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Sample records for drug discovery targets

  1. Target deconvolution strategies in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Terstappen, Georg C; Schlüpen, Christina; Raggiaschi, Roberto; Gaviraghi, Giovanni

    2007-11-01

    Recognition of some of the limitations of target-based drug discovery has recently led to the renaissance of a more holistic approach in which complex biological systems are investigated for phenotypic changes upon exposure to small molecules. The subsequent identification of the molecular targets that underlie an observed phenotypic response--termed target deconvolution--is an important aspect of current drug discovery, as knowledge of the molecular targets will greatly aid drug development. Here, the broad panel of experimental strategies that can be applied to target deconvolution is critically reviewed.

  2. Targeting autophagic pathways for cancer drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bo; Bao, Jin-Ku; Yang, Jin-Ming; Cheng, Yan

    2013-01-01

    Autophagy, an evolutionarily conserved lysosomal degradation process, has drawn an increasing amount of attention in recent years for its role in a variety of human diseases, such as cancer. Notably, autophagy plays an important role in regulating several survival and death signaling pathways that determine cell fate in cancer. To date, substantial evidence has demonstrated that some key autophagic mediators, such as autophagy-related genes (ATGs), PI3K, mTOR, p53, and Beclin-1, may play crucial roles in modulating autophagic activity in cancer initiation and progression. Because autophagy-modulating agents such as rapamycin and chloroquine have already been used clinically to treat cancer, it is conceivable that targeting autophagic pathways may provide a new opportunity for discovery and development of more novel cancer therapeutics. With a deeper understanding of the regulatory mechanisms governing autophagy, we will have a better opportunity to facilitate the exploitation of autophagy as a target for therapeutic intervention in cancer. This review discusses the current status of targeting autophagic pathways as a potential cancer therapy. PMID:22835386

  3. Predictive in silico off-target profiling in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Friedemann; Matter, Hans; Hessler, Gerhard; Czich, Andreas

    2014-03-01

    Drug action can be rationalized as interaction of a molecule with proteins in a regulatory network of targets from a specific biological system. Both drug and side effects are often governed by interaction of the drug molecule with many, often unrelated, targets. Accordingly, arrays of protein-ligand interaction data from numerous in vitro profiling assays today provide growing evidence of polypharmacological drug interactions, even for marketed drugs. In vitro off-target profiling has therefore become an important tool in early drug discovery to learn about potential off-target liabilities, which are sometimes beneficial, but more often safety relevant. The rapidly developing field of in silico profiling approaches is complementing in vitro profiling. These approaches capitalize from large amounts of biochemical data from multiple sources to be exploited for optimizing undesirable side effects in pharmaceutical research. Therefore, current in silico profiling models are nowadays perceived as valuable tools in drug discovery, and promise a platform to support optimally informed decisions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, B; Butte, AJ

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Leveraging big data to transform target selection and drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Butte, AJ

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Aiming drug discovery at lysophosphatidic acid targets

    PubMed Central

    Tigyi, Gabor

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Large-scale Direct Targeting for Drug Repositioning and Discovery.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Chunli; Guo, Zihu; Huang, Chao; Wu, Ziyin; Li, Yan; Chen, Xuetong; Fu, Yingxue; Ru, Jinlong; Ali Shar, Piar; Wang, Yuan; Wang, Yonghua

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  10. Large-scale Direct Targeting for Drug Repositioning and Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Chunli; Guo, Zihu; Huang, Chao; Wu, Ziyin; Li, Yan; Chen, Xuetong; Fu, Yingxue; Ru, Jinlong; Ali Shar, Piar; Wang, Yuan; Wang, Yonghua

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiansen; Gao, Zhaobing; Yang, Huaiyu

    2016-01-01

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

  12. In vivo drug target discovery: identifying the best targets from the genome.

    PubMed

    Walke, D W; Han, C; Shaw, J; Wann, E; Zambrowicz, B; Sands, A

    2001-12-01

    A vast number of genes of unknown function threaten to clog drug discovery pipelines. To develop therapeutic products from novel genomic targets, it will be necessary to correlate biology with gene sequence information. Industrialized mouse reverse genetics is being used to determine gene function in the context of mammalian physiology and to identify the best targets for drug development.

  13. Cancer Metabolism: New Validated Targets for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Sotgia, Federica; Martinez-Outschoorn, Ubaldo E.; Lisanti, Michael P.

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Mdluli, Khisimuzi; Kaneko, Takushi; Upton, Anna

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Novel bone-targeted Src tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Shakespeare, William C; Metcalf, Chester A; Wang, Yihan; Sundaramoorthi, Raji; Keenan, Terence; Weigele, Manfred; Bohacek, Regine S; Dalgarno, David C; Sawyer, Tomi K

    2003-09-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Kissin, Igor

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kissin, Igor

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kissin, Igor

    2015-01-01

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

  19. The Role of Target Binding Kinetics in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Guo, Dong; Heitman, Laura H; IJzerman, Adriaan P

    2015-11-01

    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.

  20. Diverse therapeutic targets and biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias: report on the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation 2012 International Conference on Alzheimer's Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation's 13th International Conference on Alzheimer's Drug Discovery was held on 10-11 September 2012 in Jersey City, NJ, USA. This meeting report provides an overview of Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation-funded programs, ranging from novel biomarkers to accelerate clinical development to drug-discovery programs with a focus on targets related to neuroprotection, mitochondrial function, apolipoprotein E and vascular biology. PMID:23374760

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Voltage gated sodium channels as drug discovery targets.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Voltage gated sodium channels as drug discovery targets

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Advancing cancer drug discovery towards more agile development of targeted combination therapies.

    PubMed

    Carragher, Neil O; Unciti-Broceta, Asier; Cameron, David A

    2012-01-01

    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.

  5. Approaches of targeting Rho GTPases in cancer drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yuan; Zheng, Yi

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Drug Discovery Targeting Cell Division Proteins, Microtubules and FtsZ

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Kunal; Awasthi, Divya; Vineberg, Jacob G.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24680057

  7. Glycosomal targets for anti-trypanosomatid drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Barros-Alvarez, X; Gualdrón-López, M; Acosta, H; Cáceres, A J; Graminha, M A S; Michels, P A M; Concepción, J L; Quiñones, W

    2014-01-01

    Glycosomes are peroxisome-related organelles found in all kinetoplastid protists, including the human pathogenic species of the family Trypanosomatidae: Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania spp. Glycosomes are unique in containing the majority of the glycolytic/gluconeogenic enzymes, but they also possess enzymes of several other important catabolic and anabolic pathways. The different metabolic processes are connected by shared cofactors and some metabolic intermediates, and their relative importance differs between the parasites or their distinct lifecycle stages, dependent on the environmental conditions encountered. By genetic or chemical means, a variety of glycosomal enzymes participating in different processes have been validated as drug targets. For several of these enzymes, as well as others that are likely crucial for proliferation, viability or virulence of the parasites, inhibitors have been obtained by different approaches such as compound libraries screening or design and synthesis. The efficacy and selectivity of some initially obtained inhibitors of parasite enzymes were further optimized by structure-activity relationship analysis, using available protein crystal structures. Several of the inhibitors cause growth inhibition of the clinically relevant stages of one or more parasitic trypanosomatid species and in some cases exert therapeutic effects in infected animals. The integrity of glycosomes and proper compartmentalization of at least several matrix enzymes is also crucial for the viability of the parasites. Therefore, proteins involved in the assembly of the organelles and transmembrane passage of substrates and products of glycosomal metabolism offer also promise as drug targets. Natural products with trypanocidal activity by affecting glycosomal integrity have been reported.

  8. System-level multi-target drug discovery from natural products with applications to cardiovascular diseases.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Chunli; Wang, Jinan; Liu, Jianling; Pei, Mengjie; Huang, Chao; Wang, Yonghua

    2014-08-01

    The term systems pharmacology describes a field of study that uses computational and experimental approaches to broaden the view of drug actions rooted in molecular interactions and advance the process of drug discovery. The aim of this work is to stick out the role that the systems pharmacology plays across the multi-target drug discovery from natural products for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Firstly, based on network pharmacology methods, we reconstructed the drug-target and target-target networks to determine the putative protein target set of multi-target drugs for CVDs treatment. Secondly, we reintegrated a compound dataset of natural products and then obtained a multi-target compounds subset by virtual-screening process. Thirdly, a drug-likeness evaluation was applied to find the ADME-favorable compounds in this subset. Finally, we conducted in vitro experiments to evaluate the reliability of the selected chemicals and targets. We found that four of the five randomly selected natural molecules can effectively act on the target set for CVDs, indicating the reasonability of our systems-based method. This strategy may serve as a new model for multi-target drug discovery of complex diseases.

  9. Single-cell transcriptomics for drug target discovery.

    PubMed

    Spaethling, Jennifer M; Eberwine, James H

    2013-10-01

    Single cell sequencing is currently in its relative infancy although an unprecedented amount of information is already being generated. These techniques are providing new insight into intercellular variability as well as identification of previously unrecognized drug targets. As more groups are gaining an interest in this fruitful technique, new sample preparation techniques, sequencing platforms, and bioinformatics tools are being developed which only improve the quantity and quality of data generated in these studies. Great advancements in harvest (in vivo pipette), sample preparation, and sequencing (Illumina HiSeq 2500/MiSeq, Ion Torrent PGM, Pacific Biosciences RS) are allowing for previously untestable questions to be answered and for expanded accessibility of these technologies.

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

    PubMed

    Ito, Takumi; Ando, Hideki; Handa, Hiroshi

    2016-05-01

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

  11. New strategies and paradigm for drug target discovery: a special focus on infectious diseases tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis and gastritis.

    PubMed

    Neelapu, Nageswara R R; Srimath-Tirumala-Peddinti, Ravi C P K; Nammi, Deepthi; Pasupuleti, Amita C M

    2013-10-01

    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.

  12. Halogen bond: its role beyond drug-target binding affinity for drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhijian; Yang, Zhuo; Liu, Yingtao; Lu, Yunxiang; Chen, Kaixian; Zhu, Weiliang

    2014-01-27

    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.

  13. Discovery of novel drug targets and their functions using phenotypic screening of natural products.

    PubMed

    Chang, Junghwa; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2016-03-01

    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.

  14. Systems biology-embedded target validation: improving efficacy in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Vandamme, Drieke; Minke, Benedikt A; Fitzmaurice, William; Kholodenko, Boris N; Kolch, Walter

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Patel, Hershna; Kukol, Andreas

    2016-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Warner, Digby F; Mizrahi, Valerie

    2012-06-01

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

  18. Protein targets for structure-based anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Lou, Zhiyong; Zhang, Xiaoxue

    2010-05-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which belongs to the genus Mycobacterium, is the pathogenic agent for most tuberculosis (TB). As TB remains one of the most rampant infectious diseases, causing morbidity and death with emergence of multi-drug-resistant and extensively-drug-resistant forms, it is urgent to identify new drugs with novel targets to ensure future therapeutic success. In this regards, the structural genomics of M. tuberculosis provides important information to identify potential targets, perform biochemical assays, determine crystal structures in complex with potential inhibitor(s), reveal the key sites/residues for biological activity, and thus validate drug targets and discover novel drugs. In this review, we will discuss the recent progress on novel targets for structure-based anti-M. tuberculosis drug discovery.

  19. Drug discovery in academia.

    PubMed

    Shamas-Din, Aisha; Schimmer, Aaron D

    2015-08-01

    Participation of academic centers in aspects of drug discovery and development beyond target identification and clinical trials is rapidly increasing. Yet many academic drug discovery projects continue to stall at the level of chemical probes, and they infrequently progress to drugs suitable for clinical trials. This gap poses a major hurdle for academic groups engaged in drug discovery. A number of approaches have been pursued to overcome this gap, including stopping at the production of high-quality chemical probes, establishing the resources in-house to advance select projects toward clinical trials, partnering with not-for-profit groups to bring the necessary resources and expertise to develop probes into drugs, and drug repurposing, whereby known drugs are advanced into clinical trials for new indications. In this review, we consider the role of academia in anticancer drug discovery and development, as well as the strategies used by academic groups to overcome barriers in this process.

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

    PubMed

    Lawson, Alastair D G

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lawson, Alastair D G

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Norovirus: targets and tools in antiviral drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Rocha-Pereira, Joana; Neyts, Johan; Jochmans, Dirk

    2014-09-01

    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. PMID:24893351

  3. Transporter-mediated tissue targeting of therapeutic molecules in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jingye; Xu, Jianfeng; Huang, Zheng; Wang, Minmin

    2015-03-01

    Tissue concentrations of endogenous chemicals and nutrients are in large part regulated by membrane transporters through their substrate specificity and differential tissue distributions. These transporters also play a key role in the disposition of therapeutic agents thus affecting their efficacy and safety profile. A transporter-mediated tissue targeting strategy, where the structural features recognized by the transporters are incorporated into the therapeutic molecule, is emerging as an effective approach in drug discovery. In this digest, we review this phenomenon and highlight recent cases in the design of liver and kidney targeted drug molecules.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Target deconvolution of bioactive small molecules: the heart of chemical biology and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hye Jin; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2015-09-01

    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.

  7. Targeting stem cell signaling pathways for drug discovery: advances in the Notch and Wnt pathways.

    PubMed

    An, Songzhu Michael; Ding, Qiang; Zhang, Jie; Xie, JingYi; Li, LingSong

    2014-06-01

    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.

  8. Cancer in silico drug discovery: a systems biology tool for identifying candidate drugs to target specific molecular tumor subtypes.

    PubMed

    San Lucas, F Anthony; Fowler, Jerry; Chang, Kyle; Kopetz, Scott; Vilar, Eduardo; Scheet, Paul

    2014-12-01

    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.

  9. Toxins and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

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

  10. Reprofiled drug targets ancient protozoans: drug discovery for parasitic diarrheal diseases.

    PubMed

    Debnath, Anjan; Ndao, Momar; Reed, Sharon L

    2013-01-01

    Recently, we developed a novel automated, high throughput screening (HTS) methodology for the anaerobic intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica. We validated this HTS platform by screening a chemical library containing US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs and bioactive compounds. We identified an FDA-approved drug, auranofin, as most active against E. histolytica both in vitro and in vivo. Our cell culture and animal studies indicated that thioredoxin reductase, an enzyme involved in reactive oxygen species detoxification, was the target for auranofin in E. histolytica. Here, we discuss the rationale for drug development for three parasites which are major causes of diarrhea worldwide, E. histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum and extend our current finding of antiparasitic activity of auranofin to Entamoeba cysts, G. lamblia and C. parvum. These studies support the use of HTS assays and reprofiling FDA-approved drugs for new therapy for neglected tropical diseases.

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

    PubMed

    Differding, Edmond

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Ayurvedic drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Balachandran, Premalatha; Govindarajan, Rajgopal

    2007-12-01

    Ayurveda is a major traditional system of Indian medicine that is still being successfully used in many countries. Recapitulation and adaptation of the older science to modern drug discovery processes can bring renewed interest to the pharmaceutical world and offer unique therapeutic solutions for a wide range of human disorders. Eventhough time-tested evidences vouch immense therapeutic benefits for ayurvedic herbs and formulations, several important issues are required to be resolved for successful implementation of ayurvedic principles to present drug discovery methodologies. Additionally, clinical examination in the extent of efficacy, safety and drug interactions of newly developed ayurvedic drugs and formulations are required to be carefully evaluated. Ayurvedic experts suggest a reverse-pharmacology approach focusing on the potential targets for which ayurvedic herbs and herbal products could bring tremendous leads to ayurvedic drug discovery. Although several novel leads and drug molecules have already been discovered from ayurvedic medicinal herbs, further scientific explorations in this arena along with customization of present technologies to ayurvedic drug manufacturing principles would greatly facilitate a standardized ayurvedic drug discovery.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 2013 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship: Drug Discovery Targeting Allosteric Sites†

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Candidiasis drug discovery and development: new approaches targeting virulence for discovering and identifying new drugs

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, Christopher G.; Lopez-Ribot, Jose L.

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. Discovery of novel vaccine candidates and drug targets against visceral leishmaniasis using proteomics and transcriptomics.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Shraddha; Kumar, Awanish; Samant, Mukesh; Singh, Neeloo; Dube, Anuradha

    2008-11-01

    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.

  19. DprE1--from the discovery to the promising tuberculosis drug target.

    PubMed

    Mikusová, Katarína; Makarov, Vadim; Neres, João

    2014-01-01

    Several groups working in the field of the development of new antituberculosis drugs have recently reported active compounds targeting mycobacterial enzyme DprE1. Along with its counterpart, DprE2, it catalyses a unique epimerization reaction resulting in the synthesis of decaprenylphosphoryl arabinose, the single donor of arabinosyl residues for the build-up of arabinans, fundamental components of the mycobacterial cell wall. This review presents the historical background leading to the discovery of DprE1, focusing on the biochemical and structural characterization of this important emerging target and introducing the molecules acting on DprE1 including the development of the most successful series--the benzothiazinones, currently in late pre-clinical development, which turned to be suicide inhibitors of DprE1.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Optogenetics enlightens neuroscience drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Song, Chenchen; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wen Hwa

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lipinski, Christopher A

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Jia; Gan, Jianhua; Huang, Zhen

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Drug discovery FAQs: workflows for answering multidomain drug discovery questions.

    PubMed

    Chichester, Christine; Digles, Daniela; Siebes, Ronald; Loizou, Antonis; Groth, Paul; Harland, Lee

    2015-04-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary inspirations for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong-Yu; Chen, Ling-Ling; Li, Xue-Juan; Zhang, Jian

    2010-10-01

    Conceptual innovations are needed to address the challenge of 'more investments, fewer drugs' in the pharmaceutical industry. Since the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin 150 years ago, evolution has been a central concept in biology. In this article, we show that evolutionary concepts are also helpful to streamline the drug-discovery pipeline through facilitating the discovery of targets and drug candidates. Furthermore, the antioxidant paradox can be addressed by an evolutionary methodology. Through examining the evolved biological roles of natural polyphenols (which dominate current antioxidant drug discovery), we reveal that polyphenols (particularly flavonoids) are not evolved for scavenging free radicals. This finding provides new clues to understanding why the strong in vitro antioxidant activities of polyphenols cannot be translated into in vivo effects. Polyphenols have evolved a superior ability to bind various proteins, so we also argue that they are good starting points for multi-target drugs. PMID:20724009

  10. Evolutionary inspirations for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong-Yu; Chen, Ling-Ling; Li, Xue-Juan; Zhang, Jian

    2010-10-01

    Conceptual innovations are needed to address the challenge of 'more investments, fewer drugs' in the pharmaceutical industry. Since the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin 150 years ago, evolution has been a central concept in biology. In this article, we show that evolutionary concepts are also helpful to streamline the drug-discovery pipeline through facilitating the discovery of targets and drug candidates. Furthermore, the antioxidant paradox can be addressed by an evolutionary methodology. Through examining the evolved biological roles of natural polyphenols (which dominate current antioxidant drug discovery), we reveal that polyphenols (particularly flavonoids) are not evolved for scavenging free radicals. This finding provides new clues to understanding why the strong in vitro antioxidant activities of polyphenols cannot be translated into in vivo effects. Polyphenols have evolved a superior ability to bind various proteins, so we also argue that they are good starting points for multi-target drugs.

  11. Drug discovery: selecting the optimal approach.

    PubMed

    Sams-Dodd, Frank

    2006-05-01

    The target-based drug discovery approach has for the past 10-15 years been the dominating drug discovery paradigm. However, within the past few years, the commercial value of novel targets in licensing deals has fallen dramatically, reflecting that the probability of reaching a clinical drug candidate for a novel target is very low. This has naturally led to questions regarding the success of target-based drug discovery and, more importantly, a search for alternatives. This paper evaluates the strengths and limitations of the main drug discovery approaches, and proposes a novel approach that could offer advantages for the identification of disease-modifying treatments.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Discovery of cancer drug targets by CRISPR-Cas9 screening of protein domains

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Junwei; Wang, Eric; Milazzo, Joseph P.; Wang, Zhihua; Kinney, Justin B.; Vakoc, Christopher R.

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology holds great promise for discovering therapeutic targets in cancer and other diseases. Current screening strategies target CRISPR-induced mutations to the 5’ exons of candidate genes1–5, 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 mutagenesis to exons encoding functional protein domains. This generates a higher proportion of null mutations and substantially increases the potency of negative selection. We show that the magnitude of negative selection reports 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. PMID:25961408

  15. Histone lysine methyltransferases as anti-cancer targets for drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qing; Wang, Ming-wei

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Antibiotic drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Mitigating risk in academic preclinical drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Mitigating risk in academic preclinical drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Trends in Modern Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Eder, Jörg; Herrling, Paul L

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Trends in Modern Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Eder, Jörg; Herrling, Paul L

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Drug discovery in jeopardy

    PubMed Central

    Cuatrecasas, Pedro

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

    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." PMID:25878363

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

    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."

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Chemical Genomics-Based Antifungal Drug Discovery: Targeting Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) Precursor Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Mann, Paul A; McLellan, Catherine A; Koseoglu, Sandra; Si, Qian; Kuzmin, Elena; Flattery, Amy; Harris, Guy; Sher, Xinwei; Murgolo, Nicholas; Wang, Hao; Devito, Kristine; de Pedro, Nuria; Genilloud, Olga; Kahn, Jennifer Nielsen; Jiang, Bo; Costanzo, Michael; Boone, Charlie; Garlisi, Charles G; Lindquist, Susan; Roemer, Terry

    2015-01-01

    Steadily increasing antifungal drug resistance and persistent high rates of fungal-associated mortality highlight the dire need for the development of novel antifungals. Characterization of inhibitors of one enzyme in the GPI anchor pathway, Gwt1, has generated interest in the exploration of targets in this pathway for further study. Utilizing a chemical genomics-based screening platform referred to as the Candida albicans fitness test (CaFT), we have identified novel inhibitors of Gwt1 and a second enzyme in the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) cell wall anchor pathway, Mcd4. We further validate these targets using the model fungal organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae and demonstrate the utility of using the facile toolbox that has been compiled in this species to further explore target specific biology. Using these compounds as probes, we demonstrate that inhibition of Mcd4 as well as Gwt1 blocks the growth of a broad spectrum of fungal pathogens and exposes key elicitors of pathogen recognition. Interestingly, a strong chemical synergy is also observed by combining Gwt1 and Mcd4 inhibitors, mirroring the demonstrated synthetic lethality of combining conditional mutants of GWT1 and MCD4. We further demonstrate that the Mcd4 inhibitor M720 is efficacious in a murine infection model of systemic candidiasis. Our results establish Mcd4 as a promising antifungal target and confirm the GPI cell wall anchor synthesis pathway as a promising antifungal target area by demonstrating that effects of inhibiting it are more general than previously recognized. PMID:26878058

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Binding Kinetics in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Ferruz, Noelia; De Fabritiis, Gianni

    2016-07-01

    Over the last years, researchers have increasingly become interested in measuring and understanding drugs' binding kinetics, namely the time in which drug and its target associate and dissociate. Historically, drug discovery programs focused on the optimization of target affinity as a proxy of in-vivo efficacy. However, often the efficacy of a ligand is not appropriately described by the in-vitro measured drug-receptor affinity, but rather depends on the lifetime of the in-vivo drug-receptor interaction. In this review we review recent works that highlight the importance of binding kinetics, molecular determinants for rational optimization and the recent emergence of computational methods as powerful tools in measuring and understanding binding kinetics. PMID:27492236

  16. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition: a new target in anticancer drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Marcucci, Fabrizio; Stassi, Giorgio; De Maria, Ruggero

    2016-05-01

    The conversion of cells with an epithelial phenotype into cells with a mesenchymal phenotype, referred to as epithelial-mesenchymal transition, is a critical process for embryonic development that also occurs in adult life, particularly during tumour progression. Tumour cells undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition acquire the capacity to disarm the body's antitumour defences, resist apoptosis and anticancer drugs, disseminate throughout the organism, and act as a reservoir that replenishes and expands the tumour cell population. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition is therefore becoming a target of prime interest for anticancer therapy. Here, we discuss the screening and classification of compounds that affect epithelial-mesenchymal transition, highlight some compounds of particular interest, and address issues related to their clinical application.

  17. Drugability of extracellular targets: discovery of small molecule drugs targeting allosteric, functional, and subunit-selective sites on GPCRs and ion channels.

    PubMed

    Grigoriadis, Dimitri E; Hoare, Samuel R J; Lechner, Sandra M; Slee, Deborah H; Williams, John A

    2009-01-01

    Beginning with the discovery of the structure of deoxyribose nucleic acid in 1953, by James Watson and Francis Crick, the sequencing of the entire human genome some 50 years later, has begun to quantify the classes and types of proteins that may have relevance to human disease with the promise of rapidly identifying compounds that can modulate these proteins so as to have a beneficial and therapeutic outcome. This so called 'drugable space' involves a variety of membrane-bound proteins including the superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, and transporters among others. The recent number of novel therapeutics targeting membrane-bound extracellular proteins that have reached the market in the past 20 years however pales in magnitude when compared, during the same timeframe, to the advancements made in the technologies available to aid in the discovery of these novel therapeutics. This review will consider select examples of extracellular drugable targets and focus on the GPCRs and ion channels highlighting the corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) type 1 and gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors, and the Ca(V)2.2 voltage-gated ion channel. These examples will elaborate current technological advancements in drug discovery and provide a prospective framework for future drug development.

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

    PubMed

    Guo, Jing; Liu, Hui; Zheng, Jie

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Guo, Jing; Liu, Hui; Zheng, Jie

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Drug discovery today.

    PubMed

    Schwardt, Oliver; Kolb, Hartmuth; Ernst, Beat

    2003-01-01

    In recent years, tools for the development of new drugs have been dramatically improved. These include genomic and proteomic research, numerous biophysical methods, combinatorial chemistry and screening technologies. In addition, early ADMET studies are employed in order to significantly reduce the failure rate in the development of drug candidates. As a consequence, the lead finding, lead optimization and development process has gained marked enhancement in speed and efficiency. In parallel to this development, major pharma companies are increasingly outsourcing many components of drug discovery research to biotech companies. All these measures are designed to address the need for a faster time to market. New screening methodologies have contributed significantly to the efficiency of the drug discovery process. The conventional screening of single compounds or compound libraries has been dramatically accelerated by high throughput screening methods. In addition, in silico screening methods allow the evaluation of virtual compounds. A wide range of new lead finding and lead optimization opportunities result from novel screening methods by NMR, which are the topic of this review article.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ianiri, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bulatov, Emil; Ciulli, Alessio

    2015-01-01

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

  3. New strategies in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Ohlstein, Eliot H; Johnson, Anthony G; Elliott, John D; Romanic, Anne M

    2006-01-01

    Gene identification followed by determination of the expression of genes in a given disease and understanding of the function of the gene products is central to the drug discovery process. The ability to associate a specific gene with a disease can be attributed primarily to the extraordinary progress that has been made in the areas of gene sequencing and information technologies. Selection and validation of novel molecular targets have become of great importance in light of the abundance of new potential therapeutic drug targets that have emerged from human gene sequencing. In response to this revolution within the pharmaceutical industry, the development of high-throughput methods in both biology and chemistry has been necessitated. Further, the successful translation of basic scientific discoveries into clinical experimental medicine and novel therapeutics is an increasing challenge. As such, a new paradigm for drug discovery has emerged. This process involves the integration of clinical, genetic, genomic, and molecular phenotype data partnered with cheminformatics. Central to this process, the data generated are managed, collated, and interpreted with the use of informatics. This review addresses the use of new technologies that have arisen to deal with this new paradigm.

  4. Computational Methods in Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Sliwoski, Gregory; Kothiwale, Sandeepkumar; Meiler, Jens

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Abelson tyrosine-protein kinase 1 as principal target for drug discovery against leukemias. Role of the current computer-aided drug design methodologies.

    PubMed

    Speck-Planche, Alejandro; Luan, Feng; Cordeiro, M N D S

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of anti-cancer agents is an area which continues in accelerated expansion. Leukemias (Lkms) are among the most investigated cancers due to its high and dominant prevalence in children. Computer-aided drug design (CADD) methodologies have been extremely important for the discovery of potent anti-Lkms agents, providing essential insights about the molecular patterns which could be involved in the appearance and development of anti-Lkms activity. The present review is focused on the role of the current CADD methodologies for the discovery of anti-Lkms agents with strong emphasis on the in silico prediction of inhibitors against the primary protein associated with the appearance of Lkms: Abelson tyrosine-protein kinase 1 (TPK-ABL1). In order to make a contribution to the field, we also developed a unified ligand-based approach by exploring Quantitative-Structure Activity Relationships (QSAR) studies. Here, we focused on the construction of two multi-targets (mt) QSAR models by employing a large and heterogeneous database of compounds. These models exhibited excellent statistical quality and predictive power to classifying more than 92% of inhibitors/ no inhibitors against seven proteins associated with Lkms, in both training and prediction sets. By using our unified ligand-based approach we identified several fragments as responsible for the anti-Lkms activity through inhibition of proteins, and new molecules were suggested as versatile inhibitors of the seven proteins under study.

  9. RAS - Screens & Assays - Drug Discovery

    Cancer.gov

    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.

  10. Crystallographic Fragment Based Drug Discovery: Use of a Brominated Fragment Library Targeting HIV Protease

    PubMed Central

    Tiefenbrunn, Theresa; Forli, Stefano; Happer, Meaghan; Gonzalez, Ana; Tsai, Yingssu; Soltis, Michael; Elder, John H.; Olson, Arthur J.; Stout, C. David

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Cellular cofactors of lentiviral integrase: from target validation to drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Metabolomics coupled with proteomics advancing drug discovery toward more agile development of targeted combination therapies.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  14. Bioanalysis in oncology drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Srinivas, Nuggehally R; Mullangi, Ramesh

    2015-01-01

    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.

  15. Computer-aided drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Bajorath, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Modern drug discovery technologies: opportunities and challenges in lead discovery.

    PubMed

    Guido, Rafael V C; Oliva, Glaucius; Andricopulo, Adriano D

    2011-12-01

    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. PMID:21843147

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Deep Learning in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Deep Learning in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Antifungal drug discovery: the process and outcomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Drug discovery: lessons from evolution

    PubMed Central

    Warren, John

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Advancing drug discovery for schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. Lysophospholipid receptors in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Kihara, Yasuyuki; Mizuno, Hirotaka; Chun, Jerold

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Lysophospholipid receptors in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Yasuyuki; Mizuno, Hirotaka; Chun, Jerold

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  8. Intercellular Lipid Mediators and GPCR Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Im, Dong-Soon

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Virtual drug discovery: beyond computational chemistry?

    PubMed

    Gilardoni, Francois; Arvanites, Anthony C

    2010-02-01

    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.

  10. Systems Pharmacology in Small Molecular Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Systems Pharmacology in Small Molecular Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. The Dynamics of Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Moroni, Elisabetta; Paladino, Antonella; Colombo, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26156197

  13. Discovery of functional antibodies targeting ion channels.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Trevor C I; Gardener, Matthew J; Williams, Wendy A

    2015-04-01

    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.

  14. Cellular biosensors for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Durick, K; Negulescu, P

    2001-09-01

    Recent advances in cell biology, fluorescent probe chemistry, miniaturization and automation have allowed the use of mammalian cells in a variety of medical and industrial applications. Here we describe the generation of cell-based biosensors, engineered to optically report specific biological activity. Cellular biosensors are comprised of living cells and can be used in various applications, including screening chemical libraries for drug discovery and environmental sensing. Panels of biosensors may also be useful for elucidating the function of novel genes. Here we describe two examples of the construction and use of engineered cell lines as biosensors for drug discovery.

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

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Liang-Hui; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Flow Cytometry: Impact on Early Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Bruce S; Sklar, Larry A

    2015-07-01

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

  19. Flow Cytometry: Impact On Early Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Bruce S.; Sklar, Larry A.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Finding novel pharmaceuticals in the systems biology era using multiple effective drug targets, phenotypic screening and knowledge of transporters: where drug discovery went wrong and how to fix it.

    PubMed

    Kell, Douglas B

    2013-12-01

    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

  1. Experiences in fragment-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  2. Novel Directions for Diabetes Mellitus Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Maiese, Kenneth; Chong, Zhao Zhong; Shang, Yan Chen; Wang, Shaohui

    2012-01-01

    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

  3. Chloride channels as drug targets

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Serendipity in anticancer drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-10

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

  5. The role of serendipity in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Ban, Thomas A.

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Screening technologies for ion channel drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Terstappen, Georg C; Roncarati, Renza; Dunlop, John; Peri, Ravikumar

    2010-05-01

    For every movement, heartbeat and thought, ion channels need to open and close. It is therefore not surprising that their malfunctioning leads to serious diseases. Currently, only approximately 10% of drugs, with a market value in excess of US$10 billion, act on ion channels. The systematic exploitation of this target class has started, enabled by novel assay technologies and fundamental advances of the structural and mechanistic understanding of channel function. The latter, which was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in 2003, has opened up an avenue for rational drug design. In this review we provide an overview of the current repertoire of screening technologies that has evolved to drive ion channel-targeted drug discovery towards new medicines of the future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  8. Synthetic biology for pharmaceutical drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Synthetic biology for pharmaceutical drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Drug discovery from marine microbes.

    PubMed

    Gerwick, William H; Fenner, Amanda M

    2013-05-01

    The marine environment has been a source of more than 20,000 inspirational natural products discovered over the past 50 years. From these efforts, 9 approved drugs and 12 current clinical trial agents have been discovered, either as natural products or as 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.

  11. Drug Discovery from Marine Microbes

    PubMed Central

    Gerwick, William H.; Fenner, Amanda M.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. New paradigms in GPCR drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Kenneth A

    2015-12-15

    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.

  13. Financing drug discovery for orphan diseases.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. Financing drug discovery for orphan diseases.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Phenotypic screening in cancer drug discovery - past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Moffat, John G; Rudolph, Joachim; Bailey, David

    2014-08-01

    There has been a resurgence of interest in the use of phenotypic screens in drug discovery as an alternative to target-focused approaches. Given that oncology is currently the most active therapeutic area, and also one in which target-focused approaches have been particularly prominent in the past two decades, we investigated the contribution of phenotypic assays to oncology drug discovery by analysing the origins of all new small-molecule cancer drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the past 15 years and those currently in clinical development. Although the majority of these drugs originated from target-based discovery, we identified a significant number whose discovery depended on phenotypic screening approaches. We postulate that the contribution of phenotypic screening to cancer drug discovery has been hampered by a reliance on 'classical' nonspecific drug effects such as cytotoxicity and mitotic arrest, exacerbated by a paucity of mechanistically defined cellular models for therapeutically translatable cancer phenotypes. However, technical and biological advances that enable such mechanistically informed phenotypic models have the potential to empower phenotypic drug discovery in oncology.

  16. The impact of parallel chemistry in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Paul J

    2006-05-01

    With the application of parallel synthesis of single compounds to drug-discovery efforts, improvements in the efficiency of synthesis are possible. However, for improvements to occur in effective drug design - a critical requirement to increase productivity in the modern pharmaceutical industry - the implementation of in silico design hypotheses that incorporate comprehensive information on a target, including considerations of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, is also necessary. Concomitantly, the use of automated methods of synthesis and purification is also required to improve drug design. Combining all of these elements allows the possibility to uncover unique insights into a biological target quickly and to therefore accelerate the rate of drug discovery.

  17. Protein kinase Calpha and epsilon small-molecule targeted therapeutics: a new roadmap to two Holy Grails in drug discovery?

    PubMed

    O'Brian, Catherine A; Chu, Feng; Bornmann, William G; Maxwell, David S

    2006-02-01

    Protein kinase (PK)Calpha and epsilon are rational targets for cancer therapy. However, targeted experimental therapeutics that inhibit PKCalpha or epsilon are unavailable. The authors established recently that covalent modification of an active-site cysteine in human PKCepsilon, Cys452, by small molecules, for example 2-mercaptoethanolamine, is necessary and sufficient to render PKCepsilon kinase-dead. Cys452 is conserved in only eleven human protein kinase genes, including PKCalpha. Therefore, the design of small molecules that bind PKC active sites with an electrophile substituent positioned proximal to the Cys452 side chain may lead to targeted therapeutics that selectively inhibit PKCepsilon, PKCalpha or other PKC isozymes.

  18. Current Landscape of Antiviral Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Blair, Wade; Cox, Christopher

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Drug to genome to drug: discovery of new antiplasmodial compounds.

    PubMed

    Beghyn, Terence B; Charton, Julie; Leroux, Florence; Laconde, Guillaume; Bourin, Arnaud; Cos, Paul; Maes, Louis; Deprez, Benoit

    2011-05-12

    The dominant strategy for discovery of new antimalarial drugs relies on cell-free assays on specific biochemical pathways of Plasmodium falciparum . However, it appears that screening directly on the parasite is a more rewarding approach. The "drug to genome to drug" approach consists of testing a small set of structural analogues of a drug acting on human proteins that have plasmodial orthologues. Both man and plasmodium possess cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) that are key players of cell homeostasis. We synthesized and tested 40 analogues of tadalafil, a human PDE5 inhibitor, on P. falciparum in culture and obtained potent inhibitors of parasite growth. We discuss the structure-activity relationships, which support the hypothesis that our compounds kill the parasite via inhibition of plasmodial PDE activity. We also prove that antiplasmodial derivatives inhibit the hydrolysis of cyclic nucleotides of the parasite, validating the cAMP/cGMP pathways as therapeutic targets against Plasmodium falciparum.

  20. West Nile Virus Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Siew Pheng; Shi, Pei-Yong

    2013-01-01

    The outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) in 1999 in the USA, and its continued spread throughout the Americas, parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, underscored the need for WNV antiviral development. Here, we review the current status of WNV drug discovery. A number of approaches have been used to search for inhibitors of WNV, including viral infection-based screening, enzyme-based screening, structure-based virtual screening, structure-based rationale design, and antibody-based therapy. These efforts have yielded inhibitors of viral or cellular factors that are critical for viral replication. For small molecule inhibitors, no promising preclinical candidate has been developed; most of the inhibitors could not even be advanced to the stage of hit-to-lead optimization due to their poor drug-like properties. However, several inhibitors developed for related members of the family Flaviviridae, such as dengue virus and hepatitis C virus, exhibited cross-inhibition of WNV, suggesting the possibility to re-purpose these antivirals for WNV treatment. Most promisingly, therapeutic antibodies have shown excellent efficacy in mouse model; one of such antibodies has been advanced into clinical trial. The knowledge accumulated during the past fifteen years has provided better rationale for the ongoing WNV and other flavivirus antiviral development. PMID:24300672

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  4. TOXICOGENOMICS DRUG DISCOVERY AND THE PATHOLOGIST

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicogenomics, drug discovery, and pathologist.

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

  5. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  6. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Cryptosporidiosis Drug Discovery: Opportunities and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Manjunatha, Ujjini H; Chao, Alexander T; Leong, F Joel; Diagana, Thierry T

    2016-08-12

    The apicomplexan parasite Cryptosporidium is the second most important diarrheal pathogen causing life-threatening diarrhea in children, which is also associated with long-term growth faltering and cognitive deficiency. Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic disease of public health concern caused by Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis. Currently, nitazoxanide is the only approved treatment for cryptosporidium infections. Unfortunately, it has limited efficacy in the most vulnerable patients, thus there is an urgent need for a safe and efficacious cryptosporidiosis drug. In this work, we present our current perspectives on the target product profile for novel cryptosporidiosis therapies and the perceived challenges and possible mitigation plans at different stages in the cryptosporidiosis drug discovery process. PMID:27626293

  8. Bridging solubility between drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Di, Li; Fish, Paul V; Mano, Takashi

    2012-05-01

    Solubility has a crucial role in the success of a drug candidate. Compounds with low solubility not only cause problems for in vitro and in vivo assays, but also add significant burdens to drug development. Drug discovery and drug development often have different solubility screening requirements and methodologies have been developed to meet the needs of these different stages.

  9. Drug Discovery in Academia- the third way?

    PubMed Central

    Frearson, Julie; Wyatt, Paul

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Namatame, Ichiji

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Protein Complex Production from the Drug Discovery Standpoint.

    PubMed

    Moarefi, Ismail

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. The role of serendipity in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Ban, Thomas A

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Automated High Throughput Drug Target Crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Rupp, B

    2005-02-18

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

  14. The future of crystallography in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ohmura, Koichiro

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  17. Advances in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Powers, Robert

    2009-10-01

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

  18. Advances in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Powers, Robert

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Antiviral drug discovery against SARS-CoV.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yu-Shan; Lin, Wen-Hsing; Hsu, John T-A; Hsieh, Hsing-Pang

    2006-01-01

    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a life-threatening infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV. In the 2003 outbreak, it infected more than 8,000 people worldwide and claimed the lives of more than 900 victims. The high mortality rate resulted, at least in part, from the absence of definitive treatment protocols or therapeutic agents. Although the virus spreading has been contained, due preparedness and planning, including the successful development of antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV, is necessary for possible reappearance of SARS. In this review, we have discussed currently available strategies for antiviral drug discovery and how these technologies have been utilized to identify potential antiviral agents for the inhibition of SARS-CoV replication. Moreover, progress in the drug development based on different molecular targets is also summarized, including 1) Compounds that block the S protein-ACE2-mediated viral entry; 2) Compounds targeting SARS-CoV M(pro); 3) Compounds targeting papain-like protease 2 (PLP2); 4) Compounds targeting SARS-CoV RdRp; 5) Compounds targeting SARS-CoV helicase; 6) Active compounds with unspecified targets; and 7) Research on siRNA. This review aims to provide a comprehensive account of drug discovery on SARS. The experiences with the SARS outbreak and drug discovery would certainly be an important lesson for the drug development for any new viral outbreaks that may emerge in the future.

  1. The Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD) database.

    PubMed

    Ekins, Sean; Bunin, Barry A

    2013-01-01

    The broad goals of Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD) are to enable a collaborative "cloud-based" tool to be used to bring together neglected disease researchers and other researchers from usually separate areas, to collaborate and to share compounds and drug discovery data in the research community, which will ultimately result in long-term improvements in the research enterprise and health care delivery. This chapter briefly introduces CDD software and describes applications in antimalarial and tuberculosis research. PMID:23568469

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-12

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

  3. Solid-Phase Biological Assays for Drug Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  4. Introduction to fragment-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Erlanson, Daniel A

    2012-01-01

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

  5. High-throughput virtual screening for drug discovery in parallel.

    PubMed

    Toledo-Sherman, Leticia M; Chen, Deqi

    2002-05-01

    With the influx of targets generated by genomics and proteomics initiatives, a new drug discovery paradigm is emerging. Many companies are setting up target family platforms that tackle multiple targets and therapeutic areas simultaneously. Virtual screening (VS) techniques are a fundamental component of such platforms for in silico filtering of compound collections and prioritization of chemistry and screening efforts. At the heart of these, structure-based docking and scoring methods are especially effective in identifying bioactive molecules if the structure of a target is available. As structural genomics maps the structural space of the proteome, these techniques are expected to become commonplace. In light of this, an overview of the latest developments in VS methodology is given here. In particular, emphasis is placed on those techniques adaptable to high-throughput VS in parallel drug discovery platforms. The first examples of docking across multiple targets have already appeared in the literature and will be reviewed here.

  6. Targeting metalloproteins by fragment-based lead discovery.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Sherida; Barile, Elisa; Farina, Biancamaria; Purves, Angela; Wei, Jun; Chen, Li-Hsing; Shiryaev, Sergey; Zhang, Ziming; Rodionova, Irina; Agrawal, Arpita; Cohen, Seth M; Osterman, Andrei; Strongin, Alex; Pellecchia, Maurizio

    2011-08-01

    It has been estimated that nearly one-third of functional proteins contain a metal ion. These constitute a wide variety of possible drug targets including metalloproteinases, dehydrogenases, oxidoreductases, hydrolases, deacetylases, or many others in which the metal ion is either of catalytic or of structural nature. Despite the predominant role of a metal ion in so many classes of drug targets, current high-throughput screening techniques do not usually produce viable hits against these proteins, likely due to the lack of proper metal-binding pharmacophores in the current screening libraries. Herein, we describe a novel fragment-based drug discovery approach using a metal-targeting fragment library that is based on a variety of distinct classes of metal-binding groups designed to reliably anchor the fragments at the target's metal ions. We show that the approach can effectively identify novel, potent and selective agents that can be readily developed into metalloprotein-targeted therapeutics.

  7. Advancing drug discovery: a pharmaceutics perspective.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Elizabeth

    2015-03-01

    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.

  8. Schizophrenia risk genes: Implications for future drug development and discovery.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Garret; Lawrie, Stephen M; McIntosh, Andrew M; Hall, Jeremy

    2011-06-15

    Present-day development of improved treatments for schizophrenia is hindered by uncertain models of disease, inter-individual response variability in clinical trials and a paucity of sensitive measures of treatment effects. Findings from genetic research emphasize the potential for schizophrenia risk genes to help develop focused treatments, discover new drug targets and provide markers of clinical subtypes. Advances in genetic technologies also provide novel modes of drug discovery in schizophrenia such as transcriptomics, epigenetics and transgenic animal models. In this review, we discuss proven and proposed ways risk genes can be used to enhance the development and discovery of treatments for schizophrenia and highlight key studies in these approaches. PMID:21093417

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Prioritizing the human genome: knowledge management for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Golden, James B

    2003-05-01

    This review covers recent methods to create a manageable subset of drug targets for development by prioritizing novel genes from the Human Genome Project. The ability to organize genomic data into a distinct set of drug discovery assets can be viewed as a form of knowledge management. While bioinformatics systems have been built to manage genomics-based data, the central theme in creating any bioinformatics infrastructure should be organization-specific knowledge management. PMID:12833662

  11. Role of computer-aided drug design in modern drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Macalino, Stephani Joy Y; Gosu, Vijayakumar; Hong, Sunhye; Choi, Sun

    2015-09-01

    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.

  12. Using C. elegans for antimicrobial drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Desalermos, Athanasios; Muhammed, Maged; Glavis-Bloom, Justin; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2011-01-01

    Introduction The number of microorganism strains with resistance to known antimicrobials is increasing. Therefore, there is a high demand for new, non-toxic and efficient antimicrobial agents. Research with the microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can address this high demand for the discovery of new antimicrobial compounds. In particular, C. elegans can be used as a model host for in vivo drug discovery through high-throughput screens of chemical libraries. Areas covered This review introduces the use of substitute model hosts and especially C. elegans in the study of microbial pathogenesis. The authors also highlight recently published literature on the role of C. elegans in drug discovery and outline its use as a promising host with unique advantages in the discovery of new antimicrobial drugs. Expert opinion C. elegans can be used, as a model host, to research many diseases, including fungal infections and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, high-throughput techniques, for screening chemical libraries, can also be facilitated. Nevertheless, C. elegans and mammals have significant differences that both limit the use of the nematode in research and the degree by which results can be interpreted. That being said, the use of C. elegans in drug discovery still holds promise and the field continues to grow, with attempts to improve the methodology already underway. PMID:21686092

  13. Biophysics in drug discovery: impact, challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Renaud, Jean-Paul; Chung, Chun-Wa; Danielson, U Helena; Egner, Ursula; Hennig, Michael; Hubbard, Roderick E; Nar, Herbert

    2016-10-01

    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.

  14. Rethinking 'academic' drug discovery: the Manchester Institute perspective.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Allan M; Waddell, Ian D; Ogilvie, Donald J

    2015-05-01

    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.

  15. Net present value approaches for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Svennebring, Andreas M; Wikberg, Jarl Es

    2013-12-01

    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.

  16. Target discovery and validation in the post-genomic era.

    PubMed

    Butcher, Steven P

    2003-02-01

    The recent publication of the human genome sequence provides an opportunity both to combat diseases that are presently considered as pharmaceutically intractable and also to improve current therapies for many common human diseases. The identification of every human gene by ongoing bioinformatic efforts has the potential, when combined with functional genomic approaches, to pinpoint the molecular basis of every human disease, and to discover appropriate intervention points. This exciting prospect is directly relevant to the successful development of effective therapeutics because the past record of drug discovery suggests that 30%-40% of experimental drugs fail because an inappropriate biological target was pursued. The major impact of genomic information may therefore be to reduce this biological failure rate by earlier definition of drug targets related to disease susceptibility or progression. This paper briefly reviews some of the approaches that can be used to identify biologically relevant drug targets. PMID:12608710

  17. Target discovery and validation in the post-genomic era.

    PubMed

    Butcher, Steven P

    2003-02-01

    The recent publication of the human genome sequence provides an opportunity both to combat diseases that are presently considered as pharmaceutically intractable and also to improve current therapies for many common human diseases. The identification of every human gene by ongoing bioinformatic efforts has the potential, when combined with functional genomic approaches, to pinpoint the molecular basis of every human disease, and to discover appropriate intervention points. This exciting prospect is directly relevant to the successful development of effective therapeutics because the past record of drug discovery suggests that 30%-40% of experimental drugs fail because an inappropriate biological target was pursued. The major impact of genomic information may therefore be to reduce this biological failure rate by earlier definition of drug targets related to disease susceptibility or progression. This paper briefly reviews some of the approaches that can be used to identify biologically relevant drug targets.

  18. Prospects for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorder drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Williams, Michael; Enna, S J

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Boesenbergia rotunda: From Ethnomedicine to Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. The discovery of drug-induced illness.

    PubMed

    Jick, H

    1977-03-01

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

  2. Benefits of Structural Genomics for Drug Discovery Research

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Ion channel profiling to advance drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Zou, Beiyan

    2015-11-01

    In vitro pharmacological profiling provides crucial information to eliminate drug candidates with potential toxicity early in drug discovery and reduce failure in later stages. It has become a common practice in industry to test lead compounds against a panel of ion channel targets for selectivity and safety liability at early drug discovery stages. Ion channel profiling technologies include binding assays, flux assays, fluorescent membrane potential assays, automated and conventional electrophysiology. Instead of examining compound effects on individual ion channel targets, automated current clamp, optical electrophysiology, and multi-electrode assays have evolved to investigate the integrated compound effects on cardiac myocytes. This review aims to provide an overview of ion channel profiling for cardiac safety and comparisons of various technologies.

  5. Antibody-enabled small-molecule drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Alastair D G

    2012-06-29

    Although antibody-based therapeutics have become firmly established as medicines for serious diseases, the value of antibodies as tools in the early stages of small-molecule drug discovery is only beginning to be realized. In particular, antibodies may provide information to reduce risk in small-molecule drug discovery by enabling the validation of targets and by providing insights into the design of small-molecule screening assays. Moreover, antibodies can act as guides in the quest for small molecules that have the ability to modulate protein-protein interactions, which have traditionally only been considered to be tractable targets for biological drugs. The development of small molecules that have similar therapeutic effects to current biologics has the potential to benefit a broader range of patients at earlier stages of disease.

  6. Fluorination methods in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Yerien, Damian E; Bonesi, Sergio; Postigo, Al

    2016-09-28

    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. PMID:27506398

  7. Multi-target drugs: the trend of drug research and development.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jin-Jian; Pan, Wei; Hu, Yuan-Jia; Wang, Yi-Tao

    2012-01-01

    Summarizing the status of drugs in the market and examining the trend of drug research and development is important in drug discovery. In this study, we compared the drug targets and the market sales of the new molecular entities approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from January 2000 to December 2009. Two networks, namely, the target-target and drug-drug networks, have been set up using the network analysis tools. The multi-target drugs have much more potential, as shown by the network visualization and the market trends. We discussed the possible reasons and proposed the rational strategies for drug research and development in the future.

  8. Arthritis Genetics Analysis Aids Drug Discovery

    MedlinePlus

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

  9. Open drug discovery for the Zika virus.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Open drug discovery for the Zika virus

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Comment on "drug discovery: turning the titanic".

    PubMed

    Lesterhuis, W Joost; Bosco, Anthony; Lake, Richard A

    2014-03-26

    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.

  12. Open drug discovery for the Zika virus.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Biomarkers in pharmacology and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Anderson, D C; Kodukula, Krishna

    2014-01-01

    Biomarkers, quantitatively measurable indicators of biological or pathogenic processes, once validated play a critical role in disease diagnostics, the prediction of disease progression, and/or monitoring of the response to treatment. They may also represent drug targets. A number of different methods can be used for biomarker discovery and validation, including proteomics methods, metabolomics, imaging, and genome wide association studies (GWASs) and can be analysed using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots. The relative utility of single biomarkers compared to biomarker panels is discussed, along with paradigms for biomarker development, the latter in the context of three large-scale biomarker consortia, the Critical Path Predictive Safety Testing Consortium (PSTC), the NCI Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) and the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). The importance of systematic optimization of many parameters in biomarker analysis, including validation, reproducibility, study design, statistical analysis and avoidance of bias are critical features used by these consortia. Problems including introduction of bias into study designs, data reporting or data analysis are also reviewed.

  14. Can biochemistry drive drug discovery beyond simple potency measurements?

    PubMed

    Chène, Patrick

    2012-04-01

    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.

  15. REDOR NMR for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Cegelski, Lynette

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Blueprint for antimicrobial hit discovery targeting metabolic networks

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Y.; Liu, J.; Estiu, G.; Isin, B.; Ahn, Y-Y.; Lee, D-S.; Barabási, A-L.; Kapatral, V.; Wiest, O.; Oltvai, Z. N.

    2010-01-01

    Advances in genome analysis, network biology, and computational chemistry have the potential to revolutionize drug discovery by combining system-level identification of drug targets with the atomistic modeling of small molecules capable of modulating their activity. To demonstrate the effectiveness of such a discovery pipeline, we deduced common antibiotic targets in Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus by identifying shared tissue-specific or uniformly essential metabolic reactions in their metabolic networks. We then predicted through virtual screening dozens of potential inhibitors for several enzymes of these reactions and showed experimentally that a subset of these inhibited both enzyme activities in vitro and bacterial cell viability. This blueprint is applicable for any sequenced organism with high-quality metabolic reconstruction and suggests a general strategy for strain-specific antiinfective therapy. PMID:20080587

  17. Drug target identification and quantitative proteomics.

    PubMed

    He, Tao; Jin Kim, Yeoun; Heidbrink, Jenny L; Moore, Paul A; Ruben, Steven M

    2006-10-01

    The emerging technologies in proteomic analysis provide great opportunity for the discovery of novel therapeutic drug targets for unmet medical needs through delivering of key information on protein expression, post-translational modifications and protein-protein interactions. This review presents a summary of current quantitative proteomic concepts and mass spectrometric technologies, which enable the acceleration of target discovery. Examples of the strategies and current technologies in the target identification/validation process are provided to illustrate the successful application of proteomics in target identification, in particular for monoclonal antibody therapies. Current bottlenecks and future directions of proteomic studies for target and biomarker identification are also discussed to better facilitate the application of this technology.

  18. Biomimicry as a basis for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kolb, V M

    1998-01-01

    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.

  19. Catecholamine receptors: prototypes for GPCR-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Emery, Andrew C

    2013-01-01

    Drugs acting at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute ~40% of those in current clinical use. GPCR-based drug discovery remains at the forefront of drug development, especially for new treatments for psychiatric illness and neurological disease. Here, the basic framework of GPCR signaling learned through the elucidation of catecholamine receptor signaling through G proteins and β-arrestins, and X-ray crystallographic structure determination is reviewed. In silico docking studies developed in tandem with confirmatory empirical data gathering from binding and signaling experiments have allowed this basic framework to be expanded to drug hunting through predictive in silico searching as well as high-throughput and high-content screening approaches. For efforts moving forward for the deployment of new GPCR-acting drugs, collaborative efforts between industry and government/academic research in target validation at the molecular and cellular levels have become progressively more common. Polypharmacological approaches have become increasingly available for learning more about the mechanisms of GPCR-targeted drugs, based on interaction not with a single, but with a wide range of GPCR targets. These approaches are likely to aid in drug repurposing efforts, yield valuable insight on the side effects of currently employed drugs, and allow for a clearer picture of the actual targets of "atypical" drugs used in a variety of therapeutic contexts.

  20. Drug discovery dilemma and Cura quartet collaboration.

    PubMed

    Shah, Salim; Federoff, Howard J

    2009-11-01

    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. PMID:19815089

  1. High-throughput protein crystallography and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Tickle, Ian; Sharff, Andrew; Vinkovic, Mladen; Yon, Jeff; Jhoti, Harren

    2004-10-20

    Single crystal X-ray diffraction is the technique of choice for studying the interactions of small organic molecules with proteins by determining their three-dimensional structures; however the requirement for highly purified protein and lack of process automation have traditionally limited its use in this field. Despite these shortcomings, the use of crystal structures of therapeutically relevant drug targets in pharmaceutical research has increased significantly over the last decade. The application of structure-based drug design has resulted in several marketed drugs and is now an established discipline in most pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, the recently published full genome sequences of Homo sapiens and a number of micro-organisms have provided a plethora of new potential drug targets that could be utilised in structure-based drug design programs. In order to take maximum advantage of this explosion of information, techniques have been developed to automate and speed up the various procedures required to obtain protein crystals of suitable quality, to collect and process the raw X-ray diffraction data into usable structural information, and to use three-dimensional protein structure as a basis for drug discovery and lead optimisation. This tutorial review covers the various technologies involved in the process pipeline for high-throughput protein crystallography as it is currently being applied to drug discovery. It is aimed at synthetic and computational chemists, as well as structural biologists, in both academia and industry, who are interested in structure-based drug design.

  2. Antibacterial drug discovery in the resistance era.

    PubMed

    Brown, Eric D; Wright, Gerard D

    2016-01-21

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

  3. Antibacterial drug discovery in the resistance era.

    PubMed

    Brown, Eric D; Wright, Gerard D

    2016-01-21

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

  4. Putative impact of RNA editing on drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Decher, Niels; Netter, Michael F; Streit, Anne K

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. Phenome-driven disease genetics prediction toward drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yang; Li, Li; Zhang, Guo-Qiang; Xu, Rong

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. High-throughput crystallography for lead discovery in drug design.

    PubMed

    Blundell, Tom L; Jhoti, Harren; Abell, Chris

    2002-01-01

    Knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of protein targets now emerging from genomic data has the potential to accelerate drug discovery greatly. X-ray crystallography is the most widely used technique for protein structure determination, but technical challenges and time constraints have traditionally limited its use primarily to lead optimization. Here, we describe how significant advances in process automation and informatics have aided the development of high-throughput X-ray crystallography, and discuss the use of this technique for structure-based lead discovery.

  7. Diamond: shedding light on structure-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Brown, David G; Shotton, Elizabeth J

    2015-03-01

    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. PMID:25624512

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

    PubMed

    Garg, Vibhav; Arora, Suchir; Gupta, Chitra

    2011-12-01

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

  9. Third Generation Sequencing Techniques and Applications to Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Ozsolak, Fatih

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Prathipati, Philip; Mizuguchi, Kenji

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Prathipati, Philip; Mizuguchi, Kenji

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Drug design and discovery: translational biomedical science varies among countries.

    PubMed

    Weaver, Ian N; Weaver, Donald F

    2013-10-01

    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.

  13. Microscopic imaging techniques for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Bullen, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    Microscopic imaging can enhance the drug discovery process by helping to describe how disease processes unfold and how potential therapies might intervene. Recently introduced technologies, and enhancements to existing techniques, are addressing technical issues that have limited the usefulness of microscopic imaging in the past. In particular, these innovations are improving spatial resolution, increasing tissue penetration, overcoming physical access issues and enhancing experimental throughput. Notable recent trends, which are discussed in this article, include the development of super-resolution microscopes, the incorporation of multiphoton techniques into intravital and fibre-optic microscopy and the automation of microscopy and image analysis for high-content screening. Together, these developments are augmenting the existing assays and disease models that are used in early drug discovery and, in some cases, enabling new ones.

  14. Potential of agricultural fungicides for antifungal drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Jampilek, Josef

    2016-01-01

    While it is true that only a small fraction of fungal species are responsible for human mycoses, the increasing prevalence of fungal diseases has highlighted an urgent need to develop new antifungal drugs, especially for systemic administration. This contribution focuses on the similarities between agricultural fungicides and drugs. Inorganic, organometallic and organic compounds can be found amongst agricultural fungicides. Furthermore, fungicides are designed and developed in a similar fashion to drugs based on similar rules and guidelines, with fungicides also having to meet similar criteria of lead-likeness and/or drug-likeness. Modern approved specific-target fungicides are well-characterized entities with a proposed structure-activity relationships hypothesis and a defined mode of action. Extensive toxicological evaluation, including mammalian toxicology assays, is performed during the whole discovery and development process. Thus modern agrochemical research (design of modern agrochemicals) comes close to drug design, discovery and development. Therefore, modern specific-target fungicides represent excellent lead-like structures/models for novel drug design and development.

  15. Systematic discovery of drug interaction mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Chevereau, Guillaume; Bollenbach, Tobias

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Structural Genomics and Drug Discovery for Infectious Diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, W.F.

    2010-09-03

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

  17. Optical imaging for the new grammar of drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Krucker, Thomas; Sandanaraj, Britto S

    2011-11-28

    Optical technologies used in biomedical research have undergone tremendous development in the last decade and enabled important insight into biochemical, cellular and physiological phenomena at the microscopic and macroscopic level. Historically in drug discovery, to increase throughput in screening, or increase efficiency through automation of image acquisition and analysis in pathology, efforts in imaging were focused on the reengineering of established microscopy solutions. However, with the emergence of the new grammar for drug discovery, other requirements and expectations have created unique opportunities for optical imaging. The new grammar of drug discovery provides rules for translating the wealth of genomic and proteomic information into targeted medicines with a focus on complex interactions of proteins. This paradigm shift requires highly specific and quantitative imaging at the molecular level with tools that can be used in cellular assays, animals and finally translated into patients. The development of fluorescent targeted and activatable 'smart' probes, fluorescent proteins and new reporter gene systems as functional and dynamic markers of molecular events in vitro and in vivo is therefore playing a pivotal role. An enabling optical imaging platform will combine optical hardware refinement with a strong emphasis on creating and validating highly specific chemical and biological tools. PMID:22006912

  18. Pharmacophore-based discovery of ligands for drug transporters

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. PubChem as a public resource for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Li, Qingliang; Cheng, Tiejun; Wang, Yanli; Bryant, Stephen H

    2010-12-01

    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.

  20. Matched molecular pair analysis in drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  1. iPSCs in Cardiovascular Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Mercola, Mark; Colas, Alexandre; Willems, Erik

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. Network-Based Approaches in Drug Discovery and Early Development

    PubMed Central

    Harrold, JM; Ramanathan, M; Mager, DE

    2015-01-01

    Identification of novel targets is a critical first step in the drug discovery and development process. Most diseases such as cancer, metabolic disorders, and neurological disorders are complex, and their pathogenesis involves multiple genetic and environmental factors. Finding a viable drug target–drug combination with high potential for yielding clinical success within the efficacy–toxicity spectrum is extremely challenging. Many examples are now available in which network-based approaches show potential for the identification of novel targets and for the repositioning of established targets. The objective of this article is to highlight network approaches for identifying novel targets with greater chances of gaining approved drugs with maximal efficacy and minimal side effects. Further enhancement of these approaches may emerge from effectively integrating computational systems biology with pharmacodynamic systems analysis. Coupling genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics databases with systems pharmacology modeling may aid in the development of disease-specific networks that can be further used to build confidence in target identification. PMID:24025802

  3. Financing drug discovery via dynamic leverage.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Financing drug discovery via dynamic leverage.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  5. Mechanism Targeted Discovery of Antitumor Marine Natural Products

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-11

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

  8. Strategies and recent technologies in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kubinyi, H

    1995-10-01

    In the last years, the paradigms of drug research changed significantly. New technologies were developed, in several different fields. Combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening increase our chances to find new lead structures, with less effort than by dedicated syntheses. Gene technology, in addition to providing therapeutically useful proteins, significantly contributes to rational drug design. The primary structure of a protein can be derived from the DNA sequence of the corresponding gene. Its relevance for a certain disease is investigated in transgenic animals. Expression of the protein in bacteria or in cell culture produces material for screening systems and for 3D structure determination by protein crystallography. NMR techniques, or electron cryo-microscopy. Structure-based and computer-aided design methods are applied to optimize lead structures with the least effort. A serious problem in the application of such techniques is their limitation to ligand-protein interactions. For the design of a therapeutically useful drug, also absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination have to be considered. QSAR methods help in this respect. Scope and limitations of the new technologies are discussed in the context of conventional approaches in drug discovery.

  9. Is Caenorhabditis elegans the Magic Bullet for Anthelminthic Drug Discovery?

    PubMed

    Keiser, Jennifer

    2015-10-01

    Recent advances in handling and readout have facilitated high-throughput screens with Caenorhabditis elegans. A new study demonstrates that C. elegans is a useful tool in high-throughput anthelminthic drug discovery. Despite challenges, drug discovery using C. elegans offers opportunities that might lead the way to novel anthelminthic drugs.

  10. Redox Platforms in Cancer Drug Discovery and Development

    PubMed Central

    Tew, Kenneth D.; Townsend, Danyelle M.

    2010-01-01

    Redox homeostasis is frequently dysregulated in human disease, particularly cancer. Recent and ongoing efforts seek to validate and extend this platform for the discovery/development of anticancer drugs. As the primary source of cellular redox buffer, thiols (in particular glutathione) have been therapeutically targeted in cancer treatment, myeloproliferation, hematopoietic progenitor cell mobilization and immune response. A number of “redox modulating” drugs have been, or are, under development and the pipeline seems viable. Moreover, S-glutathionylation is a protein post-translational modification that influences a number of critical cell pathways and in the medium term, defining the “glutathionome” has the possibility to provide opportunities for target identification for therapeutic intervention perhaps with a relevance that parallels ongoing efforts with the kinome. PMID:21075043

  11. Interfacial inhibition of macromolecular interactions: nature's paradigm for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Pommier, Yves; Cherfils, Jacqueline

    2005-03-01

    One of nature's strategies for interfering with molecular interactions is to trap macromolecules in transition states with their partners in dead-end complexes that are unable to complete their biological function. This type of inhibition, which we refer to as "interfacial inhibition", is illustrated by two natural inhibitors, brefeldin A (BFA) and camptothecin (CPT), whose modes of action have been elucidated fully in structural studies. Interfacial inhibition occurs at the protein-protein interface in the case of BFA and at the protein-DNA interface in the case of CPT. In both systems, the drugs take advantage of transient structural and energetic conditions created by the macromolecular complex, which give rise to "hot-spots" for drug binding. In addition to these examples, several natural compounds such as forskolin, tubulin inhibitors and immunophilins target protein interfaces. We propose that interfacial inhibition is a paradigm for the discovery of drugs that interfere with macromolecular complexes.

  12. Mass spectrometry in drug discovery: a current review.

    PubMed

    Feng, Wan Yong

    2004-12-01

    Drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry has shown great demands for screening absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion (ADME) and pharmacokinetics (PK) in guiding the selection of lead candidate compounds. Determination of ADME/PK properties of new chemical entities (NCE) in early drug discovery should allow defects to be corrected prior to time-consuming and expensive preclinical and clinical development stages. Mass spectrometry has evolved to become an irreplaceable technology in all types of drug discovery applications because of its high sensitivity, speed, selectivity, versatility, and ease of automation. This review will include current mass spectrometric techniques and applications in drug discovery, as well as future prospects.

  13. Translating Stem Cell Biology Into Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Singeç, Ilyas; Simeonov, Anton

    2016-01-01

    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.

  14. Coral aquaculture to support drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Leal, Miguel C; Calado, Ricardo; Sheridan, Christopher; Alimonti, Andrea; Osinga, Ronald

    2013-10-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 50 years of hurdles and hope in anxiolytic drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Griebel, Guy; Holmes, Andrew

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Collaboration for rare disease drug discovery research

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Collaboration for rare disease drug discovery research.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. The Many Roles of Computation in Drug Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jorgensen, William L.

    2004-03-01

    An overview is given on the diverse uses of computational chemistry in drug discovery. Particular emphasis is placed on virtual screening, de novo design, evaluation of drug-likeness, and advanced methods for determining protein-ligand binding.

  20. Informed toxicity assessment in drug discovery: systems-based toxicology.

    PubMed

    Mayne, James T; Ku, Warren W; Kennedy, Scott P

    2006-01-01

    Technological advances in the biological, chemical and in silico sciences have transformed many scientific disciplines, including toxicology. A vast new palate of toxicity testing tools is now available to investigators, enabling the generation of enormous amounts of data using only small amounts of test sample and at relatively low cost. In addition to these tools, the pharmaceutical industry has an urgent need for toxicity testing earlier in the process, based on the recognition that safety issues are the single largest cause of drug candidate attrition from development portfolios and the marketplace. However, along with the opportunity provided by new testing tools comes the dilemma of deciding which tools to use and, equally as important, when and why to use them. It may well be unwise to apply a new toxicity test or screening system simply because one can, as both false positive and false negative outcomes can quickly negate the value of a toxicity test system and may even have a net negative impact on drug discovery productivity. This can be true even of test systems that are considered to be 'validated' in the traditional sense. How then is an investigator or drug discovery organization to decide which of the new tools to use, and when to use them? Proposed herein is a strategy for identifying high-value toxicity testing systems and strategies based on program knowledge and informed decision-making. The decision to apply a certain toxicity testing system in this strategy is informed by knowledge of the pharmacological target, the chemical features of molecules active at the pharmacological target, and existing public domain or institutional learning. This 'fit-for-purpose' approach limits non-targeted or 'uninformed' toxicity screening to only those few test systems with high specificity, strong outcome concordance and molecular relevance to frequently encountered toxicity risks (eg, genotoxicity). Additional toxicity testing and screening is then conducted

  1. Antiobesity pharmacotherapy: new drugs and emerging targets.

    PubMed

    Kim, G W; Lin, J E; Blomain, E S; Waldman, S A

    2014-01-01

    Obesity is a growing pandemic, and related health and economic costs are staggering. Pharmacotherapy, partnered with lifestyle modifications, forms the core of current strategies to reduce the burden of this disease and its sequelae. However, therapies targeting weight loss have a significant history of safety risks, including cardiovascular and psychiatric events. Here, evolving strategies for developing antiobesity therapies, including targets, mechanisms, and developmental status, are highlighted. Progress in this field is underscored by Belviq (lorcaserin) and Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate), the first agents in more than 10 years to achieve regulatory approval for chronic weight management in obese patients. On the horizon, novel insights into metabolism and energy homeostasis reveal guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) signaling circuits as emerging targets for antiobesity pharmacotherapy. These innovations in molecular discovery may elegantly align with practical off-the-shelf approaches, leveraging existing approved drugs that modulate cGMP levels for the management of obesity. PMID:24105257

  2. Biosensors: new approaches in drug discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keusgen, Michael

    2002-09-01

    The development of biosensors for analytical purposes has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. A biosensor is defined as an analytical device consisting of a biological component (e.g., enzyme, antibody, entire cell, DNA) and a physical transducer (e.g., electrode, optical device). Biosensors are mostly designed for routine analysis, such as clinical diagnosis, quality control of food, in-process control of fermentations, and in environmental analysis. Many of these sensors are also suitable for screening purposes in order to find new drugs. Such systems should yield information either about compounds with known bioactivity or about the bioactivity of samples with known or unknown chemical composition. Biosensors intended for the latter purpose are essentially based on whole cells carrying receptors and ion channels at their surfaces. Miniaturization of structures, primarily based on silicon, allows integration of many sensors into arrays, which may be suitable for the screening of natural and chemical products as well as combinatorial libraries. Until now, no commercially available sensors of this kind exist but they are expected in the near future. Different biosensors, based on enzymes, antibodies, cells, artificial membranes and entire animal tissues, which can be used in drug discovery and may lead to efficient screening systems in the future, are described in this review.

  3. From target identification to drug screening assays for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Zuccato, Chiara; Tartari, Marzia; Goffredo, Donato; Cattaneo, Elena; Rigamonti, Dorotea

    2005-09-01

    Treatment of neurodegenerative diseases represents a major challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. Key to developing novel and efficacious therapeutics is the discovery of new druggable targets. Toward this aim, the current drug discovery process is strongly relying on the improved understanding of disease mechanisms and on a synergistic approach with chemistry, molecular biology and robotics. In this scenario, we present the case of a newly discovered molecular mechanism that may be of interest for drug discovery programmes in Huntington's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:15916902

  4. Pharmacognosy: Science of natural products in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Orhan, Ilkay Erdogan

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  6. Harvesting classification trees for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yan; Chipman, Hugh A; Welch, William J

    2012-12-21

    Millions of compounds are available as potential drug candidates. High throughput screening (HTS) is widely used in drug discovery to assay compounds for a particular biological activity. A common approach is to build a classification model using a smaller sample of assay data to predict the activity of unscreened compounds and hence select further compounds for assay. This improves the efficiency of the search by increasing the proportion of hits found among the assayed compounds. In many assays, the biological activity is dichotomized into a binary indicator variable; the explanatory variables are chemical descriptors capturing compound structure. A tree model is interpretable, which is key, since it is of interest to identify diverse chemical classes among the active compounds to serve as leads for drug optimization. Interpretability of a tree is often reduced, however, by the sheer size of the tree model and the number of variables and rules of the terminal nodes. We develop a "tree harvesting" algorithm to filter out redundant "junk" rules from the tree while retaining its predictive accuracy. This simplification can facilitate the process of uncovering key relations between molecular structure and activity and may clarify rules defining multiple activity mechanisms. Using data from the National Cancer Institute, we illustrate that many of the rules used to build a classification tree may be redundant. Unlike tree pruning, tree harvesting allows variables with junk rules to be removed near the top of the tree. The reduction in complexity of the terminal nodes improves the interpretability of the model. The algorithm also aims to reorganize the tree nodes associated with the interesting "active" class into larger, more coherent groups, thus facilitating identification of the mechanisms for activity.

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

    PubMed Central

    Yasgar, Adam; Simeonov, Anton

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Critical parameters in targeted drug development: the pharmacological audit trail.

    PubMed

    Banerji, Udai; Workman, Paul

    2016-08-01

    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.

  9. Critical parameters in targeted drug development: the pharmacological audit trail.

    PubMed

    Banerji, Udai; Workman, Paul

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27663475

  10. Network analysis of FDA approved drugs and their targets.

    PubMed

    Ma'ayan, Avi; Jenkins, Sherry L; Goldfarb, Joseph; Iyengar, Ravi

    2007-04-01

    The global relationship between drugs that are approved for therapeutic use and the human genome is not known. We employed graph-theory methods to analyze the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs and their known molecular targets. We used the FDA Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations 26(th) Edition Electronic Orange Book (EOB) to identify all FDA approved drugs and their active ingredients. We then connected the list of active ingredients extracted from the EOB to those known human protein targets included in the DrugBank database and constructed a bipartite network. We computed network statistics and conducted Gene Ontology analysis on the drug targets and drug categories. We find that drug to drug-target relationship in the bipartite network is scale-free. Several classes of proteins in the human genome appear to be better targets for drugs since they appear to be selectively enriched as drug targets for the currently FDA approved drugs. These initial observations allow for development of an integrated research methodology to identify general principles of the drug discovery process. PMID:17516560

  11. Biodiversity, chemical diversity and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sheo B; Pelaez, Fernando

    2008-01-01

    Drugs developed from microbial natural products are in the fundaments of modern pharmaceutical companies. Despite decades of research, all evidences suggest that there must remain many interesting natural molecules with potential therapeutic application yet to be discovered. Any efforts to successfully exploit the chemical diversity of microbial secondary metabolites need to rely heavily on a good understanding of microbial diversity, being the working hypothesis that maximizing biological diversity is the key strategy to maximizing chemical diversity. This chapter presents an overview of diverse topics related with this basic principle, always in relation with the discovery of novel secondary metabolites. The types of microorganisms more frequently used for natural products discovery are briefly reviewed, as well as the differences between terrestrial and marine habitats as sources of bioactive secondary metabolite producers. The concepts about microbial diversity as applied to prokaryotes have evolved in the last years, but recent data suggest the existence of true biogeographic patterns of bacterial diversity, which are also discussed. Special attention is dedicated to the existing strategies to exploit the microbial diversity that is not easy to tackle by conventional approaches. This refers explicitly to the current attempts to isolate and cultivate the previously uncultured bacteria, including the application of high throughput techniques. Likewise, the advances of microbial molecular biology has allowed the development of metagenomic approaches, i.e., the expression of biosynthetic pathways directly obtained from environmental DNA and cloned in a suitable host, as another way of accessing microbial genetic resources. Also, approaches relying on the genomics of metabolite producers are reviewed.

  12. In vitro display technologies - new tools for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    FitzGerald

    2000-06-01

    Over the past decade, several ligand discovery techniques have been developed that mimic the process of natural evolution. Phage display technology is the most established of these methods and has been applied to numerous technological problems including the discovery of novel drugs. More recently, some new display technologies have emerged which, unlike phage display, operate entirely in vitro and have concomitant advantages. This review describes this new generation of display technologies and indicates how they might fit into the modern drug discovery process.

  13. Green Tea Polyphenols in drug discovery - a success or failure?

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    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

  14. NOVEL AVENUES OF DRUG DISCOVERY AND BIOMARKERS FOR DIABETES MELLITUS

    PubMed Central

    Maiese, Kenneth; Chong, Zhao Zhong; Shang, Yan Chen; Hou, Jinling

    2011-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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; Ärlestig, 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.

    2013-01-01

    A major challenge in human genetics is to devise a systematic strategy to integrate disease-associated variants with diverse genomic and biological datasets to provide insight into disease pathogenesis and guide drug discovery for complex traits such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA)1. Here, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) 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 (SNPs). We discovered 42 novel RA risk loci at a genome-wide level of significance, bringing the total to 1012–4. We devised an in-silico pipeline using established bioinformatics methods based on functional annotation5, cis-acting expression quantitative trait loci (cis-eQTL)6, and pathway analyses7–9 – as well as novel methods based on genetic overlap with human primary immunodeficiency (PID), hematological cancer somatic mutations and knock-out mouse phenotypes – to identify 98 biological candidate genes at these 101 risk loci. We demonstrate that these genes are the targets of approved therapies for RA, and further suggest that drugs approved for other indications may be repurposed for the treatment of RA. Together, this comprehensive genetic study sheds light on fundamental genes, pathways and cell types that contribute to RA pathogenesis, and provides empirical evidence that the genetics of RA can provide important information for drug discovery. PMID:24390342

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-20

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

  17. The evolution of drug discovery in systemic lupus erythematosus.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Daniel J

    2015-10-01

    Drug discovery in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has lagged behind other rheumatic diseases, in large part because of difficulty in measuring change or improvement in a disorder that involves multiple organ systems to varying degrees at different times. The metrics currently used as primary endpoints are composite indices that rely mainly on disease assessment measures derived before the era of clinical trials of targeted therapies. Only one agent has been approved for the treatment of SLE since 1957. This monograph reviews the evolution of drug development for SLE, problems and pitfalls that have been encountered, and outlines the domains used to evaluate SLE in the clinic. Finally, several initiatives underway to improve clinical trial design are outlined.

  18. PubChem applications in drug discovery: a bibliometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Tiejun; Pan, Yongmei; Hao, Ming; Wang, Yanli; Bryant, Stephen H

    2014-11-01

    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.

  19. PubChem applications in drug discovery: a bibliometric analysis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Tiejun; Pan, Yongmei; Hao, Ming; Wang, Yanli; Bryant, Stephen H.

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Collaborative virtual organisation and infrastructure for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Barry; Affentranger, Roman

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Advances in tau-based drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Wendy; Pooler, Amy M.; Hanger, Diane P.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and some frontotemporal dementias, are neurodegenerative diseases characterised by pathological lesions comprised of tau protein. There is currently a significant and urgent unmet need for disease-modifying therapies for these conditions and recently attention has turned to tau as a potential target for intervention. Areas covered Increasing evidence has highlighted pathways associated with tau-mediated neurodegeneration as important targets for drug development. Here, the authors review recently published papers in this area and summarise the genetic and pharmacological approaches that have shown efficacy in reducing tau-associated neurodegeneration. These include the use of agents to prevent abnormal tau processing and increase tau clearance, therapies targeting the immune system, and the manipulation of tau pre-mRNA to modify tau isoform expression. Expert opinion Several small molecule tau-based treatments are currently being assessed in clinical trials, the outcomes of which are eagerly awaited. Current evidence suggests that therapies targeting tau are likely, at least in part, to form the basis of an effective and safe treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders in which tau deposition is evident. PMID:22003359

  3. A practical drug discovery project at the undergraduate level.

    PubMed

    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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  4. Drug Discovery Case History: US Spelling

    PubMed Central

    Kufahl, Peter R.; Watterson, Lucas R.

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. Network-based characterization of drug-regulated genes, drug targets, and toxicity.

    PubMed

    Kotlyar, Max; Fortney, Kristen; Jurisica, Igor

    2012-08-01

    Proteins do not exert their effects in isolation of one another, but interact together in complex networks. In recent years, sophisticated methods have been developed to leverage protein-protein interaction (PPI) network structure to improve several stages of the drug discovery process. Network-based methods have been applied to predict drug targets, drug side effects, and new therapeutic indications. In this paper we have two aims. First, we review the past contributions of network approaches and methods to drug discovery, and discuss their limitations and possible future directions. Second, we show how past work can be generalized to gain a more complete understanding of how drugs perturb networks. Previous network-based characterizations of drug effects focused on the small number of known drug targets, i.e., direct binding partners of drugs. However, drugs affect many more genes than their targets - they can profoundly affect the cell's transcriptome. For the first time, we use networks to characterize genes that are differentially regulated by drugs. We found that drug-regulated genes differed from drug targets in terms of functional annotations, cellular localizations, and topological properties. Drug targets mainly included receptors on the plasma membrane, down-regulated genes were largely in the nucleus and were enriched for DNA binding, and genes lacking drug relationships were enriched in the extracellular region. Network topology analysis indicated several significant graph properties, including high degree and betweenness for the drug targets and drug-regulated genes, though possibly due to network biases. Topological analysis also showed that proteins of down-regulated genes appear to be frequently involved in complexes. Analyzing network distances between regulated genes, we found that genes regulated by structurally similar drugs were significantly closer than genes regulated by dissimilar drugs. Finally, network centrality of a drug

  6. Metagenomics-based drug discovery and marine microbial diversity.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Qin, Ling

    2005-11-01

    As the global threat of drug-resistant pathogens continues to rise, new strategies and resources are required to accelerate and advance the drug discovery process. We believe that rapid progress in metagenomics has opened up a new era in the study of marine microbial diversity that enables direct access to the genomes of numerous uncultivable microorganisms. This review outlines recent developments and future trends in metagenomics-based drug discovery in marine microbial communities and their associated chemical prosperity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

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

  8. A novel drug discovery strategy: Mechanistic investigation of an enantiomeric antitumor agent targeting dual p53 and NF-κB pathways

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Woo Shik; Wu, Yuelin; Li, Jin; Yao, Jianzhong; Dong, Guoqiang; Zhang, Wen; Sham, Yuk Yin; Miao, Zhenyuan; Zhang, Wannian

    2014-01-01

    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

  9. Functionalized carbon nanotubes in drug design and discovery.

    PubMed

    Prato, Maurizio; Kostarelos, Kostas; Bianco, Alberto

    2008-01-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been proposed and actively explored as multipurpose innovative carriers for drug delivery and diagnostic applications. Their versatile physicochemical features enable the covalent and noncovalent introduction of several pharmaceutically relevant entities and allow for rational design of novel candidate nanoscale constructs for drug development. CNTs can be functionalized with different functional groups to carry simultaneously several moieties for targeting, imaging, and therapy. Among the most interesting examples of such multimodal CNT constructs described in this Account is one carrying a fluorescein probe together with the antifungal drug amphotericin B or fluorescein and the antitumor agent methotrexate. The biological action of the drug in these cases is retained or, as in the case of amphotericin B constructs, enhanced, while CNTs are able to reduce the unwanted toxicity of the drug administered alone. Ammonium-functionalized CNTs can also be considered very promising vectors for gene-encoding nucleic acids. Indeed, we have formed stable complexes between cationic CNTs and plasmid DNA and demonstrated the enhancement of the gene therapeutic capacity in comparison to DNA alone. On the other hand, CNTs conjugated with antigenic peptides can be developed as a new and effective system for synthetic vaccine applications. What makes CNTs quite unique is their ability, first shown by our groups in 2004, to passively cross membranes of many different types of cells following a translocation mechanism that has been termed the nanoneedle mechanism. In that way, CNTs open innumerable possibilities for future drug discovery based on intracellular targets that have been hard to reach until today. Moreover, adequately functionalized CNTs as those shown in this Account can be rapidly eliminated from the body following systemic administration offering further encouragment for their development. CNT excretion rates and accumulation in organs and

  10. Drug discovery from plant sources: An integrated approach

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. How academic labs can approach the drug discovery process as a way to synergize with big pharma.

    PubMed

    Loregian, Arianna; Palù, Giorgio

    2013-06-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Liou, Shyh-Yuh

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Profiling the kinome for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Yan, S Frank; King, Frederick J; Zhou, Yingyao; Warmuth, Markus; Xia, Gang

    2006-01-01

    The human kinome is made up of 518 distinctive serine/threonine and tyrosine kinases, which are key components of virtually every mammalian signal transduction pathway. Consequently, kinases provide a compelling target family for the development of small molecule inhibitors, which could be used as tools to delineate the mechanism of action for biological processes and potentially be used as therapeutics to treat human diseases such as cancer. A myriad of recent technological advances have accelerated our understanding of kinome function, its relationship to tumorigenic development, and have contributed to the progression of small molecule kinase inhibitors into the clinic. Essential to the continued growth of the field are informatics tools that can assist in interpreting disparate and voluminous data sets and correctly guide decision making processes. These advances are expected to have a dramatic impact on kinase drug development and clinical diagnoses and treatment in the near future.:

  14. Other targeted drugs in melanoma

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Review: US Spelling Colorectal cancer models for novel drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Golovko, Daniel; Kedrin, Dmitriy; Yilmaz, Omer H.; Roper, Jatin

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Despite increased screening rates and advances in targeted therapy, colorectal cancer (CRC) remains the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality. CRC models that recapitulate key features of human disease are essential to the development of novel and effective therapeutics. Classic methods of modeling CRC such as human cell lines and xenograft mice, while useful for many applications, carry significant limitations. Recently developed in vitro and in vivo models overcome some of these deficiencies and thus can be utilized to better model CRC for mechanistic and translational research. Areas Covered The authors review established models of in vitro cell culture and describe advances in organoid culture for studying normal and malignant intestine. They also discuss key features of classic xenograft models and describe other approaches for in vivo CRC research, including patient-derived xenograft, carcinogen-induced, orthotopic transplantation, and transgenic mouse models. We also describe mouse models of metastatic CRC. Expert opinion No single model is optimal for drug discovery in CRC. Genetically engineered models overcome many limitations of xenograft models. Three-dimensional organoids can be efficiently derived from both normal and malignant tissue for large-scale in vitro and in vivo (transplantation) studies, and are thus a significant advance in CRC drug discovery. PMID:26295972

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

    PubMed

    Li, Rongshi

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Recent advances in computer-aided drug design as applied to anti-influenza drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Mallipeddi, Prema L; Kumar, Gyanendra; White, Stephen W; Webb, Thomas R

    2014-01-01

    Influenza is a seasonal and serious health threat, and the recent outbreak of H7N9 following the pandemic spread of H1N1 in 2009 has served to emphasize the importance of anti-influenza drug discovery. Zanamivir (Relenza™) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu(®)) are two antiviral drugs currently recommended by the CDC for treating influenza. Both are examples of the successful application of structure-based drug design strategies. These strategies have combined computer- based approaches, such as docking- and pharmacophore-based virtual screening with X-ray crystallographic structural analyses. Docking is a routinely used computational method to identify potential hits from large compound libraries. This method has evolved from simple rigid docking approaches to flexible docking methods to handle receptor flexibility and to enhance hit rates in virtual screening. Virtual screening approaches can employ both ligand-based and structurebased pharmacophore models depending on the available information. The exponential growth in computing power has increasingly facilitated the application of computer-aided methods in drug discovery, and they now play significant roles in the search for novel therapeutics. An overview of these computational tools is presented in this review, and recent advances and challenges will be discussed. The focus of the review will be anti-influenza drug discovery and how advances in our understanding of viral biology have led to the discovery of novel influenza protein targets. Also discussed will be strategies to circumvent the problem of resistance emerging from rapid mutations that has seriously compromised the efficacy of current anti-influenza therapies.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Raphemot, Rene; Lafuente-Monasterio, Maria J.; Gamo-Benito, Francisco Javier; Clardy, Jon

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, QuanQiu; Xu, Rong

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Assessing drug target association using semantic linked data.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bin; Ding, Ying; Wild, David J

    2012-01-01

    The rapidly increasing amount of public data in chemistry and biology provides new opportunities for large-scale data mining for drug discovery. Systematic integration of these heterogeneous sets and provision of algorithms to data mine the integrated sets would permit investigation of complex mechanisms of action of drugs. In this work we integrated and annotated data from public datasets relating to drugs, chemical compounds, protein targets, diseases, side effects and pathways, building a semantic linked network consisting of over 290,000 nodes and 720,000 edges. We developed a statistical model to assess the association of drug target pairs based on their relation with other linked objects. Validation experiments demonstrate the model can correctly identify known direct drug target pairs with high precision. Indirect drug target pairs (for example drugs which change gene expression level) are also identified but not as strongly as direct pairs. We further calculated the association scores for 157 drugs from 10 disease areas against 1683 human targets, and measured their similarity using a [Formula: see text] score matrix. The similarity network indicates that drugs from the same disease area tend to cluster together in ways that are not captured by structural similarity, with several potential new drug pairings being identified. This work thus provides a novel, validated alternative to existing drug target prediction algorithms. The web service is freely available at: http://chem2bio2rdf.org/slap.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Lixia

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Van Dam, Debby; De Deyn, Peter Paul

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Transforming the work of early-stage drug discovery through bioprocess informatics.

    PubMed

    Holzman, Thomas F; Hebert, Eric J

    2005-01-01

    Drug discovery has historically advanced by synergy and chance. These are proving insufficient to meet the needs of the marketplace and the demands of modern medicine. We describe our strategic approaches to building and employing flexible informatics tools to transform and improve the workflows and efficiencies of the early-stages of target development in drug discovery. We contrast our approach to strategies that have recently evolved at startup biotechnology companies who use similar technological approaches to drug development but who are less encumbered by precedent and history.

  12. Applications of Fiberoptics-Based Nanosensors to Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Ribosomal targets for antibiotic drug discovery

    DOEpatents

    Blanchard, Scott C.; Feldman, Michael Brian; Wang, Leyi; Doudna Cate, James H.; Pulk, Arto; Altman, Roger B.; Wasserman, Michael R

    2016-09-13

    The present invention relates to methods to identify molecules that binds in the neomycin binding pocket of a bacterial ribosome using structures of an intact bacterial ribosome that reveal how the ribosome binds tRNA in two functionally distinct states, determined by x-ray crystallography. One state positions tRNA in the peptidyl-tRNA binding site. The second, a fully rotated state, is stabilized by ribosome recycling factor (RRF) and binds tRNA in a highly bent conformation in a hybrid peptidyl/exit (P/E) site. Additionally, the invention relates to various assays, including single-molecule assay for ribosome recycling, and methods to identify compounds that interfere with ribosomal function by detecting newly identified intermediate FRET states using known and novel FRET pairs on the ribosome. The invention also provides vectors and compositions with an N-terminally tagged S13 protein.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Whitelegge, J P; le Coutre, J

    2001-01-01

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

  17. Risk genes for schizophrenia: translational opportunities for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Winchester, Catherine L; Pratt, Judith A; Morris, Brian J

    2014-07-01

    Despite intensive research over many years, the treatment of schizophrenia remains a major health issue. Current and emerging treatments for schizophrenia are based upon the classical dopamine and glutamate hypotheses of disease. Existing first and second generation antipsychotic drugs based upon the dopamine hypothesis are limited by their inability to treat all symptom domains and their undesirable side effect profiles. Third generation drugs based upon the glutamate hypothesis of disease are currently under evaluation but are more likely to be used as add on treatments. Hence there is a large unmet clinical need. A major challenge in neuropsychiatric disease research is the relatively limited knowledge of disease mechanisms. However, as our understanding of the genetic causes of the disease evolves, novel strategies for the development of improved therapeutic agents will become apparent. In this review we consider the current status of knowledge of the genetic basis of schizophrenia, including methods for identifying genetic variants associated with the disorder and how they impact on gene function. Although the genetic architecture of schizophrenia is complex, some targets amenable to pharmacological intervention can be discerned. We conclude that many challenges lie ahead but the stratification of patients according to biobehavioural constructs that cross existing disease classifications but with common genetic and neurobiological bases, offer opportunities for new approaches to effective drug discovery.

  18. A fully integrated protein crystallization platform for small-molecule drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hosfield, David; Palan, John; Hilgers, Mark; Scheibe, Daniel; McRee, Duncan E; Stevens, Raymond C

    2003-04-01

    Structure-based drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry benefits from cost-efficient methodologies that quickly assess the feasibility of specific, often refractory, protein targets to form well-diffracting crystals. By tightly coupling construct and purification diversity with nanovolume crystallization, the Structural Biology Group at Syrrx has developed such a platform to support its small-molecule drug-discovery program. During the past 18 months of operation at Syrrx, the Structural Biology Group has executed several million crystallization and imaging trials on over 400 unique drug-discovery targets. Here, key components of the platform, as well as an analysis of some experimental results that allowed for platform optimization, will be described.

  19. Drug targeting through pilosebaceous route.

    PubMed

    Chourasia, Rashmi; Jain, Sanjay K

    2009-10-01

    Local skin targeting is of interest for the pharmaceutical and the cosmetic industry. A topically applied substance has basically three possibilities to penetrate into the skin: transcellular, intercellular, and follicular. The transfollicular path has been largely ignored because hair follicles constitute only 0.1% of the total skin. The hair follicle is a skin appendage with a complex structure containing many cell types that produce highly specialised proteins. The hair follicle is in a continuous cycle: anagen is the hair growth phase, catagen the involution phase and telogen is the resting phase. Nonetheless, the hair follicle has great potential for skin treatment, owing to its deep extension into the dermis and thus provides much deeper penetration and absorption of compounds beneath the skin than seen with the transdermal route. In the case of skin diseases and of cosmetic products, delivery to sweat glands or to the pilosebaceous unit is essential for the effectiveness of the drug. Increased accumulation in the pilosebaceous unit could treat alopecia, acne and skin cancer more efficiently and improve the effect of cosmetic substances and nutrients. Therefore, we review herein various drug delivery systems, including liposomes, niosomes, microspheres, nanoparticles, nanoemulsions, lipid nanocarriers, gene therapy and discuss the results of recent researches. We also review the drugs which have been investigated for pilosebaceous delivery. PMID:19663765

  20. Drug targeting through pilosebaceous route.

    PubMed

    Chourasia, Rashmi; Jain, Sanjay K

    2009-10-01

    Local skin targeting is of interest for the pharmaceutical and the cosmetic industry. A topically applied substance has basically three possibilities to penetrate into the skin: transcellular, intercellular, and follicular. The transfollicular path has been largely ignored because hair follicles constitute only 0.1% of the total skin. The hair follicle is a skin appendage with a complex structure containing many cell types that produce highly specialised proteins. The hair follicle is in a continuous cycle: anagen is the hair growth phase, catagen the involution phase and telogen is the resting phase. Nonetheless, the hair follicle has great potential for skin treatment, owing to its deep extension into the dermis and thus provides much deeper penetration and absorption of compounds beneath the skin than seen with the transdermal route. In the case of skin diseases and of cosmetic products, delivery to sweat glands or to the pilosebaceous unit is essential for the effectiveness of the drug. Increased accumulation in the pilosebaceous unit could treat alopecia, acne and skin cancer more efficiently and improve the effect of cosmetic substances and nutrients. Therefore, we review herein various drug delivery systems, including liposomes, niosomes, microspheres, nanoparticles, nanoemulsions, lipid nanocarriers, gene therapy and discuss the results of recent researches. We also review the drugs which have been investigated for pilosebaceous delivery.

  1. Glial cells as drug targets: What does it take?

    PubMed

    Möller, Thomas; Boddeke, Hendrikus W G M

    2016-10-01

    The last two decades have brought a significant increase in our understanding of glial biology and glial contribution to CNS disease. Yet, despite the fact that glial cells make up the majority of CNS cells, no drug specifically targeting glial cells is on the market. Given the long development times of CNS drugs, on average over 12 years, this is not completely surprising. However, there is increasing interest from academia and industry to exploit glial targets to develop drugs for the benefit of patients with currently limited or no therapeutic options. CNS drug development has a high attrition rate and has encountered many challenges. It seems unlikely that developing drugs against glial targets would be any less demanding. However, the knowledge generated in traditional CNS drug discovery teaches valuable lessons, which could enable the glial community to accelerate the cycle time from basic discovery to drug development. In this review we will discuss steps necessary to bring a "glial target idea" to a clinical development program. GLIA 2016;64:1742-1754.

  2. Glial cells as drug targets: What does it take?

    PubMed

    Möller, Thomas; Boddeke, Hendrikus W G M

    2016-10-01

    The last two decades have brought a significant increase in our understanding of glial biology and glial contribution to CNS disease. Yet, despite the fact that glial cells make up the majority of CNS cells, no drug specifically targeting glial cells is on the market. Given the long development times of CNS drugs, on average over 12 years, this is not completely surprising. However, there is increasing interest from academia and industry to exploit glial targets to develop drugs for the benefit of patients with currently limited or no therapeutic options. CNS drug development has a high attrition rate and has encountered many challenges. It seems unlikely that developing drugs against glial targets would be any less demanding. However, the knowledge generated in traditional CNS drug discovery teaches valuable lessons, which could enable the glial community to accelerate the cycle time from basic discovery to drug development. In this review we will discuss steps necessary to bring a "glial target idea" to a clinical development program. GLIA 2016;64:1742-1754. PMID:27121701

  3. The Multifaceted Roles of Molecular Dynamics Simulations in Drug Discovery.

    PubMed

    Fox, Stephen John; Li, Jianguo; Sing Tan, Yaw; Nguyen, Minh N; Pal, Arumay; Ouaray, Zohra; Yadahalli, Shilpa; Kannan, Srinivasaraghavan

    2016-01-01

    Discovery of new therapeutics is a very challenging, expensive and time-consuming process. With the number of approved drugs declining steadily, combined with increasing costs, a rational approach is needed to facilitate, expedite and streamline the drug discovery process. In silico methods are playing key roles in the discovery of a growing number of marketed drugs. The use of computational approaches, particularly molecular dynamics, in drug design is rapidly gaining momentum and acceptance as an essential part of the toolkit for modern drug discovery. From analysing atomistic details for explaining experimentally observed phenomena, to designing drugs with increased efficacy and specificity, the insight that such simulations can provide is generating new ideas and applications that have previously been unexplored. Here we discuss physics-based simulation methodologies and applications in drug design: from locating pockets to designing novel lead compounds, from small molecules to peptides. With developments in hardware, software and theory, the improved predictive abilities of in silico efforts are becoming an essential part of efficient, economic and accurate drug development strategies.

  4. Network-based drug discovery by integrating systems biology and computational technologies.

    PubMed

    Leung, Elaine L; Cao, Zhi-Wei; Jiang, Zhi-Hong; Zhou, Hua; Liu, Liang

    2013-07-01

    Network-based intervention has been a trend of curing systemic diseases, but it relies on regimen optimization and valid multi-target actions of the drugs. The complex multi-component nature of medicinal herbs may serve as valuable resources for network-based multi-target drug discovery due to its potential treatment effects by synergy. Recently, robustness of multiple systems biology platforms shows powerful to uncover molecular mechanisms and connections between the drugs and their targeting dynamic network. However, optimization methods of drug combination are insufficient, owning to lacking of tighter integration across multiple '-omics' databases. The newly developed algorithm- or network-based computational models can tightly integrate '-omics' databases and optimize combinational regimens of drug development, which encourage using medicinal herbs to develop into new wave of network-based multi-target drugs. However, challenges on further integration across the databases of medicinal herbs with multiple system biology platforms for multi-target drug optimization remain to the uncertain reliability of individual data sets, width and depth and degree of standardization of herbal medicine. Standardization of the methodology and terminology of multiple system biology and herbal database would facilitate the integration. Enhance public accessible databases and the number of research using system biology platform on herbal medicine would be helpful. Further integration across various '-omics' platforms and computational tools would accelerate development of network-based drug discovery and network medicine.

  5. Network-based drug discovery by integrating systems biology and computational technologies

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Elaine L.; Cao, Zhi-Wei; Jiang, Zhi-Hong; Zhou, Hua

    2013-01-01

    Network-based intervention has been a trend of curing systemic diseases, but it relies on regimen optimization and valid multi-target actions of the drugs. The complex multi-component nature of medicinal herbs may serve as valuable resources for network-based multi-target drug discovery due to its potential treatment effects by synergy. Recently, robustness of multiple systems biology platforms shows powerful to uncover molecular mechanisms and connections between the drugs and their targeting dynamic network. However, optimization methods of drug combination are insufficient, owning to lacking of tighter integration across multiple ‘-omics’ databases. The newly developed algorithm- or network-based computational models can tightly integrate ‘-omics’ databases and optimize combinational regimens of drug development, which encourage using medicinal herbs to develop into new wave of network-based multi-target drugs. However, challenges on further integration across the databases of medicinal herbs with multiple system biology platforms for multi-target drug optimization remain to the uncertain reliability of individual data sets, width and depth and degree of standardization of herbal medicine. Standardization of the methodology and terminology of multiple system biology and herbal database would facilitate the integration. Enhance public accessible databases and the number of research using system biology platform on herbal medicine would be helpful. Further integration across various ‘-omics’ platforms and computational tools would accelerate development of network-based drug discovery and network medicine. PMID:22877768

  6. Single cell analytic tools for drug discovery and development

    PubMed Central

    Heath, James R.; Ribas, Antoni; Mischel, Paul S.

    2016-01-01

    The genetic, functional, or compositional heterogeneity of healthy and diseased tissues presents major challenges in drug discovery and development.1-3 In cancers, heterogeneity may be essential for tumor stability,4 but its precise role in tumor biology is poorly resolved. This challenges the design of accurate disease models for use in drug development, and can confound the interpretation of biomarker levels, and of patient responses to specific therapies. The complex nature of heterogeneous tissues has motivated the development of tools for single cell genomic, transcriptomic, and multiplex proteomic analysis. We review these tools, assess their advantages and limitations, and explore their potential applications in drug discovery and development. PMID:26669673

  7. TargetNet: a web service for predicting potential drug-target interaction profiling via multi-target SAR models.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zhi-Jiang; Dong, Jie; Che, Yu-Jing; Zhu, Min-Feng; Wen, Ming; Wang, Ning-Ning; Wang, Shan; Lu, Ai-Ping; Cao, Dong-Sheng

    2016-05-01

    Drug-target interactions (DTIs) are central to current drug discovery processes and public health fields. Analyzing the DTI profiling of the drugs helps to infer drug indications, adverse drug reactions, drug-drug interactions, and drug mode of actions. Therefore, it is of high importance to reliably and fast predict DTI profiling of the drugs on a genome-scale level. Here, we develop the TargetNet server, which can make real-time DTI predictions based only on molecular structures, following the spirit of multi-target SAR methodology. Naïve Bayes models together with various molecular fingerprints were employed to construct prediction models. Ensemble learning from these fingerprints was also provided to improve the prediction ability. When the user submits a molecule, the server will predict the activity of the user's molecule across 623 human proteins by the established high quality SAR model, thus generating a DTI profiling that can be used as a feature vector of chemicals for wide applications. The 623 SAR models related to 623 human proteins were strictly evaluated and validated by several model validation strategies, resulting in the AUC scores of 75-100 %. We applied the generated DTI profiling to successfully predict potential targets, toxicity classification, drug-drug interactions, and drug mode of action, which sufficiently demonstrated the wide application value of the potential DTI profiling. The TargetNet webserver is designed based on the Django framework in Python, and is freely accessible at http://targetnet.scbdd.com . PMID:27167132

  8. Discovery of Novel Antigiardiasis Drug Candidates

    PubMed Central

    Kulakova, Liudmila; Galkin, Andrey; Chen, Catherine Z.; Southall, Noel; Marugan, Juan J.; Zheng, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Giardiasis is a severe intestinal parasitic disease caused by Giardia lamblia, which inflicts many people in poor regions and is the most common parasitic infection in the United States. Current standard care drugs are associated with undesirable side effects, treatment failures, and an increasing incidence of drug resistance. As follow-up to a high-throughput screening of an approved drug library, which identified compounds lethal to G. lamblia trophozoites, we have determined the minimum lethal concentrations of 28 drugs and advanced 10 of them to in vivo studies in mice. The results were compared to treatment with the standard care drug, metronidazole, in order to identify drugs with equal or better anti-Giardia activities. Three drugs, fumagillin, carbadox, and tioxidazole, were identified. These compounds were also potent against metronidazole-resistant human G. lamblia isolates (assemblages A and B), as determined in in vitro assays. Of these three compounds, fumagillin is currently an orphan drug used within the European Union to treat microsporidiosis in immunocompromised individuals, whereas carbadox and tioxidazole are used in veterinary medicine. A dose-dependent study of fumagillin in a giardiasis mouse model revealed that the effective dose of fumagillin was ∼100-fold lower than the metronidazole dose. Therefore, fumagillin may be advanced to further studies as an alternative treatment for giardiasis when metronidazole fails. PMID:25267663

  9. Highthroughtput analysis of behavior for drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Alexandrov, Vadim; Brunner, Dani; Hanania, Taleen; Leahy, Emer

    2015-01-01

    Drug testing with traditional behavioral assays constitutes a major bottleneck in the development of novel therapies. PsychoGenics developed three comprehensive highthroughtput systems, SmartCube®, NeuroCube® and PhenoCube® systems, to increase the efficiency of the drug screening and phenotyping in rodents. These three systems capture different domains of behavior, namely, cognitive, motor, circadian, social, anxiety-like, gait and others, using custom-built computer vision software and machine learning algorithms for analysis. This review exemplifies the use of the three systems and explains how they can advance drug screening with their applications to phenotyping of disease models, drug screening, selection of lead candidates, behavior-driven lead optimization, and drug repurposing. PMID:25592319

  10. China: current trends in pharmaceutical drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Luo, Ying

    2008-04-01

    Pharmaceutical discovery and development is expensive and highly risky, even for multinational corporations. As a developing country with limited financial resources, China has been seeking the most cost-effective means to reach the same level of innovation and productivity as Western countries in the pharmaceutical industry sector. After more than 50 years of building up talent and experience, the time for China to become a powerhouse in pharmaceutical innovation is finally approaching. Returnee scientists to China are one of the reasons for the wave of new discovery and commercialization occurring within the country. The consolidation of local Chinese pharmaceutical companies and foreign investment is also providing an agreeable environment for the evolution of a new generation of biotechnology. The opportunity for pharmaceutical innovation is also being expedited by the entry of multinational companies into the Chinese pharmaceutical market, and by the outsourcing of research from these companies to China. PMID:18379963

  11. Heart-targeted nanoscale drug delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Liu, Meifang; Li, Minghui; Wang, Guangtian; Liu, Xiaoying; Liu, Daming; Peng, Haisheng; Wang, Qun

    2014-09-01

    The efficacious delivery of drugs to the heart is an important treatment strategy for various heart diseases. Nanocarriers have shown increasing promise in targeted drug delivery systems. The success of nanocarriers for delivering drugs to therapeutic sites in the heart mainly depends on specific target sites, appropriate drug delivery carriers and effective targeting ligands. Successful targeted drug delivery suggests the specific deposition of a drug in the heart with minimal effects on other organs after administration. This review discusses the pathological manifestations, pathogenesis, therapeutic limitations and new therapeutic advances in various heart diseases. In particular, we summarize the recent advances in heart-targeted nanoscale drug delivery systems, including dendrimers, liposomes, polymer-drug conjugates, microparticles, nanostents, nanoparticles, micelles and microbubbles. Current clinical trials, the commercial market and future perspective are further discussed in the conclusions.

  12. Methodological advances in drug discovery for Chagas disease

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Juan M.; Tarleton, Rick L.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Chagas disease is the highest impact human infectious disease in Latin America, and the leading worldwide cause of myocarditis. Despite the availability of several compounds that have demonstrated efficacy in limiting the effects of T. cruzi, these compounds are rarely used due to their variable efficacy, substantial side effects and the lack of methodologies for confirming their effectiveness. Furthermore, the development of more efficacious compounds is challenged by limitations of systems for assessing drug efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Areas covered Herein, the authors review the development of Chagas disease drug discovery methodology, focusing on recent developments in high throughput screening, in vivo testing methods and assessments of efficacy in humans. Particularly, this review documents the significant progress that has taken place over the last 5 years that have paved the way for both target-focused and high-throughput screens of compound libraries. Expert opinion The tools for in vitro and in vivo screening of anti-T. cruzi compounds have improved dramatically in the last few years and there are now a number of excellent in vivo testing models available; this somewhat alleviates the bottleneck issue of quickly and definitively demonstrating in vivo efficacy in a relevant host animal system. These advances emphasize the potential for additional progress resulting in new treatments for Chagas disease in the coming years. That being said, national and international agencies must improve the coordination of research and development efforts in addition to cultivating the funding sources for the development of these new treatments. PMID:21712965

  13. Re-engineering drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    FitzGerald, Garret A

    2011-10-01

    The rate of new drug approvals in the US has remained essentially constant since 1950, while the costs of drug development have soared. Many commentators question the sustainability of the current model of drug development, in which large pharmaceutical companies incur markedly escalating costs to deliver the same number of products to market. This Issue Brief summarizes the problem, describes ongoing governmental efforts to influence the process, and suggests changes in regulatory science and translational medicine that may promote more successful development of safe and effective therapeutics PMID:22049582

  14. Polymers for Colon Targeted Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Rajpurohit, H.; Sharma, P.; Sharma, S.; Bhandari, A.

    2010-01-01

    The colon targeted drug delivery has a number of important implications in the field of pharmacotherapy. Oral colon targeted drug delivery systems have recently gained importance for delivering a variety of therapeutic agents for both local and systemic administration. Targeting of drugs to the colon via oral administration protect the drug from degradation or release in the stomach and small intestine. It also ensures abrupt or controlled release of the drug in the proximal colon. Various drug delivery systems have been designed that deliver the drug quantitatively to the colon and then trigger the release of drug. This review will cover different types of polymers which can be used in formulation of colon targeted drug delivery systems. PMID:21969739

  15. A functional variomics tool for discovering drug resistance genes and drug targets

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhiwei; Chen, Kaifu; Zhang, Jianhuai; Li, Yongxiang; Wang, Hui; Cui, Dandan; Tang, Jiangwu; Liu, Yong; Shi, Xiaomin; Li, Wei; Liu, Dan; Chen, Rui; Sucgang, Richard S.; Pan, Xuewen

    2013-01-01

    Comprehensive discovery of genetic mechanisms of drug resistance and identification of in vivo drug targets represent significant challenges. Here we present a functional variomics technology in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This tool analyzes numerous genetic variants and effectively tackles both problems simultaneously. Using this tool, we discovered almost all genes that, due to mutations or modest overexpression, confer resistance to rapamycin, cycloheximide, and amphotericin B. Most significant among the resistance genes were drug targets, including multiple targets of a given drug. With amphotericin B, we discovered the highly conserved membrane protein Pmp3 as a potent resistance factor and a possible novel target. Widespread application of this tool should allow rapid identification of conserved resistance mechanisms and targets of many more compounds. New genes and alleles that confer resistance to other stresses can also be discovered. Similar tools in other systems such as human cell lines will also be useful. PMID:23416056

  16. TCM-based new drug discovery and development in China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wan-Ying; Hou, Jin-Jun; Long, Hua-Li; Yang, Wen-Zhi; Liang, Jian; Guo, De-An

    2014-04-01

    Over the past 30 years, China has significantly improved the drug development environment by establishing a series of policies for the regulation of new drug approval. The regulatory system for new drug evaluation and registration in China was gradually developed in accordance with international standards. The approval and registration of TCM in China became as strict as those of chemical drugs and biological products. In this review, TCM-based new drug discovery and development are introduced according to the TCM classification of nine categories.

  17. C. elegans in high-throughput drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    O’Reilly, Linda P.; Luke, Cliff J.; Perlmutter, David H.; Silverman, Gary A.; Pak, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    C. elegans has proven to be a useful model organism for investigating molecular and cellular aspects of numerous human diseases. More recently, investigators have explored the use of this organism as a tool for drug discovery. Although earlier drug screens were labor-intensive and low in throughput, recent advances in high-throughput liquid workflows, imaging platforms and data analysis software have made C. elegans a viable option for automated high-throughput drug screens. This review will outline the evolution of C. elegans-based drug screening, discuss the inherent challenges of using C. elegans, and highlight recent technological advances that have paved the way for future drug screens. PMID:24333896

  18. Drug discovery: Fighting evolution with chemical synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Ming; Baran, Phil S.

    2016-05-01

    A synthetic strategy has been developed that provides easy access to structurally diverse analogues of naturally occurring antibiotics, providing a fresh means of attack in the war against drug-resistant bacteria. See Article p.338

  19. Early days in drug discovery by crystallography - personal recollections.

    PubMed

    Colman, Peter M

    2013-01-01

    The influences of Lawrence Bragg and Max Perutz are evident in the contemporary emphasis on 'structural enablement' in drug discovery. On this occasion of the centenary of Bragg's equation, his role in supporting the earliest structural studies of biological materials at the Cavendish Laboratory is remembered. The 1962 Nobel Prizes for the structures of DNA and proteins marked the golden anniversary of the von Laue and Bragg discoveries.

  20. Microfluidic Devices for Automation of Assays on Drosophila Melanogaster for Applications in Drug Discovery and Biological Studies.

    PubMed

    Ghaemi, Reza; Selvaganapathy, Ponnambalam R

    2016-01-01

    Drug discovery is a long and expensive process, which usually takes 12-15 years and could cost up to ~$1 billion. Conventional drug discovery process starts with high throughput screening and selection of drug candidates that bind to specific target associated with a disease condition. However, this process does not consider whether the chosen candidate is optimal not only for binding but also for ease of administration, distribution in the body, effect of metabolism and associated toxicity if any. A holistic approach, using model organisms early in the drug discovery process to select drug candidates that are optimal not only in binding but also suitable for administration, distribution and are not toxic is now considered as a viable way for lowering the cost and time associated with the drug discovery process. However, the conventional drug discovery assays using Drosophila are manual and required skill operator, which makes them expensive and not suitable for high-throughput screening. Recently, microfluidics has been used to automate many of the operations (e.g. sorting, positioning, drug delivery) associated with the Drosophila drug discovery assays and thereby increase their throughput. This review highlights recent microfluidic devices that have been developed for Drosophila assays with primary application towards drug discovery for human diseases. The microfluidic devices that have been reviewed in this paper are categorized based on the stage of the Drosophila that have been used. In each category, the microfluidic technologies behind each device are described and their potential biological applications are discussed.

  1. Lipid A as a Drug Target and Therapeutic Molecule

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Sang Hoon

    2015-01-01

    In this review, lipid A, from its discovery to recent findings, is presented as a drug target and therapeutic molecule. First, the biosynthetic pathway for lipid A, the Raetz pathway, serves as a good drug target for antibiotic development. Several assay methods used to screen for inhibitors of lipid A synthesis will be presented, and some of the promising lead compounds will be described. Second, utilization of lipid A biosynthetic pathways by various bacterial species can generate modified lipid A molecules with therapeutic value. PMID:26535075

  2. Targeting efflux pumps to overcome antifungal drug resistance.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Ann R; Cardno, Tony S; Strouse, J Jacob; Ivnitski-Steele, Irena; Keniya, Mikhail V; Lackovic, Kurt; Monk, Brian C; Sklar, Larry A; Cannon, Richard D

    2016-08-01

    Resistance to antifungal drugs is an increasingly significant clinical problem. The most common antifungal resistance encountered is efflux pump-mediated resistance of Candida species to azole drugs. One approach to overcome this resistance is to inhibit the pumps and chemosensitize resistant strains to azole drugs. Drug discovery targeting fungal efflux pumps could thus result in the development of azole-enhancing combination therapy. Heterologous expression of fungal efflux pumps in Saccharomyces cerevisiae provides a versatile system for screening for pump inhibitors. Fungal efflux pumps transport a range of xenobiotics including fluorescent compounds. This enables the use of fluorescence-based detection, as well as growth inhibition assays, in screens to discover compounds targeting efflux-mediated antifungal drug resistance. A variety of medium- and high-throughput screens have been used to identify a number of chemical entities that inhibit fungal efflux pumps. PMID:27463566

  3. Nature’s bounty – drug discovery from the sea

    PubMed Central

    Bowling, John J; Kochanowska, Anna J; Kasanah, Noer; Hamann, Mark T

    2016-01-01

    With ~ 40 years of research completed after the development of self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, drug discovery opportunities in the sea are still too numerous to count. Since the FDA approval of the direct-from-the-sea calcium channel blocker ziconotide, marine natural products have been validated as a source for new medicines. However, the demand for natural products is extremely high due to the development of high-throughput assays and this bottleneck has created the need for an intense focus on increasing the rate of isolating and elucidating the structures of new bioactive secondary metabolites. In addition to highlighting the drug discovery potential of the marine environment, this review discusses several of the pressing needs to increase the rate of drug discovery in marine natural products, and describes some of the work and new technologies that are contributing in this regard. PMID:23484601

  4. Solubility and dissolution profile assessment in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Sugano, Kiyohiko; Okazaki, Arimichi; Sugimoto, Shohei; Tavornvipas, Sumitra; Omura, Atsushi; Mano, Takashi

    2007-08-01

    The purposes of the review are to: a) Provide a comprehensible introduction of the-state-of-the-art sciences of solubility and dissolution, b) introduce typical technologies to assess solubility and dissolution, and c) propose the best practice strategy. The theories of solubility and dissolution required in drug discovery were reviewed especially from the view point of oral absorption. The physiological conditions in the gastrointestinal fluid in humans and animals were then briefly summarized. Technologies to assess solubility and dissolution in drug discovery were then introduced. Recently, these technologies have been improved by the laboratory automation and computational technologies. Finally, the strategies to apply these technologies for a drug discovery project were discussed.

  5. Drug-target interaction prediction: databases, web servers and computational models.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xing; Yan, Chenggang Clarence; Zhang, Xiaotian; Zhang, Xu; Dai, Feng; Yin, Jian; Zhang, Yongdong

    2016-07-01

    Identification of drug-target interactions is an important process in drug discovery. Although high-throughput screening and other biological assays are becoming available, experimental methods for drug-target interaction identification remain to be extremely costly, time-consuming and challenging even nowadays. Therefore, various computational models have been developed to predict potential drug-target associations on a large scale. In this review, databases and web servers involved in drug-target identification and drug discovery are summarized. In addition, we mainly introduced some state-of-the-art computational models for drug-target interactions prediction, including network-based method, machine learning-based method and so on. Specially, for the machine learning-based method, much attention was paid to supervised and semi-supervised models, which have essential difference in the adoption of negative samples. Although significant improvements for drug-target interaction prediction have been obtained by many effective computational models, both network-based and machine learning-based methods have their disadvantages, respectively. Furthermore, we discuss the future directions of the network-based drug discovery and network approach for personalized drug discovery based on personalized medicine, genome sequencing, tumor clone-based network and cancer hallmark-based network. Finally, we discussed the new evaluation validation framework and the formulation of drug-target interactions prediction problem by more realistic regression formulation based on quantitative bioactivity data.

  6. Exploring the role of receptor flexibility in structure-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Feixas, Ferran; Lindert, Steffen; Sinko, William; McCammon, J Andrew

    2014-02-01

    The proper understanding of biomolecular recognition mechanisms that take place in a drug target is of paramount importance to improve the efficiency of drug discovery and development. The intrinsic dynamic character of proteins has a strong influence on biomolecular recognition mechanisms and models such as conformational selection have been widely used to account for this dynamic association process. However, conformational changes occurring in the receptor prior and upon association with other molecules are diverse and not obvious to predict when only a few structures of the receptor are available. In view of the prominent role of protein flexibility in ligand binding and its implications for drug discovery, it is of great interest to identify receptor conformations that play a major role in biomolecular recognition before starting rational drug design efforts. In this review, we discuss a number of recent advances in computer-aided drug discovery techniques that have been proposed to incorporate receptor flexibility into structure-based drug design. The allowance for receptor flexibility provided by computational techniques such as molecular dynamics simulations or enhanced sampling techniques helps to improve the accuracy of methods used to estimate binding affinities and, thus, such methods can contribute to the discovery of novel drug leads. PMID:24332165

  7. Exploring the Role of Receptor Flexibility in Structure-Based Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Feixas, Ferran; Lindert, Steffen; Sinko, William; McCammon, J. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The proper understanding of biomolecular recognition mechanisms that take place in a drug target is of paramount importance to improve the efficiency of drug discovery and development. The intrinsic dynamic character of proteins has a strong influence on biomolecular recognition mechanisms and models such as conformational selection have been widely used to account for this dynamic association process. However, conformational changes occurring in the receptor prior and upon association with other molecules are diverse and not obvious to predict when only a few structures of the receptor are available. In view of the prominent role of protein flexibility in ligand binding and its implications for drug discovery, it is of great interest to identify receptor conformations that play a major role in biomolecular recognition before starting rational drug design efforts. In this review, we discuss a number of recent advances in computer-aided drug discovery techniques that have been proposed to incorporate receptor flexibility into structure-based drug design. The allowance for receptor flexibility provided by computational techniques such as molecular dynamics simulations or enhanced sampling techniques helps to improve the accuracy of methods used to estimate binding affinities and, thus, such methods can contribute to the discovery of novel drug leads. PMID:24332165

  8. Developing doctoral scientists for drug discovery: pluridimensional education required.

    PubMed

    Janero, David R

    2013-02-01

    Research universities continue to produce new scientists capable of generating knowledge with the potential to inform disease etiology and treatment. Mounting interest of doctoral-level experimental science students in therapeutics-related research careers is discordant with the widespread lack of direct drug-discovery and development experience, let alone commercialization success, among university faculty and administrators. Likewise, the archetypical publication- and grant-fueled, principal investigator (PI)-focused academic system ("PI-stan") risks commoditization of science students pursuing their doctorates as a labor source, rendering them ill-prepared for career options related to therapeutics innovation by marginalizing their development of "beyond-the-bench" professional skills foundational to modern drug-discovery campaigns and career fluency. To militate against professionalization deficits in doctoral drug-discovery researchers, the author--a scientist-administrator-consultant with decades of discovery research and development (R&D), business, and educator experience in commercial and university settings--posits a critical need for pluridimensionality in graduate education and mentorship that extends well beyond thesis-related scientific domains/laboratory techniques to instill transferable operational-intelligence, project/people-management, and communication competencies. Specific initiatives are advocated to help enhance the doctoral science student's market competitiveness, adaptability, and navigation of the significant research, commercial, and occupational challenges associated with contemporary preclinical drug-discovery R&D. PMID:23231364

  9. Developing doctoral scientists for drug discovery: pluridimensional education required.

    PubMed

    Janero, David R

    2013-02-01

    Research universities continue to produce new scientists capable of generating knowledge with the potential to inform disease etiology and treatment. Mounting interest of doctoral-level experimental science students in therapeutics-related research careers is discordant with the widespread lack of direct drug-discovery and development experience, let alone commercialization success, among university faculty and administrators. Likewise, the archetypical publication- and grant-fueled, principal investigator (PI)-focused academic system ("PI-stan") risks commoditization of science students pursuing their doctorates as a labor source, rendering them ill-prepared for career options related to therapeutics innovation by marginalizing their development of "beyond-the-bench" professional skills foundational to modern drug-discovery campaigns and career fluency. To militate against professionalization deficits in doctoral drug-discovery researchers, the author--a scientist-administrator-consultant with decades of discovery research and development (R&D), business, and educator experience in commercial and university settings--posits a critical need for pluridimensionality in graduate education and mentorship that extends well beyond thesis-related scientific domains/laboratory techniques to instill transferable operational-intelligence, project/people-management, and communication competencies. Specific initiatives are advocated to help enhance the doctoral science student's market competitiveness, adaptability, and navigation of the significant research, commercial, and occupational challenges associated with contemporary preclinical drug-discovery R&D.

  10. The Impact of Chemical Probes in Drug Discovery: A Pharmaceutical Industry Perspective.

    PubMed

    Garbaccio, Robert M; Parmee, Emma R

    2016-01-21

    Chemical probes represent an important component of both academic and pharmaceutical drug discovery research. As a complement to prior reviews that have defined this scientific field, we aim to provide an industry perspective on the value of having high-quality chemical probes throughout the course of preclinical research. By studying examples from the internal Merck pipeline, we recognize that these probes require significant collaborative investment to realize their potential impact in clarifying the tractability and translation of a given therapeutic target. This perspective concludes with recommendations for chemical probe discovery aimed toward maximizing their potential to identify targets that result in the successful delivery of novel therapeutics.

  11. An ontology for description of drug discovery investigations.

    PubMed

    Qi, Da; King, Ross D; Hopkins, Andrew L; Bickerton, G Richard J; Soldatova, Larisa N

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents an ontology for the description of Drug Discovery Investigation (DDI).This has been developed through the use of a Robot Scientist "Eve", and in consultation with industry. DDI aims to define the principle entities and the relations in the research and development phase of the drug discovery pipeline. DDI is highly transferable and extendable due to its adherence to accepted standards, and compliance with existing ontology resources. This enables DDI to be integrated with such related ontologies as the Vaccine Ontology, the Advancing Clinico-Genomic Trials on Cancer Master Ontology, etc. DDI is available at http://purl.org/ddi/wikipedia or http://purl.org/ddi/home.

  12. Fragment-Based Drug Discovery Using NMR Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Harner, Mary J.; Frank, Andreas O.; Fesik, Stephen W.

    2013-01-01

    Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has evolved into a powerful tool for fragment-based drug discovery over the last two decades. While NMR has been traditionally used to elucidate the three-dimensional structures and dynamics of biomacromolecules and their interactions, it can also be a very valuable tool for the reliable identification of small molecules that bind to proteins and for hit-to-lead optimization. Here, we describe the use of NMR spectroscopy as a method for fragment-based drug discovery and how to most effectively utilize this approach for discovering novel therapeutics based on our experience. PMID:23686385

  13. Shifting from the single- to the multitarget paradigm in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Medina-Franco, José L.; Giulianotti, Marc A.; Welmaker, Gregory S.; Houghten, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

    Increasing evidence that several drug compounds exert their effects through interactions with multiple targets is boosting the development of research fields that challenge the data reductionism approach. In this article, we review and discuss the concepts of drug repurposing, polypharmacology, chemogenomics, phenotypic screening and highthroughput in vivo testing of mixture-based libraries in an integrated manner. These research fields offer alternatives to the current paradigm of drug discovery, from a one target–one drug model to a multiple-target approach. Furthermore, the goals of lead identification are being expanded accordingly to identify not only ‘key’ compounds that fit with a single-target ‘lock’, but also ‘master key’ compounds that favorably interact with multiple targets (i.e. operate a set of desired locks to gain access to the expected clinical effects). PMID:23340113

  14. Bacterial Transcription as a Target for Antibacterial Drug Development.

    PubMed

    Ma, Cong; Yang, Xiao; Lewis, Peter J

    2016-03-01

    Transcription, the first step of gene expression, is carried out by the enzyme RNA polymerase (RNAP) and is regulated through interaction with a series of protein transcription factors. RNAP and its associated transcription factors are highly conserved across the bacterial domain and represent excellent targets for broad-spectrum antibacterial agent discovery. Despite the numerous antibiotics on the market, there are only two series currently approved that target transcription. The determination of the three-dimensional structures of RNAP and transcription complexes at high resolution over the last 15 years has led to renewed interest in targeting this essential process for antibiotic development by utilizing rational structure-based approaches. In this review, we describe the inhibition of the bacterial transcription process with respect to structural studies of RNAP, highlight recent progress toward the discovery of novel transcription inhibitors, and suggest additional potential antibacterial targets for rational drug design.

  15. Advances in the proteomic discovery of novel therapeutic targets in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Shanchun; Zou, Jin; Wang, Guangdi

    2013-01-01

    Proteomic approaches are continuing to make headways in cancer research by helping to elucidate complex signaling networks that underlie tumorigenesis and disease progression. This review describes recent advances made in the proteomic discovery of drug targets for therapeutic development. A variety of technical and methodological advances are overviewed with a critical assessment of challenges and potentials. A number of potential drug targets, such as baculoviral inhibitor of apoptosis protein repeat-containing protein 6, macrophage inhibitory cytokine 1, phosphoglycerate mutase 1, prohibitin 1, fascin, and pyruvate kinase isozyme 2 were identified in the proteomic analysis of drug-resistant cancer cells, drug action, and differential disease state tissues. Future directions for proteomics-based target identification and validation to be more translation efficient are also discussed. PMID:24187485

  16. CANDO and the infinite drug discovery frontier

    PubMed Central

    Minie, Mark; Chopra, Gaurav; Sethi, Geetika; Horst, Jeremy; White, George; Roy, Ambrish; Hatti, Kaushik; Samudrala, Ram

    2014-01-01

    The Computational Analysis of Novel Drug Opportunities (CANDO) platform (http://protinfo.org/cando) uses similarity of compound–proteome interaction signatures to infer homology of compound/drug behavior. We constructed interaction signatures for 3733 human ingestible compounds covering 48,278 protein structures mapping to 2030 indications based on basic science methodologies to predict and analyze protein structure, function, and interactions developed by us and others. Our signature comparison and ranking approach yielded benchmarking accuracies of 12–25% for 1439 indications with at least two approved compounds. We prospectively validated 49/82 ‘high value’ predictions from nine studies covering seven indications, with comparable or better activity to existing drugs, which serve as novel repurposed therapeutics. Our approach may be generalized to compounds beyond those approved by the FDA, and can also consider mutations in protein structures to enable personalization. Our platform provides a holistic multiscale modeling framework of complex atomic, molecular, and physiological systems with broader applications in medicine and engineering. PMID:24980786

  17. Structure and dynamics of molecular networks: a novel paradigm of drug discovery: a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Csermely, Peter; Korcsmáros, Tamás; Kiss, Huba J M; London, Gábor; Nussinov, Ruth

    2013-06-01

    Despite considerable progress in genome- and proteome-based high-throughput screening methods and in rational drug design, the increase in approved drugs in the past decade did not match the increase of drug development costs. Network description and analysis not only give a systems-level understanding of drug action and disease complexity, but can also help to improve the efficiency of drug design. We give a comprehensive assessment of the analytical tools of network topology and dynamics. The state-of-the-art use of chemical similarity, protein structure, protein-protein interaction, signaling, genetic interaction and metabolic networks in the discovery of drug targets is summarized. We propose that network targeting follows two basic strategies. The "central hit strategy" selectively targets central nodes/edges of the flexible networks of infectious agents or cancer cells to kill them. The "network influence strategy" works against other diseases, where an efficient reconfiguration of rigid networks needs to be achieved by targeting the neighbors of central nodes/edges. It is shown how network techniques can help in the identification of single-target, edgetic, multi-target and allo-network drug target candidates. We review the recent boom in network methods helping hit identification, lead selection optimizing drug efficacy, as well as minimizing side-effects and drug toxicity. Successful network-based drug development strategies are shown through the examples of infections, cancer, metabolic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Summarizing >1200 references we suggest an optimized protocol of network-aided drug development, and provide a list of systems-level hallmarks of drug quality. Finally, we highlight network-related drug development trends helping to achieve these hallmarks by a cohesive, global approach. PMID:23384594

  18. Anti-HIV Drug Discovery and Development: Current Innovations and Future Trends.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Peng; Pannecouque, Christophe; De Clercq, Erik; Liu, Xinyong

    2016-04-14

    The early effectiveness of combinatorial antiretroviral therapy (cART) in the treatment of HIV infection has been compromised to some extent by rapid development of multidrug-resistant HIV strains, poor bioavailability, and cumulative toxicities, and so there is a need for alternative strategies of antiretroviral drug discovery and additional therapeutic agents with novel action modes or targets. From this perspective, we first review current strategies of antiretroviral drug discovery and optimization, with the aid of selected examples from the recent literature. We highlight the development of phosphate ester-based prodrugs as a means to improve the aqueous solubility of HIV inhibitors, and the introduction of the substrate envelope hypothesis as a new approach for overcoming HIV drug resistance. Finally, we discuss future directions for research, including opportunities for exploitation of novel antiretroviral targets, and the strategy of activation of latent HIV reservoirs as a means to eradicate the virus. PMID:26509831

  19. Scientific workflows as productivity tools for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Shon, John; Ohkawa, Hitomi; Hammer, Juergen

    2008-05-01

    Large pharmaceutical companies annually invest tens to hundreds of millions of US dollars in research informatics to support their early drug discovery processes. Traditionally, most of these investments are designed to increase the efficiency of drug discovery. The introduction of do-it-yourself scientific workflow platforms has enabled research informatics organizations to shift their efforts toward scientific innovation, ultimately resulting in a possible increase in return on their investments. Unlike the handling of most scientific data and application integration approaches, researchers apply scientific workflows to in silico experimentation and exploration, leading to scientific discoveries that lie beyond automation and integration. This review highlights some key requirements for scientific workflow environments in the pharmaceutical industry that are necessary for increasing research productivity. Examples of the application of scientific workflows in research and a summary of recent platform advances are also provided.

  20. From bench to patient: model systems in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Breyer, Matthew D.; Look, A. Thomas; Cifra, Alessandra

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Model systems, including laboratory animals, microorganisms, and cell- and tissue-based systems, are central to the discovery and development of new and better drugs for the treatment of human disease. In this issue, Disease Models & Mechanisms launches a Special Collection that illustrates the contribution of model systems to drug discovery and optimisation across multiple disease areas. This collection includes reviews, Editorials, interviews with leading scientists with a foot in both academia and industry, and original research articles reporting new and important insights into disease therapeutics. This Editorial provides a summary of the collection's current contents, highlighting the impact of multiple model systems in moving new discoveries from the laboratory bench to the patients' bedsides. PMID:26438689

  1. Current progress in Structure-Based Rational Drug Design marks a new mindset in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lounnas, Valère; Ritschel, Tina; Kelder, Jan; McGuire, Ross; Bywater, Robert P.; Foloppe, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed a paradigm shift in preclinical drug discovery with structure-based drug design (SBDD) making a comeback while high-throughput screening (HTS) methods have continued to generate disappointing results. There is a deficit of information between identified hits and the many criteria that must be fulfilled in parallel to convert them into preclinical candidates that have a real chance to become a drug. This gap can be bridged by investigating the interactions between the ligands and their receptors. Accurate calculations of the free energy of binding are still elusive; however progresses were made with respect to how one may deal with the versatile role of water. A corpus of knowledge combining X-ray structures, bioinformatics and molecular modeling techniques now allows drug designers to routinely produce receptor homology models of increasing quality. These models serve as a basis to establish and validate efficient rationales used to tailor and/or screen virtual libraries with enhanced chances of obtaining hits. Many case reports of successful SBDD show how synergy can be gained from the combined use of several techniques. The role of SBDD with respect to two different classes of widely investigated pharmaceutical targets: (a) protein kinases (PK) and (b) G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) is discussed. Throughout these examples prototypical situations covering the current possibilities and limitations of SBDD are presented. PMID:24688704

  2. Competitive intelligence and patent analysis in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Grandjean, Nicolas; Charpiot, Brigitte; Pena, Carlos Andres; Peitsch, Manuel C

    2005-01-01

    Patents are a major source of information in drug discovery and, when properly processed and analyzed, can yield a wealth of information on competitors activities, R&D trends, emerging fields, collaborations, among others. This review discusses the current state-of-the-art in textual data analysis and exploration methods as applied to patent analysis.:

  3. Open data in drug discovery and development: lessons from malaria.

    PubMed

    Wells, Timothy N C; Willis, Paul; Burrows, Jeremy N; Hooft van Huijsduijnen, Rob

    2016-10-01

    There is a growing consensus that drug discovery thrives in an open environment. Here, we describe how the malaria community has embraced four levels of open data - open science, open innovation, open access and open source - to catalyse the development of new medicines, and consider principles that could enable open data approaches to be applied to other disease areas.

  4. Drug leads for interactive protein targets with unknown structure.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Ariel; Scott, L Ridgway

    2016-04-01

    The disruption of protein-protein interfaces (PPIs) remains a challenge in drug discovery. The problem becomes daunting when the structure of the target protein is unknown and is even further complicated when the interface is susceptible to disruptive phosphorylation. Based solely on protein sequence and information about phosphorylation-susceptible sites within the PPI, a new technology has been developed to identify drug leads to inhibit protein associations. Here we reveal this technology and contrast it with current structure-based technologies for the generation of drug leads. The novel technology is illustrated by a patented invention to treat heart failure. The success of this technology shows that it is possible to generate drug leads in the absence of target structure. PMID:26484433

  5. Literature mining for the discovery of hidden connections between drugs, genes and diseases.

    PubMed

    Frijters, Raoul; van Vugt, Marianne; Smeets, Ruben; van Schaik, René; de Vlieg, Jacob; Alkema, Wynand

    2010-09-23

    The scientific literature represents a rich source for retrieval of knowledge on associations between biomedical concepts such as genes, diseases and cellular processes. A commonly used method to establish relationships between biomedical concepts from literature is co-occurrence. Apart from its use in knowledge retrieval, the co-occurrence method is also well-suited to discover new, hidden relationships between biomedical concepts following a simple ABC-principle, in which A and C have no direct relationship, but are connected via shared B-intermediates. In this paper we describe CoPub Discovery, a tool that mines the literature for new relationships between biomedical concepts. Statistical analysis using ROC curves showed that CoPub Discovery performed well over a wide range of settings and keyword thesauri. We subsequently used CoPub Discovery to search for new relationships between genes, drugs, pathways and diseases. Several of the newly found relationships were validated using independent literature sources. In addition, new predicted relationships between compounds and cell proliferation were validated and confirmed experimentally in an in vitro cell proliferation assay. The results show that CoPub Discovery is able to identify novel associations between genes, drugs, pathways and diseases that have a high probability of being biologically valid. This makes CoPub Discovery a useful tool to unravel the mechanisms behind disease, to find novel drug targets, or to find novel applications for existing drugs.

  6. Ligand-based receptor tyrosine kinase partial agonists: New paradigm for cancer drug discovery?

    PubMed Central

    Riese, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are validated targets for oncology drug discovery and several RTK antagonists have been approved for the treatment of human malignancies. Nonetheless, the discovery and development of RTK antagonists has lagged behind the discovery and development of agents that target G-protein coupled receptors. In part, this is because it has been difficult to discover analogs of naturally-occurring RTK agonists that function as antagonists. Areas covered Here we describe ligands of ErbB receptors that function as partial agonists for these receptors, thereby enabling these ligands to antagonize the activity of full agonists for these receptors. We provide insights into the mechanisms by which these ligands function as antagonists. We discuss how information concerning these mechanisms can be translated into screens for novel small molecule- and antibody-based antagonists of ErbB receptors and how such antagonists hold great potential as targeted cancer chemotherapeutics. Expert opinion While there have been a number of important key findings into this field, the identification of the structural basis of ligand functional specificity is still of the greatest importance. While it is true that, with some notable exceptions, peptide hormones and growth factors have not proven to be good platforms for oncology drug discovery; addressing the fundamental issues of antagonistic partial agonists for receptor tyrosine kinases has the potential to steer oncology drug discovery in new directions. Mechanism based approaches are now emerging to enable the discovery of RTK partial agonists that may antagonize both agonist-dependent and –independent RTK signaling and may hold tremendous promise as targeted cancer chemotherapeutics. PMID:21532939

  7. Structure and dynamics of molecular networks: A novel paradigm of drug discovery: A comprehensive review

    PubMed Central

    Csermely, Peter; Korcsmáros, Tamás; Kiss, Huba J.M.; London, Gábor; Nussinov, Ruth

    2013-01-01

    Despite considerable progress in genome- and proteome-based high-throughput screening methods and in rational drug design, the increase in approved drugs in the past decade did not match the increase of drug development costs. Network description and analysis not only gives a systems-level understanding of drug action and disease complexity, but can also help to improve the efficiency of drug design. We give a comprehensive assessment of the analytical tools of network topology and dynamics. The state-of-the-art use of chemical similarity, protein structure, protein-protein interaction, signaling, genetic interaction and metabolic networks in the discovery of drug targets is summarized. We propose that network targeting follows two basic strategies. The “central hit strategy” selectively targets central node/edges of the flexible networks of infectious agents or cancer cells to kill them. The “network influence strategy” works against other diseases, where an efficient reconfiguration of rigid networks needs to be achieved. It is shown how network techniques can help in the identification of single-target, edgetic, multi-target and allo-network drug target candidates. We review the recent boom in network methods helping hit identification, lead selection optimizing drug efficacy, as well as minimizing side-effects and drug toxicity. Successful network-based drug development strategies are shown through the examples of infections, cancer, metabolic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and aging. Summarizing >1200 references we suggest an optimized protocol of network-aided drug development, and provide a list of systems-level hallmarks of drug quality. Finally, we highlight network-related drug development trends helping to achieve these hallmarks by a cohesive, global approach. PMID:23384594

  8. Toxoplasmosis, Pancreatitis, Obesity and Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Oz, Helieh S.

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasmosis, an infectious and inflammatory syndrome, is one of the most important foodborne diseases causing hospitalization and death in U.S.A. Toxoplasma infects nucleated cells including pancreatic and destroys the β cells. Toxoplasma is a Category B classified infection by CDC and NIH, which once infected the organisms reside in tissues in cysts form for the host’s lifelong awaiting reactivation. Congenital toxoplasmosis occurs by transplacental transmission during maternal infection or reactivation of organisms and manifests with spontaneous abortion, or severe physical and mental defects. Currently, there is no safe and effective therapeutic modality against congenital toxoplasmosis or the persistent chronic infection. Here, toxoplasmosis and possible involvement of infection in induction of pancreatitis, and an experimental drug efficacy is discussed. PMID:25530920

  9. Can Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Improve Success Rates in CNS Drug Discovery?

    PubMed Central

    Borsook, David; Hargreaves, Richard; Becerra, Lino

    2011-01-01

    Introduction The bar for developing new treatments for CNS disease is getting progressively higher and fewer novel mechanisms are being discovered, validated and developed. The high costs of drug discovery necessitate early decisions to ensure the best molecules and hypotheses are tested in expensive late stage clinical trials. The discovery of brain imaging biomarkers that can bridge preclinical to clinical CNS drug discovery and provide a ‘language of translation’ affords the opportunity to improve the objectivity of decision-making. Areas Covered This review discusses the benefits, challenges and potential issues of using a science based biomarker strategy to change the paradigm of CNS drug development and increase success rates in the discovery of new medicines. The authors have summarized PubMed and Google Scholar based publication searches to identify recent advances in functional, structural and chemical brain imaging and have discussed how these techniques may be useful in defining CNS disease state and drug effects during drug development. Expert opinion The use of novel brain imaging biomarkers holds the bold promise of making neuroscience drug discovery smarter by increasing the objectivity of decision making thereby improving the probability of success of identifying useful drugs to treat CNS diseases. Functional imaging holds the promise to: (1) define pharmacodynamic markers as an index of target engagement (2) improve translational medicine paradigms to predict efficacy; (3) evaluate CNS efficacy and safety based on brain activation; (4) determine brain activity drug dose-response relationships and (5) provide an objective evaluation of symptom response and disease modification. PMID:21765857

  10. Twenty years on: the impact of fragments on drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Erlanson, Daniel A; Fesik, Stephen W; Hubbard, Roderick E; Jahnke, Wolfgang; Jhoti, Harren

    2016-09-01

    After 20 years of sometimes quiet growth, fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) has become mainstream. More than 30 drug candidates derived from fragments have entered the clinic, with two approved and several more in advanced trials. FBDD has been widely applied in both academia and industry, as evidenced by the large number of papers from universities, non-profit research institutions, biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, FBDD draws on a diverse range of disciplines, from biochemistry and biophysics to computational and medicinal chemistry. As the promise of FBDD strategies becomes increasingly realized, now is an opportune time to draw lessons and point the way to the future. This Review briefly discusses how to design fragment libraries, how to select screening techniques and how to make the most of information gleaned from them. It also shows how concepts from FBDD have permeated and enhanced drug discovery efforts. PMID:27417849

  11. Drug Discovery and Development of Antimalarial Agents: Recent Advances.

    PubMed

    Thota, Sreekanth; Yerra, Rajeshwar

    2016-01-01

    Malaria, a deadly infectious parasitic disease, is a major issue of public health in the world today and already produces serious economic constraints in the endemic countries. Most of the malarial infections and deaths are due to Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax species. The recent emergence of resistance necessitates the search for new antimalarial drugs, which overcome the resistance and act through new mechanisms. Although much effort has been directed towards the discovery of novel antimalarial drugs. 4-anilino quinolone triazines as potent antimalarial agents, their in silico modelling and bioevaluation as Plasmodium falciparum transketolase and β-hematin inhibitors has been reported. This review is primarily focused on the drug discovery of the recent advances in the development of antimalarial agents and their mechanism of action.

  12. Medicinal chemistry inspired fragment-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Lanter, James; Zhang, Xuqing; Sui, Zhihua

    2011-01-01

    Lead generation can be a very challenging phase of the drug discovery process. The two principal methods for this stage of research are blind screening and rational design. Among the rational or semirational design approaches, fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) has emerged as a useful tool for the generation of lead structures. It is particularly powerful as a complement to high-throughput screening approaches when the latter failed to yield viable hits for further development. Engagement of medicinal chemists early in the process can accelerate the progression of FBDD efforts by incorporating drug-friendly properties in the earliest stages of the design process. Medium-chain acyl-CoA synthetase 2b and ketohexokinase are chosen as examples to illustrate the importance of close collaboration of medicinal chemists, crystallography, and modeling. PMID:21371600

  13. Drug discovery for alopecia: gone today, hair tomorrow

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Zenildo; Avci, Pinar; Hamblin, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Hair loss or alopecia affects the majority of the population at some time in their life, and increasingly, sufferers are demanding treatment. Three main types of alopecia (androgenic [AGA], areata [AA] and chemotherapy-induced [CIA]) are very different, and have their own laboratory models and separate drug-discovery efforts. Areas covered In this article, the authors review the biology of hair, hair follicle (HF) cycling, stem cells and signaling pathways. AGA, due to dihydrotesterone, is treated by 5-α reductase inhibitors, androgen receptor blockers and ATP-sensitive potassium channel-openers. AA, which involves attack by CD8+NK group 2D-positive (NKG2D+) T cells, is treated with immunosuppressives, biologics and JAK inhibitors. Meanwhile, CIA is treated by apoptosis inhibitors, cytokines and topical immunotherapy. Expert opinion The desire to treat alopecia with an easy topical preparation is expected to grow with time, particularly with an increasing aging population. The discovery of epidermal stem cells in the HF has given new life to the search for a cure for baldness. Drug discovery efforts are being increasingly centered on these stem cells, boosting the hair cycle and reversing miniaturization of HF. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the immune attack in AA will yield new drugs. New discoveries in HF neogenesis and low-level light therapy will undoubtedly have a role to play. PMID:25662177

  14. Mitochondrially-imported RNA in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Cannon, Matthew V; Irwin, Michael H; Pinkert, Carl A

    2015-03-01

    The import of nuclear transcribed RNAs into mitochondria is an emerging area that presents a tremendous opportunity to develop human metabolic therapeutics. However, our knowledge base is quite limited. Much remains to be discovered regarding specific RNA localization and mechanisms of import. To identify novel RNAs imported into mitochondria, all RNAs within the mitochondria were characterized using next generation sequencing technology. Several nuclear transcribed RNAs were found within mitochondrial RNA (mtRNA) samples, including nuclear ribosomal RNAs, gamma satellite RNA and VL30 retroelement RNA. The presence of these RNAs within mitochondria coupled with RNA sequencing data from other laboratories investigating mtRNA processing, lead us to hypothesize that nuclease treatment of mitoplasts is insufficient for removing contaminating cytoplasmic RNAs. In contrast to traditional methodology, mitochondrial import was evaluated by qRT-PCR after stepwise removal of the outer mitochondrial membrane and subsequent lysis of mitochondria. This allowed identification of RNAs lost from the mitochondria with the same kinetics as mitochondrial DNA-transcribed RNAs. This approach provided an improved evaluation of nuclear RNA enrichment within mitochondrial membranes to characterize nuclease protection and mitochondrial import and identify false-positive detection errors. qRT-PCR results confirmed the presence of VL30 retroelement RNA within mitochondria and question the hypothesis that the RNA component of RNase P is imported. These results illustrate a reliable approach for evaluating the presence of RNAs within mitochondria and open new avenues of investigation relating to mtRNA biology and in targeting mitochondrial based therapeutics. PMID:25847616

  15. Membrane Transporters: Structure, Function and Targets for Drug Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravna, Aina W.; Sager, Georg; Dahl, Svein G.; Sylte, Ingebrigt

    Current therapeutic drugs act on four main types of molecular targets: enzymes, receptors, ion channels and transporters, among which a major part (60-70%) are membrane proteins. This review discusses the molecular structures and potential impact of membrane transporter proteins on new drug discovery. The three-dimensional (3D) molecular structure of a protein contains information about the active site and possible ligand binding, and about evolutionary relationships within the protein family. Transporters have a recognition site for a particular substrate, which may be used as a target for drugs inhibiting the transporter or acting as a false substrate. Three groups of transporters have particular interest as drug targets: the major facilitator superfamily, which includes almost 4000 different proteins transporting sugars, polyols, drugs, neurotransmitters, metabolites, amino acids, peptides, organic and inorganic anions and many other substrates; the ATP-binding cassette superfamily, which plays an important role in multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy; and the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter family, which includes the molecular targets for some of the most widely used psychotropic drugs. Recent technical advances have increased the number of known 3D structures of membrane transporters, and demonstrated that they form a divergent group of proteins with large conformational flexibility which facilitates transport of the substrate.

  16. The pKa Distribution of Drugs: Application to Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Manallack, David T.

    2007-01-01

    The acid-base dissociation constant (pKa) of a drug is a key physicochemical parameter influencing many biopharmaceutical characteristics. While this has been well established, the overall proportion of non-ionizable and ionizable compounds for drug-like substances is not well known. Even less well known is the overall distribution of acid and base pKa values. The current study has reviewed the literature with regard to both the proportion of ionizable substances and pKa distributions. Further to this a set of 582 drugs with associated pKa data was thoroughly examined to provide a representative set of observations. This was further enhanced by delineating the compounds into CNS and non-CNS drugs to investigate where differences exist. Interestingly, the distribution of pKa values for single acids differed remarkably between CNS and non-CNS substances with only one CNS compound having an acid pKa below 6.1. The distribution of basic substances in the CNS set also showed a marked cut off with no compounds having a pKa above 10.5. The pKa distributions of drugs are influenced by two main drivers. The first is related to the nature and frequency of occurrence of the functional groups that are commonly observed in pharmaceuticals and the typical range of pKa values they span. The other factor concerns the biological targets these compounds are designed to hit. For example, many CNS targets are based on seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors (7TM GPCR) which have a key aspartic acid residue known to interact with most ligands. As a consequence, amines are mostly present in the ligands that target 7TM GPCR’s and this influences the pKa profile of drugs containing basic groups. For larger screening collections of compounds, synthetic chemistry and the working practices of the chemists themselves can influence the proportion of ionizable compounds and consequent pKa distributions. The findings from this study expand on current wisdom in pKa research and have

  17. Advances and applications of binding affinity prediction methods in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Parenti, Marco Daniele; Rastelli, Giulio

    2012-01-01

    Nowadays, the improvement of R&D productivity is the primary commitment in pharmaceutical research, both in big pharma and smaller biotech companies. To reduce costs, to speed up the discovery process and to increase the chance of success, advanced methods of rational drug design are very helpful, as demonstrated by several successful applications. Among these, computational methods able to predict the binding affinity of small molecules to specific biological targets are of special interest because they can accelerate the discovery of new hit compounds. Here we provide an overview of the most widely used methods in the field of binding affinity prediction, as well as of our own work in developing BEAR, an innovative methodology specifically devised to overtake some limitations in existing approaches. The BEAR method was successfully validated against different biological targets, and proved its efficacy in retrieving active compounds from virtual screening campaigns. The results obtained so far indicate that BEAR may become a leading tool in the drug discovery pipeline. We primarily discuss advantages and drawbacks of each technique and show relevant examples and applications in drug discovery.

  18. Prediction of Drug-Target Interactions and Drug Repositioning via Network-Based Inference

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jing; Lu, Weiqiang; Li, Weihua; Liu, Guixia; Zhou, Weixing; Huang, Jin; Tang, Yun

    2012-01-01

    Drug-target interaction (DTI) is the basis of drug discovery and design. It is time consuming and costly to determine DTI experimentally. Hence, it is necessary to develop computational methods for the prediction of potential DTI. Based on complex network theory, three supervised inference methods were developed here to predict DTI and used for drug repositioning, namely drug-based similarity inference (DBSI), target-based similarity inference (TBSI) and network-based inference (NBI). Among them, NBI performed best on four benchmark data sets. Then a drug-target network was created with NBI based on 12,483 FDA-approved and experimental drug-target binary links, and some new DTIs were further predicted. In vitro assays confirmed that five old drugs, namely montelukast, diclofenac, simvastatin, ketoconazole, and itraconazole, showed polypharmacological features on estrogen receptors or dipeptidyl peptidase-IV with half maximal inhibitory or effective concentration ranged from 0.2 to 10 µM. Moreover, simvastatin and ketoconazole showed potent antiproliferative activities on human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line in MTT assays. The results indicated that these methods could be powerful tools in prediction of DTIs and drug repositioning. PMID:22589709

  19. Neighborhood Regularized Logistic Matrix Factorization for Drug-Target Interaction Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yong; Wu, Min; Miao, Chunyan; Zhao, Peilin; Li, Xiao-Li

    2016-01-01

    In pharmaceutical sciences, a crucial step of the drug discovery process is the identification of drug-target interactions. However, only a small portion of the drug-target interactions have been experimentally validated, as the experimental validation is laborious and costly. To improve the drug discovery efficiency, there is a great need for the development of accurate computational approaches that can predict potential drug-target interactions to direct the experimental verification. In this paper, we propose a novel drug-target interaction prediction algorithm, namely neighborhood regularized logistic matrix factorization (NRLMF). Specifically, the proposed NRLMF method focuses on modeling the probability that a drug would interact with a target by logistic matrix factorization, where the properties of drugs and targets are represented by drug-specific and target-specific latent vectors, respectively. Moreover, NRLMF assigns higher importance levels to positive observations (i.e., the observed interacting drug-target pairs) than negative observations (i.e., the unknown pairs). Because the positive observations are already experimentally verified, they are usually more trustworthy. Furthermore, the local structure of the drug-target interaction data has also been exploited via neighborhood regularization to achieve better prediction accuracy. We conducted extensive experiments over four benchmark datasets, and NRLMF demonstrated its effectiveness compared with five state-of-the-art approaches. PMID:26872142

  20. The Role of HTS in Drug Discovery at the University of Michigan

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Martha J.; Larsen, Scott D.; Fribley, Andrew; Grembecka, Jolanta; Homan, Kristoff; Mapp, Anna; Haak, Andrew; Nikolovska-Coleska, Zaneta; Stuckey, Jeanne A.; Sun, Duxin

    2014-01-01

    High throughput screening (HTS) is an integral part of a highly collaborative approach to drug discovery at the University of Michigan. The HTS lab is one of four core centers that provide services to identify, produce, screen and follow-up on biomedical targets for faculty. Key features of this system are: protein cloning and purification, protein crystallography, small molecule and siRNA HTS, medicinal chemistry and pharmacokinetics. Therapeutic areas that have been targeted include anti-bacterial, metabolic, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, anti-cancer and anti-viral. The centers work in a coordinated, interactive environment to affordably provide academic investigators with the technology, informatics and expertise necessary for successful drug discovery. This review provides an overview of these centers at the University of Michigan, along with case examples of successful collaborations with faculty. PMID:24409957

  1. COMPUTER-AIDED DRUG DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT (CADDD): in silico-chemico-biological approach

    PubMed Central

    Kapetanovic, I.M.

    2008-01-01

    It is generally recognized that drug discovery and development are very time and resources consuming processes. There is an ever growing effort to apply computational power to the combined chemical and biological space in order to streamline drug discovery, design, development and optimization. In biomedical arena, computer-aided or in silico design is being utilized to expedite and facilitate hit identification, hit-to-lead selection, optimize the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity profile and avoid safety issues. Commonly used computational approaches include ligand-based drug design (pharmacophore, a 3-D spatial arrangement of chemical features essential for biological activity), structure-based drug design (drug-target docking), and quantitative structure-activity and quantitative structure-property relationships. Regulatory agencies as well as pharmaceutical industry are actively involved in development of computational tools that will improve effectiveness and efficiency of drug discovery and development process, decrease use of animals, and increase predictability. It is expected that the power of CADDD will grow as the technology continues to evolve. PMID:17229415

  2. Reverse Pharmacognosy and Reverse Pharmacology; Two Closely Related Approaches for Drug Discovery Development.

    PubMed

    Saeidnia, Soodabeh; Gohari, Ahmad R; Manayi, Azadeh

    2016-01-01

    Pharmacognosy is a science, which study natural products as a source of new drug leads and effective drug development. Rational and economic search for novel lead structures could maximize the speed of drug discovery by using powerful high technology methods. Reverse pharmacognosy, a complementary to pharmacognosy, couples the high throughput screening (HTS), virtual screening and databases along with the knowledge of traditional medicines. These strategies lead to identification of numerous in vitro active and selective hits enhancing the speed of drug discovery from natural sources. Besides, reverse pharmacology is a target base drug discovery approach; in the first step, a hypothesis is made that the alteration of specific protein activity will produce beneficial curative effects. Both, reverse pharmacognosy and reverse pharmacology take advantages of high technology methods to accomplish their particular purposes. Moreover, reverse pharmacognosy effectively utilize traditional medicines and natural products as promising sources to provide new drug leads as well as promote the rational use of them by using valuable information like protein structure databases and chemical libraries which prepare pharmacological profile of traditional medicine, plant extract or natural compounds. PMID:27396403

  3. Akt inhibitors in cancer treatment: The long journey from drug discovery to clinical use (Review)

    PubMed Central

    NITULESCU, GEORGE MIHAI; MARGINA, DENISA; JUZENAS, PETRAS; PENG, QIAN; OLARU, OCTAVIAN TUDOREL; SALOUSTROS, EMMANOUIL; FENGA, CONCETTINA; SPANDIDOS, DEMETRIOS A.; LIBRA, MASSIMO; TSATSAKIS, ARISTIDIS M.

    2016-01-01

    Targeted cancer therapies are used to inhibit the growth, progression, and metastasis of the tumor by interfering with specific molecular targets and are currently the focus of anticancer drug development. Protein kinase B, also known as Akt, plays a central role in many types of cancer and has been validated as a therapeutic target nearly two decades ago. This review summarizes the intracellular functions of Akt as a pivotal point of converging signaling pathways involved in cell growth, proliferation, apoptotis and neo-angiogenesis, and focuses on the drug design strategies to develop potent anticancer agents targeting Akt. The discovery process of Akt inhibitors has evolved from adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-competitive agents to alternative approaches employing allosteric sites in order to overcome the high degree of structural similarity between Akt isoforms in the catalytic domain, and considerable structural analogy to the AGC kinase family. This process has led to the discovery of inhibitors with greater specificity, reduced side-effects and lower toxicity. A second generation of Akt has inhibitors emerged by incorporating a chemically reactive Michael acceptor template to target the nucleophile cysteines in the catalytic activation loop. The review outlines the development of several promising drug candidates emphasizing the importance of each chemical scaffold. We explore the pipeline of Akt inhibitors and their preclinical and clinical examination status, presenting the potential clinical application of these agents as a monotherapy or in combination with ionizing radiation, other targeted therapies, or chemotherapy. PMID:26698230

  4. ChEMBL web services: streamlining access to drug discovery data and utilities.

    PubMed

    Davies, Mark; Nowotka, Michał; Papadatos, George; Dedman, Nathan; Gaulton, Anna; Atkinson, Francis; Bellis, Louisa; Overington, John P

    2015-07-01

    ChEMBL is now a well-established resource in the fields of drug discovery and medicinal chemistry research. The ChEMBL database curates and stores standardized bioactivity, molecule, target and drug data extracted from multiple sources, including the primary medicinal chemistry literature. Programmatic access to ChEMBL data has been improved by a recent update to the ChEMBL web services (version 2.0.x, https://www.ebi.ac.uk/chembl/api/data/docs), which exposes significantly more data from the underlying database and introduces new functionality. To complement the data-focused services, a utility service (version 1.0.x, https://www.ebi.ac.uk/chembl/api/utils/docs), which provides RESTful access to commonly used cheminformatics methods, has also been concurrently developed. The ChEMBL web services can be used together or independently to build applications and data processing workflows relevant to drug discovery and chemical biology.

  5. OpenZika: An IBM World Community Grid Project to Accelerate Zika Virus Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Perryman, Alexander L.; Horta Andrade, Carolina

    2016-01-01

    The Zika virus outbreak in the Americas has caused global concern. To help accelerate this fight against Zika, we launched the OpenZika project. OpenZika is an IBM World Community Grid Project that uses distributed computing on millions of computers and Android devices to run docking experiments, in order to dock tens of millions of drug-like compounds against crystal structures and homology models of Zika proteins (and other related flavivirus targets). This will enable the identification of new candidates that can then be tested in vitro, to advance the discovery and development of new antiviral drugs against the Zika virus. The docking data is being made openly accessible so that all members of the global research community can use it to further advance drug discovery studies against Zika and other related flaviviruses. PMID:27764115

  6. Impact of non-profit organizations on drug discovery: opportunities, gaps, solutions.

    PubMed

    Matter, Alex; Keller, Thomas H

    2008-04-01

    Non-profit organizations (NPO) play an increasingly important role in drug discovery and development for diseases that are neglected by the pharmaceutical industry because of low or absent commercial incentives. Governments and major private foundations such as the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation increasingly step in to provide strategic direction, communication platforms and major resources, motivated by the fact that major healthcare problems remain unsolved. Drug discovery in the field of neglected diseases is fraught with complexities since, in many cases, important tools are lacking including readily available diagnostics, molecular epidemiology, appropriate model systems, representative strain collections, biomarkers, up-to-date trial methodologies and regulatory strategies. On top of this, the high hurdles addressing novel drug targets must be cleared.

  7. Human aspects of the management of drug discovery knowledge.

    PubMed

    Davenport, Thomas H; Peitsch, Manuel C

    2005-01-01

    A well-defined strategy for knowledge management is a key success factor of any knowledge-intensive industry. This applies particularly well to pharmaceutical drug discovery, which is one of the most knowledge-intensive processes. The subject has only rarely been studied in the context of pharmaceutical firms and we can only extrapolate a limited number of findings from other industries. Here, we look at five key human aspects of knowledge management (social networks and communities of practice, the roles of professional knowledge managers, the behaviors and processes of knowledge workers, management strategies and tactics and the role of the external work environment) and how they apply to the drug discovery process.: PMID:24981937

  8. The evolving role of chemical synthesis in antibacterial drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Wright, Peter M; Seiple, Ian B; Myers, Andrew G

    2014-08-18

    The discovery and implementation of antibiotics in the early twentieth century transformed human health and wellbeing. Chemical synthesis enabled the development of the first antibacterial substances, organoarsenicals and sulfa drugs, but these were soon outshone by a host of more powerful and vastly more complex antibiotics from nature: penicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and erythromycin, among others. These primary defences are now significantly less effective as an unavoidable consequence of rapid evolution of resistance within pathogenic bacteria, made worse by widespread misuse of antibiotics. For decades medicinal chemists replenished the arsenal of antibiotics by semisynthetic and to a lesser degree fully synthetic routes, but economic factors have led to a subsidence of this effort, which places society on the precipice of a disaster. We believe that the strategic application of modern chemical synthesis to antibacterial drug discovery must play a critical role if a crisis of global proportions is to be averted.

  9. Integrating virtual screening and combinatorial chemistry for accelerated drug discovery.

    PubMed

    López-Vallejo, Fabian; Caulfield, Thomas; Martínez-Mayorga, Karina; Giulianotti, Marc A; Nefzi, Adel; Houghten, Richard A; Medina-Franco, Jose L

    2011-07-01

    Virtual screening is increasingly being used in drug discovery programs with a growing number of successful applications. Experimental methodologies developed to speed up the drug discovery processes include high-throughput screening and combinatorial chemistry. The complementarities between computational and experimental screenings have been recognized and reviewed in the literature. Computational methods have also been used in the combinatorial chemistry field, in particular in library design. However, the integration of computational and combinatorial chemistry screenings has been attempted only recently. Combinatorial libraries (experimental or virtual) represent a notable source of chemically related compounds. Advances in combinatorial chemistry and deconvolution strategies, have enabled the rapid exploration of novel and dense regions in the chemical space. The present review is focused on the integration of virtual and experimental screening of combinatorial libraries. Applications of virtual screening to discover novel anticancer agents and our ongoing efforts towards the integration of virtual screening and combinatorial chemistry are also discussed.

  10. The Evolving Role of Chemical Synthesis in Antibacterial Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Peter M.; Seiple, Ian B.; Myers, Andrew G.

    2015-01-01

    The discovery and implementation of antibiotics in the early twentieth century transformed human health and wellbeing. Chemical synthesis enabled the development of the first antibacterial substances, organoarsenicals and sulfa drugs, but these were soon outshone by a host of more powerful and vastly more complex antibiotics from nature: penicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and erythromycin, among others. These primary defences are now significantly less effective as an unavoidable consequence of rapid evolution of resistance within pathogenic bacteria, made worse by widespread misuse of antibiotics. For decades medicinal chemists replenished the arsenal of antibiotics by semisynthetic and to a lesser degree fully synthetic routes, but economic factors have led to a subsidence of this effort, which places society on the precipice of a disaster. We believe that the strategic application of modern chemical synthesis to antibacterial drug discovery must play a critical role if a crisis of global proportions is to be averted. PMID:24990531

  11. An ontology for description of drug discovery investigations.

    PubMed

    Qi, Da; King, Ross D; Hopkins, Andrew L; Bickerton, G Richard J; Soldatova, Larisa N

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents an ontology for the description of Drug Discovery Investigation (DDI).This has been developed through the use of a Robot Scientist "Eve", and in consultation with industry. DDI aims to define the principle entities and the relations in the research and development phase of the drug discovery pipeline. DDI is highly transferable and extendable due to its adherence to accepted standards, and compliance with existing ontology resources. This enables DDI to be integrated with such related ontologies as the Vaccine Ontology, the Advancing Clinico-Genomic Trials on Cancer Master Ontology, etc. DDI is available at http://purl.org/ddi/wikipedia or http://purl.org/ddi/home. PMID:20375446

  12. A Historical Overview of Natural Products in Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Daniel A.; Urban, Sylvia; Roessner, Ute

    2012-01-01

    Historically, natural products have been used since ancient times and in folklore for the treatment of many diseases and illnesses. Classical natural product chemistry methodologies enabled a vast array of bioactive secondary metabolites from terrestrial and marine sources to be discovered. Many of these natural products have gone on to become current drug candidates. This brief review aims to highlight historically significant bioactive marine and terrestrial natural products, their use in folklore and dereplication techniques to rapidly facilitate their discovery. Furthermore a discussion of how natural product chemistry has resulted in the identification of many drug candidates; the application of advanced hyphenated spectroscopic techniques to aid in their discovery, the future of natural product chemistry and finally adopting metabolomic profiling and dereplication approaches for the comprehensive study of natural product extracts will be discussed. PMID:24957513

  13. CRIMALDDI: a prioritized research agenda to expedite the discovery of new anti-malarial drugs

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The CRIMALDDI Consortium has been a three-year project funded by the EU Framework Seven Programme. It aimed to develop a prioritized set of recommendations to speed up anti-malarial drug discovery research and contribute to the setting of the global research agenda. It has attempted to align thinking on the high priority issues and then to develop action plans and strategies to address these issues. Through a series of facilitated and interactive workshops, it has concluded that these priorities can be grouped under five key themes: attacking artemisinin resistance; creating and sharing community resources; delivering enabling technologies; exploiting high throughput screening hits quickly; and, identifying novel targets. Recommendations have been prioritized into one of four levels: quick wins; removing key roadblocks to future progress; speeding-up drug discovery; and, nice to have (but not essential). Use of this prioritization allows efforts and resources to be focused on the lines of work that will contribute most to expediting anti-malarial drug discovery. Estimates of the time and finances required to implement the recommendations have also been made, along with indications of when recommendations within each theme will make an impact. All of this has been collected into an indicative roadmap that, it is hoped, will guide decisions about the direction and focus of European anti-malarial drug discovery research and contribute to the setting of the global research agenda. PMID:24191947

  14. Targeted Nanodelivery of Drugs and Diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Margaret A.; Gran, Martin L.; Peppas, Nicholas A.

    2010-01-01

    Nanomaterials for targeted delivery are uniquely capable of localizing delivery of therapeutics and diagnostics to diseased tissues. The ability to achieve high, local concentrations of drugs or image contrast agents at a target site provides the opportunity for improved system performance and patient outcomes along with reduced systemic dosing. In this review, the design of targeted nanodelivery systems is discussed with an emphasis on in vivo performance, the physicochemical properties that affect localization at the target site, and the incorporation of therapeutic drugs into these systems. PMID:20543895

  15. Microarrays meet the Voltaire challenge: Drug discovery on a chip?

    PubMed

    Jackson, David B; Stein, Martin A; Merino, Alejandro; Eils, Roland

    2006-01-01

    The co-emergence of microarray technologies with systems oriented approaches to discovery is testament to the technological and conceptual advancements of recent years. By providing a platform for massively parallelized reductionism, microarrays are enabling us to examine the functional features of diverse classes of bio-system components in a contextually meaningful manner. Yet, to provide economic impact, future development of these technologies demands intimate alignment with the goal of producing safer and more efficacious drugs.: PMID:24980402

  16. Fragment-based approaches and computer-aided drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Rognan, Didier

    2012-01-01

    Fragment-based design has significantly modified drug discovery strategies and paradigms in the last decade. Besides technological advances and novel therapeutic avenues, one of the most significant changes brought by this new discipline has occurred in the minds of drug designers. Fragment-based approaches have markedly impacted rational computer-aided design both in method development and in applications. The present review illustrates the importance of molecular fragments in many aspects of rational ligand design, and discusses how thinking in "fragment space" has boosted computational biology and chemistry. PMID:21710380

  17. Natural Products as a Foundation for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Beutler, John A.

    2009-01-01

    Natural products have contributed to the development of many drugs for diverse indications. While most U.S. pharmaceutical companies have reduced or eliminated their in-house natural product groups, new paradigms and new enterprises have evolved to carry on a role for natural products in the pharmaceutical industry. Many of the reasons for the decline in popularity of natural products are being addressed by the development of new techniques for screening and production. This overview aims to inform pharmacologists of current strategies and techniques that make natural products a viable strategic choice for inclusion in drug discovery programs. PMID:20161632

  18. Recent Advances in Drug Discovery from South African Marine Invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Davies-Coleman, Michael T; Veale, Clinton G L

    2015-10-01

    Recent developments in marine drug discovery from three South African marine invertebrates, the tube worm Cephalodiscus gilchristi, the ascidian Lissoclinum sp. and the sponge Topsentia pachastrelloides, are presented. Recent reports of the bioactivity and synthesis of the anti-cancer secondary metabolites cephalostatin and mandelalides (from C. gilchristi and Lissoclinum sp., respectively) and various analogues are presented. The threat of drug-resistant pathogens, e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is assuming greater global significance, and medicinal chemistry strategies to exploit the potent MRSA PK inhibition, first revealed by two marine secondary metabolites, cis-3,4-dihydrohamacanthin B and bromodeoxytopsentin from T. pachastrelloides, are compared. PMID:26473891

  19. Recent Advances in Drug Discovery from South African Marine Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Davies-Coleman, Michael T.; Veale, Clinton G. L.

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in marine drug discovery from three South African marine invertebrates, the tube worm Cephalodiscus gilchristi, the ascidian Lissoclinum sp. and the sponge Topsentia pachastrelloides, are presented. Recent reports of the bioactivity and synthesis of the anti-cancer secondary metabolites cephalostatin and mandelalides (from C. gilchristi and Lissoclinum sp., respectively) and various analogues are presented. The threat of drug-resistant pathogens, e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is assuming greater global significance, and medicinal chemistry strategies to exploit the potent MRSA PK inhibition, first revealed by two marine secondary metabolites, cis-3,4-dihydrohamacanthin B and bromodeoxytopsentin from T. pachastrelloides, are compared. PMID:26473891

  20. Beyond the hundred dollar genome--drug discovery futures.

    PubMed

    Selwood, David L

    2013-01-01

    The advent of silicon chip based technologies for genome sequencing promises continuing exponential falls in the reagent costs of sequencing. When every patient has a full genome sequence as part of their medical records the science of drug discovery and drug design must adapt and improve to meet this challenge. This series covers computational, and experimental approaches for small molecules and biologics. From the virtual patient - a computational model of a complete human being, through in silico screening to RNA editing and antibody directed therapies.

  1. Understanding mechanisms of toxicity: Insights from drug discovery research

    SciTech Connect

    Houck, Keith A. Kavlock, Robert J.

    2008-03-01

    Toxicology continues to rely heavily on use of animal testing for prediction of potential for toxicity in humans. Where mechanisms of toxicity have been elucidated, for example endocrine disruption by xenoestrogens binding to the estrogen receptor, in vitro assays have been developed as surrogate assays for toxicity prediction. This mechanistic information can be combined with other data such as exposure levels to inform a risk assessment for the chemical. However, there remains a paucity of such mechanistic assays due at least in part to lack of methods to determine specific mechanisms of toxicity for many toxicants. A means to address this deficiency lies in utilization of a vast repertoire of tools developed by the drug discovery industry for interrogating the bioactivity of chemicals. This review describes the application of high-throughput screening assays as experimental tools for profiling chemicals for potential for toxicity and understanding underlying mechanisms. The accessibility of broad panels of assays covering an array of protein families permits evaluation of chemicals for their ability to directly modulate many potential targets of toxicity. In addition, advances in cell-based screening have yielded tools capable of reporting the effects of chemicals on numerous critical cell signaling pathways and cell health parameters. Novel, more complex cellular systems are being used to model mammalian tissues and the consequences of compound treatment. Finally, high-throughput technology is being applied to model organism screens to understand mechanisms of toxicity. However, a number of formidable challenges to these methods remain to be overcome before they are widely applicable. Integration of successful approaches will contribute towards building a systems approach to toxicology that will provide mechanistic understanding of the effects of chemicals on biological systems and aid in rationale risk assessments.

  2. High-content analysis in preclinical drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Denner, Philip; Schmalowsky, Janine; Prechtl, Stefan

    2008-03-01

    High-Content Analysis (HCA) has developed into an established tool and is used in a wide range of academic laboratories and pharmaceutical research groups. HCA is now routinely proving to be effective in providing functionally relevant results. It is essential to select the appropriate HCA application with regard to the targeted compound's cellular function. The cellular impact and compound specificity as revealed by HCA analysis facilitates reaching definitive conclusions at an early stage in the drug discovery process. This technology therefore has the potential to substantially improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical research. Recent advances in fluorescent probes have significantly boosted the success of HCA. Auto-fluorescent proteins which minimally hinder the functioning of the living cell have been playing a decisive role in cell biology research. For companies the severely restricted license conditions regarding auto-fluorescent proteins hamper their general use in pharmaceutical research. This has opened the field for other solutions such as self-labeling protein technology, which could potentially replace the well established methods that utilize auto-fluorescent proteins. In addition, direct labeling techniques have improved considerably and may supersede many of the approaches based on fusion proteins. Following sample preparation, treated cells are imaged and the resulting multiple fluorescent signals are subjected to contextual and statistical analysis. The extraordinary advantage of HCA is that it enables the large-scale and simultaneous quantification and correlation of multiple phenotypic responses and physiological reactions using sophisticated software solutions that permit assay-specific image analysis. Hence, HCA once more has demonstrated its outstanding potential to significantly support establishing effective pharmaceutical research processes in order to both advance research projects and cut costs.

  3. Ion Channels as Drug Targets in Central Nervous System Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Waszkielewicz, A.M; Gunia, A; Szkaradek, N; Słoczyńska, K; Krupińska, S; Marona, H

    2013-01-01

    Ion channel targeted drugs have always been related with either the central nervous system (CNS), the peripheral nervous system, or the cardiovascular system. Within the CNS, basic indications of drugs are: sleep disorders, anxiety, epilepsy, pain, etc. However, traditional channel blockers have multiple adverse events, mainly due to low specificity of mechanism of action. Lately, novel ion channel subtypes have been discovered, which gives premises to drug discovery process led towards specific channel subtypes. An example is Na+ channels, whose subtypes 1.3 and 1.7-1.9 are responsible for pain, and 1.1 and 1.2 – for epilepsy. Moreover, new drug candidates have been recognized. This review is focusing on ion channels subtypes, which play a significant role in current drug discovery and development process. The knowledge on channel subtypes has developed rapidly, giving new nomenclatures of ion channels. For example, Ca2+ channels are not any more divided to T, L, N, P/Q, and R, but they are described as Cav1.1-Cav3.3, with even newer nomenclature α1A-α1I and α1S. Moreover, new channels such as P2X1-P2X7, as well as TRPA1-TRPV1 have been discovered, giving premises for new types of analgesic drugs. PMID:23409712

  4. CACO-2 CELL LINES IN DRUG DISCOVERY- AN UPDATED PERSPECTIVE

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Kalyan K.V; Karnati, Swathi; Reddy, Mamatha B; Chandramouli, R

    2010-01-01

    Cell lines are the invitro models used for the drug permeability studies in the preclinical and clinical phases of the drug discovery. Cell line models are simple and quick to use and avoids the usage of animal models for pharmacological and toxicological studies and hence cost effective, produce reliable and reproducible results for understanding and evaluating the permeability characteristics of the potential lead drug candidates. Different cell line models used in the drug permeability studies, their characteristics has been summarized emphasizing on CACO-2. By virtue of its merits, CACO-2 cell line development, transport experiments, automated assays, optimization of experimental conditions and mechanistic uses of CACO-2 cell lines dealt comprehensively in the following context. PMID:24825967

  5. Using Literature-Based Discovery to Explain Adverse Drug Effects.

    PubMed

    Hristovski, Dimitar; Kastrin, Andrej; Dinevski, Dejan; Burgun, Anita; Žiberna, Lovro; Rindflesch, Thomas C

    2016-08-01

    We report on our research in using literature-based discovery (LBD) to provide pharmacological and/or pharmacogenomic explanations for reported adverse drug effects. The goal of LBD is to generate novel and potentially useful hypotheses by analyzing the scientific literature and optionally some additional resources. Our assumption is that drugs have effects on some genes or proteins and that these genes or proteins are associated with the observed adverse effects. Therefore, by using LBD we try to find genes or proteins that link the drugs with the reported adverse effects. These genes or proteins can be used to provide insight into the processes causing the adverse effects. Initial results show that our method has the potential to assist in explaining reported adverse drug effects. PMID:27318993

  6. Recognizing drug targets using evolutionary information: implications for repurposing FDA-approved drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, Gayatri; Chandra, Nagasuma R; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy

    2015-12-01

    Drug repurposing to explore target space has been gaining pace over the past decade with the upsurge in the use of systematic approaches for computational drug discovery. Such a cost and time-saving approach gains immense importance for pathogens of special interest, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. We report a comprehensive approach to repurpose drugs, based on the exploration of evolutionary relationships inferred from the comparative sequence and structural analyses between targets of FDA-approved drugs and the proteins of M. tuberculosis. This approach has facilitated the identification of several polypharmacological drugs that could potentially target unexploited M. tuberculosis proteins. A total of 130 FDA-approved drugs, originally intended against other diseases, could be repurposed against 78 potential targets in M. tuberculosis. Additionally, we have also made an attempt to augment the chemical space by recognizing compounds structurally similar to FDA-approved drugs. For three of the attractive cases we have investigated the probable binding modes of the drugs in their corresponding M. tuberculosis targets by means of structural modelling. Such prospective targets and small molecules could be prioritized for experimental endeavours, and could significantly influence drug-discovery and drug-development programmes for tuberculosis. PMID:26429199

  7. Recognizing drug targets using evolutionary information: implications for repurposing FDA-approved drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, Gayatri; Chandra, Nagasuma R; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy

    2015-12-01

    Drug repurposing to explore target space has been gaining pace over the past decade with the upsurge in the use of systematic approaches for computational drug discovery. Such a cost and time-saving approach gains immense importance for pathogens of special interest, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. We report a comprehensive approach to repurpose drugs, based on the exploration of evolutionary relationships inferred from the comparative sequence and structural analyses between targets of FDA-approved drugs and the proteins of M. tuberculosis. This approach has facilitated the identification of several polypharmacological drugs that could potentially target unexploited M. tuberculosis proteins. A total of 130 FDA-approved drugs, originally intended against other diseases, could be repurposed against 78 potential targets in M. tuberculosis. Additionally, we have also made an attempt to augment the chemical space by recognizing compounds structurally similar to FDA-approved drugs. For three of the attractive cases we have investigated the probable binding modes of the drugs in their corresponding M. tuberculosis targets by means of structural modelling. Such prospective targets and small molecules could be prioritized for experimental endeavours, and could significantly influence drug-discovery and drug-development programmes for tuberculosis.

  8. ACFIS: a web server for fragment-based drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Ge-Fei; Jiang, Wen; Ye, Yuan-Nong; Wu, Feng-Xu; Zhu, Xiao-Lei; Guo, Feng-Biao; Yang, Guang-Fu

    2016-01-01

    In order to foster innovation and improve the effectiveness of drug discovery, there is a considerable interest in exploring unknown ‘chemical space’ to identify new bioactive compounds with novel and diverse scaffolds. Hence, fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) was developed rapidly due to its advanced expansive search for ‘chemical space’, which can lead to a higher hit rate and ligand efficiency (LE). However, computational screening of fragments is always hampered by the promiscuous binding model. In this study, we developed a new web server Auto Core Fragment in silico Screening (ACFIS). It includes three computational modules, PARA_GEN, CORE_GEN and CAND_GEN. ACFIS can generate core fragment structure from the active molecule using fragment deconstruction analysis and perform in silico screening by growing fragments to the junction of core fragment structure. An integrated energy calculation rapidly identifies which fragments fit the binding site of a protein. We constructed a simple interface to enable users to view top-ranking molecules in 2D and the binding mode in 3D for further experimental exploration. This makes the ACFIS a highly valuable tool for drug discovery. The ACFIS web server is free and open to all users at http://chemyang.ccnu.edu.cn/ccb/server/ACFIS/. PMID:27150808

  9. ACFIS: a web server for fragment-based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hao, Ge-Fei; Jiang, Wen; Ye, Yuan-Nong; Wu, Feng-Xu; Zhu, Xiao-Lei; Guo, Feng-Biao; Yang, Guang-Fu

    2016-07-01

    In order to foster innovation and improve the effectiveness of drug discovery, there is a considerable interest in exploring unknown 'chemical space' to identify new bioactive compounds with novel and diverse scaffolds. Hence, fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) was developed rapidly due to its advanced expansive search for 'chemical space', which can lead to a higher hit rate and ligand efficiency (LE). However, computational screening of fragments is always hampered by the promiscuous binding model. In this study, we developed a new web server Auto Core Fragment in silico Screening (ACFIS). It includes three computational modules, PARA_GEN, CORE_GEN and CAND_GEN. ACFIS can generate core fragment structure from the active molecule using fragment deconstruction analysis and perform in silico screening by growing fragments to the junction of core fragment structure. An integrated energy calculation rapidly identifies which fragments fit the binding site of a protein. We constructed a simple interface to enable users to view top-ranking molecules in 2D and the binding mode in 3D for further experimental exploration. This makes the ACFIS a highly valuable tool for drug discovery. The ACFIS web server is free and open to all users at http://chemyang.ccnu.edu.cn/ccb/server/ACFIS/. PMID:27150808

  10. Aptamers for Targeted Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Partha; White, Rebekah R.

    2010-01-01

    Aptamers are a class of therapeutic oligonucleotides that form specific three-dimensional structures that are dictated by their sequences. They are typically generated by an iterative screening process of complex nucleic acid libraries employing a process termed Systemic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX). SELEX has traditionally been performed using purified proteins, and cell surface receptors may be challenging to purify in their properly folded and modified conformations. Therefore, relatively few aptamers have been generated that bind cell surface receptors. However, improvements in recombinant fusion protein technology have increased the availability of receptor extracellular domains as purified protein targets, and the development of cell-based selection techniques has allowed selection against surface proteins in their native configuration on the cell surface. With cell-based selection, a specific protein target is not always chosen, but selection is performed against a target cell type with the goal of letting the aptamer choose the target. Several studies have demonstrated that aptamers that bind cell surface receptors may have functions other than just blocking receptor-ligand interactions. All cell surface proteins cycle intracellularly to some extent, and many surface receptors are actively internalized in response to ligand binding. Therefore, aptamers that bind cell surface receptors have been exploited for the delivery of a variety of cargoes into cells. This review focuses on recent progress and current challenges in the field of aptamer-mediated delivery. PMID:27713328

  11. Aptamers for Targeted Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Partha; White, Rebekah R.

    2010-01-01

    Aptamers are a class of therapeutic oligonucleotides that form specific three-dimensional structures that are dictated by their sequences. They are typically generated by an iterative screening process of complex nucleic acid libraries employing a process termed Systemic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX). SELEX has traditionally been performed using purified proteins, and cell surface receptors may be challenging to purify in their properly folded and modified conformations. Therefore, relatively few aptamers have been generated that bind cell surface receptors. However, improvements in recombinant fusion protein technology have increased the availability of receptor extracellular domains as purified protein targets, and the development of cell-based selection techniques has allowed selection against surface proteins in their native configuration on the cell surface. With cell-based selection, a specific protein target is not always chosen, but selection is performed against a target cell type with the goal of letting the aptamer choose the target. Several studies have demonstrated that aptamers that bind cell surface receptors may have functions other than just blocking receptor-ligand interactions. All cell surface proteins cycle intracellularly to some extent, and many surface receptors are actively internalized in response to ligand binding. Therefore, aptamers that bind cell surface receptors have been exploited for the delivery of a variety of cargoes into cells. This review focuses on recent progress and current challenges in the field of aptamer-mediated delivery.

  12. Structure-Based Virtual Screening for Drug Discovery: Principles, Applications and Recent Advances

    PubMed Central

    Lionta, Evanthia; Spyrou, George; Vassilatis, Demetrios K.; Cournia, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Structure-based drug discovery (SBDD) is becoming an essential tool in assisting fast and cost-efficient lead discovery and optimization. The application of rational, structure-based drug design is proven to be more efficient than the traditional way of drug discovery since it aims to understand the molecular basis of a disease and utilizes the knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of the biological target in the process. In this review, we focus on the principles and applications of Virtual Screening (VS) within the context of SBDD and examine different procedures ranging from the initial stages of the process that include receptor and library pre-processing, to docking, scoring and post-processing of topscoring hits. Recent improvements in structure-based virtual screening (SBVS) efficiency through ensemble docking, induced fit and consensus docking are also discussed. The review highlights advances in the field within the framework of several success studies that have led to nM inhibition directly from VS and provides recent trends in library design as well as discusses limitations of the method. Applications of SBVS in the design of substrates for engineered proteins that enable the discovery of new metabolic and signal transduction pathways and the design of inhibitors of multifunctional proteins are also reviewed. Finally, we contribute two promising VS protocols recently developed by us that aim to increase inhibitor selectivity. In the first protocol, we describe the discovery of micromolar inhibitors through SBVS designed to inhibit the mutant H1047R PI3Kα kinase. Second, we discuss a strategy for the identification of selective binders for the RXRα nuclear receptor. In this protocol, a set of target structures is constructed for ensemble docking based on binding site shape characterization and clustering, aiming to enhance the hit rate of selective inhibitors for the desired protein target through the SBVS process. PMID:25262799

  13. New directions for protease inhibitors directed drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hamada, Yoshio; Kiso, Yoshiaki

    2016-11-01

    Proteases play crucial roles in various biological processes, and their activities are essential for all living organisms-from viruses to humans. Since their functions are closely associated with many pathogenic mechanisms, their inhibitors or activators are important molecular targets for developing treatments for various diseases. Here, we describe drugs/drug candidates that target proteases, such as malarial plasmepsins, β-secretase, virus proteases, and dipeptidyl peptidase-4. Previously, we reported inhibitors of aspartic proteases, such as renin, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease, human T-lymphotropic virus type I protease, plasmepsins, and β-secretase, as drug candidates for hypertension, adult T-cell leukaemia, human T-lymphotropic virus type I-associated myelopathy, malaria, and Alzheimer's disease. Our inhibitors are also described in this review article as examples of drugs that target proteases. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers (Pept Sci) 106: 563-579, 2016. PMID:26584340

  14. An expanding role for cell biologists in drug discovery and pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Sorger, Peter K.; Schoeberl, Birgit

    2012-01-01

    The profound challenges facing clinicians, who must prescribe drugs in the face of dramatic variability in response, and the pharmaceutical industry, which must develop new drugs despite ever-rising costs, represent opportunities for cell biologists interested in rethinking the conceptual basis of pharmacology and drug discovery. Much better understanding is required of the quantitative behaviors of networks targeted by drugs in cells, tissues, and organisms. Cell biologists interested in these topics should learn more about the basic structure of drug development campaigns and hone their quantitative and programming skills. A world of conceptual challenges and engaging industry–academic collaborations awaits, all with the promise of delivering real benefit to patients and strained healthcare systems. PMID:23112228

  15. PhenoPredict: A disease phenome-wide drug repositioning approach towards schizophrenia drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Xu, Rong; Wang, QuanQiu

    2015-08-01

    Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a common complex disorder with poorly understood mechanisms and no effective drug treatments. Despite the high prevalence and vast unmet medical need represented by the disease, many drug companies have moved away from the development of drugs for SCZ. Therefore, alternative strategies are needed for the discovery of truly innovative drug treatments for SCZ. Here, we present a disease phenome-driven computational drug repositioning approach for SCZ. We developed a novel drug repositioning system, PhenoPredict, by inferring drug treatments for SCZ from diseases that are phenotypically related to SCZ. The key to PhenoPredict is the availability of a comprehensive drug treatment knowledge base that we recently constructed. PhenoPredict retrieved all 18 FDA-approved SCZ drugs and ranked them highly (recall=1.0, and average ranking of 8.49%). When compared to PREDICT, one of the most comprehensive drug repositioning systems currently available, in novel predictions, PhenoPredict represented clear improvements over PREDICT in Precision-Recall (PR) curves, with a significant 98.8% improvement in the area under curve (AUC) of the PR curves. In addition, we discovered many drug candidates with mechanisms of action fundamentally different from traditional antipsychotics, some of which had published literature evidence indicating their treatment benefits in SCZ patients. In summary, although the fundamental pathophysiological mechanisms of SCZ remain unknown, integrated systems approaches to studying phenotypic connections among diseases may facilitate the discovery of innovative SCZ drugs.

  16. New Hepatitis C Virus Drug Discovery Strategies and Model Systems

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Snawar; Barretto, Naina; Uprichard, Susan L

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Hepatitis C virus is a major cause of liver disease worldwide and the leading indication for liver transplantation in the United States. Current treatment options are expensive, not effective in all patients and are associated with serious side effects. While pre-clinical anti-HCV drug screening is still hampered by the lack of readily infectable small animal models, the development of cell culture HCV experimental model systems has driven a promising new wave of HCV antiviral drug discovery. Areas covered This review contains a concise overview of current HCV treatment options and limitations with a subsequent in-depth focus on the available experimental models and novel strategies that have and continue to enable important advances in HCV drug development. Expert opinion With a large cohort of chronically HCV infected patients progressively developing liver disease that puts them at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic decompensation, there is an urgent need to develop effective therapeutics that are well-tolerated and effective in all patients and against all HCV genotypes. Significant advances in HCV experimental model development have expedited drug discovery; however, additional progress is needed. Importantly, the current trends and momentum in the field suggests that we will continue to overcome critical experimental challenges to reach this end goal. PMID:22861052

  17. The failure of the antidepressant drug discovery process is systemic.

    PubMed

    Hendrie, Colin; Pickles, Alasdair; Stanford, S Clare; Robinson, Emma

    2013-05-01

    Current antidepressants are crude compared with the ideal and patents on most have expired. There are therefore strong clinical and commercial pressures for new drugs to replace them. The prospects for this are, however, now markedly reduced as several major pharmaceutical companies have abandoned work in this area whilst many others have sharply decreased their research investment. These changes and the lack of progress over such a long period are indicative of a catastrophic systems failure which, it is argued, has been caused in large part by a logical flaw at the animal modelling stage. This tautology has served to lock the current antidepressant drug discovery process into an iterative loop capable only of producing further variations of that which has gone before. Drugs produced by this approach have proved to be only poorly effective in the context of the clinically depressed population as a whole. Hence, the inevitable failure of the current antidepressant drug discovery process has left little behind that can be salvaged. Therefore, it is suggested that this be urgently reformulated on more rational grounds using more appropriate species in new animal models based upon a thorough understanding of the behavioural expressions of depression in the clinic.

  18. Nanogel Carrier Design for Targeted Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Eckmann, D. M.; Composto, R. J.; Tsourkas, A.; Muzykantov, V. R.

    2014-01-01

    Polymer-based nanogel formulations offer features attractive for drug delivery, including ease of synthesis, controllable swelling and viscoelasticity as well as drug loading and release characteristics, passive and active targeting, and the ability to formulate nanogel carriers that can respond to biological stimuli. These unique features and low toxicity make the nanogels a favorable option for vascular drug targeting. In this review, we address key chemical and biological aspects of nanogel drug carrier design. In particular, we highlight published studies of nanogel design, descriptions of nanogel functional characteristics and their behavior in biological models. These studies form a compendium of information that supports the scientific and clinical rationale for development of this carrier for targeted therapeutic interventions. PMID:25485112

  19. New Challenges and Inspired Answers for Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development

    PubMed Central

    Utsugi, Teruhiro

    2013-01-01

    Many pharmaceutical companies worldwide specialize in oncology drug development and marketing. Among them, we have continued to take up the challenge of understanding the metabolism of pyrimidines as essential components of deoxyribonucleic acid for many years, and have provided unique products such as UFT® and TS-1 for cancer patients. Using our cumulative experience and knowledge, we are currently developing novel agents such as TAS-114, a dual inhibitor of deoxyuridine triphosphatase and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase, and TAS-102, a unique pyrimidine derivative inducing deoxyribonucleic acid dysfunction in cancer cells. Regarding molecular-targeted drugs, we have made huge efforts to establish ideal drug discovery platforms for the last several years. For kinase inhibitors, we established three core platforms such as a kinase-directed chemical library, a kinase assay panel and a target selection informatics system. The core platforms were further combined with peripheral technologies to measure essential parameters such as physicochemical properties, pharmacokinetics, efficacy and toxicities. Unique drug candidates have been identified at an early stage by assessing all important parameters. Several promising programs are proceeding simultaneously in the clinical or preclinical development stage such as TAS-115, a dual inhibitor of c-Met and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, TAS-2104, a selective Aurora A inhibitor, TAS-117, an allosteric Akt inhibitor, TAS-2985, an irreversible fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor and TAS-2913, a T790M mutant selective epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor. Other than kinase inhibitors, another drug discovery engine was established based on the fragment-based drug discovery technology. TAS-116, a new class of Hsp-90α/β inhibitor, is one of the products. Taiho's final goal is to provide innovative anticancer drugs together with companion diagnostics that are truly beneficial for patients. PMID

  20. From laptop to benchtop to bedside: Structure-based Drug Design on Protein Targets

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Lu; Morrow, John K.; Tran, Hoang T.; Phatak, Sharangdhar S.; Du-Cuny, Lei; Zhang, Shuxing

    2013-01-01

    As an important aspect of computer-aided drug design, structure-based drug design brought a new horizon to pharmaceutical development. This in silico method permeates all aspects of drug discovery today, including lead identification, lead optimization, ADMET prediction and drug repurposing. Structure-based drug design has resulted in fruitful successes drug discovery targeting protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions. Meanwhile, challenges, noted by low accuracy and combinatoric issues, may also cause failures. In this review, state-of-the-art techniques for protein modeling (e.g. structure prediction, modeling protein flexibility, etc.), hit identification/optimization (e.g. molecular docking, focused library design, fragment-based design, molecular dynamic, etc.), and polypharmacology design will be discussed. We will explore how structure-based techniques can facilitate the drug discovery process and interplay with other experimental approaches. PMID:22316152

  1. Potential insight for drug discovery from high fidelity receptor-mediated transduction mechanisms in insects

    PubMed Central

    Raffa, Robert B.; Raffa, Kenneth F.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction There is a pervasive and growing concern about the small number of new pharmaceutical agents. There are many proposed explanations for this trend that do not involve the drug-discovery process per se, but the discovery process itself has also come under scrutiny. If the current paradigms are indeed not working, where are novel ideas to come from? Perhaps it is time to look to novel sources. Areas covered The receptor-signaling and 2nd-messenger transduction processes present in insects are quite similar to those in mammals (involving G proteins, ion channels, etc.). However, a review of these systems reveals an unprecedented degree of high potency and receptor selectivity to an extent greater than that modeled in most current drug-discovery approaches. Expert opinion A better understanding of insect receptor pharmacology could stimulate novel theoretical and practical ideas in mammalian pharmacology (drug discovery) and, conversely, the application of pharmacology and medicinal chemistry principles could stimulate novel advances in entomology (safer and more targeted control of pest species). PMID:21984882

  2. Simulating the drug discovery pipeline: a Monte Carlo approach

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The early drug discovery phase in pharmaceutical research and development marks the beginning of a long, complex and costly process of bringing a new molecular entity to market. As such, it plays a critical role in helping to maintain a robust downstream clinical development pipeline. Despite its importance, however, to our knowledge there are no published in silico models to simulate the progression of discrete virtual projects through a discovery milestone system. Results Multiple variables were tested and their impact on productivity metrics examined. Simulations predict that there is an optimum number of scientists for a given drug discovery portfolio, beyond which output in the form of preclinical candidates per year will remain flat. The model further predicts that the frequency of compounds to successfully pass the candidate selection milestone as a function of time will be irregular, with projects entering preclinical development in clusters marked by periods of low apparent productivity. Conclusions The model may be useful as a tool to facilitate analysis of historical growth and achievement over time, help gauge current working group progress against future performance expectations, and provide the basis for dialogue regarding working group best practices and resource deployment strategies. PMID:23186040

  3. Machine-Learning Techniques Applied to Antibacterial Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Durrant, Jacob D.; Amaro, Rommie E.

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria threatens to catapult humanity back to the pre-antibiotic era. Even now, multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections annually result in millions of hospital days, billions in healthcare costs, and, most importantly, tens of thousands of lives lost. As many pharmaceutical companies have abandoned antibiotic development in search of more lucrative therapeutics, academic researchers are uniquely positioned to fill the resulting vacuum. Traditional high-throughput screens and lead-optimization efforts are expensive and labor intensive. Computer-aided drug discovery techniques, which are cheaper and faster, can accelerate the identification of novel antibiotics in an academic setting, leading to improved hit rates and faster transitions to pre-clinical and clinical testing. The current review describes two machine-learning techniques, neural networks and decision trees, that have been used to identify experimentally validated antibiotics. We conclude by describing the future directions of this exciting field. PMID:25521642

  4. Fragment-based drug discovery and molecular docking in drug design.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Wu, Mian-Bin; Chen, Zheng-Jie; Chen, Hua; Lin, Jian-Ping; Yang, Li-Rong

    2015-01-01

    Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) has caused a revolution in the process of drug discovery and design, with many FBDD leads being developed into clinical trials or approved in the past few years. Compared with traditional high-throughput screening, it displays obvious advantages such as efficiently covering chemical space, achieving higher hit rates, and so forth. In this review, we focus on the most recent developments of FBDD for improving drug discovery, illustrating the process and the importance of FBDD. In particular, the computational strategies applied in the process of FBDD and molecular-docking programs are highlighted elaborately. In most cases, docking is used for predicting the ligand-receptor interaction modes and hit identification by structurebased virtual screening. The successful cases of typical significance and the hits identified most recently are discussed. PMID:25420726

  5. In vivo brain microdialysis: advances in neuropsychopharmacology and drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Darvesh, Altaf S.; Carroll, Richard T.; Geldenhuys, Werner J.; Gudelsky, Gary A.; Klein, Jochen; Meshul, Charles K.; Van der Schyf, Cornelis J.

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Microdialysis is an important in vivo sampling technique, useful in the assay of extracellular tissue fluid. The technique has both pre-clinical and clinical applications but is most widely used in neuroscience. The in vivo microdialysis technique allows measurement of neurotransmitters such as acetycholine (ACh), the biogenic amines including dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT), amino acids such as glutamate (Glu) and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), as well as the metabolites of the aforementioned neurotransmitters, and neuropeptides in neuronal extracellular fluid in discrete brain regions of laboratory animals such as rodents and non-human primates. Areas covered In this review we present a brief overview of the principles and procedures related to in vivo microdialysis and detail the use of this technique in the pre-clinical measurement of drugs designed to be used in the treatment of chemical addiction, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and as well as psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. This review offers insight into the tremendous utility and versatility of this technique in pursuing neuropharmacological investigations as well its significant potential in rational drug discovery. Expert opinion In vivo microdialysis is an extremely versatile technique, routinely used in the neuropharmacological investigation of drugs used for the treatment of neurological disorders. This technique has been a boon in the elucidation of the neurochemical profile and mechanism of action of several classes of drugs especially their effects on neurotransmitter systems. The exploitation and development of this technique for drug discovery in the near future will enable investigational new drug candidates to be rapidly moved into the clinical trial stages and to market thus providing new successful therapies for neurological diseases

  6. New approaches for the identification of drug targets in protozoan parasites.

    PubMed

    Müller, Joachim; Hemphill, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Antiparasitic chemotherapy is an important issue for drug development. Traditionally, novel compounds with antiprotozoan activities have been identified by screening of compound libraries in high-throughput systems. More recently developed approaches employ target-based drug design supported by genomics and proteomics of protozoan parasites. In this chapter, the drug targets in protozoan parasites are reviewed. The gene-expression machinery has been among the first targets for antiparasitic drugs and is still under investigation as a target for novel compounds. Other targets include cytoskeletal proteins, proteins involved in intracellular signaling, membranes, and enzymes participating in intermediary metabolism. In apicomplexan parasites, the apicoplast is a suitable target for established and novel drugs. Some drugs act on multiple subcellular targets. Drugs with nitro groups generate free radicals under anaerobic growth conditions, and drugs with peroxide groups generate radicals under aerobic growth conditions, both affecting multiple cellular pathways. Mefloquine and thiazolides are presented as examples for antiprotozoan compounds with multiple (side) effects. The classic approach of drug discovery employing high-throughput physiological screenings followed by identification of drug targets has yielded the mainstream of current antiprotozoal drugs. Target-based drug design supported by genomics and proteomics of protozoan parasites has not produced any antiparasitic drug so far. The reason for this is discussed and a synthesis of both methods is proposed.

  7. Fluid mechanics aspects of magnetic drug targeting.

    PubMed

    Odenbach, Stefan

    2015-10-01

    Experiments and numerical simulations using a flow phantom for magnetic drug targeting have been undertaken. The flow phantom is a half y-branched tube configuration where the main tube represents an artery from which a tumour-supplying artery, which is simulated by the side branch of the flow phantom, branches off. In the experiments a quantification of the amount of magnetic particles targeted towards the branch by a magnetic field applied via a permanent magnet is achieved by impedance measurement using sensor coils. Measuring the targeting efficiency, i.e. the relative amount of particles targeted to the side branch, for different field configurations one obtains targeting maps which combine the targeting efficiency with the magnetic force densities in characteristic points in the flow phantom. It could be shown that targeting efficiency depends strongly on the magnetic field configuration. A corresponding numerical model has been set up, which allows the simulation of targeting efficiency for variable field configuration. With this simulation good agreement of targeting efficiency with experimental data has been found. Thus, the basis has been laid for future calculations of optimal field configurations in clinical applications of magnetic drug targeting. Moreover, the numerical model allows the variation of additional parameters of the drug targeting process and thus an estimation of the influence, e.g. of the fluid properties on the targeting efficiency. Corresponding calculations have shown that the non-Newtonian behaviour of the fluid will significantly influence the targeting process, an aspect which has to be taken into account, especially recalling the fact that the viscosity of magnetic suspensions depends strongly on the magnetic field strength and the mechanical load. PMID:26415215

  8. Fluid mechanics aspects of magnetic drug targeting.

    PubMed

    Odenbach, Stefan

    2015-10-01

    Experiments and numerical simulations using a flow phantom for magnetic drug targeting have been undertaken. The flow phantom is a half y-branched tube configuration where the main tube represents an artery from which a tumour-supplying artery, which is simulated by the side branch of the flow phantom, branches off. In the experiments a quantification of the amount of magnetic particles targeted towards the branch by a magnetic field applied via a permanent magnet is achieved by impedance measurement using sensor coils. Measuring the targeting efficiency, i.e. the relative amount of particles targeted to the side branch, for different field configurations one obtains targeting maps which combine the targeting efficiency with the magnetic force densities in characteristic points in the flow phantom. It could be shown that targeting efficiency depends strongly on the magnetic field configuration. A corresponding numerical model has been set up, which allows the simulation of targeting efficiency for variable field configuration. With this simulation good agreement of targeting efficiency with experimental data has been found. Thus, the basis has been laid for future calculations of optimal field configurations in clinical applications of magnetic drug targeting. Moreover, the numerical model allows the variation of additional parameters of the drug targeting process and thus an estimation of the influence, e.g. of the fluid properties on the targeting efficiency. Corresponding calculations have shown that the non-Newtonian behaviour of the fluid will significantly influence the targeting process, an aspect which has to be taken into account, especially recalling the fact that the viscosity of magnetic suspensions depends strongly on the magnetic field strength and the mechanical load.

  9. Use of "big data" in drug discovery and clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Taglang, Guillaume; Jackson, David B

    2016-04-01

    Oncology is undergoing a data-driven metamorphosis. Armed with new and ever more efficient molecular and information technologies, we have entered an era where data is helping us spearhead the fight against cancer. This technology driven data explosion, often referred to as "big data", is not only expediting biomedical discovery, but it is also rapidly transforming the practice of oncology into an information science. This evolution is critical, as results to-date have revealed the immense complexity and genetic heterogeneity of patients and their tumors, a sobering reminder of the challenge facing every patient and their oncologist. This can only be addressed through development of clinico-molecular data analytics that provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms controlling the biological and clinical response to available therapeutic options. Beyond the exciting implications for improved patient care, such advancements in predictive and evidence-based analytics stand to profoundly affect the processes of cancer drug discovery and associated clinical trials.

  10. Inhibition of Microglia Activation as a Phenotypic Assay in Early Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Figuera-Losada, Mariana; Rojas, Camilo; Slusher, Barbara S.

    2014-01-01

    Complex biological processes such as inflammation, cell death, migration, proliferation, and the release of biologically active molecules can be used as outcomes in phenotypic assays during early stages of drug discovery. Although target-based approaches have been widely used over the past decades, a disproportionate number of first-in-class drugs have been identified using phenotypic screening. This review details phenotypic assays based on inhibition of microglial activation and their utility in primary and secondary screening, target validation, and pathway elucidation. The role of microglia, both in normal as well as in pathological conditions such as chronic neurodegenerative diseases, is reviewed. Methodologies to assess microglia activation in vitro are discussed in detail, and classes of therapeutic drugs known to decrease the proinflammatory and cytotoxic responses of activated microglia are appraised, including inhibitors of glutaminase, cystine/glutamate antiporter, nuclear factor κB, and mitogen-activated protein kinases. PMID:23945875

  11. Click chemistry patents and their impact on drug discovery and chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hua; Jones, Lyn H

    2015-01-01

    First introduced by K Barry Sharpless in 2001, the term 'click chemistry' soon became a widely used description of chemical reactions that proceed rapidly, cleanly and in a manner that is often compatible with aqueous solutions. Click chemistry is frequently employed throughout the process of drug discovery, and greatly helps advance research programs in the pharmaceutical industry. It facilitates library synthesis to support medicinal chemistry optimization, helps identify the targets and off-targets of drug candidates, and can facilitate the determination of drug efficacy in clinical trials. In the last decade, a large number of patent applications covering the various types and utilities of click chemistry have been filed. In this review, we provide the first analysis of click chemistry applications.

  12. Human Disease Models in Drosophila melanogaster and the Role of the Fly in Therapeutic Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Udai Bhan

    2011-01-01

    The common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a well studied and highly tractable genetic model organism for understanding molecular mechanisms of human diseases. Many basic biological, physiological, and neurological properties are conserved between mammals and D. melanogaster, and nearly 75% of human disease-causing genes are believed to have a functional homolog in the fly. In the discovery process for therapeutics, traditional approaches employ high-throughput screening for small molecules that is based primarily on in vitro cell culture, enzymatic assays, or receptor binding assays. The majority of positive hits identified through these types of in vitro screens, unfortunately, are found to be ineffective and/or toxic in subsequent validation experiments in whole-animal models. New tools and platforms are needed in the discovery arena to overcome these limitations. The incorporation of D. melanogaster into the therapeutic discovery process holds tremendous promise for an enhanced rate of discovery of higher quality leads. D. melanogaster models of human diseases provide several unique features such as powerful genetics, highly conserved disease pathways, and very low comparative costs. The fly can effectively be used for low- to high-throughput drug screens as well as in target discovery. Here, we review the basic biology of the fly and discuss models of human diseases and opportunities for therapeutic discovery for central nervous system disorders, inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. We also provide information and resources for those interested in pursuing fly models of human disease, as well as those interested in using D. melanogaster in the drug discovery process. PMID:21415126

  13. Review article: high-throughput affinity-based technologies for small-molecule drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zhengrong; Cuozzo, John

    2009-12-01

    High-throughput affinity-based technologies are rapidly growing in use as primary screening methods in drug discovery. In this review, their principles and applications are described and their impact on small-molecule drug discovery is evaluated. In general, these technologies can be divided into 2 groups: those that detect binding interactions by measuring changes to the protein target and those that detect bound compounds. Technologies detecting binding interactions by focusing on the protein have limited throughput but can reveal mechanistic information about the binding interaction; technologies detecting bound compounds have very high throughput, some even significantly higher than current high-throughput screening technologies, but offer limited information about the binding interaction. In addition, the appropriate use of affinity-based technologies is discussed. Finally, nanotechnology is predicted to generate a significant impact on the future of affinity-based technologies. PMID:19822881

  14. Functional brain connectivity phenotypes for schizophrenia drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Neil; Morris, Brian J; Pratt, Judith A

    2015-02-01

    While our knowledge of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia has increased dramatically, this has not translated into the development of new and improved drugs to treat this disorder. Human brain imaging and electrophysiological studies have provided dramatic new insight into the mechanisms of brain dysfunction in the disease, with a swathe of recent studies highlighting the differences in functional brain network and neural system connectivity present in the disorder. Only recently has the value of applying these approaches in preclinical rodent models relevant to the disorder started to be recognised. Here we highlight recent findings of altered functional brain connectivity in preclinical rodent models and consider their relevance to those alterations seen in the brains of schizophrenia patients. Furthermore, we highlight the potential translational value of using the paradigm of functional brain connectivity phenotypes in the context of preclinical schizophrenia drug discovery, as a means both to understand the mechanisms of brain dysfunction in the disorder and to reduce the current high attrition rate in schizophrenia drug discovery.

  15. Stimulated Raman scattering microscopy: an emerging tool for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Tipping, W J; Lee, M; Serrels, A; Brunton, V G; Hulme, A N

    2016-04-21

    Optical microscopy techniques have emerged as a cornerstone of biomedical research, capable of probing the cellular functions of a vast range of substrates, whilst being minimally invasive to the cells or tissues of interest. Incorporating biological imaging into the early stages of the drug discovery process can provide invaluable information about drug activity within complex disease models. Spontaneous Raman spectroscopy has been widely used as a platform for the study of cells and their components based on chemical composition; but slow acquisition rates, poor resolution and a lack of sensitivity have hampered further development. A new generation of stimulated Raman techniques is emerging which allows the imaging of cells, tissues and organisms at faster acquisition speeds, and with greater resolution and sensitivity than previously possible. This review focuses on the development of stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), and covers the use of bioorthogonal tags to enhance sample detection, and recent applications of both spontaneous Raman and SRS as novel imaging platforms to facilitate the drug discovery process. PMID:26839248

  16. Chemical informatics and the drug discovery knowledge pyramid.

    PubMed

    Lushington, Gerald H; Dong, Yinghua; Theertham, Bhargav

    2013-12-01

    The magnitude of the challenges in preclinical drug discovery is evident in the large amount of capital invested in such efforts in pursuit of a small static number of eventually successful marketable therapeutics. An explosion in the availability of potentially drug-like compounds and chemical biology data on these molecules can provide us with the means to improve the eventual success rates for compounds being considered at the preclinical level, but only if the community is able to access available information in an efficient and meaningful way. Thus, chemical database resources are critical to any serious drug discovery effort. This paper explores the basic principles underlying the development and implementation of chemical databases, and examines key issues of how molecular information may be encoded within these databases so as to enhance the likelihood that users will be able to extract meaningful information from data queries. In addition to a broad survey of conventional data representation and query strategies, key enabling technologies such as new context-sensitive chemical similarity measures and chemical cartridges are examined, with recommendations on how such resources may be integrated into a practical database environment.

  17. Advanced Cell Culture Techniques for Cancer Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Lovitt, Carrie J.; Shelper, Todd B.; Avery, Vicky M.

    2014-01-01

    Human cancer cell lines are an integral part of drug discovery practices. However, modeling the complexity of cancer utilizing these cell lines on standard plastic substrata, does not accurately represent the tumor microenvironment. Research into developing advanced tumor cell culture models in a three-dimensional (3D) architecture that more prescisely characterizes the disease state have been undertaken by a number of laboratories around the world. These 3D cell culture models are particularly beneficial for investigating mechanistic processes and drug resistance in tumor cells. In addition, a range of molecular mechanisms deconstructed by studying cancer cells in 3D models suggest that tumor cells cultured in two-dimensional monolayer conditions do not respond to cancer therapeutics/compounds in a similar manner. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential of utilizing 3D cell culture models in drug discovery programs; however, it is evident that further research is required for the development of more complex models that incorporate the majority of the cellular and physical properties of a tumor. PMID:24887773

  18. Pharmacokinetic properties and in silico ADME modeling in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Honório, Kathia M; Moda, Tiago L; Andricopulo, Adriano D

    2013-03-01

    The discovery and development of a new drug are time-consuming, difficult and expensive. This complex process has evolved from classical methods into an integration of modern technologies and innovative strategies addressed to the design of new chemical entities to treat a variety of diseases. The development of new drug candidates is often limited by initial compounds lacking reasonable chemical and biological properties for further lead optimization. Huge libraries of compounds are frequently selected for biological screening using a variety of techniques and standard models to assess potency, affinity and selectivity. In this context, it is very important to study the pharmacokinetic profile of the compounds under investigation. Recent advances have been made in the collection of data and the development of models to assess and predict pharmacokinetic properties (ADME--absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) of bioactive compounds in the early stages of drug discovery projects. This paper provides a brief perspective on the evolution of in silico ADME tools, addressing challenges, limitations, and opportunities in medicinal chemistry.

  19. Chemical Informatics and the Drug Discovery Knowledge Pyramid

    PubMed Central

    Lushington, Gerald H.; Dong, Yinghua; Theertham, Bhargav

    2012-01-01

    The magnitude of the challenges in preclinical drug discovery is evident in the large amount of capital invested in such efforts in pursuit of a small static number of eventually successful marketable therapeutics. An explosion in the availability of potentially drug-like compounds and chemical biology data on these molecules can provide us with the means to improve the eventual success rates for compounds being considered at the preclinical level, but only if the community is able to access available information in an efficient and meaningful way. Thus, chemical database resources are critical to any serious drug discovery effort. This paper explores the basic principles underlying the development and implementation of chemical databases, and examines key issues of how molecular information may be encoded within these databases so as to enhance the likelihood that users will be able to extract meaningful information from data queries. In addition to a broad survey of conventional data representation and query strategies, key enabling technologies such as new context-sensitive chemical similarity measures and chemical cartridges are examined, with recommendations on how such resources may be integrated into a practical database environment. PMID:23782037

  20. Current perspectives in drug discovery against tuberculosis from natural products.

    PubMed

    Nguta, Joseph Mwanzia; Appiah-Opong, Regina; Nyarko, Alexander K; Yeboah-Manu, Dorothy; Addo, Phyllis G A

    2015-09-01

    Currently, one third of the world's population is latently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), while 8.9-9.9 million new and relapse cases of tuberculosis (TB) are reported yearly. The renewed research interests in natural products in the hope of discovering new and novel antitubercular leads have been driven partly by the increased incidence of multidrug-resistant strains of MTB and the adverse effects associated with the first- and second-line antitubercular drugs. Natural products have been, and will continue to be a rich source of new drugs against many diseases. The depth and breadth of therapeutic agents that have their origins in the secondary metabolites produced by living organisms cannot be compared with any other source of therapeutic agents. Discovery of new chemical molecules against active and latent TB from natural products requires an interdisciplinary approach, which is a major challenge facing scientists in this field. In order to overcome this challenge, cutting edge techniques in mycobacteriology and innovative natural product chemistry tools need to be developed and used in tandem. The present review provides a cross-linkage to the most recent literature in both fields and their potential to impact the early phase of drug discovery against TB if seamlessly combined. PMID:27649863

  1. Stimulated Raman scattering microscopy: an emerging tool for drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Tipping, W. J.; Lee, M.; Serrels, A.; Brunton, V. G.

    2016-01-01

    Optical microscopy techniques have emerged as a cornerstone of biomedical research, capable of probing the cellular functions of a vast range of substrates, whilst being minimally invasive to the cells or tissues of interest. Incorporating biological imaging into the early stages of the drug discovery process can provide invaluable information about drug activity within complex disease models. Spontaneous Raman spectroscopy has been widely used as a platform for the study of cells and their components based on chemical composition; but slow acquisition rates, poor resolution and a lack of sensitivity have hampered further development. A new generation of stimulated Raman techniques is emerging which allows the imaging of cells, tissues and organisms at faster acquisition speeds, and with greater resolution and sensitivity than previously possible. This review focuses on the development of stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), and covers the use of bioorthogonal tags to enhance sample detection, and recent applications of both spontaneous Raman and SRS as novel imaging platforms to facilitate the drug discovery process. PMID:26839248

  2. Antiviral drug discovery strategy using combinatorial libraries of structurally constrained peptides.

    PubMed

    Real, Eléonore; Rain, Jean-Christophe; Battaglia, Véronique; Jallet, Corinne; Perrin, Pierre; Tordo, Noël; Chrisment, Peggy; D'Alayer, Jacques; Legrain, Pierre; Jacob, Yves

    2004-07-01

    We have developed a new strategy for antiviral peptide discovery by using lyssaviruses (rabies virus and rabies-related viruses) as models. Based on the mimicry of natural bioactive peptides, two genetically encoded combinatorial peptide libraries composed of intrinsically constrained peptides (coactamers) were designed. Proteomic knowledge concerning the functional network of interactions in the lyssavirus transcription-replication complex highlights the phosphoprotein (P) as a prime target for inhibitors of viral replication. We present an integrated, sequential drug discovery process for selection of peptides with antiviral activity directed against the P. Our approach combines (i). an exhaustive two-hybrid selection of peptides binding two phylogenetically divergent lyssavirus P's, (ii). a functional analysis of protein interaction inhibition in a viral reverse genetic assay, coupled with a physical analysis of viral nucleoprotein-P complex by protein chip mass spectrometry, and (iii). an assay for inhibition of lyssavirus infection in mammalian cells. The validity of this strategy was demonstrated by the identification of four peptides exhibiting an efficient antiviral activity. Our work highlights the importance of P as a target in anti-rabies virus drug discovery. Furthermore, the screening strategy and the coactamer libraries presented in this report could be considered, respectively, a general target validation strategy and a potential source of biologically active peptides which could also help to design pharmacologically active peptide-mimicking molecules. The strategy described here is easily applicable to other pathogens.

  3. Increasing the Structural Coverage of Tuberculosis Drug Targets

    PubMed Central

    Baugh, Loren; Phan, Isabelle; Begley, Darren W.; Clifton, Matthew C.; Armour, Brianna; Dranow, David M.; Taylor, Brandy M.; Muruthi, Marvin M.; Abendroth, Jan; Fairman, James W.; Fox, David; Dieterich, Shellie H.; Staker, Bart L.; Gardberg, Anna S.; Choi, Ryan; Hewitt, Stephen N.; Napuli, Alberto J.; Myers, Janette; Barrett, Lynn K.; Zhang, Yang; Ferrell, Micah; Mundt, Elizabeth; Thompkins, Katie; Tran, Ngoc; Lyons-Abbott, Sally; Abramov, Ariel; Sekar, Aarthi; Serbzhinskiy, Dmitri; Lorimer, Don; Buchko, Garry W.; Stacy, Robin; Stewart, Lance J.; Edwards, Thomas E.; Van Voorhis, Wesley C.; Myler, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution three-dimensional structures of essential Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) proteins provide templates for TB drug design, but are available for only a small fraction of the Mtb proteome. Here we evaluate an intra-genus “homolog-rescue” strategy to increase the structural information available for TB drug discovery by using mycobacterial homologs with conserved active sites. Of 179 potential TB drug targets selected for x-ray structure determination, only 16 yielded a crystal structure. By adding 1675 homologs from nine other mycobacterial species to the pipeline, structures representing an additional 52 otherwise intractable targets were solved. To determine whether these homolog structures would be useful surrogates in TB drug design, we compared the active sites of 106 pairs of Mtb and non-TB mycobacterial (NTM) enzyme homologs with experimentally determined structures, using three metrics of active site similarity, including superposition of continuous pharmacophoric property distributions. Pair-wise structural comparisons revealed that 19/22 pairs with >55% overall sequence identity had active site Cα RMSD <1Å, >85% side chain identity, and ≥80% PSAPF (similarity based on pharmacophoric properties) indicating highly conserved active site shape and chemistry. Applying these results to the 52 NTM structures described above, 41 shared >55% sequence identity with the Mtb target, thus increasing the effective structural coverage of the 179 Mtb targets over three-fold (from 9% to 32%). The utility of these structures in TB drug design can be tested by designing inhibitors using the homolog structure and assaying the cognate Mtb enzyme; a promising test case, Mtb cytidylate kinase, is described. The homolog-rescue strategy evaluated here for TB is also generalizable to drug targets for other diseases. PMID:25613812

  4. Increasing the structural coverage of tuberculosis drug targets

    SciTech Connect

    Baugh, Loren; Phan, Isabelle; Begley, Darren W.; Clifton, Matthew C.; Armour, Brianna; Dranow, David M.; Taylor, Brandy M.; Muruthi, Marvin M.; Abendroth, Jan; Fairman, James W.; Fox, David; Dieterich, Shellie H.; Staker, Bart L.; Gardberg, Anna S.; Choi, Ryan; Hewitt, Stephen N.; Napuli, Alberto J.; Myers, Janette; Barrett, Lynn K.; Zhang, Yang; Ferrell, Micah; Mundt, Elizabeth; Thompkins, Katie; Tran, Ngoc; Lyons-Abbott, Sally; Abramov, Ariel; Sekar, Aarthi; Serbzhinskiy, Dmitri; Lorimer, Don; Buchko, Garry W.; Stacy, Robin; Stewart, Lance J.; Edwards, Thomas E.; Van Voorhis, Wesley C.; Myler, Peter J.

    2014-12-19

    High-resolution three-dimensional structures of essential Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) proteins provide templates for TB drug design, but are available for only a small fraction of the Mtb proteome. Here we evaluate an intra-genus “homolog-rescue” strategy to increase the structural information available for TB drug discovery by using mycobacterial homologs with conserved active sites. We found that of 179 potential TB drug targets selected for x-ray structure determination, only 16 yielded a crystal structure. By adding 1675 homologs from nine other mycobacterial species to the pipeline, structures representing an additional 52 otherwise intractable targets were solved. To determine whether these homolog structures would be useful surrogates in TB drug design, we compared the active sites of 106 pairs of Mtb and non-TB mycobacterial (NTM) enzyme homologs with experimentally determined structures, using three metrics of active site similarity, including superposition of continuous pharmacophoric property distributions. Pair-wise structural comparisons revealed that 19/22 pairs with >55% overall sequence identity had active site Cα RMSD <1 Å, >85% side chain identity, and ≥80% PSAPF (similarity based on pharmacophoric properties) indicating highly conserved active site shape and chemistry. Applying these results to the 52 NTM structures described above, 41 shared >55% sequence identity with the Mtb target, thus increasing the effective structural coverage of the 179 Mtb targets over three-fold (from 9% to 32%). The utility of these structures in TB drug design can be tested by designing inhibitors using the homolog structure and assaying the cognate Mtb enzyme; a promising test case, Mtb cytidylate kinase, is described. The homolog-rescue strategy evaluated here for TB is also generalizable to drug targets for other diseases.

  5. Increasing the structural coverage of tuberculosis drug targets

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Baugh, Loren; Phan, Isabelle; Begley, Darren W.; Clifton, Matthew C.; Armour, Brianna; Dranow, David M.; Taylor, Brandy M.; Muruthi, Marvin M.; Abendroth, Jan; Fairman, James W.; et al

    2014-12-19

    High-resolution three-dimensional structures of essential Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) proteins provide templates for TB drug design, but are available for only a small fraction of the Mtb proteome. Here we evaluate an intra-genus “homolog-rescue” strategy to increase the structural information available for TB drug discovery by using mycobacterial homologs with conserved active sites. We found that of 179 potential TB drug targets selected for x-ray structure determination, only 16 yielded a crystal structure. By adding 1675 homologs from nine other mycobacterial species to the pipeline, structures representing an additional 52 otherwise intractable targets were solved. To determine whether these homolog structuresmore » would be useful surrogates in TB drug design, we compared the active sites of 106 pairs of Mtb and non-TB mycobacterial (NTM) enzyme homologs with experimentally determined structures, using three metrics of active site similarity, including superposition of continuous pharmacophoric property distributions. Pair-wise structural comparisons revealed that 19/22 pairs with >55% overall sequence identity had active site Cα RMSD <1 Å, >85% side chain identity, and ≥80% PSAPF (similarity based on pharmacophoric properties) indicating highly conserved active site shape and chemistry. Applying these results to the 52 NTM structures described above, 41 shared >55% sequence identity with the Mtb target, thus increasing the effective structural coverage of the 179 Mtb targets over three-fold (from 9% to 32%). The utility of these structures in TB drug design can be tested by designing inhibitors using the homolog structure and assaying the cognate Mtb enzyme; a promising test case, Mtb cytidylate kinase, is described. The homolog-rescue strategy evaluated here for TB is also generalizable to drug targets for other diseases.« less

  6. Automation of a phospho-STAT5 staining procedure for flow cytometry for application in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Malergue, Fabrice; van Agthoven, Andreas; Scifo, Caroline; Egan, Dave; Strous, Ger J

    2015-03-01

    Drug discovery often requires the screening of compound libraries on tissue cultured cells. Some major targets in drug discovery belong to signal transduction pathways, and PerFix EXPOSE* allows easy flow cytometry phospho assays. We thus investigated the possibility to further simplify and automate this assay, to allow the direct screening of drugs targeting signaling pathways. We show here the sensitivity of this fully automated assay on human growth hormone (hGH)-driven JAK/STAT5-activated IM-9 cells, and we discuss the throughput of this system, which is compatible with medium-throughput drug screening. Because the kit works directly on whole blood samples, ex-vivo assays are also possible with this approach, which could allow for the screening of drugs under more physiological conditions.

  7. Drug discovery applications for KNIME: an open source data mining platform.

    PubMed

    Mazanetz, Michael P; Marmon, Robert J; Reisser, Catherine B T; Morao, Inaki

    2012-01-01

    Technological advances in high-throughput screening methods, combinatorial chemistry and the design of virtual libraries have evolved in the pursuit of challenging drug targets. Over the last two decades a vast amount of data has been generated within these fields and as a consequence data mining methods have been developed to extract key pieces of information from these large data pools. Much of this data is now available in the public domain. This has been helpful in the arena of drug discovery for both academic groups and for small to medium sized enterprises which previously would not have had access to such data resources. Commercial data mining software is sometimes prohibitively expensive and the alternate open source data mining software is gaining momentum in both academia and in industrial applications as the costs of research and development continue to rise. KNIME, the Konstanz Information Miner, has emerged as a leader in open source data mining tools. KNIME provides an integrated solution for the data mining requirements across the drug discovery pipeline through a visual assembly of data workflows drawing from an extensive repository of tools. This review will examine KNIME as an open source data mining tool and its applications in drug discovery.

  8. Antimalarial Drug Discovery: Approaches and Progress towards New Medicines

    PubMed Central

    Flannery, Erika L.; Chatterjee, Arnab K.; Winzeler, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria elimination has recently been reinstated as a global health priority but current therapies seem to be insufficient for the task. Elimination efforts require new drug classes that alleviate symptoms, prevent transmission and provide a radical cure. To develop these next generation medicines, public-private partnerships are funding innovative approaches to identify compounds that target multiple parasite species at multiple stages of the parasite lifecycle. Here, we review the cell-, chemistry- and target-based approaches used to discover new drug candidates that are currently in clinical trials or undergoing preclinical testing. PMID:24217412

  9. A Fluorescence Displacement Assay for Antidepressant Drug Discovery Based on Ligand-Conjugated Quantum Dots

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Jerry; Tomlinson, Ian; Warnement, Michael; Iwamoto, Hideki

    2011-01-01

    The serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) transporter (SERT) protein plays a central role in terminating 5-HT neurotransmission and is the most important therapeutic target for the treatment of major depression and anxiety disorders. We report an innovative, versatile, and target-selective quantum dot (QD) labeling approach for SERT in single Xenopus oocytes that can be adopted as a drug-screening platform. Our labeling approach employs a custom-made, QD-tagged indoleamine derivative ligand, IDT318, that is structurally similar to 5-HT and accesses the primary binding site with enhanced human SERT selectivity. Incubating QD-labeled oocytes with paroxetine (Paxil), a high-affinity SERT-specific inhibitor, showed a concentration- and time-dependent decrease in QD fluorescence, demonstrating the utility of our approach for the identification of SERT modulators. Furthermore, with the development of ligands aimed at other pharmacologically relevant targets, our approach may potentially form the basis for a multitarget drug discovery platform.

  10. Cardiac Arrhythmia: In vivo screening in the zebrafish to overcome complexity in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    MacRae, Calum A.

    2010-01-01

    Importance of the field Cardiac arrhythmias remain a major challenge for modern drug discovery. Clinical events are paroxysmal, often rare and may be asymptomatic until a highly morbid complication. Target selection is often based on limited information and though highly specific agents are identified in screening, the final efficacy is often compromised by unanticipated systemic responses, a narrow therapeutic index and substantial toxicities. Areas covered in this review Our understanding of complexity of arrhythmogenesis has grown dramatically over the last two decades, and the range of potential disease mechanisms now includes pathways previously thought only tangentially involved in arrhythmia. This review surveys the literature on arrhythmia mechanisms from 1965 to the present day, outlines the complex biology underlying potentially each and every rhythm disturbance, and highlights the problems for rational target identification. The rationale for in vivo screening is described and the utility of the zebrafish for this approach and for complementary work in functional genomics is discussed. Current limitations of the model in this setting and the need for careful validation in new disease areas are also described. What the reader will gain An overview of the complex mechanisms underlying most clinical arrhythmias, and insight into the limits of ion channel conductances as drug targets. An introduction to the zebrafish as a model organism, in particular for cardiovascular biology. Potential approaches to overcoming the hurdles to drug discovery in the face of complex biology including in vivo screening of zebrafish genetic disease models. Take home message In vivo screening in faithful disease models allows the effects of drugs on integrative physiology and disease biology to be captured during the screening process, in a manner agnostic to potential drug target or targets. This systematic strategy bypasses current gaps in our understanding of disease biology

  11. The Application of the Open Pharmacological Concepts Triple Store (Open PHACTS) to Support Drug Discovery Research

    PubMed Central

    Ratnam, Joseline; Zdrazil, Barbara; Digles, Daniela; Cuadrado-Rodriguez, Emiliano; Neefs, Jean-Marc; Tipney, Hannah; Siebes, Ronald; Waagmeester, Andra; Bradley, Glyn; Chau, Chau Han; Richter, Lars; Brea, Jose; Evelo, Chris T.; Jacoby, Edgar; Senger, Stefan; Loza, Maria Isabel; Ecker, Gerhard F.; Chichester, Christine

    2014-01-01

    Integration of open access, curated, high-quality information from multiple disciplines in the Life and Biomedical Sciences provides a holistic understanding of the domain. Additionally, the effective linking of diverse data sources can unearth hidden relationships and guide potential research strategies. However, given the lack of consistency between descriptors and identifiers used in different resources and the absence of a simple mechanism to link them, gathering and combining relevant, comprehensive information from diverse databases remains a challenge. The Open Pharmacological Concepts Triple Store (Open PHACTS) is an Innovative Medicines Initiative project that uses semantic web technology approaches to enable scientists to easily access and process data from multiple sources to solve real-world drug discovery problems. The project draws together sources of publicly-available pharmacological, physicochemical and biomolecular data, represents it in a stable infrastructure and provides well-defined information exploration and retrieval methods. Here, we highlight the utility of this platform in conjunction with workflow tools to solve pharmacological research questions that require interoperability between target, compound, and pathway data. Use cases presented herein cover 1) the comprehensive identification of chemical matter for a dopamine receptor drug discovery program 2) the identification of compounds active against all targets in the Epidermal growth factor receptor (ErbB) signaling pathway that have a relevance to disease and 3) the evaluation of established targets in the Vitamin D metabolism pathway to aid novel Vitamin D analogue design. The example workflows presented illustrate how the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform can be used to exploit existing knowledge and generate new hypotheses in the process of drug discovery. PMID:25522365

  12. Injected nanocrystals for targeted drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yi; Li, Ye; Wu, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Nanocrystals are pure drug crystals with sizes in the nanometer range. Due to the advantages of high drug loading, platform stability, and ease of scaling-up, nanocrystals have been widely used to deliver poorly water-soluble drugs. Nanocrystals in the blood stream can be recognized and sequestered as exogenous materials by mononuclear phagocytic system (MPS) cells, leading to passive accumulation in MPS-rich organs, such as liver, spleen and lung. Particle size, morphology and surface modification affect the biodistribution of nanocrystals. Ligand conjugation and stimuli-responsive polymers can also be used to target nanocrystals to specific pathogenic sites. In this review, the progress on injected nanocrystals for targeted drug delivery is discussed following a brief introduction to nanocrystal preparation methods, i.e., top-down and bottom-up technologies. PMID:27006893

  13. The case for open-source software in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    DeLano, Warren L

    2005-02-01

    Widespread adoption of open-source software for network infrastructure, web servers, code development, and operating systems leads one to ask how far it can go. Will "open source" spread broadly, or will it be restricted to niches frequented by hopeful hobbyists and midnight hackers? Here we identify reasons for the success of open-source software and predict how consumers in drug discovery will benefit from new open-source products that address their needs with increased flexibility and in ways complementary to proprietary options.

  14. Regenerative medicine and stem cell based drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Sakurada, Kazuhiro; McDonald, Fiona M; Shimada, Fumiki

    2008-01-01

    As William Shakespeare beautifully described, increasing age often causes loss of tissue and organ function. The increase in average life expectancy in many countries is generating an aging society and an increase in age-related health problems. Regenerative medicine is expected to be a powerful actor in this drama, and stem cell technology may hold the key to the development of innovative treatments for acute and chronic degenerative conditions. This Review surveys the present situation and some future prospects for regenerative medicine and stem cell based drug discovery. PMID:18624353

  15. Recent advances in flavivirus antiviral drug discovery and vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Ray, Debashish; Shi, Pei-Yong

    2006-01-01

    Many flaviviruses, including yellow fever virus, dengue virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, and West Nile virus, are globally important human pathogens. Despite an emergence and resurgence of flavivirus-mediated disease, specific therapies are not yet available; however, significant progress has been made toward the prevention and treatment of flavivirus infections. In this article we review recent advances made in the areas of (i) flavivirus vaccine development, and (ii) antiflavivirus drug discovery reported in literature and patents, and highlight strategies used in these investigations. PMID:18221133

  16. Ca2+ mobilization assays in GPCR drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Woszczek, Grzegorz; Fuerst, Elisabeth

    2015-01-01

    Intracellular calcium mobilization can be measured using several methods varying in indicator dyes and devices used. In this chapter, we describe the fluorescence-based method (FLIPR Calcium 4 Assay) developed by Molecular Devices for a FlexStation and routinely used in our laboratory for detecting intracellular calcium changes. The assay is designed to study calcium mobilization induced by majority of GPCRs and calcium channels and allows for simultaneous concentration-dependent analysis of several receptor agonists and antagonists, useful in receptor characterization and drug discovery projects. PMID:25563178

  17. New drug discovery: extraordinary opportunities in an uncertain time.

    PubMed

    Kinch, Michael S; Flath, Richard

    2015-11-01

    The way in which new medicines are discovered has irreversibly changed and the future sustainability of the enterprise is characterized by an unprecedented period of uncertainty. Herein, we convey that these changes provide unprecedented opportunities for many different players within the private and public sectors to work together and develop new models that ensure the sustainability of activities that have had an extraordinary impact; in terms of promoting public health and driving economic value. Specific examples of experiments are provided to demonstrate some of the new thinking that will be needed to ensure continuation of new drug discovery. PMID:25528676

  18. Quantitative analysis on the characteristics of targets with FDA approved drugs

    PubMed Central

    Sakharkar, Meena K.; Li, Peng; Zhong, Zhaowei; Sakharkar, Kishore R.

    2008-01-01

    Accumulated knowledge of genomic information, systems biology, and disease mechanisms provide an unprecedented opportunity to elucidate the genetic basis of diseases, and to discover new and novel therapeutic targets from the wealth of genomic data. With hundreds to a few thousand potential targets available in the human genome alone, target selection and validation has become a critical component of drug discovery process. The explorations on quantitative characteristics of the currently explored targets (those without any marketed drug) and successful targets (targeted by at least one marketed drug) could help discern simple rules for selecting a putative successful target. Here we use integrative in silico (computational) approaches to quantitatively analyze the characteristics of 133 targets with FDA approved drugs and 3120 human disease genes (therapeutic targets) not targeted by FDA approved drugs. This is the first attempt to comparatively analyze targets with FDA approved drugs and targets with no FDA approved drug or no drugs available for them. Our results show that proteins with 5 or fewer number of homologs outside their own family, proteins with single-exon gene architecture and proteins interacting with more than 3 partners are more likely to be targetable. These quantitative characteristics could serve as criteria to search for promising targetable disease genes. PMID:18167532

  19. The role of machine learning in neuroimaging for drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Orla M; Mehta, Mitul A; Brammer, Michael J

    2015-11-01

    Neuroimaging has been identified as a potentially powerful probe for the in vivo study of drug effects on the brain with utility across several phases of drug development spanning preclinical and clinical investigations. Specifically, neuroimaging can provide insight into drug penetration and distribution, target engagement, pharmacodynamics, mechanistic action and potential indicators of clinical efficacy. In this review, we focus on machine learning approaches for neuroimaging which enable us to make predictions at the individual level based on the distributed effects across the whole brain. Crucially, these approaches can be trained on data from one study and applied to an independent study and, unlike group-level statistics, can be readily use to assess the generalisability to unseen data. In this review, we present examples and suggestions for how machine learning could help answer fundamental questions spanning the drug discovery pipeline: (1) Who should I recruit for this study? (2) What should I measure and when should I measure it? (3) How does the pharmacological agent behave using an experimental medicine model?, and (4) How does a compound differ from and/or resemble existing compounds? Specifically, we present studies from the literature and we suggest areas for the focus of future development. Further refinement and tailoring of machine learning techniques may help realise their tremendous potential for drug discovery and drug validation.

  20. The Significance of G Protein-Coupled Receptor Crystallography for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Salon, John A.; Lodowski, David T.

    2011-01-01

    Crucial as molecular sensors for many vital physiological processes, seven-transmembrane domain G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) comprise the largest family of proteins targeted by drug discovery. Together with structures of the prototypical GPCR rhodopsin, solved structures of other liganded GPCRs promise to provide insights into the structural basis of the superfamily's biochemical functions and assist in the development of new therapeutic modalities and drugs. One of the greatest technical and theoretical challenges to elucidating and exploiting structure-function relationships in these systems is the emerging concept of GPCR conformational flexibility and its cause-effect relationship for receptor-receptor and receptor-effector interactions. Such conformational changes can be subtle and triggered by relatively small binding energy effects, leading to full or partial efficacy in the activation or inactivation of the receptor system at large. Pharmacological dogma generally dictates that these changes manifest themselves through kinetic modulation of the receptor's G protein partners. Atomic resolution information derived from increasingly available receptor structures provides an entrée to the understanding of these events and practically applying it to drug design. Supported by structure-activity relationship information arising from empirical screening, a unified structural model of GPCR activation/inactivation promises to both accelerate drug discovery in this field and improve our fundamental understanding of structure-based drug design in general. This review discusses fundamental problems that persist in drug design and GPCR structural determination. PMID:21969326

  1. Multiple Targets for Drug-Induced Mitochondrial Toxicity.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Kendall B

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial toxicity is rapidly gaining the interest of researchers and practitioners as a prominent liability in drug discovery and development, accounting for a growing proportion of preclinical drug attrition and post-market withdrawals or black box warnings by the U.S. FDA. To date, the focus of registries of drugs that elicit mitochondrial toxicity has been largely restricted to those that either inhibit the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) or uncouple mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Less appreciated are the toxicities that are secondary to the drug affecting either the molecular regulation, assembly or incorporation of the ETC into the inner mitochondrial membrane or those that limit substrate availability. The current article describes the complexities of molecular events and biochemical pathways required to sustain mitochondrial fidelity and substrate homeostasis with examples of drugs that interfere which the various pathways. The principal objective of this review is to shed light on the broader scope of drug-induced mitochondrial toxicities and how these secondary targets may account for a large portion of drug failures.

  2. Multiple Targets for Drug-Induced Mitochondrial Toxicity.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Kendall B

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial toxicity is rapidly gaining the interest of researchers and practitioners as a prominent liability in drug discovery and development, accounting for a growing proportion of preclinical drug attrition and post-market withdrawals or black box warnings by the U.S. FDA. To date, the focus of registries of drugs that elicit mitochondrial toxicity has been largely restricted to those that either inhibit the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) or uncouple mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Less appreciated are the toxicities that are secondary to the drug affecting either the molecular regulation, assembly or incorporation of the ETC into the inner mitochondrial membrane or those that limit substrate availability. The current article describes the complexities of molecular events and biochemical pathways required to sustain mitochondrial fidelity and substrate homeostasis with examples of drugs that interfere which the various pathways. The principal objective of this review is to shed light on the broader scope of drug-induced mitochondrial toxicities and how these secondary targets may account for a large portion of drug failures. PMID:25973981

  3. The relationship between target-class and the physicochemical properties of antibacterial drugs

    PubMed Central

    Mugumbate, Grace; Overington, John P.

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of novel mechanism of action (MOA) antibacterials has been associated with the concept that antibacterial drugs occupy a differentiated region of physicochemical space compared to human-targeted drugs. With, in broad terms, antibacterials having higher molecular weight, lower log P and higher polar surface area (PSA). By analysing the physicochemical properties of about 1700 approved drugs listed in the ChEMBL database, we show, that antibacterials for whose targets are riboproteins (i.e., composed of a complex of RNA and protein) fall outside the conventional human ‘drug-like’ chemical space; whereas antibacterials that modulate bacterial protein targets, generally comply with the ‘rule-of-five’ guidelines for classical oral human drugs. Our analysis suggests a strong target-class association for antibacterials—either protein-targeted or riboprotein-targeted. There is much discussion in the literature on the failure of screening approaches to deliver novel antibacterial lead series, and linkage of this poor success rate for antibacterials with the chemical space properties of screening collections. Our analysis suggests that consideration of target-class may be an underappreciated factor in antibacterial lead discovery, and that in fact bacterial protein-targets may well have similar binding site characteristics to human protein targets, and questions the assumption that larger, more polar compounds are a key part of successful future antibacterial discovery. PMID:25975639

  4. Structural genomics of infectious disease drug targets: the SSGCID

    PubMed Central

    Stacy, Robin; Begley, Darren W.; Phan, Isabelle; Staker, Bart L.; Van Voorhis, Wesley C.; Varani, Gabriele; Buchko, Garry W.; Stewart, Lance J.; Myler, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    The Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID) is a consortium of researchers at Seattle BioMed, Emerald BioStructures, the University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that was established to apply structural genomics approaches to drug targets from infectious disease organisms. The SSGCID is currently funded over a five-year period by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to determine the three-dimensional structures of 400 proteins from a variety of Category A, B and C pathogens. Target selection engages the infectious disease research and drug-therapy communities to identify drug targets, essential enzymes, virulence factors and vaccine candidates of biomedical relevance to combat infectious diseases. The protein-expression systems, purified proteins, ligand screens and three-dimensional structures produced by SSGCID con­stitute a valuable resource for drug-discovery research, all of which is made freely available to the greater scientific community. This issue of Acta Crystallographica Section F, entirely devoted to the work of the SSGCID, covers the details of the high-throughput pipeline and presents a series of structures from a broad array of pathogenic organisms. Here, a background is provided on the structural genomics of infectious disease, the essential components of the SSGCID pipeline are discussed and a survey of progress to date is presented. PMID:21904037

  5. Epilepsy: new drug targets and neurostimulation.

    PubMed

    Asconapé, Jorge J

    2013-08-01

    Despite advances in the medical and surgical therapy for epilepsy, about 30% of patients do not achieve full seizure control. In the past 5 years new antiepileptic drugs have been approved for clinical use. Some of these drugs have unique, novel mechanisms of action. Overall efficacy of these agents, however, seems similar to other antiepileptic drugs. Vagus nerve stimulation is a well-established palliative therapy for medically resistant epilepsy. Neurostimulation, with newer devices and targets becoming available, is a rapidly expanding field in epileptology. Considerable development and research are still necessary before these newer techniques become the standard of care for the treatment of epilepsy. PMID:23896505

  6. Accelerating drug discovery via organs-on-chips

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Chung Yu; Huang, Po-Hsun; Guo, Feng; Ding, Xiaoyun; Kapur, Vivek; Mai, John D.

    2014-01-01

    Considerable advances have been made in the development of micro-physiological systems that seek to faithfully replicate the complexity and functionality of animal and human physiology in research laboratories. Sometimes referred to as “organs-on-chips”, these systems provide key insights into physiological or pathological processes associated with health maintenance and disease control, and serve as powerful platforms for new drug development and toxicity screening. In this Focus article, we review the state-of-the-art designs and examples for developing multiple “organs-on-chips”, and discuss the potential of this emerging technology to enhance our understanding of human physiology, and to transform and accelerate the drug discovery and pre-clinical testing process. This Focus article highlights some of the recent technological advances in this field, along with the challenges that must be addressed for these technologies to fully realize their potential. PMID:24193241

  7. The Zebrafish as a Tool to Cancer Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Huiting, LN; Laroche, FJF; Feng, H

    2015-01-01

    The ability of zebrafish to faithfully recapitulate a variety of human cancers provides a unique in vivo system for drug identification and validation. Zebrafish models of human cancer generated through methodologies such as transgenesis, gene inactivation, transplantation, and carcinogenic induction have proven similar to their human counterparts both molecularly and pathologically. Suppression of cancer-relevant phenotypes provides opportunities to both identify and evaluate efficacious compounds using embryonic and adult zebrafish. After relevant compounds are selected, preclinical evaluation in mammalian models can occur, delivering lead compounds to human trials swiftly and rapidly. The advantages of in vivo imaging, large progeny, and rapid development that the zebrafish provides make it an attractive model to promote novel cancer drug discovery and reduce the hurdles and cost of clinical trials. This review explores the current methodologies to model human cancers in zebrafish, and how these cancer models have aided in formation of novel therapeutic hypotheses. PMID:26835511

  8. Current status and future prospects of toxicogenomics in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Khan, Saifur R; Baghdasarian, Argishti; Fahlman, Richard P; Michail, Karim; Siraki, Arno G

    2014-05-01

    In drug discovery and development (DDD), the efficacy, safety and cost of new chemical entities are the main concerns of the pharmaceutical industry. Continuously updated and stricter recommendations imposed by regulatory authorities result in greater challenges being faced by the industry. Reliable high-throughput techniques integrated with well-designed analytical tools at all stages of DDD (termed 'next-generation DDD') could be a possible approach to obtaining new drug approval by cutting costs as well as ensuring the highest level of patient safety. In this review, we describe the various components of holistic toxicogenomics with examples of applications, and discuss the various analytical tools and platforms to illustrate the current status and prospects of next-generation DDD.

  9. Exploiting plug-and-play electrochemistry for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Gao, Lixia; Teng, Yong

    2016-04-01

    Electrochemistry has emerged as a powerful analytical technique for chemical analysis of living cells, biologically active molecules and metabolites. Electrochemical biosensor, microfluidics and mass spectrometry are the most frequently used methods for electrochemical detection and monitory, which comprise a collection of extremely useful measurement tools for various fields of biology and medicine. Most recently, electrochemistry has been shown to be coupled with nanotechnology and genetic engineering to generate new enabling technologies, providing rapid, selective, and sensitive detection and diagnosis platforms. The primary focus of this review is to highlight the utility of electrochemical strategies and their conjunction with other approaches for drug metabolism and discovery. Current challenges and possible future developments and applications of electrochemistry in drug studies are also discussed.

  10. Machine-learning techniques applied to antibacterial drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Durrant, Jacob D; Amaro, Rommie E

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria threatens to revert humanity back to the preantibiotic era. Even now, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections annually result in millions of hospital days, billions in healthcare costs, and, most importantly, tens of thousands of lives lost. As many pharmaceutical companies have abandoned antibiotic development in search of more lucrative therapeutics, academic researchers are uniquely positioned to fill the pipeline. Traditional high-throughput screens and lead-optimization efforts are expensive and labor intensive. Computer-aided drug-discovery techniques, which are cheaper and faster, can accelerate the identification of novel antibiotics, leading to improved hit rates and faster transitions to preclinical and clinical testing. The current review describes two machine-learning techniques, neural networks and decision trees, that have been used to identify experimentally validated antibiotics. We conclude by describing the future directions of this exciting field.

  11. Nanoparticles for intracellular-targeted drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulo, Cristiana S. O.; Pires das Neves, Ricardo; Ferreira, Lino S.

    2011-12-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) are very promising for the intracellular delivery of anticancer and immunomodulatory drugs, stem cell differentiation biomolecules and cell activity modulators. Although initial studies in the area of intracellular drug delivery have been performed in the delivery of DNA, there is an increasing interest in the use of other molecules to modulate cell activity. Herein, we review the latest advances in the intracellular-targeted delivery of short interference RNA, proteins and small molecules using NPs. In most cases, the drugs act at different cellular organelles and therefore the drug-containing NPs should be directed to precise locations within the cell. This will lead to the desired magnitude and duration of the drug effects. The spatial control in the intracellular delivery might open new avenues to modulate cell activity while avoiding side-effects.

  12. Nonradioactive rubidium ion efflux assay and its applications in drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Terstappen, Georg C

    2004-10-01

    The recent sequencing of the human genome has created comprehensive information of all potential drug targets. Based on current estimations for the total number of genes, around 400 poreforming ion channel genes can be expected corresponding to about 1.3% of the human genome. Since many ion channels are involved in diseases and the currently marketed drugs act only on a small fraction of these pore-forming membrane proteins, there is a big opportunity for innovative ion channel drug discovery. In fact, recent advances in the development of functional ion channel assays are currently enabling a more systematic exploitation of this important target class. In particular, fluorescence-based methods, automated electrophysiology, and ion flux assays are most important in this regard. This article will briefly describe these methods focusing on the nonradioactive Rb(+) efflux assay that I developed in the early 1990s since it has found widespread application in drug discovery and development and greatly displaced (86)Rb(+) assays for the analysis of K(+) and nonselective cation channels in the pharmaceutical industry.

  13. Open Challenges in Magnetic Drug Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Sandip; Nacev, Aleksander; Muro, Silvia; Stepanov, Pavel Y.; Weinberg, Irving N.

    2014-01-01

    The principle of magnetic drug targeting, wherein therapy is attached to magnetically responsive carriers and magnetic fields are used to direct that therapy to disease locations, has been around for nearly two decades. Yet our ability to safely and effectively direct therapy to where it needs to go, for instance to deep tissue targets, remains limited. To date, magnetic targeting methods have not yet passed regulatory approval or reached clinical use. Below we outline key challenges to magnetic targeting, which include designing and selecting magnetic carriers for specific clinical indications, safely and effectively reaching targets behind tissue and anatomical barriers, real-time carrier imaging, and magnet design and control for deep and precise targeting. Addressing these challenges will require interactions across disciplines. Nanofabricators and chemists should work with biologists, mathematicians and engineers to better understand how carriers move through live tissues and how to optimize carrier and magnet designs to better direct therapy to disease targets. Clinicians should be involved early on and throughout the whole process to ensure the methods that are being developed meet a compelling clinical need and will be practical in a clinical setting. Our hope is that highlighting these challenges will help researchers translate magnetic drug targeting from a novel concept to a clinically-available treatment that can put therapy where it needs to go in human patients. PMID:25377422

  14. Selection of oral bioavailability enhancing formulations during drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Weijia; Jain, Akash; Papoutsakis, Dimitris; Dannenfelser, Rose-Marie; Panicucci, Riccardo; Garad, Sudhakar

    2012-02-01

    The objective of this paper was to identify oral bioavailability enhancing approaches for a poorly water-soluble research compound during drug discovery stages using minimal amounts of material. LCQ789 is a pBCS (preclinical BCS) Class II compound with extremely low aqueous solubility (<1 µg/mL) and high permeability, therefore, resulting in very low oral bioavailability in preclinical species (rats and dogs). A number of solubility and/or dissolution enhancing approaches including particle size reduction, solid dispersions, lipid-based formulations and co-crystals, were considered in order to improve the compound's oral bioavailability. High-Throughput Screening (HTS) and in silico modeling (GastroPlus™) were utilized to minimize the compound consumption in early discovery stages. In vivo evaluation of selected physical form and formulation strategies was performed in rats and dogs. Amongst the formulation strategies, optimized solid dispersion and lipid-based formulation provided significant improvement in drug dissolution rate and hence, oral bioavailability. In addition, a significant impact of physical form on oral bioavailability of LCQ789 was observed. In conclusion, a thorough understanding of not only the formulation technique but also the physical form of research compounds is critical to ensure physical stability, successful pharmacokinetic (PK) profiling and early developability risk assessment.

  15. Androgen receptor: structure, role in prostate cancer and drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Tan, MH Eileen; Li, Jun; Xu, H Eric; Melcher, Karsten; Yong, Eu-leong

    2015-01-01

    Androgens and androgen receptors (AR) play a pivotal role in expression of the male phenotype. Several diseases, such as androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) and prostate cancer, are associated with alterations in AR functions. Indeed, androgen blockade by drugs that prevent the production of androgens and/or block the action of the AR inhibits prostate cancer growth. However, resistance to these drugs often occurs after 2–3 years as the patients develop castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In CRPC, a functional AR remains a key regulator. Early studies focused on the functional domains of the AR and its crucial role in the pathology. The elucidation of the structures of the AR DNA binding domain (DBD) and ligand binding domain (LBD) provides a new framework for understanding the functions of this receptor and leads to the development of rational drug design for the treatment of prostate cancer. An overview of androgen receptor structure and activity, its actions in prostate cancer, and how structural information and high-throughput screening have been or can be used for drug discovery are provided herein. PMID:24909511

  16. Androgen receptor: structure, role in prostate cancer and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Tan, M H Eileen; Li, Jun; Xu, H Eric; Melcher, Karsten; Yong, Eu-leong

    2015-01-01

    Androgens and androgen receptors (AR) play a pivotal role in expression of the male phenotype. Several diseases, such as androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) and prostate cancer, are associated with alterations in AR functions. Indeed, androgen blockade by drugs that prevent the production of androgens and/or block the action of the AR inhibits prostate cancer growth. However, resistance to these drugs often occurs after 2-3 years as the patients develop castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In CRPC, a functional AR remains a key regulator. Early studies focused on the functional domains of the AR and its crucial role in the pathology. The elucidation of the structures of the AR DNA binding domain (DBD) and ligand binding domain (LBD) provides a new framework for understanding the functions of this receptor and leads to the development of rational drug design for the treatment of prostate cancer. An overview of androgen receptor structure and activity, its actions in prostate cancer, and how structural information and high-throughput screening have been or can be used for drug discovery are provided herein. PMID:24909511

  17. Chemical signatures and new drug targets for gametocytocidal drug development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Wei; Tanaka, Takeshi Q.; Magle, Crystal T.; Huang, Wenwei; Southall, Noel; Huang, Ruili; Dehdashti, Seameen J.; McKew, John C.; Williamson, Kim C.; Zheng, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Control of parasite transmission is critical for the eradication of malaria. However, most antimalarial drugs are not active against P. falciparum gametocytes, responsible for the spread of malaria. Consequently, patients can remain infectious for weeks after the clearance of asexual parasites and clinical symptoms. Here we report the identification of 27 potent gametocytocidal compounds (IC50 < 1 μM) from screening 5,215 known drugs and compounds. All these compounds were active against three strains of gametocytes with different drug sensitivities and geographical origins, 3D7, HB3 and Dd2. Cheminformatic analysis revealed chemical signatures for P. falciparum sexual and asexual stages indicative of druggability and suggesting potential targets. Torin 2, a top lead compound (IC50 = 8 nM against gametocytes in vitro), completely blocked oocyst formation in a mouse model of transmission. These results provide critical new leads and potential targets to expand the repertoire of malaria transmission-blocking reagents.

  18. Focusing on shared subpockets - new developments in fragment based drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Abdelraheem, Eman M. M.; Camacho, Carlos; Dömling, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Protein–protein interactions (PPIs) are important targets for understanding fundamental biology and for the development of therapeutic agents. Based on different physicochemical properties, numerous pieces of software (e.g PocketQuery, Anchor and FTMap) have been reported to find pockets on protein surfaces and have applications in facilitating the design and discovery of small molecular weight compounds which bind to these pockets. Areas covered The authors discuss a pocket-centric method of analyzing protein-protein interaction interfaces, which prioritize their pockets for small molecule drug discovery and the importance of multicomponent reaction (MCR) chemistry as starting points for undruggable targets. The authors also provide their perspectives on the field Expert opinion Only the tight interplay of efficient computational methods capable of screening a large chemical space and fast synthetic chemistry will lead to progress in the rational design of PPI antagonists in the future. Early drug discovery platforms will also benefit from efficient rapid feedback loops from early clinical research back to molecular design and the medicinal chemistry bench. PMID:26296101

  19. "Target-Site" Drug Metabolism and Transport.

    PubMed

    Foti, Robert S; Tyndale, Rachel F; Garcia, Kristine L P; Sweet, Douglas H; Nagar, Swati; Sharan, Satish; Rock, Dan A

    2015-08-01

    The recent symposium on "Target-Site" Drug Metabolism and Transport that was sponsored by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego is summarized in this report. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that drug-metabolizing enzyme and transporter activity at the site of therapeutic action can affect the efficacy, safety, and metabolic properties of a given drug, with potential outcomes including altered dosing regimens, stricter exclusion criteria, or even the failure of a new chemical entity in clinical trials. Drug metabolism within the brain, for example, can contribute to metabolic activation of therapeutic drugs such as codeine as well as the elimination of potential neurotoxins in the brain. Similarly, the activity of oxidative and conjugative drug-metabolizing enzymes in the lung can have an effect on the efficacy of compounds such as resveratrol. In addition to metabolism, the active transport of compounds into or away from the site of action can also influence the outcome of a given therapeutic regimen or disease progression. For example, organic anion transporter 3 is involved in the initiation of pancreatic β-cell dysfunction and may have a role in how uremic toxins enter pancreatic β-cells and ultimately contribute to the pathogenesis of gestational diabetes. Finally, it is likely that a combination of target-specific metabolism and cellular internalization may have a significant role in determining the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of antibody-drug conjugates, a finding which has resulted in the development of a host of new analytical methods that are now used for characterizing the metabolism and disposition of antibody-drug conjugates. Taken together, the research summarized herein can provide for an increased understanding of potential barriers to drug efficacy and allow for a more rational approach for developing safe and effective therapeutics.

  20. Open Innovation Drug Discovery (OIDD): a potential path to novel therapeutic chemical space.

    PubMed

    Alvim-Gaston, Maria; Grese, Timothy; Mahoui, Abdelaziz; Palkowitz, Alan D; Pineiro-Nunez, Marta; Watson, Ian

    2014-01-01

    The continued development of computational and synthetic methods has enabled the enumeration or preparation of a nearly endless universe of chemical structures. Nevertheless, the ability of this chemical universe to deliver small molecules that can both modulate biological targets and have drug-like physicochemical properties continues to be a topic of interest to the pharmaceutical industry and academic researchers alike. The chemical space described by public, commercial, in-house and virtual compound collections has been interrogated by multiple approaches including biochemical, cellular and virtual screening, diversity analysis, and in-silico profiling. However, current drugs and known chemical probes derived from these efforts are contained within a remarkably small volume of the predicted chemical space. Access to more diverse classes of chemical scaffolds that maintain the properties relevant for drug discovery is certainly needed to meet the increasing demands for pharmaceutical innovation. The Lilly Open Innovation Drug Discovery platform (OIDD) was designed to tackle barriers to innovation through the identification of novel molecules active in relevant disease biology models. In this article we will discuss several computational approaches towards describing novel, biologically active, drug-like chemical space and illustrate how the OIDD program may facilitate access to previously untapped molecules that may aid in the search for innovative pharmaceuticals.

  1. Challenges for drug discovery - a case study of urokinase receptor inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhuo; Lin, Lin; Huai, Qing; Huang, Mingdong

    2009-01-01

    Urokinase receptor (uPAR) is a widely recognized target for potential treatment of cancer. The development of uPAR inhibitors has been going on for over a decade. Despite the identification and validation of many highly potent hits using screening or medicinal approaches, none of them has been moved further along the drug discovery pipeline. The development of uPAR inhibitors exemplifies several challenges now faced by drug discovery. These include 1) hydrophobicity and thus poor bioavailability of the inhibitors from screening approaches; 2) specificity of the inhibitor, where a peptidyl inhibitor causes conformational change of the receptor; 3) species specificity, where some inhibitors developed based on the human receptor do not inhibit the murine receptor and thus cannot be validated in mouse models. The recently determined crystal structures of uPAR in complex with its ligand or inhibitor not only provide the structural insight to understand these challenges but also offer a potential solution for further inhibitor development and thus illustrate the importance of structural information in facilitating drug discovery. PMID:20025562

  2. A pharmaceutical company user's perspective on the potential of high content screening in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Ann F; Garippa, Ralph J

    2007-01-01

    It is early to fully reflect on the state of the art in high content screening (HCS), because it is still a relatively new approach in drug discovery. Although the development of the first microscopes are a century old and the first confocal microscope is only 20 yr old, the fluorescent probes used within HCS along with the combination of robotic automation and integrated software technologies are quite new. HCS will require a few more years to fully demonstrate its potential power in drug discovery. Within the last year, however, one has seen this ever-expanding field lure participants in from all areas of science, introducing newer versions of instruments and reagents such that the combined efforts result in platforms and tools that meet many organizational goals in multiple ways. The potential of HCS today lies in its versatility. HCS can be used for primary screening, basic research, target identification, biomarkers, cytotoxicity, and helping to predict clinical outcomes. HCS is being applied to stem cells, patient cells, primary hepatocytes, and immortalized cultured cells. We have noted for individual specialized assays, there are multiple solutions just as there are for those standardized universally accepted assays. Whether we have needed to query cellular processes under live conditions or wanted to follow kinetically the course of a compound's effects on particular cellular reactions, we have been hampered by only a few limitations. This chapter offers a glimpse inside the use of HCS in our drug discovery environment.

  3. Approaches for minimizing metabolic activation of new drug candidates in drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sanjeev; Mitra, Kaushik; Kassahun, Kelem; Baillie, Thomas A

    2010-01-01

    A large body of circumstantial evidence suggests that metabolic activation of drug candidates to chemically reactive electrophilic metabolites that are capable of covalently modifying cellular macromolecules may result in acute and/or immune system-mediated idiosyncratic toxicities in humans. Thus, minimizing the potential for metabolic activation of new drug candidates during the drug discovery and lead optimization stage represents a prudent strategy to help discover and develop the next generation of safe and effective therapeutic agents. In the present chapter, we discuss the scientific methodologies that currently are available to industrial pharmaceutical scientists for assessing and minimizing metabolic activation during drug discovery, their attributes and limitations, and future scientific directions that have the potential to help advance progress in this field. We also propose a roadmap that should help utilize the armamentarium of available scientific tools in a logical way and contribute to addressing metabolic activation issues in the drug discovery-setting in a rapid, scientifically appropriate, and resource-conscious manner.

  4. On the industrial applications of MCRs: molecular diversity in drug discovery and generic drug synthesis.

    PubMed

    Kalinski, Cédric; Umkehrer, Michael; Weber, Lutz; Kolb, Jürgen; Burdack, Christoph; Ross, Günther

    2010-08-01

    During the last decades, multicomponent chemistry has gained much attention in pharmaceutical research, especially in the context of lead finding and optimization. Here, in particular, the main advantages of multicomponent reactions (MCRs) like ease of automation and high diversity generation were utilized. In consequence of these beneficial properties, a plethora of new MCRs combined with appropriate classical reaction sequences have been published, the accessible chemical space was extended steadily. In the meantime, the desired high diversity became a challenge itself, because by now the systematic use of this huge and unmanageable space for drug discovery was limited by the lack of suitable computational tools. Therefore, this article provides an insight for the rational use of this enormous chemical space in drug discovery and generic drug synthesis. In this context, a short overview of the applied chemo informatics, necessary for the virtual screening of the biggest available chemical space, is given. Furthermore, some examples for recently developed multicomponent sequences are presented.

  5. Distributed Drug Discovery: Advancing Chemical Education through Contextualized Combinatorial Solid-Phase Organic Laboratories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, William L.; Denton, Ryan E.; Marrs, Kathleen A.; Durrant, Jacob D.; Samaritoni, J. Geno; Abraham, Milata M.; Brown, Stephen P.; Carnahan, Jon M.; Fischer, Lindsey G.; Glos, Courtney E.; Sempsrott, Peter J.; O'Donnell, Martin J.

    2015-01-01

    The Distributed Drug Discovery (D3) program trains students in three drug discovery disciplines (synthesis, computational analysis, and biological screening) while addressing the important challenge of discovering drug leads for neglected diseases. This article focuses on implementation of the synthesis component in the second-semester…

  6. Grants4Targets - an innovative approach to translate ideas from basic research into novel drugs.

    PubMed

    Lessl, Monika; Schoepe, Stefanie; Sommer, Anette; Schneider, Martin; Asadullah, Khusru

    2011-04-01

    Collaborations between industry and academia are steadily gaining importance. To combine expertises Bayer Healthcare has set up a novel open innovation approach called Grants4Targets. Ideas on novel drug targets can easily be submitted to http://www.grants4targets.com. After a review process, grants are provided to perform focused experiments to further validate the proposed targets. In addition to financial support specific know-how on target validation and drug discovery is provided. Experienced scientists are nominated as project partners and, depending on the project, tools or specific models are provided. Around 280 applications have been received and 41 projects granted. According to our experience, this type of bridging fund combined with joint efforts provides a valuable tool to foster drug discovery collaborations.

  7. 3D in vitro technology for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Hosseinkhani, Hossein

    2012-02-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) in vitro systems that can mimic organ and tissue structure and function in vivo, will be of great benefit for a variety of biological applications from basic biology to toxicity testing and drug discovery. There have been several attempts to generate 3D tissue models but most of these models require costly equipment, and the most serious disadvantage in them is that they are too far from the mature human organs in vivo. Because of these problems, research and development in drug discovery, toxicity testing and biotech industries are highly expensive, and involve sacrifice of countless animals and it takes several years to bring a single drug/product to the market or to find the toxicity or otherwise of chemical entities. Our group has been actively working on several alternative models by merging biomaterials science, nanotechnology and biological principles to generate 3D in vitro living organs, to be called "Human Organs-on-Chip", to mimic natural organ/tissues, in order to reduce animal testing and clinical trials. We have fabricated a novel type of mechanically and biologically bio-mimicking collagen-based hydrogel that would provide for interconnected mini-wells in which 3D cell/organ culture of human samples in a manner similar to human organs with extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules would be possible. These products mimic the physical, chemical, and biological properties of natural organs and tissues at different scales. This paper will review the outcome of our several experiments so far in this direction and the future perspectives.

  8. Open Source Drug Discovery in Practice: A Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Årdal, Christine; Røttingen, John-Arne

    2012-01-01

    Background Open source drug discovery offers potential for developing new and inexpensive drugs to combat diseases that disproportionally affect the poor. The concept borrows two principle aspects from open source computing (i.e., collaboration and open access) and applies them to pharmaceutical innovation. By opening a project to external contributors, its research capacity may increase significantly. To date there are only a handful of open source R&D projects focusing on neglected diseases. We wanted to learn from these first movers, their successes and failures, in order to generate a better understanding of how a much-discussed theoretical concept works in practice and may be implemented. Methodology/Principal Findings A descriptive case study was performed, evaluating two specific R&D projects focused on neglected diseases. CSIR Team India Consortium's Open Source Drug Discovery project (CSIR OSDD) and The Synaptic Leap's Schistosomiasis project (TSLS). Data were gathered from four sources: interviews of participating members (n = 14), a survey of potential members (n = 61), an analysis of the websites and a literature review. Both cases have made significant achievements; however, they have done so in very different ways. CSIR OSDD encourages international collaboration, but its process facilitates contributions from mostly Indian researchers and students. Its processes are formal with each task being reviewed by a mentor (almost always offline) before a result is made public. TSLS, on the other hand, has attracted contributors internationally, albeit significantly fewer than CSIR OSDD. Both have obtained funding used to pay for access to facilities, physical resources and, at times, labor costs. TSLS releases its results into the public domain, whereas CSIR OSDD asserts ownership over its results. Conclusions/Significance Technically TSLS is an open source project, whereas CSIR OSDD is a crowdsourced project. However, both have enabled high quality

  9. Targeting membrane proteins for antibody discovery using phage display.

    PubMed

    Jones, Martina L; Alfaleh, Mohamed A; Kumble, Sumukh; Zhang, Shuo; Osborne, Geoffrey W; Yeh, Michael; Arora, Neetika; Hou, Jeff Jia Cheng; Howard, Christopher B; Chin, David Y; Mahler, Stephen M

    2016-01-01

    A critical factor in the successful isolation of new antibodies by phage display is the presentation of a correctly folded antigen. While this is relatively simple for soluble proteins which can be purified and immobilized onto a plastic surface, membrane proteins offer significant challenges for antibody discovery. Whole cell panning allows presentation of the membrane protein in its native conformation, but is complicated by a low target antigen density, high background of irrelevant antigens and non-specific binding of phage particles to cell surfaces. The method described here uses transient transfection of alternating host cell lines and stringent washing steps to address each of these limitations. The successful isolation of antibodies from a naive scFv library is described for three membrane bound proteins; human CD83, canine CD117 and bat CD11b. PMID:27189586

  10. Targeting membrane proteins for antibody discovery using phage display

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Martina L.; Alfaleh, Mohamed A.; Kumble, Sumukh; Zhang, Shuo; Osborne, Geoffrey W.; Yeh, Michael; Arora, Neetika; Hou, Jeff Jia Cheng; Howard, Christopher B.; Chin, David Y.; Mahler, Stephen M.

    2016-01-01

    A critical factor in the successful isolation of new antibodies by phage display is the presentation of a correctly folded antigen. While this is relatively simple for soluble proteins which can be purified and immobilized onto a plastic surface, membrane proteins offer significant challenges for antibody discovery. Whole cell panning allows presentation of the membrane protein in its native conformation, but is complicated by a low target antigen density, high background of irrelevant antigens and non-specific binding of phage particles to cell surfaces. The method described here uses transient transfection of alternating host cell lines and stringent washing steps to address each of these limitations. The successful isolation of antibodies from a naive scFv library is described for three membrane bound proteins; human CD83, canine CD117 and bat CD11b. PMID:27189586

  11. Drug discovery in renal disease--towards a more efficient framework.

    PubMed

    Miyata, Toshio; Ando, Tsuyoshi; Hiragi, Hisami; Watanabe, Kanako; Yamamoto, Fumi; Vaughan, Douglas E; Kurokawa, Tatsuo; Oshima, Yoshiteru; van Ypersele de Strihou, Charles; Takeuchi, Masahiro

    2014-05-01

    The time and cost involved in bringing new drugs to the market hamper their approval. This problem is especially apparent in the case of renal diseases. Efficient drug research requires an a priori understanding of disease pathophysiology, target validation, rational and efficient drug discovery strategies and early testing of the physiological and pharmacological effects of the new agent in humans. Drug development initiated by academia benefits from international research networks and relies on internationally acceptable high-quality nonclinical data packages and bulk investigational drugs. Academics should, therefore, better understand pharmaceutical practice regulations and novel, efficient drug-development strategies. Many researchers remain unfamiliar with these areas and should collaborate with regulatory authorities to discover and validate surrogate markers for use in drug development, and to efficiently and effectively maximize the benefits and minimize the adverse effects of new drugs. The Japanese government and regulatory authorities have implemented a framework to encourage such collaborations; extension of this framework beyond its current reach is envisaged. PMID:24642801

  12. Epigenetic drugs that do not target enzyme activity.

    PubMed

    Owen, Dafydd R; Trzupek, John D

    2014-06-01

    While the installation and removal of epigenetic post-translational modifications or ‘marks’ on both DNA and histone proteins are the tangible outcome of enzymatically catalyzed processes, the role of the epigenetic reader proteins looks, at first, less obvious. As they do not catalyze a chemical transformation or process as such, their role is not enzymatic. However, this does not preclude them from being potential targets for drug discovery as their function is clearly correlated to transcriptional activity and as a class of proteins, they appear to have binding sites of sufficient definition and size to be inhibited by small molecules. This suggests that this third class of epigenetic proteins that are involved in the interpretation of post-translational marks (as opposed to the creation or deletion of marks) may represent attractive targets for drug discovery efforts. This review mainly summarizes selected publications, patent literature and company disclosures on these non-enzymatic epigenetic reader proteins from 2009 to the present.

  13. Targeted proteins for diabetes drug design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doan Trang Nguyen, Ngoc; Thi Le, Ly

    2012-03-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a common metabolism disorder characterized by high glucose in the bloodstream, especially in the case of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. Nowadays, it is very common in middle-aged people and involves such dangerous symptoms as increasing risk of stroke, obesity and heart failure. In Vietnam, besides the common treatment of insulin injection, some herbal medication is used but no unified optimum remedy for the disease yet exists and there is no production of antidiabetic drugs in the domestic market yet. In the development of nanomedicine at the present time, drug design is considered as an innovative tool for researchers to study the mechanisms of diseases at the molecular level. The aim of this article is to review some common protein targets involved in type 2 diabetes, offering a new idea for designing new drug candidates to produce antidiabetic drugs against type 2 diabetes for Vietnamese people.

  14. AutoDrug: fully automated macromolecular crystallography workflows for fragment-based drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Yingssu; McPhillips, Scott E.; González, Ana; McPhillips, Timothy M.; Zinn, Daniel; Cohen, Aina E.; Feese, Michael D.; Bushnell, David; Tiefenbrunn, Theresa; Stout, C. David; Ludaescher, Bertram; Hedman, Britt; Hodgson, Keith O.; Soltis, S. Michael

    2013-01-01

    AutoDrug is software based upon the scientific workflow paradigm that integrates the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource macromolecular crystallography beamlines and third-party processing software to automate the crystallo­graphy steps of the fragment-based drug-discovery process. AutoDrug screens a cassette of fragment-soaked crystals, selects crystals for data collection based on screening results and user-specified criteria and determines optimal data-collection strategies. It then collects and processes diffraction data, performs molecular replacement using provided models and detects electron density that is likely to arise from bound fragments. All processes are fully automated, i.e. are performed without user interaction or supervision. Samples can be screened in groups corresponding to particular proteins, crystal forms and/or soaking conditions. A single AutoDrug run is only limited by the capacity of the sample-storage dewar at the beamline: currently 288 samples. AutoDrug was developed in conjunction with RestFlow, a new scientific workflow-automation framework. RestFlow simplifies the design of AutoDrug by managing the flow of data and the organization of results and by orchestrating the execution of computational pipeline steps. It also simplifies the execution and interaction of third-party programs and the beamline-control system. Modeling AutoDrug as a scientific workflow enables multiple variants that meet the requirements of different user groups to be developed and supported. A workflow tailored to mimic the crystallography stages comprising the drug-discovery pipeline of CoCrystal Discovery Inc. has been deployed and successfully demonstrated. This workflow was run once on the same 96 samples that the group had examined manually and the workflow cycled successfully through all of the samples, collected data from the same samples that were selected manually and located the same peaks of unmodeled density in the resulting difference

  15. Special Review: Caught in the Crosshairs: Targeted Drugs and Personalized Medicine.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Bibiana I; Hill, Richard; Link, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    All drugs have molecular targets; however, this does not mean that they are targeted therapeutics. Only by the interaction with a disease-specific molecule can the drug be classified as a targeted therapeutic. This is often not clearly defined and might refer to several different therapeutic modalities such as genomically targeted therapy, immune checkpoint therapy, or pharmacokinetic targeting. To develop a precise concept of targeted therapy, it is crucial to understand how drugs were discovered and how our rapidly expanding knowledge concerning disease mechanism is driving a fundamental conceptual change in modern drug discovery and development. In combination with the increasingly detailed analysis of disease at an individual patient level, we believe that it is very timely to consider the past and current approaches involved in the development of new medicines and to discuss the paradigm shift in and basic concepts associated with targeted therapies and personalized medicine. PMID:26588674

  16. Highlights from SelectBio 2015: Academic Drug Discovery Conference, Cambridge, UK, 19-20 May 2015.

    PubMed

    Spencer, John; Coaker, Hannah

    2015-01-01

    The SelectBio 2015: Academic Drug Discovery Conference was held in Cambridge, UK, on 19-20 May 2015. Building on the success of academic drug discovery events in the USA, this conference aimed to showcase the exciting new research emerging from academic drug discovery and to help bridge the gap between basic research and commercial application. At the event the authors heard from a number of speakers on a broad array of topics, from partnering models for academia and industry to novel drug discovery approaches across various therapeutic areas, with a few talks, such as those by Susanne Muller-Knapp (Structure Genomics Consortium, Oxford University, Oxford, UK) and Julian Blagg (Institute of Cancer Research, UK), covering both remits, by highlighting a number of such partnerships and then delving into some case studies. The conference concluded with a heated debate on whether phenotypic discovery should be favored over targeted discovery in academia and pharma, in a panel discussion chaired by Roland Wolkowicz (San Diego State University, USA).

  17. Risk assessment and mitigation strategies for reactive metabolites in drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Richard A; Isin, Emre M; Li, Yan; Weaver, Richard; Weidolf, Lars; Wilson, Ian; Claesson, Alf; Page, Ken; Dolgos, Hugues; Kenna, J Gerry

    2011-06-30

    Drug toxicity is a leading cause of attrition of candidate drugs during drug development as well as of withdrawal of drugs post-licensing due to adverse drug reactions in man. These adverse drug reactions cause a broad range of clinically severe conditions including both highly reproducible and dose dependent toxicities as well as relatively infrequent and idiosyncratic adverse events. The underlying risk factors can be split into two groups: (1) drug-related and (2) patient-related. The drug-related risk factors include metabolic factors that determine the propensity of a molecule to form toxic reactive metabolites (RMs), and the RM and non-RM mediated mechanisms which cause cell and tissue injury. Patient related risk factors may vary markedly between individuals, and encompass genetic and non-genetic processes, e.g. environmental, that influence the disposition of drugs and their metabolites, the nature of the adverse responses elicited and the resulting biological consequences. We describe a new strategy, which builds upon the strategies used currently within numerous pharmaceutical companies to avoid and minimize RM formation during drug discovery, and that is intended to reduce the likelihood that candidate drugs will cause toxicity in the human population. The new strategy addresses drug-related safety hazards, but not patient-related risk factors. A common target organ of toxicity is the liver and to decrease the likelihood that candidate drugs will cause liver toxicity (both non-idiosyncratic and idiosyncratic), we propose use of an in vitro Hepatic Liability Panel alongside in vitro methods for the detection of RMs. This will enable design and selection of compounds in discovery that have reduced propensity to cause liver toxicity. In vitro Hepatic Liability is assessed using toxicity assays that quantify: CYP 450 dependent and CYP 450 independent cell toxicity; mitochondrial impairment; and inhibition of the Bile Salt Export Pump. Prior to progression

  18. Risk assessment and mitigation strategies for reactive metabolites in drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Richard A; Isin, Emre M; Li, Yan; Weaver, Richard; Weidolf, Lars; Wilson, Ian; Claesson, Alf; Page, Ken; Dolgos, Hugues; Kenna, J Gerry

    2011-06-30

    Drug toxicity is a leading cause of attrition of candidate drugs during drug development as well as of withdrawal of drugs post-licensing due to adverse drug reactions in man. These adverse drug reactions cause a broad range of clinically severe conditions including both highly reproducible and dose dependent toxicities as well as relatively infrequent and idiosyncratic adverse events. The underlying risk factors can be split into two groups: (1) drug-related and (2) patient-related. The drug-related risk factors include metabolic factors that determine the propensity of a molecule to form toxic reactive metabolites (RMs), and the RM and non-RM mediated mechanisms which cause cell and tissue injury. Patient related risk factors may vary markedly between individuals, and encompass genetic and non-genetic processes, e.g. environmental, that influence the disposition of drugs and their metabolites, the nature of the adverse responses elicited and the resulting biological consequences. We describe a new strategy, which builds upon the strategies used currently within numerous pharmaceutical companies to avoid and minimize RM formation during drug discovery, and that is intended to reduce the likelihood that candidate drugs will cause toxicity in the human population. The new strategy addresses drug-related safety hazards, but not patient-related risk factors. A common target organ of toxicity is the liver and to decrease the likelihood that candidate drugs will cause liver toxicity (both non-idiosyncratic and idiosyncratic), we propose use of an in vitro Hepatic Liability Panel alongside in vitro methods for the detection of RMs. This will enable design and selection of compounds in discovery that have reduced propensity to cause liver toxicity. In vitro Hepatic Liability is assessed using toxicity assays that quantify: CYP 450 dependent and CYP 450 independent cell toxicity; mitochondrial impairment; and inhibition of the Bile Salt Export Pump. Prior to progression

  19. Quantum dots and other nanoparticles: what can they offer to drug discovery?

    PubMed

    Ozkan, Mihrimah

    2004-12-15

    Nanocrystals (quantum dots) and other nanoparticles (gold colloids, magnetic bars, nanobars, dendrimers and nanoshells) have been receiving a lot of attention recently with their unique properties for potential use in drug discovery, bioengineering and therapeutics. In this review, structural, optical and biological assets of nanocrystals are summarized and their applications to drug discovery studies are discussed. Unique properties of these nanoparticles can offer new advancements in drug discovery. PMID:15582795

  20. Magnetizable implants for targeted drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, Zachary Graham

    The capability to deliver high effective dosages to specific sites in the human body has become the holy grail of drug delivery research. Drugs with proven effectiveness under in vitro investigation often reach a major roadblock under in vivo testing due to a lack of an effective delivery strategy. In addition, many clinical scenarios require delivery of agents that are therapeutic at the desired delivery point, but otherwise systemically toxic. This project proposes a method for targeted drug delivery by applying high magnetic field gradients within the body to an injected superparamagnetic colloidal fluid carrying a drug, with the aid of modest uniform magnetic field. The design involves patterning of endovascular implants, such as coronary stents, with soft magnetic coatings capable of applying high local magnetic field gradients within the body. Examination of the feasibility of the design has been focused around the treatment of coronary restenosis following angioplasty. Drug-eluting stents, which have debuted in hospitals over the past two years, have thus far reduced restenosis rates to below 10%. Our local drug delivery system is a viable alternative or enhancement to drug-eluting stents, offering increased clinician control of dose size, the ability to treat a site repeatedly, and a wide array of applications for treatment of other pathologies. The theoretical models, parallel plate and pipe flow analysis, and cell culture models presented give insight into the use of micron and sub-micron scale magnetic particles for site-specific delivery of pharmaceuticals and magnetically labeled cells.