chemical biology approach for the rapid discovery of potential lead compounds for AD drug discovery. Specifically, we show that orally bioavailable compounds with the desired physical properties and in vivo functions can be identified in focused synthetic libraries composed of chemical diversifications of the inactive but privileged pyridazine molecular fragment.
A common view within the pharmaceutical industry is that there is a problem with drug discovery and we should do something about it. There is much sympathy for this from academics, regulators and politicians. In this article I propose that lessons learnt from evolution help identify those factors that favour successful drug discovery. This personal view is influenced by a decade spent reviewing drug development programmes submitted for European regulatory approval. During the prolonged gestation of a new medicine few candidate molecules survive. This process of elimination of many variants and the survival of so few has much in common with evolution, an analogy that encourages discussion of the forces that favour, and those that hinder, successful drug discovery. Imagining a world without vaccines, anaesthetics, contraception and anti-infectives reveals how medicines revolutionized humanity. How to manipulate conditions that favour such discoveries is worth consideration. PMID:21395642
A common view within the pharmaceutical industry is that there is a problem with drug discovery and we should do something about it. There is much sympathy for this from academics, regulators and politicians. In this article I propose that lessons learnt from evolution help identify those factors that favour successful drug discovery. This personal view is influenced by a decade spent reviewing drug development programmes submitted for European regulatory approval. During the prolonged gestation of a new medicine few candidate molecules survive. This process of elimination of many variants and the survival of so few has much in common with evolution, an analogy that encourages discussion of the forces that favour, and those that hinder, successful drug discovery. Imagining a world without vaccines, anaesthetics, contraception and anti-infectives reveals how medicines revolutionized humanity. How to manipulate conditions that favour such discoveries is worth consideration. © 2011 The Author. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.
Marder, Stephen R.; Roth, Bryan; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Scolnick, Edward M.; Nestler, Eric J.; Geyer, Mark A.; Welnberger, Daniel R.; Karayiorgou, Maria; Guidotti, Alessandro; Gingrich, Jay; Akbarian, Schahram; Buchanan, Robert W.; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Conn, P. Jeffrey; Haggarty, Stephen J.; Law, Amanda J.; Campbell, Brian; Krystal, John H.; Moghaddam, Bita; Saw, Akira; Caron, Marc G.; George, Susan R.; Allen, John A.; Solis, Michelle
Sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences and with support from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Life Technologies Foundation, and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, “Advancing Drug Discovery for Schizophrenia” was held March 9–11 at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. The meeting, comprising individual talks and panel discussions, highlighted basic, clinical, and translational research approaches, all of which contribute to the overarching goal of enhancing the pharmaceutical armamentarium for treating schizophrenia. This report surveys work by the vanguard of schizophrenia research in such topics as genetic and epigenetic approaches; small molecule therapeutics; and the relationships between target genes, neuronal function, and symptoms of schizophrenia. PMID:22032400
Durieu, Emilie; Prina, Eric; Leclercq, Olivier; Oumata, Nassima; Gaboriaud-Kolar, Nicolas; Vougogiannopoulou, Konstantina; Aulner, Nathalie; Defontaine, Audrey; No, Joo Hwan; Ruchaud, Sandrine; Skaltsounis, Alexios-Leandros; Galons, Hervé; Späth, Gerald F.; Meijer, Laurent
Existing therapies for leishmaniases present significant limitations, such as toxic side effects, and are rendered inefficient by parasite resistance. It is of utmost importance to develop novel drugs targeting Leishmania that take these two limitations into consideration. We thus chose a target-based approach using an exoprotein kinase, Leishmania casein kinase 1.2 (LmCK1.2) that was recently shown to be essential for intracellular parasite survival and infectivity. We developed a four-step pipeline to identify novel selective antileishmanial compounds. In step 1, we screened 5,018 compounds from kinase-biased libraries with Leishmania and mammalian CK1 in order to identify hit compounds and assess their specificity. For step 2, we selected 88 compounds among those with the lowest 50% inhibitory concentration to test their biological activity on host-free parasites using a resazurin reduction assay and on intramacrophagic amastigotes using a high content phenotypic assay. Only 75 compounds showed antileishmanial activity and were retained for step 3 to evaluate their toxicity against mouse macrophages and human cell lines. The four compounds that displayed a selectivity index above 10 were then assessed for their affinity to LmCK1.2 using a target deconvolution strategy in step 4. Finally, we retained two compounds, PP2 and compound 42, for which LmCK1.2 seems to be the primary target. Using this four-step pipeline, we identify from several thousand molecules, two lead compounds with a selective antileishmanial activity. PMID:26902771
Leelananda, Sumudu P
The process for drug discovery and development is challenging, time consuming and expensive. Computer-aided drug discovery (CADD) tools can act as a virtual shortcut, assisting in the expedition of this long process and potentially reducing the cost of research and development. Today CADD has become an effective and indispensable tool in therapeutic development. The human genome project has made available a substantial amount of sequence data that can be used in various drug discovery projects. Additionally, increasing knowledge of biological structures, as well as increasing computer power have made it possible to use computational methods effectively in various phases of the drug discovery and development pipeline. The importance of in silico tools is greater than ever before and has advanced pharmaceutical research. Here we present an overview of computational methods used in different facets of drug discovery and highlight some of the recent successes. In this review, both structure-based and ligand-based drug discovery methods are discussed. Advances in virtual high-throughput screening, protein structure prediction methods, protein–ligand docking, pharmacophore modeling and QSAR techniques are reviewed. PMID:28144341
Leelananda, Sumudu P; Lindert, Steffen
The process for drug discovery and development is challenging, time consuming and expensive. Computer-aided drug discovery (CADD) tools can act as a virtual shortcut, assisting in the expedition of this long process and potentially reducing the cost of research and development. Today CADD has become an effective and indispensable tool in therapeutic development. The human genome project has made available a substantial amount of sequence data that can be used in various drug discovery projects. Additionally, increasing knowledge of biological structures, as well as increasing computer power have made it possible to use computational methods effectively in various phases of the drug discovery and development pipeline. The importance of in silico tools is greater than ever before and has advanced pharmaceutical research. Here we present an overview of computational methods used in different facets of drug discovery and highlight some of the recent successes. In this review, both structure-based and ligand-based drug discovery methods are discussed. Advances in virtual high-throughput screening, protein structure prediction methods, protein-ligand docking, pharmacophore modeling and QSAR techniques are reviewed.
Costa, Ricardo; Shah, Ami N; Santa-Maria, Cesar A; Cruz, Marcelo R; Mahalingam, Devalingam; Carneiro, Benedito A; Chae, Young Kwang; Cristofanilli, Massimo; Gradishar, William J; Giles, Francis J
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 10-20% of cases in breast cancer. Despite recent advances in the treatment of hormonal receptor+ and HER2+ breast cancers, there are no targeted therapies available for TNBC. Evidence supports that most patients with TNBC express the transmembrane Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). However, early phase clinical trials failed to demonstrate significant activity of EGFR-targeted monoclonal antibodies and/or tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Here, we review the recent discoveries related to the underlying biology of the EGFR pathway in TNBC, clinical progress to date and suggest rational future approaches for investigational therapies in TNBC.
Brötz-Oesterhelt, Heike; Sass, Peter
During the last decade the field of antibacterial drug discovery has changed in many aspects including bacterial organisms of primary interest, discovery strategies applied and pharmaceutical companies involved. Target-based high-throughput screening had been disappointingly unsuccessful for antibiotic research. Understanding of this lack of success has increased substantially and the lessons learned refer to characteristics of targets, screening libraries and screening strategies. The 'genomics' approach was replaced by a diverse array of discovery strategies, for example, searching for new natural product leads among previously abandoned compounds or new microbial sources, screening for synthetic inhibitors by targeted approaches including structure-based design and analyses of focused libraries and designing resistance-breaking properties into antibiotics of established classes. Furthermore, alternative treatment options are being pursued including anti-virulence strategies and immunotherapeutic approaches. This article summarizes the lessons learned from the genomics era and describes discovery strategies resulting from that knowledge.
Prasad, Sahdeo; Gupta, Subash C; Aggarwal, Bharat B
Novel drug development leading to final approval by the US FDA can cost as much as two billion dollars. Why the cost of novel drug discovery is so expensive is unclear, but high failure rates at the preclinical and clinical stages are major reasons. Although therapies targeting a given cell signaling pathway or a protein have become prominent in drug discovery, such treatments have done little in preventing or treating any disease alone because most chronic diseases have been found to be multigenic. A review of the discovery of numerous drugs currently being used for various diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and autoimmune diseases indicates that serendipity has played a major role in the discovery. In this review we provide evidence that rational drug discovery and targeted therapies have minimal roles in drug discovery, and that serendipity and coincidence have played and continue to play major roles. The primary focus in this review is on cancer-related drug discovery.
Gilardoni, Francois; Arvanites, Anthony C
This editorial looks at how a fully integrated structure that performs all aspects in the drug discovery process, under one company, is slowly disappearing. The steps in the drug discovery paradigm have been slowly increasing toward virtuality or outsourcing at various phases of product development in a company's candidate pipeline. Each step in the process, such as target identification and validation and medicinal chemistry, can be managed by scientific teams within a 'virtual' company. Pharmaceutical companies to biotechnology start-ups have been quick in adopting this new research and development business strategy in order to gain flexibility, access the best technologies and technical expertise, and decrease product developmental costs. In today's financial climate, the term virtual drug discovery has an organizational meaning. It represents the next evolutionary step in outsourcing drug development.
Chiamulera, Cristiano; Padovani, Laura; Corsi, Mauro
Drug addiction treatment medications available nowadays are limited in both efficacy and number. The increased understanding of drug addiction circuitries leads the scientific community to look for better molecules and targets for detoxification and relapse prevention. This review focus on known targets (e.g., metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 and GABAB receptor) and on novel potential treatment acting on oxytocin system, which interacts with diverse neurotransmitters, has proved successful in both preclinical and clinical studies on ethanol, cocaine and methamphetamine. A crucial issue is the identification of new investigational paradigms, which may help to predict treatment efficacy and improve effectiveness. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zhou, Wei; Wang, Yonghua; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge
Drug discovery is a risky, costly and time-consuming process depending on multidisciplinary methods to create safe and effective medicines. Although considerable progress has been made by high-throughput screening methods in drug design, the cost of developing contemporary approved drugs did not match that in the past decade. The major reason is the late-stage clinical failures in Phases II and III because of the complicated interactions between drug-specific, human body and environmental aspects affecting the safety and efficacy of a drug. There is a growing hope that systems-level consideration may provide a new perspective to overcome such current difficulties of drug discovery and development. The systems pharmacology method emerged as a holistic approach and has attracted more and more attention recently. The applications of systems pharmacology not only provide the pharmacodynamic evaluation and target identification of drug molecules, but also give a systems-level of understanding the interaction mechanism between drugs and complex disease. Therefore, the present review is an attempt to introduce how holistic systems pharmacology that integrated in silico ADME/T (i.e., absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity), target fishing and network pharmacology facilitates the discovery of small molecular drugs at the system level. PMID:26901192
Zhou, Wei; Wang, Yonghua; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge
Drug discovery is a risky, costly and time-consuming process depending on multidisciplinary methods to create safe and effective medicines. Although considerable progress has been made by high-throughput screening methods in drug design, the cost of developing contemporary approved drugs did not match that in the past decade. The major reason is the late-stage clinical failures in Phases II and III because of the complicated interactions between drug-specific, human body and environmental aspects affecting the safety and efficacy of a drug. There is a growing hope that systems-level consideration may provide a new perspective to overcome such current difficulties of drug discovery and development. The systems pharmacology method emerged as a holistic approach and has attracted more and more attention recently. The applications of systems pharmacology not only provide the pharmacodynamic evaluation and target identification of drug molecules, but also give a systems-level of understanding the interaction mechanism between drugs and complex disease. Therefore, the present review is an attempt to introduce how holistic systems pharmacology that integrated in silico ADME/T (i.e., absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity), target fishing and network pharmacology facilitates the discovery of small molecular drugs at the system level.
Moroni, Elisabetta; Paladino, Antonella; Colombo, Giorgio
Proteins are not static objects. To carry out their functions in the cells and participate in biochemical interaction networks, proteins have to explore different conformational substates, which favor the adaptation to different partners and ultimately allow them to respond to changes in the environment. In this paper we discuss the implications of including the atomistic description of protein dynamics and flexibility in the context of drug discovery and design. The underlying idea is that a better understanding of the atomistic details of molecular recognition phenomena and conformational cross-talk between a ligand and a receptor can in fact translate in unexplored opportunities for the discovery of new drug like molecules. We will illustrate and discuss dynamics-based pharmacophores, the discovery of cryptic binding sites, the characterization and exploitation of allosteric regulation mechanisms and the definition of potential protein-protein interaction sites as potential sources of new bases for the rational design of small molecules endowed with specific biological functions. Overall, the inclusion of protein flexibility in the drug discovery process is starting to attract attention not only in the academic but also in the industrial community. This is supported by experimental tests that prove the actual feasibility of considering the explicit dynamics of drug-protein interactions at all relevant levels of resolution and the use of multiple receptor conformations in drug discovery, as affordable complements (if not an alternative) to classical High Throughput Screening (HTS) efforts based on static structures.
Wilkinson, Trevor C I; Gardener, Matthew J; Williams, Wendy A
Ion channels play critical roles in physiology and disease by modulation of cellular functions such as electrical excitability, secretion, cell migration, and gene transcription. Ion channels represent an important target class for drug discovery that has been largely addressed, to date, using small-molecule approaches. A significant opportunity exists to target these channels with antibodies and alternative formats of biologics. Antibodies display high specificity and affinity for their target antigen, and they have the potential to target ion channels very selectively. Nevertheless, isolating antibodies to this target class is challenging due to the difficulties in expression and purification of ion channels in a format suitable for antibody drug discovery in addition to the complexity of screening for function. In this article, we will review the current state of ion channel biologics discovery and the progress that has been made. We will also highlight the challenges in isolating functional antibodies to these targets and how these challenges may be addressed. Finally, we also illustrate successful approaches to isolating functional monoclonal antibodies targeting ion channels by way of a number of case studies drawn from recent publications. © 2014 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.
Scotti, Luciana; Scotti, Marcus Tullius
Secondary metabolites are plant products that occur usually in differentiated cells, generally not being necessary for the cells themselves, but likely useful for the plant as a whole. Neurodegeneration can be found in many different levels in the neurons, it always begins at the molecular level and progresses toward the systemic levels. Usually, alterations are observed such as decreasing cholinergic impulse, toxicity related to reactive oxygen species (ROS, inflammatory "amyloid plaque" related processes, catecholamine disequilibrium, etc. Computer aided drug design (CADD has become relevant in the drug discovery process; technological advances in the areas of molecular structure characterization, computational science, and molecular biology have contributed to the planning of new drugs against neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses scientific CADD studies of the secondary metabolites. Flavonoids, alkaloids, and xanthone compounds have been studied by various researchers (as inhibitory ligands in molecular docking; mainly with three enzymes: acetylcholinesterase (AChE; EC 126.96.36.199, butyrylcholinesterase (BChE; EC 188.8.131.52, and monoamine oxidase (MAO; EC 184.108.40.206. In addition, we have applied ligand-based-virtual screening (using Random Forest, associated with structure-based- virtual screening (docking of a small dataset of 469 alkaloids of the Apocynaceae family from an in-house data bank to select structures with potential inhibitory activity against human AChE. This computer-aided drug design study selected certain alkaloids that might be useful in further studies for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Haseltine, W A
Genomics, the systematic study of all the genes of an organism, offers a new and much-needed source of systematic productivity for the pharmaceutical industry. The isolation of the majority of human genes in their most useful form is leading to the creation of new drugs based on human proteins, antibodies, peptides, and genes. Human Genome Sciences, Inc, was the first company to use the systematic, genomics approach to discovering drugs, and we have placed 4 of these in clinical trials. Two are described: repifermin (keratinocyte growth factor-2, KGF-2) for wound healing and treatment of mucositis caused by cancer therapy, and B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) for stimulation of the immune system. An anti-BLyS antibody drug is in advanced preclinical development for treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Khurdayan, V K; Bozzo, J; Prous, J R
New brief reports this month include: Strategies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Various approaches are being explored to abate the dystrophic process including cellular therapies (transplanting stem cells or myogenic precursors into muscles), molecular approaches (delivering a functional or correcting the mutant dystrophin gene), such as MyoDys, Biostrophin(R) and antisense technology, and pharmacotherapeutics, which include calcium channel blockers, calpain inhibitors, phosphodiesterase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies; Immunotherapy for Multiple Myeloma: Increasing numbers of antibodies and immunoconjugates with anticancer drugs are entering clinical development; Acute respiratory distress syndrome is among the most frequent reasons for intensive care. Current medications include antibiotics, diuretics, drugs to counteract low blood pressure caused by shock, anxiolytics and antiinflammatories, while there are eight potential drugs in active development; Pulmonary Hypertension: Drugs intervening at four signaling pathways (endothelin, prostacyclin, nitric oxide and platelet-derived growth factor), which are implicated in pulmonary hypertension, include readily available bosentan, sildenafil citrate and sitaxsentan sodium and investigational aviptadil and TBC-3711, among others.
Laranjeira, Angelo B A; Yang, Sherry X
Cancer stem cells (CSCs), also known as tumor initialing cells, have self-renewal capacity and are believed to play an important role in residual disease or tumor relapse. CSCs exhibit characteristic slow growth rate and are resistant to conventional chemotherapy/radiotherapy in experimental models. The type of cells commonly employs aberrant activity of the embryonic signal transduction pathways - Notch, Hedgehog (Hh), and Wnt - for uncontrolled proliferation and survival. Areas covered: The following article discusses key genetic and molecular alterations in Notch, Hh and Wnt pathways and drugs targeting the alterations for the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. Expert opinion: Early signs of signal agent activity have been observed in certain types of leukemia and lymphoma with experimental therapeutics targeting the embryonic pathways in the CSC signaling network. However, clinical development of agents that inhibit the Wnt/β-catenin, Notch and Hh signaling appear to be more complex in relapsed or refractory malignancies. A strategy to effectively target signaling may rely on early application of biomarkers representative of the active signaling nodes companion to the molecularly targeted agents. Biomarkers for efficacy could potentially guide selective treatment of hematological malignancies or cancer with drugs that target the embryonic pathways.
Liu, Ruiwu; Li, Xiaocen; Lam, Kit S
Several combinatorial methods have been developed to create focused or diverse chemical libraries with a wide range of linear or macrocyclic chemical molecules: peptides, non-peptide oligomers, peptidomimetics, small-molecules, and natural product-like organic molecules. Each combinatorial approach has its own unique high-throughput screening and encoding strategy. In this article, we provide a brief overview of combinatorial chemistry in drug discovery with emphasis on recently developed new technologies for design, synthesis, screening and decoding of combinatorial library. Examples of successful application of combinatorial chemistry in hit discovery and lead optimization are given. The limitations and strengths of combinatorial chemistry are also briefly discussed. We are now in a better position to truly leverage the power of combinatorial technologies for the discovery and development of next-generation drugs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Khurdayan, V; Cullell-Young, M
New brief reports this month describe five timely topics: IDO inhibitors have demonstrated antitumor properties by increasing immune response to tumors and improving chemotherapy effectiveness. One of the current therapeutic efforts for Alzheimer's disease is directed towards blocking the gamma-secretase activity, thus reducing amyloid-beta production. Patients with premature ovarian failure (POF), at present mainly treated with hormone replacement therapy, are belated for novel treatment options. Selective ERbeta agonists are anticipated to emerge as therapeutics for the treatment of various diseases including inflammatory bowel syndrome, endometriosis, dementia and cognitive disorders. Phospholipase A2 inhibitors specific for enzyme isoforms are actively studied as potential antiallergic/antiasthmatic drugs, antiarthritic agents and therapeutics for atherosclerosis.
Khedkar, Santosh A; Malde, Alpeshkumar K; Coutinho, Evans C
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a successful pathogen that overcomes the numerous challenges presented by the immune system of the host. In the last 40 years few anti-TB drugs have been developed, while the drug-resistance problem is increasing; there is thus a pressing need to develop new anti-TB drugs active against both the acute and chronic growth phases of the mycobacterium. Methionine S-adenosyltransferase (MAT) is an enzyme involved in the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a methyl donor essential for mycolipid biosynthesis. As an anti-TB drug target, Mtb-MAT has been well validated. A homology model of MAT has been constructed using the X-ray structures of E. coli MAT (PDB code: 1MXA) and rat MAT (PDB code: 1QM4) as templates, by comparative protein modeling principles. The resulting model has the correct stereochemistry as gauged from the Ramachandran plot and good three-dimensional (3D) structure compatibility as assessed by the Profiles-3D score. The structurally and functionally important residues (active site) of Mtb-MAT have been identified using the E. coli and rat MAT crystal structures and the reported point mutation data. The homology model conserves the topological and active site features of the MAT family of proteins. The differences in the molecular electrostatic potentials (MEP) of Mtb and human MAT provide evidences that selective and specific Mtb-MAT inhibitors can be designed using the homology model, by the structure-based drug design approaches.
Mears, Emily Rose; Modabber, Farrokh; Don, Robert; Johnson, George E.
The current in vivo models for the utility and discovery of new potential anti-leishmanial drugs targeting Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) differ vastly in their immunological responses to the disease and clinical presentation of symptoms. Animal models that show similarities to the human form of CL after infection with Leishmania should be more representative as to the effect of the parasite within a human. Thus, these models are used to evaluate the efficacy of new anti-leishmanial compounds before human clinical trials. Current animal models aim to investigate (i) host–parasite interactions, (ii) pathogenesis, (iii) biochemical changes/pathways, (iv) in vivo maintenance of parasites, and (v) clinical evaluation of drug candidates. This review focuses on the trends of infection observed between Leishmania parasites, the predictability of different strains, and the determination of parasite load. These factors were used to investigate the overall effectiveness of the current animal models. The main aim was to assess the efficacy and limitations of the various CL models and their potential for drug discovery and evaluation. In conclusion, we found that the following models are the most suitable for the assessment of anti-leishmanial drugs: L. major–C57BL/6 mice (or–vervet monkey, or–rhesus monkeys), L. tropica–CsS-16 mice, L. amazonensis–CBA mice, L. braziliensis–golden hamster (or–rhesus monkey). We also provide in-depth guidance for which models are not suitable for these investigations. PMID:26334763
Jain, Vitul; Yogavel, Manickam; Kikuchi, Haruhisa; Oshima, Yoshiteru; Hariguchi, Norimitsu; Matsumoto, Makoto; Goel, Preeti; Touquet, Bastien; Jumani, Rajiv S; Tacchini-Cottier, Fabienne; Harlos, Karl; Huston, Christopher D; Hakimi, Mohamed-Ali; Sharma, Amit
Developing anti-parasitic lead compounds that act on key vulnerabilities are necessary for new anti-infectives. Malaria, leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis and coccidiosis together kill >500,000 humans annually. Their causative parasites Plasmodium, Leishmania, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium and Eimeria display high conservation in many housekeeping genes, suggesting that these parasites can be attacked by targeting invariant essential proteins. Here, we describe selective and potent inhibition of prolyl-tRNA synthetases (PRSs) from the above parasites using a series of quinazolinone-scaffold compounds. Our PRS-drug co-crystal structures reveal remarkable active site plasticity that accommodates diversely substituted compounds, an enzymatic feature that can be leveraged for refining drug-like properties of quinazolinones on a per parasite basis. A compound we termed In-5 exhibited a unique double conformation, enhanced drug-like properties, and cleared malaria in mice. It thus represents a new lead for optimization. Collectively, our data offer insights into the structure-guided optimization of quinazolinone-based compounds for drug development against multiple human eukaryotic pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
There is currently a crisis in drug discovery for neuropsychiatric disorders, with a profound, yet unexpected drought in new drug development across the spectrum. In this commentary, the sources of this dilemma and potential avenues to redress the issue are explored. These include a critical review of diagnostic issues and of selection of participants for clinical trials, and the mechanisms for identifying new drugs and new drug targets. Historically, the vast majority of agents have been discovered serendipitously or have been modifications of existing agents. Serendipitous discoveries, based on astute clinical observation or data mining, remain a valid option, as is illustrated by the suggestion in the paper by Wahlqvist and colleagues that treatment with sulfonylurea and metformin reduces the risk of affective disorder. However, the identification of agents targeting disorder-related biomarkers is currently proving particularly fruitful. There is considerable hope for genetics as a purist, pathophysiologically valid pathway to drug discovery; however, it is unclear whether the science is ready to meet this promise. Fruitful paradigms will require a break from the orthodoxy, and creativity and risk may well be the fingerprints of success.See related article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/150.
There is currently a crisis in drug discovery for neuropsychiatric disorders, with a profound, yet unexpected drought in new drug development across the spectrum. In this commentary, the sources of this dilemma and potential avenues to redress the issue are explored. These include a critical review of diagnostic issues and of selection of participants for clinical trials, and the mechanisms for identifying new drugs and new drug targets. Historically, the vast majority of agents have been discovered serendipitously or have been modifications of existing agents. Serendipitous discoveries, based on astute clinical observation or data mining, remain a valid option, as is illustrated by the suggestion in the paper by Wahlqvist and colleagues that treatment with sulfonylurea and metformin reduces the risk of affective disorder. However, the identification of agents targeting disorder-related biomarkers is currently proving particularly fruitful. There is considerable hope for genetics as a purist, pathophysiologically valid pathway to drug discovery; however, it is unclear whether the science is ready to meet this promise. Fruitful paradigms will require a break from the orthodoxy, and creativity and risk may well be the fingerprints of success. See related article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/150 PMID:23194414
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Edwards, Bruce S; Sklar, Larry A
Modern flow cytometers can make optical measurements of 10 or more parameters per cell at tens of thousands of cells per second and more than five orders of magnitude dynamic range. Although flow cytometry is used in most drug discovery stages, "sip-and-spit" sampling technology has restricted it to low-sample-throughput applications. The advent of HyperCyt sampling technology has recently made possible primary screening applications in which tens of thousands of compounds are analyzed per day. Target-multiplexing methodologies in combination with extended multiparameter analyses enable profiling of lead candidates early in the discovery process, when the greatest numbers of candidates are available for evaluation. The ability to sample small volumes with negligible waste reduces reagent costs, compound usage, and consumption of cells. Improved compound library formatting strategies can further extend primary screening opportunities when samples are scarce. Dozens of targets have been screened in 384- and 1536-well assay formats, predominantly in academic screening lab settings. In concert with commercial platform evolution and trending drug discovery strategies, HyperCyt-based systems are now finding their way into mainstream screening labs. Recent advances in flow-based imaging, mass spectrometry, and parallel sample processing promise dramatically expanded single-cell profiling capabilities to bolster systems-level approaches to drug discovery. © 2015 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.
Edwards, Bruce S.; Sklar, Larry A.
Summary Modern flow cytometers can make optical measurements of 10 or more parameters per cell at tens-of-thousands of cells per second and over five orders of magnitude dynamic range. Although flow cytometry is used in most drug discovery stages, “sip-and-spit” sampling technology has restricted it to low sample throughput applications. The advent of HyperCyt sampling technology has recently made possible primary screening applications in which tens-of-thousands of compounds are analyzed per day. Target-multiplexing methodologies in combination with extended multi-parameter analyses enable profiling of lead candidates early in the discovery process, when the greatest numbers of candidates are available for evaluation. The ability to sample small volumes with negligible waste reduces reagent costs, compound usage and consumption of cells. Improved compound library formatting strategies can further extend primary screening opportunities when samples are scarce. Dozens of targets have been screened in 384- and 1536-well assay formats, predominantly in academic screening lab settings. In concert with commercial platform evolution and trending drug discovery strategies, HyperCyt-based systems are now finding their way into mainstream screening labs. Recent advances in flow-based imaging, mass spectrometry and parallel sample processing promise dramatically expanded single cell profiling capabilities to bolster systems level approaches to drug discovery. PMID:25805180
Jia, Dong-fang; Jia, Dong-fang; Jia, Dong-fang
Riboswitches are cis-acting domains located in mRNA sequences that could regulate gene expression by sensing small molecules without employing protein. Most known riboswitches in bacteria have naturally evolved to bind essential metabolite ligands and are involved in the regulation of critical genes that are responsible for the biosynthesis or transport of the cognate ligand. The riboswitch-mediated gene expression could be repressed by metabolite analogs, which caused bacterial growth inhibition or even death. A number of leading compounds targeting riboswitches have been discovered. A promising avenue for the development of new class of riboswitch-based antibiotics has been opened. Herein we reviewed the current findings of riboswitches that served as targets for antibacterial drug development and the underlying mechanisms. The development of high-throughput methods and rational drug design for riboswitch-specific drug discovery are relevant challenges are discussed. summarized.
Holly, Mikaela K.; Dear, James W.; Hu, Xuzhen; Schechter, Alan N.; Gladwin, Mark T.; Hewitt, Stephen M.; Yuen, Peter S.T.; Star, Robert A.
Background Sepsis is one of the common causes of acute renal failure (ARF). The objective of this study was to identify new biomarkers and therapeutic targets. We present a new rat model of sepsis-induced ARF based on cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). We used this model to find urinary proteins which may be potential biomarkers and/or drug targets. Methods Aged rats were treated with fluids and antibiotics after CLP. Urinary proteins from septic rats without ARF and urinary proteins from septic rats with ARF were compared by difference in-gel electrophoresis (DIGE). Results CLP surgery elevated IL-6 and IL-10 serum cytokines and blood nitrite compared with sham-operated rats. However there was a range of serum creatinine values at 24 hrs (0.4–2.3 mg/dL) and only 24% developed ARF. Histology confirmed renal injury in these rats. 49% of rats did not develop ARF. Rats without ARF also had less liver injury. The mortality rate at 24 hrs was 27% but was increased by housing the post-surgery rats in metabolic cages. Creatinine clearance and urine output 2–8 hours after CLP was significantly reduced in rats which died within 24 hours. Using DIGE we identified changes in a number of urinary proteins including albumin, brush-border enzymes (eg., meprin-1-alpha) and serine protease inhibitors. The meprin-1-alpha inhibitor actinonin prevented ARF in aged mice. Conclusion In summary we describe a new rat model of sepsis-induced ARF which has a heterogeneous response similar to humans. This model allowed us to use DIGE to find changes in urinary proteins and this approach identified a potential biomarker and drug target – meprin-1-alpha. PMID:16760904
Gómez-Outes, Antonio; Suárez-Gea, Ma Luisa; Calvo-Rojas, Gonzalo; Lecumberri, Ramón; Rocha, Eduardo; Pozo-Hernández, Carmen; Terleira-Fernández, Ana Isabel; Vargas-Castrillón, Emilio
The history of the traditional anticoagulants is marked by both perseverance and serendipity. The anticoagulant effect of heparin was discovered by McLean in 1915, while he was searching for a procoagulant in dog liver. Link identified dicumarol from spoiled sweet clover hay in 1939 as the causal agent of the sweet clover disease, a hemorrhagic disorder in cattle. Hirudin extracts from the medicinal leech were first used for parenteral anticoagulation in the clinic in 1909, but their use was limited due to adverse effects and difficulties in achieving highly purified extracts. Heparins and coumarins (i.e.: warfarin, phenprocoumon, acenocoumarol) have been the mainstay of anticoagulant therapy for more than 60 years. Over the past decades, the drug discovery paradigm has shifted toward rational design following a target-based approach, in which specific proteins, or "targets", are chosen on current understandings of pathophysiology, small molecules that inhibit the target's activity may be identified by high-throughput screening and, in selected cases, these new molecules can be developed further as drugs. Despite the application of rational design, serendipity has still played a significant role in some of the new discoveries. This review will focus on the discovery of the main anticoagulant drugs in current clinical use, like unfractionated heparin, low-molecular-weight heparins, fondaparinux, coumarins (i.e.: warfarin, acenocoumarol, phenprocoumon), parenteral direct thrombin inhibitors (DTIs) (i.e.: argatroban, recombinant hirudins, bivalirudin), oral DTIs (i.e.: dabigatran) and oral direct factor Xa inhibitors (i.e.: rivaroxaban, apixaban).
Maiese, Kenneth; Chong, Zhao Zhong; Shang, Yan Chen; Wang, Shaohui
Introduction Diabetes mellitus impacts almost 200 million individuals worldwide and leads to debilitating complications. New avenues of drug discovery must target the underlying cellular processes of oxidative stress, apoptosis, autophagy, and inflammation that can mediate multi-system pathology during diabetes mellitus. Areas Covered We examine novel directions for drug discovery that involve the β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) precursor nicotinamide, the cytokine erythropoietin, the NAD+-dependent protein histone deacetylase SIRT1, the serine/threonine-protein kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and the wingless pathway. Implications for the targeting of these pathways that oversee gluconeogenic genes, insulin signaling and resistance, fatty acid beta-oxidation, inflammation, and cellular survival are presented. Expert Opinion Nicotinamide, erythropoietin, and the downstram pathways of SIRT1, mTOR, forkhead transcription factors, and wingless signaling offer exciting prospects for novel directions of drug discovery for the treatment of metabolic disorders. Future investigations must dissect the complex relationship and fine modulation of these pathways for the successful translation of robust reparative and regenerative strategies against diabetes mellitus and the complications of this disorder. PMID:23092114
Jacobson, Kenneth A.
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) remain a major domain of pharmaceutical discovery. The discovery of GPCR lead compounds and their optimization are now structure-based, thanks to advances in X-ray crystallography, molecular modeling, protein engineering and biophysical techniques. In silico screening provides useful hit molecules. New pharmacological approaches to tuning the pleotropic action of GPCRs include: allosteric modulators, biased ligands, GPCR heterodimer-targeted compounds, manipulation of polypharmacology, receptor antibodies and tailoring of drug molecules to fit GPCR pharmacogenomics. Measurements of kinetics and drug efficacy are factors influencing clinical success. With the exception of inhibitors of GPCR kinases, targeting of intracellular GPCR signaling or receptor cycling for therapeutic purposes remains a futuristic concept. New assay approaches are more efficient and multidimensional: cell-based, label-free, fluorescence-based assays, and biosensors. Tailoring GPCR drugs to a patient’s genetic background is now being considered. Chemoinformatic tools can predict ADME-tox properties. New imaging technology visualizes drug action in vivo. Thus, there is reason to be optimistic that new technology for GPCR ligand discovery will help improve the current narrowing of the pharmaceutical pipeline. PMID:26265138
Kell, Douglas B
Despite the sequencing of the human genome, the rate of innovative and successful drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry has continued to decrease. Leaving aside regulatory matters, the fundamental and interlinked intellectual issues proposed to be largely responsible for this are: (a) the move from 'function-first' to 'target-first' methods of screening and drug discovery; (b) the belief that successful drugs should and do interact solely with single, individual targets, despite natural evolution's selection for biochemical networks that are robust to individual parameter changes; (c) an over-reliance on the rule-of-5 to constrain biophysical and chemical properties of drug libraries; (d) the general abandoning of natural products that do not obey the rule-of-5; (e) an incorrect belief that drugs diffuse passively into (and presumably out of) cells across the bilayers portions of membranes, according to their lipophilicity; (f) a widespread failure to recognize the overwhelmingly important role of proteinaceous transporters, as well as their expression profiles, in determining drug distribution in and between different tissues and individual patients; and (g) the general failure to use engineering principles to model biology in parallel with performing 'wet' experiments, such that 'what if?' experiments can be performed in silico to assess the likely success of any strategy. These facts/ideas are illustrated with a reasonably extensive literature review. Success in turning round drug discovery consequently requires: (a) decent systems biology models of human biochemical networks; (b) the use of these (iteratively with experiments) to model how drugs need to interact with multiple targets to have substantive effects on the phenotype; (c) the adoption of polypharmacology and/or cocktails of drugs as a desirable goal in itself; (d) the incorporation of drug transporters into systems biology models, en route to full and multiscale systems biology models that
Hao, Haiping; Zheng, Xiao; Wang, Guangji
Natural medicines (NMs) are indispensable sources for the development of modern drugs. However, the targets for most natural compounds are unknown and the current pharmacokinetic evaluation systems developed for target-defined drugs may not be directly applicable to NM-based drug discovery, which is a major hindrance in bringing natural compounds to the clinic. Here, we propose the concept of 'reverse pharmacokinetics' and discuss how a 'reverse pharmacokinetics' perspective could help clarify key questions in modern drug discovery from NMs with validated clinical benefits, thereby strengthening the translational potential. Reverse pharmacokinetics can provide physiologically relevant clues to the target identification and mechanistic study of NMs, which may also innovate drug discovery for complex diseases. We anticipate that an evolving deep understanding of the novel mode of action of natural compounds with a reverse pharmacokinetic insight may improve discovery of both single ingredient and multiple-component modern drugs from NMs.
Carrara, Letizia; Lavezzi, Silvia Maria; Borella, Elisa; De Nicolao, Giuseppe; Magni, Paolo; Poggesi, Italo
Pharmacometric models represent the most comprehensive approaches for extracting, summarizing and integrating information obtained in the often sparse, limited, and less-than-optimally designed experiments performed in the early phases of oncology drug discovery. Whilst empirical methodologies may be enough for screening and ranking candidate drugs, modeling approaches are needed for optimizing and making economically viable the learn-confirm cycles within an oncology research program and anticipating the dose regimens to be investigated in the subsequent clinical development. Areas covered: Papers appearing in the literature of approximately the last decade reporting modeling approaches applicable to anticancer drug discovery have been listed and commented. Papers were selected based on the interest in the proposed methodology or in its application. Expert opinion: The number of modeling approaches used in the discovery of anticancer drugs is consistently increasing and new models are developed based on the current directions of research of new candidate drugs. These approaches have contributed to a better understanding of new oncological targets and have allowed for the exploitation of the relatively sparse information generated by preclinical experiments. In addition, they are used in translational approaches for guiding and supporting the choice of dosing regimens in early clinical development.
Hargrave-Thomas, Emily; Yu, Bo; Reynisson, Jóhannes
It was found that the discovery of 5.8% (84/1437) of all drugs on the market involved serendipity. Of these drugs, 31 (2.2%) were discovered following an incident in the laboratory and 53 (3.7%) were discovered in a clinical setting. In addition, 263 (18.3%) of the pharmaceuticals in clinical use today are chemical derivatives of the drugs discovered with the aid of serendipity. Therefore, in total, 24.1% (347/1437) of marketed drugs can be directly traced to serendipitous events confirming the importance of this elusive phenomenon. In the case of anticancer drugs, 35.2% (31/88) can be attributed to a serendipitous event, which is somewhat larger than for all drugs. The therapeutic field that has benefited the most from serendipity are central nervous system active drugs reflecting the difficulty in designing compounds to pass the blood-brain-barrier and the lack of laboratory-based assays for many of the diseases of the mind.
Hargrave-Thomas, Emily; Yu, Bo; Reynisson, Jóhannes
It was found that the discovery of 5.8% (84/1437) of all drugs on the market involved serendipity. Of these drugs, 31 (2.2%) were discovered following an incident in the laboratory and 53 (3.7%) were discovered in a clinical setting. In addition, 263 (18.3%) of the pharmaceuticals in clinical use today are chemical derivatives of the drugs discovered with the aid of serendipity. Therefore, in total, 24.1% (347/1437) of marketed drugs can be directly traced to serendipitous events confirming the importance of this elusive phenomenon. In the case of anticancer drugs, 35.2% (31/88) can be attributed to a serendipitous event, which is somewhat larger than for all drugs. The therapeutic field that has benefited the most from serendipity are central nervous system active drugs reflecting the difficulty in designing compounds to pass the blood-brain-barrier and the lack of laboratory-based assays for many of the diseases of the mind. PMID:22247822
Kita, Kiyoshi; Shiomi, Kazuro; Omura, Satoshi
Japanese researchers continue to discover new means to combat parasites and make important contributions toward developing tools for global control of parasitic diseases. Streptomyces avermectinius, the source of ivermectin, was discovered in Japan in the early 1970s and renewed and vigorous screening of microbial metabolites in recent years has led to the discovery of new antiprotozoals and anthelminthics, including antimalarial drugs. Intensive studies of parasite energy metabolism, such as NADH-fumarate reductase systems and the synthetic pathways of nucleic acids and amino acids, also contribute to the identification of novel and unique drug targets.
Mancini, Francesca; De Simone, Angela; Andrisano, Vincenza
β-Secretase 1 (BACE1) is the enzyme involved in the abnormal production of the amyloidogenic peptide Aβ42, one of the major causes of histological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Thus, BACE1 represents a key target protein in the development of new potential drugs for the non-symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Since the discovery of BACE1 one decade ago, both in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia there has been an intense search for novel inhibitors to be developed as new effective drugs. There is a great deal of interest in the discovery of selective non-peptide BACE1 inhibitors with a new chemical skeleton, suited for central nervous system penetration and endowed with more appropriate pharmacokinetic properties. Therefore, the selection of appropriate methods for screening and characterization of BACE1 inhibitors is crucial. This review focuses on the description of the in vitro methods to test BACE1 activity and inhibition, with particular emphasis on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) methods, aiming at critically highlighting advantages and drawbacks. An overview of BACE1 inhibitors is given, underlying the variability of the FRET methods reported in the literature, and the structure evolution of inhibitors active in cellular cultures and in vivo, from peptide to small synthetic and natural structures.
Lisanti, Michael P; Martinez-Outschoorn, Ubaldo E; Sotgia, Federica
Metabolic coupling, between mitochondria in cancer cells and catabolism in stromal fibroblasts, promotes tumor growth, recurrence, metastasis, and predicts anticancer drug resistance. Catabolic fibroblasts donate the necessary fuels (such as L-lactate, ketones, glutamine, other amino acids, and fatty acids) to anabolic cancer cells, to metabolize via their TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). This provides a simple mechanism by which metabolic energy and biomass are transferred from the host microenvironment to cancer cells. Recently, we showed that catabolic metabolism and "glycolytic reprogramming" in the tumor microenvironment are orchestrated by oncogene activation and inflammation, which originates in epithelial cancer cells. Oncogenes drive the onset of the cancer-associated fibroblast phenotype in adjacent normal fibroblasts via paracrine oxidative stress. This oncogene-induced transition to malignancy is "mirrored" by a loss of caveolin-1 (Cav-1) and an increase in MCT4 in adjacent stromal fibroblasts, functionally reflecting catabolic metabolism in the tumor microenvironment. Virtually identical findings were obtained using BRCA1-deficient breast and ovarian cancer cells. Thus, oncogene activation (RAS, NFkB, TGF-β) and/or tumor suppressor loss (BRCA1) have similar functional effects on adjacent stromal fibroblasts, initiating "metabolic symbiosis" and the cancer-associated fibroblast phenotype. New therapeutic strategies that metabolically uncouple oxidative cancer cells from their glycolytic stroma or modulate oxidative stress could be used to target this lethal subtype of cancers. Targeting "fibroblast addiction" in primary and metastatic tumor cells may expose a critical Achilles' heel, leading to disease regression in both sporadic and familial cancers.
Chien, Andrew; Foster, Ian; Goddette, Dean
Grid technologies enable flexible coupling and sharing of computers, instruments and storage. Grids can provide technical solutions to the volume of data and computational demands associated with drug discovery by delivering larger computing capability (flexible resource sharing), providing coordinated access to large data resources and enabling novel online exploration (coupling computing, data and instruments online). Here, we illustrate this potential by describing two applications: the use of desktop PC grid technologies for virtual screening, and distributed X-ray structure reconstruction and online visualization.
Verkman, Alan S.; Galietta, Luis J. V.
Chloride channels represent a relatively under-explored target class for drug discovery as elucidation of their identity and physiological roles has lagged behind that of many other drug targets. Chloride channels are involved in a wide range of biological functions, including epithelial fluid secretion, cell-volume regulation, neuroexcitation, smooth-muscle contraction and acidification of intracellular organelles. Mutations in several chloride channels cause human diseases, including cystic fibrosis, macular degeneration, myotonia, kidney stones, renal salt wasting and hyperekplexia. Chloride-channel modulators have potential applications in the treatment of some of these disorders, as well as in secretory diarrhoeas, polycystic kidney disease, osteoporosis and hypertension. Modulators of GABAA (γ-aminobutyric acid A) receptor chloride channels are in clinical use and several small-molecule chloride-channel modulators are in preclinical development and clinical trials. Here, we discuss the broad opportunities that remain in chloride-channel-based drug discovery. PMID:19153558
Hua, Yun Hao; Wu, Chih Yuan; Sargsyan, Karen; Lim, Carmay
Many enzymes use nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)) as essential coenzymes. These enzymes often do not share significant sequence identity and cannot be easily detected by sequence homology. Previously, we determined all distinct locally conserved pyrophosphate-binding structures (3d motifs) from NAD(P)-bound protein structures, from which 1d sequence motifs were derived. Here, we aim to establish the precision of these 3d and 1d motifs to annotate NAD(P)-binding proteins. We show that the pyrophosphate-binding 3d motifs are characteristic of NAD(P)-binding proteins, as they are rarely found in nonNAD(P)-binding proteins. Furthermore, several 1d motifs could distinguish between proteins that bind only NAD and those that bind only NADP. They could also distinguish between NAD(P)-binding proteins from nonNAD(P)-binding ones. Interestingly, one of the pyrophosphate-binding 3d and corresponding 1d motifs was found only in enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductases, which are enzymes essential for bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. This unique 3d motif serves as an attractive novel drug target, as it is conserved across many bacterial species and is not found in human proteins.
Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo
Synthetic biology (SB) is an emerging discipline, which is slowly reorienting the field of drug discovery. For thousands of years, living organisms such as plants were the major source of human medicines. The difficulty in resynthesizing natural products, however, often turned pharmaceutical industries away from this rich source for human medicine. More recently, progress on transformation through genetic manipulation of biosynthetic units in microorganisms has opened the possibility of in-depth exploration of the large chemical space of natural products derivatives. Success of SB in drug synthesis culminated with the bioproduction of artemisinin by microorganisms, a tour de force in protein and metabolic engineering. Today, synthetic cells are not only used as biofactories but also used as cell-based screening platforms for both target-based and phenotypic-based approaches. Engineered genetic circuits in synthetic cells are also used to decipher disease mechanisms or drug mechanism of actions and to study cell-cell communication within bacteria consortia. This review presents latest developments of SB in the field of drug discovery, including some challenging issues such as drug resistance and drug toxicity.
Gerwick, William H.; Fenner, Amanda M.
The marine environment has been a source of more than 20,000 inspirational natural products discovered over the past 50 years. From these efforts, 9 approved drugs and 12 current clinical trial agents have been discovered, either as natural products or molecules inspired from the natural product structure. To a significant degree, these have come from collections of marine invertebrates largely obtained from shallow water tropical ecosystems. However, there is a growing recognition that marine invertebrates are oftentimes populated with enormous quantities of ‘associated’ or symbiotic microorganisms, and that microorganisms are the true metabolic sources of these most valuable of marine natural products. Also, because of the inherently multidisciplinary nature of this field, a high degree of innovation is characteristic of marine natural product drug discovery efforts. PMID:23274881
Dudley, Joel T; Schadt, Eric; Sirota, Marina; Butte, Atul J; Ashley, Euan
Despite great strides in revealing and understanding the physiological and molecular bases of cardiovascular disease, efforts to translate this understanding into needed therapeutic interventions continue to lag far behind the initial discoveries. Although pharmaceutical companies continue to increase investments into research and development, the number of drugs gaining federal approval is in decline. Many factors underlie these trends, and a vast number of technological and scientific innovations are being sought through efforts to reinvigorate drug discovery pipelines. Recent advances in molecular profiling technologies and development of sophisticated computational approaches for analyzing these data are providing new, systems-oriented approaches towards drug discovery. Unlike the traditional approach to drug discovery which is typified by a one-drug-one-target mindset, systems-oriented approaches to drug discovery leverage the parallelism and high-dimensionality of the molecular data to construct more comprehensive molecular models that aim to model broader bimolecular systems. These models offer a means to explore complex molecular states (e.g., disease) where thousands to millions of molecular entities comprising multiple molecular data types (e.g., proteomics and gene expression) can be evaluated simultaneously as components of a cohesive biomolecular system. In this paper, we discuss emerging approaches towards systems-oriented drug discovery and contrast these efforts with the traditional, unidimensional approach to drug discovery. We also highlight several applications of these system-oriented approaches across various aspects of drug discovery, including target discovery, drug repositioning and drug toxicity. When available, specific applications to cardiovascular drug discovery are highlighted and discussed.
Leonti, Marco; Stafford, Gary I; Cero, Maja Dal; Cabras, Stefano; Castellanos, Maria Eugenia; Casu, Laura; Weckerle, Caroline S
Ethnopharmacological investigations of traditional medicines have made significant contributions to plant-derived drugs, as well as the advancement of pharmacology. Drug discovery from medicinal flora is more complex than generally acknowledged because plants are applied for different therapeutic indications within and across cultures. Therefore we propose the concept of "reverse ethnopharmacology" and compare biomedical uses of plant taxa with their ethnomedicinal and popular uses and test the effect of these on the probability of finding biomedical and specifically anticancer drugs. For this analysis we use data on taxonomy and medical indications of plant derived biomedical drugs, clinical trial, and preclinical trial drug candidates published by Zhu et al. (2011) and compare their therapeutic indications with their ethnomedicinal and popular uses as reported in the NAPRALERT(®) database. Specifically, we test for increase or decrease of the probability of finding anticancer drugs based on ethnomedicinal and popular reports with Bayesian logistic regression analyses. Anticancer therapy resulted as the most frequent biomedicinal indication of the therapeutics derived from the 225 drug producing higher plant taxa and showed an association with ethnomedicinal and popular uses in women's medicine, which was also the most important popular use-category. Popular remedies for dysmenorrhoea, and uses as emmenagogues, abortifacients and contraceptives showed a positive effect on the probability of finding anticancer drugs. Another positive effect on the probability of discovering anticancer therapeutics was estimated for popular herbal drugs associated with the therapy of viral and bacterial infections, while the highest effect was found for popular remedies used to treat cancer symptoms. However, this latter effect seems to be influenced by the feedback loop and divulgence of biomedical knowledge on the popular level. We introduce the concept of reverse
Jacobson, Kenneth A
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) remain a major domain of pharmaceutical discovery. The identification of GPCR lead compounds and their optimization are now structure-based, thanks to advances in X-ray crystallography, molecular modeling, protein engineering and biophysical techniques. In silico screening provides useful hit molecules. New pharmacological approaches to tuning the pleotropic action of GPCRs include: allosteric modulators, biased ligands, GPCR heterodimer-targeted compounds, manipulation of polypharmacology, receptor antibodies and tailoring of drug molecules to fit GPCR pharmacogenomics. Measurements of kinetics and drug efficacy are factors influencing clinical success. With the exception of inhibitors of GPCR kinases, targeting of intracellular GPCR signaling or receptor cycling for therapeutic purposes remains a futuristic concept. New assay approaches are more efficient and multidimensional: cell-based, label-free, fluorescence-based assays, and biosensors. Tailoring GPCR drugs to a patient's genetic background is now being considered. Chemoinformatic tools can predict ADME-tox properties. New imaging technology visualizes drug action in vivo. Thus, there is reason to be optimistic that new technology for GPCR ligand discovery will help reverse the current narrowing of the pharmaceutical pipeline.
Marsden, Catherine J; Eckersley, Sonia; Hebditch, Max; Kvist, Alexander J; Milner, Roy; Mitchell, Danielle; Warwicker, Juli; Marley, Anna E
Antibodies are powerful research tools that can be used in many areas of biology to probe, measure, and perturb various biological structures. Successful drug discovery is dependent on the correct identification of a target implicated in disease, coupled with the successful selection, optimization, and development of a candidate drug. Because of their specific binding characteristics, with regard to specificity, affinity, and avidity, coupled with their amenability to protein engineering, antibodies have become a key tool in drug discovery, enabling the quantification, localization, and modulation of proteins of interest. This review summarizes the application of antibodies and other protein affinity reagents as specific research tools within the drug discovery process.
Bates, Susan E; Amiri-Kordestani, Laleh; Giaccone, Giuseppe
A British humorist said, "There is much to be said for failure. It is much more interesting than success." This CCR Focus section is aimed at identifying lessons to be learned from difficulties encountered in recent years during development of anticancer agents. Clearly, we have not found a silver bullet tyrosine kinase inhibitor against solid tumors comparable with imatinib in chronic myelogenous leukemia. Although vemurafenib for B-Raf-mutated melanoma and crizotinib for non-small cell lung cancers with echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4 (EML4)-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangements were developed rapidly and offer hope for individualized targeted therapies, the development of agents targeting a number of other pathways has been slower and less successful. These agents include drugs for blocking the insulin-like growth factor I/insulin receptor pathways, mitotic kinase inhibitors, and Hsp90 antagonists. Several potentially useful, if not groundbreaking, agents have had setbacks in clinical development, including trastuzumab emtansine, gemtuzumab ozogamicin, and satraplatin. From experience, we have learned the following: (i) not every altered protein or pathway is a valid anticancer target; (ii) drugs must effectively engage the target; (iii) the biology of the systems we use must be very well understood; and (iv) clinical trials must be designed to assess whether the drug reached and impaired the target. It is also important that we improve the drug development enterprise to enhance enrollment, streamline clinical trials, reduce financial risk, and encourage the development of agents for niche indications. Such enormous challenges are offset by potentially tremendous gains in our understanding and treatment of cancer.
Fagnan, David E; Gromatzky, Austin A; Stein, Roger M; Fernandez, Jose-Maria; Lo, Andrew W
Recently proposed 'megafund' financing methods for funding translational medicine and drug development require billions of dollars in capital per megafund to de-risk the drug discovery process enough to issue long-term bonds. Here, we demonstrate that the same financing methods can be applied to orphan drug development but, because of the unique nature of orphan diseases and therapeutics (lower development costs, faster FDA approval times, lower failure rates and lower correlation of failures among disease targets) the amount of capital needed to de-risk such portfolios is much lower in this field. Numerical simulations suggest that an orphan disease megafund of only US$575 million can yield double-digit expected rates of return with only 10-20 projects in the portfolio. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Background Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed a large number of links between genome variation and complex disease. Among other benefits, it is expected that these insights will lead to new therapeutic strategies, particularly the identification of new drug targets. In this paper, we evaluate the power of GWAS studies to find drug targets by examining how many existing drug targets have been directly 'rediscovered' by this technique, and the extent to which GWAS results may be leveraged by network information to discover known and new drug targets. Results We find that only a very small fraction of drug targets are directly detected in the relevant GWAS studies. We investigate two possible explanations for this observation. First, we find evidence of negative selection acting on drug target genes as a consequence of strong coupling with the disease phenotype, so reducing the incidence of SNPs linked to the disease. Second, we find that GWAS genes are substantially longer on average than drug targets and than all genes, suggesting there is a length related bias in GWAS results. In spite of the low direct relationship between drug targets and GWAS reported genes, we found these two sets of genes are closely coupled in the human protein network. As a consequence, machine-learning methods are able to recover known drug targets based on network context and the set of GWAS reported genes for the same disease. We show the approach is potentially useful for identifying drug repurposing opportunities. Conclusions Although GWA studies do not directly identify most existing drug targets, there are several reasons to expect that new targets will nevertheless be discovered using these data. Initial results on drug repurposing studies using network analysis are encouraging and suggest directions for future development. PMID:25057111
Lu, Yunxiang; Liu, Yingtao; Xu, Zhijian; Li, Haiying; Liu, Honglai; Zhu, Weiliang
A large number of drugs and drug candidates in clinical development contain halogen substituents. For a long time, only the steric and lipophilic contributions of halogens were considered when trying to exploit their effects on ligand binding. However, the ability of halogens to form stabilizing interactions, such as halogen bonding, hydrogen bonding and multipolar interactions, in biomolecular systems was revealed recently. Halogen bonding, the non-covalent interaction in which covalently bound halogens interact with Lewis bases, has now been utilized in the context of rational drug design. The purpose of this review is to show how halogen bonding could be used in drug design, and in particular, to stimulate researchers to apply halogen bonding in lead optimization. This review article covers the recent advances relevant to halogen bonding in drug discovery and biological design over the past decade, including database survey of this interaction in protein-ligand complexes, molecular mechanical investigations of halogen bonding in drug discovery and applications of this interaction in the development of halogenated ligands as inhibitors and drugs for protein kinases, serine protease factor Xa, HIV reverse transcriptase and so on. Halogen bonding should intentionally be used as a powerful tool, comparable with hydrogen bonding, to enhance the binding affinity and also influence the binding selectivity. Rational design of new and potent inhibitors against therapeutic targets through halogen bonding continues to be an exciting area, which will be further elucidated with the combination of various experimental techniques and theoretical calculations in the forthcoming years.
Sucher, Nikolaus J
The apparent productivity crisis in the pharmaceutical industry and the economic and political rise of China have contributed to renewed interest in the application of Chinese medicine for drug discovery. The author presents an overview of the historical development and basic principles of theory and practice of Chinese herbal medicine, its materia medica and prescription formulas, and discusses the motivation for and rationale of its application to drug discovery. Furthermore, the author distinguishes the five main approaches to drug discovery from Chinese herbal medicine, based on the decreasing amount and detail of historical and clinical Chinese medicine knowledge that informed the research effort. Many compounds that have been isolated from the Chinese materia medica exhibit pharmacological activities comparable to pharmaceutical drugs. With the exception of the antimalarial drug artemisinin, however, this knowledge has not led to the successful development of new drugs outside of China. The chance of success in a Chinese medicine-based drug discovery effort will be increased by consideration of the empirical knowledge that has been documented over many centuries in the historical materia medica and prescription literature. Most Chinese medicine-derived compounds affect more than one target and do not correspond to the one compound/one-target drug discovery paradigm. A new frontier is opening up with the development of drugs consisting of combinations of multiple compounds acting on multiple targets under the paradigm of network pharmacology. The ancient practice of combining multiple drugs in prescription formulas can serve as inspirational analogy and a practical guide.
Blair, Wade; Cox, Christopher
Continued discovery and development of new antiviral medications are paramount for global human health, particularly as new pathogens emerge and old ones evolve to evade current therapeutic agents. Great success has been achieved in developing effective therapies to suppress human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV); however, the therapies are not curative and therefore current efforts in HIV and HBV drug discovery are directed toward longer-acting therapies and/or developing new mechanisms of action that could potentially lead to cure, or eradication, of the virus. Recently, exciting early clinical data have been reported for novel antivirals targeting respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza (flu). Preclinical data suggest that these new approaches may be effective in treating high-risk patients afflicted with serious RSV or flu infections. In this review, we highlight new directions in antiviral approaches for HIV, HBV, and acute respiratory virus infections. PMID:26962437
Lodén, Henrik; Shariatgorji, Mohammadreza; Nilsson, Anna; Andrén, Per E
A vital process in drug discovery and development is to assess the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicology of potentially therapeutic compounds in the body. The potential utility of MS imaging has been demonstrated in many studies focusing on molecules including peptides, proteins and lipids. However, MS imaging also permits the direct analysis of drugs and drug metabolites in tissue samples without requiring the use of target-specific labels or reagents. Here, a brief technical description of the technique is presented along with examples of its usefulness at different stages of the drug discovery and development process including absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicology, and blood-brain barrier drug penetration investigations.
Jones, Lyn H; Bunnage, Mark E
The allure of phenotypic screening, combined with the industry preference for target-based approaches, has prompted the development of innovative chemical biology technologies that facilitate the identification of new therapeutic targets for accelerated drug discovery. A chemogenomic library is a collection of selective small-molecule pharmacological agents, and a hit from such a set in a phenotypic screen suggests that the annotated target or targets of that pharmacological agent may be involved in perturbing the observable phenotype. In this Review, we describe opportunities for chemogenomic screening to considerably expedite the conversion of phenotypic screening projects into target-based drug discovery approaches. Other applications are explored, including drug repositioning, predictive toxicology and the discovery of novel pharmacological modalities.
Toxicogenomics, drug discovery, and pathologist.
The field of toxicogenomics, which currently focuses on the application of large-scale differential gene expression (DGE) data to toxicology, is starting to influence drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical indu...
Toxicogenomics, drug discovery, and pathologist.
The field of toxicogenomics, which currently focuses on the application of large-scale differential gene expression (DGE) data to toxicology, is starting to influence drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical indu...
Jubb, Adrian M; Koeppen, Hartmut; Reis-Filho, Jorge S
The rapid pace of drug discovery and drug development in oncology, immunology and ophthalmology brings new challenges; the efficient and effective development of new targeted drugs will require more detailed molecular classifications of histologically homogeneous diseases that show heterogeneous clinical outcomes. To this end, single companion diagnostics for specific drugs will be replaced by multiplex diagnostics for entire therapeutic areas, preserving tissue and enabling rapid molecular taxonomy. The field will move away from the development of new molecular entities as single agents, to which resistance is common. Instead, a detailed understanding of the pathological mechanisms of resistance, in patients and in preclinical models, will be key to the validation of scientifically rational and clinically effective drug combinations. To remain at the heart of disease diagnosis and appropriate management, pathologists must evolve into translational biologists and biomarker scientists. Herein, we provide examples of where this metamorphosis has already taken place, in lung cancer and melanoma, where the transformation has yet to begin, in the use of immunotherapies for ophthalmology and oncology, and where there is fertile soil for a revolution in treatment, in efforts to classify glioblastoma and personalize treatment. The challenges of disease heterogeneity, the regulatory environment and adequate tissue are ever present, but these too are being overcome in dedicated academic centres. In summary, the tools necessary to overcome the 'whens' and 'ifs' of the molecular revolution are in the hands of pathologists today; it is a matter of standardization, training and leadership to bring these into routine practice and translate science into patient benefit. This Annual Review Issue of the Journal of Pathology highlights the central role for pathology in modern drug discovery and development.
Heller, Anne; Brockhoff, Gero; Goepferich, Achim
Mitochondria are of an increasing interest in pharmaceutical and medical research since it has been reported that dysfunction of these organelles contributes to several diseases with a great diversity of clinical appearance. By the fact that mitochondria are located inside the cell and, in turn, origins of mitochondrial diseases or targets of drugs are located inside mitochondria, a drug molecule has to cross several barriers. This is a severe drawback for the selective accumulation of drug molecules in mitochondria. Therefore, targeting strategies such as direct drug modification or encapsulation into nanocarriers have to be applied to achieve an accumulation of drug molecules in these organelles. In this review, it will be demonstrated how properties and dysfunctions of mitochondria are generating a need for the development of mitochondria specific therapies. Furthermore, intracellular targets of mitochondrial diseases, strategies to utilize mitochondrial specificities and targeting approaches will be discussed. Finally, techniques to investigate mitochondrial characteristics and functionality are reviewed.
Frearson, Julie; Wyatt, Paul
As the pharmaceutical industry continues to re-strategise and focus on low-risk, relatively short term gains for the sake of survival, we need to re-invigorate the early stages of drug discovery and rebalance efforts towards novel modes of action therapeutics and neglected genetic and tropical diseases. Academic drug discovery is one model which offers the promise of new approaches and an alternative organisational culture for drug discovery as it attempts to apply academic innovation and thought processes to the challenge of discovering drugs to address real unmet need. PMID:20922062
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are an extremely important issue facing global health care. To improve "access to health" where people are unable to access adequate medical care due to poverty and weak healthcare systems, we have established two consortiums: the NTD drug discovery research consortium, and the pediatric praziquantel consortium. The NTD drug discovery research consortium, which involves six institutions from industry, government, and academia, as well as an international non-profit organization, is committed to developing anti-protozoan active compounds for three NTDs (Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and African sleeping sickness). Each participating institute will contribute their efforts to accomplish the following: selection of drug targets based on information technology, and drug discovery by three different approaches (in silico drug discovery, "fragment evolution" which is a unique drug designing method of Astellas Pharma, and phenotypic screening with Astellas' compound library). The consortium has established a brand new database (Integrated Neglected Tropical Disease Database; iNTRODB), and has selected target proteins for the in silico and fragment evolution drug discovery approaches. Thus far, we have identified a number of promising compounds that inhibit the target protein, and we are currently trying to improve the anti-protozoan activity of these compounds. The pediatric praziquantel consortium was founded in July 2012 to develop and register a new praziquantel pediatric formulation for the treatment of schistosomiasis. Astellas Pharma has been a core member in this consortium since its establishment, and has provided expertise and technology in the area of pediatric formulation development and clinical development.
Kumar, Ashutosh; Zhang, Kam Y J
Virtual screening has played a significant role in the discovery of small molecule inhibitors of therapeutic targets in last two decades. Various ligand and structure-based virtual screening approaches are employed to identify small molecule ligands for proteins of interest. These approaches are often combined in either hierarchical or parallel manner to take advantage of the strength and avoid the limitations associated with individual methods. Hierarchical combination of ligand and structure-based virtual screening approaches has received noteworthy success in numerous drug discovery campaigns. In hierarchical virtual screening, several filters using ligand and structure-based approaches are sequentially applied to reduce a large screening library to a number small enough for experimental testing. In this review, we focus on different hierarchical virtual screening strategies and their application in the discovery of small molecule modulators of important drug targets. Several virtual screening studies are discussed to demonstrate the successful application of hierarchical virtual screening in small molecule drug discovery.
Small molecule drug discovery critically depends on the availability of meaningful in vitro assays to guide medicinal chemistry programs that are aimed at optimizing drug potency and selectivity. As it becomes increasingly evident, most disease relevant drug targets do not act as a single protein. In the body, they are instead generally found in complex with protein cofactors that are highly relevant for their correct function and regulation. This review highlights selected examples of the increasing trend to use biologically relevant protein complexes for rational drug discovery to reduce costly late phase attritions due to lack of efficacy or toxicity.
Shim, Joong Sup; Liu, Jun O.
Drug repositioning (also referred to as drug repurposing), the process of finding new uses of existing drugs, has been gaining popularity in recent years. The availability of several established clinical drug libraries and rapid advances in disease biology, genomics and bioinformatics has accelerated the pace of both activity-based and in silico drug repositioning. Drug repositioning has attracted particular attention from the communities engaged in anticancer drug discovery due to the combination of great demand for new anticancer drugs and the availability of a wide variety of cell- and target-based screening assays. With the successful clinical introduction of a number of non-cancer drugs for cancer treatment, drug repositioning now became a powerful alternative strategy to discover and develop novel anticancer drug candidates from the existing drug space. In this review, recent successful examples of drug repositioning for anticancer drug discovery from non-cancer drugs will be discussed. PMID:25013375
Shim, Joong Sup; Liu, Jun O
Drug repositioning (also referred to as drug repurposing), the process of finding new uses of existing drugs, has been gaining popularity in recent years. The availability of several established clinical drug libraries and rapid advances in disease biology, genomics and bioinformatics has accelerated the pace of both activity-based and in silico drug repositioning. Drug repositioning has attracted particular attention from the communities engaged in anticancer drug discovery due to the combination of great demand for new anticancer drugs and the availability of a wide variety of cell- and target-based screening assays. With the successful clinical introduction of a number of non-cancer drugs for cancer treatment, drug repositioning now became a powerful alternative strategy to discover and develop novel anticancer drug candidates from the existing drug space. In this review, recent successful examples of drug repositioning for anticancer drug discovery from non-cancer drugs will be discussed.
Sreshty, M Asha Latha; Surolia, Avadhesha; Sastry, G Narahari; Murty, U Suryanarayana
Quest for new drug targets in Plasmodium sp. has underscored malonyl CoA:ACP transacylase (PfFabD) of fatty acid biosynthetic pathway in apicoplast. In this study, a "piggyback" approach was employed for the receptor deorphanization using inhibitors of bacterial FabD enzymes. Due to the lack of crystal structure, theoretical model was constructed using the structural details of homologous enzymes. Sequence and structure analysis has localized the presence of two conserved pentapeptide motifs: GQGXG and GXSXG and five key invariant residues viz., Gln109, Ser193, Arg218, His305 and Gln354 characteristic of FabD enzyme. Active site mapping of PfFabD using substrate molecules has disclosed the spatial arrangement of key residues in the cavity. As structurally similar molecules exhibit similar biological activities, signature pharmacophore fingerprints of FabD antagonists were generated using 0D-3D descriptors for molecular similarity-based cluster analysis and to correlate with their binding profiles. It was observed that antagonists showing good geometrical fitness score were grouped in cluster-1, whereas those exhibiting high binding affinities in cluster-2. This study proves important to shed light on the active site environment to reveal the hotspot for binding with higher affinity and to narrow down the virtual screening process by searching for close neighbors of the active compounds. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Patten, Shunmoogum A; Parker, J Alex; Wen, Xiao-Yan; Drapeau, Pierre
Simple animal models have enabled great progress in uncovering the disease mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and are helping in the selection of therapeutic compounds through chemical genetic approaches. Within this article, the authors provide a concise overview of simple model organisms, C. elegans, Drosophila and zebrafish, which have been employed to study ALS and discuss their value to ALS drug discovery. In particular, the authors focus on innovative chemical screens that have established simple organisms as important models for ALS drug discovery. There are several advantages of using simple animal model organisms to accelerate drug discovery for ALS. It is the authors' particular belief that the amenability of simple animal models to various genetic manipulations, the availability of a wide range of transgenic strains for labelling motoneurons and other cell types, combined with live imaging and chemical screens should allow for new detailed studies elucidating early pathological processes in ALS and subsequent drug and target discovery.
Erakovic Haber, Vesna; Spaventi, Radan
Drug discovery and development process is nowadays conducted in relatively standardised sequence of phases, starting with Discovery and being followed by Preclinical, Clinical and Non-Clinical Development. Discovery phase is divided in Hit Finding, Lead generation, Lead Optimisation and Candidate Identification Phase. Main drivers of the whole process are regulatory requirements and the aim to eliminate the unnecessary spending by early elimination of unlikely drug candidates. Marine products, once purified, isolated and produced in required quantities, follow the same route as any other synthetic drug.
Williams, Antony J; Harland, Lee; Groth, Paul; Pettifer, Stephen; Chichester, Christine; Willighagen, Egon L; Evelo, Chris T; Blomberg, Niklas; Ecker, Gerhard; Goble, Carole; Mons, Barend
Open PHACTS is a public-private partnership between academia, publishers, small and medium sized enterprises and pharmaceutical companies. The goal of the project is to deliver and sustain an 'open pharmacological space' using and enhancing state-of-the-art semantic web standards and technologies. It is focused on practical and robust applications to solve specific questions in drug discovery research. OPS is intended to facilitate improvements in drug discovery in academia and industry and to support open innovation and in-house non-public drug discovery research. This paper lays out the challenges and how the Open PHACTS project is hoping to address these challenges technically and socially.
Zheng, Heping; Hou, Jing; Zimmerman, Matthew D; Wlodawer, Alexander; Minor, Wladek
Introduction X-ray crystallography plays an important role in structure-based drug design (SBDD), and accurate analysis of crystal structures of target macromolecules and macromolecule–ligand complexes is critical at all stages. However, whereas there has been significant progress in improving methods of structural biology, particularly in X-ray crystallography, corresponding progress in the development of computational methods (such as in silico high-throughput screening) is still on the horizon. Crystal structures can be overinterpreted and thus bias hypotheses and follow-up experiments. As in any experimental science, the models of macromolecular structures derived from X-ray diffraction data have their limitations, which need to be critically evaluated and well understood for structure-based drug discovery. Areas covered This review describes how the validity, accuracy and precision of a protein or nucleic acid structure determined by X-ray crystallography can be evaluated from three different perspectives: i) the nature of the diffraction experiment; ii) the interpretation of an electron density map; and iii) the interpretation of the structural model in terms of function and mechanism. The strategies to optimally exploit a macromolecular structure are also discussed in the context of ‘Big Data’ analysis, biochemical experimental design and structure-based drug discovery. Expert opinion Although X-ray crystallography is one of the most detailed ‘microscopes’ available today for examining macromolecular structures, the authors would like to re-emphasize that such structures are only simplified models of the target macromolecules. The authors also wish to reinforce the idea that a structure should not be thought of as a set of precise coordinates but rather as a framework for generating hypotheses to be explored. Numerous biochemical and biophysical experiments, including new diffraction experiments, can and should be performed to verify or falsify
Levin, Victor A.; Tonge, Peter J.; Gallo, James M.; Birtwistle, Marc R.; Dar, Arvin C.; Iavarone, Antonio; Paddison, Patrick J.; Heffron, Timothy P.; Elmquist, William F.; Lachowicz, Jean E.; Johnson, Ted W.; White, Forest M.; Sul, Joohee; Smith, Quentin R.; Shen, Wang; Sarkaria, Jann N.; Samala, Ramakrishna; Wen, Patrick Y.; Berry, Donald A.; Petter, Russell C.
Following the first CNS Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development Conference, the speakers from the first 4 sessions and organizers of the conference created this White Paper hoping to stimulate more and better CNS anticancer drug discovery and development. The first part of the White Paper reviews, comments, and, in some cases, expands on the 4 session areas critical to new drug development: pharmacological challenges, recent drug approaches, drug targets and discovery, and clinical paths. Following this concise review of the science and clinical aspects of new CNS anticancer drug discovery and development, we discuss, under the rubric “Accelerating Drug Discovery and Development for Brain Tumors,” further reasons why the pharmaceutical industry and academia have failed to develop new anticancer drugs for CNS malignancies and what it will take to change the current status quo and develop the drugs so desperately needed by our patients with malignant CNS tumors. While this White Paper is not a formal roadmap to that end, it should be an educational guide to clinicians and scientists to help move a stagnant field forward. PMID:26403167
Levin, Victor A; Tonge, Peter J; Gallo, James M; Birtwistle, Marc R; Dar, Arvin C; Iavarone, Antonio; Paddison, Patrick J; Heffron, Timothy P; Elmquist, William F; Lachowicz, Jean E; Johnson, Ted W; White, Forest M; Sul, Joohee; Smith, Quentin R; Shen, Wang; Sarkaria, Jann N; Samala, Ramakrishna; Wen, Patrick Y; Berry, Donald A; Petter, Russell C
Following the first CNS Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development Conference, the speakers from the first 4 sessions and organizers of the conference created this White Paper hoping to stimulate more and better CNS anticancer drug discovery and development. The first part of the White Paper reviews, comments, and, in some cases, expands on the 4 session areas critical to new drug development: pharmacological challenges, recent drug approaches, drug targets and discovery, and clinical paths. Following this concise review of the science and clinical aspects of new CNS anticancer drug discovery and development, we discuss, under the rubric "Accelerating Drug Discovery and Development for Brain Tumors," further reasons why the pharmaceutical industry and academia have failed to develop new anticancer drugs for CNS malignancies and what it will take to change the current status quo and develop the drugs so desperately needed by our patients with malignant CNS tumors. While this White Paper is not a formal roadmap to that end, it should be an educational guide to clinicians and scientists to help move a stagnant field forward.
Zuniga, Edison S; Early, Julie; Parish, Tanya
There is an urgent need for new and better drugs to treat tuberculosis due to lengthy and complex treatment regimens and a rising problem of drug resistance. Drug discovery efforts have increased over the past few years, with a larger focus on modern high-throughput screening technologies. A combination of target-based approaches, with the traditional empirical means of drug identification, has been complemented by the use of target-based phenotypic screens only recently made possibly with newer genetic tools. Using these approaches, a number of promising compound series have been discovered. However, significant problems remain in developing these into drugs. This review highlights recent advances in TB drug discovery, including an overview of screening campaigns, lessons learned and future directions. PMID:25689534
Background Drug discovery is a complex and unpredictable endeavor with a high failure rate. Current trends in the pharmaceutical industry have exasperated these challenges and are contributing to the dramatic decline in productivity observed over the last decade. The industrialization of science by forcing the drug discovery process to adhere to assembly-line protocols is imposing unnecessary restrictions, such as short project time-lines. Recent advances in nuclear magnetic resonance are responding to these self-imposed limitations and are providing opportunities to increase the success rate of drug discovery. Objective/Method A review of recent advancements in NMR technology that have the potential of significantly impacting and benefiting the drug discovery process will be presented. These include fast NMR data collection protocols and high-throughput protein structure determination, rapid protein-ligand co-structure determination, lead discovery using fragment-based NMR affinity screens, NMR metabolomics to monitor in vivo efficacy and toxicity for lead compounds, and the identification of new therapeutic targets through the functional annotation of proteins by FAST-NMR. Conclusion NMR is a critical component of the drug discovery process, where the versatility of the technique enables it to continually expand and evolve its role. NMR is expected to maintain this growth over the next decade with advancements in automation, speed of structure calculation, in-cell imaging techniques, and the expansion of NMR amenable targets. PMID:20333269
Mullane, Kevin; Winquist, Raymond J; Williams, Michael
The translational sciences represent the core element in enabling and utilizing the output from the biomedical sciences and to improving drug discovery metrics by reducing the attrition rate as compounds move from preclinical research to clinical proof of concept. Key to understanding the basis of disease causality and to developing therapeutics is an ability to accurately diagnose the disease and to identify and develop safe and effective therapeutics for its treatment. The former requires validated biomarkers and the latter, qualified targets. Progress has been hampered by semantic issues, specifically those that define the end product, and by scientific issues that include data reliability, an overt reductionistic cultural focus and a lack of hierarchically integrated data gathering and systematic analysis. A necessary framework for these activities is represented by the discipline of pharmacology, efforts and training in which require recognition and revitalization. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rodrigues, Tiago; Reker, Daniel; Welin, Martin; Caldera, Michael; Brunner, Cyrill; Gabernet, Gisela; Schneider, Petra; Walse, Björn; Schneider, Gisbert
Automated molecular de novo design led to the discovery of an innovative inhibitor of death-associated protein kinase 3 (DAPK3). An unprecedented crystal structure of the inactive DAPK3 homodimer shows the fragment-like hit bound to the ATP pocket. Target prediction software based on machine learning models correctly identified additional macromolecular targets of the computationally designed compound and the structurally related marketed drug azosemide. The study validates computational de novo design as a prime method for generating chemical probes and starting points for drug discovery.
The Society for Medicines Research (SMR) held a one-day meeting on case histories in drug discovery on December 4, 2003, at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London. These meetings have been organized by the SMR biannually for many years, and this latest meeting proved extremely popular, attracting a capacity audience of more than 130 registrants. The purpose of these meetings is educational; they allow those interested in drug discovery to hear key learnings from recent successful drug discovery programs. There was no overall linking theme between the talks, other than each success story has led to the introduction of a new and improved product of therapeutic use. The drug discovery stories covered in the meeting were extremely varied and, put together, they emphasized that each successful story is unique and special. This meeting is also special for the SMR because it presents the "SMR Award for Drug Discovery" in recognition of outstanding achievement and contribution in the area. It should be remembered that drug discovery is an extremely risky business and an extremely costly and complicated process in which the success rate is, at best, low.
Baskin, Igor I; Winkler, David; Tetko, Igor V
Neural networks are becoming a very popular method for solving machine learning and artificial intelligence problems. The variety of neural network types and their application to drug discovery requires expert knowledge to choose the most appropriate approach. In this review, the authors discuss traditional and newly emerging neural network approaches to drug discovery. Their focus is on backpropagation neural networks and their variants, self-organizing maps and associated methods, and a relatively new technique, deep learning. The most important technical issues are discussed including overfitting and its prevention through regularization, ensemble and multitask modeling, model interpretation, and estimation of applicability domain. Different aspects of using neural networks in drug discovery are considered: building structure-activity models with respect to various targets; predicting drug selectivity, toxicity profiles, ADMET and physicochemical properties; characteristics of drug-delivery systems and virtual screening. Neural networks continue to grow in importance for drug discovery. Recent developments in deep learning suggests further improvements may be gained in the analysis of large chemical data sets. It's anticipated that neural networks will be more widely used in drug discovery in the future, and applied in non-traditional areas such as drug delivery systems, biologically compatible materials, and regenerative medicine.
The molecular structures of drug target proteins and receptors form the basis for 'rational' or structure guided drug design. The majority of target structures are experimentally determined by protein X-ray crystallography, which as evolved into a highly automated, high throughput drug discovery and screening tool. Process automation has accelerated tasks from parallel protein expression, fully automated crystallization, and rapid data collection to highly efficient structure determination methods. A thoroughly designed automation technology platform supported by a powerful informatics infrastructure forms the basis for optimal workflow implementation and the data mining and analysis tools to generate new leads from experimental protein drug target structures.
Medina-Franco, José L; Martinez-Mayorga, Karina; Meurice, Nathalie
The concept of chemical space has broad applications in drug discovery. In response to the needs of drug discovery campaigns, different approaches are followed to efficiently populate, mine and select relevant chemical spaces that overlap with biologically relevant chemical spaces. This paper reviews major trends in current drug discovery and their impact on the mining and population of chemical space. We also survey different approaches to develop screening libraries with confined chemical spaces balancing physicochemical properties. In this context, the confinement is guided by criteria that can be divided in two broad categories: i) library design focused on a relevant therapeutic target or disease and ii) library design focused on the chemistry or a desired molecular function. The design and development of chemical libraries should be associated with the specific purpose of the library and the project goals. The high complexity of drug discovery and the inherent imperfection of individual experimental and computational technologies prompt the integration of complementary library design and screening approaches to expedite the identification of new and better drugs. Library design approaches including diversity-oriented synthesis, biological-oriented synthesis or combinatorial library design, to name a few, and the design of focused libraries driven by target/disease, chemical structure or molecular function are more efficient if they are guided by multi-parameter optimization. In this context, consideration of pharmaceutically relevant properties is essential for balancing novelty with chemical space in drug discovery.
Lv, You; Kandale, Ajit; Wun, Shun Jie; McGeary, Ross P; Williams, Simon J; Kobe, Bostjan; Sieber, Volker; Schembri, Mark A; Schenk, Gerhard; Guddat, Luke W
The biosynthetic pathway for the branched-chain amino acids is present in plants, fungi and bacteria, but not in animals, making it an attractive target for herbicidal and antimicrobial drug discovery. Ketol-acid reductoisomerase (KARI; EC 220.127.116.11) is the second enzyme in this pathway, converting in a Mg(2+) - and NADPH-dependent reaction either 2-acetolactate or 2-aceto-2-hydroxybutyrate to their corresponding 2,3-dihydroxy-3-alkylbutyrate products. Here, we have determined the crystal structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mt) KARI, a class I KARI, with two magnesium ions bound in the active site. X-ray data were obtained to 1.0 Å resolution and the final model has an Rfree of 0.163. The structure shows that the active site is solvent-accessible with the two metal ions separated by 4.7 Å. A comparison of this structure with that of Mg(2+) -free Pseudomonas aeruginosa KARI suggests that upon magnesium binding no movement of the N domain relative to the C domain occurs. However, upon formation of the Michaelis complex, as illustrated in the structure of Slackia exigua KARI in complex with NADH.Mg(2+) . N-hydroxy-N-isopropyloxamate (IpOHA, a transition state analog), domain movements and reduction of the metal-metal distance to 3.5 Å are observed. This inherent flexibility therefore appears to be critical for initiation of the KARI-catalyzed reaction. This study provides new insights into the complex structural rearrangements required for activity of KARIs, particularly those belonging to class I, and provides the framework for the rational design of Mt KARI inhibitors that can be tested as novel antituberculosis agents. Coordinates and structure factors for the Mt KARI.Mg(2+) complex are available in the Protein Data Bank under accession number 4YPO. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
Pennisi, Marzio; Russo, Giulia; Di Salvatore, Valentina; Candido, Saverio; Libra, Massimo; Pappalardo, Francesco
There is a growing body of evidence highlighting the applications of computational modeling in the field of biomedicine. It has recently been applied to the in silico analysis of cancer dynamics. In the era of precision medicine, this analysis may allow the discovery of new molecular targets useful for the design of novel therapies and for overcoming resistance to anticancer drugs. According to its molecular behavior, melanoma represents an interesting tumor model in which computational modeling can be applied. Melanoma is an aggressive tumor of the skin with a poor prognosis for patients with advanced disease as it is resistant to current therapeutic approaches. This review discusses the basics of computational modeling in melanoma drug discovery and development. Discussion includes the in silico discovery of novel molecular drug targets, the optimization of immunotherapies and personalized medicine trials. Mathematical and computational models are gradually being used to help understand biomedical data produced by high-throughput analysis. The use of advanced computer models allowing the simulation of complex biological processes provides hypotheses and supports experimental design. The research in fighting aggressive cancers, such as melanoma, is making great strides. Computational models represent the key component to complement these efforts. Due to the combinatorial complexity of new drug discovery, a systematic approach based only on experimentation is not possible. Computational and mathematical models are necessary for bringing cancer drug discovery into the era of omics, big data and personalized medicine.
Pandey, Saurabh; Pandey, Preeti; Tiwari, Gaurav; Tiwari, Ruchi
Recent years have witnessed the introduction of several high-quality review articles into the literature covering various scientific and technical aspects of bioanalysis. Now it is widely accepted that bioanalysis is an integral part of the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic characterization of a novel chemical entity from the time of its discovery and during various stages of drug development, leading to its market authorization. In this compilation, the important bioanalytical parameters and its application to drug discovery and development approaches are discussed, which will help in the development of safe and more efficacious drugs with reduced development time and cost. It is intended to give some general thoughts in this area which will form basis of a general framework as to how one would approach bioanalysis from inception (i.e., discovery of a lead molecule) and progressing through various stages of drug development. PMID:23781412
Current industry perspective of how discovery is conducted seems to be fragmented and does not have a unified overall outlook of how discovery challenges are being addressed. Consequently, well-defined processes and drug-likeness criteria are being viewed as "broken" and will not maintain future R&D productivity. In this commentary, an analysis of existing practices for defining successful development candidates resulted in a 5 "must do" list to help advance Drug Discovery as presented from a Pharmaceutics perspective. The 5 "must do" list includes: what an ideal discovery team model should look like, what criteria should be considered for the desired development candidate profile, what the building blocks of the development candidate should look like, and how to assess the development risks of the candidate.
In recent years, there has been unprecedented growth in compound activity data in the public domain. These compound data provide an indispensable resource for drug discovery in academic environments as well as in the pharmaceutical industry. To handle large volumes of heterogeneous and complex compound data and extract discovery-relevant knowledge from these data, advanced computational mining approaches are required. Herein, major public compound data repositories are introduced, data confidence criteria reviewed, and selected data mining approaches discussed.
BIT's Seventh Annual International Drug Discovery Science and Technology Congress, held in Shanghai, included topics covering new therapeutic and technological developments in the field of drug discovery. This conference report highlights selected presentations on open-access approaches to R&D, novel and multifactorial targets, and technologies that assist drug discovery. Investigational drugs discussed include the anticancer agents astuprotimut-r (GlaxoSmithKline plc) and AS-1411 (Antisoma plc).
Petroski, Matthew D
The ubiquitin system of protein modification has emerged as a crucial mechanism involved in the regulation of a wide array of cellular processes. As our knowledge of the pathways in this system has grown, so have the ties between the protein ubiquitin and human disease. The power of the ubiquitin system for therapeutic benefit blossomed with the approval of the proteasome inhibitor Velcade in 2003 by the FDA. Current drug discovery activities in the ubiquitin system seek to (i) expand the development of new proteasome inhibitors with distinct mechanisms of action and improved bioavailability, and (ii) validate new targets. This review summarizes our current understanding of the role of the ubiquitin system in various human diseases ranging from cancer, viral infection and neurodegenerative disorders to muscle wasting, diabetes and inflammation. I provide an introduction to the ubiquitin system, highlight some emerging relationships between the ubiquitin system and disease, and discuss current and future efforts to harness aspects of this potentially powerful system for improving human health. Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb; ). PMID:19007437
Méndez-Lucio, Oscar; Medina-Franco, José L
Molecular complexity is becoming a crucial concept in drug discovery. It has been associated with target selectivity, success in progressing into clinical development and compound safety, among other factors. Multiple metrics have been developed to quantify molecular complexity and explore complexity-property relationships. However, there is no general agreement regarding how to measure this molecular feature. Herein, we have surveyed the many roles of molecular complexity in drug discovery discussing in a critical manner different quantification methods. Through the analysis of various reference compound databases, common pitfalls and workarounds of the quantification of molecular complexity are discussed.
Itoh, Yukihiro; Suzuki, Takayoshi
The first step in "drug" discovery is to find compounds binding to a potential drug target. In modern medicinal chemistry, the screening of a chemical library, structure-based drug design, and ligand-based drug design, or a combination of these methods, are generally used for identifying the desired compounds. However, they do not necessarily lead to success and there is no infallible method for drug discovery. Therefore, it is important to explore medicinal chemistry based on not only the conventional methods but also new ideas. So far, we have found various compounds as drug candidates. In these studies, some strategies based on organic chemistry have allowed us to find drug candidates, through 1) construction of a focused library using organic reactions and 2) rational design of enzyme inhibitors based on chemical reactions catalyzed by the target enzyme. Medicinal chemistry based on organic chemical reactions could be expected to supplement the conventional methods. In this review, we present drug discovery with the help of organic chemistry showing examples of our explorative studies on histone deacetylase inhibitors and lysine-specific demethylase 1 inhibitors.
Goodwin, R J A; Bunch, J; McGinnity, D F
Over the last decade mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has been integrated in to many areas of drug discovery and development. It can have significant impact in oncology drug discovery as it allows efficacy and safety of compounds to be assessed against the backdrop of the complex tumour microenvironment. We will discuss the roles of MSI in investigating compound and metabolite biodistribution and defining pharmacokinetic -pharmacodynamic relationships, analysis that is applicable to all drug discovery projects. We will then look more specifically at how MSI can be used to understand tumour metabolism and other applications specific to oncology research. This will all be described alongside the challenges of applying MSI to industry research with increased use of metrology for MSI. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bauer, Renato A
Drugs that covalently bond to their biological targets have a long history in drug discovery. A look at drug approvals in recent years suggests that covalent drugs will continue to make impacts on human health for years to come. Although fraught with concerns about toxicity, the high potencies and prolonged effects achievable with covalent drugs may result in less-frequent drug dosing and in wide therapeutic margins for patients. Covalent inhibition can also dissociate drug pharmacodynamics (PD) from pharmacokinetics (PK), which can result in desired drug efficacy for inhibitors that have short systemic exposure. Evidence suggests that there is a reduced risk for the development of resistance against covalent drugs, which is a major challenge in areas such as oncology and infectious disease.
Hoelder, Swen; Clarke, Paul A.; Workman, Paul
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
McCammon, J. Andrew
This lecture will provide a general introduction to some of the ways that modern computational physics is contributing to the discovery of new pharmaceuticals, with special emphasis on drugs for infectious diseases. The basic sciences and computing technologies involved have advanced to the point that physics-based simulations of drug targets are now yielding truly valuable suggestions for new compounds. Supported in part by NSF, NIH, HHMI, CTBP, NBCR, and SDSC.
Hoelder, Swen; Clarke, Paul A; Workman, Paul
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 enhance
Yap, Timothy A; Smith, Alan D; Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Al-Lazikani, Bissan; Workman, Paul; de Bono, Johann S
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is associated with a poor prognosis and poses considerable therapeutic challenges. Recent genetic and technological advances have provided insights into prostate cancer biology and have enabled the identification of novel drug targets and potent molecularly targeted therapeutics for this disease. In this article, we review recent advances in prostate cancer target identification for drug discovery and discuss their promise and associated challenges. We review the evolving therapeutic landscape of CRPC and discuss issues associated with precision medicine as well as challenges encountered with immunotherapy for this disease. Finally, we envision the future management of CRPC, highlighting the use of circulating biomarkers and modern clinical trial designs.
Huang, Wei-Hsuan; Tseng, Chao-Neng; Tang, Jen-Yang; Yang, Cheng-Hong; Liang, Shih-Shin; Chang, Hsueh-Wei
RNA editing is vital to provide the RNA and protein complexity to regulate the gene expression. Correct RNA editing maintains the cell function and organism development. Imbalance of the RNA editing machinery may lead to diseases and cancers. Recently, RNA editing has been recognized as a target for drug discovery although few studies targeting RNA editing for disease and cancer therapy were reported in the field of natural products. Therefore, RNA editing may be a potential target for therapeutic natural products. In this review, we provide a literature overview of the biological functions of RNA editing on gene expression, diseases, cancers, and drugs. The bioinformatics resources of RNA editing were also summarized.
Svennebring, Andreas M; Wikberg, Jarl Es
Three dedicated approaches to the calculation of the risk-adjusted net present value (rNPV) in drug discovery projects under different assumptions are suggested. The probability of finding a candidate drug suitable for clinical development and the time to the initiation of the clinical development is assumed to be flexible in contrast to the previously used models. The rNPV of the post-discovery cash flows is calculated as the probability weighted average of the rNPV at each potential time of initiation of clinical development. Practical considerations how to set probability rates, in particular during the initiation and termination of a project is discussed.
Jordan, Allan M; Waddell, Ian D; Ogilvie, Donald J
The contraction in research within pharma has seen a renaissance in drug discovery within the academic setting. Often, groups grow organically from academic research laboratories, exploiting a particular area of novel biology or new technology. However, increasingly, new groups driven by industrial staff are emerging with demonstrable expertise in the delivery of medicines. As part of a strategic review by Cancer Research UK (CR-UK), the drug discovery team at the Manchester Institute was established to translate novel research from the Manchester cancer research community into drug discovery programmes. From a standing start, we have taken innovative approaches to solve key issues faced by similar groups, such as hit finding and target identification. Herein, we share our lessons learnt and successful strategies.
Zheng, Mingyue; Liu, Xian; Xu, Yuan; Li, Honglin; Luo, Cheng; Jiang, Hualiang
In the past decades, China's computational drug design and discovery research has experienced fast development through various novel methodologies. Application of these methods spans a wide range, from drug target identification to hit discovery and lead optimization. In this review, we firstly provide an overview of China's status in this field and briefly analyze the possible reasons for this rapid advancement. The methodology development is then outlined. For each selected method, a short background precedes an assessment of the method with respect to the needs of drug discovery, and, in particular, work from China is highlighted. Furthermore, several successful applications of these methods are illustrated. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of current major challenges and future directions of the field.
Renaud, Jean-Paul; Chung, Chun-Wa; Danielson, U Helena; Egner, Ursula; Hennig, Michael; Hubbard, Roderick E; Nar, Herbert
Over the past 25 years, biophysical technologies such as X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy and isothermal titration calorimetry have become key components of drug discovery platforms in many pharmaceutical companies and academic laboratories. There have been great improvements in the speed, sensitivity and range of possible measurements, providing high-resolution mechanistic, kinetic, thermodynamic and structural information on compound-target interactions. This Review provides a framework to understand this evolution by describing the key biophysical methods, the information they can provide and the ways in which they can be applied at different stages of the drug discovery process. We also discuss the challenges for current technologies and future opportunities to use biophysical methods to solve drug discovery problems.
Macalino, Stephani Joy Y; Gosu, Vijayakumar; Hong, Sunhye; Choi, Sun
Drug discovery utilizes chemical biology and computational drug design approaches for the efficient identification and optimization of lead compounds. Chemical biology is mostly involved in the elucidation of the biological function of a target and the mechanism of action of a chemical modulator. On the other hand, computer-aided drug design makes use of the structural knowledge of either the target (structure-based) or known ligands with bioactivity (ligand-based) to facilitate the determination of promising candidate drugs. Various virtual screening techniques are now being used by both pharmaceutical companies and academic research groups to reduce the cost and time required for the discovery of a potent drug. Despite the rapid advances in these methods, continuous improvements are critical for future drug discovery tools. Advantages presented by structure-based and ligand-based drug design suggest that their complementary use, as well as their integration with experimental routines, has a powerful impact on rational drug design. In this article, we give an overview of the current computational drug design and their application in integrated rational drug development to aid in the progress of drug discovery research.
Lin, Guimiao; Yin, Feng; Yong, Ken-Tye
The rapid development of drug discovery today is inseparable from the interaction of advanced particle technologies and new drug synthesis protocols. Quantum dots (QDs) are regarded as a unique class of fluorescent labels, with unique optical properties such as high brightness and long-term colloidal and optical stability; these are suitable for optical imaging, drug delivery and optical tracking, fluorescence immunoassay and other medicinal applications. More importantly, QD possesses a rich surface chemistry property that is useful for incorporating various drug molecules, targeting ligands, and additional contrast agents (e.g., MRI, PET, etc.) onto the nanoparticle surface for achieving targeted and traceable drug delivery therapy at both cellular and systemic levels. In recent times, the advancement of QD technology has promoted the use of functionalized nanocrystals for in vivo applications. Such research is paving the way for drug discovery using various bioconjugated QD formulations. In this editorial, the authors highlight the current research progress and future applications of QDs in drug discovery.
Heilker, Ralf; Traub, Stefanie; Reinhardt, Peter; Schöler, Hans R; Sterneckert, Jared
Owing to the inherent disconnect between drug pharmacology in heterologous cellular models and drug efficacy in vivo, the quest for more predictive in vitro systems is one of the most urgent challenges of modern drug discovery. An improved pharmacological in vitro profiling would employ primary samples of the proper drug-targeted human tissue or the bona fide human disease-relevant cells. With the advent of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology the facilitated access to a variety of disease-relevant target cells is now held out in prospect. In this review, we focus on the use of human iPS cell derived neurons for high throughput pharmaceutical drug screening, employing detection technologies that are sufficiently sensitive to measure signaling in cells with physiological target protein expression levels. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Eng-Chong, Tan; Yean-Kee, Lee; Chin-Fei, Chee; Choon-Han, Heh; Sher-Ming, Wong; Li-Ping, Christina Thio; Gen-Teck, Foo; Khalid, Norzulaani; Abd Rahman, Noorsaadah; Karsani, Saiful Anuar; Othman, Shatrah; Othman, Rozana; Yusof, Rohana
Boesenbergia rotunda is a herb from the Boesenbergia genera under the Zingiberaceae family. B. rotunda is widely found in Asian countries where it is commonly used as a food ingredient and in ethnomedicinal preparations. The popularity of its ethnomedicinal usage has drawn the attention of scientists worldwide to further investigate its medicinal properties. Advancement in drug design and discovery research has led to the development of synthetic drugs from B. rotunda metabolites via bioinformatics and medicinal chemistry studies. Furthermore, with the advent of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, new insights on the biosynthetic pathways of B. rotunda metabolites can be elucidated, enabling researchers to predict the potential bioactive compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant. The vast biological activities exhibited by the compounds obtained from B. rotunda warrant further investigation through studies such as drug discovery, polypharmacology, and drug delivery using nanotechnology. PMID:23243448
Eng-Chong, Tan; Yean-Kee, Lee; Chin-Fei, Chee; Choon-Han, Heh; Sher-Ming, Wong; Li-Ping, Christina Thio; Gen-Teck, Foo; Khalid, Norzulaani; Abd Rahman, Noorsaadah; Karsani, Saiful Anuar; Othman, Shatrah; Othman, Rozana; Yusof, Rohana
Boesenbergia rotunda is a herb from the Boesenbergia genera under the Zingiberaceae family. B. rotunda is widely found in Asian countries where it is commonly used as a food ingredient and in ethnomedicinal preparations. The popularity of its ethnomedicinal usage has drawn the attention of scientists worldwide to further investigate its medicinal properties. Advancement in drug design and discovery research has led to the development of synthetic drugs from B. rotunda metabolites via bioinformatics and medicinal chemistry studies. Furthermore, with the advent of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, new insights on the biosynthetic pathways of B. rotunda metabolites can be elucidated, enabling researchers to predict the potential bioactive compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant. The vast biological activities exhibited by the compounds obtained from B. rotunda warrant further investigation through studies such as drug discovery, polypharmacology, and drug delivery using nanotechnology.
The increased use of drugs (and the concurrent increased risks of drug-induced illness) require definition of relevant research areas and strategy. For established marketed drugs, research needs depend on the magnitudes of risk of an illness from a drug and the base-line risk. With the drug risk high and the base-line risk low, the problem surfaces in premarketing studies or through the epidemic that develops after marketing. If the drug adds slightly to a high base-line risk, the effect is undetectable. When both risks are low, adverse effects can be discovered by chance, but systematic case-referent studies can speed discovery. If both risks are high, clinical trials and nonexperimental studies may be used. With both risks intermediate, systematic evaluations, especially case-referent studies are needed. Newly marketed drugs should be routinely evaluated through compulsory registration and follow-up study of the earliest users.
Yerien, Damian E; Bonesi, Sergio; Postigo, Al
Fluorination reactions of medicinal and biologically-active compounds will be discussed. Late stage fluorination strategies of medicinal targets have recently attracted considerable attention on account of the influence that a fluorine atom can impart to targets of medicinal importance, such as modulation of lipophilicity, electronegativity, basicity and bioavailability, the latter as a consequence of membrane permeability. Therefore, the recourse to late-stage fluorine substitution on compounds with already known and relevant biological activity can provide the pharmaceutical industry with new leads with improved medicinal properties. The fluorination strategies will take into account different fluorinating reagents, either of nucleophilic or electrophilic, and of radical nature. Diverse families of organic compounds such as (hetero)aromatic rings, and aliphatic substrates (sp(3), sp(2), and sp carbon atoms) will be studied in late-stage fluorination reaction strategies.
Andrews, William J.; Panova, Tatiana; Normand, Christophe; Gadal, Olivier; Tikhonova, Irina G.; Panov, Konstantin I.
Transcription by RNA polymerase I (Pol-I) is the main driving force behind ribosome biogenesis, a fundamental cellular process that requires the coordinated transcription of all three nuclear polymerases. Increased Pol-I transcription and the concurrent increase in ribosome biogenesis has been linked to the high rates of proliferation in cancers. The ellipticine family contains a number of potent anticancer therapeutic agents, some having progressed to stage I and II clinical trials; however, the mechanism by which many of the compounds work remains unclear. It has long been thought that inhibition of Top2 is the main reason behind the drugs antiproliferative effects. Here we report that a number of the ellipticines, including 9-hydroxyellipticine, are potent and specific inhibitors of Pol-I transcription, with IC50 in vitro and in cells in the nanomolar range. Essentially, the drugs did not affect Pol-II and Pol-III transcription, demonstrating a high selectivity. We have shown that Pol-I inhibition occurs by a p53-, ATM/ATR-, and Top2-independent mechanism. We discovered that the drug influences the assembly and stability of preinitiation complexes by targeting the interaction between promoter recognition factor SL1 and the rRNA promoter. Our findings will have an impact on the design and development of novel therapeutic agents specifically targeting ribosome biogenesis. PMID:23293027
Liu, Fa; Mayer, John P
The discovery of novel therapeutics to combat human disease has traditionally been among the most important goals of research chemists. After a century of innovation, state-of-the-art chemical protein synthesis is now capable of efficiently assembling proteins of up to several hundred residues in length from individual amino acids. By virtue of its unique ability to incorporate non-native structural elements, chemical protein synthesis has been seminal in the recent development of several novel drug discovery technologies. In this chapter, we review the key advances in peptide and protein chemistry which have enabled our current synthetic capabilities. We also discuss the synthesis of D-proteins and their applications in mirror image phage-display and racemic protein crystallography, the synthesis of enzymes for structure-based drug discovery, and the direct synthesis of homogenous protein pharmaceuticals.
Grabowski, M.; Chruszcz, M; Zimmerman, M; Kirillova, O; Minor, W
While three dimensional structures have long been used to search for new drug targets, only a fraction of new drugs coming to the market has been developed with the use of a structure-based drug discovery approach. However, the recent years have brought not only an avalanche of new macromolecular structures, but also significant advances in the protein structure determination methodology only now making their way into structure-based drug discovery. In this paper, we review recent developments resulting from the Structural Genomics (SG) programs, focusing on the methods and results most likely to improve our understanding of the molecular foundation of human diseases. SG programs have been around for almost a decade, and in that time, have contributed a significant part of the structural coverage of both the genomes of pathogens causing infectious diseases and structurally uncharacterized biological processes in general. Perhaps most importantly, SG programs have developed new methodology at all steps of the structure determination process, not only to determine new structures highly efficiently, but also to screen protein/ligand interactions. We describe the methodologies, experience and technologies developed by SG, which range from improvements to cloning protocols to improved procedures for crystallographic structure solution that may be applied in 'traditional' structural biology laboratories particularly those performing drug discovery. We also discuss the conditions that must be met to convert the present high-throughput structure determination pipeline into a high-output structure-based drug discovery system.
Grabowski, Marek; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Zimmerman, Matthew D.; Kirillova, Olga; Minor, Wladek
While three dimensional structures have long been used to search for new drug targets, only a fraction of new drugs coming to the market has been developed with the use of a structure-based drug discovery approach. However, the recent years have brought not only an avalanche of new macromolecular structures, but also significant advances in the protein structure determination methodology only now making their way into structure-based drug discovery. In this paper, we review recent developments resulting from the Structural Genomics (SG) programs, focusing on the methods and results most likely to improve our understanding of the molecular foundation of human diseases. SG programs have been around for almost a decade, and in that time, have contributed a significant part of the structural coverage of both the genomes of pathogens causing infectious diseases and structurally uncharacterized biological processes in general. Perhaps most importantly, SG programs have developed new methodology at all steps of the structure determination process, not only to determine new structures highly efficiently, but also to screen protein/ligand interactions. We describe the methodologies, experience and technologies developed by SG, which range from improvements to cloning protocols to improved procedures for crystallographic structure solution that may be applied in “traditional” structural biology laboratories particularly those performing drug discovery. We also discuss the conditions that must be met to convert the present high-throughput structure determination pipeline into a high-output structure-based drug discovery system. PMID:19594422
Kerns, Edward H; Di, Li; Carter, Guy T
The solubility of a compound depends on its structure and solution conditions. Structure determines the lipophilicity, hydrogen bonding, molecular volume, crystal energy and ionizability, which determine solubility. Solution conditions are affected by pH, co-solvents, additives, ionic strength, time and temperature. Many drug discovery experiments are conducted under "kinetic" solubility conditions. In drug discovery, solubility has a major impact on bioassays, formulation for in vivo dosing, and intestinal absorption. A good goal for the solubility of drug discovery compounds is >60 ug/mL. Equilibrium solubility assays can be conducted in moderate throughput, by incubating excess solid with buffer and agitating for several days, prior to filtration and HPLC quantitation. Kinetic solubility assays are performed in high throughput with shorter incubation times and high throughput analyses using plate readers. The most frequently used of these are the nephelometric assay and direct UV assay, which begin by adding a small volume of DMSO stock solution of each test compound to buffer. In nephelometry, this solution is serially diluted across a microtitre plate and undissolved particles are detected via light scattering. In direct UV, undissolved particles are separated by filtration, after which the dissolved material is quantitated using UV absorption. Equilibrium solubility is useful for preformulation. Kinetic solubility is useful for rapid compound assessment, guiding optimization via structure modification, and diagnosing bioassays. It is often useful to customize solubility experiments using conditions that answer specific research questions of drug discovery teams, such as compound selection and vehicle development for pharmacology and PK studies.
Ekins, Sean; Mietchen, Daniel; Coffee, Megan; Stratton, Thomas P; Freundlich, Joel S; Freitas-Junior, Lucio; Muratov, Eugene; Siqueira-Neto, Jair; Williams, Antony J; Andrade, Carolina
The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the Americas has caused global concern that we may be on the brink of a healthcare crisis. The lack of research on ZIKV in the over 60 years that we have known about it has left us with little in the way of starting points for drug discovery. Our response can build on previous efforts with virus outbreaks and lean heavily on work done on other flaviviruses such as dengue virus. We provide some suggestions of what might be possible and propose an open drug discovery effort that mobilizes global science efforts and provides leadership, which thus far has been lacking. We also provide a listing of potential resources and molecules that could be prioritized for testing as in vitro assays for ZIKV are developed. We propose also that in order to incentivize drug discovery, a neglected disease priority review voucher should be available to those who successfully develop an FDA approved treatment. Learning from the response to the ZIKV, the approaches to drug discovery used and the success and failures will be critical for future infectious disease outbreaks. PMID:27134728
Lesterhuis, W Joost; Bosco, Anthony; Lake, Richard A
The pathobiology-based approach to research and development has been the dominant paradigm for successful drug discovery over the last decades. We propose that the molecular and cellular events that govern a resolving, rather than an evolving, disease may reveal new druggable pathways.
Lowe, Derek B.
The generation of chemical libraries for screening is a key part of the drug discovery process. Now, two studies describe attempts to combine features of natural product biosynthesis into the creation of libraries with the aim of mimicking nature's success at the production of bioactive molecules.
Esch, Eric W.; Bahinski, Anthony; Huh, Dongeun
Improving the effectiveness of preclinical predictions of human drug responses is critical to reducing costly failures in clinical trials. Recent advances in cell biology, microfabrication and microfluidics have enabled the development of microengineered models of the functional units of human organs — known as organs-on-chips — that could provide the basis for preclinical assays with greater predictive power. Here, we examine the new opportunities for the application of organ-on-chip technologies in a range of areas in preclinical drug discovery, such as target identification and validation, target-based screening, and phenotypic screening. We also discuss emerging drug discovery opportunities enabled by organs-on-chips, as well as important challenges in realizing the full potential of this technology. PMID:25792263
Chaudhari, Rajan; Tan, Zhi; Huang, Beibei; Zhang, Shuxing
Over the past couple of years, the cost of drug development has sharply increased along with the high rate of clinical trial failures. Such increase in expenses is partially due to the inability of the "one drug - one target" approach to predict drug side effects and toxicities. To tackle this issue, an alternative approach, known as polypharmacology, is being adopted to study small molecule interactions with multiple targets. Apart from developing more potent and effective drugs, this approach allows for studies of off-target activities and the facilitation of drug repositioning. Although exhaustive polypharmacology studies in-vitro or in-vivo are not practical, computational methods of predicting unknown targets or side effects are being developed. Areas covered: This article describes various computational approaches that have been developed to study polypharmacology profiles of small molecules. It also provides a brief description of the algorithms used in these state-of-the-art methods. Expert opinion: Recent success in computational prediction of multi-targeting drugs has established polypharmacology as a promising alternative approach to tackle some of the daunting complications in drug discovery. This will not only help discover more effective agents, but also present tremendous opportunities to study novel target pharmacology and facilitate drug repositioning efforts in the pharmaceutical industry.
Wolf, Antje; Shahid, Mohammad; Kasam, Vinod; Ziegler, Wolfgang; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin
The first step in finding a "drug" is screening chemical compound databases against a protein target. In silico approaches like virtual screening by molecular docking are well established in modern drug discovery. As molecular databases of compounds and target structures are becoming larger and more and more computational screening approaches are available, there is an increased need in compute power and more complex workflows. In this regard, computational Grids are predestined and offer seamless compute and storage capacity. In recent projects related to pharmaceutical research, the high computational and data storage demands of large-scale in silico drug discovery approaches have been addressed by using Grid computing infrastructures, in both; pharmaceutical industry as well as academic research. Grid infrastructures are part of the so-called eScience paradigm, where a digital infrastructure supports collaborative processes by providing relevant resources and tools for data- and compute-intensive applications. Substantial computing resources, large data collections and services for data analysis are shared on the Grid infrastructure and can be mobilized on demand. This review gives an overview on the use of Grid computing for in silico drug discovery and tries to provide a vision of future development of more complex and integrated workflows on Grids, spanning from target identification and target validation via protein-structure and ligand dependent screenings to advanced mining of large scale in silico experiments.
Rogawski, M A
Levetiracetam, the α-ethyl analogue of the nootropic piracetam, is a widely used antiepileptic drug (AED) that provides protection against partial seizures and is also effective in the treatment of primary generalized seizure syndromes including juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Levetiracetam was discovered in 1992 through screening in audiogenic seizure susceptible mice and, 3 years later, was reported to exhibit saturable, stereospecific binding in brain to a ∼90 kDa protein, later identified as the ubiquitous synaptic vesicle glycoprotein SV2A. A large-scale screening effort to optimize binding affinity identified the 4-n-propyl analogue, brivaracetam, as having greater potency and a broadened spectrum of activity in animal seizure models. Recent phase II clinical trials demonstrating that brivaracetam is efficacious and well tolerated in the treatment of partial onset seizures have validated the strategy of the discovery programme. Brivaracetam is among the first clinically effective AEDs to be discovered by optimization of pharmacodynamic activity at a molecular target. PMID:18552880
Schwartz, Phillip A; Murray, Brion W
Protein kinases are fascinating biological catalysts with a rapidly expanding knowledge base, a growing appreciation in cell regulatory control, and an ascendant role in successful therapeutic intervention. To better understand protein kinases, the molecular underpinnings of phosphoryl group transfer, protein phosphorylation, and inhibitor interactions are examined. This analysis begins with a survey of phosphate group and phosphoprotein properties which provide context to the evolutionary selection of phosphorylation as a central mechanism for biological regulation of most cellular processes. Next, the kinetic and catalytic mechanisms of protein kinases are examined with respect to model aqueous systems to define the elements of catalysis. A brief structural biology overview further delves into the molecular basis of catalysis and regulation of catalytic activity. Concomitant with a prominent role in normal physiology, protein kinases have important roles in the disease state. To facilitate effective kinase drug discovery, classic and emerging approaches for characterizing kinase inhibitors are evaluated including biochemical assay design, inhibitor mechanism of action analysis, and proper kinetic treatment of irreversible inhibitors. As the resulting protein kinase inhibitors can modulate intended and unintended targets, profiling methods are discussed which can illuminate a more complete range of an inhibitor's biological activities to enable more meaningful cellular studies and more effective clinical studies. Taken as a whole, a wealth of protein kinase biochemistry knowledge is available, yet it is clear that a substantial extent of our understanding in this field remains to be discovered which should yield many new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
Jang, Jae-Woo; Song, Yeonhwa; Kim, Kang Mo; Kim, Jin-Sun; Choi, Eun Kyung; Kim, Joon; Seo, Haengran
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignant cancers worldwide and is associated with substantial mortality. Because HCCs have strong resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents, novel therapeutic strategies are needed to improve survival in HCC patients. Here, we developed a fluorescence image-based phenotypic screening system in vitro to identify HCC-specific drugs in co-cultures of HCC cells with hepatocytes. To this end, we identified two distinctive markers of HCC, CHALV1 and AFP, which are highly expressed in HCC cell lines and liver cancer patient-derived materials. We applied these markers to an HCC-specific drug screening system. Through pilot screening, we identified three anti-folate compounds that had HCC-specific cytotoxicity. Among them, pyrimethamine exhibited the greatest HCC-specific cytotoxicity. Interestingly, pyrimethamine significantly increased the size and number of lysosomes and subsequently induced the release of cathepsin B from the lysosome to the cytosol, which triggered caspase-3-dependent apoptosis in Huh7 (HCC) but not Fa2N-4 cells (immortalized hepatocytes). Importantly, Fa2N-4 cells had strong resistance to pyrimethamine relative to Huh7 cells in 2D and 3D culture systems. These results demonstrate that this in vitro image-based phenotypic screening platform has the potential to be widely adopted in drug discovery research, since we promptly estimated anticancer activity and hepatotoxicity and elucidated functional roles of pyrimethamine during the apoptosis process in HCC.
Sun, Ying; Zhou, Hong; Yang, Bao-xue
In polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a most common human genetic diseases, fluid-filled cysts displace normal renal tubules and cause end-stage renal failure. PKD is a serious and costly disorder. There is no available therapy that prevents or slows down the cystogenesis and cyst expansion in PKD. Numerous efforts have been made to find drug targets and the candidate drugs to treat PKD. Recent studies have defined the mechanisms underlying PKD and new therapies directed toward them. In this review article, we summarize the pathogenesis of PKD, possible drug targets, available PKD models for screening and evaluating new drugs as well as candidate drugs that are being developed. PMID:21642949
Among the fields of expertise required to develop drugs successfully, biochemistry holds a key position in drug discovery at the interface between chemistry, structural biology and cell biology. However, taking the example of protein kinases, it appears that biochemical assays are mostly used in the pharmaceutical industry to measure compound potency and/or selectivity. This limited use of biochemistry is surprising, given that detailed biochemical analyses are commonly used in academia to unravel molecular recognition processes. In this article, I show that biochemistry can provide invaluable information on the dynamics and energetics of compound-target interactions that cannot be obtained on the basis of potency measurements and structural data. Therefore, an extensive use of biochemistry in drug discovery could facilitate the identification and/or development of new drugs.
Richon, Victoria M
Over the past decade, the number of new therapies developed for the treatment of rare diseases continues to increase. The most rapid growth has been in the development of new drugs for oncology indications. One focus in drug discovery for oncology indications is the development of targeted therapies for select patient subgroups characterized by genetic alterations. The identification of these patient subgroups has increased in the past decade and has resulted in a corresponding increase in the development of new drugs for genetically defined patient subgroups. As an example of the development of new therapeutics for rare indications, I describe here the drug discovery efforts leading to the development of DOT1L inhibitors for the treatment of MLL-rearranged leukemia.
Kolb, V M
Selected works are discussed which clearly demonstrate that mimicking various aspects of the process by which natural products evolved is becoming a powerful tool in contemporary drug discovery. Natural products are an established and rich source of drugs. The term "natural product" is often used synonymously with "secondary metabolite." Knowledge of genetics and molecular evolution helps us understand how biosynthesis of many classes of secondary metabolites evolved. One proposed hypothesis is termed "inventive evolution." It invokes duplication of genes, and mutation of the gene copies, among other genetic events. The modified duplicate genes, per se or in conjunction with other genetic events, may give rise to new enzymes, which, in turn, may generate new products, some of which may be selected for. Steps of the inventive evolution can be mimicked in several ways for purpose of drug discovery. For example, libraries of chemical compounds of any imaginable structure may be produced by combinatorial synthesis. Out of these libraries new active compounds can be selected. In another example, genetic system can be manipulated to produce modified natural products ("unnatural natural products"), from which new drugs can be selected. In some instances, similar natural products turn up in species that are not direct descendants of each other. This is presumably due to a horizontal gene transfer. The mechanism of this inter-species gene transfer can be mimicked in therapeutic gene delivery. Mimicking specifics or principles of chemical evolution including experimental and test-tube evolution also provides leads for new drug discovery.
Shah, Salim; Federoff, Howard J
Many parties contribute to discovery of new drugs - academic researchers, industry scientists, government agencies, and disease foundation helping to corral the resources necessary to sustain research efforts - but it has never been more apparent until now that these parties must work together to accomplish the shared goal of improving health. At a recent conference at the Georgetown University Medical Center, a group of prominent scientists from the academic, industry, government and disease advocacy communities came together to discuss new paths forward for stronger inter-institutional collaboration to establish a framework for translating new discoveries into drugs, improving proof of concept (PoC) studies, and reducing attrition at the clinical stage of drug development.
Tell, Volkmar; Holzer, Max; Herrmann, Lydia; Mahmoud, Kazem Ahmed; Schächtele, Christoph; Totzke, Frank; Hilgeroth, Andreas
Alzheimer disease (AD) turned out to be a multifactorial process leading to neuronal decay. So far merely single target structures which attribute to the AD progression have been considered to develop specific drugs. However, such drug developments have been disappointing in clinical stages. Multitargeting of more than one target structure determines recent studies of developing novel lead compounds. Protein kinases have been identified to contribute to the neuronal decay with CDK1, GSK-3β and CDK5/p25 being involved in a pathological tau protein hyperphosphorylation. We discovered novel lead structures of the dihydroxy-1-aza-9-oxafluorene type with nanomolar activities against CDK1, GSK-3β and CDK5/p25. Structure-activity relationships (SAR) of the protein kinase inhibition are discussed within our first compound series. One nanomolar active compound profiled as selective protein kinase inhibitor. Bioanalysis of a harmless cellular toxicity and of the inhibition of tau protein phosphorylation qualifies the compound for further studies.
Kassner, Paul D
High throughput technologies have the potential to affect all aspects of drug discovery. Considerable attention is paid to high throughput screening (HTS) for small molecule lead compounds. The identification of the targets that enter those HTS campaigns had been driven by basic research until the advent of genomics level data acquisition such as sequencing and gene expression microarrays. Large-scale profiling approaches (e.g., microarrays, protein analysis by mass spectrometry, and metabolite profiling) can yield vast quantities of data and important information. However, these approaches usually require painstaking in silico analysis and low-throughput basic wet-lab research to identify the function of a gene and validate the gene product as a potential therapeutic drug target. Functional genomic screening offers the promise of direct identification of genes involved in phenotypes of interest. In this review, RNA interference (RNAi) mediated loss-of-function screens will be discussed and as well as their utility in target identification. Some of the genes identified in these screens should produce similar phenotypes if their gene products are antagonized with drugs. With a carefully chosen phenotype, an understanding of the biology of RNAi and appreciation of the limitations of RNAi screening, there is great potential for the discovery of new drug targets.
The CTD2 Center at Emory University has developed a computational methodology to combine high-throughput knockdown data with known protein network topologies to infer the importance of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) for the survival of cancer cells. Applying these data to the Achilles shRNA results, the CCLE cell line characterizations, and known and newly identified PPIs provides novel insights for potential new drug targets for cancer therapies and identifies important PPI hubs.
Drinkwater, Nyssa; McGowan, Sheena
Despite a century of control and eradication campaigns, malaria remains one of the world's most devastating diseases. Our once-powerful therapeutic weapons are losing the war against the Plasmodium parasite, whose ability to rapidly develop and spread drug resistance hamper past and present malaria-control efforts. Finding new and effective treatments for malaria is now a top global health priority, fuelling an increase in funding and promoting open-source collaborations between researchers and pharmaceutical consortia around the world. The result of this is rapid advances in drug discovery approaches and technologies, with three major methods for antimalarial drug development emerging: (i) chemistry-based, (ii) target-based, and (iii) cell-based. Common to all three of these approaches is the unique ability of structural biology to inform and accelerate drug development. Where possible, SBDD (structure-based drug discovery) is a foundation for antimalarial drug development programmes, and has been invaluable to the development of a number of current pre-clinical and clinical candidates. However, as we expand our understanding of the malarial life cycle and mechanisms of resistance development, SBDD as a field must continue to evolve in order to develop compounds that adhere to the ideal characteristics for novel antimalarial therapeutics and to avoid high attrition rates pre- and post-clinic. In the present review, we aim to examine the contribution that SBDD has made to current antimalarial drug development efforts, covering hit discovery to lead optimization and prevention of parasite resistance. Finally, the potential for structural biology, particularly high-throughput structural genomics programmes, to identify future targets for drug discovery are discussed.
Brown, Eric D; Wright, Gerard D
The looming antibiotic-resistance crisis has penetrated the consciousness of clinicians, researchers, policymakers, politicians and the public at large. The evolution and widespread distribution of antibiotic-resistance elements in bacterial pathogens has made diseases that were once easily treatable deadly again. Unfortunately, accompanying the rise in global resistance is a failure in antibacterial drug discovery. Lessons from the history of antibiotic discovery and fresh understanding of antibiotic action and the cell biology of microorganisms have the potential to deliver twenty-first century medicines that are able to control infection in the resistance era.
In principal, drug discovery approaches can be grouped into target- and function-based, with the respective aims of developing either a target-selective drug or a drug that produces a specific biological effect irrespective of its mode of action. Most analyses of drug discovery approaches focus on productivity, whereas the strategic implications of the choice of drug discovery approach on market position and ability to maintain market exclusivity are rarely considered. However, a comparison of approaches from the perspective of market position indicates that the functional approach is superior for the development of novel, innovative treatments.
Zou, Jun; Zheng, Ming-Wu; Li, Gen; Su, Zhi-Guang
Systems biology is in an exponential development stage in recent years and has been widely utilized in biomedicine to better understand the molecular basis of human disease and the mechanism of drug action. Here, we discuss the fundamental concept of systems biology and its two computational methods that have been commonly used, that is, network analysis and dynamical modeling. The applications of systems biology in elucidating human disease are highlighted, consisting of human disease networks, treatment response prediction, investigation of disease mechanisms, and disease-associated gene prediction. In addition, important advances in drug discovery, to which systems biology makes significant contributions, are discussed, including drug-target networks, prediction of drug-target interactions, investigation of drug adverse effects, drug repositioning, and drug combination prediction. The systems biology methods and applications covered in this review provide a framework for addressing disease mechanism and approaching drug discovery, which will facilitate the translation of research findings into clinical benefits such as novel biomarkers and promising therapies.
Myung, Kyung; Klittich, Carla J R
Twelve drugs from four chemical classes are currently available for treatment of systemic fungal infections in humans. By contrast, more than 100 structurally distinct compounds from over 30 chemical classes have been developed as agricultural fungicides, and these fungicides target many modes of action not represented among human antifungal drugs. In this article we introduce the diverse aspects of agricultural fungicides and compare them with human antifungal drugs. We propose that the information gained from the development of agricultural fungicides can be applied to the discovery of new mechanisms of action and new antifungal agents for the management of human fungal infections.
Zhang, Ming-Qiang; Wilkinson, Barrie
Although a very useful guideline for orally bioavailable small-molecule drug design, the 'rule-of-five' (also known as 'Lipinski's rule of drug-likeness') has to some extent been overemphasized. Firstly, only 51% of all FDA-approved small-molecule drugs are both used orally and comply with the 'rule-of-five'. This does not even include the increasing number of biologicals of which several have reached 'blockbuster' status. Secondly, it does not cover natural product and semisynthetic natural product drugs, which constitute over one-third of all marketed small-molecule drugs. A more balanced and programmatic approach to drug discovery should be more productive than to rely on an overemphasis of 'rule-of-five' compliance. Rather it should consider proactively the development of parenteral drugs in parallel to oral drugs and to consider the development of therapeutic antibodies in parallel to small-molecule drugs. These are particularly relevant for efforts against 'first-in-class' and/or particularly challenging targets such as proteases and those involving protein-protein interactions. In addition, more effort should be invested in natural product research. Emerging novel technologies such as synthetic biology (genetic engineering of living organisms to produce small-molecule therapeutics) may address several challenging issues of natural product-based drug discovery including synthetic feasibility and ligand efficiency.
Wójcikowski, Maciej; Zielenkiewicz, Piotr; Siedlecki, Pawel
There has been huge progress in the open cheminformatics field in both methods and software development. Unfortunately, there has been little effort to unite those methods and software into one package. We here describe the Open Drug Discovery Toolkit (ODDT), which aims to fulfill the need for comprehensive and open source drug discovery software. The Open Drug Discovery Toolkit was developed as a free and open source tool for both computer aided drug discovery (CADD) developers and researchers. ODDT reimplements many state-of-the-art methods, such as machine learning scoring functions (RF-Score and NNScore) and wraps other external software to ease the process of developing CADD pipelines. ODDT is an out-of-the-box solution designed to be easily customizable and extensible. Therefore, users are strongly encouraged to extend it and develop new methods. We here present three use cases for ODDT in common tasks in computer-aided drug discovery. Open Drug Discovery Toolkit is released on a permissive 3-clause BSD license for both academic and industrial use. ODDT's source code, additional examples and documentation are available on GitHub (https://github.com/oddt/oddt).
Albensi, B C
Scientific visualization has progressed significantly over the last century since the discovery of X-rays in 1895 and is used widely in many industries. In the pharmaceutical industry, there is a growing need for visualizing disease progression (or reversal) and for visualizing the effectiveness of a drug in animal models and in humans during clinical studies. Improvements in imaging technology could assist in decreasing the time from proof-of-concept to when a drug is finally launched. Many new drugs are entering the pipeline and progress in visualization technology should enhance the objective determination for predicting success or failure in a drug program. "A picture is worth a thousand words." Therefore, by collecting images, which provide information on molecular events, gene expression, biochemical subsystems, anatomical modifications and physiological perturbations, we positively and creatively alter our perception in our explorations of anatomy, disease mechanisms and drug interventions. (c) 2001 Prous Science. All rights reserved.
Bhar, Shanta; Ramana, Mucheli M V
With reference to challenges in developing varied and exceedingly complex scaffolds expeditiously through atom economy, domino reactions have assumed a significant role in several transformative endeavors towards established pharmaceuticals and new chemical entities across diverse therapeutic classes such as HIV integrase inhibitors, DPP4 [dipeptidyl peptidase IV] inhibitors, GSK- 3 (Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3) inhibitors, neoplastic drugs and microtubule antagonists. The very large chemical space of Domino Reactions can be leveraged for the design strategy of drugs and drug- like candidates with leading examples like Indinavir (Crixivan), Trandolapril (Mavik), Biyouyanagin A, endo pyrrolizidinone diastereomer [GSK] and several others. Domino reactions therefore constitute an integral part of both creative and functional aspects of drug design and discovery, contributing both enhanced efficiency as well as synthetic versatility to pharmaceutical drug design.
Decher, Niels; Netter, Michael F; Streit, Anne K
Virtually all organisms use RNA editing as a powerful post-transcriptional mechanism to recode genomic information and to increase functional protein diversity. The enzymatic editing of pre-mRNA by ADARs and CDARs is known to change the functional properties of neuronal receptors and ion channels regulating cellular excitability. However, RNA editing is also an important mechanism for genes expressed outside the brain. The fact that RNA editing breaks the 'one gene encodes one protein' hypothesis is daunting for scientists and a probable drawback for drug development, as scientists might search for drugs targeting the 'wrong' protein. This possible difficulty for drug discovery and development became more evident from recent publications, describing that RNA editing events have profound impact on the pharmacology of some common drug targets. These recent studies highlight that RNA editing can cause massive discrepancies between the in vitro and in vivo pharmacology. Here, we review the putative impact of RNA editing on drug discovery, as RNA editing has to be considered before using high-throughput screens, rational drug design or choosing the right model organism for target validation.
Chen, Yang; Li, Li; Zhang, Guo-Qiang; Xu, Rong
Motivation: Discerning genetic contributions to diseases not only enhances our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also leads to translational opportunities for drug discovery. Recent computational approaches incorporate disease phenotypic similarities to improve the prediction power of disease gene discovery. However, most current studies used only one data source of human disease phenotype. We present an innovative and generic strategy for combining multiple different data sources of human disease phenotype and predicting disease-associated genes from integrated phenotypic and genomic data. Results: To demonstrate our approach, we explored a new phenotype database from biomedical ontologies and constructed Disease Manifestation Network (DMN). We combined DMN with mimMiner, which was a widely used phenotype database in disease gene prediction studies. Our approach achieved significantly improved performance over a baseline method, which used only one phenotype data source. In the leave-one-out cross-validation and de novo gene prediction analysis, our approach achieved the area under the curves of 90.7% and 90.3%, which are significantly higher than 84.2% (P < e−4) and 81.3% (P < e−12) for the baseline approach. We further demonstrated that our predicted genes have the translational potential in drug discovery. We used Crohn’s disease as an example and ranked the candidate drugs based on the rank of drug targets. Our gene prediction approach prioritized druggable genes that are likely to be associated with Crohn’s disease pathogenesis, and our rank of candidate drugs successfully prioritized the Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs for Crohn’s disease. We also found literature evidence to support a number of drugs among the top 200 candidates. In summary, we demonstrated that a novel strategy combining unique disease phenotype data with system approaches can lead to rapid drug discovery. Availability and implementation: nlp
Chen, Yang; Li, Li; Zhang, Guo-Qiang; Xu, Rong
Discerning genetic contributions to diseases not only enhances our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also leads to translational opportunities for drug discovery. Recent computational approaches incorporate disease phenotypic similarities to improve the prediction power of disease gene discovery. However, most current studies used only one data source of human disease phenotype. We present an innovative and generic strategy for combining multiple different data sources of human disease phenotype and predicting disease-associated genes from integrated phenotypic and genomic data. To demonstrate our approach, we explored a new phenotype database from biomedical ontologies and constructed Disease Manifestation Network (DMN). We combined DMN with mimMiner, which was a widely used phenotype database in disease gene prediction studies. Our approach achieved significantly improved performance over a baseline method, which used only one phenotype data source. In the leave-one-out cross-validation and de novo gene prediction analysis, our approach achieved the area under the curves of 90.7% and 90.3%, which are significantly higher than 84.2% (P < e(-4)) and 81.3% (P < e(-12)) for the baseline approach. We further demonstrated that our predicted genes have the translational potential in drug discovery. We used Crohn's disease as an example and ranked the candidate drugs based on the rank of drug targets. Our gene prediction approach prioritized druggable genes that are likely to be associated with Crohn's disease pathogenesis, and our rank of candidate drugs successfully prioritized the Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs for Crohn's disease. We also found literature evidence to support a number of drugs among the top 200 candidates. In summary, we demonstrated that a novel strategy combining unique disease phenotype data with system approaches can lead to rapid drug discovery. nlp. edu/public/data/DMN © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.
Hyun, Bo-ra; Jung, Hwiesung; Jang, Woo-Hyuk; Jung, Suk Hoon; Han, Dong-Soo
Drug discovery is a long process in which only a few successful new therapeutic discoveries are made and identification of drug target candidate proteins requires considerable time and efforts. However, the accumulation of information on drugs has made it possible to devise new computational methods for classifying drug target candidates. In this paper, we devise a Drug Target Protein (DT-P) classification method by the summation of weighted features which is extracted from known DT-P. The method is validated using Bayesian decision theory and SVM, and it was revealed to achieve high specificity of 89.5% with 88% accuracy.
Quan, Yuan; Xiong, Le; Chen, Jing; Zhang, Hong-Yu
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the pathogen of tuberculosis (TB), is one of the most infectious bacteria in the world. The traditional strategy to combat TB involves targeting the pathogen directly; however, the rapid evolution of drug resistance lessens the efficiency of this anti-TB method. Therefore, in recent years, some researchers have turned to an alternative anti-TB strategy, which hinders Mtb infection through targeting host genes. In this work, using a theoretical genetic analysis, we identified 170 Mtb infection-associated genes from human genetic variations related to Mtb infection. Then, the agents targeting these genes were identified to have high potential as anti-TB drugs. In particular, the agents that can target multiple Mtb infection-associated genes are more druggable than the single-target counterparts. These potential anti-TB agents were further screened by gene expression data derived from connectivity map. As a result, some agents were revealed to have high interest for experimental evaluation. This study not only has important implications for anti-TB drug discovery, but also provides inspirations for streamlining the pipeline of modern drug discovery.
Schiess, Ralph; Wollscheid, Bernd; Aebersold, Ruedi
The high complexity and large dynamic range of blood plasma proteins currently prohibit the sensitive and high-throughput profiling of disease and control plasma proteome sample sets large enough to reliably detect disease indicating differences. To circumvent these technological limitations we describe here a new two-stage strategy for the mass spectrometry (MS) assisted discovery, verification and validation of disease biomarkers. In an initial discovery phase N-linked glycoproteins with distinguishable expression patterns in primary normal and diseased tissue are detected and identified. In the second step the proteins identified in the initial phase are subjected to targeted MS analysis in plasma samples, using the highly sensitive and specific selected reaction monitoring (SRM) technology. Since glycosylated proteins, such as those secreted or shed from the cell surface are likely to reside and persist in blood, the two-stage strategy is focused on the quantification of tissue derived glycoproteins in plasma. The focus on the N-glycoproteome not only reduces the complexity of the analytes, but also targets an information-rich subproteome which is relevant for remote sensing of diseases in the plasma. The N-glycoprotein based biomarker discovery and validation workflow reviewed here allows for the robust identification of protein candidate panels that can finally be selectively monitored in the blood plasma at high sensitivity in a reliable, non-invasive and quantitative fashion.
Garg, Vibhav; Arora, Suchir; Gupta, Chitra
Continued advancements in the area of technology have helped high throughput screening (HTS) evolve from a linear to parallel approach by performing system level screening. Advanced experimental methods used for HTS at various steps of drug discovery (i.e. target identification, target validation, lead identification and lead validation) can generate data of the order of terabytes. As a consequence, there is pressing need to store, manage, mine and analyze this data to identify informational tags. This need is again posing challenges to computer scientists to offer the matching hardware and software infrastructure, while managing the varying degree of desired computational power. Therefore, the potential of "On-Demand Hardware" and "Software as a Service (SAAS)" delivery mechanisms cannot be denied. This on-demand computing, largely referred to as Cloud Computing, is now transforming the drug discovery research. Also, integration of Cloud computing with parallel computing is certainly expanding its footprint in the life sciences community. The speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness have made cloud computing a 'good to have tool' for researchers, providing them significant flexibility, allowing them to focus on the 'what' of science and not the 'how'. Once reached to its maturity, Discovery-Cloud would fit best to manage drug discovery and clinical development data, generated using advanced HTS techniques, hence supporting the vision of personalized medicine.
Wang, Nanyi; Wang, Lirong; Xie, Xiang-Qun Sean
Molecular docking is widely applied to computer-aided drug design and has become relatively mature in the recent decades. Application of docking in modeling varies from single lead compound optimization to large-scale virtual screening. The performance of molecular docking is highly dependent on the protein structures selected. It is especially challenging for large-scale target prediction research when multiple structures are available for a single target. Therefore, we have established ProSelection, a docking preferred-protein selection algorithm, in order to generate the proper structure subset(s). By ProSelection algorithm, protein structures of "weak selector" are filtered out whereas structures of "strong selector" are kept. Specifically, the structure which has a good statistical performance of distinguishing active ligands from inactive ligands is defined as a "strong selector". In this study, 249 protein structures of 14 autophagy-related targets are investigated. Surflex-dock was used as the docking engine to distinguish active and inactive compounds against these protein structures. Both t-test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to distinguish the "strong selector" from "weak selector" based on the normality of the docking score distribution. The suggested docking score threshold for active ligands (SDA) was generated for each "strong selector" structure according to the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The performance of ProSelection was further validated by predicting the potential off-targets of 43 FDA-approved small molecule antineoplastic drugs. Overall, ProSelection will accelerate the computational work in protein structure selection and could be a useful tool for molecular docking, target prediction, and protein-chemical database establishment research.
Brown, David G; Shotton, Elizabeth J
Structure-based drug design has become a key tool for the development of novel drugs. The process involves elucidating the three-dimensional structure of the potential drug molecule bound to the target protein that has been identified as playing a key role in the disease state. Using this three-dimensional information facilitates the process of making improvements to the potential drug molecule by highlighting existing and possible new interactions within the binding site. This knowledge is used to inform increases in potency and selectivity of the molecules as well as to help improve other drug-like properties. The speed and numbers of samples that can be studied, combined with the improved resolution of the structures that can be obtained using synchrotron radiation, have had a significant impact on the utilization of crystallography in the drug discovery process.
Pérez-Nueno, Violeta I
Over the past three decades, the predominant paradigm in drug discovery was designing selective ligands for a specific target to avoid unwanted side effects. However, in the last 5 years, the aim has shifted to take into account the biological network in which they interact. Quantitative and Systems Pharmacology (QSP) is a new paradigm that aims to understand how drugs modulate cellular networks in space and time, in order to predict drug targets and their role in human pathophysiology. This review discusses existing computational and experimental QSP approaches such as polypharmacology techniques combined with systems biology information and considers the use of new tools and ideas in a wider 'systems-level' context in order to design new drugs with improved efficacy and fewer unwanted off-target effects. The use of network biology produces valuable information such as new indications for approved drugs, drug-drug interactions, proteins-drug side effects and pathways-gene associations. However, we are still far from the aim of QSP, both because of the huge effort needed to model precisely biological network models and the limited accuracy that we are able to reach with those. Hence, moving from 'one molecule for one target to give one therapeutic effect' to the 'big systems-based picture' seems obvious moving forward although whether our current tools are sufficient for such a step is still under debate.
Introduction There is an immediate need for functional and molecular studies to decipher differences between disease and “normal” settings to identify large quantities of validated targets with the highest therapeutic utilities. Furthermore, drug mechanism of action and biomarkers to predict drug efficacy and safety need to be identified for effective design of clinical trials, decreasing attrition rates, regulatory agency approval process and drug repositioning. By expanding the power of genetics and pharmacogenetics studies, next generation nucleic acid sequencing technologies have started to play an important role in all stages of drug discovery. Areas covered This article reviews the first and second generation sequencing technologies (SGSTs) and challenges they pose to biomedicine. The article then focuses on the emerging third generation sequencing technologies (TGSTs), their technological foundations and potential contributions to drug discovery. Expert Opinion Despite the scientific and commercial success of SGSTs, the goal of rapid, comprehensive and unbiased sequencing of nucleic acids has not been achieved. TGSTs promise to increase sequencing throughput and read lengths, decrease costs, run times and error rates, eliminate biases inherent in SGSTs, and offer capabilities beyond nucleic acid sequencing. Such changes will have positive impact in all sequencing applications to drug discovery. PMID:22468954
Brady, Linda S; Potter, William Z
Precompetitive public-private partnerships (PPPs) have the potential to improve psychiatric drug discovery by addressing gaps in the research and development pipeline such as the identification and validation of new targets, models, biomarkers and disease phenotyping. PPPs are a model to strategically bring together expertise, in-kind support and funding from multiple public and private sector partners. This editorial describes selected case examples of established and emerging public-private consortia in the United States and Europe that provide tools, methods or resources to accelerate central nervous system (CNS) drug discovery. The authors provides a listing of public-private consortia projects that focus on the CNS, the stage of the drug discovery pipeline that they address, diseases, deliverables provided and current consortia partners. Some of the projects undertaken by PPPs in the area of CNS drug discovery and development are beginning to make tools, resources and data publicly available. Only a few PPPs have delivered enough to extract lessons learned. These include building alignment across a wide group of stakeholders, engaging advocacy groups and funding commitments for a minimum of 5 years.
Cromie, Karen D; Van Heeke, Gino; Boutton, Carlo
Nanobodies are therapeutic proteins derived from the variable domain (VHH) of naturally occurring heavy-chain antibodies. These VHH domains are the smallest functional fragments derived from a naturally occurring immunoglobulin. Nanobodies can be easily produced in prokaryotic or eukaryotic host organisms and their unique biophysical characteristics render these molecules ideal candidates for drug development. They are also emerging as an interesting new class of potential therapeutics for targets such as GPCRs, which have historically been challenging for small molecule drug discovery and even more difficult for biologics discovery. The ability to easily combine Nanobodies with different binding sites and different modes of action can be used to generate highly selective and highly potent drug candidates with very attractive pharmacological profiles. In addition, Nanobodies have been used as crystallization chaperones to enable or facilitate the structural determination of an active GPCR conformation.
Awasthi, Divya; Freundlich, Joel S
Bacteria are capable of performing a number of biotransformations that may activate or deactivate xenobiotics. Recent efforts have utilized metabolomics techniques to study the fate of small-molecule antibacterials within the targeted organism. Examples involving Mycobacterium tuberculosis are reviewed and analyzed with regard to the insights they provide as to both activation and deactivation of the antibacterial. The studies, in particular, shed light on biosynthetic transformations performed by M. tuberculosis while suggesting avenues for the evolution of chemical tools, highlighting potential areas for drug discovery, and mechanisms of approved drugs. A two-pronged approach investigating the metabolism of antibacterials within both the host and bacterium is outlined and will be of value to both the chemical biology and drug discovery fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Weaver, Ian N; Weaver, Donald F
Drug design and discovery is an innovation process that translates the outcomes of fundamental biomedical research into therapeutics that are ultimately made available to people with medical disorders in many countries throughout the world. To identify which nations succeed, exceed, or fail at the drug design/discovery endeavor--more specifically, which countries, within the context of their national size and wealth, are "pulling their weight" when it comes to developing medications targeting the myriad of diseases that afflict humankind--we compiled and analyzed a comprehensive survey of all new drugs (small molecular entities and biologics) approved annually throughout the world over the 20-year period from 1991 to 2010. Based upon this analysis, we have devised prediction algorithms to ascertain which countries are successful (or not) in contributing to the worldwide need for effective new therapeutics.
Skora, Lukasz; Jahnke, Wolfgang
Drug discovery is a complex process, and a variety of technologies contribute to its success. Biophysical methods have gained widespread attention within the last decade, and in particular NMR spectroscopy as the most versatile biophysical method has seen numerous applications and significant impact to drug discovery. Here we summarize the potential of NMR to support drug discovery, and highlight a number of recent applications.
Skwarczynska, Malgorzata; Ottmann, Christian
Modulation of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is becoming increasingly important in drug discovery and chemical biology. While a few years ago this 'target class' was deemed to be largely undruggable an impressing number of publications and success stories now show that targeting PPIs with small, drug-like molecules indeed is a feasible approach. Here, we summarize the current state of small-molecule inhibition and stabilization of PPIs and review the active molecules from a structural and medicinal chemistry angle, especially focusing on the key examples of iNOS, LFA-1 and 14-3-3.
Lai, Ashton C; Crews, Craig M
Small-molecule drug discovery has traditionally focused on occupancy of a binding site that directly affects protein function, and this approach typically precludes targeting proteins that lack such amenable sites. Furthermore, high systemic drug exposures may be needed to maintain sufficient target inhibition in vivo, increasing the risk of undesirable off-target effects. Induced protein degradation is an alternative approach that is event-driven: upon drug binding, the target protein is tagged for elimination. Emerging technologies based on proteolysis-targeting chimaeras (PROTACs) that exploit cellular quality control machinery to selectively degrade target proteins are attracting considerable attention in the pharmaceutical industry owing to the advantages they could offer over traditional small-molecule strategies. These advantages include the potential to reduce systemic drug exposure, the ability to counteract increased target protein expression that often accompanies inhibition of protein function and the potential ability to target proteins that are not currently therapeutically tractable, such as transcription factors, scaffolding and regulatory proteins.
Volker, Craig; Brown, James R
Genomic research is playing a critical role in the discovery of new anti-microbial drugs. The rapid increase in bacterial and eukaryotic genome sequences allows for new and innovative ways for obtaining antimicrobial protein targets. Here, we describe a two level strategy for target identification and validation using computers (in silico). First, large scale comparative analyses of genome sequences were used to identify highly conserved genes which might be essential for in vitro and/or in vivo survival of bacterial pathogens. Lab-based experiments provided confirmation or validation of the hypothesis of in silico essentiality for over 350 individual genes. Over 200 validated, broad spectrum; yet highly specific gene targets, were identified in community infection pathogens. The second part of the target discovery strategy is an in-depth evolutionary, structural and cellular analysis of key drug targets. As an example, phylogenetic and structural analyses suggest that sequence and binding-pocket conservation in FabH (beta-ketoacyl-ACP synthase III) would allow for the development of small molecule inhibitors not only effective against a broad species spectrum of community bacterial pathogens but also as potential new therapies for tuberculosis and malaria.
Van Eldik, Linda J; Koppal, Tanuja; Watterson, D Martin
The drug discovery and the drug development processes represent a continuum of recursive activities that range from initial drug target identification to final Food and Drug Administration approval and marketing of a new therapeutic. Drug discovery, as its name implies, is more exploratory and less focused in many cases, whereas drug development has a clinically defined endpoint and a specific disease goal. Academia has historically made major contributions to this process at the early discovery phases. However, current trends in the organization of the pharmaceutical industry suggest an expanded role for academia in the near future. Megamergers among major pharmaceutical corporations indicate their movement toward a focus on end-stage clinical trials, manufacturing, and marketing. There has been a parallel increase in outsourcing of intermediate steps to specialty small pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and contract service companies. The new paradigm suggests that academia will play an increasingly important role at the proof-of-principle stage of basic and clinical drug discovery research, in training the future skilled work force, and in close partnerships with small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. However, academic drug discovery research faces a set of barriers to progress, the relative importance of which varies with the home institution and the details of the research area. These barriers fall into four general categories: (1) the historical administrative structure and environment of academia; (2) the structure and emphasis of peer review panels that control research funding by government and private agencies; (3) the organization and operation of the academic infrastructure; and (4) the structure and availability of specialized resources and information management. Selected examples of barriers to drug discovery and drug development research and training in academia are presented, as are some specific recommendations designed to minimize or
Harris, Claire L
The complement system is best known for its role in innate immunity, providing a first line of defence against infection, maintaining tissue homeostasis by flagging apoptotic cells and debris for removal, and orchestrating crosstalk between adaptive and innate immunity. In a growing number of diseases, complement is known to drive pathogenesis or to contribute as an inflammatory amplifier of a disease trigger. Association of complement with common and devastating diseases has driven an upsurge in complement drug discovery, but despite a wealth of knowledge in the complexities of the cascade, and many decades of effort, very few drugs have progressed to late-stage clinical studies. The reasons for this are becoming clear with difficulties including high target concentration and turnover, lack of clarity around disease mechanism and unwanted side effects. Lessons learnt from drugs which are either approved, or are currently in late-stage development, or have failed and dropped off the drug development landscape, have been invaluable to drive a new generation of innovative drugs which are progressing through clinical development. In this review, the challenges associated with complement drug discovery are discussed and the current drug development landscape is reviewed. The latest approaches to improve drug characteristics are explored and those agents which employ these technologies to improve accessibility to patients are highlighted.
Batra, Ankita S; Greenwood, Wendy
Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of the drivers of human malignancies, new targeted therapies often fail to show sufficient efficacy in clinical trials. Indeed, the cost of bringing a new agent to market has risen substantially in the last several decades, in part fuelled by extensive reliance on preclinical models that fail to accurately reflect tumour heterogeneity. To halt unsustainable rates of attrition in the drug discovery process, we must develop a new generation of preclinical models capable of reflecting the heterogeneity of varying degrees of complexity found in human cancers. Patient-derived tumour xenograft (PDTX) models prevail as arguably the most powerful in this regard because they capture cancer’s heterogeneous nature. Herein, we review current breast cancer models and their use in the drug discovery process, before discussing best practices for developing a highly annotated cohort of PDTX models. We describe the importance of extensive multidimensional molecular and functional characterisation of models and combination drug–drug screens to identify complex biomarkers of drug resistance and response. We reflect on our own experiences and propose the use of a cost-effective intermediate pharmacogenomic platform (the PDTX-PDTC platform) for breast cancer drug and biomarker discovery. We discuss the limitations and unanswered questions of PDTX models; yet, still strongly envision that their use in basic and translational research will dramatically change our understanding of breast cancer biology and how to more effectively treat it. PMID:27702751
Ortega, Santiago Schiaffino; Cara, Luisa Carlota López; Salvador, María Kimatrai
The process of bringing new and innovative drugs, from conception and synthesis through to approval on the market can take the pharmaceutical industry 8-15 years and cost approximately $1.8 billion. Two key technologies are improving the hit-to-drug timeline: high-throughput screening (HTS) and rational drug design. In the latter case, starting from some known ligand-based or target-based information, a lead structure will be rationally designed to be tested in vitro or in vivo. Computational methods are part of many drug discovery programs, including the assessment of ADME (absorption-distribution-metabolism-excretion) and toxicity (ADMET) properties of compounds at the early stages of discovery/development with impressive results. The aim of this paper is to review, in a simple way, some of the most popular strategies used by modelers and some successful applications on computational chemistry to raise awareness of its importance and potential for an actual multidisciplinary drug discovery process.
Andrade, E.L.; Bento, A.F.; Cavalli, J.; Oliveira, S.K.; Freitas, C.S.; Marcon, R.; Schwanke, R.C.; Siqueira, J.M.; Calixto, J.B.
This review presents a historical overview of drug discovery and the non-clinical stages of the drug development process, from initial target identification and validation, through in silico assays and high throughput screening (HTS), identification of leader molecules and their optimization, the selection of a candidate substance for clinical development, and the use of animal models during the early studies of proof-of-concept (or principle). This report also discusses the relevance of validated and predictive animal models selection, as well as the correct use of animal tests concerning the experimental design, execution and interpretation, which affect the reproducibility, quality and reliability of non-clinical studies necessary to translate to and support clinical studies. Collectively, improving these aspects will certainly contribute to the robustness of both scientific publications and the translation of new substances to clinical development. PMID:27783811
Andrade, E L; Bento, A F; Cavalli, J; Oliveira, S K; Freitas, C S; Marcon, R; Schwanke, R C; Siqueira, J M; Calixto, J B
This review presents a historical overview of drug discovery and the non-clinical stages of the drug development process, from initial target identification and validation, through in silico assays and high throughput screening (HTS), identification of leader molecules and their optimization, the selection of a candidate substance for clinical development, and the use of animal models during the early studies of proof-of-concept (or principle). This report also discusses the relevance of validated and predictive animal models selection, as well as the correct use of animal tests concerning the experimental design, execution and interpretation, which affect the reproducibility, quality and reliability of non-clinical studies necessary to translate to and support clinical studies. Collectively, improving these aspects will certainly contribute to the robustness of both scientific publications and the translation of new substances to clinical development.
drug design and development. The biological focus of our research addresses estrogen biosynthesis and on estrogen- induced gene expression in hormone-dependent breast cancer. Identification of critical small molecule-protein and protein-protein interactions during gene expression and signal transduction in the areas of steroidogenesis and estrogen-induced responses will result in new molecular targets for drug discovery and design for the treatment of hormone-dependent breast cancer. The Sabbatical Training Grant provided an enhancement of our research endeavors by
LaPlante, Steven R; Edwards, Paul J; Fader, Lee D; Jakalian, Araz; Hucke, Oliver
An often overlooked source of chirality is atropisomerism, which results from slow rotation along a bond axis due to steric hindrance and/or electronic factors. If undetected or not managed properly, this time-dependent chirality has the potential to lead to serious consequences, because atropisomers can be present as distinct enantiomers or diastereoisomers with their attendant different properties. Herein we introduce a strategy to reveal and classify compounds that have atropisomeric chirality. Energy barriers to axial rotation were calculated using quantum mechanics, from which predicted high barriers could be experimentally validated. A calculated rotational energy barrier of 20 kcal mol(-1) was established as a suitable threshold to distinguish between atropisomers and non-atropisomers with a prediction accuracy of 86%. This methodology was applied to subsets of drug databases in the course of which atropisomeric drugs were identified. In addition, some drugs were exposed that were not yet known to have this chiral attribute. The most valuable utility of this tool will be to predict atropisomerism along the drug discovery pathway. When used in concert with our compound classification scheme, decisions can be made during early discovery stages such as "hit-to-lead" and "lead optimization," to foresee and validate the presence of atropisomers and to exercise options of removing, further stabilizing, or rendering the chiral axis of interest more freely rotatable via SAR design, thereby decreasing this potential liability within a compound series. The strategy can also improve drug development plans, such as determining whether a drug or series should be developed as a racemic mixture or as an isolated single compound. Moreover, the work described herein can be extended to other chemical fields that require the assessment of potential chiral axes.
Thakkar, Balmukund Sureshkumar; Albrigtsen, Marte; Svendsen, John Sigurd; Andersen, Jeanette H; Engh, Richard Alan
Drug discovery strategies include from broad random screening to focussed target-based approaches. Structure and substrate information greatly enables target-based design, but this is limited to relatively few targets; cell-based screening can identify new targets but often suffers from low hit rates and difficult hit optimization. Thus, newer approaches are needed that can improve the efficiency of screening and hit optimization. Here, we describe an efficient approach for hit generation, which may be called "biofocussed chemoprospecting." With bio-likeness and ease of synthesis as priority criteria, libraries may be constructed with good optimization potential, physicochemical diversity, drug likeness and low cost. Following this approach, two libraries based on linear and cyclic dipeptide scaffolds were designed, first as virtual libraries comprising of more than 30000 compounds, and after subsequent filtering, as a small library of a total of 51 compounds. These provided good diversity at low cost, and were tested for bioactivities. The discovery of six active compounds demonstrates a hit rate greater than 10%. This is comparable to target-based approaches, but the "chemoprospecting" method described here has the additional potential to identify new targets and mechanisms. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
The application of structural genomics methods and approaches to proteins from organisms causing infectious diseases is making available the three dimensional structures of many proteins that are potential drug targets and laying the groundwork for structure aided drug discovery efforts. There are a number of structural genomics projects with a focus on pathogens that have been initiated worldwide. The Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID) was recently established to apply state-of-the-art high throughput structural biology technologies to the characterization of proteins from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) category A-C pathogens and organisms causing emerging, or re-emerging infectious diseases. The target selection process emphasizes potential biomedical benefits. Selected proteins include known drug targets and their homologs, essential enzymes, virulence factors and vaccine candidates. The Center also provides a structure determination service for the infectious disease scientific community. The ultimate goal is to generate a library of structures that are available to the scientific community and can serve as a starting point for further research and structure aided drug discovery for infectious diseases. To achieve this goal, the CSGID will determine protein crystal structures of 400 proteins and protein-ligand complexes using proven, rapid, highly integrated, and cost-effective methods for such determination, primarily by X-ray crystallography. High throughput crystallographic structure determination is greatly aided by frequent, convenient access to high-performance beamlines at third-generation synchrotron X-ray sources.
Wang, Huanchen; Godage, Himali Y; Riley, Andrew M; Weaver, Jeremy D; Shears, Stephen B; Potter, Barry V L
Diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate kinase 2 (PPIP5K2) is one of the mammalian PPIP5K isoforms responsible for synthesis of diphosphoinositol polyphosphates (inositol pyrophosphates; PP-InsPs), regulatory molecules that function at the interface of cell signaling and organismic homeostasis. The development of drugs that inhibit PPIP5K2 could have both experimental and therapeutic applications. Here, we describe a synthetic strategy for producing naturally occurring 5-PP-InsP4, as well as several inositol polyphosphate analogs, and we study their interactions with PPIP5K2 using biochemical and structural approaches. These experiments uncover an additional ligand-binding site on the surface of PPIP5K2, adjacent to the catalytic pocket. This site facilitates substrate capture from the bulk phase, prior to transfer into the catalytic pocket. In addition to demonstrating a "catch-and-pass" reaction mechanism in a small molecule kinase, we demonstrate that binding of our analogs to the substrate capture site inhibits PPIP5K2. This work suggests that the substrate-binding site offers new opportunities for targeted drug design.
Felder, Christian C
The Strategic Research Institute provided a well-organised 2-day summit that offered presentations and posters on new assay technology, structure-based small-molecule discovery and examples of clinical candidates targeted to G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets. A wide variety of topics were presented providing recent advances in GPCR target selection, bioassay-enabling technology and medicinal chemistry targeted to GPCR-relevant chemical libraries. GPCRs continue to be an attractive platform for drug discovery.
Blat, Yuval; Blat, Shachar
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic, lethal, muscle disorder caused by the loss of the muscle protein, dystrophin, leading to progressive loss of muscle fibers and muscle weakness. Drug discovery efforts targeting DMD have used two main approaches: (1) the restoration of dystrophin expression or the expression of a compensatory protein, and (2) the mitigation of downstream pathological mechanisms, including dysregulated calcium homeostasis, oxidative stress, inflammation, fibrosis, and muscle ischemia. The aim of this review is to introduce the disease, its pathophysiology, and the available research tools to a drug discovery audience. This review will also detail the most promising therapies that are currently being tested in clinical trials or in advanced preclinical models.
Blair, Wade; Perros, Manos
The 5th Antiviral Drug Discovery and Development Summit provided an up-to-date snapshot of the ongoing developments in the area. The topics covered ranged from updates on recently launched drugs (Kaletra), Fuzeon) and new investigational inhibitors (T-1249, Reverset, UK-427857, L-870810, PA-457, remofovir, VX-950), to the discovery of new antiviral targets and advances in technologies that may provide the substrate for the next generation of therapeutics. It is apparent from the range of presentations that much of today's efforts are focused on developing new classes of HIV inhibitors (gp41, integrase), while there is also considerable progress in hepatitis C, where a number of inhibitors have or should reach proof-of-concept studies in the coming months. Here we provide the highlights of this meeting, with particular emphasis on the new developments in HIV and hepatitis C virus.
Chang, Cheng; Ekins, Sean; Bahadduri, Praveen; Swaan, Peter W.
The ability to identify ligands for drug transporters is an important step in drug discovery and development. It can both improve accurate profiling of lead pharmacokinetic properties and assist in the discovery of new chemical entities targeting transporters. In silico approaches, especially pharmacophore-based database screening methods have great potential in improving the throughput of current transporter ligand identification assays, leading to a higher hit rate by focusing in vitro testing to the most promising hits. In this review, the potential of different in silico methods in transporter ligand identification studies are compared and summarized with an emphasis on pharmacophore modeling. Various implementations of pharmacophore model generation, database compilation and flexible screening algorithms are also introduced. Recent successful utilization of database searching with pharmacophores to identify novel ligands for the pharmaceutically significant transporters hPepT1, P-gp, BCRP, MRP1 and DAT are reviewed and challenges encountered with current approaches are discussed. PMID:17097188
Sacan, Ahmet; Ekins, Sean; Kortagere, Sandhya
Drug discovery in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century has witnessed a myriad of changes that were adopted to predict whether a compound is likely to be successful, or conversely enable identification of molecules with liabilities as early as possible. These changes include integration of in silico strategies for lead design and optimization that perform complementary roles to that of the traditional in vitro and in vivo approaches. The in silico models are facilitated by the availability of large datasets associated with high-throughput screening, bioinformatics algorithms to mine and annotate the data from a target perspective, and chemoinformatics methods to integrate chemistry methods into lead design process. This chapter highlights the applications of some of these methods and their limitations. We hope this serves as an introduction to in silico drug discovery.
Herold, J. Martin; Ingerman, Lindsey A; Gao, Cen; Frye, Stephen V
The recognition of methyl-lysine and -arginine residues on both histone and other proteins by specific “reader” elements is important for chromatin regulation, gene expression, and control of cell-cycle progression. Recently the crucial role of these reader proteins in cancer development and dedifferentiation has emerged, owing to the increased interest among the scientific community. The methyl-lysine and -arginine readers are a large and very diverse set of effector proteins and targeting them with small molecule probes in drug discovery will inevitably require a detailed understanding of their structural biology and mechanism of binding. In the following review, the critical elements of methyl-lysine and -arginine recognition will be summarized with respect to each protein family and initial results in assay development, probe design, and drug discovery will be highlighted. PMID:22145013
Bortolato, Andrea; Doré, Andrew S; Hollenstein, Kaspar; Tehan, Benjamin G; Mason, Jonathan S; Marshall, Fiona H
Class B GPCRs of the secretin family are important drug targets in many human diseases including diabetes, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and psychiatric disorders. X-ray crystal structures for the glucagon receptor and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 have now been published. In this review, we analyse the new structures and how they compare with each other and with Class A and F receptors. We also consider the differences in druggability and possible similarity in the activation mechanisms. Finally, we discuss the potential for the design of small-molecule modulators for these important targets in drug discovery. This new structural insight allows, for the first time, structure-based drug design methods to be applied to Class B GPCRs. PMID:24628305
We report the discovery of a series of new drug leads that have potent activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well as against other bacteria, fungi, and a malaria parasite. The compounds are analogues of the new tuberculosis (TB) drug SQ109 (1), which has been reported to act by inhibiting a transporter called MmpL3, involved in cell wall biosynthesis. We show that 1 and the new compounds also target enzymes involved in menaquinone biosynthesis and electron transport, inhibiting respiration and ATP biosynthesis, and are uncouplers, collapsing the pH gradient and membrane potential used to power transporters. The result of such multitarget inhibition is potent inhibition of TB cell growth, as well as very low rates of spontaneous drug resistance. Several targets are absent in humans but are present in other bacteria, as well as in malaria parasites, whose growth is also inhibited. PMID:24568559
Abel, Robert; Wang, Lingle; Harder, Edward D; Berne, B J; Friesner, Richard A
A principal goal of drug discovery project is to design molecules that can tightly and selectively bind to the target protein receptor. Accurate prediction of protein-ligand binding free energies is therefore of central importance in computational chemistry and computer aided drug design. Multiple recent improvements in computing power, classical force field accuracy, enhanced sampling methods, and simulation setup have enabled accurate and reliable calculations of protein-ligands binding free energies, and position free energy calculations to play a guiding role in small molecule drug discovery. In this Account, we outline the relevant methodological advances, including the REST2 (Replica Exchange with Solute Temperting) enhanced sampling, the incorporation of REST2 sampling with convential FEP (Free Energy Perturbation) through FEP/REST, the OPLS3 force field, and the advanced simulation setup that constitute our FEP+ approach, followed by the presentation of extensive comparisons with experiment, demonstrating sufficient accuracy in potency prediction (better than 1 kcal/mol) to substantially impact lead optimization campaigns. The limitations of the current FEP+ implementation and best practices in drug discovery applications are also discussed followed by the future methodology development plans to address those limitations. We then report results from a recent drug discovery project, in which several thousand FEP+ calculations were successfully deployed to simultaneously optimize potency, selectivity, and solubility, illustrating the power of the approach to solve challenging drug design problems. The capabilities of free energy calculations to accurately predict potency and selectivity have led to the advance of ongoing drug discovery projects, in challenging situations where alternative approaches would have great difficulties. The ability to effectively carry out projects evaluating tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of proposed drug candidates
Claveria-Gimeno, Rafael; Vega, Sonia; Abian, Olga; Velazquez-Campoy, Adrian
Drug discovery is a challenging endeavor requiring the interplay of many different research areas. Gathering information on ligand binding thermodynamics may help considerably in reducing the risk within a high uncertainty scenario, allowing early rejection of flawed compounds and pushing forward optimal candidates. In particular, the free energy, the enthalpy, and the entropy of binding provide fundamental information on the intermolecular forces driving such interaction. Areas covered: The authors review the current status and recent developments in the application of ligand binding thermodynamics in drug discovery. The thermodynamic binding profile (Gibbs energy, enthalpy, and entropy of binding) can be used for lead selection and optimization (binding enthalpy, selectivity, and adaptability). Expert opinion: Binding thermodynamics provides fundamental information on the forces driving the formation of the drug-target complex. It has been widely accepted that binding thermodynamics may be used as a decision criterion along the ligand optimization process in drug discovery and development. In particular, the binding enthalpy may be used as a guide when selecting and optimizing compounds over a set of potential candidates. However, this has been recently called into question by arguing certain difficulties and in the light of certain experimental examples.
Mercola, Mark; Colas, Alexandre; Willems, Erik
The unexpected discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state yielding induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has made it possible to produce cardiovascular cells exhibiting inherited traits and disorders. Use of these cells in high throughput analyses should broaden our insight into fundamental disease mechanisms and provide many benefits for patients, including new therapeutics and individually tailored therapies. Here we review recent progress in generating iPSC-based models of cardiovascular disease and their multiple applications in drug development. PMID:23371902
Li, Qingliang; Cheng, Tiejun; Wang, Yanli; Bryant, Stephen H
PubChem is a public repository of small molecules and their biological properties. Currently, it contains more than 25 million unique chemical structures and 90 million bioactivity outcomes associated with several thousand macromolecular targets. To address the potential utility of this public resource for drug discovery, we systematically summarized the protein targets in PubChem by function, 3D structure and biological pathway. Moreover, we analyzed the potency, selectivity and promiscuity of the bioactive compounds identified for these biological targets, including the chemical probes generated by the NIH Molecular Libraries Program. As a public resource, PubChem lowers the barrier for researchers to advance the development of chemical tools for modulating biological processes and drug candidates for disease treatments. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Nagle, Dale G.; Zhou, Yu-Dong; Mora, Flor D.; Mohammed, Kaleem A.; Kim, Yong-Pil
Antitumor drug discovery programs aim to identify chemical entities for use in the treatment of cancer. Many strategies have been used to achieve this objective. Natural products have always played a major role in anticancer medicine and the unique metabolites produced by marine organisms have increasingly become major players in antitumor drug discovery. Rapid advances have occurred in the understanding of tumor biology and molecular medicine. New insights into mechanisms responsible for neoplastic disease are significantly changing the general philosophical approach towards cancer treatment. Recently identified molecular targets have created exciting new means for disrupting tumor-specific cell signaling, cell division, energy metabolism, gene expression, drug resistance, and blood supply. Such tumor-specific treatments could someday decrease our reliance on traditional cytotoxicity-based chemotherapy and provide new less toxic treatment options with significantly fewer side effects. Novel molecular targets and state-of-the-art molecular mechanism-based screening methods have revitalized antitumor research and these changes are becoming an ever-increasing component of modern antitumor marine natural products research. This review describes marine natural products identified using tumor-specific mechanism-based assays for regulators of angiogenesis, apoptosis, cell cycle, macromolecule synthesis, mitochondrial respiration, mitosis, multidrug efflux, and signal transduction. Special emphasis is placed on natural products directly discovered using molecular mechanism-based screening. PMID:15279579
González-Díaz, Humberto; Prado-Prado, Francisco; García-Mera, Xerardo; Alonso, Nerea; Abeijón, Paula; Caamaño, Olga; Yáñez, Matilde; Munteanu, Cristian R; Pazos, Alejandro; Dea-Ayuela, María Auxiliadora; Gómez-Muñoz, María Teresa; Garijo, M Magdalena; Sansano, José; Ubeira, Florencio M
Many drugs with very different affinity to a large number of receptors are described. Thus, in this work, we selected drug-target pairs (DTPs/nDTPs) of drugs with high affinity/nonaffinity for different targets. Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models become a very useful tool in this context because they substantially reduce time and resource-consuming experiments. Unfortunately, most QSAR models predict activity against only one protein target and/or they have not been implemented on a public Web server yet, freely available online to the scientific community. To solve this problem, we developed a multitarget QSAR (mt-QSAR) classifier combining the MARCH-INSIDE software for the calculation of the structural parameters of drug and target with the linear discriminant analysis (LDA) method in order to seek the best model. The accuracy of the best LDA model was 94.4% (3,859/4,086 cases) for training and 94.9% (1,909/2,012 cases) for the external validation series. In addition, we implemented the model into the Web portal Bio-AIMS as an online server entitled MARCH-INSIDE Nested Drug-Bank Exploration & Screening Tool (MIND-BEST), located at http://miaja.tic.udc.es/Bio-AIMS/MIND-BEST.php . This online tool is based on PHP/HTML/Python and MARCH-INSIDE routines. Finally, we illustrated two practical uses of this server with two different experiments. In experiment 1, we report for the first time a MIND-BEST prediction, synthesis, characterization, and MAO-A and MAO-B pharmacological assay of eight rasagiline derivatives, promising for anti-Parkinson drug design. In experiment 2, we report sampling, parasite culture, sample preparation, 2-DE, MALDI-TOF and -TOF/TOF MS, MASCOT search, 3D structure modeling with LOMETS, and MIND-BEST prediction for different peptides as new protein of the found in the proteome of the bird parasite Trichomonas gallinae, which is promising for antiparasite drug targets discovery.
Montazerhodjat, Vahid; Frishkopf, John J; Lo, Andrew W
We extend the megafund concept for funding drug discovery to enable dynamic leverage in which the portfolio of candidate therapeutic assets is predominantly financed initially by equity, and debt is introduced gradually as assets mature and begin generating cash flows. Leverage is adjusted so as to maintain an approximately constant level of default risk throughout the life of the fund. Numerical simulations show that applying dynamic leverage to a small portfolio of orphan drug candidates can boost the return on equity almost twofold compared with securitization with a static capital structure. Dynamic leverage can also add significant value to comparable all-equity-financed portfolios, enhancing the return on equity without jeopardizing debt performance or increasing risk to equity investors.
Harrigan, Jeanine A; Jacq, Xavier; Martin, Niall M; Jackson, Stephen P
More than a decade after a Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and clinical approval of proteasome and ubiquitin E3 ligase inhibitors, first-generation deubiquitylating enzyme (DUB) inhibitors are now approaching clinical trials. However, although our knowledge of the physiological and pathophysiological roles of DUBs has evolved tremendously, the clinical development of selective DUB inhibitors has been challenging. In this Review, we discuss these issues and highlight recent advances in our understanding of DUB enzymology and biology as well as technological improvements that have contributed to the current interest in DUBs as therapeutic targets in diseases ranging from oncology to neurodegeneration.
Wu, Hongjin; Wang, Charles; Wu, Shixiu
Next-generation sequencing (NGS), particularly single-cell sequencing, has revolutionized the scale and scope of genomic and biomedical research. Recent technological advances in NGS and single-cell studies have made the deep whole-genome (DNA-seq), whole epigenome and whole-transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) at single-cell level feasible. NGS at the single-cell level expands our view of genome, epigenome and transcriptome and allows the genome, epigenome and transcriptome of any organism to be explored without a priori assumptions and with unprecedented throughput. And it does so with single-nucleotide resolution. NGS is also a very powerful tool for drug discovery and drug development. In this review, we describe the current state of single-cell sequencing techniques, which can provide a new, more powerful and precise approach for analyzing effects of drugs on treated cells and tissues. Our review discusses single-cell whole genome/exome sequencing (scWGS/scWES), single-cell transcriptome sequencing (scRNA-seq), single-cell bisulfite sequencing (scBS), and multiple omics of single-cell sequencing. We also highlight the advantages and challenges of each of these approaches. Finally, we describe, elaborate and speculate the potential applications of single-cell sequencing for drug discovery and drug development.
França, Tanos Celmar Costa
In the last decades, homology modeling has become a popular tool to access theoretical three-dimensional (3D) structures of molecular targets. So far several 3D models of proteins have been built by this technique and used in a great diversity of structural biology studies. But are those models consistent enough with experimental structures to make this technique an effective and reliable tool for drug discovery? Here we present, briefly, the fundamentals and current state-of-the-art of the homology modeling techniques used to build 3D structures of molecular targets, which experimental structures are not available in databases, and list some of the more important works, using this technique, available in literature today. In many cases those studies have afforded successful models for the drug design of more selective agonists/antagonists to the molecular targets in focus and guided promising experimental works, proving that, when the appropriate templates are available, useful models can be built using some of the several software available today for this purpose. Limitations of the experimental techniques used to solve 3D structures allied to constant improvements in the homology modeling software will maintain the need for theoretical models, establishing the homology modeling as a fundamental tool for the drug discovery.
Lim, William K
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest class of cell surface receptors in humans. They convey extracellular signals into the cell interior by activating intracellular processes such as heterotrimeric G protein-dependent signaling pathways. They are widely distributed in the nervous system, and mediate key physiological processes including cognition, mood, appetite, pain and synaptic transmission. With at least 30% of marketed drugs being GPCR modulators, they are a major therapeutic target in the pharmaceutical industry's drug discovery programs. This review will survey recently patented ligands for GPCRs implicated in CNS disorders, in particular the metabotropic glutamate, adenosine and cannabinoid receptors. Metabotropic glutamate receptors regulate signaling by glutamate, the major excitatory brain neurotransmitter, while adenosine is a ubiquitous neuromodulater mediating diverse physiological effects. Recent patents for ligands of these receptors include mGluR5 antagonists and adenosine A(1) receptor agonists. Cannabinoid receptors remain one of the most important GPCR drug discovery target due to the intense interest in CB(1) receptor antagonists for treating obesity and metabolic syndrome. Such small molecule ligands are the outcome of the continuing focus of many pharmaceutical companies to identify novel GPCR agonist, antagonist or allosteric modulators useful for CNS disorders, for which more effective drugs are eagerly awaited.
Central to drug discovery and development is to comprehend the target(s), potency, efficacy and safety of drug molecules using pharmacological assays. Owing to their ability to provide a holistic view of drug actions in native cells, label-free biosensor-enabled cell phenotypic assays have been emerging as new generation phenotypic assays for drug discovery. Despite the benefits associated with wide pathway coverage, high sensitivity, high information content, non-invasiveness and real-time kinetics, label-free cell phenotypic assays are often viewed to be a blackbox in the era of target-centric drug discovery. This article first reviews the biochemical and biological complexity of drug-target interactions, and then discusses the key characteristics of label-free cell phenotypic assays and presents a five-step strategy to troubleshooting and deconvoluting the label-free cell phenotypic profiles of drugs. Drug-target interactions are intrinsically complicated. Label-free cell phenotypic signatures of drugs mirror the innate complexity of drug-target interactions, and can be effectively deconvoluted using the five-step strategy. The past decades have witnessed dramatic expansion of pharmacological assays ranging from molecular to phenotypic assays, which is coincident with the realization of the innate complexity of drug-target interactions. The clinical features of a drug are defined by how it operates at the system level and by its distinct polypharmacology, ontarget, phenotypic and network pharmacology. Approaches to examine the biochemical, cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of drugs are essential to increase the efficiency of drug discovery and development. Label-free cell phenotypic assays and the troubleshooting and deconvoluting approach presented here may hold great promise in drug discovery and development. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Siegel, Marshall M
Electrospray ionization (ESI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometric methods useful for early discovery drug screening are reviewed. All methods described involve studies of non-covalent complexes between biopolymer receptors and small molecule ligands formed in the condensed phase. The complexes can be sprayed intact directly into the gas phase by ESI-MS using gentle experimental conditions. Gas phase screening applications are illustrated for drug ligand candidates non-covalently interacting with peptides, proteins, RNA, and DNA. In the condensed phase, the complexes can be also isolated, denatured and analyzed by ESI-MS to identify the small molecule ligands. Condensed phase drug screening examples are illustrated for the ESI-MS ancillary techniques of affinity chromatography, ultrafiltration, ultracentrifugation, gel permeation chromatography (GPC), reverse phase-high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and capillary electrophoretic methods. Solid phase drug screening using MALDI-MS is illustrated for small molecule ligands bound to MALDI affinity probe tips and to beads. Since ESI and MALDI principally produce molecular ions, high throughput screening is achieved by analyzing mass indexed mixtures.
Lin, Shih-Fang; Xiao, Ke-Ting; Huang, Yu-Ting; Chiu, Chung-Cheng; Soo, Von-Wun
can help not only in analysing ADRs in terms of drug-drug interactions but also by providing drug target assessments early in the drug discovery process. 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Grant, Marianne A.
Pharmaceutical researchers must evaluate vast numbers of protein sequences and formulate innovative strategies for identifying valid targets and discovering leads against them as a way of accelerating drug discovery. The ever increasing number and diversity of novel protein sequences identified by genomic sequencing projects and the success of worldwide structural genomics initiatives have spurred great interest and impetus in the development of methods for accurate, computationally empowered protein function prediction and active site identification. Previously, in the absence of direct experimental evidence, homology-based protein function annotation remained the gold-standard for in silico analysis and prediction of protein function. However, with the continued exponential expansion of sequence databases, this approach is not always applicable, as fewer query protein sequences demonstrate significant homology to protein gene products of known function. As a result, several non-homology based methods for protein function prediction that are based on sequence features, structure, evolution, biochemical and genetic knowledge have emerged. Herein, we review current bioinformatic programs and approaches for protein function prediction/annotation and discuss their integration into drug discovery initiatives. The development of such methods to annotate protein functional sites and their application to large protein functional families is crucial to successfully utilizing the vast amounts of genomic sequence information available to drug discovery and development processes. PMID:25530654
Park, Soo-Jin; Im, Dong-Soon
Initial discovery on sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) as an intracellular second messenger was faced unexpectedly with roles of S1P as a first messenger, which subsequently resulted in cloning of its G protein-coupled receptors, S1P1–5. The molecular identification of S1P receptors opened up a new avenue for pathophysiological research on this lipid mediator. Cellular and molecular in vitro studies and in vivo studies on gene deficient mice have elucidated cellular signaling pathways and the pathophysiological meanings of S1P receptors. Another unexpected finding that fingolimod (FTY720) modulates S1P receptors accelerated drug discovery in this field. Fingolimod was approved as a first-in-class, orally active drug for relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2010, and its applications in other disease conditions are currently under clinical trials. In addition, more selective S1P receptor modulators with better pharmacokinetic profiles and fewer side effects are under development. Some of them are being clinically tested in the contexts of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, such as, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, liver failure, renal failure, acute stroke, and transplant rejection. In this review, the authors discuss the state of the art regarding the status of drug discovery efforts targeting S1P receptors and place emphasis on potential clinical applications. PMID:28035084
Matsumoto, Mitsuyuki; Walton, Noah M; Yamada, Hiroshi; Kondo, Yuji; Marek, Gerard J; Tajinda, Katsunori
Failures of investigational new drugs (INDs) for schizophrenia have left huge unmet medical needs for patients. Given the recent lackluster results, it is imperative that new drug discovery approaches (and resultant drug candidates) target pathophysiological alterations that are shared in specific, stratified patient populations that are selected based on pre-identified biological signatures. One path to implementing this paradigm is achievable by leveraging recent advances in genetic information and technologies. Genome-wide exome sequencing and meta-analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based association studies have already revealed rare deleterious variants and SNPs in patient populations. Areas covered: Herein, the authors review the impact that genetics have on the future of schizophrenia drug discovery. The high polygenicity of schizophrenia strongly indicates that this disease is biologically heterogeneous so the identification of unique subgroups (by patient stratification) is becoming increasingly necessary for future investigational new drugs. Expert opinion: The authors propose a pathophysiology-based stratification of genetically-defined subgroups that share deficits in particular biological pathways. Existing tools, including lower-cost genomic sequencing and advanced gene-editing technology render this strategy ever more feasible. Genetically complex psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia may also benefit from synergistic research with simpler monogenic disorders that share perturbations in similar biological pathways.
Okuno, Yasushi; Yang, Jiyoon; Taneishi, Kei; Yabuuchi, Hiroaki; Tsujimoto, Gozoh
G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent one of the most important families of drug targets in pharmaceutical development. GPCR-LIgand DAtabase (GLIDA) is a novel public GPCR-related chemical genomic database that is primarily focused on the correlation of information between GPCRs and their ligands. It provides correlation data between GPCRs and their ligands, along with chemical information on the ligands, as well as access information to the various web databases regarding GPCRs. These data are connected with each other in a relational database, allowing users in the field of GPCR-related drug discovery to easily retrieve such information from either biological or chemical starting points. GLIDA includes structure similarity search functions for the GPCRs and for their ligands. Thus, GLIDA can provide correlation maps linking the searched homologous GPCRs (or ligands) with their ligands (or GPCRs). By analyzing the correlation patterns between GPCRs and ligands, we can gain more detailed knowledge about their interactions and improve drug design efforts by focusing on inferred candidates for GPCR-specific drugs. GLIDA is publicly available at . We hope that it will prove very useful for chemical genomic research and GPCR-related drug discovery. PMID:16381956
Ortí, Leticia; Carbajo, Rodrigo J.; Pieper, Ursula; Eswar, Narayanan; Maurer, Stephen M.; Rai, Arti K.; Taylor, Ginger; Todd, Matthew H.; Pineda-Lucena, Antonio; Sali, Andrej; Marti-Renom, Marc A.
Background Conventional patent-based drug development incentives work badly for the developing world, where commercial markets are usually small to non-existent. For this reason, the past decade has seen extensive experimentation with alternative R&D institutions ranging from private–public partnerships to development prizes. Despite extensive discussion, however, one of the most promising avenues—open source drug discovery—has remained elusive. We argue that the stumbling block has been the absence of a critical mass of preexisting work that volunteers can improve through a series of granular contributions. Historically, open source software collaborations have almost never succeeded without such “kernels”. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we use a computational pipeline for: (i) comparative structure modeling of target proteins, (ii) predicting the localization of ligand binding sites on their surfaces, and (iii) assessing the similarity of the predicted ligands to known drugs. Our kernel currently contains 143 and 297 protein targets from ten pathogen genomes that are predicted to bind a known drug or a molecule similar to a known drug, respectively. The kernel provides a source of potential drug targets and drug candidates around which an online open source community can nucleate. Using NMR spectroscopy, we have experimentally tested our predictions for two of these targets, confirming one and invalidating the other. Conclusions/Significance The TDI kernel, which is being offered under the Creative Commons attribution share-alike license for free and unrestricted use, can be accessed on the World Wide Web at http://www.tropicaldisease.org. We hope that the kernel will facilitate collaborative efforts towards the discovery of new drugs against parasites that cause tropical diseases. PMID:19381286
Kim, Shinhyuk; Jin, Daeyong; Lee, Hyunju
Computational methods for predicting drug-target interactions have become important in drug research because they can help to reduce the time, cost, and failure rates for developing new drugs. Recently, with the accumulation of drug-related data sets related to drug side effects and pharmacological data, it has became possible to predict potential drug-target interactions. In this study, we focus on drug-drug interactions (DDI), their adverse effects () and pharmacological information (), and investigate the relationship among chemical structures, side effects, and DDIs from several data sources. In this study, data from the STITCH database, from drugs.com, and drug-target pairs from ChEMBL and SIDER were first collected. Then, by applying two machine learning approaches, a support vector machine (SVM) and a kernel-based L1-norm regularized logistic regression (KL1LR), we showed that DDI is a promising feature in predicting drug-target interactions. Next, the accuracies of predicting drug-target interactions using DDI were compared to those obtained using the chemical structure and side effects based on the SVM and KL1LR approaches, showing that DDI was the data source contributing the most for predicting drug-target interactions. PMID:24278248
Richette, Pascal; Garay, Ricardo
The increasing prevalence of gout has been accompanied by a growing number of patients intolerant to or with disease refractory to available urate-lowering therapies. These difficult-to-treat patients currently represent about 3 - 5% of people with gout in Europe and the United States, which highlights the need for emerging treatments to effectively lower urate levels. In this review, the authors describe the putative pharmacological targets to lower urate levels. Furthermore, the authors discuss various strategies used to discover novel molecules or to improve available drugs used to treat gout. Major advances in our understanding of urate renal transport from in vitro, animal and genetic studies could lead to the development of novel uricosuric drugs. Targeting one or several urate transporters such as urate transporter 1, organic anion transporter 4 and 10 and glucose transporter 9 is promising. Moreover, design of small molecules capable of blocking the site activity of enzymes other than xanthine oxidase and involved in the purine pathway could generate novel hypouricemic drugs. Finally, polyethylene glycol (PEGylation) can significantly extend the biological half-life of drugs and reduce antigenicity and immunogenicity of proteins. The technology has been successfully applied to an uricase (pegloticase), but the drug was immunogenic in some patients. Strategies to decrease the immunogenicity of a PEG-uricase are important for developing next-generation uricase.
Skinner, Gary M; Visscher, Koen
Single-molecule techniques offer a number of key benefits over conventional in vitro assay methods for drug screening, as they use less material and unlock the ability to observe transient states. By observing such states, it should be possible to screen for chemical compounds that isolate these steps. The benefit of this is twofold: (a) inhibitors can be found that target key phases in biochemical processes, e.g., transcription initiation; and (b) the total number of drug targets increases as many biochemical processes consist of many transient steps, e.g., transcription promoter binding, initiation, elongation, and termination. Although single-molecule methods offer exciting opportunities for new ways of discovering drugs, there are a number of obstacles to their adoption for drug screening. The main hurdle is to develop robust apparatus that will allow many thousands of individual single molecule experiments to be performed in parallel. By using recently developed integrated microfluidics technology, this hurdle may be overcome. Here, a number of potential single-molecule approaches to drug screening are presented along with a discussion of the benefits and technical obstacles that must be overcome.
Davis, Andrew M; Plowright, Alleyn T; Valeur, Eric
The strong biological rationale to pursue challenging drug targets such as protein-protein interactions has stimulated the development of novel screening strategies, such as DNA-encoded libraries, to allow broader areas of chemical space to be searched. There has also been renewed interest in screening natural products, which are the result of evolutionary selection for a function, such as interference with a key signalling pathway of a competing organism. However, recent advances in several areas, such as understanding of the biosynthetic pathways for natural products, synthetic biology and the development of biosensors to detect target molecules, are now providing new opportunities to directly harness evolutionary pressure to identify and optimize compounds with desired bioactivities. Here, we describe innovations in the key components of such strategies and highlight pioneering examples that indicate the potential of the directed-evolution concept. We also discuss the scientific gaps and challenges that remain to be addressed to realize this potential more broadly in drug discovery.
Zdrazil, Barbara; Chichester, Christine; Zander Balderud, Linda; Engkvist, Ola; Gaulton, Anna; Overington, John P
Transport proteins represent an eminent class of drug targets and ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity) associated genes. There exists a large number of distinct activity assays for transport proteins, depending on not only the measurement needed (e.g. transport activity, strength of ligand–protein interaction), but also due to heterogeneous assay setups used by different research groups. Efforts to systematically organize this (divergent) bioassay data have large potential impact in Public-Private partnership and conventional commercial drug discovery. In this short review, we highlight some of the frequently used high-throughput assays for transport proteins, and we discuss emerging assay ontologies and their application to this field. Focusing on human P-glycoprotein (Multidrug resistance protein 1; gene name: ABCB1, MDR1), we exemplify how annotation of bioassay data per target class could improve and add to existing ontologies, and we propose to include an additional layer of metadata supporting data fusion across different bioassays.
Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0105 TITLE: A Drug Discovery Partnership for Personalized Breast Cancer Therapy PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Maryam Foroozesh...W81XWH-11-1-0105 A Drug Discovery Partnership for Personalized Breast Cancer Therapy 5b. GRANT NUMBER BC102922 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR...drugs for breast cancer therapy. The Drug Design Team at Xavier consists of experts in computer-aided drug design methods and synthesis and has formed
Doweyko, Arthur M; Doweyko, Lidia M
Humankind has been in the business of discovering drugs for thousands of years. At present, small-molecule drug design is based on specific macromolecular receptors as targets for inhibition or modulation. To this end, a number of clever approaches have evolved over time: computer-aided techniques including structure-activity relationships and synthesis, high-throughput screening, quantitative structure-activity relationships, hypotheses derived from ligand- and/or structure-based information and focused library approaches. In recent years, several alternative strategies have appeared in the form of the emerging paradigms of polypharmacology, systems biology and personalized medicine. These innovations point to key challenges and breakthroughs likely to affect the future of small-molecule drug discovery.
Stapleton, Molly; Sawamoto, Kazuki; Alméciga-Díaz, Carlos J.; Mackenzie, William G.; Mason, Robert W.; Orii, Tadao; Tomatsu, Shunji
The skeletal system, comprising bones, ligaments, cartilage and their connective tissues, is critical for the structure and support of the body. Diseases that affect the skeletal system can be difficult to treat, mainly because of the avascular cartilage region. Targeting drugs to the site of action can not only increase efficacy but also reduce toxicity. Bone-targeting drugs are designed with either of two general targeting moieties, aimed at the entire skeletal system or a specific cell type. Most bone-targeting drugs utilize an affinity to hydroxyapatite, a major component of the bone matrix that includes a high concentration of positively-charged Ca2+. The strategies for designing such targeting moieties can involve synthetic and/or biological components including negatively-charged amino acid peptides or bisphosphonates. Efficient delivery of bone-specific drugs provides significant impact in the treatment of skeletal related disorders including infectious diseases (osteoarthritis, osteomyelitis, etc.), osteoporosis, and metabolic skeletal dysplasia. Despite recent advances, however, both delivering the drug to its target without losing activity and avoiding adverse local effects remain a challenge. In this review, we investigate the current development of bone-targeting moieties, their efficacy and limitations, and discuss future directions for the development of these specific targeted treatments. PMID:28644392
Leal, Miguel C; Calado, Ricardo; Sheridan, Christopher; Alimonti, Andrea; Osinga, Ronald
Marine natural products (NP) are unanimously acknowledged as the 'blue gold' in the urgent quest for new pharmaceuticals. Although corals are among the marine organisms with the greatest diversity of secondary metabolites, growing evidence suggest that their symbiotic bacteria produce most of these bioactive metabolites. The ex hospite culture of coral symbiotic microbiota is extremely challenging and only limited examples of successful culture exist today. By contrast, in toto aquaculture of corals is a commonly applied technology to produce corals for aquaria. Here, we suggest that coral aquaculture could as well be a viable and economically feasible option to produce the biomass required to execute the first steps of the NP-based drug discovery pipeline.
Tsvetanova, Billyana; Peng, Lansha; Liang, Xiquan; Li, Ke; Hammond, Linda; Peterson, Todd C; Katzen, Federico
Recombinant DNA technologies have had a fundamental impact on drug discovery. The continuous emergence of unique gene assembly techniques resulted in the generation of a variety of therapeutic reagents such as vaccines, cancer treatment molecules and regenerative medicine precursors. With the advent of synthetic biology there is a growing need for precise and concerted assembly of multiple DNA fragments of various sizes, including chromosomes. In this article, we summarize the highlights of the recombinant DNA technology since its inception in the early 1970s, emphasizing on the most recent advances, and underscoring their principles, advantages and shortcomings. Current and prior cloning trends are discussed in the context of sequence requirements and scars left behind. Our opinion is that despite the remarkable progress that has enabled the generation and manipulation of very large DNA sequences, a better understanding of the cell's natural circuits is needed in order to fully exploit the current state-of-the-art gene assembly technologies.
Ciura, Krzesimir; Dziomba, Szymon; Nowakowska, Joanna; Markuszewski, Michał J
The review is mainly focused on application of thin layer chromatography (TLC) as simple, rapid and inexpensive method for lipophilicity assessment. Among separation techniques, TLC is still one of the most popular for lipophilicity measurement. The principles and methodology of Quantitative Structure Retention Relationship (QSRR) employed to lipophilicity prediction from retention data are presented. Moreover, applications of TLC retention constants in Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) studies were critically overviewed. The paper concerns also bioautography as a TLC method complementary to QSAR studies. In the article, the advantages and limitations of well established and less common planar chromatography modes applied for drug discovery process were discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Pettit, Robin K
Natural products continue to play a major role in drug discovery and development. However, chemical redundancy is an ongoing problem. Genomic studies indicate that certain groups of bacteria and fungi have dozens of secondary metabolite pathways that are not expressed under standard laboratory growth conditions. One approach to more fully access the metabolic potential of cultivatable microbes is mixed fermentation, where the presence of neighboring microbes may induce secondary metabolite synthesis. Research to date indicates that mixed fermentation can result in increased antibiotic activity in crude extracts, increased yields of previously described metabolites, increased yields of previously undetected metabolites, analogues of known metabolites resulting from combined pathways and, importantly, induction of previously unexpressed pathways for bioactive constituents.
Singeç, Ilyas; Simeonov, Anton
Pluripotent stem cell research has made extraordinary progress over the last decade. The robustness of nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has created entirely novel opportunities for drug discovery and personalized regenerative medicine. Patient- and disease-specific iPSCs can be expanded indefinitely and differentiated into relevant cell types of different organ systems. As the utilization of iPSCs is becoming a key enabling technology across various scientific disciplines, there are still important challenges that need to be addressed. Here we review the current state and reflect on the issues that the stem cell and translational communities are facing in bringing iPSCs closer to clinical application. PMID:27774310
Hulkower, Keren I; Herber, Renee L
Cell migration and invasion are processes that offer rich targets for intervention in key physiologic and pathologic phenomena such as wound healing and cancer metastasis. With the advent of high-throughput and high content imaging systems, there has been a movement towards the use of physiologically relevant cell-based assays earlier in the testing paradigm. This allows more effective identification of lead compounds and recognition of undesirable effects sooner in the drug discovery screening process. This article will review the effective use of several principle formats for studying cell motility: scratch assays, transmembrane assays, microfluidic devices and cell exclusion zone assays.
Walker, Stephen M; Davies, Barry J
In addressing the challenges facing pharmaceutical R&D one question is frequently asked: how can continuous improvement (CI), delivered through a Lean Sigma approach, be applied in a research environment to deliver overall benefit? We show that taking a value chain approach to improvement projects in a discovery research organization, initially focusing on the drug discovery project delivery level (i.e. middle layer of the value chain), provides the foundation for an effective CI programme. The adaptation of Lean Sigma principles and methodology, combined with the tenacity and creativity of scientists, enabled the delivery of significant improvements in challenging areas, including target selection, project decision making and the compound design-make-test-analyse (DMTA) cycle. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Poeta, Maurizio Del
This Special Issue is designed to highlight the latest research and development on new antifungal compounds with mechanisms of action different from the ones of polyenes, azoles, and echinocandins. The papers presented here highlight new pathways and targets that could be exploited for the future development of new antifungal agents to be used alone or in combination with existing antifungals. A computational model for better predicting antifungal drug resistance is also presented. PMID:28058254
Liang, X-J; Aszalos, A
Transport molecules can significantly affect the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of drugs. An important transport molecule, the 170 kDa P-glycoprotein (Pgp), is constitutively expressed at several organ sites in the human body. Pgp is expressed at the blood-brain barrier, in the kidneys, liver, intestines and in certain T cells. Other transporters such as the multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) and MRP2 also contribute to drug distribution in the human body, although to a lesser extent than Pgp. These three transporters, and especially Pgp, are often targets of drugs. Pgp can be an intentional or unintentional target. It is directly targeted when one wants to block its function by a modifier drug so that another drug, also a substrate of Pgp, can penetrate the cell membrane, which would otherwise be impermeable. Unintentional targeting occurs when several drugs are administered to a patient and as a consequence, the physiological function of Pgp is blocked at different organ sites. Like Pgp, MRP1 also has the capacity to mediate transport of many drugs and other compounds. MRP1 has a protective role in preventing accumulation of toxic compounds and drugs in epithelial tissue covering the choroid plexus/cerebrospinal fluid compartment, oral epithelium, sertoli cells, intesticular tubules and urinary collecting duct cells. MRP2 primarily transports weakly basic drugs and bilirubin from the liver to bile. Most compounds that efficiently block Pgp have only low affinity for MRP1 and MRP2. There are only a few effective and specific MRP inhibitors available. Drug targeting of these transporters may play a role in cancer chemotherapy and in the pharmacokinetics of substrate drugs.
Litterman, Nadia K.; Rhee, Michele; Swinney, David C.; Ekins, Sean
Rare disease research has reached a tipping point, with the confluence of scientific and technologic developments that if appropriately harnessed, could lead to key breakthroughs and treatments for this set of devastating disorders. Industry-wide trends have revealed that the traditional drug discovery research and development (R&D) model is no longer viable, and drug companies are evolving their approach. Rather than only pursue blockbuster therapeutics for heterogeneous, common diseases, drug companies have increasingly begun to shift their focus to rare diseases. In academia, advances in genetics analyses and disease mechanisms have allowed scientific understanding to mature, but the lack of funding and translational capability severely limits the rare disease research that leads to clinical trials. Simultaneously, there is a movement towards increased research collaboration, more data sharing, and heightened engagement and active involvement by patients, advocates, and foundations. The growth in networks and social networking tools presents an opportunity to help reach other patients but also find researchers and build collaborations. The growth of collaborative software that can enable researchers to share their data could also enable rare disease patients and foundations to manage their portfolio of funded projects for developing new therapeutics and suggest drug repurposing opportunities. Still there are many thousands of diseases without treatments and with only fragmented research efforts. We will describe some recent progress in several rare diseases used as examples and propose how collaborations could be facilitated. We propose that the development of a center of excellence that integrates and shares informatics resources for rare diseases sponsored by all of the stakeholders would help foster these initiatives. PMID:25685324
Litterman, Nadia K; Rhee, Michele; Swinney, David C; Ekins, Sean
Rare disease research has reached a tipping point, with the confluence of scientific and technologic developments that if appropriately harnessed, could lead to key breakthroughs and treatments for this set of devastating disorders. Industry-wide trends have revealed that the traditional drug discovery research and development (R&D) model is no longer viable, and drug companies are evolving their approach. Rather than only pursue blockbuster therapeutics for heterogeneous, common diseases, drug companies have increasingly begun to shift their focus to rare diseases. In academia, advances in genetics analyses and disease mechanisms have allowed scientific understanding to mature, but the lack of funding and translational capability severely limits the rare disease research that leads to clinical trials. Simultaneously, there is a movement towards increased research collaboration, more data sharing, and heightened engagement and active involvement by patients, advocates, and foundations. The growth in networks and social networking tools presents an opportunity to help reach other patients but also find researchers and build collaborations. The growth of collaborative software that can enable researchers to share their data could also enable rare disease patients and foundations to manage their portfolio of funded projects for developing new therapeutics and suggest drug repurposing opportunities. Still there are many thousands of diseases without treatments and with only fragmented research efforts. We will describe some recent progress in several rare diseases used as examples and propose how collaborations could be facilitated. We propose that the development of a center of excellence that integrates and shares informatics resources for rare diseases sponsored by all of the stakeholders would help foster these initiatives.
Recently, ab initio quantum mechanical calculations have been applied to large molecules, including biomolecular systems. The fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method is one of the most efficient approaches for the quantum mechanical investigation of such molecules. In the FMO method, dividing a target molecule into small fragments reduces computational effort. The clear definition of inter-fragment interaction energy (IFIE) as an expression of total energy is another valuable feature of the FMO method because it provides the ability to analyze interactions in biomolecules. Thus, the FMO method is expected to be useful for drug discovery. This study demonstrates applications of the FMO method related to drug discovery. First, IFIE, according to FMO calculations, was used in the optimization of drug candidates for the development of anti-prion compounds. The second example involved interaction analysis of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease and a drug compound that used a novel analytical method for dispersion interaction, i.e., fragment interaction analysis based on LMP2 (FILM).
Griebel, Guy; Holmes, Andrew
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent group of psychiatric diseases, and have high personal and societal costs. The search for novel pharmacological treatments for these conditions is driven by the growing medical need to improve on the effectiveness and the side effect profile of existing drugs. A huge volume of data has been generated by anxiolytic drug discovery studies, which has led to the progression of numerous new molecules into clinical trials. However, the clinical outcome of these efforts has been disappointing, as promising results with novel agents in rodent studies have very rarely translated into effectiveness in humans. Here, we analyse the major trends from preclinical studies over the past 50 years conducted in the search for new drugs beyond those that target the prototypical anxiety-associated GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)–benzodiazepine system, which have focused most intensively on the serotonin, neuropeptide, glutamate and endocannabinoid systems. We highlight various key issues that may have hampered progress in the field, and offer recommendations for how anxiolytic drug discovery can be more effective in the future. PMID:23989795
Willumsen, Niels J; Bech, Morten; Olesen, Søren-Peter; Jensen, Bo Skaaning; Korsgaard, Mads P G; Christophersen, Palle
Proper function of ion channels is crucial for all living cells. Ion channel dysfunction may lead to a number of diseases, so-called channelopathies, and a number of common diseases, including epilepsy, arrhythmia, and type II diabetes, are primarily treated by drugs that modulate ion channels. A cornerstone in current drug discovery is high throughput screening assays which allow examination of the activity of specific ion channels though only to a limited extent. Conventional patch clamp remains the sole technique with sufficiently high time resolution and sensitivity required for precise and direct characterization of ion channel properties. However, patch clamp is a slow, labor-intensive, and thus expensive, technique. New techniques combining the reliability and high information content of patch clamping with the virtues of high throughput philosophy are emerging and predicted to make a number of ion channel targets accessible for drug screening. Specifically, genuine HTS parallel processing techniques based on arrays of planar silicon chips are being developed, but also lower throughput sequential techniques may be of value in compound screening, lead optimization, and safety screening. The introduction of new powerful HTS electrophysiological techniques is predicted to cause a revolution in ion channel drug discovery.
Gong, Zhen; Hu, Guoping; Li, Qiang; Liu, Zhiguo; Wang, Fei; Zhang, Xuejin; Xiong, Jian; Li, Peng; Xu, Yan; Ma, Rujian; Chen, Shuhui; Li, Jian
Hit identification is the starting point of small-molecule drug discovery and is therefore very important to the pharmaceutical industry. One of the most important approaches to identify a new hit is to screen a compound library using an in vitro assay. High-throughput screening has made great contributions to drug discovery since the 1990s but requires expensive equipment and facilities, and its success depends on the size of the compound library. Recent progress in the development of compound libraries has provided more efficient ways to identify new hits for novel drug targets, thereby helping to promote the development of the pharmaceutical industry, especially for first-in-class drugs. In this review, the sources and classification of compound libraries are summarized. The progress made in combinatorial libraries and DNA-encoded libraries is reviewed. Library design methods, especially for focused libraries, are introduced in detail. In the final part, the status of the compound libraries at WuXi is reported. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at email@example.com.
Campbell, Robert M; Tummino, Peter J
Over the past several years, there has been rapidly expanding evidence of epigenetic dysregulation in cancer, in which histone and DNA modification play a critical role in tumor growth and survival. These findings have gained the attention of the drug discovery and development community, and offer the potential for a second generation of cancer epigenetic agents for patients following the approved "first generation" of DNA methylation (e.g., Dacogen, Vidaza) and broad-spectrum HDAC inhibitors (e.g., Vorinostat, Romidepsin). This Review provides an analysis of prospects for discovery and development of novel cancer agents that target epigenetic proteins. We will examine key examples of epigenetic dysregulation in tumors as well as challenges to epigenetic drug discovery with emerging biology and novel classes of drug targets. We will also highlight recent successes in cancer epigenetics drug discovery and consider important factors for clinical success in this burgeoning area.
Orhan, Ilkay Erdogan
Pharmacognosy deals with the natural drugs obtained from organisms such as most plants, microbes, and animals. Up to date, many important drugs including morphine, atropine, galanthamine, etc. have originated from natural sources which continue to be good model molecules in drug discovery. Traditional medicine is also a part of pharmacognosy and most of the third world countries still depend on the use of herbal medicines. Consequently, pharmacognosy always keeps its popularity in pharmaceutical sciences and plays a critical role in drug discovery.
Croston, Glenn E
The availability of genomic information significantly increases the number of potential targets available for drug discovery, although the function of many targets and their relationship to disease is unknown. In a chemical genomic research approach, ultra-high throughput screening (uHTS) of genomic targets takes place early in the drug discovery process, before target validation. Target-selective modulators then provide drug leads and pharmacological research tools to validate target function. Effective implementation of a chemical genomic strategy requires assays that can perform uHTS for large numbers of genomic targets. Cell-based functional assays are capable of the uHTS throughput required for chemical genomic research, and their functional nature provides distinct advantages over ligand-binding assays in the identification of target-selective modulators.
Roy, Anuradha; McDonald, Peter R.; Sittampalam, Sitta; Chaguturu, Rathnam
High throughput screening (HTS) facilitates screening large numbers of compounds against a biochemical target of interest using validated biological or biophysical assays. In recent years, a significant number of drugs in clinical trails originated from HTS campaigns, validating HTS as a bona fide mechanism for hit finding. In the current drug discovery landscape, the pharmaceutical industry is embracing open innovation strategies with academia to maximize their research capabilities and to feed their drug discovery pipeline. The goals of academic research have therefore expanded from target identification and validation to probe discovery, chemical genomics, and compound library screening. This trend is reflected in the emergence of HTS centers in the public domain over the past decade, ranging in size from modestly equipped academic screening centers to well endowed Molecular Libraries Probe Centers Network (MLPCN) centers funded by the NIH Roadmap initiative. These centers facilitate a comprehensive approach to probe discovery in academia and utilize both classical and cutting-edge assay technologies for executing primary and secondary screening campaigns. The various facets of academic HTS centers as well as their implications on technology transfer and drug discovery are discussed, and a roadmap for successful drug discovery in the public domain is presented. New lead discovery against therapeutic targets, especially those involving the rare and neglected diseases, is indeed a Mount Everestonian size task, and requires diligent implementation of pharmaceutical industry’s best practices for a successful outcome. PMID:20809896
Roy, Anuradha; McDonald, Peter R; Sittampalam, Sitta; Chaguturu, Rathnam
High throughput screening (HTS) facilitates screening large numbers of compounds against a biochemical target of interest using validated biological or biophysical assays. In recent years, a significant number of drugs in clinical trails originated from HTS campaigns, validating HTS as a bona fide mechanism for hit finding. In the current drug discovery landscape, the pharmaceutical industry is embracing open innovation strategies with academia to maximize their research capabilities and to feed their drug discovery pipeline. The goals of academic research have therefore expanded from target identification and validation to probe discovery, chemical genomics, and compound library screening. This trend is reflected in the emergence of HTS centers in the public domain over the past decade, ranging in size from modestly equipped academic screening centers to well endowed Molecular Libraries Probe Centers Network (MLPCN) centers funded by the NIH Roadmap initiative. These centers facilitate a comprehensive approach to probe discovery in academia and utilize both classical and cutting-edge assay technologies for executing primary and secondary screening campaigns. The various facets of academic HTS centers as well as their implications on technology transfer and drug discovery are discussed, and a roadmap for successful drug discovery in the public domain is presented. New lead discovery against therapeutic targets, especially those involving the rare and neglected diseases, is indeed a Mount Everestonian size task, and requires diligent implementation of pharmaceutical industry's best practices for a successful outcome.
Picones, Arturo; Loza-Huerta, Arlet; Segura-Chama, Pedro; Lara-Figueroa, Cesar O
Automated technologies are now resolving the historical relegation that ion channels have endured as targets for the new drug discovery and development global efforts. The richness and adequacy of functional assay methodologies, remarkably fluorescence-based detection of ions fluxes and patch-clamp electrophysiology recording of ionic currents, are now automated and increasingly employed for the analysis of ion channel activity. While the former is currently the most commonly applied, the latter is finally reaching the throughput capacity to be engaged in the primary screening of chemical libraries conformed by hundreds of thousands of compounds. The use of automated instrumentation for the study of ion channel functionality (and dysfunctionality), particularly in the search for novel pharmacological agents with therapeutic purposes, has now reached out beyond the industrial setting, its original natural enclave, and is making its way into a growing number of academic labs and core facilities. The present chapter reviews the increasing contributions accomplished by a variety of different key automated technologies which have revolutionized the strategies to approach the discovery and development of new drugs targeting ion channels. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Jiménez-Díaz, María Belén; Viera, Sara; Fernández-Alvaro, Elena; Angulo-Barturen, Iñigo
The emergence of resistance to artemisinins and the renewed efforts to eradicate malaria demand the urgent development of new drugs. In this endeavour, the evaluation of efficacy in animal models is often a go/no go decision assay in drug discovery. This important role relies on the capability of animal models to assess the disposition, toxicology and efficacy of drugs in a single test. Although the relative merits of each efficacy model of malaria as human surrogate have been extensively discussed, there are no critical analyses on the use of such models in current drug discovery. In this article, we intend to analyse how efficacy models are used to discover new antimalarial drugs. Our analysis indicates that testing drug efficacy is often the last assay in each discovery stage and the experimental designs utilized are not optimized to expedite decision-making and inform clinical development. In light of this analysis, we propose new ways to accelerate drug discovery using efficacy models.
Bertucci, Carlo; Pistolozzi, Marco; De Simone, Angela
Chirality plays a fundamental role in determining the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of drugs, and contributes significantly to our understanding of the mechanisms that lie behind biorecognition phenomena. Circular dichroism spectroscopy is the technique of choice for determining the stereochemistry of chiral drugs and proteins, and for monitoring and characterizing molecular recognition phenomena in solution. The role of chirality in our understanding of recognition phenomena at the molecular level is discussed here via several selected systems of interest in the drug discovery and development area. The examples were selected in order to underline the utility of circular dichroism in emerging studies of protein-protein interactions in biological context. In particular, the following aspects are discussed here: the relationship between stereochemistry and pharmacological activity--stereochemical characterization of new leads and drugs; stereoselective binding of leads and drugs to target proteins--the binding of drugs to serum albumins; conformational transitions of peptides and proteins of physiological relevance, and the stereochemical characterization of therapeutic peptides.
Maiese, Kenneth; Chong, Zhao Zhong; Shang, Yan Chen; Hou, Jinling
Globally, developed nations spend a significant amount of their resources on healthcare initiatives that poorly translate into increased population life expectancy. As an example, the United States devotes sixteen percent of its gross domestic product to healthcare, the highest level in the world, but falls behind other nations that enjoy greater individual life expectancy. These observations point to the need for pioneering avenues of drug discovery to increase lifespan with controlled costs. In particular, innovative drug development for metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus (DM) becomes increasingly critical given that the number of diabetic individuals will increase exponentially over the next twenty years. Here we discuss the elucidation and targeting of novel cellular pathways that are intimately tied to oxidative stress in DM for new treatment strategies. Pathways that involve wingless, NAD+ precursors, and cytokines govern complex biological pathways that determine both cell survival and longevity during DM and its complications. Furthermore, the role of these entities as biomarkers for disease can further enhance their utility irrespective of their treatment potential. Greater understanding of the intricacies of these unique cellular mechanisms will shape future drug discovery for DM to provide focused clinical care with limited or absent long-term complications. PMID:20220043
Smith, Thomas J.
Green tea is made from unfermented dried leaves from Camellia sinensis and has been consumed by humans for thousands of years. For nearly as long, it has been used as a folk remedy for a wide array of diseases. More recently, a large number of in-vitro and in-vivo scientific studies have supported this ancient contention that the polyphenols from green tea can provide a number of health benefits. Since these compounds are clearly safe for human consumption and ubiquitous in the food supply, they are highly attractive as lead compounds for drug discovery programs. However, as drugs, they are far from optimum. They are relatively unstable, poorly absorbed, and readily undergo a number of metabolic transformations by intestinal microbiota and human enzymes. Further, since these compounds target a wide array of biological systems, in-vivo testing is rather difficult since effects on alternative pathways need to be carefully eliminated. The purpose of this review is to discuss some of the challenges and benefits of pursuing this family of compounds for drug discovery. PMID:21731575
Maiese, Kenneth; Chong, Zhao Zhong; Shang, Yan Chen; Hou, Jinling
Globally, developed nations spend a significant amount of their resources on health care initiatives that poorly translate into increased population life expectancy. As an example, the United States devotes 16% of its gross domestic product to health care, the highest level in the world, but falls behind other nations that enjoy greater individual life expectancy. These observations point to the need for pioneering avenues of drug discovery to increase life span with controlled costs. In particular, innovative drug development for metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus becomes increasingly critical given that the number of diabetic people will increase exponentially over the next 20 years. This article discusses the elucidation and targeting of novel cellular pathways that are intimately tied to oxidative stress in diabetes mellitus for new treatment strategies. Pathways that involve wingless, β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) precursors, and cytokines govern complex biological pathways that determine both cell survival and longevity during diabetes mellitus and its complications. Furthermore, the role of these entities as biomarkers for disease can further enhance their utility irrespective of their treatment potential. Greater understanding of the intricacies of these unique cellular mechanisms will shape future drug discovery for diabetes mellitus to provide focused clinical care with limited or absent long-term complications.
Okada, Yukinori; Wu, Di; Trynka, Gosia; Raj, Towfique; Terao, Chikashi; Ikari, Katsunori; Kochi, Yuta; Ohmura, Koichiro; Suzuki, Akari; Yoshida, Shinji; Graham, Robert R; Manoharan, Arun; Ortmann, Ward; Bhangale, Tushar; Denny, Joshua C; Carroll, Robert J; Eyler, Anne E; Greenberg, Jeffrey D; Kremer, Joel M; Pappas, Dimitrios A; Jiang, Lei; Yin, Jian; Ye, Lingying; Su, Ding-Feng; Yang, Jian; Xie, Gang; Keystone, Ed; Westra, Harm-Jan; Esko, Tõnu; Metspalu, Andres; Zhou, Xuezhong; Gupta, Namrata; Mirel, Daniel; Stahl, Eli A; Diogo, Dorothée; Cui, Jing; Liao, Katherine; Guo, Michael H; Myouzen, Keiko; Kawaguchi, Takahisa; Coenen, Marieke J H; van Riel, Piet L C M; van de Laar, Mart A F J; Guchelaar, Henk-Jan; Huizinga, Tom W J; Dieudé, Philippe; Mariette, Xavier; Bridges, S Louis; Zhernakova, Alexandra; Toes, Rene E M; Tak, Paul P; Miceli-Richard, Corinne; Bang, So-Young; Lee, Hye-Soon; Martin, Javier; Gonzalez-Gay, Miguel A; Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Luis; Rantapää-Dahlqvist, Solbritt; Arlestig, Lisbeth; Choi, Hyon K; Kamatani, Yoichiro; Galan, Pilar; Lathrop, Mark; Eyre, Steve; Bowes, John; Barton, Anne; de Vries, Niek; Moreland, Larry W; Criswell, Lindsey A; Karlson, Elizabeth W; Taniguchi, Atsuo; Yamada, Ryo; Kubo, Michiaki; Liu, Jun S; Bae, Sang-Cheol; Worthington, Jane; Padyukov, Leonid; Klareskog, Lars; Gregersen, Peter K; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Stranger, Barbara E; De Jager, Philip L; Franke, Lude; Visscher, Peter M; Brown, Matthew A; Yamanaka, Hisashi; Mimori, Tsuneyo; Takahashi, Atsushi; Xu, Huji; Behrens, Timothy W; Siminovitch, Katherine A; Momohara, Shigeki; Matsuda, Fumihiko; Yamamoto, Kazuhiko; Plenge, Robert M
A major challenge in human genetics is to devise a systematic strategy to integrate disease-associated variants with diverse genomic and biological data sets to provide insight into disease pathogenesis and guide drug discovery for complex traits such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here we performed a genome-wide association study meta-analysis in a total of >100,000 subjects of European and Asian ancestries (29,880 RA cases and 73,758 controls), by evaluating ∼10 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We discovered 42 novel RA risk loci at a genome-wide level of significance, bringing the total to 101 (refs 2 - 4). We devised an in silico pipeline using established bioinformatics methods based on functional annotation, cis-acting expression quantitative trait loci and pathway analyses--as well as novel methods based on genetic overlap with human primary immunodeficiency, haematological cancer somatic mutations and knockout mouse phenotypes--to identify 98 biological candidate genes at these 101 risk loci. We demonstrate that these genes are the targets of approved therapies for RA, and further suggest that drugs approved for other indications may be repurposed for the treatment of RA. Together, this comprehensive genetic study sheds light on fundamental genes, pathways and cell types that contribute to RA pathogenesis, and provides empirical evidence that the genetics of RA can provide important information for drug discovery.
Yasgar, Adam; Simeonov, Anton
Introduction Much has been presented and debated on the topic of drug abuse and its multidimensional nature, including the role of society and its customs and laws, economical factors, and the magnitude and nature of the burden. Given the complex nature of the receptors and pathways implicated in regulation of the cognitive and behavioral processes associated with addiction, a large number of molecular targets have been interrogated during recent years to discover starting points for development of small molecule interventions. Areas covered This review describes recent developments in the field of early drug discovery for drug abuse interventions, with a special emphasis on advances published during the 2012-2014 period. Expert Opinion Technologically, the processes/platforms utilized in drug abuse drug discovery are nearly identical to those used in the other disease areas. A key complicating factor in drug abuse research is the enormous biological complexity surrounding the brain processes involved and the associated difficulty in finding “good” targets and achieving exquisite selectivity of treatment agents. While tremendous progress has been made during recent years to use the power of high-throughput technologies to discover proof-of-principle molecules for many new targets, next-generation models will be especially important in this field; examples include seeking advantageous drug-drug combinations, use of automated whole-animal behavioral screening systems, advancing our understanding of the role of epigenetics in drug addiction, and the employment of organoid-level 3D test platforms (also referred to as tissue-chip or organs-on-chip). PMID:25251069
Cheng, Tiejun; Pan, Yongmei; Hao, Ming; Wang, Yanli; Bryant, Stephen H
A bibliometric analysis of PubChem applications is presented by reviewing 1132 research articles. The massive volume of chemical structure and bioactivity data in PubChem and its online services have been used globally in various fields including chemical biology, medicinal chemistry and informatics research. PubChem supports drug discovery in many aspects such as lead identification and optimization, compound-target profiling, polypharmacology studies and unknown chemical identity elucidation. PubChem has also become a valuable resource for developing secondary databases, informatics tools and web services. The growing PubChem resource with its public availability offers support and great opportunities for the interrogation of pharmacological mechanisms and the genetic basis of diseases, which are vital for drug innovation and repurposing.
Cheng, Tiejun; Pan, Yongmei; Hao, Ming; Wang, Yanli; Bryant, Stephen H.
A bibliometric analysis of PubChem applications is presented by reviewing 1132 research articles. The massive volume of chemical structure and bioactivity data in PubChem and its online services has been used globally in various fields including chemical biology, medicinal chemistry and informatics research. PubChem supports drug discovery in many aspects such as lead identification and optimization, compound–target profiling, polypharmacology studies and unknown chemical identity elucidation. PubChem has also become a valuable resource for developing secondary databases, informatics tools and web services. The growing PubChem resource with its public availability offers support and great opportunities for the interrogation of pharmacological mechanisms and the genetic basis of diseases, which are vital for drug innovation and repurposing. PMID:25168772
Hurko, Orest; Ryan, John L.
Summary: Of all the therapeutic areas, diseases of the CNS provide the biggest challenges to translational research in this era of increased productivity and novel targets. Risk reduction by translational research incorporates the “learn” phase of the “learn and confirm” paradigm proposed over a decade ago. Like traditional drug discovery in vitro and in laboratory animals, it precedes the traditional phase 1–3 studies of drug development. The focus is on ameliorating the current failure rate in phase 2 and the delays resulting from suboptimal choices in four key areas: initial test subjects, dosing, sensitive and early detection of therapeutic effect, and recognition of differences between animal models and human disease. Implementation of new technologies is the key to success in this emerging endeavor. PMID:16489374
Srinivasarao, Madduri; Low, Philip S
Safety and efficacy constitute the major criteria governing regulatory approval of any new drug. The best method to maximize safety and efficacy is to deliver a proven therapeutic agent with a targeting ligand that exhibits little affinity for healthy cells but high affinity for pathologic cells. The probability of regulatory approval can conceivably be further enhanced by exploiting the same targeting ligand, conjugated to an imaging agent, to select patients whose diseased tissues display sufficient targeted receptors for therapeutic efficacy. The focus of this Review is to summarize criteria that must be met during design of ligand-targeted drugs (LTDs) to achieve the required therapeutic potency with minimal toxicity. Because most LTDs are composed of a targeting ligand (e.g., organic molecule, aptamer, protein scaffold, or antibody), spacer, cleavable linker, and therapeutic warhead, criteria for successful design of each component will be described. Moreover, because obstacles to successful drug design can differ among human pathologies, limitations to drug delivery imposed by the unique characteristics of different diseases will be considered. With the explosion of genomic and transcriptomic data providing an ever-expanding selection of disease-specific targets, and with tools for high-throughput chemistry offering an escalating diversity of warheads, opportunities for innovating safe and effective LTDs has never been greater.
Li, Ying Hong; Wang, Pan Pan; Li, Xiao Xu; Yu, Chun Yan; Yang, Hong; Zhou, Jin; Xue, Wei Wei; Tan, Jun; Zhu, Feng
The human kinome is one of the most productive classes of drug target, and there is emerging necessity for treating complex diseases by means of polypharmacology (multi-target drugs and combination products). However, the advantages of the multi-target drugs and the combination products are still under debate. A comparative analysis between FDA approved multi-target drugs and combination products, targeting the human kinome, was conducted by mapping targets onto the phylogenetic tree of the human kinome. The approach of network medicine illustrating the drug-target interactions was applied to identify popular targets of multi-target drugs and combination products. As identified, the multi-target drugs tended to inhibit target pairs in the human kinome, especially the receptor tyrosine kinase family, while the combination products were able to against targets of distant homology relationship. This finding asked for choosing the combination products as a better solution for designing drugs aiming at targets of distant homology relationship. Moreover, sub-networks of drug-target interactions in specific disease were generated, and mechanisms shared by multi-target drugs and combination products were identified. In conclusion, this study performed an analysis between approved multi-target drugs and combination products against the human kinome, which could assist the discovery of next generation polypharmacology.
Yu, Chun Yan; Yang, Hong; Zhou, Jin; Xue, Wei Wei; Tan, Jun; Zhu, Feng
The human kinome is one of the most productive classes of drug target, and there is emerging necessity for treating complex diseases by means of polypharmacology (multi-target drugs and combination products). However, the advantages of the multi-target drugs and the combination products are still under debate. A comparative analysis between FDA approved multi-target drugs and combination products, targeting the human kinome, was conducted by mapping targets onto the phylogenetic tree of the human kinome. The approach of network medicine illustrating the drug-target interactions was applied to identify popular targets of multi-target drugs and combination products. As identified, the multi-target drugs tended to inhibit target pairs in the human kinome, especially the receptor tyrosine kinase family, while the combination products were able to against targets of distant homology relationship. This finding asked for choosing the combination products as a better solution for designing drugs aiming at targets of distant homology relationship. Moreover, sub-networks of drug-target interactions in specific disease were generated, and mechanisms shared by multi-target drugs and combination products were identified. In conclusion, this study performed an analysis between approved multi-target drugs and combination products against the human kinome, which could assist the discovery of next generation polypharmacology. PMID:27828998
Piel, Markus; Vernaleken, Ingo; Rösch, Frank
Molecular imaging methods such as positron emission tomography (PET) are increasingly involved in the development of new drugs. Using radioactive tracers as imaging probes, PET allows the determination of the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of a drug candidate, via recording target engagement, the pattern of distribution, and metabolism. Because of the noninvasive nature and quantitative end point obtainable by molecular imaging, it seems inherently suited for the examination of a pharmaceutical's behavior in the brain. Molecular imaging, most especially PET, can therefore be a valuable tool in CNS drug research. In this Perspective, we present the basic principles of PET, the importance of appropriate tracer selection, the impact of improved radiopharmaceutical chemistry in radiotracer development, and the different roles that PET can fulfill in CNS drug research.
Kizaka-Kondoh, Shinae; Kuchimaru, Takahiro; Kadonosono, Tetsuya
The microenvironment of solid tumors is characterized by low pO(2) that is well below physiological levels. Intratumoral hypoxia is a major factor contributing to cancer progression and is exacerbated as a result of oxygen consumption by rapidly proliferating tumor cells near blood vessels, poor lymphatic drainage resulting in high interstitial pressure, and irregular blood supply through immature tumor vasculature. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is the main transcription factor that regulates cellular responses to hypoxia. Cellular changes induced by HIF-1 are extremely important targets for cancer therapy. Therefore, targeting strategies to counteract HIF-1-active cells are essential for cancer therapy. In this study, we introduce a novel strategy for targeting HIF-1-active cells.
Roguska, Michael; Kaymakcalan, Zehra; Salfeld, Jochen
The number of therapeutic antibodies approved by regulatory agencies as novel drugs and the number of antibodies in development has increased significantly. The modular nature of antibody structure has enabled researchers to more predictably design therapeutic antibodies by choosing appropriate functional features most appropriate for a given antibody target and clinical indication. Advances in recombinant antibody technologies have allowed the routine generation of antibodies that can satisfy stringent drug design criteria, such as low immunogenicity, high affinity, target specificity, and commercially viable manufacturing methods. Engineering design opportunities exist for both the variable and the constant regions that encompass, in addition to antigen specificity and affinity, effector functions that mediate immune complex clearance or pharmacokinetics. These are discussed in the context of relevant in vivo and in vitro technologies, such as human IgG transgenic mice, phage display, and biologics manufacturing. Finally, therapeutic antibodies are compared with traditional drugs with respect to target class, selectivity, route of administration, intellectual property issues, and lead discovery and optimization.
Allosteric drug development holds promise for delivering medicines that are more selective and less toxic than those that target orthosteric sites. To date, the discovery of allosteric binding sites and lead compounds has been mostly serendipitous, achieved through high-throughput screening. Over the past decade, structural data has become more readily available for larger protein systems and more membrane protein classes (e.g., GPCRs and ion channels), which are common allosteric drug targets. In parallel, improved simulation methods now provide better atomistic understanding of the protein dynamics and cooperative motions that are critical to allosteric mechanisms. As a result of these advances, the field of predictive allosteric drug development is now on the cusp of a new era of rational structure-based computational methods. Here, we review algorithms that predict allosteric sites based on sequence data and molecular dynamics simulations, describe tools that assess the druggability of these pockets, and discuss how Markov state models and topology analyses provide insight into the relationship between protein dynamics and allosteric drug binding. In each section, we first provide an overview of the various method classes before describing relevant algorithms and software packages. PMID:27074285
The study of drug-target interactions is essential for the understanding of biological processes and for the efforts to develop new therapeutic molecules. Increased ligand-binding assays have coincided with the advances in reagents, detection and instrumentation technologies, the expansion in therapeutic targets of interest, and the increasingly recognized importance of biochemical aspects of drug-target interactions in determining the clinical performance of drug molecules. Nowadays, ligand-binding assays can determine every aspect of many drug-target interactions. Given that ligand-target interactions are very diverse, the author has decided to focus on the binding of small molecules to protein targets. This article first reviews the key biochemical aspects of drug-target interactions, and then discusses the detection principles of various ligand-binding techniques in the context of their primary applications for drug discovery and development. Equilibrium-binding affinity should not be used as a solo indicator for the in vivo pharmacology of drugs. The clinical relevance of drug-binding kinetics demands high throughput kinetics early in drug discovery. The dependence of ligand binding and function on the conformation of targets necessitates solution-based and whole cell-based ligand-binding assays. The increasing need to examine ligand binding at the proteome level, driven by the clinical importance of the polypharmacology of ligands, has started to make the structure-based in silico binding screen an indispensable technique for drug discovery and development. Integration of different ligand-binding assays is important to improve the efficiency of the drug discovery and development process.
Chen, G; Jayawickreme, C; Way, J; Armour, S; Queen, K; Watson, C; Ignar, D; Chen, W J; Kenakin, T
This paper discusses the use of constitutively active G-protein-coupled receptor systems for drug discovery. Specifically, the ternary complex model is used to define the two major theoretical advantages of constitutive receptor screening-namely, the ability to detect antagonists as well as agonists directly and the fact that constitutive systems are more sensitive to agonists. In experimental studies, transient transfection of Chinese hamster ovary cyclic AMP response element (CRE) luciferase reporter cells with cDNA for human parathyroid hormone receptor, glucagon receptor, and glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor showed cDNA concentration-dependent constitutive activity with parathyroid hormone (PTH-1) and glucagon. In contrast, no constitutive activity was observed for GLP-1 receptor, yet responses to GLP-1 indicated that receptor expression had taken place. In another functional system, Xenopus laevi melanophores transfected with cDNA for human calcitonin receptor showed constitutive activity. Nine ligands for the calcitonin receptor either increased or decreased constitutive activity in this assay. The sensitivity of the system to human calcitonin increased with increasing constitutive activity. These data indicate that, for those receptors which naturally produce constitutive activity, screening in this mode could be advantageous over other methods.
Kufahl, Peter R.; Watterson, Lucas R.
Introduction Globally, alcohol abuse and dependence are significant contributors to chronic disease and injury and are responsible for nearly 4% of all deaths annually. Acamprosate (Campral), one of only three pharmacological treatments approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence, has shown mixed efficacy in clinical trials in maintaining abstinence of detoxified alcoholics since studies began in the 1980’s. Yielding inconsistent results, these studies have prompted skepticism. Areas Covered Herein, the authors review the preclinical studies which have assessed the efficacy of acamprosate in various animal models of alcohol dependence and discuss the disparate findings from the major clinical trials. Moreover, the authors discuss the major limitations of these preclinical and clinical studies and offer explanations for the often contradictory findings. The article also looks at the importance of the calcium moiety that accompanies the salt form of acamprosate and its relevance to its activity. Expert opinion The recent discovery that large doses of calcium largely duplicate the effects of acamprosate in animal models has introduced a serious challenge to the widely-held functional association between this drug and the glutamate neurotransmission system. Future research on acamprosate or newer pharmacotherapeutics should consider assessing plasma and/or brain levels of calcium as a correlate or mediating factor in anti-relapse efficacy. Furthermore, preclinical research on acamprosate has thus far lacked animal models of chemical dependence on alcohol, and the testing of rodents with histories of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal is suggested. PMID:25258174
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) transmit extracellular signals into the intracellular space, and play key roles in the physiological regulation of virtually every cell and tissue. Characteristic for the GPCR superfamily of cell surface receptors are their seven transmembrane-spanning alpha-helices, an extracellular N terminus and intracellular C-terminal tail. Besides transmission of extracellular signals, their activity is modulated by cellular signals in an auto- or transregulatory fashion. The molecular complexity of GPCRs and their regulated signaling networks triggered the interest in academic research groups to explore them further, and their drugability and role in pathophysiology triggers pharmaceutical research towards small molecular weight ligands and therapeutic antibodies. About 30% of marketed drugs target GPCRs, which underlines the importance of this target class. This review describes current and emerging cellular assays for the ligand discovery of GPCRs.
Fray, M Jonathan; Macdonald, Simon J F; Baldwin, Ian R; Barton, Nick; Brown, Jack; Campbell, Ian B; Churcher, Ian; Coe, Diane M; Cooper, Anthony W J; Craven, Andrew P; Fisher, Gail; Inglis, Graham G A; Kelly, Henry A; Liddle, John; Maxwell, Aoife C; Patel, Vipulkumar K; Swanson, Stephen; Wellaway, Natalie
In this article, we describe a practical drug discovery project for third-year undergraduates. No previous knowledge of medicinal chemistry is assumed. Initial lecture workshops cover the basic principles; then students, in teams, seek to improve the profile of a weakly potent, insoluble phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase delta (PI3Kδ) inhibitor (1) through compound array design, molecular modelling, screening data analysis and the synthesis of target compounds in the laboratory. The project benefits from significant industrial support, including lectures, student mentoring and consumables. The aim is to make the learning experience as close as possible to real-life industrial situations. In total, 48 target compounds were prepared, the best of which (5b, 5j, 6b and 6ap) improved the potency and aqueous solubility of the lead compound (1) by 100-1000 fold and ≥tenfold, respectively.
Long, Daniel D; Aggen, James B; Christensen, Burton G; Judice, J Kevin; Hegde, Sharath S; Kaniga, Koné; Krause, Kevin M; Linsell, Martin S; Moran, Edmund J; Pace, John L
The design, synthesis and antibacterial activity of novel glycopeptide/beta-lactam heterodimers is reported. Employing a multivalent approach to drug discovery, vancomycin and cephalosporin synthons, A and B respectively, were chemically linked to yield heterodimer antibiotics. These novel compounds were designed to inhibit Gram-positive bacterial cell wall biosynthesis by simultaneously targeting the principal cellular targets of both glycopeptides and beta-lactams. The antibiotics 8a-f displayed remarkable potency against a wide range of Gram-positive organisms including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Compound 8e demonstrated excellent bactericidal activity against MRSA (ATCC 33591) and initial evidence supports a multivalent mechanism of action for this important new class of antibiotic.
Rocke, John; Lees, Julie; Packham, Ian; Chico, Timothy
The zebrafish is a well established model of vertebrate development, but has recently emerged as a powerful tool for cardiovascular research and in vivo cardiovascular drug discovery. The zebrafish embryo's low cost, small size and permeability to small molecules coupled with the ability to generate thousands of embryos per week, and improved automation of assays of cardiovascular development and performance allow drug screening for a number of cardiovascular effects. Such studies have already led to discovery of novel cardiovascular drugs with potentially clinically beneficial effects. In this review we summarise the advantages and disadvantages of the zebrafish for drug discovery using some patents, previous literature on zebrafish-based drug screening and assess where the zebrafish will fit into existing drug discovery programmes.
Banerji, Udai; Workman, Paul
The Pharmacological Audit Trail (PhAT) comprises a set of critical questions that need to be asked during discovery and development of an anticancer drug. Key aspects include: (1) defining a patient population; (2) establishing pharmacokinetic characteristics; (3) providing evidence of target engagement, pathway modulation, and biological effect with proof of concept pharmacodynamic biomarkers; (4) determining intermediate biomarkers of response; (5) assessing tumor response; and (6) determining how to overcome resistance by combination or sequential therapy and new target/drug discovery. The questions asked in the PhAT should be viewed as a continuum and not used in isolation. Different drug development programmes derive different types of benefit from these questions. The PhAT is critical in making go-no-go decisions in the development of currently studied drugs and will continue to be relevant to discovery and development of future generations of anticancer agents.
Peetla, Chiranjeevi; Stine, Andrew; Labhasetwar, Vinod
The transport of drugs or drug delivery systems across the cell membrane is a complex biological process, often difficult to understand because of its dynamic nature. In this regard, model lipid membranes, which mimic many aspects of cell-membrane lipids, have been very useful in helping investigators to discern the roles of lipids in cellular interactions. One can use drug-lipid interactions to predict pharmacokinetic properties of drugs, such as their transport, biodistribution, accumulation, and hence efficacy. These interactions can also be used to study the mechanisms of transport, based on the structure and hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of drug molecules. In recent years, model lipid membranes have also been explored to understand their mechanisms of interactions with peptides, polymers, and nanocarriers. These interaction studies can be used to design and develop efficient drug delivery systems. Changes in the lipid composition of cells and tissue in certain disease conditions may alter biophysical interactions, which could be explored to develop target-specific drugs and drug delivery systems. In this review, we discuss different model membranes, drug-lipid interactions and their significance, studies of model membrane interactions with nanocarriers, and how biophysical interaction studies with lipid model membranes could play an important role in drug discovery and drug delivery. PMID:19432455
Kinoshita, Takayoshi; Doi, Kentaro; Sugiyama, Hajime; Kinoshita, Shuhei; Wada, Mutsuyo; Naruto, Shuji; Tomonaga, Atsushi
Many existing agents for diabetes therapy are unable to restore or maintain normal glucose homeostasis or prevent the eventual emergence of hyperglycemia-related complication. Therefore, agents based on novel mechanisms are sought to complement and extend the current therapeutic approaches. Based on the initial paper research, we focused on active STAT3 as an attractive pharmacological target for type 2 diabetes. The subsequent text mining with a unique query to identify suppressors but not activators of STAT3 revealed the ERK2/STAT3 pathway as a novel diabetes target. The description of ERK2 inhibitors as diabetes target had not been found in our text mining research at present. The mechanism-based peptide inhibitor for ERK2 was identified using the knowledge of the KIM sequence, which has an important role in the recognition of cognate kinases, phosphatases, scaffold proteins, and substrates. The peptide inhibitor was confirmed to exert effects in vitro and in vivo. The peptide inhibitor conferred a significant decrease in HOMA-IR levels on Day 28 compared with that in the vehicle group. Besides lowering the fasting blood glucose level, the peptide inhibitor also attenuated the blood glucose increment in the fed state, as compared with the vehicle group.
Drug discovery process many times encounters complex problems, which may be difficult to solve by human intelligence. Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are one of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies used for solving such complex problems. ANNs are widely used for primary virtual screening of compounds, quantitative structure activity relationship studies, receptor modeling, formulation development, pharmacokinetics and in all other processes involving complex mathematical modeling. Despite having such advanced technologies and enough understanding of biological systems, drug discovery is still a lengthy, expensive, difficult and inefficient process with low rate of new successful therapeutic discovery. In this paper, author has discussed the drug discovery science and ANN from very basic angle, which may be helpful to understand the application of ANN for drug discovery to improve efficiency.
Muñoz, Emir; Nováček, Vít; Vandenbussche, Pierre-Yves
We propose a new computational method for discovery of possible adverse drug reactions. The method consists of two key steps. First we use openly available resources to semi-automatically compile a consolidated data set describing drugs and their features (e.g., chemical structure, related targets, indications or known adverse reaction). The data set is represented as a graph, which allows for definition of graph-based similarity metrics. The metrics can then be used for propagating known adverse reactions between similar drugs, which leads to weighted (i.e., ranked) predictions of previously unknown links between drugs and their possible side effects. We implemented the proposed method in the form of a software prototype and evaluated our approach by discarding known drug-side effect links from our data and checking whether our prototype is able to re-discover them. As this is an evaluation methodology used by several recent state of the art approaches, we could compare our results with them. Our approach scored best in all widely used metrics like precision, recall or the ratio of relevant predictions present among the top ranked results. The improvement was as much as 125.79% over the next best approach. For instance, the F1 score was 0.5606 (66.35% better than the next best method). Most importantly, in 95.32% of cases, the top five results contain at least one, but typically three correctly predicted side effect (36.05% better than the second best approach). PMID:28269889
Shin, Woo Shik; Wu, Yuelin; Li, Jin; Yao, Jianzhong; Dong, Guoqiang; Zhang, Wen; Sham, Yuk Yin; Miao, Zhenyuan; Zhang, Wannian
The p53 and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathways play crucial roles in human cancer development. Simultaneous targeting of both pathways is an attractive therapeutic strategy against cancer. In this study, we report an antitumor molecule that bears a pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrazole scaffold and functions as an enantiomeric inhibitor against both the p53-MDM2 interaction and the NF-κB activation. It is a first-in-class enantiomeric inhibitor with dual efficacy for cancer therapy. Synergistic effect was observed in vitro and in vivo. Docking and molecular dynamics simulation studies further provided insights into the nature of stereoselectivity. PMID:25350970
Verma, Saroj; Prabhakar, Yenamandra S
The target based drug design approaches are a series of computational procedures, including visualization tools, to support the decision systems of drug design/discovery process. In the essence of biological targets shaping the potential lead/drug molecules, this review presents a comprehensive position of different components of target based drug design which include target identification, protein modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, binding/catalytic sites identification, docking, virtual screening, fragment based strategies, substructure treatment of targets in tackling drug resistance, in silico ADMET, structural vaccinology, etc along with the key issues involved therein and some well investigated case studies. The concepts and working of these procedures are critically discussed to arouse interest and to advance the drug research.
Schenk, Robyn L; Strasser, Andreas; Dewson, Grant
In 1988, the BCL-2 protein was found to promote cancer by limiting cell death rather than enhancing proliferation. This discovery set the wheels in motion for an almost 30 year journey involving many international research teams that has recently culminated in the approval for a drug, ABT-199/venetoclax/Venclexta that targets this protein in the treatment of cancer. This review will describe the long and winding path from the discovery of this protein and understanding the fundamental process of apoptosis that BCL-2 and its numerous homologues control, through to its exploitation as a drug target that is set to have significant benefit for cancer patients.
Geiss, Brian J; Stahla, Hillary; Hannah, Amanda M; Gari, Harmid H; Keenan, Susan M
Background Infection by mosquito-borne flaviviruses (family Flaviviridae) is increasing in prevalence worldwide. The vast global, social and economic impact due to the morbidity and mortality associated with the diseases caused by these viruses necessitates therapeutic intervention. There is currently no effective clinical treatment for any flaviviral infection. Therefore, there is a great need for the identification of novel inhibitors to target the virus lifecycle. Discussion In this article, we discuss structural and nonstructural viral proteins that are the focus of current target validation and drug discovery efforts. Both inhibition of essential enzymatic activities and disruption of necessary protein–protein interactions are considered. In addition, we address promising new targets for future research. Conclusion As our molecular and biochemical understanding of the flavivirus life cycle increases, the number of targets for antiviral therapeutic discovery grows and the possibility for novel drug discovery continues to strengthen. PMID:20165556
Cortés-Cros, Marta; Schmelzle, Tobias; Stucke, Volker M; Hofmann, Francesco
The advent of a variety of genomic, proteomic and other system-based scientific approaches has raised the expectations of identifying novel targets for oncology drug discovery. However, the complexity of human genome cancer alterations requires a careful analysis of the function of candidate targets identified by these efforts. The postulation and testing of a hypothesis that modulation of a protein or pathway will result in a therapeutic effect in a preclinical setting is crucial for target validation activities. In this chapter, we provide an overview on target identification and validation approaches to interrogate the functional and therapeutic relevance of a candidate cancer drug target as an essential step towards justifying the subsequent investment in drug discovery efforts.
Winkle, Richard F; Nagy, Judit M; Cass, Anthony Eg; Sharma, Sanjiv
Microfluidic methods have found applications in various disciplines. It has been predicted that the microfluidic technology would be useful in performing routine steps in drug discovery ranging from target identification to lead optimisation in which the number of compounds evaluated in this regard determines the success of combinatorial screening. The sheer size of the parameter space that can be explored often poses an enormous challenge. We set out to find how close we are towards the use of integrated matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) microfluidic systems for drug discovery. In this article we review the latest applications of microfluidic technology in the area of MALDI-MS and drug discovery. Our literature survey revealed microfluidic technologies-based approaches for various stages of drug discovery; however, they are in still in developmental stages. Furthermore, we speculate on how these technologies could be used in the future.
Murakami, Yoichi; Tripathi, Lokesh P; Prathipati, Philip; Mizuguchi, Kenji
Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are vital to maintaining cellular homeostasis. Several PPI dysregulations have been implicated in the etiology of various diseases and hence PPIs have emerged as promising targets for drug discovery. Surface residues and hotspot residues at the interface of PPIs form the core regions, which play a key role in modulating cellular processes such as signal transduction and are used as starting points for drug design. In this review, we briefly discuss how PPI networks (PPINs) inferred from experimentally characterized PPI data have been utilized for knowledge discovery and how in silico approaches to PPI characterization can contribute to PPIN-based biological research. Next, we describe the principles of in silico PPI prediction and survey the existing PPI and PPI site prediction servers that are useful for drug discovery. Finally, we discuss the potential of in silico PPI prediction in drug discovery.
Gao, Guangxun; Chen, Liang; Huang, Chuanshu
Discovery of novel cancer chemotherapeutics focuses on screening and identifying compounds that can target 'cancer-specific' biological processes while causing minimal toxicity to non-tumor cells. Alternatively, model organisms with highly conserved cancer-related cellular processes relative to human cells may offer new opportunities for anticancer drug discovery when combined with chemical screening. Some organisms used for chemotherapeutic discovery include yeast, Drosophila, and zebrafish which are similar in important ways relevant to cancer study but offer distinct advantages as well. Here, we describe these model attributes and the rationale for using them in cancer drug screening research.
Loregian, Arianna; Palù, Giorgio
While the pharmaceutical industry is facing highly challenging times, the academic drug discovery sector has the potential to contribute meaningfully to the discovery of novel drug targets and to the development of new mode-of-action therapeutics against a range of diseases, including rare and neglected diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
May, Jonathan P; Li, Shyh-Dar
Specific delivery of a drug to a target site is a major goal of drug delivery research. Using temperature-sensitive liposomes (TSLs) is one way to achieve this; the liposome acts as a protective carrier, allowing increased drug to flow through the bloodstream by minimizing clearance and non-specific uptake. On reaching microvessels within a heated tumor, the drug is released and quickly penetrates. A major advance in the field is ThermoDox® (Celsion), demonstrating significant improvements to the drug release rates and drug uptake in heated tumors (∼ 41°C). Most recently, magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) has been combined with TSL drug delivery to provide localized chemotherapy with simultaneous quantification of drug release within the tumor. In this article the field of hyperthermia-induced drug delivery is discussed, with an emphasis on the development of TSLs and their combination with hyperthermia (both mild and ablative) in cancer therapy. State-of-the-art image-guided heating technologies used with this combination strategy will also be presented, with examples of real-time monitoring of drug delivery and prediction of efficacy. The specific delivery of drugs by combining hyperthermia with TSLs is showing great promise in the clinic and its potential will be even greater as the use of image-guided focused ultrasound becomes more widespread - a technique capable of penetrating deep within the body to heat a specific area with improved control. In conjunction with this, it is anticipated that multifunctional TSLs will be a major topic of study in this field.
Kang, CongBao; Keller, Thomas H; Luo, Dahai
The recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has caused global concern due to its link to severe damage to the brain development of foetuses and neuronal complications in adult patients. A worldwide research effort has been undertaken to identify effective and safe treatment and vaccination options. Among the proposed viral and host components, the viral NS2B-NS3 protease represents an attractive drug target due to its essential role in the virus life cycle. Here, we outline recent progress in studies on the Zika protease. Biochemical, biophysical, and structural studies on different protease constructs provide new insight into the structure and activity of the protease. The unlinked construct displays higher enzymatic activity and better mimics the native state of the enzyme and therefore is better suited for drug discovery. Furthermore, the structure of the free enzyme adopts a closed conformation and a preformed active site. The availability of a lead fragment hit and peptide inhibitors, as well as the attainability of soakable crystals, suggest that the unlinked construct is a promising tool for drug discovery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Natural products provide a successful supply of new chemical entities (NCEs) for drug discovery to treat human diseases. Approximately half of the NCEs are based on natural products and their derivatives. Notably, marine natural products, a largely untapped resource, have contributed to drug discovery and development with eight drugs or cosmeceuticals approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency, and ten candidates undergoing clinical trials. Collaborative efforts from drug developers, biologists, organic, medicinal, and natural product chemists have elevated drug discoveries to new levels. These efforts are expected to continue to improve the efficiency of natural product-based drugs. Marinopyrroles are examined here as a case study for potential anticancer and antibiotic agents. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Buller, Fabian; Mannocci, Luca; Scheuermann, Jörg; Neri, Dario
DNA-encoded chemical libraries represent a novel avenue for the facile discovery of small molecule ligands against target proteins of biological or pharmaceutical importance. Library members consist of small molecules covalently attached to unique DNA fragments that serve as amplifiable identification barcodes. This encoding allows the in vitro selection of ligands at subpicomolar concentrations from large library populations by affinity capture on a target protein of interest, in analogy to established technologies for the selection of binding polypeptides (e.g., antibodies). Different library formats have been explored by various groups, allowing the construction of chemical libraries comprising up to millions of DNA-encoded compounds. Libraries before and after selection have been characterized by PCR amplification of the DNA codes and subsequent relative quantification of library members using high-throughput sequencing. The most enriched compounds have then been further analyzed in biological assays, in the presence or in the absence of linked DNA. This article reviews experimental strategies used for the construction of DNA-encoded chemical libraries, revealing how selection, decoding, and hit validation technologies have been used for drug discovery programs.
Jubb, Harry; Higueruelo, Alicia P; Winter, Anja; Blundell, Tom L
Although targeting protein-protein interfaces of regulatory multiprotein complexes has become a significant focus in drug discovery, it continues to pose major challenges. Most interfaces would be classed as 'undruggable' by conventional analyses, as they tend to be large, flat and featureless. Over the past decade, encouragement has come from the discovery of hotspots that contribute much of the free energy of interaction, and this has led to the development of tethering methods that target small molecules to these sites, often inducing adaptive changes. Equally important has been the recognition that many protein-protein interactions involve a continuous epitope of one partner and a well-defined groove or series of specific small pockets. These observations have stimulated the development of stapled α-helical peptides and other proteomimetic approaches. They have also led to the realisation that fragments might gain low-affinity 'footholds' on some protein-protein interfaces, and that these fragments might be elaborated to useful modulators of the interactions.
1Clinical pharmacology is a key activity in drug discovery and drug development with much to contribute to drug innovation. 2However, very few clinical pharmacologists choose the pharmaceutical industry as their ultimate career. 3Medical alumni of the RPMS clinical pharmacology department illustrate this; only four industrial careers vs thirty professors of clinical pharmacology or medicine. PMID:8807154
Haefliger, Benjamin; Prochazka, Laura; Angelici, Bartolomeo; Benenson, Yaakov
Development of drug discovery assays that combine high content with throughput is challenging. Information-processing gene networks can address this challenge by integrating multiple potential targets of drug candidates' activities into a small number of informative readouts, reporting simultaneously on specific and non-specific effects. Here we show a family of networks implementing this concept in a cell-based drug discovery assay for miRNA drug targets. The networks comprise multiple modules reporting on specific effects towards an intended miRNA target, together with non-specific effects on gene expression, off-target miRNAs and RNA interference pathway. We validate the assays using known perturbations of on- and off-target miRNAs, and evaluate an ∼700 compound library in an automated screen with a follow-up on specific and non-specific hits. We further customize and validate assays for additional drug targets and non-specific inputs. Our study offers a novel framework for precision drug discovery assays applicable to diverse target families. PMID:26880188
Galizzi, Jean-Pierre; Lockhart, Brian Paul; Bril, Antoine
Translational research is a continuum between clinical and basic research where the patient is the center of the research process. It brings clinical research to a starting point for the drug discovery process, permitting the generation of a more robust pathophysiological hypothesis essential for a better selection of drug targets and candidate optimization. It also establishes the basis of early proof for clinical concept studies, preferably in phase I, for which biomarkers and surrogate endpoints can often be used. Systems biology is a prerequisite approach to translational research where technologies and expertise are integrated and articulated to support efficient and productive realization of this concept. The first component of systems biology relies on omics-based technologies and integrates the changes in variables, such as genes, proteins and metabolites, into networks that are responsible for an organism's normal and diseased state. The second component of systems biology is in the domain of computational methods, where simulation and modeling create hypotheses of signaling pathways, transcription networks, physiological processes or even cell- or organism-based models. The simulations aim to show the origin of perturbations of the system that lead to pathological states and what treatment could be achieved to ameliorate or normalize the system. This review discusses how translational research and systems biology together could improve global understanding of drug targets, suggest new targets and approaches for therapeutics, and provide a deeper understanding of drug effects. Taken together, these types of analyses can lead to new therapeutic options while improving the safety and efficacy of new and existing medications.
Hao, Ge-Fei; Yang, Guang-Fu; Zhan, Chang-Guo
Drug resistance has become one of the biggest challenges in drug discovery and/or development and has attracted great research interests worldwide. During the past decade, computational strategies have been developed to predict target mutation-induced drug resistance. Meanwhile, various molecular design strategies, including targeting protein backbone, targeting highly conserved residues and dual/multiple targeting, have been used to design novel inhibitors for combating the drug resistance. In this article we review recent advances in development of computational methods for target mutation-induced drug resistance prediction and strategies for rational design of novel inhibitors that could be effective against the possible drug-resistant mutants of the target.
Salavert, Francisco; Hidago, Marta R.; Amadoz, Alicia; Çubuk, Cankut; Medina, Ignacio; Crespo, Daniel; Carbonell-Caballero, Jose; Dopazo, Joaquín
The discovery of actionable targets is crucial for targeted therapies and is also a constituent part of the drug discovery process. The success of an intervention over a target depends critically on its contribution, within the complex network of gene interactions, to the cellular processes responsible for disease progression or therapeutic response. Here we present PathAct, a web server that predicts the effect that interventions over genes (inhibitions or activations that simulate knock-outs, drug treatments or over-expressions) can have over signal transmission within signaling pathways and, ultimately, over the cell functionalities triggered by them. PathAct implements an advanced graphical interface that provides a unique interactive working environment in which the suitability of potentially actionable genes, that could eventually become drug targets for personalized or individualized therapies, can be easily tested. The PathAct tool can be found at: http://pathact.babelomics.org. PMID:27137885
Redinbo, M R; Bencharit, S; Potter, P M
Human carboxylesterase 1 (hCE1) is a serine esterase involved in both drug metabolism and activation, as well as other biological processes. hCE1 catalyses the hydrolysis of heroin and cocaine, and the transesterification of cocaine in the presence of ethanol to the toxic metabolite cocaethylene. We have determined the crystal structures of hCE1 in complex with either the cocaine analogue homatropine or the heroin analogue naloxone. These are the first structures of a human carboxylesterase, and they provide details about narcotic metabolism in humans. hCE1's active site contains rigid and flexible pockets, explaining the enzyme's ability to act both specifically and promiscuously. hCE1 has also been reported to contain cholesteryl ester hydrolase, fatty acyl-CoA hydrolase and acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase activities, and thus appears to be involved in cholesterol metabolism. Since the enzyme may be useful as a treatment for cocaine overdose, and may afford protection against chemical weapons like Sarin, Soman and VX gas, hCE1 could serve as both a drug and a drug target. Selective hCE1 inhibitors targeted to several sites on the enzyme may also pave the way for novel clinical tools to manage cholesterol homoeostasis in humans.
Bhardwaj, Anshu; Scaria, Vinod; Raghava, Gajendra Pal Singh; Lynn, Andrew Michael; Chandra, Nagasuma; Banerjee, Sulagna; Raghunandanan, Muthukurussi V; Pandey, Vikas; Taneja, Bhupesh; Yadav, Jyoti; Dash, Debasis; Bhattacharya, Jaijit; Misra, Amit; Kumar, Anil; Ramachandran, Srinivasan; Thomas, Zakir; Brahmachari, Samir K
It is being realized that the traditional closed-door and market driven approaches for drug discovery may not be the best suited model for the diseases of the developing world such as tuberculosis and malaria, because most patients suffering from these diseases have poor paying capacity. To ensure that new drugs are created for patients suffering from these diseases, it is necessary to formulate an alternate paradigm of drug discovery process. The current model constrained by limitations for collaboration and for sharing of resources with confidentiality hampers the opportunities for bringing expertise from diverse fields. These limitations hinder the possibilities of lowering the cost of drug discovery. The Open Source Drug Discovery project initiated by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India has adopted an open source model to power wide participation across geographical borders. Open Source Drug Discovery emphasizes integrative science through collaboration, open-sharing, taking up multi-faceted approaches and accruing benefits from advances on different fronts of new drug discovery. Because the open source model is based on community participation, it has the potential to self-sustain continuous development by generating a storehouse of alternatives towards continued pursuit for new drug discovery. Since the inventions are community generated, the new chemical entities developed by Open Source Drug Discovery will be taken up for clinical trial in a non-exclusive manner by participation of multiple companies with majority funding from Open Source Drug Discovery. This will ensure availability of drugs through a lower cost community driven drug discovery process for diseases afflicting people with poor paying capacity. Hopefully what LINUX the World Wide Web have done for the information technology, Open Source Drug Discovery will do for drug discovery. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Huang, Wenkang; Nussinov, Ruth; Zhang, Jian
Allostery is an intrinsic phenomenon of biological macromolecules involving regulation and/or signal transduction induced by a ligand binding to an allosteric site distinct from a molecule's active site. Allosteric drugs are currently receiving increased attention in drug discovery because drugs that target allosteric sites can provide important advantages over the corresponding orthosteric drugs including specific subtype selectivity within receptor families. Consequently, targeting allosteric sites, instead of orthosteric sites, can reduce drug-related side effects and toxicity. On the down side, allosteric drug discovery can be more challenging than traditional orthosteric drug discovery due to difficulties associated with determining the locations of allosteric sites and designing drugs based on these sites and the need for the allosteric effects to propagate through the structure, reach the ligand binding site and elicit a conformational change. In this study, we present computational tools ranging from the identification of potential allosteric sites to the design of "allosteric-like" modulator libraries. These tools may be particularly useful for allosteric drug discovery.
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura, and Youyou Tu for the discovery of avermectins and artemisinin, respectively, therapies that revolutionized the treatment of devastating parasite diseases. With the recent technological advances, a New Golden Age of natural products drug discovery is dawning. PMID:26638061
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to William C. Campbell, Satoshi Omura, and Youyou Tu for the discovery of avermectins and artemisinin, respectively, therapies that revolutionized the treatment of devastating parasite diseases. With the recent technological advances, a New Golden Age of natural products drug discovery is dawning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Van Dam, Debby; De Deyn, Peter Paul
With increasing feasibility of predicting conversion of mild cognitive impairment to dementia based on biomarker profiling, the urgent need for efficacious disease-modifying compounds has become even more critical. Despite intensive research, underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain insufficiently documented for purposeful target discovery. Translational research based on valid animal models may aid in alleviating some of the unmet needs in the current Alzheimer's disease pharmaceutical market, which includes disease-modification, increased efficacy and safety, reduction of the number of treatment unresponsive patients and patient compliance. The development and phenotyping of animal models is indeed essential in Alzheimer's disease-related research as valid models enable the appraisal of early pathological processes – which are often not accessible in patients, and subsequent target discovery and evaluation. This review paper summarizes and critically evaluates currently available animal models, and discusses their value to the Alzheimer drug discovery pipeline. Models dealt with include spontaneous models in various species, including senescence-accelerated mice, chemical and lesion-induced rodent models, and genetically modified models developed in Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, Danio rerio and rodents. Although highly valid animal models exist, none of the currently available models recapitulates all aspects of human Alzheimer's disease, and one should always be aware of the potential dangers of uncritical extrapolating from model organisms to a human condition that takes decades to develop and mainly involves higher cognitive functions. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Translational Neuropharmacology. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.164.issue-4 PMID:21371009
Drug discovery today is impossible without sophisticated modeling and computation. In this review we touch on previous advances in computational biology and by tracing the steps involved in pharmaceutical development, we explore a range of novel, high value opportunities for computational innovation in modeling the biological process of disease and the social process of drug discovery. These opportunities include text mining for new drug leads, modeling molecular pathways and predicting the efficacy of drug cocktails, analyzing genetic overlap between diseases and predicting alternative drug use. Computation can also be used to model research teams and innovative regions and to estimate the value of academy-industry ties for scientific and human benefit. Attention to these opportunities could promise punctuated advance, and will complement the well-established computational work on which drug discovery currently relies. PMID:19674801