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Sample records for enhanced small molecule

  1. Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopies as Tools for Small Molecule Biosensing

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Natural small-molecule enhancers of autophagy induce autophagic cell death in apoptosis-defective cells.

    PubMed

    Law, Betty Yuen Kwan; Chan, Wai Kit; Xu, Su Wei; Wang, Jing Rong; Bai, Li Ping; Liu, Liang; Wong, Vincent Kam Wai

    2014-07-01

    Resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy is a significant problem in oncology, and the development of sensitising agents or small-molecules with new mechanisms of action to kill these cells is needed. Autophagy is a cellular process responsible for the turnover of misfolded proteins or damaged organelles, and it also recycles nutrients to maintain energy levels for cell survival. In some apoptosis-resistant cancer cells, autophagy can also enhance the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs through autophagy-mediated mechanisms of cell death. Because the modulation of autophagic processes can be therapeutically useful to circumvent chemoresistance and enhance the effects of cancer treatment, the identification of novel autophagic enhancers for use in oncology is highly desirable. Many novel anti-cancer compounds have been isolated from natural products; therefore, we worked to discover natural, anti-cancer small-molecule enhancers of autophagy. Here, we have identified a group of natural alkaloid small-molecules that function as novel autophagic enhancers. These alkaloids, including liensinine, isoliensinine, dauricine and cepharanthine, stimulated AMPK-mTOR dependent induction of autophagy and autophagic cell death in a panel of apoptosis-resistant cells. Taken together, our work provides novel insights into the biological functions, mechanisms and potential therapeutic values of alkaloids for the induction of autophagy.

  5. Small Molecules that Enhance the Catalytic Efficiency of HLA-DM

    SciTech Connect

    Nicholson,M.; Moradi, B.; Seth, N.; Xing, X.; Cuny, G.; Stein, R.; Wucherpfenning, K.

    2006-01-01

    HLA-DM (DM) plays a critical role in Ag presentation to CD4 T cells by catalyzing the exchange of peptides bound to MHC class II molecules. Large lateral surfaces involved in the DM:HLA-DR (DR) interaction have been defined, but the mechanism of catalysis is not understood. In this study, we describe four small molecules that accelerate DM-catalyzed peptide exchange. Mechanistic studies demonstrate that these small molecules substantially enhance the catalytic efficiency of DM, indicating that they make the transition state of the DM:DR/peptide complex energetically more favorable. These compounds fall into two functional classes: two compounds are active only in the presence of DM, and binding data for one show a direct interaction with DM. The remaining two compounds have partial activity in the absence of DM, suggesting that they may act at the interface between DM and DR/peptide. A hydrophobic ridge in the DM{beta}1 domain was implicated in the catalysis of peptide exchange because the activity of three of these enhancers was substantially reduced by point mutations in this area.

  6. Large-scale in vivo femtosecond laser neurosurgery screen reveals small-molecule enhancer of regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Samara, Chrysanthi; Rohde, Christopher B.; Gilleland, Cody L.; Norton, Stephanie; Haggarty, Stephen J.; Yanik, Mehmet Fatih

    2010-01-01

    Discovery of molecular mechanisms and chemical compounds that enhance neuronal regeneration can lead to development of therapeutics to combat nervous system injuries and neurodegenerative diseases. By combining high-throughput microfluidics and femtosecond laser microsurgery, we demonstrate for the first time large-scale in vivo screens for identification of compounds that affect neurite regeneration. We performed thousands of microsurgeries at single-axon precision in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans at a rate of 20 seconds per animal. Following surgeries, we exposed the animals to a hand-curated library of approximately one hundred small molecules and identified chemicals that significantly alter neurite regeneration. In particular, we found that the PKC kinase inhibitor staurosporine strongly modulates regeneration in a concentration- and neuronal type-specific manner. Two structurally unrelated PKC inhibitors produce similar effects. We further show that regeneration is significantly enhanced by the PKC activator prostratin. PMID:20937901

  7. Small-molecule XIAP inhibitors enhance gamma-irradiation-induced apoptosis in glioblastoma.

    PubMed

    Vellanki, Sri Hari Krishna; Grabrucker, Andreas; Liebau, Stefan; Proepper, Christian; Eramo, Adriana; Braun, Veit; Boeckers, Tobias; Debatin, Klaus-Michael; Fulda, Simone

    2009-08-01

    Because evasion of apoptosis can cause radioresistance of glioblastoma, there is a need to design rational strategies that counter apoptosis resistance. In the present study, we investigated the potential of targeting the antiapoptotic protein XIAP for the radiosensitization of glioblastoma. Here, we report that small-molecule XIAP inhibitors significantly enhance gamma-irradiation-induced loss of viability and apoptosis and cooperate with gamma-irradiation to suppress clonogenic survival of glioblastoma cells. Analysis of molecular mechanisms reveals that XIAP inhibitors act in concert with gamma-irradiation to cause mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, caspase activation, and caspase-dependent apoptosis. Importantly, XIAP inhibitors also sensitize primary cultured glioblastoma cells derived from surgical specimens as well as glioblastoma-initiating stemlike cancer stem cells for gamma-irradiation. In contrast, they do not increase the toxicity of gamma-irradiation on some nonmalignant cells of the central nervous system, including rat neurons or glial cells, pointing to some tumor selectivity. In conclusion, by demonstrating for the first time that small-molecule XIAP inhibitors increase the radiosensitivity of glioblastoma cells while sparing normal cells of the central nervous system, our findings build the rationale for further (pre)clinical development of XIAP inhibitors in combination with gamma-irradiation in glioblastoma.

  8. The small molecule AUTEN-99 (autophagy enhancer-99) prevents the progression of neurodegenerative symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Kovács, Tibor; Billes, Viktor; Komlós, Marcell; Hotzi, Bernadette; Manzéger, Anna; Tarnóci, Anna; Papp, Diána; Szikszai, Fanni; Szinyákovics, Janka; Rácz, Ákos; Noszál, Béla; Veszelka, Szilvia; Walter, Fruzsina R.; Deli, Mária A.; Hackler, Laszlo; Alfoldi, Robert; Huzian, Orsolya; Puskas, Laszlo G.; Liliom, Hanna; Tárnok, Krisztián; Schlett, Katalin; Borsy, Adrienn; Welker, Ervin; Kovács, Attila L.; Pádár, Zsolt; Erdős, Attila; Legradi, Adam; Bjelik, Annamaria; Gulya, Károly; Gulyás, Balázs; Vellai, Tibor

    2017-01-01

    Autophagy functions as a main route for the degradation of superfluous and damaged constituents of the cytoplasm. Defects in autophagy are implicated in the development of various age-dependent degenerative disorders such as cancer, neurodegeneration and tissue atrophy, and in accelerated aging. To promote basal levels of the process in pathological settings, we previously screened a small molecule library for novel autophagy-enhancing factors that inhibit the myotubularin-related phosphatase MTMR14/Jumpy, a negative regulator of autophagic membrane formation. Here we identify AUTEN-99 (autophagy enhancer-99), which activates autophagy in cell cultures and animal models. AUTEN-99 appears to effectively penetrate through the blood-brain barrier, and impedes the progression of neurodegenerative symptoms in Drosophila models of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Furthermore, the molecule increases the survival of isolated neurons under normal and oxidative stress-induced conditions. Thus, AUTEN-99 serves as a potent neuroprotective drug candidate for preventing and treating diverse neurodegenerative pathologies, and may promote healthy aging. PMID:28205624

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-28

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

  10. Clock-Enhancing Small Molecules and Potential Applications in Chronic Diseases and Aging

    PubMed Central

    Gloston, Gabrielle F.; Yoo, Seung-Hee; Chen, Zheng (Jake)

    2017-01-01

    Normal physiological functions require a robust biological timer called the circadian clock. When clocks are dysregulated, misaligned, or dampened, pathological consequences ensue, leading to chronic diseases and accelerated aging. An emerging research area is the development of clock-targeting compounds that may serve as drug candidates to correct dysregulated rhythms and hence mitigate disease symptoms and age-related decline. In this review, we first present a concise view of the circadian oscillator, physiological networks, and regulatory mechanisms of circadian amplitude. Given a close association of circadian amplitude dampening and disease progression, clock-enhancing small molecules (CEMs) are of particular interest as candidate chronotherapeutics. A recent proof-of-principle study illustrated that the natural polymethoxylated flavonoid nobiletin directly targets the circadian oscillator and elicits robust metabolic improvements in mice. We describe mood disorders and aging as potential therapeutic targets of CEMs. Future studies of CEMs will shed important insight into the regulation and disease relevance of circadian clocks. PMID:28360884

  11. Pharmacology of novel small-molecule tubulin inhibitors in glioblastoma cells with enhanced EGFR signalling.

    PubMed

    Phoa, Athena F; Browne, Stephen; Gurgis, Fadi M S; Åkerfeldt, Mia C; Döbber, Alexander; Renn, Christian; Peifer, Christian; Stringer, Brett W; Day, Bryan W; Wong, Chin; Chircop, Megan; Johns, Terrance G; Kassiou, Michael; Munoz, Lenka

    2015-12-15

    We recently reported that CMPD1, originally developed as an inhibitor of MK2 activation, primarily inhibits tubulin polymerisation and induces apoptosis in glioblastoma cells. In the present study we provide detailed pharmacological investigation of CMPD1 analogues with improved molecular properties. We determined their anti-cancer efficacy in glioblastoma cells with enhanced EGFR signalling, as deregulated EGFR often leads to chemoresistance. Eight analogues of CMPD1 with varying lipophilicity and basicity were synthesised and tested for efficacy in the cell viability assay using established glioblastoma cell lines and patient-derived primary glioblastoma cells. The mechanism of action for the most potent analogue 15 was determined using MK2 activation and tubulin polymerisation assays, together with the immunofluorescence analysis of the mitotic spindle formation. Apoptosis was analysed by Annexin V staining, immunoblotting analysis of bcl-2 proteins and PARP cleavage. The apoptotic activity of CMPD1 and analogue 15 was comparable across glioblastoma cell lines regardless of the EGFR status. Primary glioblastoma cells of the classical subtype that are characterized by enhanced EGFR activity were most sensitive to the treatment with CMPD1 and 15. In summary, we present mechanism of action for a novel small molecule tubulin inhibitor, compound 15 that inhibits tubulin polymerisation and mitotic spindle formation, induces degradation of anti-apoptotic bcl-2 proteins and leads to apoptosis of glioblastoma cells. We also demonstrate that the enhanced EGFR activity does not decrease the efficacy of tubulin inhibitors developed in this study.

  12. An Fc Domain Protein–Small Molecule Conjugate as an Enhanced Immunomodulator

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Proteins as well as small molecules have demonstrated success as therapeutic agents, but their pharmacologic properties sometimes fall short against particular drug targets. Although the adenosine 2a receptor (A2AR) has been identified as a promising target for immunotherapy, small molecule A2AR agonists have suffered from short pharmacokinetic half-lives and the potential for toxicity by modulating nonimmune pathways. To overcome these limitations, we have tethered the A2AR agonist CGS-21680 to the immunoglobulin Fc domain using expressed protein ligation with Sf9 cell secreted protein. The protein small molecule conjugate Fc-CGS retained potent Fc receptor and A2AR interactions and showed superior properties as a therapeutic for the treatment of a mouse model of autoimmune pneumonitis. This approach may provide a general strategy for optimizing small molecule therapeutics. PMID:24533830

  13. Structural insights into binding of small molecule inhibitors to Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalinić, Marko; Zloh, Mire; Erić, Slavica

    2014-11-01

    Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) is a SET domain protein lysine methyltransferase (PKMT) which has recently emerged as a chemically tractable and therapeutically promising epigenetic target, evidenced by the discovery and characterization of potent and highly selective EZH2 inhibitors. However, no experimental structures of the inhibitors co-crystallized to EZH2 have been resolved, and the structural basis for their activity and selectivity remains unknown. Considering the need to minimize cross-reactivity between prospective PKMT inhibitors, much can be learned from understanding the molecular basis for selective inhibition of EZH2. Thus, to elucidate the binding of small-molecule inhibitors to EZH2, we have developed a model of its fully-formed cofactor binding site and used it to carry out molecular dynamics simulations of protein-ligand complexes, followed by molecular mechanics/generalized born surface area calculations. The obtained results are in good agreement with biochemical inhibition data and reflect the structure-activity relationships of known ligands. Our findings suggest that the variable and flexible post-SET domain plays an important role in inhibitor binding, allowing possibly distinct binding modes of inhibitors with only small variations in their structure. Insights from this study present a good basis for design of novel and optimization of existing compounds targeting the cofactor binding site of EZH2.

  14. Discovery of Novel Small Molecules that Activate Satellite Cell Proliferation and Enhance Repair of Damaged Muscle.

    PubMed

    Billin, Andrew N; Bantscheff, Marcus; Drewes, Gerard; Ghidelli-Disse, Sonja; Holt, Jason A; Kramer, Henning F; McDougal, Alan J; Smalley, Terry L; Wells, Carrow I; Zuercher, William J; Henke, Brad R

    2016-02-19

    Skeletal muscle progenitor stem cells (referred to as satellite cells) represent the primary pool of stem cells in adult skeletal muscle responsible for the generation of new skeletal muscle in response to injury. Satellite cells derived from aged muscle display a significant reduction in regenerative capacity to form functional muscle. This decrease in functional recovery has been attributed to a decrease in proliferative capacity of satellite cells. Hence, agents that enhance the proliferative abilities of satellite cells may hold promise as therapies for a variety of pathological settings, including repair of injured muscle and age- or disease-associated muscle wasting. Through phenotypic screening of isolated murine satellite cells, we identified a series of 2,4-diaminopyrimidines (e.g., 2) that increased satellite cell proliferation. Importantly, compound 2 was effective in accelerating repair of damaged skeletal muscle in an in vivo mouse model of skeletal muscle injury. While these compounds were originally prepared as c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK-1) inhibitors, structure-activity analyses indicated JNK-1 inhibition does not correlate with satellite cell activity. Screening against a broad panel of kinases did not result in identification of an obvious molecular target, so we conducted cell-based proteomics experiments in an attempt to identify the molecular target(s) responsible for the potentiation of the satellite cell proliferation. These data provide the foundation for future efforts to design improved small molecules as potential therapeutics for muscle repair and regeneration.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Graphene oxide enhances cellular delivery of hydrophilic small molecules by co-incubation.

    PubMed

    Hung, Andy H; Holbrook, Robert J; Rotz, Matthew W; Glasscock, Cameron J; Mansukhani, Nikhita D; MacRenaris, Keith W; Manus, Lisa M; Duch, Matthew C; Dam, Kevin T; Hersam, Mark C; Meade, Thomas J

    2014-10-28

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

  17. A Novel Family of Small Molecules that Enhance the Intracellular Delivery and Pharmacological Effectiveness of Antisense and Splice Switching Oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ling; Ariyarathna, Yamuna; Ming, Xin; Yang, Bing; James, Lindsey I; Kreda, Silvia M; Porter, Melissa; Janzen, William; Juliano, Rudolph L

    2017-08-18

    The pharmacological effectiveness of oligonucleotides has been hampered by their tendency to remain entrapped in endosomes, thus limiting their access to cytosolic or nuclear targets. We have previously reported a group of small molecules that enhance the effects of oligonucleotides by causing their release from endosomes. Here, we describe a second novel family of oligonucleotide enhancing compounds (OECs) that is chemically distinct from the compounds reported previously. We demonstrate that these molecules substantially augment the actions of splice switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) and antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) in cell culture. We also find enhancement of SSO effects in a murine model. These new compounds act by increasing endosome permeability and causing partial release of entrapped oligonucleotides. While they also affect the permeability of lysosomes, they are clearly different from typical lysosomotropic agents. Current members of this compound family display a relatively narrow window between effective dose and toxic dose. Thus, further improvements are necessary before these agents can become suitable for therapeutic use.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  1. Enhancement of Small Molecule Delivery by Pulsed-High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (pHIFU): A Parameter Exploration

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Discovery of synthetic small molecules that enhance the number of stomata: C-H functionalization chemistry for plant biology.

    PubMed

    Ziadi, Asraa; Uchida, Naoyuki; Kato, Hiroe; Hisamatsu, Rina; Sato, Ayato; Hagihara, Shinya; Itami, Kenichiro; Torii, Keiko U

    2017-08-24

    The increasing climate changes and global warming are leading to colossal agricultural problems such as abatement of food production and quality. As stomatal development is considered to play a key role in crop plant productivity and water-use efficiency, studying stomatal development is useful for understanding the productivity of plant systems for both natural and agricultural systems. Herein, we report the first-in-class synthetic small molecules enhancing the number of stomata in Arabidopsis thaliana that have been discovered by screening of the chemical library and further optimized by the Pd-catalyzed C-H arylation reaction. The present study shows not only huge potential of small molecules to control the cellular and developmental processes of stomata without using genetically modified plants, but also the power of C-H functionalization chemistry to rapidly identify the optimized compounds.

  3. The Small Molecule Nobiletin Targets the Molecular Oscillator to Enhance Circadian Rhythms and Protect against Metabolic Syndrome.

    PubMed

    He, Baokun; Nohara, Kazunari; Park, Noheon; Park, Yong-Sung; Guillory, Bobby; Zhao, Zhaoyang; Garcia, Jose M; Koike, Nobuya; Lee, Cheng Chi; Takahashi, Joseph S; Yoo, Seung-Hee; Chen, Zheng

    2016-04-12

    Dysregulation of circadian rhythms is associated with metabolic dysfunction, yet it is unclear whether enhancing clock function can ameliorate metabolic disorders. In an unbiased chemical screen using fibroblasts expressing PER2::Luc, we identified Nobiletin (NOB), a natural polymethoxylated flavone, as a clock amplitude-enhancing small molecule. When administered to diet-induced obese (DIO) mice, NOB strongly counteracted metabolic syndrome and augmented energy expenditure and locomotor activity in a Clock gene-dependent manner. In db/db mutant mice, the clock is also required for the mitigating effects of NOB on metabolic disorders. In DIO mouse liver, NOB enhanced clock protein levels and elicited pronounced gene expression remodeling. We identified retinoid acid receptor-related orphan receptors as direct targets of NOB, revealing a pharmacological intervention that enhances circadian rhythms to combat metabolic disease via the circadian gene network.

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

    PubMed Central

    Melaine, Feriel; Roupioz, Yoann; Buhot, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    The detection of small molecules by biosensors remains a challenge for diagnostics in many areas like pharmacology, environment or homeland security. The main difficulty comes from both the low molecular weight and low concentrations of most targets, which generally requires an indirect detection with an amplification or a sandwich procedure. In this study, we combine both strategies as the amplification of Surface Plasmon Resonance imaging (SPRi) signal is obtained by the use of gold nanoparticles and the sequence engineering of split-aptamers, short oligonucleotides strands with strong affinity towards small targets, allows for a sandwich structure. Combining those two strategies, we obtained state-of-the-art results in the limit of detection (LOD = 50 nM) with the model target adenosine. Furthermore, the SPRi detection led on aptamer microarrays paves the way for potential multi-target detections thanks to the multi-probe imaging approach. PMID:27600212

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-04

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

  7. Small Molecule Fluoride Toxicity Agonists

    PubMed Central

    Nelson1, James W.; Plummer, Mark S.; Blount, Kenneth F.; Ames, Tyler D.; Breaker, Ronald R.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Fluoride is a ubiquitous anion that inhibits a wide variety of metabolic processes. Here we report the identification of a series of compounds that enhance fluoride toxicity in Escherichia coli and Streptococcus mutans. These molecules were isolated by using a high-throughput screen (HTS) for compounds that increase intracellular fluoride levels as determined via a fluoride riboswitch-reporter fusion construct. A series of derivatives were synthesized to examine structure-activity relationships, leading to the identification of compounds with improved activity. Thus, we demonstrate that small molecule fluoride toxicity agonists can be identified by HTS from existing chemical libraries by exploiting a natural fluoride riboswitch. In addition, our findings suggest that some molecules might be further optimized to function as binary antibacterial agents when combined with fluoride. PMID:25910244

  8. Small molecule fluoride toxicity agonists.

    PubMed

    Nelson, James W; Plummer, Mark S; Blount, Kenneth F; Ames, Tyler D; Breaker, Ronald R

    2015-04-23

    Fluoride is a ubiquitous anion that inhibits a wide variety of metabolic processes. Here, we report the identification of a series of compounds that enhance fluoride toxicity in Escherichia coli and Streptococcus mutans. These molecules were isolated by using a high-throughput screen (HTS) for compounds that increase intracellular fluoride levels as determined via a fluoride riboswitch reporter fusion construct. A series of derivatives were synthesized to examine structure-activity relationships, leading to the identification of compounds with improved activity. Thus, we demonstrate that small molecule fluoride toxicity agonists can be identified by HTS from existing chemical libraries by exploiting a natural fluoride riboswitch. In addition, our findings suggest that some molecules might be further optimized to function as binary antibacterial agents when combined with fluoride.

  9. Discovery of RNA Binding Small Molecules Using Small Molecule Microarrays.

    PubMed

    Connelly, Colleen M; Abulwerdi, Fardokht A; Schneekloth, John S

    2017-01-01

    New methods to identify RNA-binding small molecules open yet unexplored opportunities for the pharmacological modulation of RNA-driven biology and disease states. One such approach is the use of small molecule microarrays (SMMs). Typically, SMMs are generated by spatially arraying and covalently linking a library of small molecules to a glass surface. Next, incubation of the arrays with a fluorescently labeled RNA reveals binding interactions that are detected upon slide imaging. The relative ease with which SMMs are manufactured enables the screening of multiple oligonucleotides in parallel against tens of thousands of small molecules, providing information about both binding and selectivity of identified RNA-small molecule interactions. This approach is useful for screening a broad variety of structurally and functionally diverse RNAs. Here, we present a general method for the preparation and use of SMMs to rapidly identify small molecules that selectively bind to an RNA of interest.

  10. Amyloid-binding small molecules efficiently block SEVI (semen-derived enhancer of virus infection)- and semen-mediated enhancement of HIV-1 infection.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Joanna S; Brown, Caitlin; Capule, Christina C; Rubinshtein, Mark; Doran, Todd M; Srivastava, Rajesh K; Feng, Changyong; Nilsson, Bradley L; Yang, Jerry; Dewhurst, Stephen

    2010-11-12

    Semen was recently shown to contain amyloid fibrils formed from a self-assembling peptide fragment of the protein prostatic acid phosphatase. These amyloid fibrils, termed semen-derived enhancer of virus infection, or SEVI, have been shown to strongly enhance HIV infectivity and may play an important role in sexual transmission of HIV, making them a potential microbicide target. One novel approach to target these fibrils is the use of small molecules known to intercalate into the structure of amyloid fibrils, such as derivatives of thioflavin-T. Here, we show that the amyloid-binding small molecule BTA-EG(6) (the hexa(ethylene glycol) derivative of benzothiazole aniline) is able to bind SEVI fibrils and effectively inhibit both SEVI-mediated and semen-mediated enhancement of HIV infection. BTA-EG(6) also blocks the interactions of SEVI with HIV-1 virions and HIV-1 target cells but does not cause any inflammation or toxicity to cervical epithelial cells. These results suggest that an amyloid-binding small molecule may have utility as a microbicide, or microbicidal supplement, for HIV-1.

  11. Amyloid-binding Small Molecules Efficiently Block SEVI (Semen-derived Enhancer of Virus Infection)- and Semen-mediated Enhancement of HIV-1 Infection*

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Joanna S.; Brown, Caitlin; Capule, Christina C.; Rubinshtein, Mark; Doran, Todd M.; Srivastava, Rajesh K.; Feng, Changyong; Nilsson, Bradley L.; Yang, Jerry; Dewhurst, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    Semen was recently shown to contain amyloid fibrils formed from a self-assembling peptide fragment of the protein prostatic acid phosphatase. These amyloid fibrils, termed semen-derived enhancer of virus infection, or SEVI, have been shown to strongly enhance HIV infectivity and may play an important role in sexual transmission of HIV, making them a potential microbicide target. One novel approach to target these fibrils is the use of small molecules known to intercalate into the structure of amyloid fibrils, such as derivatives of thioflavin-T. Here, we show that the amyloid-binding small molecule BTA-EG6 (the hexa(ethylene glycol) derivative of benzothiazole aniline) is able to bind SEVI fibrils and effectively inhibit both SEVI-mediated and semen-mediated enhancement of HIV infection. BTA-EG6 also blocks the interactions of SEVI with HIV-1 virions and HIV-1 target cells but does not cause any inflammation or toxicity to cervical epithelial cells. These results suggest that an amyloid-binding small molecule may have utility as a microbicide, or microbicidal supplement, for HIV-1. PMID:20833717

  12. High Throughput Screening for Small Molecule Enhancers of the Interferon Signaling Pathway to Drive Next-Generation Antiviral Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Dhara A.; Patel, Anand C.; Nolan, William C.; Zhang, Yong; Holtzman, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Most of current strategies for antiviral therapeutics target the virus specifically and directly, but an alternative approach to drug discovery might be to enhance the immune response to a broad range of viruses. Based on clinical observation in humans and successful genetic strategies in experimental models, we reasoned that an improved interferon (IFN) signaling system might better protect against viral infection. Here we aimed to identify small molecular weight compounds that might mimic this beneficial effect and improve antiviral defense. Accordingly, we developed a cell-based high-throughput screening (HTS) assay to identify small molecules that enhance the IFN signaling pathway components. The assay is based on a phenotypic screen for increased IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) activity in a fully automated and robust format (Z′>0.7). Application of this assay system to a library of 2240 compounds (including 2160 already approved or approvable drugs) led to the identification of 64 compounds with significant ISRE activity. From these, we chose the anthracycline antibiotic, idarubicin, for further validation and mechanism based on activity in the sub-µM range. We found that idarubicin action to increase ISRE activity was manifest by other members of this drug class and was independent of cytotoxic or topoisomerase inhibitory effects as well as endogenous IFN signaling or production. We also observed that this compound conferred a consequent increase in IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) expression and a significant antiviral effect using a similar dose-range in a cell-culture system inoculated with encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV). The antiviral effect was also found at compound concentrations below the ones observed for cytotoxicity. Taken together, our results provide proof of concept for using activators of components of the IFN signaling pathway to improve IFN efficacy and antiviral immune defense as well as a validated HTS approach to identify small

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sprachman, Melissa M.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Effect of shell thickness on small-molecule solar cells enhanced by dual plasmonic gold-silica nanorods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiaoyan; Du, Qingguo; Peng, Bo; Xiong, Qihua; Hong, Lei; Demir, Hilmi Volkan; Wong, Terence K. S.; Ko Kyaw, Aung Ko; Sun, Xiao Wei

    2014-09-01

    Chemically synthesized gold (Au)-silica nanorods with shell thickness of 0 nm-10 nm were incorporated into the bulk heterojunction of a small-molecule organic solar cell. At optimal (1 wt. %) concentration, Au-silica nanorods with 5 nm shell thickness resulted in the highest power conversion efficiency of 8.29% with 27% relative enhancement. Finite-difference time-domain simulation shows that the localized electric field intensity at the silica shell-organic layer interface decreases with the increase of shell thickness for both 520 nm and 680 nm resonance peaks. The enhanced haze factor for transmission/reflection of the organic layer is not strongly dependent on the shell thickness. Bare Au nanorods yielded the lowest efficiency of 5.4%. Light intensity dependence measurement of the short-circuit current density shows that the silica shell reduces bimolecular recombination at the Au surface. As a result, both localized field intensity and light scattering are involved in efficiency enhancement for an optimized shell thickness of 5 nm.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-28

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-07

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

  20. Identification and Validation of Small Molecules That Enhance Recombinant Adeno-associated Virus Transduction following High-Throughput Screens

    PubMed Central

    Nicolson, Sarah C.; Li, Chengwen; Hirsch, Matthew L.; Setola, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    foundation based on the rAAV small-molecule screen methodology, which is ideally used for more-diverse libraries of compounds that can be tested for potentiating rAAV transduction. IMPORTANCE This study seeks to enhance the capability of adeno-associated viral vectors for therapeutic gene delivery applicable to the treatment of diverse diseases. To do this, a comprehensive panel of FDA-approved drugs were tested in human cells and in animal models to determine if they increased adeno-associated virus gene delivery. The results demonstrate that particular groups of drugs enhance adeno-associated virus gene delivery by unknown mechanisms. In particular, the enhancement of gene delivery was approximately 50 to 100 times better with than without teniposide, a compound that is also used as chemotherapy for cancer. Collectively, these results highlight the potential for FDA-approved drug enhancement of adeno-associated virus gene therapy, which could result in safe and effective treatments for diverse acquired or genetic diseases. PMID:27147738

  1. Photochemically enhanced binding of small molecules to the tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 inhibits the binding of TNF-[alpha

    SciTech Connect

    Carter, Percy H.; Scherle, Peggy A.; Muckelbauer, Jodi K.; Voss, Matthew E.; Liu, Rui-qin; Thompson III, Lorin A.; Xu, Meizhong; Lo, Yvonne C.; Li, Zhong; Strzemienski, Paul; Yang, Gengjie; Falahatpishen, Nikoo; Farrow, Neil A.; Tebben, Andrew J.; Underwood, Denis; Trzaskos, James M.; Friedman, Steven M.; Newton, Robert C.; Decicco, Carl P.

    2010-03-05

    The binding of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-{alpha}) to the type-1 TNF receptor (TNFRc1) plays an important role in inflammation. Despite the clinical success of biologics (antibodies, soluble receptors) for treating TNF-based autoimmune conditions, no potent small molecule antagonists have been developed. Our screening of chemical libraries revealed that N-alkyl 5-arylidene-2-thioxo-1,3-thiazolidin-4-ones were antagonists of this protein-protein interaction. After chemical optimization, we discovered IW927, which potently disrupted the binding of TNF-{alpha} to TNFRc1 (IC{sub 50} = 50 nM) and also blocked TNF-stimulated phosphorylation of I{kappa}-B in Ramos cells (IC{sub 50} = 600 nM). This compound did not bind detectably to the related cytokine receptors TNFRc2 or CD40, and did not display any cytotoxicity at concentrations as high as 100 {micro}M. Detailed evaluation of this and related molecules revealed that compounds in this class are 'photochemically enhanced' inhibitors, in that they bind reversibly to the TNFRc1 with weak affinity (ca. 40-100 mM) and then covalently modify the receptor via a photochemical reaction. We obtained a crystal structure of IV703 (a close analog of IW927) bound to the TNFRc1. This structure clearly revealed that one of the aromatic rings of the inhibitor was covalently linked to the receptor through the main-chain nitrogen of Ala-62, a residue that has already been implicated in the binding of TNF-{alpha} to the TNFRc1. When combined with the fact that our inhibitors are reversible binders in light-excluded conditions, the results of the crystallography provide the basis for the rational design of nonphotoreactive inhibitors of the TNF-{alpha}-TNFRc1 interaction.

  2. Photochemically enhanced binding of small molecules to the tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 inhibits the binding of TNF-alpha.

    PubMed

    Carter, P H; Scherle, P A; Muckelbauer, J K; Voss, M E; Liu, R Q; Thompson, L A; Tebben, A J; Solomon, K A; Lo, Y C; Li, Z; Strzemienski, P; Yang, G; Falahatpisheh, N; Xu, M; Wu, Z; Farrow, N A; Ramnarayan, K; Wang, J; Rideout, D; Yalamoori, V; Domaille, P; Underwood, D J; Trzaskos, J M; Friedman, S M; Newton, R C; Decicco, C P; Muckelbauer, J A

    2001-10-09

    The binding of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) to the type-1 TNF receptor (TNFRc1) plays an important role in inflammation. Despite the clinical success of biologics (antibodies, soluble receptors) for treating TNF-based autoimmune conditions, no potent small molecule antagonists have been developed. Our screening of chemical libraries revealed that N-alkyl 5-arylidene-2-thioxo-1,3-thiazolidin-4-ones were antagonists of this protein-protein interaction. After chemical optimization, we discovered IW927, which potently disrupted the binding of TNF-alpha to TNFRc1 (IC(50) = 50 nM) and also blocked TNF-stimulated phosphorylation of Ikappa-B in Ramos cells (IC(50) = 600 nM). This compound did not bind detectably to the related cytokine receptors TNFRc2 or CD40, and did not display any cytotoxicity at concentrations as high as 100 microM. Detailed evaluation of this and related molecules revealed that compounds in this class are "photochemically enhanced" inhibitors, in that they bind reversibly to the TNFRc1 with weak affinity (ca. 40-100 microM) and then covalently modify the receptor via a photochemical reaction. We obtained a crystal structure of IV703 (a close analog of IW927) bound to the TNFRc1. This structure clearly revealed that one of the aromatic rings of the inhibitor was covalently linked to the receptor through the main-chain nitrogen of Ala-62, a residue that has already been implicated in the binding of TNF-alpha to the TNFRc1. When combined with the fact that our inhibitors are reversible binders in light-excluded conditions, the results of the crystallography provide the basis for the rational design of nonphotoreactive inhibitors of the TNF-alpha-TNFRc1 interaction.

  3. A small molecule deubiquitinase inhibitor increases localization of inducible nitric oxide synthase to the macrophage phagosome and enhances bacterial killing.

    PubMed

    Burkholder, Kristin M; Perry, Jeffrey W; Wobus, Christiane E; Donato, Nicholas J; Showalter, Hollis D; Kapuria, Vaibhav; O'Riordan, Mary X D

    2011-12-01

    Macrophages are key mediators of antimicrobial defense and innate immunity. Innate intracellular defense mechanisms can be rapidly regulated at the posttranslational level by the coordinated addition and removal of ubiquitin by ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinases (DUBs). While ubiquitin ligases have been extensively studied, the contribution of DUBs to macrophage innate immune function is incompletely defined. We therefore employed a small molecule DUB inhibitor, WP1130, to probe the role of DUBs in the macrophage response to bacterial infection. Treatment of activated bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) with WP1130 significantly augmented killing of the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. WP1130 also induced killing of phagosome-restricted bacteria, implicating a bactericidal mechanism associated with the phagosome, such as the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). WP1130 had a minimal antimicrobial effect in macrophages lacking iNOS, indicating that iNOS is an effector mechanism for WP1130-mediated bacterial killing. Although overall iNOS levels were not notably different, we found that WP1130 significantly increased colocalization of iNOS with the Listeria-containing phagosome during infection. Taken together, our data indicate that the deubiquitinase inhibitor WP1130 increases bacterial killing in macrophages by enhancing iNOS localization to the phagosome and suggest a potential role for ubiquitin regulation in iNOS trafficking.

  4. "RaMassays": Synergistic Enhancement of Plasmon-Free Raman Scattering and Mass Spectrometry for Multimodal Analysis of Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Alessandri, Ivano; Vassalini, Irene; Bertuzzi, Michela; Bontempi, Nicolò; Memo, Maurizio; Gianoncelli, Alessandra

    2016-10-04

    SiO2/TiO2 core/shell (T-rex) beads were exploited as "all-in-one" building-block materials to create analytical assays that combine plasmon-free surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and surface assisted laser desorption/ionization (SALDI) mass spectrometry (RaMassays). Such a multi-modal approach relies on the unique optical properties of T-rex beads, which are able to harvest and manage light in both UV and Vis range, making ionization and Raman scattering more efficient. RaMassays were successfully applied to the detection of small (molecular weight, M.W. <400 Da) molecules with a key relevance in biochemistry and pharmaceutical analysis. Caffeine and cocaine were utilized as molecular probes to test the combined SERS/SALDI response of RaMassays, showing excellent sensitivity and reproducibility. The differentiation between amphetamine/ephedrine and theophylline/theobromine couples demonstrated the synergistic reciprocal reinforcement of SERS and SALDI. Finally, the conversion of L-tyrosine in L-DOPA was utilized to probe RaMassays as analytical tools for characterizing reaction intermediates without introducing any spurious effects. RaMassays exhibit important advantages over plasmonic nanoparticles in terms of reproducibility, absence of interference and potential integration in multiplexed devices.

  5. Small Molecule CXCR3 Antagonists.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Stephen P; Cox, Rhona J

    2016-04-14

    Chemokines and their receptors are known to play important roles in disease. More than 40 chemokine ligands and 20 chemokine receptors have been identified, but, to date, only two small molecule chemokine receptor antagonists have been approved by the FDA. The chemokine receptor CXCR3 was identified in 1996, and nearly 20 years later, new areas of CXCR3 disease biology continue to emerge. Several classes of small molecule CXCR3 antagonists have been developed, and two have shown efficacy in preclinical models of inflammatory disease. However, only one CXCR3 antagonist has been evaluated in clinical trials, and there remain many opportunities to further investigate known classes of CXCR3 antagonists and to identify new chemotypes. This Perspective reviews the known CXCR3 antagonists and considers future opportunities for the development of small molecules for clinical evaluation.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Bi, Sheng; He, Zhengran; Chen, Jihua; ...

    2015-07-24

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-24

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

  8. Incorporation of ionic liquid into porous polymer monoliths to enhance the separation of small molecules in reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiafei; Bai, Ligai; Wei, Zhen; Qin, Junxiao; Ma, Yamin; Liu, Haiyan

    2015-06-01

    An ionic liquid was incorporated into the porous polymer monoliths to afford stationary phases with enhanced chromatographic performance for small molecules in reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The effect of the ionic liquid in the polymerization mixture on the performance of the monoliths was studied in detail. While monoliths without ionic liquid exhibited poor resolution and low efficiency, the addition of ionic liquid to the polymerization mixture provides highly increased resolution and high efficiency. The chromatographic performances of the monoliths were demonstrated by the separations of various small molecules including aromatic hydrocarbons, isomers, and homologues using a binary polar mobile phase. The present column efficiency reached 27 000 plates/m, which showed that the ionic liquid monoliths are alternative stationary phases in the separation of small molecules by high-performance liquid chromatography.

  9. Nuclear domain 'knock-in' screen for the evaluation and identification of small molecule enhancers of CRISPR-based genome editing.

    PubMed

    Pinder, Jordan; Salsman, Jayme; Dellaire, Graham

    2015-10-30

    CRISPR is a genome-editing platform that makes use of the bacterially-derived endonuclease Cas9 to introduce DNA double-strand breaks at precise locations in the genome using complementary guide RNAs. We developed a nuclear domain knock-in screen, whereby the insertion of a gene encoding the green fluorescent protein variant Clover is inserted by Cas9-mediated homology directed repair (HDR) within the first exon of genes that are required for the structural integrity of subnuclear domains such as the nuclear lamina and promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML NBs). Using this approach, we compared strategies for enhancing CRISPR-mediated HDR, focusing on known genes and small molecules that impact non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). Ultimately, we identified the small molecule RS-1 as a potent enhancer of CRISPR-based genome editing, enhancing HDR 3- to 6-fold depending on the locus and transfection method. We also characterized U2OS human osteosarcoma cells expressing Clover-tagged PML and demonstrate that this strategy generates cell lines with PML NBs that are structurally and functionally similar to bodies in the parental cell line. Thus, the nuclear domain knock-in screen that we describe provides a simple means of rapidly evaluating methods and small molecules that have the potential to enhance Cas9-mediated HDR.

  10. Nuclear domain ‘knock-in’ screen for the evaluation and identification of small molecule enhancers of CRISPR-based genome editing

    PubMed Central

    Pinder, Jordan; Salsman, Jayme; Dellaire, Graham

    2015-01-01

    CRISPR is a genome-editing platform that makes use of the bacterially-derived endonuclease Cas9 to introduce DNA double-strand breaks at precise locations in the genome using complementary guide RNAs. We developed a nuclear domain knock-in screen, whereby the insertion of a gene encoding the green fluorescent protein variant Clover is inserted by Cas9-mediated homology directed repair (HDR) within the first exon of genes that are required for the structural integrity of subnuclear domains such as the nuclear lamina and promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML NBs). Using this approach, we compared strategies for enhancing CRISPR-mediated HDR, focusing on known genes and small molecules that impact non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). Ultimately, we identified the small molecule RS-1 as a potent enhancer of CRISPR-based genome editing, enhancing HDR 3- to 6-fold depending on the locus and transfection method. We also characterized U2OS human osteosarcoma cells expressing Clover-tagged PML and demonstrate that this strategy generates cell lines with PML NBs that are structurally and functionally similar to bodies in the parental cell line. Thus, the nuclear domain knock-in screen that we describe provides a simple means of rapidly evaluating methods and small molecules that have the potential to enhance Cas9-mediated HDR. PMID:26429972

  11. Small Molecules Target Carcinogenic Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gradinaru, Claudiu

    2009-03-01

    An ingenious cellular mechanism of effecting protein localization is prenylation: the covalent attachment of a hydrophobic prenyl group to a protein that facilitates protein association with cell membranes. Fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate whether the oncogenic Stat3 protein can undergo artificial prenylation via high-affinity prenylated small-molecule binding agents and thus be rendered inactive by localization at the plasma membrane instead of nucleus. The measurements were performed on a home-built instrument capable of recording simultaneously several optical parameters (lifetime, polarization, color, etc) and with single-molecule sensitivity. A pH-invariant fluorescein derivative with double moiety was designed to bridge a prenyl group and a small peptide that binds Stat3 with high affinity. Confocal fluorescence images show effective localization of the ligand to the membrane of liposomes. Stat3 predominantly localizes at the membrane only in the presence of the prenylated ligand. Single-molecule FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) between donor-labeled prenylated agents and acceptor-labeled, surface tethered Stat3 protein is used to determine the dynamic heterogeneity of the protein-ligand interaction and follow individual binding-unbinding events in real time. The data indicates that molecules can effect protein localization, validating a therapeutic design that influences protein activity via induced localization.

  12. Metagenomic small molecule discovery methods

    PubMed Central

    Charlop-Powers, Zachary; Milshteyn, Aleksandr; Brady, Sean F.

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomic approaches to natural product discovery provide the means of harvesting bioactive small molecules synthesized by environmental bacteria without the requirement of first culturing these organisms. Advances in sequencing technologies and general metagenomic methods are beginning to provide the tools necessary to unlock the unexplored biosynthetic potential encoded by the genomes of uncultured environmental bacteria. Here, we highlight recent advances in sequence- and functional- based metagenomic approaches that promise to facilitate antibiotic discovery from diverse environmental microbiomes. PMID:25000402

  13. Protein Scaffolding for Small Molecule Catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, David

    2014-09-14

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

  14. Hanging drop culture enhances differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells into anterior neuroectodermal cells using small molecules.

    PubMed

    Amirpour, Noushin; Razavi, Shahnaz; Esfandiari, Ebrahim; Hashemibeni, Batoul; Kazemi, Mohammad; Salehi, Hossein

    2017-03-07

    Inspired by in vivo developmental process, several studies were conducted to design a protocol for differentiating of mesenchymal stem cells into neural cells in vitro. Human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) as mesenchymal stem cells are a promising source for this purpose. At current study, we applied a defined neural induction medium by using small molecules for direct differentiation of hADSCs into anterior neuroectodermal cells. Anterior neuroectodermal differentiation of hADSCs was performed by hanging drop and monolayer protocols. At these methods, three small molecules were used to suppress the BMP, Nodal, and Wnt signaling pathways in order to obtain anterior neuroectodermal (eye field) cells from hADSCs. After two and three weeks of induction, the differentiated cells with neural morphology expressed anterior neuroectodermal markers such as OTX2, SIX3, β-TUB III and PAX6. The protein expression of such markers was confirmed by real time, RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry methods According to our data, it seems that the hanging drop method is a proper approach for neuroectodermal induction of hADSCs. Considering wide availability and immunosuppressive properties of hADSCs, these cells may open a way for autologous cell therapy of neurodegenerative disorders.

  15. Small Molecule Immunosensing Using Surface Plasmon Resonance

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, John

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Tachikawa, Masanori

    2015-12-31

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

  17. A small-molecule enhancer of autophagy decreases levels of Aβ and APP-CTF via Atg5-dependent autophagy pathway

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Yuan; Bustos, Victor; Flajolet, Marc; Greengard, Paul

    2011-01-01

    The hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease are the aggregates of amyloid-β (Αβ) peptide and tau protein. Autophagy is one major cellular pathway leading to the removal of aggregated proteins. We examined the possibility of inducing autophagy to reduce Aβ peptide and the amyloid precursor protein (APP)-derived fragment APP-CTF levels in cell lines and primary neuronal cultures. We found that induction of autophagy either by small-molecule enhancers of rapamycin (SMER)28, a small-molecule enhancer of autophagy, or following starvation greatly decreased the levels of Aβ peptide (apparent EC50 of ∼10 μM) and APP-CTF (apparent EC50 of ∼20 μM) in a γ-secretase-independent manner. Pharmacological inhibition of autophagy led to a significant accumulation of Aβ peptide and APP-CTF and diminished the effect of SMER28. Three essential components of the autophagic pathway, autophagy-related protein (Atg)5, Beclin1, and Ulk1, were shown to be involved in the degradation of Aβ and APP-CTF, and Atg5 was necessary for the effect of SMER28. In addition, the autophagic marker light chain 3-II cocompartmentalized with APP-CTF. These results support the involvement of autophagy in the clearance of Aβ and APP-CTF. We therefore propose that small molecule enhancers of autophagy, such as SMER28, may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other proteinopathies.—Tian, Y., Bustos, V., Flajolet, M., Greengard, P. A small-molecule enhancer of autophagy decreases levels of Aβ and APP-CTF via Atg5-dependent autophagy pathway. PMID:21368103

  18. Membrane fusion catalyzed by a Rab, SNAREs, and SNARE chaperones is accompanied by enhanced permeability to small molecules and by lysis

    PubMed Central

    Zucchi, Paola C.; Zick, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The fusion of sealed biological membranes joins their enclosed aqueous compartments while mixing their membrane bilayers. Reconstituted fusion reactions are commonly assayed by lipid mixing, which can result from either true fusion or from lysis and its attendant reannealing of membranes. Fusion is also frequently assayed by the mixing of lumenal aqueous compartments, using probes of low molecular weight. With several probes (biotin, methylumbelliferyl-N-acetyl-α-d-neuraminic acid, and dithionite), we find that yeast vacuolar SNAREs (SNAP [Soluble NSF attachment protein] Receptors) increase the permeability of membranes to small molecules and that this permeabilization is enhanced by homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting complex (HOPS) and Sec17p/Sec18p, the vacuolar tethering and SNARE chaperone proteins. We now report the development of a novel assay that allows the parallel assessment of lipid mixing, the mixing of intact lumenal compartments, any lysis that occurs, and the membrane permeation of small molecules. Applying this assay to an all-purified reconstituted system consisting of vacuolar lipids, the four vacuolar SNAREs, the SNARE disassembly chaperones Sec17p and Sec18p, the Rab Ypt7p, and the Rab effector/SM protein complex HOPS, we show that true fusion is accompanied by strongly enhanced membrane permeability to small molecules and a measurable rate of lysis. PMID:21976702

  19. Small Molecule Organic Optoelectronic Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakken, Nathan

    Organic optoelectronics include a class of devices synthesized from carbon containing 'small molecule' thin films without long range order crystalline or polymer structure. Novel properties such as low modulus and flexibility as well as excellent device performance such as photon emission approaching 100% internal quantum efficiency have accelerated research in this area substantially. While optoelectronic organic light emitting devices have already realized commercial application, challenges to obtain extended lifetime for the high energy visible spectrum and the ability to reproduce natural white light with a simple architecture have limited the value of this technology for some display and lighting applications. In this research, novel materials discovered from a systematic analysis of empirical device data are shown to produce high quality white light through combination of monomer and excimer emission from a single molecule: platinum(II) bis(methyl-imidazolyl)toluene chloride (Pt-17). Illumination quality achieved Commission Internationale de L'Eclairage (CIE) chromaticity coordinates (x = 0.31, y = 0.38) and color rendering index (CRI) > 75. Further optimization of a device containing Pt-17 resulted in a maximum forward viewing power efficiency of 37.8 lm/W on a plain glass substrate. In addition, accelerated aging tests suggest high energy blue emission from a halogen-free cyclometalated platinum complex could demonstrate degradation rates comparable to known stable emitters. Finally, a buckling based metrology is applied to characterize the mechanical properties of small molecule organic thin films towards understanding the deposition kinetics responsible for an elastic modulus that is both temperature and thickness dependent. These results could contribute to the viability of organic electronic technology in potentially flexible display and lighting applications. The results also provide insight to organic film growth kinetics responsible for optical

  20. Small Molecules-Big Data.

    PubMed

    Császár, Attila G; Furtenbacher, Tibor; Árendás, Péter

    2016-11-17

    Quantum mechanics builds large-scale graphs (networks): the vertices are the discrete energy levels the quantum system possesses, and the edges are the (quantum-mechanically allowed) transitions. Parts of the complete quantum mechanical networks can be probed experimentally via high-resolution, energy-resolved spectroscopic techniques. The complete rovibronic line list information for a given molecule can only be obtained through sophisticated quantum-chemical computations. Experiments as well as computations yield what we call spectroscopic networks (SN). First-principles SNs of even small, three to five atomic molecules can be huge, qualifying for the big data description. Besides helping to interpret high-resolution spectra, the network-theoretical view offers several ideas for improving the accuracy and robustness of the increasingly important information systems containing line-by-line spectroscopic data. For example, the smallest number of measurements necessary to perform to obtain the complete list of energy levels is given by the minimum-weight spanning tree of the SN and network clustering studies may call attention to "weakest links" of a spectroscopic database. A present-day application of spectroscopic networks is within the MARVEL (Measured Active Rotational-Vibrational Energy Levels) approach, whereby the transitions information on a measured SN is turned into experimental energy levels via a weighted linear least-squares refinement. MARVEL has been used successfully for 15 molecules and allowed to validate most of the transitions measured and come up with energy levels with well-defined and realistic uncertainties. Accurate knowledge of the energy levels with computed transition intensities allows the realistic prediction of spectra under many different circumstances, e.g., for widely different temperatures. Detailed knowledge of the energy level structure of a molecule coming from a MARVEL analysis is important for a considerable number of modeling

  1. Enhancing the Thermoelectric Characteristics of PEDOT:PSS Through the Incorporation of a Redox-Active Small Molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomlinson, Edward; Willmore, Matthew; Zhu, Xiaoqin; Boudouris, Bryan

    2015-03-01

    The polymer blend composed of poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene) and poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) is a leading organic thermoelectric material due to its high-performing properties. Here, we establish the effect of incorporating the redox-active small molecule4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl (TEMPO-OH) on the structural and thermoelectric properties of PEDOT:PSS. Specifically, the thermoelectric power factor (PF) was monitored as a function of TEMPO-OH loading, elucidating a clear trend in the PF. Importantly, at loadings as low as 5% TEMPO-OH, by mass, the thermopower of the sample was increased by a factor of two. Furthermore, the role of the TEMPO-OH on the thin film morphology of the composite material is examined through the use of grazing incidence-wide angle x-ray scattering (GI-WAXS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Despite the acidic conditions associated with the presence of PSS, the existence of radical functionality is confirmed through electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Through careful tuning, the optimized conditions outlined within this work results in PF gains in excess of 40%.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Enhanced Conversion Efficiency for Si Nanowire-Organic Hybrid Solar Cells through the Incorporation of Organic Small Molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Lining; Jiang, Changyun; Lai, Donny; Wang, Hao; Rusli

    2012-10-01

    We demonstrate high-efficiency hybrid solar cells based on heterojunctions formed between n-type silicon nanowires (SiNWs) and p-type organic semiconductors fabricated using a simple solution-based approach. Two types of devices have been fabricated with different organic materials used, namely poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) and a small molecule, 2,2',7,7'-tetrakis(N,N-di-4-methoxyphenylamino)-9,9'-spirobifluorene (Spiro-OMeTAD). The cells are characterized and compared in terms of their physical characteristics and photovoltaic performance. Using SiNWs of the same length of 0.35 µm, it is found that the SiNWs/Spiro cells exhibit a power conversion efficiency of 10.3%, which is higher than the 7.7% of SiNWs/PEDOT cells. The results are interpreted in terms of the ability of the two organic semiconductors to fill the gaps between the SiNWs and the optical reflectance of the samples. The degradation of the SiNWs/Spiro cells is also studied and presented.

  4. Small-molecule arginase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Ivanenkov, Yan A; Chufarova, Nina V

    2014-01-01

    Arginase is an enzyme that metabolizes L-arginine to L-ornithine and urea. In addition to its fundamental role in the hepatic ornithine cycle, it also influences the immune systems in humans and mice. Arginase participates in many inflammatory disorders by decreasing the synthesis of nitric oxide and inducing fibrosis and tissue regeneration. L-arginine deficiency, which is modulated by myeloid cell arginase, suppresses T-cell immune response. This mechanism plays a fundamental role in inflammation-associated immunosuppression. Pathogens can synthesize their own arginase to elude immune reaction. Small-molecule arginase inhibitors are currently described as promising therapeutics for the treatment of several diseases, including allergic asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, cardiovascular diseases (atherosclerosis and hypertension), diseases associated with pathogens (e.g., Helicobacter pylori, Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Salmonella), cancer and induced or spontaneous immune disorders. This article summarizes recent patents in the area of arginase inhibitors and discusses their properties.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-30

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

  6. Small-molecule inhibitors of myosin proteins

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Lisa M; Tumbarello, David A; Kendrick-Jones, John; Buss, Folma

    2014-01-01

    Advances in screening and computational methods have enhanced recent efforts to discover/design small-molecule protein inhibitors. One attractive target for inhibition is the myosin family of motor proteins. Myosins function in a wide variety of cellular processes, from intracellular trafficking to cell motility, and are implicated in several human diseases (e.g., cancer, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, deafness and many neurological disorders). Potent and selective myosin inhibitors are, therefore, not only a tool for understanding myosin function, but are also a resource for developing treatments for diseases involving myosin dysfunction or overactivity. This review will provide a brief overview of the characteristics and scientific/therapeutic applications of the presently identified small-molecule myosin inhibitors before discussing the future of myosin inhibitor and activator design. PMID:23256812

  7. Proteasome Activation by Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Leestemaker, Yves; de Jong, Annemieke; Witting, Katharina F; Penning, Renske; Schuurman, Karianne; Rodenko, Boris; Zaal, Esther A; van de Kooij, Bert; Laufer, Stefan; Heck, Albert J R; Borst, Jannie; Scheper, Wiep; Berkers, Celia R; Ovaa, Huib

    2017-06-22

    Drugs that increase 26S proteasome activity have potential therapeutic applications in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. A chemical genetics screen of over 2,750 compounds using a proteasome activity probe as a readout in a high-throughput live-cell fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based assay revealed more than ten compounds that increase proteasome activity, with the p38 MAPK inhibitor PD169316 being one of the most potent ones. Genetic and chemical inhibition of either p38 MAPK, its upstream regulators, ASK1 and MKK6, and downstream target, MK2, enhance proteasome activity. Chemical activation of the 26S proteasome increases PROTAC-mediated and ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation and decreases the levels of both overexpressed and endogenous α-synuclein, without affecting the overall protein turnover. In addition, survival of cells overexpressing toxic α-synuclein assemblies is increased in the presence of p38 MAPK inhibitors. These findings highlight the potential of activation of 26S proteasome activity and that this can be achieved through multiple mechanisms by distinct molecules. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Water: a responsive small molecule.

    PubMed

    Shultz, Mary Jane; Vu, Tuan Hoang; Meyer, Bryce; Bisson, Patrick

    2012-01-17

    Unique among small molecules, water forms a nearly tetrahedral yet flexible hydrogen-bond network. In addition to its flexibility, this network is dynamic: bonds are formed or broken on a picosecond time scale. These unique features make probing the local structure of water challenging. Despite the challenges, there is intense interest in developing a picture of the local water structure due to water's fundamental importance in many fields of chemistry. Understanding changes in the local network structure of water near solutes likely holds the key to unlock problems from analyzing parameters that determine the three dimensional structure of proteins to modeling the fate of volatile materials released into the atmosphere. Pictures of the local structure of water are heavily influenced by what is known about the structure of ice. In hexagonal I(h) ice, the most stable form of solid water under ordinary conditions, water has an equal number of donor and acceptor bonds; a kind of symmetry. This symmetric tetrahedral coordination is only approximately preserved in the liquid. The most obvious manifestation of this altered tetrahedral bonding is the greater density in the liquid compared with the solid. Formation of an interface or addition of solutes further modifies the local bonding in water. Because the O-H stretching frequency is sensitive to the environment, vibrational spectroscopy provides an excellent probe for the hydrogen-bond structure in water. In this Account, we examine both local interactions between water and small solutes and longer range interactions at the aqueous surface. Locally, the results suggest that water is not a symmetric donor or acceptor, but rather has a propensity to act as an acceptor. In interactions with hydrocarbons, action is centered at the water oxygen. For soluble inorganic salts, interaction is greater with the cation than the anion. The vibrational spectrum of the surface of salt solutions is altered compared with that of neat

  9. BRAF- and MEK-Targeted Small Molecule Inhibitors Exert Enhanced Antimelanoma Effects in Combination With Oncolytic Reovirus Through ER Stress

    PubMed Central

    Roulstone, Victoria; Pedersen, Malin; Kyula, Joan; Mansfield, David; Khan, Aadil A; McEntee, Grainne; Wilkinson, Michelle; Karapanagiotou, Eleni; Coffey, Matt; Marais, Richard; Jebar, Adel; Errington-Mais, Fiona; Melcher, Alan; Vile, Richard; Pandha, Hardev; McLaughlin, Martin; Harrington, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Reovirus type 3 (Dearing) (RT3D) infection is selective for cells harboring a mutated/activated RAS pathway. Therefore, in a panel of melanoma cell lines (including RAS mutant, BRAF mutant and RAS/BRAF wild-type), we assessed therapeutic combinations that enhance/suppress ERK1/2 signaling through use of BRAF/MEK inhibitors. In RAS mutant cells, the combination of RT3D with the BRAF inhibitor PLX4720 (paradoxically increasing ERK1/2 signaling in this context) did not enhance reoviral cytotoxicity. Instead, and somewhat surprisingly, RT3D and BRAF inhibition led to enhanced cell kill in BRAF mutated cell lines. Likewise, ERK1/2 inhibition, using the MEK inhibitor PD184352, in combination with RT3D resulted in enhanced cell kill in the entire panel. Interestingly, TCID50 assays showed that BRAF and MEK inhibitors did not affect viral replication. Instead, enhanced efficacy was mediated through ER stress-induced apoptosis, induced by the combination of ERK1/2 inhibition and reovirus infection. In vivo, combined treatments of RT3D and PLX4720 showed significantly increased activity in BRAF mutant tumors in both immune-deficient and immune-competent models. These data provide a strong rationale for clinical translation of strategies in which RT3D is combined with BRAF inhibitors (in BRAF mutant melanoma) and/or MEK inhibitors (in BRAF and RAS mutant melanoma). PMID:25619724

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  12. Identification of Small-Molecule Enhancers of Arginine Methylation Catalyzed by Coactivator-Associated Arginine Methyltransferase 1

    PubMed Central

    Castellano, Sabrina; Spannhoff, Astrid; Milite, Ciro; Dal Piaz, Fabrizio; Cheng, Donghang; Tosco, Alessandra; Viviano, Monica; Yamani, Abdellah; Cianciulli, Agostino; Sala, Marina; Cura, Vincent; Cavarelli, Jean; Novellino, Ettore; Mai, Antonello; Bedford, Mark T.; Sbardella, Gianluca

    2012-01-01

    Arginine methylation is a common post-translational modification that is crucial in modulating gene expression at multiple critical levels. The arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) are envisaged as promising druggable targets but their role in physiological and pathological pathways is far from being clear, due to the limited number of modulators reported to date. In this effort, enzyme activators can be invaluable tools useful as gain-of-function reagents to interrogate the biological roles in cells and in vivo of PRMTs. Yet the identification of such molecules is rarely pursued. Herein we describe a series of aryl ureido acetamido indole carboxylates (dubbed “uracandolates”), able to increase the methylation of histone- (H3) or non-histone (polyadenylate-binding protein 1, PABP1) substrates induced by coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1), both in in vitro and cellular settings. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of compounds acting as CARM1 activators. PMID:23095008

  13. A kinase inhibitor screen identifies small-molecule enhancers of reprogramming and iPS cell generation.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhonghan; Rana, Tariq M

    2012-01-01

    Somatic cells can be reprogrammed to form embryonic stem cell-like induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), but the process suffers from low efficiency and the underlying molecular mechanisms that control reprogramming remain poorly understood. Here we perform an inhibitor screen to identify kinases that enhance, or present a barrier to, reprogramming. In particular, inhibitors of p38, inositol trisphosphate 3-kinase, and Aurora A kinase potently enhance iPSC generation, and iPSCs derived from inhibitor-treated somatic cells are capable of reaching a fully reprogrammed state. Knockdown of target kinases by short interfering RNAs confirms that they function as barrier genes. We show that Aurora A kinase, which functions in centrosome activity and spindle assembly, is highly induced during reprogramming and inhibits Akt-mediated inactivation of GSK3β, resulting in compromised reprogramming efficiency. Together, our results not only identify new compounds that enhance iPSC generation but also shed new light on the function of Aurora A kinase in the reprogramming process.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-08

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

  15. Benzimidazole derivative small-molecule 991 enhances AMPK activity and glucose uptake induced by AICAR or contraction in skeletal muscle

    PubMed Central

    Bultot, Laurent; Jensen, Thomas E.; Lai, Yu-Chiang; Madsen, Agnete L. B.; Collodet, Caterina; Kviklyte, Samanta; Deak, Maria; Yavari, Arash; Foretz, Marc; Ghaffari, Sahar; Bellahcene, Mohamed; Ashrafian, Houman; Rider, Mark H.; Richter, Erik A.

    2016-01-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays diverse roles and coordinates complex metabolic pathways for maintenance of energy homeostasis. This could be explained by the fact that AMPK exists as multiple heterotrimer complexes comprising a catalytic α-subunit (α1 and α2) and regulatory β (β1 and β2)- and γ (γ1, γ2, γ3)-subunits, which are uniquely distributed across different cell types. There has been keen interest in developing specific and isoform-selective AMPK-activating drugs for therapeutic use and also as research tools. Moreover, establishing ways of enhancing cellular AMPK activity would be beneficial for both purposes. Here, we investigated if a recently described potent AMPK activator called 991, in combination with the commonly used activator 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide riboside or contraction, further enhances AMPK activity and glucose transport in mouse skeletal muscle ex vivo. Given that the γ3-subunit is exclusively expressed in skeletal muscle and has been implicated in contraction-induced glucose transport, we measured the activity of AMPKγ3 as well as ubiquitously expressed γ1-containing complexes. We initially validated the specificity of the antibodies for the assessment of isoform-specific AMPK activity using AMPK-deficient mouse models. We observed that a low dose of 991 (5 μM) stimulated a modest or negligible activity of both γ1- and γ3-containing AMPK complexes. Strikingly, dual treatment with 991 and 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide riboside or 991 and contraction profoundly enhanced AMPKγ1/γ3 complex activation and glucose transport compared with any of the single treatments. The study demonstrates the utility of a dual activator approach to achieve a greater activation of AMPK and downstream physiological responses in various cell types, including skeletal muscle. PMID:27577855

  16. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-16

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

  17. Hydrophobic Porous Material Adsorbs Small Organic Molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, Pramod K.; Hickey, Gregory S.

    1994-01-01

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

  18. Structure-Based Small Molecule Modulation of a Pre-Amyloid State: Pharmacological Enhancement of IAPP Membrane-Binding and Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Nath, Abhinav; Schlamadinger, Diana E.; Rhoades, Elizabeth; Miranker, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    Islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) is a peptide hormone whose pathological self-assembly is a hallmark of the progression of type II diabetes. IAPP–membrane interactions catalyze its higher-order self-assembly and also underlie its toxic effects toward cells. While there is great interest in developing small molecule reagents capable of altering the structure and behavior of oligomeric, membrane-bound IAPP, the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of this ensemble makes it recalcitrant to traditional approaches. Here, we build on recent insights into the nature of membrane-bound states and develop a combined computational and experimental strategy to address this problem. The generalized structural approach efficiently identified diverse compounds from large commercial libraries with previously unrecognized activities toward the gain-of-function behaviors of IAPP. The use of appropriate computational prescreening reduced the experimental burden by orders of magnitude relative to unbiased high-throughput screening. We found that rationally targeting experimentally derived models of membrane-bound dimers identified several compounds that demonstrate the remarkable ability to enhance IAPP–membrane binding and one compound that enhances IAPP-mediated cytotoxicity. Taken together, these findings imply that membrane binding per se is insufficient to generate cytotoxicity; instead, enhanced sampling of rare states within the membrane-bound ensemble may potentiate IAPP’s toxic effects. PMID:25966003

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1 (AMP1) is a member of the M28 family of carboxypeptidases with a pivotal role in plant development and stress adaptation. Its most prominent mutant defect is a unique hypertrophic shoot phenotype combining a strongly increased organ formation rate with enhanced meristem size and the formation of ectopic meristem poles. However, so far the role of AMP1 in shoot development could not be assigned to a specific molecular pathway nor is its biochemical function resolved. In this work we evaluated the level of functional conservation between AMP1 and its human homolog HsGCPII, a tumor marker of medical interest. We show that HsGCPII cannot substitute AMP1 in planta and that an HsGCPII-specific inhibitor does not evoke amp1-specific phenotypes. We used a chemical genetic approach to identify the drug hyperphyllin (HP), which specifically mimics the shoot defects of amp1, including plastochron reduction and enlargement and multiplication of the shoot meristem. We assessed the structural requirements of HP activity and excluded that it is a cytokinin analog. HP-treated wild-type plants showed amp1-related tissue-specific changes of various marker genes and a significant transcriptomic overlap with the mutant. HP was ineffective in amp1 and elevated the protein levels of PHAVOLUTA, consistent with the postulated role of AMP1 in miRNA-controlled translation, further supporting an AMP1-related mode of action. Our work suggests that plant and animal members of the M28 family of proteases adopted unrelated functions. With HP we provide a tool to characterize the plant-specific functions of this important class of proteins. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  20. Small-molecule dissection of brassinosteroid signaling.

    PubMed

    Codreanu, Mirela-Corina; Audenaert, Dominique; Nguyen, Long; Beeckman, Tom; Russinova, Eugenia

    2012-01-01

    The growth-promoting hormones, the brassinosteroids (BRs), are perceived at the plant cell surface by receptor kinases that transduce the signal to the nucleus by an intracellular cascade of phosphorylation-mediated protein-protein interactions. BR signaling is also regulated by the plant endocytic machinery because the increased endosomal localization of the BR receptor enhances the BR responses. Chemical genetics is a powerful approach to identify new components in redundant signaling networks and to characterize highly dynamic processes, such as endocytosis. Here, we describe a screen in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings for small molecules that affect hypocotyl elongation under continuous light conditions, indicative for an effect on BR responses. The compounds identified in this screen were used to dissect endomembrane trafficking of the BR receptor, BR INSENSITIVE1, a process that is essential for BR signal transduction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-10

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

  2. A chemical genetic screen uncovers a small molecule enhancer of the N-acylethanolamine degrading enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase, in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Bibi Rafeiza; Faure, Lionel; Chapman, Kent D.; Blancaflor, Elison B.

    2017-01-01

    N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs) are a group of fatty acid amides that play signaling roles in diverse physiological processes in eukaryotes. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) degrades NAE into ethanolamine and free fatty acid to terminate its signaling function. In animals, chemical inhibitors of FAAH have been used for therapeutic treatment of pain and as tools to probe deeper into biochemical properties of FAAH. In a chemical genetic screen for small molecules that dampened the inhibitory effect of N-lauroylethanolamine (NAE 12:0) on Arabidopsis thaliana seedling growth, we identified 6-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1,3-dimethyl-5-phenyl-1H-pyrrolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine-2,4(3 H,6 H)-dione (or MDPD). MDPD alleviated the growth inhibitory effects of NAE 12:0, in part by enhancing the enzymatic activity of Arabidopsis FAAH (AtFAAH). In vitro, biochemical assays showed that MDPD enhanced the apparent Vmax of AtFAAH but did not alter the affinity of AtFAAH for its NAE substrates. Structural analogs of MDPD did not affect AtFAAH activity or dampen the inhibitory effect of NAE 12:0 on seedling growth indicating that MDPD is a specific synthetic chemical activator of AtFAAH. Collectively, our study demonstrates the feasibility of using an unbiased chemical genetic approach to identify new pharmacological tools for manipulating FAAH- and NAE-mediated physiological processes in plants. PMID:28112243

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. A chemical genetic screen uncovers a small molecule enhancer of the N-acylethanolamine degrading enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase, in Arabidopsis

    DOE PAGES

    Khan, Bibi Rafeiza; Faure, Lionel; Chapman, Kent D.; ...

    2017-01-23

    N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs) are a group of fatty acid amides that play signaling roles in diverse physiological processes in eukaryotes. We used fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) degrades NAE into ethanolamine and free fatty acid to terminate its signaling function. In animals, chemical inhibitors of FAAH for therapeutic treatment of pain and as tools to probe deeper into biochemical properties of FAAH. In a chemical genetic screen for small molecules that dampened the inhibitory effect of N-lauroylethanolamine (NAE 12:0) on Arabidopsis thaliana seedling growth, we identified 6-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1,3-dimethyl-5-phenyl-1H-pyrrolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine-2,4(3 H,6 H)-dione (or MDPD). MDPD alleviated the growth inhibitory effects of NAE 12:0, inmore » part by enhancing the enzymatic activity of Arabidopsis FAAH (AtFAAH). In vitro, biochemical assays showed that MDPD enhanced the apparent Vmax of AtFAAH but did not alter the affinity of AtFAAH for its NAE substrates. Furthermore, structural analogs of MDPD did not affect AtFAAH activity or dampen the inhibitory effect of NAE 12:0 on seedling growth indicating that MDPD is a specific synthetic chemical activator of AtFAAH. Our study demonstrates the feasibility of using an unbiased chemical genetic approach to identify new pharmacological tools for manipulating FAAH- and NAE-mediated physiological processes in plants.« less

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Exploring biology with small organic molecules.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, Brent R

    2004-12-16

    Small organic molecules have proven to be invaluable tools for investigating biological systems, but there is still much to learn from their use. To discover and to use more effectively new chemical tools to understand biology, strategies are needed that allow us to systematically explore 'biological-activity space'. Such strategies involve analysing both protein binding of, and phenotypic responses to, small organic molecules. The mapping of biological-activity space using small molecules is akin to mapping the stars--uncharted territory is explored using a system of coordinates that describes where each new feature lies.

  7. Exploring biology with small organic molecules

    PubMed Central

    Stockwell, Brent R.

    2011-01-01

    Small organic molecules have proven to be invaluable tools for investigating biological systems, but there is still much to learn from their use. To discover and to use more effectively new chemical tools to understand biology, strategies are needed that allow us to systematically explore ‘biological-activity space’. Such strategies involve analysing both protein binding of, and phenotypic responses to, small organic molecules. The mapping of biological-activity space using small molecules is akin to mapping the stars — uncharted territory is explored using a system of coordinates that describes where each new feature lies. PMID:15602550

  8. Small-molecule delivery by nanoparticles for anticancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhuo (Georgia)

    2013-01-01

    Using nanoparticles for the delivery of small molecules in anticancer therapy is a rapidly growing area of research. The advantages of using nanoparticles for drug delivery include enhanced water solubility, tumor-specific accumulation and improved antitumor efficacy, while reducing nonspecific toxicity. Current research in this field focuses on understanding precisely how small molecules are released from nanoparticles and delivered to the targeted tumor tissues or cells, and how the unique biodistribution of the drug-carrying nanoparticles limits toxicity in major organs. Here, we discuss existing nanoparticles for the delivery of small-molecule anticancer agents and recent advances in this field. PMID:20846905

  9. A pAD1-Encoded Small RNA Molecule, mD, Negatively Regulates Enterococcus faecalis Pheromone Response by Enhancing Transcription Termination

    PubMed Central

    Tomita, Haruyoshi; Clewell, Don B.

    2000-01-01

    pAD1 is a 60-kb hemolysin-bacteriocin plasmid in Enterococcus faecalis that encodes a conjugative mating response to a peptide sex pheromone, cAD1, secreted by plasmid-free bacteria. The pheromone response is regulated by two proteins: TraE1, which positively regulates all or most conjugative structural genes, and TraA, which negatively regulates traE1. TraA binds to pAD1 DNA at the iad (encoding the inhibitor peptide iAD1) promoter but is released upon binding to imported pheromone. This leads to enhanced transcription through two closely spaced downstream terminators (t1 and t2) into traE1. TraE1 is believed to then upregulate itself from a site located within t2; thus, a small amount of transcription through t1-t2 could lead to overall induction. It is important therefore that the t1-t2 terminators be tightly controlled to keep the response shut down in the absence of pheromone. A small (200-nucleotide) RNA molecule designated mD is encoded just upstream of t1 by a determinant (traD) oriented in the direction opposite to that of transcripts utilizing t1. mD is expressed at high levels in the uninduced state, but it decreases significantly upon induction. Here we present results of genetic studies relating to the activity of t1-t2 and show that mD strongly enhances transcriptional termination at t1. The mD activity is shown to influence transcription well downstream and can affect the determinant for aggregation substance asa1. The phenomenon is specific in that there is no effect of mD on the unrelated pheromone-responding plasmids pPD1 and pCF10. PMID:10648533

  10. Small-Molecule Carbohydrate-Based Immunostimulants.

    PubMed

    Marzabadi, Cecilia H; Franck, Richard W

    2017-02-03

    In this review, we discuss small-molecule, carbohydrate-based immunostimulants that target Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) and cluster of differentiation 1D (CD1d) receptors. The design and use of these molecules in immunotherapy as well as results from their use in clinical trials are described. How these molecules work and their utilization as vaccine adjuvants are also discussed. Future applications and extensions for the use of these analogues as therapeutic agents will be outlined.

  11. Novel Small-Molecule Antibacterial Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-07-01

    of Papers published in peer-reviewed journals: Number of Papers published in non peer-reviewed journals: Novel Small-Molecule Antibacterial Agents...Release; Distribution Unlimited Novel Small-Molecule Antibacterial Agents The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of...half life of ~31 days. (a) Papers published in peer-reviewed journals (N/A for none) Enter List of papers submitted or published that acknowledge ARO

  12. Auxin biology revealed by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-05-01

    The plant hormone auxin regulates virtually every aspect of plant growth and development and unraveling its molecular and cellular modes of action is fundamental for plant biology research. Chemical genomics is the use of small molecules to modify protein functions. This approach currently rises as a powerful technology for basic research. Small compounds with auxin-like activities or affecting auxin-mediated biological processes have been widely used in auxin research. They can serve as a tool complementary to genetic and genomic methods, facilitating the identification of an array of components modulating auxin metabolism, transport and signaling. The employment of high-throughput screening technologies combined with informatics-based chemical design and organic chemical synthesis has since yielded many novel small molecules with more instantaneous, precise and specific functionalities. By applying those small molecules, novel molecular targets can be isolated to further understand and dissect auxin-related pathways and networks that otherwise are too complex to be elucidated only by gene-based methods. Here, we will review examples of recently characterized molecules used in auxin research, highlight the strategies of unraveling the mechanisms of these small molecules and discuss future perspectives of small molecule applications in auxin biology. © 2013 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.

  13. Biological signaling by small inorganic molecules.

    PubMed

    Basudhar, Debashree; Ridnour, Lisa A; Cheng, Robert; Kesarwala, Aparna H; Heinecke, Julie; Wink, David A

    2016-01-01

    Small redox active molecules such as reactive nitrogen and oxygen species and hydrogen sulfide have emerged as important biological mediators that are involved in various physiological and pathophysiological processes. Advancement in understanding of cellular mechanisms that tightly regulate both generation and reactivity of these molecules is central to improved management of various disease states including cancer and cardiovascular dysfunction. Imbalance in the production of redox active molecules can lead to damage of critical cellular components such as cell membranes, proteins and DNA and thus may trigger the onset of disease. These small inorganic molecules react independently as well as in a concerted manner to mediate physiological responses. This review provides a general overview of the redox biology of these key molecules, their diverse chemistry relevant to physiological processes and their interrelated nature in cellular signaling.

  14. Electronic Structure of Small Lanthanide Containing Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafader, Jared O.; Ray, Manisha; Topolski, Josey E.; Chick Jarrold, Caroline

    2016-06-01

    Lanthanide-based materials have unusual electronic properties because of the high number of electronic degrees of freedom arising from partial occupation of 4f orbitals, which make these materials optimal for their utilization in many applications including electronics and catalysis. Electronic spectroscopy of small lanthanide molecules helps us understand the role of these 4f electrons, which are generally considered core-like because of orbital contraction, but are energetically similar to valence electrons. The spectroscopy of small lanthanide-containing molecules is relatively unexplored and to broaden this understanding we have completed the characterization of small cerium, praseodymium, and europium molecules using photoelectron spectroscopy coupled with DFT calculations. The characterization of PrO, EuH, EuO/EuOH, and CexOy molecules have allowed for the determination of their electron affinity, the assignment of numerous anion to neutral state transitions, modeling of anion/neutral structures and electron orbital occupation.

  15. “RaMassays”: Synergistic Enhancement of Plasmon-Free Raman Scattering and Mass Spectrometry for Multimodal Analysis of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Alessandri, Ivano; Vassalini, Irene; Bertuzzi, Michela; Bontempi, Nicolò; Memo, Maurizio; Gianoncelli, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    SiO2/TiO2 core/shell (T-rex) beads were exploited as “all-in-one” building-block materials to create analytical assays that combine plasmon-free surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and surface assisted laser desorption/ionization (SALDI) mass spectrometry (RaMassays). Such a multi-modal approach relies on the unique optical properties of T-rex beads, which are able to harvest and manage light in both UV and Vis range, making ionization and Raman scattering more efficient. RaMassays were successfully applied to the detection of small (molecular weight, M.W. <400 Da) molecules with a key relevance in biochemistry and pharmaceutical analysis. Caffeine and cocaine were utilized as molecular probes to test the combined SERS/SALDI response of RaMassays, showing excellent sensitivity and reproducibility. The differentiation between amphetamine/ephedrine and theophylline/theobromine couples demonstrated the synergistic reciprocal reinforcement of SERS and SALDI. Finally, the conversion of L-tyrosine in L-DOPA was utilized to probe RaMassays as analytical tools for characterizing reaction intermediates without introducing any spurious effects. RaMassays exhibit important advantages over plasmonic nanoparticles in terms of reproducibility, absence of interference and potential integration in multiplexed devices. PMID:27698368

  16. “RaMassays”: Synergistic Enhancement of Plasmon-Free Raman Scattering and Mass Spectrometry for Multimodal Analysis of Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alessandri, Ivano; Vassalini, Irene; Bertuzzi, Michela; Bontempi, Nicolò; Memo, Maurizio; Gianoncelli, Alessandra

    2016-10-01

    SiO2/TiO2 core/shell (T-rex) beads were exploited as “all-in-one” building-block materials to create analytical assays that combine plasmon-free surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and surface assisted laser desorption/ionization (SALDI) mass spectrometry (RaMassays). Such a multi-modal approach relies on the unique optical properties of T-rex beads, which are able to harvest and manage light in both UV and Vis range, making ionization and Raman scattering more efficient. RaMassays were successfully applied to the detection of small (molecular weight, M.W. <400 Da) molecules with a key relevance in biochemistry and pharmaceutical analysis. Caffeine and cocaine were utilized as molecular probes to test the combined SERS/SALDI response of RaMassays, showing excellent sensitivity and reproducibility. The differentiation between amphetamine/ephedrine and theophylline/theobromine couples demonstrated the synergistic reciprocal reinforcement of SERS and SALDI. Finally, the conversion of L-tyrosine in L-DOPA was utilized to probe RaMassays as analytical tools for characterizing reaction intermediates without introducing any spurious effects. RaMassays exhibit important advantages over plasmonic nanoparticles in terms of reproducibility, absence of interference and potential integration in multiplexed devices.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Chapter 3: Small Molecules and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wishart, David S.

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Small molecule inhibitors of ebola virus infection.

    PubMed

    Picazo, Edwige; Giordanetto, Fabrizio

    2015-02-01

    Ebola viruses are extremely virulent and highly transmissible. They are responsible for sporadic outbreaks of severe hemorrhagic fevers with human mortality rates of up to 90%. No prophylactic or therapeutic treatments in the form of vaccine, biologicals or small molecule, currently exist. Yet, a wealth of antiviral research on ebola virus is being generated and potential inhibitors have been identified in biological screening and medicinal chemistry programs. Here, we detail the state-of-the-art in small molecule inhibitors of ebola virus infection, with >60 examples, including approved drugs, compounds currently in clinical trials, and more exploratory leads, and summarize the associated in vitro and in vivo evidence for their effectiveness.

  20. Small molecule modifiers of circadian clocks.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zheng; Yoo, Seung-Hee; Takahashi, Joseph S

    2013-08-01

    Circadian clocks orchestrate 24-h oscillations of essential physiological and behavioral processes in response to daily environmental changes. These clocks are remarkably precise under constant conditions yet highly responsive to resetting signals. With the molecular composition of the core oscillator largely established, recent research has increasingly focused on clock-modifying mechanisms/molecules. In particular, small molecule modifiers, intrinsic or extrinsic, are emerging as powerful tools for understanding basic clock biology as well as developing putative therapeutic agents for clock-associated diseases. In this review, we will focus on synthetic compounds capable of modifying the period, phase, or amplitude of circadian clocks, with particular emphasis on the mammalian clock. We will discuss the potential of exploiting these small molecule modifiers in both basic and translational research.

  1. Small molecule control of bacterial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Worthington, Roberta J.; Richards, Justin J.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Uranium-mediated activation of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Polly L

    2011-08-28

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

  3. Combination small molecule MEK and PI3K inhibition enhances uveal melanoma cell death in a mutant GNAQ- and GNA11-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Khalili, Jahan S; Yu, Xiaoxing; Wang, Ji; Hayes, Brendan C; Davies, Michael A; Lizee, Gregory; Esmaeli, Bita; Woodman, Scott E

    2012-08-15

    Activating Q209L/P mutations in GNAQ or GNA11 (GNAQ/11) are present in approximately 80% of uveal melanomas. Mutant GNAQ/11 are not currently therapeutically targetable. Inhibiting key down-stream effectors of GNAQ/11 represents a rational therapeutic approach for uveal melanomas that harbor these mutations. The mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK/MAPK) and PI3K/AKT pathways are activated in uveal melanoma. In this study, we test the effect of the clinically relevant small molecule inhibitors GSK1120212 (MEK inhibitor) and GSK2126458 (pan class I PI3K inhibitor) on uveal melanoma cells with different GNAQ/11 mutation backgrounds. We use the largest set of genetically annotated uveal melanoma cell lines to date to carry out in vitro cellular signaling, cell-cycle regulation, growth, and apoptosis analyses. RNA interference and small molecule MEK and/or PI3K inhibitor treatment were used to determine the dependency of uveal melanoma cells with different GNAQ/11 mutation backgrounds on MEK/MAPK and/or PI3K/AKT signaling. Proteomic network analysis was done to unveil signaling alterations in response to MEK and/or PI3K small molecule inhibition. GNAQ/11 mutation status was not a determinant of whether cells would undergo cell-cycle arrest or growth inhibition to MEK and/or phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibition. A reverse correlation was observed between MAPK and AKT phosphorylation after MEK or PI3K inhibition, respectively. Neither MEK nor PI3K inhibition alone was sufficient to induce apoptosis in the majority of cell lines; however, the combination of MEK + PI3K inhibitor treatment resulted in the marked induction of apoptosis in a GNAQ/11 mutant-dependent manner. MEK + PI3K inhibition may be an effective combination therapy in uveal melanoma, given the inherent reciprocal activation of these pathways within these cells.

  4. Combination Small Molecule MEK and PI3K Inhibition Enhances Uveal Melanoma Cell Death in a Mutant GNAQ and GNA11 Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Khalili, Jahan S.; Yu, Xiaoxing; Wang, Ji; Hayes, Brendan C.; Davies, Michael A.; Lizee, Gregory; Esmaeli, Bita; Woodman, Scott E.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Activating Q209L/P mutations in GNAQ or GNA11 (GNAQ/11) are present in ∼ 80% of uveal melanomas (UM). Mutant GNAQ/11 are not currently therapeutically targetable. Inhibiting key downstream effectors of GNAQ/11 represents a rational therapeutic approach for UMs that harbor these mutations. The MEK/MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways are activated in UM. In this study, we test the effect of the clinically relevant small molecule inhibitors GSK1120212 (MEK inhibitor) and GSK2126458 (pan class I PI3K inhibitor) on UM cells with different GNAQ/11 mutation backgrounds. Experimental Design We use the largest set of genetically annotated uveal melanoma cell lines to-date to perform in vitro cellular signaling, cell cycle regulation, growth and apoptosis analyses. RNA interference and small molecule MEK and/or PI3K inhibitor treatment were employed to determine the dependency of uveal melanoma cells with different GNAQ/11 mutation backgrounds on MEK/MAPK and/or PI3K/AKT signaling. Proteomic network analysis was performed to unveil signaling alterations in response to MEK and/or PI3K small molecule inhibition. Results GNAQ/11 mutation status was not a determinant of whether cells would undergo cell cycle arrest or growth inhibition to MEK and/or PI3K inhibition. A reverse correlation was observed between MAPK and AKT phosphorylation after MEK or PI3K inhibition, respectively. Neither MEK nor PI3K inhibition alone was sufficient to induce apoptosis in the majority of cell lines; however, the combination of MEK + PI3K inhibitor treatment resulted in the marked induction of apoptosis in a GNAQ/11 mutant-dependent manner. Conclusions MEK + PI3K inhibition may be an effective combination therapy in uveal melanoma given the inherent reciprocal activation of these pathways within these cells. PMID:22733540

  5. Small Molecule Inhibition of RISC Loading

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Argonaute proteins are the core components of the microRNP/RISC. The biogenesis and function of microRNAs and endo- and exo- siRNAs are regulated by Ago2, an Argonaute protein with RNA binding and nuclease activities. Currently, there are no in vitro assays suitable for large-scale screening of microRNP/RISC loading modulators. We describe a novel in vitro assay that is based on fluorescence polarization of TAMRA-labeled RNAs loaded to human Ago2. Using this assay, we identified potent small-molecule inhibitors of RISC loading, including aurintricarboxylic acid (IC50 = 0.47 μM), suramin (IC50 = 0.69 μM), and oxidopamine HCL (IC50 = 1.61 μM). Small molecules identified by this biochemical screening assay also inhibited siRNA loading to endogenous Ago2 in cultured cells. PMID:22026461

  6. Computational mass spectrometry for small molecules

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Computational mass spectrometry for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Scheubert, Kerstin; Hufsky, Franziska; Böcker, Sebastian

    2013-03-01

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

  8. Targeted Protein Degradation by Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Bondeson, Daniel P; Crews, Craig M

    2017-01-06

    Protein homeostasis networks are highly regulated systems responsible for maintaining the health and productivity of cells. Whereas therapeutics have been developed to disrupt protein homeostasis, more recently identified techniques have been used to repurpose homeostatic networks to effect degradation of disease-relevant proteins. Here, we review recent advances in the use of small molecules to degrade proteins in a selective manner. First, we highlight all-small-molecule techniques with direct clinical application. Second, we describe techniques that may find broader acceptance in the biomedical research community that require little or no synthetic chemistry. In addition to serving as innovative research tools, these new approaches to control intracellular protein levels offer the potential to develop novel therapeutics targeting proteins that are not currently pharmaceutically vulnerable.

  9. Small-molecule control of protein function through Staudinger reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Ji; Liu, Qingyang; Morihiro, Kunihiko; Deiters, Alexander

    2016-11-01

    Using small molecules to control the function of proteins in live cells with complete specificity is highly desirable, but challenging. Here we report a small-molecule switch that can be used to control protein activity. The approach uses a phosphine-mediated Staudinger reduction to activate protein function. Genetic encoding of an ortho-azidobenzyloxycarbonyl amino acid using a pyrrolysyl transfer RNA synthetase/tRNACUA pair in mammalian cells enables the site-specific introduction of a small-molecule-removable protecting group into the protein of interest. Strategic placement of this group renders the protein inactive until deprotection through a bioorthogonal Staudinger reduction delivers the active wild-type protein. This developed methodology was applied to the conditional control of several cellular processes, including bioluminescence (luciferase), fluorescence (enhanced green fluorescent protein), protein translocation (nuclear localization sequence), DNA recombination (Cre) and gene editing (Cas9).

  10. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) imaging of alkyne-tagged small molecule drug in live cells with endocytosed gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ando, Jun; Sekiya, Takumasa; Ka, Den; Yamakoshi, Hiroyuki; Dodo, Kosuke; Sodeoka, Mikiko; Kawata, Satoshi; Fujita, Katsumasa

    2017-02-01

    We propose the combination of alkyne-tag and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy to perform highly-sensitive and selective drug imaging in live cells. Gold nanoparticles are introduced in lysosomes through endocytosis as SERS agents, and the alkyne-tagged drugs are subsequently administered in cells. Raman microscopic observation reveals the arrival of drug in lysosome through enhanced Raman signal of alkyne. Since the peak of alkyne appears in Raman-silent region of biomolecules, selective detection of drugs is possible without background signal of endogenous molecules. From endocytosed gold nanoparticles in living HeLa cells, we observed distinct Raman signal from alkyne-tagged inhibitor of lysosomal enzyme.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    RhoA, a member of the Rho GTPases, is involved in a variety of cellular functions and could be a suitable therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. However, few small-molecule RhoA inhibitors have been reported. Based on our previously reported lead compounds, 32 new 2-substituted quinoline (or quinoxaline) derivatives were synthesized and tested in biological assays. Six compounds showed high RhoA inhibitory activities, with IC50 values of 1.17-1.84 μM. Among these, (E)-3-(3-(ethyl(quinolin-2-yl)amino)phenyl)acrylic acid (26 b) and (E)-3-(3-(butyl(quinolin-2-yl)amino)phenyl)acrylic acid (26 d) demonstrated noticeable vasorelaxation effects against phenylephrine-induced contraction in thoracic aorta artery rings, and compound 26 b had good water solubility and showed significant in vivo efficacy, which was similar to that of 5-(1,4-diazepane-1-sulfonyl)isoquinoline (fasudil) in a subarachnoid hemorrhage-cardiovascular model. To the best of our knowledge, compound 26 b is the first example of a small- molecule RhoA inhibitor with potent in vivo efficacy, which could serve as a good lead for designing cardiovascular agents. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    PubMed

    Feltes, Bruno César; Bonatto, Diego

    2013-11-01

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

  13. Evaluating enzymatic synthesis of small molecule drugs.

    PubMed

    Moura, Matthew; Finkle, Justin; Stainbrook, Sarah; Greene, Jennifer; Broadbelt, Linda J; Tyo, Keith E J

    2016-01-01

    There have been many achievements in applying biochemical synthetic routes to the synthesis of commodity chemicals. However, most of these endeavors have focused on optimizing and increasing the yields of naturally existing pathways. We sought to evaluate the potential for biosynthesis beyond the limits of known biochemistry towards the production of small molecule drugs that do not exist in nature. Because of the potential for improved yields compared to total synthesis, and therefore lower manufacturing costs, we focused on drugs for diseases endemic to many resource poor regions, like tuberculosis and HIV. Using generalized biochemical reaction rules, we were able to design biochemical pathways for the production of eight small molecule drugs or drug precursors and identify potential enzyme-substrate pairs for nearly every predicted reaction. All pathways begin from native metabolites, abrogating the need for specialized precursors. The simulated pathways showed several trends with the sequential ordering of reactions as well as the types of chemistries used. For some compounds, the main obstacles to finding feasible biochemical pathways were the lack of appropriate, natural starting compounds and a low diversity of biochemical coupling reactions necessary to synthesize molecules with larger molecular size. Copyright © 2015 International Metabolic Engineering Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Designing a small molecule erythropoietin mimetic.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Frank

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  16. Carbon nanotubes for delivery of small molecule drugs.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. Enhancing Drug Efficacy and Therapeutic Index through Cheminformatics-Based Selection of Small Molecule Binary Weapons That Improve Transporter-Mediated Targeting: A Cytotoxicity System Based on Gemcitabine

    PubMed Central

    Grixti, Justine M.; O'Hagan, Steve; Day, Philip J.; Kell, Douglas B.

    2017-01-01

    The transport of drug molecules is mainly determined by the distribution of influx and efflux transporters for which they are substrates. To enable tissue targeting, we sought to develop the idea that we might affect the transporter-mediated disposition of small-molecule drugs via the addition of a second small molecule that of itself had no inhibitory pharmacological effect but that influenced the expression of transporters for the primary drug. We refer to this as a “binary weapon” strategy. The experimental system tested the ability of a molecule that on its own had no cytotoxic effect to increase the toxicity of the nucleoside analog gemcitabine to Panc1 pancreatic cancer cells. An initial phenotypic screen of a 500-member polar drug (fragment) library yielded three “hits.” The structures of 20 of the other 2,000 members of this library suite had a Tanimoto similarity greater than 0.7 to those of the initial hits, and each was itself a hit (the cheminformatics thus providing for a massive enrichment). We chose the top six representatives for further study. They fell into three clusters whose members bore reasonable structural similarities to each other (two were in fact isomers), lending strength to the self-consistency of both our conceptual and experimental strategies. Existing literature had suggested that indole-3-carbinol might play a similar role to that of our fragments, but in our hands it was without effect; nor was it structurally similar to any of our hits. As there was no evidence that the fragments could affect toxicity directly, we looked for effects on transporter transcript levels. In our hands, only the ENT1-3 uptake and ABCC2,3,4,5, and 10 efflux transporters displayed measurable transcripts in Panc1 cultures, along with a ribonucleoside reductase RRM1 known to affect gemcitabine toxicity. Very strikingly, the addition of gemcitabine alone increased the expression of the transcript for ABCC2 (MRP2) by more than 12-fold, and that of RRM

  18. Physiological roles of small RNA molecules.

    PubMed

    Michaux, Charlotte; Verneuil, Nicolas; Hartke, Axel; Giard, Jean-Christophe

    2014-06-01

    Unlike proteins, RNA molecules have emerged lately as key players in regulation in bacteria. Most reviews hitherto focused on the experimental and/or in silico methods used to identify genes encoding small RNAs (sRNAs) or on the diverse mechanisms of these RNA regulators to modulate expression of their targets. However, less is known about their biological functions and their implications in various physiological responses. This review aims to compile what is known presently about the diverse roles of sRNA transcripts in the regulation of metabolic processes, in different growth conditions, in adaptation to stress and in microbial pathogenesis. Several recent studies revealed that sRNA molecules are implicated in carbon metabolism and transport, amino acid metabolism or metal sensing. Moreover, regulatory RNAs participate in cellular adaptation to environmental changes, e.g. through quorum sensing systems or development of biofilms, and analyses of several sRNAs under various physiological stresses and culture conditions have already been performed. In addition, recent experiments performed with Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens showed that regulatory RNAs play important roles in microbial virulence and during infection. The combined results show the diversity of regulation mechanisms and physiological processes in which sRNA molecules are key actors.

  19. Subdiffusion in Membrane Permeation of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Chipot, Christophe; Comer, Jeffrey

    2016-01-01

    Within the solubility–diffusion model of passive membrane permeation of small molecules, translocation of the permeant across the biological membrane is traditionally assumed to obey the Smoluchowski diffusion equation, which is germane for classical diffusion on an inhomogeneous free-energy and diffusivity landscape. This equation, however, cannot accommodate subdiffusive regimes, which have long been recognized in lipid bilayer dynamics, notably in the lateral diffusion of individual lipids. Through extensive biased and unbiased molecular dynamics simulations, we show that one-dimensional translocation of methanol across a pure lipid membrane remains subdiffusive on timescales approaching typical permeation times. Analysis of permeant motion within the lipid bilayer reveals that, in the absence of a net force, the mean squared displacement depends on time as t0.7, in stark contrast with the conventional model, which assumes a strictly linear dependence. We further show that an alternate model using a fractional-derivative generalization of the Smoluchowski equation provides a rigorous framework for describing the motion of the permeant molecule on the pico- to nanosecond timescale. The observed subdiffusive behavior appears to emerge from a crossover between small-scale rattling of the permeant around its present position in the membrane and larger-scale displacements precipitated by the formation of transient voids. PMID:27805049

  20. Small molecule phagocytosis inhibitors for immune cytopenias.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  1. Subdiffusion in Membrane Permeation of Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Chipot, Christophe; Comer, Jeffrey

    2016-11-02

    Within the solubility-diffusion model of passive membrane permeation of small molecules, translocation of the permeant across the biological membrane is traditionally assumed to obey the Smoluchowski diffusion equation, which is germane for classical diffusion on an inhomogeneous free-energy and diffusivity landscape. This equation, however, cannot accommodate subdiffusive regimes, which have long been recognized in lipid bilayer dynamics, notably in the lateral diffusion of individual lipids. Through extensive biased and unbiased molecular dynamics simulations, we show that one-dimensional translocation of methanol across a pure lipid membrane remains subdiffusive on timescales approaching typical permeation times. Analysis of permeant motion within the lipid bilayer reveals that, in the absence of a net force, the mean squared displacement depends on time as t(0.7), in stark contrast with the conventional model, which assumes a strictly linear dependence. We further show that an alternate model using a fractional-derivative generalization of the Smoluchowski equation provides a rigorous framework for describing the motion of the permeant molecule on the pico- to nanosecond timescale. The observed subdiffusive behavior appears to emerge from a crossover between small-scale rattling of the permeant around its present position in the membrane and larger-scale displacements precipitated by the formation of transient voids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yanting

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

  4. The small-molecule TNF-alpha modulator, UTL-5g, reduces side effects induced by cisplatin and enhances the therapeutic effect of cisplatin in vivo.

    PubMed

    Shaw, JiaJiu; Chen, Ben; Huang, Wen-Hsin; Lee, An-Rong; Media, Joseph; Valeriote, Frederick A

    2011-01-01

    We investigated a small-molecule modulator of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), UTL-5g (also referred to as GBL-5g), as a potential chemoprotective agent against cisplatin-induced side effects including nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity and hematotoxicity. Pretreatment of UTL-5g i.p. in BDF1 mice reduced the levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine induced by cisplatin treatment. The levels of both aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) in these animals were also reduced by UTL-5g. Pretreatment of UTL-5g did not significantly affect the number of white blood cells (WBC) under current experimental conditions, yet it markedly increased blood platelet counts by more than threefold. Therapeutic assessment in SCID mice inoculated with human HCT-15 tumor cells showed that UTL-5g did not attenuate the anti-tumor effect of cisplatin but increased the therapeutic efficacy of cisplatin. The LD50 of UTL-5g was determined to be > 2,000 mg/kg by an acute toxicity study. In summary, our studies showed that 1) UTL-5g significantly reduces nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity induced by cisplatin in mice, presumably by lowering the levels of TNF-alpha, 2) UTL-5g markedly increased blood platelet counts in mice and 3) UTL-5g treatment increased the therapeutic efficacy of cisplatin against HCT-15 cells inoculated in SCID mice.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-02

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

  6. Recent advances in developing small molecules targeting RNA.

    PubMed

    Guan, Lirui; Disney, Matthew D

    2012-01-20

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

  7. Small molecules that target protein misfolding.

    PubMed

    Gavrin, Lori Krim; Denny, Rajiah Aldrin; Saiah, Eddine

    2012-12-27

    Protein misfolding is a process in which proteins are unable to attain or maintain their biologically active conformation. Factors contributing to protein misfolding include missense mutations and intracellular factors such as pH changes, oxidative stress, or metal ions. Protein misfolding is linked to a large number of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and less familiar diseases such as Gaucher's disease, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In this Perspective, we report on small molecules that bind to and stabilize the aberrant protein, thereby helping it to attain a native or near-native conformation and restoring its function. The following targets will be specifically discussed: transthyretin, p53, superoxide dismutase 1, lysozyme, serum amyloid A, prions, vasopressin receptor 2, and α-1-antitrypsin.

  8. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Urea Transporters

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Small molecule regulators of protein arginine methyltransferases.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Donghang; Yadav, Neelu; King, Randall W; Swanson, Maurice S; Weinstein, Edward J; Bedford, Mark T

    2004-06-04

    Here we report the identification of small molecules that specifically inhibit protein arginine N-methyltransferase (PRMT) activity. PRMTs are a family of proteins that either monomethylate or dimethylate the guanidino nitrogen atoms of arginine side chains. This common post-translational modification is implicated in protein trafficking, signal transduction, and transcriptional regulation. Most methyltransferases use the methyl donor, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet), as a cofactor. Current methyltransferase inhibitors display limited specificity, indiscriminately targeting all enzymes that use AdoMet. In this screen we have identified a primary compound, AMI-1, that specifically inhibits arginine, but not lysine, methyltransferase activity in vitro and does not compete for the AdoMet binding site. Furthermore, AMI-1 prevents in vivo arginine methylation of cellular proteins and can modulate nuclear receptor-regulated transcription from estrogen and androgen response elements, thus operating as a brake on certain hormone actions.

  10. Small Molecule Docking from Theoretical Structural Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

    Guan, Lirui; Disney, Matthew D

    2013-09-16

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

  12. Small molecules as activators in medicinal chemistry (2000-2016).

    PubMed

    Hameed, Abdul; Al-Rashida, Mariya; Alharthy, Rima D; Uroos, Maliha; Mughal, Ehsan Ullah; Ali, Syed Abid; Khan, Khalid Mohammed

    2017-10-01

    From therapeutic point of view, it is often beneficial to enhance the expression of certain enzymes whose low expression is responsible for the observed ailment. Small molecules as activators of several enzymes have great biological potential as anti-microbial and anti-cancer agents, for the treatment of diabetes, obesity, metabolic disorders, and for the treatment of neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease. This review covers patents describing small molecules as activators, and provides structural leads for the design of even more potent activators. Area covered: This review is focused on small molecules that have been explored as activators of enzymes in the last and current decade (2000-2016). Expert opinion: The ability to modulate activity of enzymes has long been a quest of medicinal chemistry. This has been the impetus behind the development of a plethora of drugs as enzyme inhibitors. However only a few enzyme activators as drugs have made it to the market. Disorders characterized by supressed enzyme activity can be treated by enhancing the activity of a specific enzyme.

  13. Captides: rigid junctions between beta sheets and small molecules.

    PubMed

    Kier, Brandon L; Andersen, Niels H

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kier, Brandon L.; Andersen, Niels H.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Proteins and Small Molecules for Cellular Regenerative Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Green, Eric M.

    2013-01-01

    Regenerative medicine seeks to understand tissue development and homeostasis and build on that knowledge to enhance regeneration of injured tissues. By replenishing lost functional tissues and cells, regenerative medicine could change the treatment paradigm for a broad range of degenerative and ischemic diseases. Multipotent cells hold promise as potential building blocks for regenerating lost tissues, but successful tissue regeneration will depend on comprehensive control of multipotent cells–differentiation into a target cell type, delivery to a desired tissue, and integration into a durable functional structure. At each step of this process, proteins and small molecules provide essential signals and, in some cases, may themselves act as effective therapies. Identifying these signals is thus a fundamental goal of regenerative medicine. In this review we discuss current progress using proteins and small molecules to regulate tissue regeneration, both in combination with cellular therapies and as monotherapy. PMID:23303911

  16. Enhancement of charge transport properties of small molecule semiconductors by controlling fluorine substitution and effects on photovoltaic properties of organic solar cells and perovskite solar cells.

    PubMed

    Yun, Jae Hoon; Park, Sungmin; Heo, Jin Hyuck; Lee, Hyo-Sang; Yoon, Seongwon; Kang, Jinback; Im, Sang Hyuk; Kim, Hyunjung; Lee, Wonmok; Kim, BongSoo; Ko, Min Jae; Chung, Dae Sung; Son, Hae Jung

    2016-11-01

    We prepared a series of small molecules based on 7,7'-(4,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)-4H-silolo[3,2-b:4,5-b']dithiophene-2,6-diyl)bis(4-(5'-hexyl-[2,2'-bithiophene]-5-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole) with different fluorine substitution patterns (0F-4F). Depending on symmetricity and numbers of fluorine atoms incorporated in the benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole unit, they show very different optical and morphological properties in a film. 2F and 4F, which featured symmetric and even-numbered fluorine substitution patterns, display improved molecular packing structures and higher crystalline properties in a film compared with 1F and 3F and thus, 2F achieved the highest OTFT mobility, which is followed by 4F. In the bulk heterojunction solar cell fabricated with PC71BM, 2F achieves the highest photovoltaic performance with an 8.14% efficiency and 0F shows the lowest efficiency of 1.28%. Moreover, the planar-type perovskite solar cell (PSC) prepared with 2F as a dopant-free hole transport material shows a high power conversion efficiency of 14.5% due to its high charge transporting properties, which were significantly improved compared with the corresponding PSC device obtained from 0F (8.5%). From the studies, it is demonstrated that low variation in the local dipole moment and the narrow distribution of 2F conformers make intermolecular interactions favorable, which may effectively drive crystal formations in the solid state and thus, higher charge transport properties compared with 1F and 3F.

  17. Magnetic nanoparticle enhanced surface plasmon resonance sensing and its application for the ultrasensitive detection of magnetic nanoparticle-enriched small molecules.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianlong; Munir, Ahsan; Zhu, Zanzan; Zhou, H Susan

    2010-08-15

    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been frequently used in bioseparation, but their applicability in bioassays is limited due to their extremely small size so that sensitive detection is difficult to achieve using a general technique. Here, we present an amplification technique using MNPs for an enhanced surface plasmon resonance (SPR) bioassay. The amplification effect of carboxyl group modified Fe(3)O(4) MNPs of two sizes on SPR spectroscopy is first demonstrated by assembling MNPs on amino group modified SPR gold substrate. To further evaluate the feasibility of the use of Fe(3)O(4) MNPs in enhancing a SPR bioassay, a novel SPR sensor based on an indirect competitive inhibition assay (ICIA) is developed for detecting adenosine by employing Fe(3)O(4) MNP-antiadenosine aptamer conjugates as the amplification reagent. The results confirm that Fe(3)O(4) MNPs can be used as a powerful amplification agent to provide a sensitive approach to detect adenosine by SPR within the range of 10-10,000 nM, which is much superior to the detection result obtained by a general SPR sensor. Importantly, the present detection methodology could be easily extended to detect other biomolecules of interest by changing the corresponding aptamer in Fe(3)O(4) MNP-aptamer conjugates. This novel technique not only explores the possibility of the use of SPR spectroscopy in a highly sensitive detection of an MNP-based separation product but also offers a new direction in the use of Fe(3)O(4) MNPs as an amplification agent to design high performance SPR biosensors.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Small Molecule Inhibitor of AICAR Transformylase Homodimerization

    PubMed Central

    Spurr, Ian B.; Birts, Charles N.; Cuda, Francesco; Benkovic, Stephen J; Blaydes, Jeremy P.; Tavassoli, Ali

    2012-01-01

    Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide transformylase/inosine monophosphate cyclohydrolase (ATIC) is a bifunctional homodimeric enzyme that catalyses the last two steps of de novo purine biosynthesis. Homodimerization of ATIC, a protein-protein interaction with an interface of over 5000 Å2, is required for its aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) transformylase activity, with the active sites forming at the interface of the interacting proteins. Here, we report the development of a small-molecule inhibitor of AICAR transformylase that functions by preventing the homodimerization of ATIC. The compound is derived from a previously reported cyclic hexa-peptide inhibitor of AICAR transformylase (with a Ki of 17 μM), identified by high-throughput screening. The active motif of the cyclic peptide is identified as an arginine-tyrosine dipeptide, a capped analogue of which inhibits AICAR transformylase with a Ki of 84 μM. A library of non-natural analogues of this dipeptide was designed, synthesized, and assayed. The most potent compound inhibits AICAR transformylase with a Ki of 685 nM, a 25-fold improvement in activity from the parent cyclic peptide. The potential for this AICAR transformylase inhibitor in cancer therapy is assessed by studying its effect on the proliferation of a model breast cancer cell line. Using a non-radioactive proliferation assay and live cell imaging, a dose-dependent reduction in cell numbers and cell division rates was observed in cells treated with our ATIC dimerization inhibitor. PMID:22764122

  20. Database of small molecule thermochemistry for combustion.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-13

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

  1. Inverted, semitransparent small molecule photovoltaic cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Xin; Lee, Kyusang; Forrest, Stephen R.

    2015-07-01

    We demonstrate semitransparent small molecule organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells based on inverted mixed and hybrid planar-mixed heterojunction (PM-HJ) structures comprised of a neat acceptor layer located beneath the donor/acceptor mixed region. The fill factor increases from 0.53 ± 0.01 for the mixed HJ to 0.58 ± 0.01 for the PM-HJ due to reduced series resistance, whereas the internal quantum efficiency increases from an average of 75% to 85% between the wavelengths of λ = 450 nm and 550 nm. The inverted, semitransparent PM-HJ cell achieves a power conversion efficiency of PCE = 3.9% ± 0.2% under simulated AM1.5G illumination at one sun intensity with an average optical transmission of T ¯ = 51% ± 2% across the visible spectrum, corresponding to > 10% improvement compared with the mixed HJ cell. We also demonstrate an inverted semitransparent tandem cell incorporating two PM-HJ sub-cells with different absorption spectra. The tandem cell achieves a PCE = 5.3% ± 0.3% under simulated AM1.5G at one sun intensity with T ¯ = 31% ± 1% across the visible. Almost identical efficiencies are obtained for tandem cells illuminated via either the cathode or anode surfaces.

  2. Small-molecule AT2 receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Hallberg, Mathias; Sumners, Colin; Steckelings, U Muscha; Hallberg, Anders

    2017-06-13

    The discovery of the first selective, small-molecule ATR receptor (AT2R) agonist compound 21 (C21) (8) that is now extensively studied in a large variety of in vitro and in vivo models is described. The sulfonylcarbamate derivative 8, encompassing a phenylthiofen scaffold is the drug-like agonist with the highest affinity for the AT2R reported to date (Ki = 0.4 nM). Structure-activity relationships (SAR), regarding different biaryl scaffolds and functional groups attached to these scaffolds and with a particular focus on the impact of various para substituents displacing the methylene imidazole group of 8, are discussed. Furthermore, the consequences of migration of the methylene imidazole group and presumed structural requirements for ligands that are aimed as AT2R agonists (e.g. 8) or AT2R antagonists (e.g. 9), respectively, are briefly addressed. A summary of the pharmacological actions of C21 (8) is also presented. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Finding small molecules for the ‘next Ebola’

    PubMed Central

    Ekins, Sean; Southan, Christopher; Coffee, Megan

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Facilities for small-molecule crystallography at synchrotron sources.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Sarah A; Nowell, Harriott; Warren, Mark R; Wilcox, Andrian; Allan, David R

    2016-01-01

    Although macromolecular crystallography is a widely supported technique at synchrotron radiation facilities throughout the world, there are, in comparison, only very few beamlines dedicated to small-molecule crystallography. This limited provision is despite the increasing demand for beamtime from the chemical crystallography community and the ever greater overlap between systems that can be classed as either small macromolecules or large small molecules. In this article, a very brief overview of beamlines that support small-molecule single-crystal diffraction techniques will be given along with a more detailed description of beamline I19, a dedicated facility for small-molecule crystallography at Diamond Light Source.

  5. Small Molecule Chemical Probes of MicroRNA Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Small molecule chemical probes of microRNA function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  7. TSH Receptor Signaling Abrogation by a Novel Small Molecule

    PubMed Central

    Latif, Rauf; Realubit, Ronald B.; Karan, Charles; Mezei, Mihaly; Davies, Terry F.

    2016-01-01

    Pathological activation of the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) is caused by thyroid-stimulating antibodies in patients with Graves’ disease (GD) or by somatic and rare genomic mutations that enhance constitutive activation of the receptor influencing both G protein and non-G protein signaling. Potential selective small molecule antagonists represent novel therapeutic compounds for abrogation of such abnormal TSHR signaling. In this study, we describe the identification and in vitro characterization of a novel small molecule antagonist by high-throughput screening (HTS). The identification of the TSHR antagonist was performed using a transcription-based TSH-inhibition bioassay. TSHR-expressing CHO cells, which also expressed a luciferase-tagged CRE response element, were optimized using bovine TSH as the activator, in a 384 well plate format, which had a Z score of 0.3–0.6. Using this HTS assay, we screened a diverse library of ~80,000 compounds at a final concentration of 16.7 μM. The selection criteria for a positive hit were based on a mean signal threshold of ≥50% inhibition of control TSH stimulation. The screening resulted in 450 positive hits giving a hit ratio of 0.56%. A secondary confirmation screen against TSH and forskolin – a post receptor activator of adenylyl cyclase – confirmed one TSHR-specific candidate antagonist molecule (named VA-K-14). This lead molecule had an IC50 of 12.3 μM and a unique chemical structure. A parallel analysis for cell viability indicated that the lead inhibitor was non-cytotoxic at its effective concentrations. In silico docking studies performed using a TSHR transmembrane model showed the hydrophobic contact locations and the possible mode of inhibition of TSHR signaling. Furthermore, this molecule was capable of inhibiting TSHR stimulation by GD patient sera and monoclonal-stimulating TSHR antibodies. In conclusion, we report the identification of a novel small molecule TSHR inhibitor, which has

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-10

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

  10. [Application of small molecule compounds inducing differentiation of stem cells].

    PubMed

    Li, Xia; Shan, Lei; Li, Wen-lin; Zhang, Shou-de; Zhang, Wei-dong

    2011-02-01

    With the development of stem cells and regenerative medicine (treatment of various diseases using stem cells) research, the induction of differentiation of human stem cell technology has also made significant progress. The development of chemical biology offers a variety of small biological molecules for stem cell biology. This review focuses on how small molecule compounds (natural and synthetic) induce differentiation of stem cells.

  11. Bioinspired assembly of small molecules in cell milieu.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huaimin; Feng, Zhaoqianqi; Xu, Bing

    2017-03-30

    Self-assembly, the autonomous organization of components to form patterns or structures, is a prevalent process in nature at all scales. Particularly, biological systems offer remarkable examples of diverse structures (as well as building blocks) and processes resulting from self-assembly. The exploration of bioinspired assemblies not only allows for mimicking the structures of living systems, but it also leads to functions for applications in different fields that benefit humans. In the last several decades, efforts on understanding and controlling self-assembly of small molecules have produced a large library of candidates for developing the biomedical applications of assemblies of small molecules. Moreover, recent findings in biology have provided new insights on the assemblies of small molecules to modulate essential cellular processes (such as apoptosis). These observations indicate that the self-assembly of small molecules, as multifaceted entities and processes to interact with multiple proteins, can have profound biological impacts on cells. In this review, we illustrate that the generation of assemblies of small molecules in cell milieu with their interactions with multiple cellular proteins for regulating cellular processes can result in primary phenotypes, thus providing a fundamentally new molecular approach for controlling cell behavior. By discussing the correlation between molecular assemblies in nature and the assemblies of small molecules in cell milieu, illustrating the functions of the assemblies of small molecules, and summarizing some guiding principles, we hope this review will stimulate more molecular scientists to explore the bioinspired self-assembly of small molecules in cell milieu.

  12. Bacterial toxins and small molecules elucidate endosomal trafficking.

    PubMed

    Slater, Louise H; Clatworthy, Anne E; Hung, Deborah T

    2014-02-01

    Bacterial toxins and small molecules are useful tools for studying eukaryotic cell biology. In a recent issue of PNAS, Gillespie and colleagues describe a novel small molecule inhibitor of bacterial toxins and virus trafficking through the endocytic pathway, 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)semicarbazone (EGA), that prevents transport from early to late endosomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Targeting the undruggable proteome: the small molecules of my dreams.

    PubMed

    Crews, Craig M

    2010-06-25

    Biologically active small molecules have long proven useful in the exploration of cell biology. Although many early compounds were by-products of drug development efforts, recent increased small molecule screening efforts in academia have expanded the repertoire of biological processes investigated to include areas of biology that are not of immediate pharmaceutical interest. Many of these new bioassays score for small molecule-induced phenotypic changes at the cellular or even organismal level and thus have been described as "chemical genetic" screens. However, this analogy with traditional genetic screens is misleading; although each gene has roughly an equivalent chance of being mutated in a traditional genetic screen, the amount of "proteomic space" that a chemical genetics approach can reach using current small molecule libraries is considerably smaller. Thus, new chemical biology methodologies are needed to target the remaining "undruggable proteome" with small druglike molecules.

  15. A Small-Molecule Inhibitor of WEE1, AZD1775, Synergizes with Olaparib by Impairing Homologous Recombination and Enhancing DNA Damage and Apoptosis in Acute Leukemia.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Tamara B; Snedeker, Jonathan C; Baturin, Dmitry; Gardner, Lori; Fosmire, Susan P; Zhou, Chengjing; Jordan, Craig T; Venkataraman, Sujatha; Vibhakar, Rajeev; Porter, Christopher C

    2017-06-27

    Although some patients with acute leukemia have good prognoses, the prognosis of adult and pediatric patients who relapse or cannot tolerate standard chemotherapy is poor. Inhibition of WEE1 with AZD1775 has been shown to sensitize cancer cells to genotoxic chemotherapies, including cytarabine in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and T-ALL. Inhibition of WEE1 impairs homologous recombination by indirectly inhibiting BRCA2. Thus, we sought to determine whether AZD1775 could sensitize cells to the PARP1/2 inhibitor olaparib. We found that combined treatment with AZD1775 and olaparib was synergistic in AML and ALL cells, and this combination impaired proliferative capacity upon drug withdrawal. AZD1775 impaired homologous recombination in olaparib-treated cells, resulting in enhanced DNA damage accumulation and apoptosis induction. This combination enhanced disease control and increased survival in a murine AML model. Furthermore, we demonstrated that combined treatment with AZD1775 and olaparib reduces proliferation and colony formation and increases apoptosis in AML patient samples. In aggregate, these studies raise the possibility of rational combinations of targeted agents for leukemia in patients for whom conventional chemotherapeutics may not be effective or well tolerated. Mol Cancer Ther; 16(10); 1-11. ©2017 AACR. ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Minitags for small molecules: detecting targets of reactive small molecules in living plant tissues using 'click chemistry'.

    PubMed

    Kaschani, Farnusch; Verhelst, Steven H L; van Swieten, Paul F; Verdoes, Martijn; Wong, Chung-Sing; Wang, Zheming; Kaiser, Markus; Overkleeft, Herman S; Bogyo, Matthew; van der Hoorn, Renier A L

    2009-01-01

    Small molecules offer unprecedented opportunities for plant research since plants respond to, metabolize, and react with a diverse range of endogenous and exogenous small molecules. Many of these small molecules become covalently attached to proteins. To display these small molecule targets in plants, we introduce a two-step labelling method for minitagged small molecules. Minitags are small chemical moieties (azide or alkyne) that are inert under biological conditions and have little influence on the membrane permeability and specificity of the small molecule. After labelling, proteomes are extracted under denaturing conditions and minitagged proteins are coupled to reporter tags through a 'click chemistry' reaction. We introduce this two-step labelling procedure in plants by studying the well-characterized targets of E-64, a small molecule cysteine protease inhibitor. In contrast to biotinylated E-64, minitagged E-64 efficiently labels vacuolar proteases in vivo. We displayed, purified and identified targets of a minitagged inhibitor that targets the proteasome and cysteine proteases in living plant cells. Chemical interference assays with inhibitors showed that MG132, a frequently used proteasome inhibitor, preferentially inhibits cysteine proteases in vivo. The two-step labelling procedure can be applied on detached leaves, cell cultures, seedlings and other living plant tissues and, when combined with photoreactive groups, can be used to identify targets of herbicides, phytohormones and reactive small molecules selected from chemical genetic screens.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakab, Cheryl

    2013-08-01

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

  19. Molecular targets for small-molecule modulators of circadian clocks

    PubMed Central

    He, Baokun; Chen, Zheng

    2016-01-01

    Background Circadian clocks are endogenous timing systems that regulate various aspects of mammalian metabolism, physiology and behavior. Traditional chronotherapy refers to the administration of drugs in a defined circadian time window to achieve optimal pharmacokinetic and therapeutic efficacies. In recent years, substantial efforts have been dedicated to developing novel small-molecule modulators of circadian clocks. Methods Here, we review the recent progress in the identification of molecular targets of small-molecule clock modulators and their efficacies in clock-related disorders. Specifically, we examine the clock components and regulatory factors as possible molecular targets of small molecules, and we review several key clock-related disorders as promising venues for testing the preventive/therapeutic efficacies of these small molecules. Finally, we also discuss circadian regulation of drug metabolism. Results Small molecules can modulate the period, phase and/or amplitude of the circadian cycle. Core clock proteins, nuclear hormone receptors, and clock-related kinases and other epigenetic regulators are promising molecular targets for small molecules. Through these targets small molecules exert protective effects against clock-related disorders including the metabolic syndrome, immune disorders, sleep disorders and cancer. Small molecules can also modulate circadian drug metabolism and response to existing therapeutics. Conclusion Small-molecule clock modulators target clock components or diverse cellular pathways that functionally impinge upon the clock. Target identification of new small-molecule modulators will deepen our understanding of key regulatory nodes in the circadian network. Studies of clock modulators will facilitate their therapeutic applications, alone or in combination, for clock-related diseases. PMID:26750111

  20. Sorption of small molecules in polymeric media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camboni, Federico; Sokolov, Igor M.

    2016-12-01

    We discuss the sorption of penetrant molecules from the gas phase by a polymeric medium within a model which is very close in spirit to the dual sorption mode model: the penetrant molecules are partly dissolved within the polymeric matrix, partly fill the preexisting voids. The only difference with the initial dual sorption mode situation is the assumption that the two populations of molecules are in equilibrium with each other. Applying basic thermodynamics principles we obtain the dependence of the penetrant concentration on the pressure in the gas phase and find that this is expressed via the Lambert W-function, a different functional form than the one proposed by dual sorption mode model. The Lambert-like isotherms appear universally at low and moderate pressures and originate from the assumption that the internal energy in a polymer-penetrant-void ternary mixture is (in the lowest order) a bilinear form in the concentrations of the three components. Fitting the existing data shows that in the domain of parameters where the dual sorption mode model is typically applied, the Lambert function, which describes the same behavior as the one proposed by the gas-polymer matrix model, fits the data equally well.

  1. Highly Parallel Translation of DNA Sequences into Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Weisinger, Rebecca M.; Wrenn, S. Jarrett; Harbury, Pehr B.

    2012-01-01

    A large body of in vitro evolution work establishes the utility of biopolymer libraries comprising 1010 to 1015 distinct molecules for the discovery of nanomolar-affinity ligands to proteins.[1], [2], [3], [4], [5] Small-molecule libraries of comparable complexity will likely provide nanomolar-affinity small-molecule ligands.[6], [7] Unlike biopolymers, small molecules can offer the advantages of cell permeability, low immunogenicity, metabolic stability, rapid diffusion and inexpensive mass production. It is thought that such desirable in vivo behavior is correlated with the physical properties of small molecules, specifically a limited number of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors, a defined range of hydrophobicity, and most importantly, molecular weights less than 500 Daltons.[8] Creating a collection of 1010 to 1015 small molecules that meet these criteria requires the use of hundreds to thousands of diversity elements per step in a combinatorial synthesis of three to five steps. With this goal in mind, we have reported a set of mesofluidic devices that enable DNA-programmed combinatorial chemistry in a highly parallel 384-well plate format. Here, we demonstrate that these devices can translate DNA genes encoding 384 diversity elements per coding position into corresponding small-molecule gene products. This robust and efficient procedure yields small molecule-DNA conjugates suitable for in vitro evolution experiments. PMID:22479303

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Sugar Blowing-Induced Porous Cobalt Phosphide/Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanostructures with Enhanced Electrochemical Oxidation Performance toward Water and Other Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Chengzhou; Fu, Shaofang; Xu, Bo Z; Song, Junhua; Shi, Qiurong; Engelhard, Mark H; Li, Xiaolin; Beckman, Scott P; Sun, Junming; Du, Dan; Lin, Yuehe

    2017-09-01

    Rational design of high active and robust nonprecious metal catalysts with excellent catalytic efficiency in oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is extremely vital for making the water splitting process more energy efficient and economical. Among these noble metal-free catalysts, transition-metal-based nanomaterials are considered as one of the most promising OER catalysts due to their relatively low-cost intrinsic activities, high abundance, and diversity in terms of structure and morphology. Herein, a facile sugar-blowing technique and low-temperature phosphorization are reported to generate 3D self-supported metal involved carbon nanostructures, which are termed as Co2 P@Co/nitrogen-doped carbon (Co2 P@Co/N-C). By capitalizing on the 3D porous nanostructures with high surface area, homogeneously dispersed active sites, the intimate interaction between active sites, and 3D N-doped carbon, the resultant Co2 P@Co/N-C exhibits satisfying OER performance superior to CoO@Co/N-C, delivering 10 mA cm(-2) at overpotential of 0.32 V. It is worth noting that in contrast to the substantial current density loss of RuO2 , Co2 P@Co/N-C shows much enhanced catalytic activity during the stability test and a 1.8-fold increase in current density is observed after stability test. Furthermore, the obtained Co2 P@Co/N-C can also be served as an excellent nonprecious metal catalyst for methanol and glucose electrooxidation in alkaline media, further extending their potential applications. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria

    2016-05-01

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

  5. The Bichromatic Force on Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aldridge, Leland M.; Galica, Scott E.; Sheets, Donal; Eyler, Edward E.

    2016-06-01

    The bichromatic force is a coherent optical force that has been demonstrated to exceed the saturated radiative force from a monochromatic cw laser by orders of magnitude in atomic systems. By stimulating photon emission between two states, the bichromatic force allows us to increase the photon scattering rate beyond the spontaneous emission rate while also suppressing decays into dark states. We present studies of the efficacy of the bichromatic force on molecular systems using the test cases of B-X (0,0), P11(1.5)/^PQ12(0.5) in CaF and tilde{A}(000)-tilde{X}(000), P11(1.5)/^PQ12(0.5) in the linear triatomic molecule SrOH. Computational results from detailed multilevel models indicate that both of these molecular systems are suitable for the use of the bichromatic force, with neither repumping nor magnetic destabilization of dark states interrupting the coherent cycling at the heart of the force. We comment on the applicability of the bichromatic force to arbitrary polyatomic molecules, and present our experimental progress in demonstrating the bichromatic force on CaF and possibly on SrOH. Supported by the National Science Foundation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Molecular Responses to Small Regulating Molecules against Huanglongbing Disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Coacervate delivery systems for proteins and small molecule drugs.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Noah R; Wang, Yadong

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Coacervate delivery systems for proteins and small molecule drugs

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Noah R; Wang, Yadong

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Hierarchical virtual screening approaches in small molecule drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ashutosh; Zhang, Kam Y J

    2015-01-01

    Virtual screening has played a significant role in the discovery of small molecule inhibitors of therapeutic targets in last two decades. Various ligand and structure-based virtual screening approaches are employed to identify small molecule ligands for proteins of interest. These approaches are often combined in either hierarchical or parallel manner to take advantage of the strength and avoid the limitations associated with individual methods. Hierarchical combination of ligand and structure-based virtual screening approaches has received noteworthy success in numerous drug discovery campaigns. In hierarchical virtual screening, several filters using ligand and structure-based approaches are sequentially applied to reduce a large screening library to a number small enough for experimental testing. In this review, we focus on different hierarchical virtual screening strategies and their application in the discovery of small molecule modulators of important drug targets. Several virtual screening studies are discussed to demonstrate the successful application of hierarchical virtual screening in small molecule drug discovery.

  11. Selection and Biosensor Application of Aptamers for Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Pfeiffer, Franziska; Mayer, Günter

    2016-01-01

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

  12. DNA-binding small molecules as inhibitors of transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Leung, Chung-Hang; Chan, Daniel Shiu-Hin; Ma, Victor Pui-Yan; Ma, Dik-Lung

    2013-07-01

    Accumulating evidence implicating the role of aberrant transcription factor signaling in the pathogenesis of various human diseases such as cancer and inflammation has stimulated the development of small molecule ligands capable of targeting transcription factor activity and modulating gene expression. The use of DNA-binding small molecules to selectively inhibit transcription factor-DNA interactions represents one possible approach toward this goal. In this review, we summarize the development of DNA-binding small molecule inhibitors of transcription factors from 2004 to 2011, and their binding mode and therapeutic potential will be discussed. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Probing translation using small molecule inhibitors

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Defining RNA-Small Molecule Affinity Landscapes Enables Design of a Small Molecule Inhibitor of an Oncogenic Noncoding RNA.

    PubMed

    Velagapudi, Sai Pradeep; Luo, Yiling; Tran, Tuan; Haniff, Hafeez S; Nakai, Yoshio; Fallahi, Mohammad; Martinez, Gustavo J; Childs-Disney, Jessica L; Disney, Matthew D

    2017-03-22

    RNA drug targets are pervasive in cells, but methods to design small molecules that target them are sparse. Herein, we report a general approach to score the affinity and selectivity of RNA motif-small molecule interactions identified via selection. Named High Throughput Structure-Activity Relationships Through Sequencing (HiT-StARTS), HiT-StARTS is statistical in nature and compares input nucleic acid sequences to selected library members that bind a ligand via high throughput sequencing. The approach allowed facile definition of the fitness landscape of hundreds of thousands of RNA motif-small molecule binding partners. These results were mined against folded RNAs in the human transcriptome and identified an avid interaction between a small molecule and the Dicer nuclease-processing site in the oncogenic microRNA (miR)-18a hairpin precursor, which is a member of the miR-17-92 cluster. Application of the small molecule, Targapremir-18a, to prostate cancer cells inhibited production of miR-18a from the cluster, de-repressed serine/threonine protein kinase 4 protein (STK4), and triggered apoptosis. Profiling the cellular targets of Targapremir-18a via Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull Down (Chem-CLIP), a covalent small molecule-RNA cellular profiling approach, and other studies showed specific binding of the compound to the miR-18a precursor, revealing broadly applicable factors that govern small molecule drugging of noncoding RNAs.

  15. Small molecules as therapeutic agents for inborn errors of metabolism.

    PubMed

    Matalonga, Leslie; Gort, Laura; Ribes, Antonia

    2017-03-01

    Most inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) remain without effective treatment mainly due to the incapacity of conventional therapeutic approaches to target the neurological symptomatology and to ameliorate the multisystemic involvement frequently observed in these patients. However, in recent years, the therapeutic use of small molecules has emerged as a promising approach for treating this heterogeneous group of disorders. In this review, we focus on the use of therapeutically active small molecules to treat IEM, including readthrough agents, pharmacological chaperones, proteostasis regulators, substrate inhibitors, and autophagy inducers. The small molecules reviewed herein act at different cellular levels, and this knowledge provides new tools to set up innovative treatment approaches for particular IEM. We review the molecular mechanism underlying therapeutic properties of small molecules, methodologies used to screen for these compounds, and their applicability in preclinical and clinical practice.

  16. A Prospective Method to Guide Small Molecule Drug Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Alan T.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. A Prospective Method to Guide Small Molecule Drug Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Alan T.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Biocatalysts and their small molecule products from metagenomic studies

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. The dynamics of small molecules in intense laser fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Posthumus, J. H.

    2004-05-01

    In the past decade, the understanding of the dynamics of small molecules in intense laser fields has advanced enormously. At the same time, the technology of ultra-short pulsed lasers has equally progressed to such an extent that femtosecond lasers are now widely available. This review is written from an experimentalist's point of view and begins by discussing the value of this research and defining the meaning of the word 'intense'. It continues with describing the Ti : sapphire laser, including topics such as pulse compression, chirped pulse amplification, optical parametric amplification, laser-pulse diagnostics and the absolute phase. Further aspects include focusing, the focal volume effect and space charge. The discussion of physics begins with the Keldysh parameter and the three regimes of ionization, i.e. multi-photon, tunnelling and over-the-barrier. Direct-double ionization (non-sequential ionization), high-harmonic generation, above-threshold ionization and attosecond pulses are briefly mentioned. Subsequently, a theoretical calculation, which solves the time-dependent Schrödinger equation, is compared with an experimental result. The dynamics of H_{2}^{ + } in an intense laser field is interpreted in terms of bond-softening, vibrational trapping (bond-hardening), below-threshold dissociation and laser-induced alignment of the molecular axis. The final section discusses the modified Franck-Condon principle, enhanced ionization at critical distances and Coulomb explosion of diatomic and triatomic molecules.

  20. Small molecule annotation for the Protein Data Bank.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the single global repository for three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules and their complexes, and its more than 100,000 structures contain more than 20,000 distinct ligands or small molecules bound to proteins and nucleic acids. Information about these small molecules and their interactions with proteins and nucleic acids is crucial for our understanding of biochemical processes and vital for structure-based drug design. Small molecules present in a deposited structure may be attached to a polymer or may occur as a separate, non-covalently linked ligand. During curation of a newly deposited structure by wwPDB annotation staff, each molecule is cross-referenced to the PDB Chemical Component Dictionary (CCD). If the molecule is new to the PDB, a dictionary description is created for it. The information about all small molecule components found in the PDB is distributed via the ftp archive as an external reference file. Small molecule annotation in the PDB also includes information about ligand-binding sites and about covalent and other linkages between ligands and macromolecules. During the remediation of the peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors present in the PDB archive in 2011, it became clear that additional annotation was required for consistent representation of these molecules, which are quite often composed of several sequential subcomponents including modified amino acids and other chemical groups. The connectivity information of the modified amino acids is necessary for correct representation of these biologically interesting molecules. The combined information is made available via a new resource called the Biologically Interesting molecules Reference Dictionary, which is complementary to the CCD and is now routinely used for annotation of peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  1. Incorporation of labeled small molecules into rubratoxin.

    PubMed

    Emeh, C O; Marth, E H

    1978-07-01

    A sterile glucose-mineral salts broth was inoculated with conidia of Penicillium rubrum P-13 and P-3290. Radiolabeled compounds were added to some cultures, these being incubated quiescently at 28 degrees C for 14 days. Other stationary cultures were grown for 21 days, received labeled compounds, and were then grown for 5 more days. The remaining cultures were inoculated with 72-h-old mycelial pellets, received labeled materials and were incubated with shaking for 60 h. Rubratoxin was resolved by thin-layer chromatography. Labeled [1(14)C]acetate, [1,5(14)C]citrate, [2(14)C]malonate, [1(14)C]glucose, [U14C]glucose or [1(14)C]hexanoate were incorporated into rubratoxins A and B by P. rubrum 3290 and into rubratoxin B by P. rubrum 13. Incorporation of [1(14)C]acetate and [2(14)C]malonate increased when exogenous unlabeled acetate, malonate, pyruvate, or phosphoenol-pyruvate was added. Acetate incorporation was influenced by cultural conditions, attaining maximum amounts in quiescent cultures which received labeled acetate after 21 days of incubation. Acetate incorporation in shake cultures was enhanced by reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and by unlabeled exogenous citrate.

  2. Defining RNA–Small Molecule Affinity Landscapes Enables Design of a Small Molecule Inhibitor of an Oncogenic Noncoding RNA

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    RNA drug targets are pervasive in cells, but methods to design small molecules that target them are sparse. Herein, we report a general approach to score the affinity and selectivity of RNA motif–small molecule interactions identified via selection. Named High Throughput Structure–Activity Relationships Through Sequencing (HiT-StARTS), HiT-StARTS is statistical in nature and compares input nucleic acid sequences to selected library members that bind a ligand via high throughput sequencing. The approach allowed facile definition of the fitness landscape of hundreds of thousands of RNA motif–small molecule binding partners. These results were mined against folded RNAs in the human transcriptome and identified an avid interaction between a small molecule and the Dicer nuclease-processing site in the oncogenic microRNA (miR)-18a hairpin precursor, which is a member of the miR-17-92 cluster. Application of the small molecule, Targapremir-18a, to prostate cancer cells inhibited production of miR-18a from the cluster, de-repressed serine/threonine protein kinase 4 protein (STK4), and triggered apoptosis. Profiling the cellular targets of Targapremir-18a via Chemical Cross-Linking and Isolation by Pull Down (Chem-CLIP), a covalent small molecule–RNA cellular profiling approach, and other studies showed specific binding of the compound to the miR-18a precursor, revealing broadly applicable factors that govern small molecule drugging of noncoding RNAs. PMID:28386598

  3. FDA-approved small-molecule kinase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Wu, Peng; Nielsen, Thomas E; Clausen, Mads H

    2015-07-01

    Kinases have emerged as one of the most intensively pursued targets in current pharmacological research, especially for cancer, due to their critical roles in cellular signaling. To date, the US FDA has approved 28 small-molecule kinase inhibitors, half of which were approved in the past 3 years. While the clinical data of these approved molecules are widely presented and structure-activity relationship (SAR) has been reported for individual molecules, an updated review that analyzes all approved molecules and summarizes current achievements and trends in the field has yet to be found. Here we present all approved small-molecule kinase inhibitors with an emphasis on binding mechanism and structural features, summarize current challenges, and discuss future directions in this field.

  4. 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

  5. Discovery of small molecule cancer drugs: successes, challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    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 enhance

  6. Integrated Analysis Identifies Interaction Patterns between Small Molecules and Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yan; Li, Weiguo; Chen, Xin; Sun, Jiatong; Chen, Huan; Lv, Sali

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have indicated that the downstream proteins in a key pathway can be potential drug targets and that the pathway can play an important role in the action of drugs. So pathways could be considered as targets of small molecules. A link map between small molecules and pathways was constructed using gene expression profile, pathways, and gene expression of cancer cell line intervened by small molecules and then we analysed the topological characteristics of the link map. Three link patterns were identified based on different drug discovery implications for breast, liver, and lung cancer. Furthermore, molecules that significantly targeted the same pathways tended to treat the same diseases. These results can provide a valuable reference for identifying drug candidates and targets in molecularly targeted therapy. PMID:25114931

  7. Membrane Fusion Induced by Small Molecules and Ions

    PubMed Central

    Mondal Roy, Sutapa; Sarkar, Munna

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Design and applications of bifunctional small molecules: Why two heads are better than one

    PubMed Central

    Corson, Timothy W.; Aberle, Nicholas; Crews, Craig M.

    2009-01-01

    Induction of protein-protein interactions is a daunting challenge, but recent studies show promise for small molecules that specifically bring two or more protein molecules together for enhanced or novel biological effect. The first such bifunctional molecules were the rapamycin- and FK506-based “Chemical Inducers of Dimerization”, but the field has since expanded with new molecules and new applications in chemical genetics and cell biology. Examples include coumermycin-mediated gyrase B dimerization, proteolysis targeting chimeric molecules (PROTACS), drug hybrids, and strategies for exploiting multivalency in toxin binding and antibody recruitment. This review discusses these and other advances in the design and use of bifunctional small molecules, and potential strategies for future systems. PMID:19112665

  9. Nanoscale Assemblies of Small Molecules Control the Fate of Cells.

    PubMed

    Shi, Junfeng; Xu, Bing

    2015-10-01

    Being driven by non-covalent interactions, the formation of functional assemblies (or aggregates) of small molecules at nanoscale is a more common process in water than one would think. While most efforts on self-assembly in cellular environment concentrate on the assemblies of proteins (e.g., microtubules or amyloid fibers), nanoscale assemblies of small molecules are emerging functional entities that exhibit important biological function in cellular environments. This review describes the increasing efforts on the exploration of nanoscale assemblies of small molecules that largely originate from the serendipitous observations in research fields other than nanoscience and technology. Specifically, we describe that nanoscale assemblies of small molecules exhibit unique biological functions in extracellular and intracellular environment, thus inducing various cellular responses, like causing cell death or promoting cell proliferation. We first survey certain common feature of nanoscale molecular assemblies, then discuss several specific examples, such as, nanoscale assemblies of small peptides accumulated in the cells for selectively inhibiting cancer cells via promiscuous interactions with proteins, and nanoscale assemblies of a glycoconjugate for promoting the proliferation of stem cells or for suppressing immune responses. Subsequently, we emphasize the spatiotemporal control of nanoscale assemblies for controlling the cell fate, particularly illustrate a paradigm-shifting approach-enzyme-instructed self-assembly (EISA), that is, the integration of enzymatic reaction and self-assembly-for generating nanoscale assemblies from innocuous monomers for selectively inhibiting cancer cells. Moreover, we introduce a convenient assay for proteomic study of the proteins that interact with nanoscale assemblies of small molecules in cellular environment. Furthermore, we introduce the use of ligand-receptor interaction to catalyze the formation of nanoscale assemblies. By

  10. Protein homology reveals new targets for bioactive small molecules.

    PubMed

    Gfeller, David; Zoete, Vincent

    2015-08-15

    The functional impact of small molecules is increasingly being assessed in different eukaryotic species through large-scale phenotypic screening initiatives. Identifying the targets of these molecules is crucial to mechanistically understand their function and uncover new therapeutically relevant modes of action. However, despite extensive work carried out in model organisms and human, it is still unclear to what extent one can use information obtained in one species to make predictions in other species. Here, for the first time, we explore and validate at a large scale the use of protein homology relationships to predict the targets of small molecules across different species. Our results show that exploiting target homology can significantly improve the predictions, especially for molecules experimentally tested in other species. Interestingly, when considering separately orthology and paralogy relationships, we observe that mapping small molecule interactions among orthologs improves prediction accuracy, while including paralogs does not improve and even sometimes worsens the prediction accuracy. Overall, our results provide a novel approach to integrate chemical screening results across multiple species and highlight the promises and remaining challenges of using protein homology for small molecule target identification. Homology-based predictions can be tested on our website http://www.swisstargetprediction.ch. david.gfeller@unil.ch or vincent.zoete@isb-sib.ch. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Strategy To Discover Diverse Optimal Molecules in the Small Molecule Universe

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The small molecule universe (SMU) is defined as a set of over 1060 synthetically feasible organic molecules with molecular weight less than ∼500 Da. Exhaustive enumerations and evaluation of all SMU molecules for the purpose of discovering favorable structures is impossible. We take a stochastic approach and extend the ACSESS framework (Virshup et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2013, 135, 7296–730323548177) to develop diversity oriented molecular libraries that can generate a set of compounds that is representative of the small molecule universe and that also biases the library toward favorable physical property values. We show that the approach is efficient compared to exhaustive enumeration and to existing evolutionary algorithms for generating such libraries by testing in the NKp fitness landscape model and in the fully enumerated GDB-9 chemical universe containing 3 × 105 molecules. PMID:25594586

  12. Strategy to discover diverse optimal molecules in the small molecule universe.

    PubMed

    Rupakheti, Chetan; Virshup, Aaron; Yang, Weitao; Beratan, David N

    2015-03-23

    The small molecule universe (SMU) is defined as a set of over 10(60) synthetically feasible organic molecules with molecular weight less than ∼500 Da. Exhaustive enumerations and evaluation of all SMU molecules for the purpose of discovering favorable structures is impossible. We take a stochastic approach and extend the ACSESS framework ( Virshup et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013 , 135 , 7296 - 7303 ) to develop diversity oriented molecular libraries that can generate a set of compounds that is representative of the small molecule universe and that also biases the library toward favorable physical property values. We show that the approach is efficient compared to exhaustive enumeration and to existing evolutionary algorithms for generating such libraries by testing in the NKp fitness landscape model and in the fully enumerated GDB-9 chemical universe containing 3 × 10(5) molecules.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-03

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

  15. Small-molecule mechanism of action studies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zlotkowski, Katherine; Eliasen, Anders M; Mitra, Aurpon; Siegel, Dionicio

    2013-11-25

    A general protocol for exogenous small-molecule pull-down experiments with Caenorhabditis elegans is described; it provides a link between small-molecule screens in worms and existing mutant and RNAi technologies, thereby enabling organismal mechanism of action studies for the natural product clovanemagnolol. Forward chemical genetic screens followed by mechanism of action studies with C. elegans, when coupled with genetic validation of identified targets to reproduce the small molecule's phenotypic effects, provide a unique platform for discovering the biological targets of compounds that affect multicellular processes. First, the use of an immobilized FK506 derivative and soluble competition experiments with optimally prepared soluble C. elegans proteome successfully identified interactions with FK506 binding proteins 1 to 6. This approach was used to determine an unknown mechanism of action for clovanemagnolol, a small molecule that promotes axonal branching in both primary neuronal cultures and in vivo in C. elegans. Following the synthesis of an appropriately functionalized solid-phase reagent bearing a clovanemagnolol analogue pull-down experiments employing soluble competition identified kinesin light chain-1 (KLC-1), a protein involved in axonal cargo transport, as a putative target. This was corroborated through the use of mutant worms lacking klc-1 and possessing GFP neuronal labeling, reproducing the axonal branching phenotype induced by the small molecule clovanemagnolol. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Strongly enhanced field-dependent single-molecule electroluminescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Tae-Hee; Gonzalez, Jose I.; Dickson, Robert M.

    2002-08-01

    Individual, strongly electroluminescent Agn molecules (n = 28 atoms) have been electrically written within otherwise nonemissive silver oxide films. Exhibiting characteristic single-molecule behavior, these individual room-temperature molecules exhibit extreme electroluminescence enhancements (>104 vs. bulk and dc excitation on a per molecule basis) when excited with specific ac frequencies. Occurring through field extraction of electrons with subsequent reinjection and radiative recombination, single-molecule electroluminescence is enhanced by a general mechanism that avoids slow bulk material response. Thus, while we detail strong electroluminescence from single, highly fluorescent Agn molecules, this mechanism also yields strong ac-excited electroluminescence from similarly prepared, but otherwise nonemissive, individual Cu nanoclusters.

  17. New Small Molecule Agonists to the Thyrotropin Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Ali, M. Rejwan; Ma, Risheng; David, Martine; Morshed, Syed A.; Ohlmeyer, Michael; Felsenfeld, Dan P.; Lau, Zerlina; Mezei, Mihaly; Davies, Terry F.

    2015-01-01

    Background Novel small molecular ligands (SMLs) to the thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) have potential as improved molecular probes and as therapeutic agents for the treatment of thyroid dysfunction and thyroid cancer. Methods To identify novel SMLs to the TSHR, we developed a transcription-based luciferase-cAMP high-throughput screening system and we screened 48,224 compounds from a 100K library in duplicate. Results We obtained 62 hits using the cut-off criteria of the mean±three standard deviations above the baseline. Twenty molecules with the greatest activity were rescreened against the parent CHO-luciferase cell for nonspecific activation, and we selected two molecules (MS437 and MS438) with the highest potency for further study. These lead molecules demonstrated no detectible cross-reactivity with homologous receptors when tested against luteinizing hormone (LH)/human chorionic gonadotropin receptor and follicle stimulating hormone receptor–expressing cells. Molecule MS437 had a TSHR-stimulating potency with an EC50 of 13×10−8 M, and molecule MS438 had an EC50 of 5.3×10−8 M. The ability of these small molecule agonists to bind to the transmembrane domain of the receptor and initiate signal transduction was suggested by their activation of a chimeric receptor consisting of an LHR ectodomain and a TSHR transmembrane. Molecular modeling demonstrated that these molecules bound to residues S505 and E506 for MS438 and T501 for MS437 in the intrahelical region of transmembrane helix 3. We also examined the G protein activating ability of these molecules using CHO cells co-expressing TSHRs transfected with luciferase reporter vectors in order to measure Gsα, Gβγ, Gαq, and Gα12 activation quantitatively. The MS437 and MS438 molecules showed potent activation of Gsα, Gαq, and Gα12 similar to TSH, but neither the small molecule agonists nor TSH showed activation of the Gβγ pathway. The small molecules MS437 and MS438 also showed upregulation of

  18. Augmented-plane-wave calculations on small molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Serena, P.A.; Baratoff, A. ); Soler, J.M. )

    1993-07-15

    We have performed [ital ab] [ital initio] calculations on a wide range of small molecules, demonstrating the accuracy and flexibility of an alternative method for calculating the electronic structure of molecules, solids, and surfaces. It is based on the local-density approximation (LDA) for exchange and correlation and the nonlinear augmented-plane-wave method. Very accurate atomic forces are obtained directly. This allows for implementation of Car-Parrinello-like techniques to determine simultaneously the self-consistent electron wave functions and the equilibrium atomic positions within an iterative scheme. We find excellent agreement with the best existing LDA-based calculations and remarkable agreement with experiment for the equilibrium geometries, vibrational frequencies, and dipole moments of a wide variety of molecules, including strongly bound homopolar and polar molecules, hydrogen-bound and electron-deficient molecules, and weakly bound alkali and noble-metal dimers, although binding energies are overestimated.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Weinmann, Hilmar

    2016-03-04

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

  1. Multivalent Small-Molecule Pan-RAS Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Welsch, Matthew E; Kaplan, Anna; Chambers, Jennifer M; Stokes, Michael E; Bos, Pieter H; Zask, Arie; Zhang, Yan; Sanchez-Martin, Marta; Badgley, Michael A; Huang, Christine S; Tran, Timothy H; Akkiraju, Hemanth; Brown, Lewis M; Nandakumar, Renu; Cremers, Serge; Yang, Wan Seok; Tong, Liang; Olive, Kenneth P; Ferrando, Adolfo; Stockwell, Brent R

    2017-02-23

    Design of small molecules that disrupt protein-protein interactions, including the interaction of RAS proteins and their effectors, may provide chemical probes and therapeutic agents. We describe here the synthesis and testing of potential small-molecule pan-RAS ligands, which were designed to interact with adjacent sites on the surface of oncogenic KRAS. One compound, termed 3144, was found to bind to RAS proteins using microscale thermophoresis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and isothermal titration calorimetry and to exhibit lethality in cells partially dependent on expression of RAS proteins. This compound was metabolically stable in liver microsomes and displayed anti-tumor activity in xenograft mouse cancer models. These findings suggest that pan-RAS inhibition may be an effective therapeutic strategy for some cancers and that structure-based design of small molecules targeting multiple adjacent sites to create multivalent inhibitors may be effective for some proteins. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Small-molecule pheromones and hormones controlling nematode development.

    PubMed

    Butcher, Rebecca A

    2017-05-17

    The existence of small-molecule signals that influence development in Caenorhabditis elegans has been known for several decades, but only in recent years have the chemical structures of several of these signals been established. The identification of these signals has enabled connections to be made between these small molecules and fundamental signaling pathways in C. elegans that influence not only development but also metabolism, fertility, and lifespan. Spurred by these important discoveries and aided by recent advances in comparative metabolomics and NMR spectroscopy, the field of nematode chemistry has the potential to expand dramatically in the coming years. This Perspective will focus on small-molecule pheromones and hormones that influence developmental events in the nematode life cycle (ascarosides, dafachronic acids, and nemamides), will cover more recent work regarding the biosynthesis of these signals, and will explore how the discovery of these signals is transforming our understanding of nematode development and physiology.

  3. Near-Infrared Lasing from Small-Molecule Organic Hemispheres.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xuedong; Liao, Qing; Li, Hui; Bai, Shuming; Wu, Yishi; Lu, Xiaomei; Hu, Huaiyuan; Shi, Qiang; Fu, Hongbing

    2015-07-29

    Near-infrared (NIR) lasers are key components for applications, such as telecommunication, spectroscopy, display, and biomedical tissue imaging. Inorganic III-V semiconductor (GaAs) NIR lasers have achieved great successes but require expensive and sophisticated device fabrication techniques. Organic semiconductors exhibit chemically tunable optoelectronic properties together with self-assembling features that are well suitable for low-temperature solution processing. Major blocks in realizing NIR organic lasing include low stimulated emission of narrow-bandgap molecules due to fast nonradiative decay and exciton-exciton annihilation, which is considered as a main loss channel of population inversion for organic lasers under high carrier densities. Here we designed and synthesized the small organic molecule (E)-3-(4-(di-p-tolylamino)phenyl)-1-(1-hydroxynaphthalen-2-yl)prop-2-en-1-one (DPHP) with amphiphilic nature, which elaborately self-assembles into micrometer-sized hemispheres that simultaneously serves as the NIR emission medium with a photoluminescence quantum efficiency of ∼15.2%, and the high-Q (∼1.4 × 10(3)) whispering gallery mode microcavity. Moreover, the radiative rate of DPHP hemispheres is enhanced up to ∼1.98 × 10(9) s(-1) on account of the exciton-vibrational coupling in the solid state with the J-type molecular-coupling component, and meanwhile the exciton-exciton annihilation process is eliminated. As a result, NIR lasing with a low threshold of ∼610 nJ/cm(2) is achieved in the single DPHP hemisphere at room temperature. Our demonstration is a major step toward incorporating the organic coherent light sources into the compact optoelectronic devices at NIR wavelengths.

  4. Osteoinductive small molecules: growth factor alternatives for bone tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Aravamudhan, Aja; Ramos, Daisy M; Nip, Jonathan; Subramanian, Aditi; James, Roshan; Harmon, Matthew D; Yu, Xiaojun; Kumbar, Sangamesh G

    2013-01-01

    Tissue engineering aims to repair, restore, and regenerate lost or damaged tissues by using biomaterials, cells, mechanical forces and factors (chemical and biological) alone or in combination. Growth factors are routinely used in the tissue engineering approach to expedite the process of regeneration. The growth factor approach has been hampered by several complications including high dose requirements, lower half-life, protein instability, higher costs and undesired side effects. Recently a variety of alternative small molecules of both natural and synthetic origin have been explored as alternatives to growth factors for tissue regeneration applications. Small molecules are simple biochemical components that elicit certain cellular responses through signaling cascades. Small molecules present a viable alternative to biological factors. Small molecule strategies can reduce various side effects, maintain bioactivity in a biological environment and minimize cost issues associated with complex biological growth factors. This manuscript focuses on three-osteoinductive small molecules, namely melatonin, resveratrol (from natural sources) and purmorphamine (synthetically designed) as inducers of bone formation and osteogenic differentiation of stem cells. Efforts have been made to summarize possible biological pathways involved in the action of each of these drugs. Melatonin is known to affect Mitogen Activated Protein (MAP) kinase, Bone morphogenic protein (BMP) and canonical wnt signaling. Resveratrol is known to activate cascades involving Wnt and NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1 (Sirt1). Purmorphamine is a Hedgehog (Hh) pathway agonist as it acts on Smoothened (Smo) receptors. These mechanisms and the way they are affected by the respective small molecules will also be discussed in the manuscript.

  5. Diffusion of small molecules into medaka embryos improved by electroporation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Diffusion of small molecules into fish embryos is essential for many experimental procedures in developmental biology and toxicology. Since we observed a weak uptake of lithium into medaka eggs we started a detailed analysis of its diffusion properties using small fluorescent molecules. Results Contrary to our expectations, not the rigid outer chorion but instead membrane systems surrounding the embryo/yolk turned out to be the limiting factor for diffusion into medaka eggs. The consequence is a bi-phasic uptake of small molecules first reaching the pervitelline space with a diffusion half-time in the range of a few minutes. This is followed by a slow second phase (half-time in the range of several hours) during which accumulation in the embryo/yolk takes place. Treatment with detergents improved the uptake, but strongly affected the internal distribution of the molecules. Testing electroporation we could establish conditions to overcome the diffusion barrier. Applying this method to lithium chloride we observed anterior truncations in medaka embryos in agreement with its proposed activation of Wnt signalling. Conclusions The diffusion of small molecules into medaka embryos is slow, caused by membrane systems underneath the chorion. These results have important implications for pharmacologic/toxicologic techniques like the fish embryo test, which therefore require extended incubation times in order to reach sufficient concentrations in the embryos. PMID:23815821

  6. Small-molecule discovery from DNA-encoded chemical libraries.

    PubMed

    Kleiner, Ralph E; Dumelin, Christoph E; Liu, David R

    2011-12-01

    Researchers seeking to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the bioactive small-molecule discovery process have recently embraced selection-based approaches, which in principle offer much higher throughput and simpler infrastructure requirements compared with traditional small-molecule screening methods. Since selection methods benefit greatly from an information-encoding molecule that can be readily amplified and decoded, several academic and industrial groups have turned to DNA as the basis for library encoding and, in some cases, library synthesis. The resulting DNA-encoded synthetic small-molecule libraries, integrated with the high sensitivity of PCR and the recent development of ultra high-throughput DNA sequencing technology, can be evaluated very rapidly for binding or bond formation with a target of interest while consuming minimal quantities of material and requiring only modest investments of time and equipment. In this tutorial review we describe the development of two classes of approaches for encoding chemical structures and reactivity with DNA: DNA-recorded library synthesis, in which encoding and library synthesis take place separately, and DNA-directed library synthesis, in which DNA both encodes and templates library synthesis. We also describe in vitro selection methods used to evaluate DNA-encoded libraries and summarize successful applications of these approaches to the discovery of bioactive small molecules and novel chemical reactivity.

  7. Small-Molecule Discovery from DNA-Encoded Chemical Libraries†

    PubMed Central

    Kleiner, Ralph E.; Dumelin, Christoph E.; Liu, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Researchers seeking to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the bioactive small-molecule discovery process have recently embraced selection-based approaches, which in principle offer much higher throughput and simpler infrastructure requirements compared with traditional small-molecule screening methods. Since selection methods benefit greatly from an information-encoding molecule that can be readily amplified and decoded, several academic and industrial groups have turned to DNA as the basis for library encoding and, in some cases, library synthesis. The resulting DNA-encoded synthetic small-molecule libraries, integrated with the high sensitivity of PCR and the recent development of ultra high-throughput DNA sequencing technology, can be evaluated very rapidly for binding or bond formation with a target of interest while consuming minimal quantities of material and requiring only modest investments of time and equipment. In this review we describe the development of two classes of approaches for encoding chemical structures and reactivity with DNA: DNA-recorded library synthesis, in which encoding and library synthesis take place separately, and DNA-directed library synthesis, in which DNA both encodes and templates library synthesis. We also describe in vitro selection methods used to evaluate DNA-encoded libraries and summarize successful applications of these approaches to the discovery of bioactive small molecules and novel chemical reactivity. PMID:21674077

  8. Color-Coded Super-Resolution Small-Molecule Imaging.

    PubMed

    Beuzer, Paolo; La Clair, James J; Cang, Hu

    2016-06-02

    Although the development of super-resolution microscopy dates back to 1994, its applications have been primarily focused on visualizing cellular structures and targets, including proteins, DNA and sugars. We now report on a system that allows both monitoring of the localization of exogenous small molecules in live cells at low resolution and subsequent super-resolution imaging by using stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) on fixed cells. This represents a powerful new tool to understand the dynamics of subcellular trafficking associated with the mode and mechanism of action of exogenous small molecules.

  9. Recent discoveries and applications involving small-molecule microarrays.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jiyoung A; Neel, Dylan V; Wassaf, Dina; Caballero, Francisco; Koehler, Angela N

    2014-02-01

    High-throughput and unbiased binding assays have proven useful in probe discovery for a myriad of biomolecules, including targets of unknown structure or function and historically challenging target classes. Over the past decade, a number of novel formats for executing large-scale binding assays have been developed and used successfully in probe discovery campaigns. Here we review the use of one such format, the small-molecule microarray (SMM), as a tool for discovering protein-small molecule interactions. This review will briefly highlight selected recent probe discoveries using SMMs as well as novel uses of SMMs in profiling applications. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Recent Advances in Developing Small Molecules Targeting Nucleic Acid

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Design of Catalytically Amplified Sensors for Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Makhlynets, Olga V.; Korendovych, Ivan V.

    2014-01-01

    Catalytically amplified sensors link an allosteric analyte binding site with a reactive site to catalytically convert substrate into colored or fluorescent product that can be easily measured. Such an arrangement greatly improves a sensor’s detection limit as illustrated by successful application of ELISA-based approaches. The ability to engineer synthetic catalytic sites into non-enzymatic proteins expands the repertoire of analytes as well as readout reactions. Here we review recent examples of small molecule sensors based on allosterically controlled enzymes and organometallic catalysts. The focus of this paper is on biocompatible, switchable enzymes regulated by small molecules to track analytes both in vivo and in the environment. PMID:24970222

  12. Interaction of aromatic molecules with small gold clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molina, Luis M.; López, María. J.; Alonso, Julio A.

    2017-09-01

    Ab initio density functional simulations have been performed to study the adsorption of aromatic molecules (benzene and toluene) on small Aun clusters. The calculations reveal a strong interaction between gold and π electrons of benzene, accompanied by a small electronic charge transfer from benzene to gold. We report a variety of binding conformations, with varying degrees of contact between the carbon atoms in benzene and the cluster. Therefore, the interaction between the aromatic part of molecules involved in the synthesis of fine chemicals catalyzed by gold must not be neglected, and could play an important role during some reaction stages.

  13. Targeting Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I by Small-Molecule Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Godbole, Adwait Anand; Ahmed, Wareed; Bhat, Rajeshwari Subray; Bradley, Erin K.; Ekins, Sean

    2014-01-01

    We describe inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis topoisomerase I (MttopoI), an essential mycobacterial enzyme, by two related compounds, imipramine and norclomipramine, of which imipramine is clinically used as an antidepressant. These molecules showed growth inhibition of both Mycobacterium smegmatis and M. tuberculosis cells. The mechanism of action of these two molecules was investigated by analyzing the individual steps of the topoisomerase I (topoI) reaction cycle. The compounds stimulated cleavage, thereby perturbing the cleavage-religation equilibrium. Consequently, these molecules inhibited the growth of the cells overexpressing topoI at a low MIC. Docking of the molecules on the MttopoI model suggested that they bind near the metal binding site of the enzyme. The DNA relaxation activity of the metal binding mutants harboring mutations in the DxDxE motif was differentially affected by the molecules, suggesting that the metal coordinating residues contribute to the interaction of the enzyme with the drug. Taken together, the results highlight the potential of these small molecules, which poison the M. tuberculosis and M. smegmatis topoisomerase I, as leads for the development of improved molecules to combat mycobacterial infections. Moreover, targeting metal coordination in topoisomerases might be a general strategy to develop new lead molecules. PMID:25534741

  14. Targeting Mycobacterium tuberculosis topoisomerase I by small-molecule inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Godbole, Adwait Anand; Ahmed, Wareed; Bhat, Rajeshwari Subray; Bradley, Erin K; Ekins, Sean; Nagaraja, Valakunja

    2015-03-01

    We describe inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis topoisomerase I (MttopoI), an essential mycobacterial enzyme, by two related compounds, imipramine and norclomipramine, of which imipramine is clinically used as an antidepressant. These molecules showed growth inhibition of both Mycobacterium smegmatis and M. tuberculosis cells. The mechanism of action of these two molecules was investigated by analyzing the individual steps of the topoisomerase I (topoI) reaction cycle. The compounds stimulated cleavage, thereby perturbing the cleavage-religation equilibrium. Consequently, these molecules inhibited the growth of the cells overexpressing topoI at a low MIC. Docking of the molecules on the MttopoI model suggested that they bind near the metal binding site of the enzyme. The DNA relaxation activity of the metal binding mutants harboring mutations in the DxDxE motif was differentially affected by the molecules, suggesting that the metal coordinating residues contribute to the interaction of the enzyme with the drug. Taken together, the results highlight the potential of these small molecules, which poison the M. tuberculosis and M. smegmatis topoisomerase I, as leads for the development of improved molecules to combat mycobacterial infections. Moreover, targeting metal coordination in topoisomerases might be a general strategy to develop new lead molecules.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-19

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

  16. Small-molecule elicitation of microbial secondary metabolites.

    PubMed

    Pettit, Robin K

    2011-07-01

    Microbial natural products continue to be an unparalleled resource for pharmaceutical lead discovery, but the rediscovery rate is high. Bacterial and fungal sequencing studies indicate that the biosynthetic potential of many strains is much greater than that observed by fermentation. Prodding the expression of such silent (cryptic) pathways will allow us to maximize the chemical diversity available from microorganisms. Cryptic metabolic pathways can be accessed in the laboratory using molecular or cultivation-based approaches. A targeted approach related to cultivation-based methods is the application of small-molecule elicitors to specifically affect transcription of secondary metabolite gene clusters. With the isolation of the novel secondary metabolites lunalides A and B, oxylipins, cladochromes F and G, nygerone A, chaetoglobosin-542, -540 and -510, sphaerolone, dihydrosphaerolone, mutolide and pestalone, and the enhanced production of known secondary metabolites like penicillin and bacitracin, chemical elicitation is proving to be an effective way to augment natural product libraries. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Selection of small molecules by the Tetrahymena catalytic center.

    PubMed Central

    Yarus, M; Illangesekare, M; Christian, E

    1991-01-01

    The catalytic center in group I RNAs contains a selective binding site that accommodates both guanosine and L-arginine. In order to understand the specificity of the RNA for small molecules, we analyzed 6 RNAs that vary in this region. Specificity for nucleotides resides substantially in G264 rather than its paired nucleotide C311, and is expressed substantially in Km, with comparatively little variation in kcat. kcat is not notably perturbed even for RNAs with mispairs in the active-site helix. For 5 of 6 sequences, effects of RNA substitutions on arginine binding and GTP reactivity are proportional, confirming that arginine contacts a subset of the groups occupied by G. As a result of particular mutations, reaction with GTP is decreased, and reaction with the natural nucleotides UTP and ATP is enhanced. Molecular modeling of these effects suggests that exceptionally flexible placement of reactants may be an essential quality of RNA-catalyzed splicing. The specificity of the intron can be rationalized by a type of binding model not previously considered, in which the G/arginine site includes adjacent nucleotides (an 'axial' site), rather than a single nucleotide, G264. PMID:2030946

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

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Lirui

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hua, Duy H

    2013-02-01

    Collaborative research projects between chemists, biologists, and medical scientists have inevitably produced many useful drugs, biosensors, and medical instrumentation. Organic chemistry lies at the heart of drug discovery and development. The current range of organic synthetic methodologies allows for the construction of unlimited libraries of small organic molecules for drug screening. In translational research projects, we have focused on the discovery of lead compounds for three major diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), breast cancer, and viral infections. In the AD project, we have taken a rational-design approach and synthesized a new class of tricyclic pyrone (TP) compounds that preserve memory and motor functions in amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin-1 (PS1) mice. TPs could protect neuronal death through several possible mechanisms, including their ability to inhibit the formation of both intraneuronal and extracellular amyloid β (Aβ) aggregates, to increase cholesterol efflux, to restore axonal trafficking, and to enhance long-term potentiation (LTP) and restored LTP following treatment with Aβ oligomers. We have also synthesized a new class of gap-junction enhancers, based on substituted quinolines, that possess potent inhibitory activities against breast-cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Although various antiviral drugs are available, the emergence of viral resistance to existing antiviral drugs and various understudied viral infections, such as norovirus and rotavirus, emphasizes the demand for the development of new antiviral agents against such infections and others. Our laboratories have undertaken these projects for the discovery of new antiviral inhibitors. The discussion of these aforementioned projects may shed light on the future development of drug candidates in the fields of AD, cancer, and viral infections. Copyright © 2013 The Chemical Society of Japan and Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. The origin of small and large molecule behavior in the vibrational relaxation of highly excited molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Robert J.

    1990-04-01

    An explanation is proposed for the qualitatively different types of behavior that have been reported for the vibrational relaxation of highly excited diatomic and polyatomic molecules. It is argued that all of the diatomic molecules that have been studied in bulk relax adiabatically at room temperature. In contrast, large polyatomic molecules have low frequency modes which act at ``doorway'' modes for the rest of the molecules, producing an impulsive relaxation mechanism. The theoretical work of Nesbitt and Hynes showed that impulsive collisions result in an exponential decay of the average vibrational energy of a Morse oscillator, whereas adiabatic collisions produce nonexponential power law behavior. We propose that this result explains a large body of data for the vibrational relaxation of small and large molecules.

  1. The origin of small and large molecule behavior in the vibrational relaxation of highly excited molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, R.J. )

    1990-04-01

    An explanation is proposed for the qualitatively different types of behavior that have been reported for the vibrational relaxation of highly excited diatomic and polyatomic molecules. It is argued that all of the diatomic molecules that have been studied in bulk relax adiabatically at room temperature. In contrast, large polyatomic molecules have low frequency modes which act at doorway'' modes for the rest of the molecules, producing an impulsive relaxation mechanism. The theoretical work of Nesbitt and Hynes showed that impulsive collisions result in an exponential decay of the average vibrational energy of a Morse oscillator, whereas adiabatic collisions produce nonexponential power law behavior. We propose that this result explains a large body of data for the vibrational relaxation of small and large molecules.

  2. Exporters for Production of Amino Acids and Other Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Eggeling, Lothar

    2016-11-11

    Microbes are talented catalysts to synthesize valuable small molecules in their cytosol. However, to make full use of their skills - and that of metabolic engineers - the export of intracellularly synthesized molecules to the culture medium has to be considered. This step is as essential as is each step for the synthesis of the favorite molecule of the metabolic engineer, but is frequently not taken into account. To export small molecules via the microbial cell envelope, a range of different types of carrier proteins is recognized to be involved, which are primary active carriers, secondary active carriers, or proteins increasing diffusion. Relevant export may require just one carrier as is the case with L-lysine export by Corynebacterium glutamicum or involve up to four carriers as known for L-cysteine excretion by Escherichia coli. Meanwhile carriers for a number of small molecules of biotechnological interest are recognized, like for production of peptides, nucleosides, diamines, organic acids, or biofuels. In addition to carriers involved in amino acid excretion, such carriers and their impact on product formation are described, as well as the relatedness of export carriers which may serve as a hint to identify further carriers required to improve product formation by engineering export.

  3. Small molecules that recapitulate the early steps of urodele amphibian limb regeneration and confer multipotency.

    PubMed

    Kim, Woong-Hee; Jung, Da-Woon; Kim, Jinmi; Im, Sin-Hyeog; Hwang, Seung Yong; Williams, Darren R

    2012-04-20

    In urodele amphibians, an early step in limb regeneration is skeletal muscle fiber dedifferentiation into a cellulate that proliferates to contribute new limb tissue. However, mammalian muscle cannot dedifferentiate after injury. We have developed a novel, small-molecule-based method to induce dedifferentiation in mammalian skeletal muscle. Muscle cellularization was induced by the small molecule myoseverin. Candidate small molecules were tested for the induction of proliferation in the cellulate. We observed that treatment with the small molecules BIO (glycogen synthase-3 kinase inhibitor), lysophosphatidic acid (pleiotropic activator of G-protein-coupled receptors), SB203580 (p38 MAP kinase inhibitor), or SQ22536 (adenylyl cyclase inhibitor) induced proliferation. Moreover, these proliferating cells were multipotent, as confirmed by the chemical induction of mesodermal-derived cell lineages. Microarray analysis showed that the multipotent, BIO-treated cellulate possessed a markedly different gene expression pattern than lineage-restricted C2C12 myoblasts, especially for genes related to signal transduction and differentiation. Sequential small molecule treatment of the muscle cellulate with BIO, SB203580, or SQ22536 and the aurora B kinase inhibitor, reversine, induced the formation of cells with neurogenic potential (ectodermal lineage), indicating the acquirement of pluripotency. This is the first demonstration of a small molecule method that induces mammalian muscle to undergo dedifferentiation and rededifferentiation into alternate cell lineages. This method induces dedifferentiation in a simple, stepwise approach and has therapeutic potential to enhance tissue regeneration in mammals.

  4. Mechanistic understanding and significance of small peptides interaction with MHC class II molecules for therapeutic applications.

    PubMed

    Afridi, Saifullah; Hoessli, Daniel C; Hameed, Muhammad Waqar

    2016-07-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules are expressed by antigen-presenting cells and stimulate CD4(+) T cells, which initiate humoral immune responses. Over the past decade, interest has developed to therapeutically impact the peptides to be exposed to CD4(+) T cells. Structurally diverse small molecules have been discovered that act on the endogenous peptide exchanger HLA-DM by different mechanisms. Exogenously delivered peptides are highly susceptible to proteolytic cleavage in vivo; however, it is only when successfully incorporated into stable MHC II-peptide complexes that these peptides can induce an immune response. Many of the small molecules so far discovered have highlighted the molecular interactions mediating the formation of MHC II-peptide complexes. As potential drugs, these small molecules open new therapeutic approaches to modulate MHC II antigen presentation pathways and influence the quality and specificity of immune responses. This review briefly introduces how CD4(+) T cells recognize antigen when displayed by MHC class II molecules, as well as MHC class II-peptide-loading pathways, structural basis of peptide binding and stabilization of the peptide-MHC complexes. We discuss the concept of MHC-loading enhancers, how they could modulate immune responses and how these molecules have been identified. Finally, we suggest mechanisms whereby MHC-loading enhancers could act upon MHC class II molecules.

  5. Structural insights into the transport of small molecules across membranes

    PubMed Central

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Buchanan, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    While hydrophobic small molecules often can freely permeate a lipid bilayer, ions and other polar molecules cannot and require transporters to mediate their transport. Recently, a number of important structures have been reported which have advanced our understanding of how membrane protein transporters function to transport small molecules. Structures of TbpA/B and HmuUV provided new insight into iron uptake by pathogenic bacteria while the structures of NarK, ASBT, and VcINDY revealed molecular details about the transport of nitrate, bile acids and dicarboxylates, respectively. The structure of the folate ECF transporter indicated that the S component likely undergoes a large conformational shift to mediate folate transport, while the cellulose synthase/transporter contains an elongated translocation pore for passage through the inner membrane. PMID:24681594

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tormena, Cláudio F

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Chemical genetics: a small molecule approach to neurobiology.

    PubMed

    Koh, Brian; Crews, Craig M

    2002-11-14

    Chemical genetics, or the specific modulation of cellular systems by small molecules, has complemented classical genetic analysis throughout the history of neurobiology. We outline several of its contributions to the understanding of ion channel biology, heat and cold signal transduction, sleep and diurnal rhythm regulation, effects of immunophilin ligands, and cell surface oligosaccharides with respect to neurobiology.

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

    PubMed

    Trim, Paul J; Snel, Marten F

    2016-07-15

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

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-20

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

  14. SEC-TID: A Label-Free Method for Small-Molecule Target Identification.

    PubMed

    Salcius, Michael; Bauer, Andras J; Hao, Qin; Li, Shu; Tutter, Antonin; Raphael, Jacob; Jahnke, Wolfgang; Rondeau, Jean-Michel; Bourgier, Emmanuelle; Tallarico, John; Michaud, Gregory A

    2014-07-01

    Bioactive small molecules are an invaluable source of therapeutics and chemical probes for exploring biological pathways. Yet, significant hurdles in drug discovery often come from lacking a comprehensive view of the target(s) for both early tool molecules and even late-stage drugs. To address this challenge, a method is provided that allows for assessing the interactions of small molecules with thousands of targets without any need to modify the small molecule of interest or attach any component to a surface. We describe size-exclusion chromatography for target identification (SEC-TID), a method for accurately and reproducibly detecting ligand-macromolecular interactions for small molecules targeting nucleic acid and several protein classes. We report the use of SEC-TID, with a library consisting of approximately 1000 purified proteins derived from the protein databank (PDB), to identify the efficacy targets tankyrase 1 and 2 for the Wnt inhibitor XAV939. In addition, we report novel interactions for the tumor-vascular disrupting agent vadimezan/ASA404 (interacting with farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase) and the diuretic mefruside (interacting with carbonic anhydrase XIII). We believe this method can dramatically enhance our understanding of the mechanism of action and potential liabilities for small molecules in drug discovery pipelines through comprehensive profiling of candidate druggable targets.

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

    PubMed Central

    Convertino, Marino; Vitalis, Andreas; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Enhancing single-molecule fluorescence with nanophotonics.

    PubMed

    Acuna, Guillermo; Grohmann, Dina; Tinnefeld, Philip

    2014-10-01

    Single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy has become an important research tool in the life sciences but a number of limitations hinder the widespread use as a standard technique. The limited dynamic concentration range is one of the major hurdles. Recent developments in the nanophotonic field promise to alleviate these restrictions to an extent that even low affinity biomolecular interactions can be studied. After motivating the need for nanophotonics we introduce the basic concepts of nanophotonic devices such as zero mode waveguides and nanoantennas. We highlight current applications and the future potential of nanophotonic approaches when combined with biological systems and single-molecule spectroscopy.

  17. Small Pure Carbon Molecules with Small-World Networks Using Density Functional Theory Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yancey, Jeremy A.; Novotny, M. A.; Gwaltney, Steven R.

    The possible existence of small, pure carbon molecules based on small-world networks is addressed using density functional theory simulations. A ring of atoms with one or more small-world connections between pairs of non-nearest-neighbor sites was chosen for the network topology. The small-world connections are made with and without additional carbon atoms placed along the link. The energy per atom of these small-world carbon systems is compared with benchmark molecules such as the C20 ring, bowl, and cage isomers, the C60 Buckyball, monocyclic pure carbon rings ranging from C4 to C60, bare linear carbon chains ranging from C2 to C36, and various graphitic fragments without hydrogens. The results of the energy per atom for some of these small-world clusters provide an indication that such pure carbon molecules are reasonable for real world synthesis.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

  19. Small Molecule Protection of Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Stem Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-10-01

    Award Number: W81XWH-14-1-0297 TITLE: Small Molecule Protection of Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Stem Cells PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Raymond J...Molecule Protection of Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Stem Cells Stem Cells ’ 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0297 W81XWH-14-1-0297 W81XWH-14-1-0297 5b...hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from damage or killing by endogenous aldehydes. Proof-of-concept for these experiments has been developed using isogenic

  20. Managing missing measurements in small-molecule screens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, Michael R.; Calhoun, Bradley T.; Swamidass, S. Joshua.

    2013-05-01

    In a typical high-throughput screening (HTS) campaign, less than 1 % of the small-molecule library is characterized by confirmatory experiments. As much as 99 % of the library's molecules are set aside—and not included in downstream analysis—although some of these molecules would prove active were they sent for confirmatory testing. These missing experimental measurements prevent active molecules from being identified by screeners. In this study, we propose managing missing measurements using imputation—a powerful technique from the machine learning community—to fill in accurate guesses where measurements are missing. We then use these imputed measurements to construct an imputed visualization of HTS results, based on the scaffold tree visualization from the literature. This imputed visualization identifies almost all groups of active molecules from a HTS, even those that would otherwise be missed. We validate our methodology by simulating HTS experiments using the data from eight quantitative HTS campaigns, and the implications for drug discovery are discussed. In particular, this method can rapidly and economically identify novel active molecules, each of which could have novel function in either binding or selectivity in addition to representing new intellectual property.

  1. Small and Large Molecules in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Takeshi; Huang, Jane

    2014-06-01

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

  2. Computational insight into small molecule inhibition of cyclophilins.

    PubMed

    Sambasivarao, Somisetti V; Acevedo, Orlando

    2011-02-28

    Cyclophilins (Cyp) are a family of cellular enzymes possessing peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity, which catalyze the cis-trans interconversion of proline-containing peptide bonds. The two most abundant family members, CypA and CypB, have been identified as valid drug targets for a wide range of diseases, including HCV, HIV, and multiple cancers. However, the development of small molecule inhibitors that possess nM potency and high specificity for a particular Cyp is difficult given the complete conservation of all active site residues between the enzymes. Monte Carlo statistical sampling coupled to free energy perturbation theory (MC/FEP) calculations have been carried out to elucidate the origin of the experimentally observed nM inhibition of CypA by acylurea-based derivatives and the >200-fold in vitro selectivity between CypA and CypB from aryl 1-indanylketone-based μM inhibitors. The computed free-energies of binding were in close accord with those derived from experiments. Binding affinity values for the inhibitors were determined to be dependent upon the stabilization strength of the nonbonded interactions provided toward two catalytic residues: Arg55 and Asn102 in CypA and the analogous Arg63 and Asn110 residues in CypB. Fine-tuning of the hydrophobic interactions allowed for enhanced potency among derivatives. The aryl 1-indanylketones are predicted to differentiate between the cyclophilins by using distinct binding motifs that exploit subtle differences in the active site arrangements. Ideas for the development of new selective compounds with the potential for advancement to low-nanomolar inhibition are presented.

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

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Nicole J.; Hinner, Marlon J.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Feng, Justin; Jester, Benjamin W.; Tinberg, Christine E.; ...

    2015-12-29

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

  5. Hard and soft acids and bases: small molecules.

    PubMed

    Reed, James L

    2009-08-03

    The operational chemical hardness has been determined for the hydride, chloride, and fluoride derivatives of the anionic atomic bases of the second period. Of interest is the identification of the structure and associated processes that give rise to hard-soft behavior in small molecules. The Pearson Principle of Hard and Soft Acids and Bases has been taken to be the defining statement about hard-soft behavior and as a definition of chemical hardness. Similar to the case for atoms, the molecule's responding electrons have been identified as the structure giving rise to hard-soft behavior, and a relaxation described by a modified Slater model has been identified as the associated process. The responding electrons are the molecule's valence electrons that are not undergoing electron transfer in an acid-base interaction. However, it has been demonstrated that chemical hardness is a local property, and only those responding electrons that are associated with the base's binding atom directly impact chemical hardness.

  6. Predicting and Improving the Membrane Permeability of Peptidic Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Rafi, Salma B.; Hearn, Brian R.; Vedantham, Punitha; Jacobson, Matthew P.; Renslo, Adam R.

    2012-01-01

    We evaluate experimentally and computationally the membrane permeability of matched sets of peptidic small molecules bearing natural or bioisosteric unnatural amino acids. We find that the intentional introduction of hydrogen bond acceptor-donor pairs in such molecules can improve membrane permeability while retaining or improving other favorable drug-like properties. We employ an all-atom force-field based method to calculate changes in free energy associated with the transfer of the peptidic molecules from water to membrane. This computational method correctly predicts rank-order experimental permeability trends within congeneric series and is much more predictive than calculations (e.g. clogP) that do not consider three-dimensional conformation. PMID:22394492

  7. Neutralization of Pathogenic Fungi with Small-Molecule Immunotherapeutics.

    PubMed

    Chirkin, Egor; Muthusamy, Viswanathan; Mann, Paul; Roemer, Terry; Nantermet, Philippe G; Spiegel, David A

    2017-10-09

    Systemic fungal infections represent an important public health concern, and new antifungal agents are highly desirable. Herein, we describe the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of a novel class of antifungal compounds called antibody-recruiting molecules targeting fungi (ARM-Fs). Our approach relies on the use of non-peptidic small molecules, which selectively bind fungal cells and recruit endogenous antibodies to their surfaces, resulting in immune-mediated clearance. Using the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans as a model, we identified a highly specific bifunctional molecule able to mediate the engulfment and phagocytosis of C. albicans cells by human immune cells in biologically relevant functional assays. This work represents a novel therapeutic approach to treating fungal illness with significant potential to complement and/or combine with existing treatment strategies. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Evolution and Protein Packaging of Small Molecule RNA Aptamers

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Jolene L.; Baksh, Michael M.; Fiedler, Jason D.; Brown, Steven D.; Kussrow, Amanda; Bornhop, Darryl J.; Ordoukhanian, Phillip

    2011-01-01

    A high-affinity RNA aptamer (Kd = 50 nM) was efficiently identified by SELEX against a heteroaryl dihydropyrimidine structure, chosen as a representative drug-like molecule with no cross reactivity with mammalian or bacterial cells. This aptamer, its weaker-binding variants, and a known aptamer against theophylline were each embedded in a longer RNA sequence that was encapsidated inside a virus-like particle by a convenient expression technique. These nucleoprotein particles were shown by backscattering interferometry to bind to the small-molecule ligands with affinities similar to those of the free (non-encapsidated) aptamers. The system therefore comprises a general approach to the production and sequestration of functional RNA molecules, characterized by a convenient label-free analytical technique. PMID:21899290

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-29

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

  10. Interactive endogenous small molecule (gaseous) signaling: implications for teratogenesis.

    PubMed

    Fukuto, Jon M; Collins, Michael D

    2007-01-01

    Dioxygen (O2) is an exogenously supplied gas with a number of properties that make it valuable as a biological source of energy and as a result much of life has become dependent on this molecule. Nitric oxide (NO), carbon dioxide (CO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are small molecules that are sometimes in a gaseous state and that can be either exogenously or endogenously supplied. The chemistry of these four molecules allows them to share some common biological targets and signal transduction pathways as well as providing for unique aspects to the biochemistry of each one. Dioxygen can be teratogenic either in excess (hyperoxia) or in deficiency (hypoxia). Although there is a great deal known about the chemistry and physiology of dioxygen, the mechanisms by which it induces toxic endpoints, such as teratogenesis, are unknown. This review examines some fundamental concepts of these four signaling molecules and considers some of the molecular targets and pathways by which they interact. The information regarding the teratogenicity of either excess or deficiency of the four gases is summarized. Interaction information is generally unavailable for teratogenicity endpoints with the four gases and also a mechanistic understanding of the toxicodynamics of the compounds is lacking. Although it could be theoretically predicted that certain interactions would be additive, for example carbon monoxide and hypoxia, based on the physiological role of these molecules, the data is unavailable. Consequently, these small (gaseous) signaling molecules have been demonstrated to interact with respect to signaling pathways, but whether this indicates a similar result for teratogenesis remains unevaluated.

  11. Graphene-Enhanced Raman Scattering from the Adenine Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Small Molecule Probes for Plant Cell Wall Polysaccharide Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Ian S.; Anderson, Charles T.

    2012-01-01

    Plant cell walls are composed of interlinked polymer networks consisting of cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectins, proteins, and lignin. The ordered deposition of these components is a dynamic process that critically affects the development and differentiation of plant cells. However, our understanding of cell wall synthesis and remodeling, as well as the diverse cell wall architectures that result from these processes, has been limited by a lack of suitable chemical probes that are compatible with live-cell imaging. In this review, we summarize the currently available molecular toolbox of probes for cell wall polysaccharide imaging in plants, with particular emphasis on recent advances in small molecule-based fluorescent probes. We also discuss the potential for further development of small molecule probes for the analysis of cell wall architecture and dynamics. PMID:22639673

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

    PubMed

    Chan, Zhulong; Shi, Haitao

    2015-01-01

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

  14. MolAlign: an algorithm for aligning multiple small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Shek Ling

    2017-06-01

    In small molecule drug discovery projects, the receptor structure is not always available. In such cases it is enormously useful to be able to align known ligands in the way they bind in the receptor. Here we shall present an algorithm for the alignment of multiple small molecule ligands. This algorithm takes pre-generated conformers as input, and proposes aligned assemblies of the ligands. The algorithm consists of two stages: the first stage is to perform alignments for each pair of ligands, the second stage makes use of the results from the first stage to build up multiple ligand alignment assemblies using a novel iterative procedure. The scoring functions are improved versions of the one mentioned in our previous work. We have compared our results with some recent publications. While an exact comparison is impossible, it is clear that our algorithm is fast and produces very competitive results.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  16. What is next for small-molecule drug discovery?

    PubMed

    Doweyko, Arthur M; Doweyko, Lidia M

    2009-09-01

    Humankind has been in the business of discovering drugs for thousands of years. At present, small-molecule drug design is based on specific macromolecular receptors as targets for inhibition or modulation. To this end, a number of clever approaches have evolved over time: computer-aided techniques including structure-activity relationships and synthesis, high-throughput screening, quantitative structure-activity relationships, hypotheses derived from ligand- and/or structure-based information and focused library approaches. In recent years, several alternative strategies have appeared in the form of the emerging paradigms of polypharmacology, systems biology and personalized medicine. These innovations point to key challenges and breakthroughs likely to affect the future of small-molecule drug discovery.

  17. Understanding Noncovalent Interactions of Small Molecules with Carbon Nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Calbo, Joaquín; López-Moreno, Alejandro; de Juan, Alberto; Comer, Jeffrey; Ortí, Enrique; Pérez, Emilio M

    2017-09-18

    We combine experimental methods, density functional theory (DFT) calculations, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in the quantitative analysis of noncovalent interactions between (6,5)-enriched single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), as hosts, and a set of pyrene derivatives with different electronic properties and surface areas, as guests. The experiments and calculations were carried out in two solvents with markedly different polarities, namely 1,1',2,2'-tetrachloroethane (TCE) and N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF). Our results show that dispersion forces govern the supramolecular association of small molecules with (6,5)-SWNTs, with negligible contributions from ground-state charge-transfer effects. In the nonpolar solvent (TCE), the binding constants are highly correlated with the contact area between the SWNT and the guests. In the polar solvent (DMF), the binding constants show a complex dependence on the chemical nature of the pyrene substituents, as demonstrated by MD simulations with the explicit inclusion of solvent molecules. The solvation of the small molecules is shown to play a leading role in the binding process. Remarkably, the binding constants obtained from the MD simulations for the five guest molecules correlate with those derived from experiment. Furthermore, the MD simulations also reveal the structure of the adsorbed guest from low to high SWNT surface coverage. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Computational Design of Druglike Small Molecule Plk1 PBD Inhibitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanadia, Sean

    2012-02-01

    Polo-like Kinase 1 (Plk1) participates in regulation of the cell cycle and is often overexpressed in cancers. Inhibition of Plk1 was found to suppress cancer development. Most known kinase inhibitors interact with highly conserved ATP binding sites of the kinases. This makes the design of Plk1-specific inhibitors difficult. However, Plk1 has another active site, the Polo-Box Domain (PBD). PBD is not present in other kinases that were studied here. In this research, the PBD site of Plk1 was used as a target for designing small molecules that could potentially bind Plk1. A previously designed small molecule, Purpurogallin (PPG), was found to bind only the PBD of Plk1 and a highly similar site of LYN kinase, but no other kinases. The PPG structure was used as a template to design new putative Plk1-specific inhibitors. Druglike properties of the new molecules were evaluated with the Osiris Property Explorer program. Interactions of the molecules with Plk1, LYN, and eight other kinases were studied using the Argus Lab docking program. Further search for Plk1-specific inhibitors that could potentially target cancers with overexpressed Plk1 is discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Litterman, Nadia; Lipinski, Christopher; Ekins, Sean

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Small molecules with antiviral activity against the Ebola virus

    PubMed Central

    Litterman, Nadia; Lipinski, Christopher; Ekins, Sean

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Inkjet printing of photopolymerizable small molecules for OLED applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. Light-assisted small molecule screening against protein kinases

    PubMed Central

    Inglés-Prieto, Álvaro; Reichhart, Eva; Muellner, Markus K.; Nowak, Matthias; Nijman, Sebastian M.; Grusch, Michael; Janovjak, Harald

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput live-cell screens are intricate elements of systems biology studies and drug discovery pipelines. Here, we demonstrate an optogenetics-assisted method that obviates the addition of chemical activators and reporters, reduces the number of operational steps and increases information content in a cell-based small molecule screen against human protein kinases including an orphan receptor tyrosine kinase. This blueprint for all-optical screening can be adapted to many drug targets and cellular processes. PMID:26457372

  3. Development of small-molecule inhibitors targeting adipose triglyceride lipase.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Nicole; Schweiger, Martina; Romauch, Matthias; Grabner, Gernot F; Eichmann, Thomas O; Fuchs, Elisabeth; Ivkovic, Jakov; Heier, Christoph; Mrak, Irina; Lass, Achim; Höfler, Gerald; Fledelius, Christian; Zechner, Rudolf; Zimmermann, Robert; Breinbauer, Rolf

    2013-12-01

    Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is rate limiting in the mobilization of fatty acids from cellular triglyceride stores. This central role in lipolysis marks ATGL as an interesting pharmacological target as deregulated fatty acid metabolism is closely linked to dyslipidemic and metabolic disorders. Here we report on the development and characterization of a small-molecule inhibitor of ATGL. Atglistatin is selective for ATGL and reduces fatty acid mobilization in vitro and in vivo.

  4. Chemical detoxification of small molecules by Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-15

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

  5. Polymer and small molecule based hybrid light source

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-03-16

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

  6. High resolution studies of atoms and small molecules

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-10-01

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

  7. Activation of heme biosynthesis by a small molecule that is toxic to fermenting Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Mike, Laura A.; Dutter, Brendan F.; Stauff, Devin L.; Moore, Jessica L.; Vitko, Nicholas P.; Aranmolate, Olusegun; Kehl-Fie, Thomas E.; Sullivan, Sarah; Reid, Paul R.; DuBois, Jennifer L.; Richardson, Anthony R.; Caprioli, Richard M.; Sulikowski, Gary A.; Skaar, Eric P.

    2013-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a significant infectious threat to global public health. Acquisition or synthesis of heme is required for S. aureus to capture energy through respiration, but an excess of this critical cofactor is toxic to bacteria. S. aureus employs the heme sensor system (HssRS) to overcome heme toxicity; however, the mechanism of heme sensing is not defined. Here, we describe the identification of a small molecule activator of HssRS that induces endogenous heme biosynthesis by perturbing central metabolism. This molecule is toxic to fermenting S. aureus, including clinically relevant small colony variants. The utility of targeting fermenting bacteria is exemplified by the fact that this compound prevents the emergence of antibiotic resistance, enhances phagocyte killing, and reduces S. aureus pathogenesis. Not only is this small molecule a powerful tool for studying bacterial heme biosynthesis and central metabolism; it also establishes targeting of fermentation as a viable antibacterial strategy. PMID:23630262

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-23

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

  9. Systems-based Discovery of Tomatidine as a Natural Small Molecule Inhibitor of Skeletal Muscle Atrophy*

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  11. Allosteric Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the AKT Kinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalafave, D. S.

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Small molecule deubiquitinase inhibitors promote macrophage anti-infective capacity.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Screening for small molecule disruptors of AKAP-PKA interactions.

    PubMed

    Schächterle, Carolin; Christian, Frank; Fernandes, João Miguel Parente; Klussmann, Enno

    2015-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are highly specific and diverse. Their selective inhibition with peptides, peptidomimetics, or small molecules allows determination of functions of individual PPIs. Moreover, inhibition of disease-associated PPIs may lead to new concepts for the treatment of diseases with an unmet medical need. Protein kinase A (PKA) is an ubiquitously expressed protein kinase that controls a plethora of cellular functions. A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) are multivalent scaffolding proteins that directly interact with PKA. AKAPs spatially and temporally restrict PKA activity to defined cellular compartments and thereby contribute to the specificity of PKA signaling. However, it is largely unknown which of the plethora of PKA-dependent signaling events involve interactions of PKA with AKAPs. Moreover, AKAP-PKA interactions appear to play a role in a variety of cardiovascular, neuronal, and inflammatory diseases, but it is unclear whether these interactions are suitable drug targets. Here we describe an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the screening of small molecule libraries for inhibitors of AKAP-PKA interactions. In addition, we describe a homogenous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF) assay for use in secondary validation screens. Small molecule inhibitors are invaluable molecular tools for elucidating the functions of AKAP-PKA interactions and may eventually lead to new concepts for the treatment of diseases where AKAP-PKA interactions represent potential drug targets.

  15. Turning on caspases with genetics and small molecules.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Small Molecule Inhibitors Target the Tissue Transglutaminase and Fibronectin Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Yakubov, Bakhtiyor; Chen, Lan; Belkin, Alexey M.; Zhang, Sheng; Chelladurai, Bhadrani; Zhang, Zhong-Yin; Matei, Daniela

    2014-01-01

    Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) mediates protein crosslinking through generation of ε−(γ-glutamyl) lysine isopeptide bonds and promotes cell adhesion through interaction with fibronectin (FN) and integrins. Cell adhesion to the peritoneal matrix regulated by TG2 facilitates ovarian cancer dissemination. Therefore, disruption of the TG2-FN complex by small molecules may inhibit cell adhesion and metastasis. A novel high throughput screening (HTS) assay based on AlphaLISA™ technology was developed to measure the formation of a complex between His-TG2 and the biotinylated FN fragment that binds TG2 and to discover small molecules that inhibit this protein-protein interaction. Several hits were identified from 10,000 compounds screened. The top candidates selected based on >70% inhibition of the TG2/FN complex formation were confirmed by using ELISA and bioassays measuring cell adhesion, migration, invasion, and proliferation. In conclusion, the AlphaLISA bead format assay measuring the TG2-FN interaction is robust and suitable for HTS of small molecules. One compound identified from the screen (TG53) potently inhibited ovarian cancer cell adhesion to FN, cell migration, and invasion and could be further developed as a potential inhibitor for ovarian cancer dissemination. PMID:24586660

  17. Aldolase-catalysed stereoselective synthesis of fluorinated small molecules.

    PubMed

    Windle, Claire L; Berry, Alan; Nelson, Adam

    2017-04-01

    The introduction of fluorine has been widely exploited to tune the biological functions of small molecules. Indeed, around 20% of leading drugs contain at least one fluorine atom. Yet, despite profound effects of fluorination on conformation, there is only a limited toolkit of reactions that enable stereoselective synthesis of fluorinated compounds. Aldolases are useful catalysts for the stereoselective synthesis of bioactive small molecules; however, despite fluoropyruvate being a viable nucleophile for some aldolases, the potential of aldolases to control the formation of fluorine-bearing stereocentres has largely been untapped. Very recently, it has been shown that aldolase-catalysed stereoselective carboncarbon bond formation with fluoropyruvate as nucleophile enable the synthesis of many α-fluoro β-hydroxy carboxyl derivatives. Furthermore, an understanding of the structural basis for the stereocontrol observed in these reactions is beginning to emerge. Here, we review the application of aldolase catalysis in the stereocontrolled synthesis of chiral fluorinated small molecules, and highlight likely areas for future developments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria C.

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Small molecule antagonists for chemokine CCR3 receptors.

    PubMed

    Willems, Lianne I; Ijzerman, Ad P

    2010-09-01

    The chemokine receptor CCR3 is believed to play a role in the development of allergic diseases such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis. Despite the conflicting results that have been reported regarding the importance of eosinophils and CCR3 in allergic inflammation, inhibition of this receptor with small molecule antagonists is thought to provide a valuable approach for the treatment of these diseases. This review describes the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of small molecule CCR3 antagonists as reported in the scientific and patent literature. Various chemical classes of small molecule CCR3 antagonists have been described so far, including (bi)piperidine and piperazine derivatives, N-arylalkylpiperidine urea derivatives and (N-ureidoalkyl)benzylpiperidines, phenylalanine derivatives, morpholinyl derivatives, pyrrolidinohydroquinazolines, arylsulfonamides, amino-alkyl amides, imidazole- and pyrimidine-based antagonists, and bicyclic diamines. The (N-ureidoalkyl)benzylpiperidines are the best studied class in view of their generally high affinity and antagonizing potential. For many of these antagonists subnanomolar IC(50) values were reported for binding to CCR3 along with the ability to effectively inhibit intracellular calcium mobilization and eosinophil chemotaxis induced by CCR3 agonist ligands in vitro.

  20. Urea transporter proteins as targets for small-molecule diuretics.

    PubMed

    Esteva-Font, Cristina; Anderson, Marc O; Verkman, Alan S

    2015-02-01

    Conventional diuretics such as furosemide and thiazides target salt transporters in kidney tubules, but urea transporters (UTs) have emerged as alternative targets. UTs are a family of transmembrane channels expressed in a variety of mammalian tissues, in particular the kidney. UT knockout mice and humans with UT mutations exhibit reduced maximal urinary osmolality, demonstrating that UTs are necessary for the concentration of urine. Small-molecule screening has identified potent and selective inhibitors of UT-A, the UT protein expressed in renal tubule epithelial cells, and UT-B, the UT protein expressed in vasa recta endothelial cells. Data from UT knockout mice and from rodents administered UT inhibitors support the diuretic action of UT inhibition. The kidney-specific expression of UT-A1, together with high selectivity of the small-molecule inhibitors, means that off-target effects of such small-molecule drugs should be minimal. This Review summarizes the structure, expression and function of UTs, and looks at the evidence supporting the validity of UTs as targets for the development of salt-sparing diuretics with a unique mechanism of action. UT-targeted inhibitors may be useful alone or in combination with conventional diuretics for therapy of various oedemas and hyponatraemias, potentially including those refractory to treatment with current diuretics.

  1. Mapping human metabolic pathways in the small molecule chemical space.

    PubMed

    Macchiarulo, Antonio; Thornton, Janet M; Nobeli, Irene

    2009-10-01

    The work presented here is a study of human metabolic pathways, as projected in the chemical space of the small molecules they comprise, and it is composed of three parts: a) a study of the extent of clustering and overlap of these pathways in chemical space, b) the development and assessment of a statistical model for estimating the proximity to a given pathway of any small molecule, and c) the use of the above model in estimating the proximity of marketed drugs to human metabolic pathways. The distribution, overlap, and relationships of human metabolic pathways in this space are revealed using both visual and quantitative approaches. A set of selected physicochemical and topological descriptors is used to build a classifier, whose aim is to predict metabolic class and pathway membership of any small molecule. The classifier performs well for tightly clustered, isolated pathways but is, naturally, much less accurate for strongly overlapping pathways. Finally, the extent of overlap of a set of known drugs with the human metabolome is examined, and the classifier is used to predict likely cross-interactions between drugs and the major metabolic pathways in humans.

  2. Multimonth controlled small molecule release from biodegradable thin films

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Bryan B.; Park, Myoung-Hwan; Hagerman, Samantha R.; Hammond, Paula T.

    2014-01-01

    Long-term, localized delivery of small molecules from a biodegradable thin film is challenging owing to their low molecular weight and poor charge density. Accomplishing highly extended controlled release can facilitate high therapeutic levels in specific regions of the body while significantly reducing the toxicity to vital organs typically caused by systemic administration and decreasing the need for medical intervention because of its long-lasting release. Also important is the ability to achieve high drug loadings in thin film coatings to allow incorporation of significant drug amounts on implant surfaces. Here we report a sustained release formulation for small molecules based on a soluble charged polymer–drug conjugate that is immobilized into nanoscale, conformal, layer-by-layer assembled films applicable to a variety of substrate surfaces. We measured a highly predictable sustained drug release from a polymer thin film coating of 0.5–2.7 μm that continued for more than 14 mo with physiologically relevant drug concentrations, providing an important drug delivery advance. We demonstrated this effect with a potent small molecule nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, because this drug can be used to address chronic pain, osteoarthritis, and a range of other critical medical issues. PMID:25092310

  3. Small molecules that target phosphorylation dependent protein-protein interaction.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Nobumoto; Osada, Hiroyuki

    2016-08-01

    Protein-protein interaction is one of the key events in the signal transduction pathway. The interaction changes the conformations, activities, localization and stabilities of the proteins, and transduces the signal to the next step. Frequently, this interaction occurs upon the protein phosphorylation. When upstream signals are stimulated, protein kinase(s) is/are activated and phosphorylate(s) their substrates, and induce the phosphorylation dependent protein-protein interaction. For this interaction, several domains in proteins are known to specifically recognize the phosphorylated residues of target proteins. These specific domains for interaction are important in the progression of the diseases caused by disordered signal transduction such as cancer. Thus small molecules that modulate this interaction are attractive lead compounds for the treatment of such diseases. In this review, we focused on three examples of phosphorylation dependent protein-protein interaction modules (14-3-3, polo box domain of Plk1 and F-box proteins in SCF ubiquitin ligases) and summarize small molecules that modulate their interaction. We also introduce our original screening system to identify such small molecules. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaimayo, Wanaruk; Miller, Benjamin L.

    2014-03-01

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

  5. Organic synthesis toward small-molecule probes and drugs

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Stuart L.

    2011-01-01

    “Organic synthesis” is a compound-creating activity often focused on biologically active small molecules. This special issue of PNAS explores innovations and trends in the field that are enabling the synthesis of new types of small-molecule probes and drugs. This perspective article frames the research described in the special issue but also explores how these modern capabilities can both foster a new and more extensive view of basic research in the academy and promote the linkage of life-science research to the discovery of novel types of small-molecule therapeutics [Schreiber SL (2009) Chem Bio Chem 10:26–29]. This new view of basic research aims to bridge the chasm between basic scientific discoveries in life sciences and new drugs that treat the root cause of human disease—recently referred to as the “valley of death” for drug discovery. This perspective article describes new roles that modern organic chemistry will need to play in overcoming this challenge. PMID:21464328

  6. Recent Advances on Small-Molecule Survivin Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Min; Li, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Survivin, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins family, is highly expressed in most human neoplasms, but its expression is very low or undetectable in terminally differentiated normal tissues. Survivin has been shown to inhibit cancer cell apoptosis and promote cell proliferation. The overexpression of survivin closely correlates with tumor progression and drug resistance. Because of its key role in tumor formation and maintenance, survivin is considered as an ideal target for anticancer treatment. However, the development of small-molecule survivin inhibitors has been challenging due to the requirement to disrupt the protein-protein interactions. Currently only a limited number of survivin inhibitors have been developed in recent years, and most of these inhibitors reduce survivin levels by interacting with other biomolecules instead of directly interacting with survivin protein. Despite these challenges, developing potent and selective small-molecule survivin inhibitors will be important in both basic science to better understand survivin biology and in translational research to develop potentially more effective, broad-spectrum anticancer agents. In this review, the functions of survivin and its role in cancer are summarized. Recent developments, challenges, and future direction of small-molecule survivin inhibitors are also discussed in detail. PMID:25613234

  7. Small-Molecule Hormones: Molecular Mechanisms of Action

    PubMed Central

    Budzińska, Monika

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Small molecule screening at Helmholtz Zentrum München - from biology to molecules.

    PubMed

    Schorpp, Kenji; Hadian, Kamyar

    2014-03-01

    Within the last few years the Helmholtz Zentrum München has established several initiatives enabling the translation of basic research results into discovery of novel small molecules that affect pathomechanisms of chronic and complex diseases. Here, one of the main operations is the Assay Development and Screening Platform (ADSP) that has state-of-the-art equipment for compound screening and provides knowledge in a variety of biochemical or cell-based phenotypic assays. In particular, ADSP has a strong focus on complex assays such as high-content screening in stem cells that are likely to provide an innovative approach complementary to biochemical assays for the discovery of novel small molecules modulating key biological processes.

  9. Enhancing molecule fluorescence with asymmetrical plasmonic antennas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Guowei; Liu, Jie; Zhang, Tianyue; Shen, Hongming; Perriat, Pascal; Martini, Matteo; Tillement, Olivier; Gu, Ying; He, Yingbo; Wang, Yuwei; Gong, Qihuang

    2013-06-01

    We propose and justify by the finite-difference time-domain method an efficient strategy to enhance the spontaneous emission of a fluorophore with a multi-resonance plasmonic antenna. The custom-designed asymmetrical antenna consists of two plasmonic nanoparticles with different sizes and is able to couple efficiently to free space light through multiple localized surface plasmon resonances. This design simultaneously permits a large near-field excitation near the antenna as well as a high quantum efficiency, which results in an unusual and significant enhancement of the fluorescence of a single emitter. Such an asymmetrical antenna presents intrinsic advantages over single particle or dimer based antennas made using two identical nanostructures. This promising concept can be exploited in the large domain of light-matter interaction processes involving multiple frequencies.We propose and justify by the finite-difference time-domain method an efficient strategy to enhance the spontaneous emission of a fluorophore with a multi-resonance plasmonic antenna. The custom-designed asymmetrical antenna consists of two plasmonic nanoparticles with different sizes and is able to couple efficiently to free space light through multiple localized surface plasmon resonances. This design simultaneously permits a large near-field excitation near the antenna as well as a high quantum efficiency, which results in an unusual and significant enhancement of the fluorescence of a single emitter. Such an asymmetrical antenna presents intrinsic advantages over single particle or dimer based antennas made using two identical nanostructures. This promising concept can be exploited in the large domain of light-matter interaction processes involving multiple frequencies. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: The performance of plasmonic enhanced one-photon fluorescence within the nanogap of symmetrical optical antennas, i.e. Rods-L45-L45 and Rods-L60-L60 are formed by end to

  10. Effects of small halocarbon molecules on reverse osmosis membrane performance

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, R.C.; Glater, J.; Neethling, J.B. )

    1990-01-01

    The reverse osmosis (RO) membrane industry has long been concerned with problems of performance decline due to fouling. Colloidal and biological fouling have been discussed to some extent in the literature but little is known about the effect of small organic molecules on membrane performance. The work reported in this paper involved controlled laboratory experiments with three small halocarbons and three different types of commercial RO membranes. The compounds used were CHCl{sub 3}, CHBr{sub 3} and CCl{sub 4}. The first two represent typical small and large THM's. Carbon tetrachloride was selected as a non-polar model compound. Membranes representing three different polymer systems were provided by E. I. du Pont Inc.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  12. NMR study of small molecule adsorption in MOF-74-Mg

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, M. G.; Canepa, Pieremanuele; Thonhauser, T.

    2013-04-01

    We calculate the carbon nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) shielding for CO2 and the hydrogen shieldings for both H2 and H2O inside the metal organic framework MOF-74-Mg. Our ab initio calculations are at the density functional theory level using the van der Waals including density functional vdW-DF. The shieldings are obtained while placing the small molecules throughout the structure, including the calculated adsorption site for various loading scenarios. We then explore relationships between loading, rotational and positional characteristics, and the NMR shieldings for each adsorbate. Our NMR calculations show a change in the shielding depending on adsorbate, position, and loading in a range that is experimentally observable. We further provide a simple model for the energy and the NMR shieldings throughout the cavity of the MOF. By providing this mapping of shielding to position and loading for these adsorbates, we argue that NMR probes could be used to provide additional information about the position at which these small molecules bind within the MOF, as well as the loading of the adsorbed molecule.

  13. NMR study of small molecule adsorption in MOF-74-Mg.

    PubMed

    Lopez, M G; Canepa, Pieremanuele; Thonhauser, T

    2013-04-21

    We calculate the carbon nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) shielding for CO2 and the hydrogen shieldings for both H2 and H2O inside the metal organic framework MOF-74-Mg. Our ab initio calculations are at the density functional theory level using the van der Waals including density functional vdW-DF. The shieldings are obtained while placing the small molecules throughout the structure, including the calculated adsorption site for various loading scenarios. We then explore relationships between loading, rotational and positional characteristics, and the NMR shieldings for each adsorbate. Our NMR calculations show a change in the shielding depending on adsorbate, position, and loading in a range that is experimentally observable. We further provide a simple model for the energy and the NMR shieldings throughout the cavity of the MOF. By providing this mapping of shielding to position and loading for these adsorbates, we argue that NMR probes could be used to provide additional information about the position at which these small molecules bind within the MOF, as well as the loading of the adsorbed molecule.

  14. Translocation of Small Interfering RNA and Cholesterol Molecules in Biomembranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalia, Rajiv

    2013-03-01

    This presentation will focus on all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies of (1) structural and mechanical barriers to translocation of small interfering RNA (siRNA) across a phospholipid bilayer, and (2) flip-flop dynamics of cholesterol (CHOL) molecules across a phospholipid bilayer. In the first case, we find that the siRNA induces a liquid-to-gel phase transformation. In the gel phase we find large compressive lateral stresses in the hydrocarbon chains of lipid molecules, which present a considerable barrier to siRNA passage across the bilayer. In the second case, we study spontaneous CHOL inter-leaflet transport (flip-flop), the effect of this process on mechanical stresses across the bilayer, and the role of CHOL in inducing molecular order in bilayer leaflets. The simulation was run for 15 microseconds and we found 24 CHOL flip-flop events over that duration. On average, a CHOL molecule migrates across the lipid bilayer in about 73 ns after a flip-flop event is triggered. We have calculated diffusion maps and determined free energy surfaces and flip-flop mechanisms for CHOL molecules. Work supported by NSF-OCI-0749360 and NSF-IOS-125317.

  15. Proteinlike copolymers as encapsulating agents for small-molecule solutes.

    PubMed

    Malik, Ravish; Genzer, Jan; Hall, Carol K

    2015-03-24

    We describe the utilization of proteinlike copolymers (PLCs) as encapsulating agents for small-molecule solutes. We perform Monte Carlo simulations on systems containing PLCs and model solute molecules in order to understand how PLCs assemble in solution and what system conditions promote solute encapsulation. Specifically, we explore how the chemical composition of the PLCs and the range and strength of molecular interactions between hydrophobic segments on the PLC and solute molecules affect the solute encapsulation efficiency. The composition profiles of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments, the solute, and implicit solvent (or voids) within the PLC globule are evaluated to gain a complete understanding of the behavior in the PLC/solute system. We find that a single-chain PLC encapsulates solute successfully by collapsing the macromolecule to a well-defined globular conformation when the hydrophobic/solute interaction is at least as strong as the interaction strength among hydrophobic segments and the interaction among solute molecules is at most as strong as the hydrophobic/solute interaction strength. Our results can be used by experimentalists as a framework for optimizing unimolecular PLC solute encapsulation and can be extended potentially to applications such as "drug" delivery via PLCs.

  16. Ligand.Info small-molecule Meta-Database.

    PubMed

    von Grotthuss, Marcin; Koczyk, Grzegorz; Pas, Jakub; Wyrwicz, Lucjan S; Rychlewski, Leszek

    2004-12-01

    Ligand.Info is a compilation of various publicly available databases of small molecules. The total size of the Meta-Database is over 1 million entries. The compound records contain calculated three-dimensional coordinates and sometimes information about biological activity. Some molecules have information about FDA drug approving status or about anti-HIV activity. Meta-Database can be downloaded from the http://Ligand.Info web page. The database can also be screened using a Java-based tool. The tool can interactively cluster sets of molecules on the user side and automatically download similar molecules from the server. The application requires the Java Runtime Environment 1.4 or higher, which can be automatically downloaded from Sun Microsystems or Apple Computer and installed during the first use of Ligand.Info on desktop systems, which support Java (Ms Windows, Mac OS, Solaris, and Linux). The Ligand.Info Meta-Database can be used for virtual high-throughput screening of new potential drugs. Presented examples showed that using a known antiviral drug as query the system was able to find others antiviral drugs and inhibitors.

  17. Enhanced Raman scattering of biological molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montoya, Joseph R.

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

  18. Laser Spectroscopy of Small Metal and Semiconductor Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winstead, Christopher Brooks

    1995-01-01

    An apparatus consisting of a laser vaporization cluster source coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometer has been implemented to facilitate the mass-selected spectroscopy of small silver and silicon molecules. Resonantly enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) studies have revealed a previously unknown silver dimer excited electronic state via a forbidden transition near 46870 cm^ {-1}. This state lies in near perfect double resonance with the lower energy A ^1 Sigma_sp{rm u}{+}( rm v^' = 3) >= X ^Sigma_sp{rm g}{+}({rm v^{' '}} = 0) transition, leading to an anomalously large single color Ag_2 ionization signal near 426.7 nm. Symmetry selection rules allow an identification of the new state symmetry as 1_{rm g} or 0 _sp{rm g}{+}. Additional REMPI investigations of the A ^1Sigma _sp{rm u}{+} >=ts X ^1Sigma_sp {rm g}{+} transition yield a new measurement of the Ag_2 ionization potential (IP) and resolve a discrepancy in the reported Ag_2 IP values. The importance of field ionization effects on the observed REMPI spectra is also demonstrated. The spectroscopy of the H ^3Sigma _sp{rm u}{-} state of silicon dimer has been investigated using a combination of laser induced fluorescence and resonant two-photon ionization techniques. Measurements of the isotope induced bandhead shifts for the Si_2 H ^3 Sigma_sp{rm u}{-} >=ts X ^3Sigma_sp {rm g}{-} transition reveal that the previously accepted vibrational numbering of the H ^3Sigma_sp{rm u}{-} state is incorrect. Revised molecular constants based on the new vibrational numbering scheme are T_{rm e} = 24151.86 cm^{-1}, omega_{rm e} = 279.28 cm^{-1}, omega _{rm e}chi_{rm e} = 1.99 cm^{-1} , B_{rm e} = 0.17255 cm^{-1}, and alpha_{rm e} = 0.00135 cm^{-1}. A comparison of experimentally obtained and simulated dispersed laser induced fluorescence spectra demonstrates the improved accuracy of these new constants. Resonant two-photon ionization studies of the H ^3Sigma_sp {rm u}{-} state have also allowed the most accurate

  19. Mapping small molecule binding data to structural domains

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Large-scale bioactivity/SAR Open Data has recently become available, and this has allowed new analyses and approaches to be developed to help address the productivity and translational gaps of current drug discovery. One of the current limitations of these data is the relative sparsity of reported interactions per protein target, and complexities in establishing clear relationships between bioactivity and targets using bioinformatics tools. We detail in this paper the indexing of targets by the structural domains that bind (or are likely to bind) the ligand within a full-length protein. Specifically, we present a simple heuristic to map small molecule binding to Pfam domains. This profiling can be applied to all proteins within a genome to give some indications of the potential pharmacological modulation and regulation of all proteins. Results In this implementation of our heuristic, ligand binding to protein targets from the ChEMBL database was mapped to structural domains as defined by profiles contained within the Pfam-A database. Our mapping suggests that the majority of assay targets within the current version of the ChEMBL database bind ligands through a small number of highly prevalent domains, and conversely the majority of Pfam domains sampled by our data play no currently established role in ligand binding. Validation studies, carried out firstly against Uniprot entries with expert binding-site annotation and secondly against entries in the wwPDB repository of crystallographic protein structures, demonstrate that our simple heuristic maps ligand binding to the correct domain in about 90 percent of all assessed cases. Using the mappings obtained with our heuristic, we have assembled ligand sets associated with each Pfam domain. Conclusions Small molecule binding has been mapped to Pfam-A domains of protein targets in the ChEMBL bioactivity database. The result of this mapping is an enriched annotation of small molecule bioactivity data and a

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Mass Spectrometry-Based Tissue Imaging of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Diffusion of Small Molecules in Metal Organic Framework Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canepa, Pieremanuele; Nijem, Nour; Chabal, Yves J.; Thonhauser, T.

    2013-01-01

    Ab initio simulations are combined with in situ infrared spectroscopy to unveil the molecular transport of H2, CO2, and H2O in the metal organic framework MOF-74-Mg. Our study uncovers—at the atomistic level—the major factors governing the transport mechanism of these small molecules. In particular, we identify four key diffusion mechanisms and calculate the corresponding diffusion barriers, which are nicely confirmed by time-resolved infrared experiments. We also answer a long-standing question about the existence of secondary adsorption sites for the guest molecules, and we show how those sites affect the macroscopic diffusion properties. Our findings are important to gain a fundamental understanding of the diffusion processes in these nanoporous materials, with direct implications for the usability of MOFs in gas sequestration and storage applications.

  3. Stabilization of protein-protein interactions by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Giordanetto, Fabrizio; Schäfer, Anja; Ottmann, Christian

    2014-11-01

    Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are implicated in every disease and mastering the ability to influence PPIs with small molecules would considerably enlarge the druggable genome. Whereas inhibition of PPIs has repeatedly been shown to work successfully, targeted stabilization of PPIs is underrepresented in the literature. This is all the more surprising because natural products like FK506, rapamycin, brefeldin, forskolin and fusicoccin confer their physiological activity by stabilizing specific PPIs. However, recently a number of very interesting synthetic molecules have been reported from drug discovery projects that indeed achieve their desired activities by stabilizing either homo- or hetero-oligomeric complexes of their target proteins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. An autonomous chemically fuelled small-molecule motor.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-09

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

  5. An autonomous chemically fuelled small-molecule motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Affinity Modulation of Small-Molecule Ligands by Borrowing Endogenous Protein Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briesewitz, Roger; Ray, Gregory T.; Wandless, Thomas J.; Crabtree, Gerald R.

    1999-03-01

    A general strategy is described for improving the binding properties of small-molecule ligands to protein targets. A bifunctional molecule is created by chemically linking a ligand of interest to another small molecule that binds tightly to a second protein. When the ligand of interest is presented to the target protein by the second protein, additional protein-protein interactions outside of the ligand-binding sites serve either to increase or decrease the affinity of the binding event. We have applied this approach to an intractable target, the SH2 domain, and demonstrate a 3-fold enhancement over the natural peptide. This approach provides a way to modulate the potency and specificity of biologically active compounds.

  7. Small molecule-sensing strategy and techniques for understanding the functionality of green tea.

    PubMed

    Fujimura, Yoshinori

    2015-01-01

    Various low-molecular-weight phytochemicals in green tea (Camellia sinensis L.), especially (-)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG), are known to be involved in health promotion and disease risk reduction. However, the underlying mechanism has remained elusive because of the absence of an analytical technique that can easily detect the precise behavior of such a small molecule. Recently, we have identified a cell-surface EGCG-sensing receptor and the related signaling molecules that control the physiological functions of EGCG. We also developed a novel in situ label-free imaging technique for visualizing spatially resolved biotransformations based on simultaneous mapping of EGCG and its phase II metabolites. Furthermore, we established a chemometric method capable of evaluating the functionality of multicomponent green tea extracts by focusing on their compositional balances. This review highlights our proposed small molecule-sensing techniques for detecting the complex behavior of green tea components and linking such information to an enhanced understanding of green tea functionality.

  8. Saccharide sensing molecules having enhanced fluorescent properties

    DOEpatents

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

    2004-01-06

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

  9. Small molecule therapeutics targeting F-box proteins in cancer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Mallampalli, Rama K

    2016-02-01

    The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) plays vital roles in maintaining protein equilibrium mainly through proteolytic degradation of targeted substrates. The archetypical SCF ubiquitin E3 ligase complex contains a substrate recognition subunit F-box protein that recruits substrates to the catalytic ligase core for its polyubiquitylation and subsequent proteasomal degradation. Several well-characterized F-box proteins have been demonstrated that are tightly linked to neoplasia. There is mounting information characterizing F-box protein-substrate interactions with the rationale to develop unique therapeutics for cancer treatment. Here we review that how F-box proteins function in cancer and summarize potential small molecule inhibitors for cancer therapy.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-12-01

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

  11. Emissive nanotubes from templated self-assembly of small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Kuo-Pi; Tsai, Yu-Tang; Shyue, Jing-Jong; Raffy, Guillaume; Del Guerzo, André; Wong, Ken-Tsung; Bassani, Dario M.

    2017-09-01

    We report the use of supramolecular interactions to promote the AAO-templated formation of emissive nanotubes based on small organic molecules bearing complementary hydrogen-bonding sites. Nanotubes emitting blue, green, and red light were obtained using appropriate chromophores, whereas a mixture of blue and green chromophores afforded nanotubes emitting white light. Further characterization revealed that the emission from the nanotubes is polarized, indicating a preferential orientation of the chromophores. Aqueous dispersions of nanotubes showed that scrambling of the chromophores is minimal, and that it is possible to prepare samples in which many nanotubes of different colors are present in close proximity.

  12. Fourier transform vibrational circular dichroism of small pharmaceutical molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Fujin; Freedman, Teresa B.; Nafie, Laurence A.

    1998-06-01

    Fourier transform vibrational circular dichroism (FT-VCD) spectra of the small pharmaceutical molecules propanolol, ibuprofen and naproxen have been measured in the hydrogen stretching and mid-infrared regions to obtain information on solution conformation and to identify markers for absolute configuration determination. Ab initio molecular orbital calculations of low energy conformations, vibrational frequencies and VCD intensities for fragments of the drugs were utilized in interpreting the spectra. Features characteristic of five conformers of propranolol were identified. The weak positive CH stretching VCD signal in ibuprofen and naproxen is characteristic of the S-configuration of the chiral center common to these two analgesics.

  13. Small Molecule Activators of the Trk Receptors for Neuroprotection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-05-01

    μm. Graphical presentation of average volumes of brain lesions in control lines 1 (brown) and 2 (green). Markers depict mean volume, whiskers SEM. P ...compounds are all small molecules with a 0.0 0.5 1.0 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 2 4 6 8 Time (hr) C p 5E 5 (n g/ m L) Figure 7 Plasma...Zeps N, Iacopetta B, Linke SP, Olson AH, Reed JC, Krajewski S (2009). Image Analysis Algorithms for Immunohistochemical Assessment of Cell Death

  14. Small molecule therapeutics targeting F-Box proteins in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yuan; Mallampalli, Rama K.

    2015-01-01

    The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) plays vital roles in maintaining protein equilibrium mainly through proteolytic degradation of targeted substrates. The archetypical SCF ubiquitin E3 ligase complex contains a substrate recognition subunit F-box protein that recruits substrates to the catalytic ligase core for its polyubiquitylation and subsequent proteasomal degradation. Several well characterized F-box proteins have been demonstrated that are tightly linked to neoplasia. There is mounting information characterizing F-box protein-substrate interactions with the rationale to develop unique therapeutics for cancer treatment. Here we review that how F-box proteins function in cancer and summarize potential small molecule inhibitors for cancer therapy. PMID:26427329

  15. Acylguanidines as small-molecule beta-secretase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Cole, Derek C; Manas, Eric S; Stock, Joseph R; Condon, Jeffrey S; Jennings, Lee D; Aulabaugh, Ann; Chopra, Rajiv; Cowling, Rebecca; Ellingboe, John W; Fan, Kristi Y; Harrison, Boyd L; Hu, Yun; Jacobsen, Steve; Jin, Guixan; Lin, Laura; Lovering, Frank E; Malamas, Michael S; Stahl, Mark L; Strand, James; Sukhdeo, Mohani N; Svenson, Kristine; Turner, M James; Wagner, Erik; Wu, Junjun; Zhou, Ping; Bard, Jonathan

    2006-10-19

    BACE1 is an aspartyl protease responsible for cleaving amyloid precursor protein to liberate Abeta, which aggregates leading to plaque deposits implicated in Alzheimer's disease. We have identified small-molecule acylguanidine inhibitors of BACE1. Crystallographic studies show that these compounds form unique hydrogen-bonding interactions with the catalytic site aspartic acids and stabilize the protein in a flap-open conformation. Structure-based optimization led to the identification of potent analogs, such as 10d (BACE1 IC(50) = 110 nM).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-01

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

  18. Small-molecule targeting of translation initiation for cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Aktas, Bertal H.; Qiao, Yuan; Ozdelen, Esra; Schubert, Roland; Sevinc, Sema; Harbinski, Fred; Grubissich, Luciano; Singer, Samuel; Halperin, Jose A.

    2013-01-01

    Translation initiation plays a critical role in the regulation of cell growth and tumorigenesis. We report here that inhibiting translation initiation through induction of eIF2α phosphorylation by small-molecular-weight compounds restricts the availability of the eIF2·GTP·Met-tRNAi ternary complex and abrogates the proliferation of cancer cells in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Restricting the availability of the ternary complex preferentially down-regulates the expression of growth-promoting proteins and up-regulates the expression of ER stress response genes in cancer cells as well as in tumors excised from either animal models of human cancer or cancer patients. These findings provide the first direct evidence for translational control of gene-specific expression by small molecules in vivo and indicate that translation initiation factors are bona fide targets for development of mechanism-specific anti-cancer agents. PMID:24091475

  19. Affinity constants for small molecules from SPR competition experiments.

    PubMed

    de Mol, Nico J

    2010-01-01

    Direct assay of small molecules by SPR in general is troublesome and at least tedious procedures have to be applied. Competition experiments offer an attractive alternative. A small ligand known to bind to the analyte is immobilized on an SPR sensor surface, and the binding of the larger analyte in the presence of compounds under investigation in a concentration range is assayed. The resulting inhibition curves of the equilibrium SPR signal as function of the compound concentration can be analyzed to yield thermodynamic binding constants for the interaction in solution between analyte and the compounds under investigation. An additional advantage of this method is that series of compounds can be analyzed using the same sensor surface, so there is no immobilization needed for each compound. An adaptation of the method to analyze interactions with bivalent analytes (e.g., antibodies) is also included. Some observed different affinities in solution compared to that on the SPR surface are discussed.

  20. Coulomb explosion imaging of small organic molecules at LCLS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erk, Benjamin; Rudenko, Artem; Rolles, Daniel; Rudek, Benedikt; Foucar, Lutz; Epp, Sascha; Cryle, Max; Schlichting, Ilme; Bostedt, Christoph; Schorb, Sebastian; Bozek, John; Rouzee, Arnaud; Hundertmark, Axel; Filsinger, Frank; Christensen, Lauge; Ueda, Kiyoshi; Ullrich, Joachim

    2011-05-01

    Fragmentation of small organic molecules by intense ultrashort X-ray free-electron laser (FEL) pulses (2000eV, 0.4-2mJ, 3-200fs) has been studied using Coulomb explosion imaging. The experiment was conducted in the CFEL-ASG Multi-Purpose (CAMP) end station installed at the AMO beamline of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at Stanford. In order to increase and localize X-ray absorption we used methylselenol, ethylselenol and phenylselenol compounds containing heavy selenium atom as a substitute for naturally occurring oxygen. By measuring kinetic energies and emission angles of few ionic fragments in coincidence, we can separate different fragmentation pathways and reconstruct molecular geometry (bond lengths and angles) at the moment of explosion. The results yield unique information on the structural rearrangement the molecule undergoes upon few-photon absorption, in particular, pointing to the ultrafast charge redistribution within the molecule, which has direct implications for the radiation damage induced by intense X-ray pulses.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Transport mechanisms of small molecules through polyamide 12/montmorillonite nanocomposites.

    PubMed

    Alexandre, B; Colasse, L; Langevin, D; Médéric, P; Aubry, T; Chappey, C; Marais, S

    2010-07-15

    The aim of this work is to study the transport of small molecules through the hybrid systems polyamide 12 (PA12)/organo-modified montmorillonite (Cloisite 30B, C30B) prepared by melt blending, using two blending conditions. The transport mechanisms were investigated by using three probe molecules: nitrogen, water, and toluene. While a barrier effect appears clearly with nitrogen, this effect changes with the amount of fillers for water and disappears for toluene. The reduction of permeability for nitrogen is mainly due to the increase of tortuosity. For water and toluene, the permeation kinetics reveals many concomitant phenomena responsible for the permeation behavior. Despite the tortuosity effect, the toluene permeability of nanocomposites increases with C30B fraction. The water and toluene molecules interact differently with fillers according to their hydrophilic/hydrophobic character. Moreover, the plasticization effect of water and toluene in the matrix, involving a concentration-dependent diffusion coefficient, is correctly described by the law D = D(0)e(gammaC). On the basis of Nielsen's tortuosity concept, we suggest a new approach for relative permeability modeling, not only based on the geometrical parameters (aspect ratio, orientation, recovery) but also including phenomenological parameters deduced from structural characterization and permeation kinetics.

  3. Using cheminformatics for the identification of biological functions of small molecules in metabolic pathway.

    PubMed

    Niu, Bing; Lu, Wencong

    2013-01-01

    Small molecules are involved in metabolic pathways responsible for many biological activities. Therefore it is essential to study them to uncover the unknown biological function of highly complex living systems. It is a crucial step in modern drug discovery to correctly and effectively discover small molecules' biological function since small molecules are related to many protein functions and biological processes. This paper presents the application of cheminformatics approaches in predicting small molecule's (ligand's) biological function in metabolic pathway. Many examples of success in identification and prediction in the area of small molecule metabolic pathway mapping and small molecule-protein interaction prediction have been discussed.

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

    DOE PAGES

    He, Wenhan; Wu, Qin; Livshits, Maksim Y.; ...

    2016-05-23

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

  5. Solvent additive effects on small molecule crystallization in bulk heterojunction solar cells probed during spin casting.

    PubMed

    Perez, Louis A; Chou, Kang Wei; Love, John A; van der Poll, Thomas S; Smilgies, Detlef-M; Nguyen, Thuc-Quyen; Kramer, Edward J; Amassian, Aram; Bazan, Guillermo C

    2013-11-26

    Solvent additive processing can lead to drastic improvements in the power conversion efficiency (PCE) in solution processable small molecule (SPSM) bulk heterojunction solar cells. In situ grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering is used to investigate the kinetics of crystallite formation during and shortly after spin casting. The additive is shown to have a complex effect on structural evolution invoking polymorphism and enhanced crystalline quality of the donor SPSM.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

    The pro-apoptotic protein Bax commits a cell to death by permeabilizing the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM). To obtain small-molecule probes for elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) of Bax activation, we screened for compounds that induced Bax-mediated liposome permeabilization. We identified five structurally different small molecules that promoted both Bax targeting to and oligomerization at membranes. All five compounds initiated Bax oligomerization in the absence of membranes by a mechanism unlike Bax activation by Bcl-2 homology 3 domain (BH3) proteins. Some of the compounds induced Bax/Bak-dependent apoptosis in cells. Activation of Bax by the most active compound was poorly inhibited by the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL and requires a cysteine residue at position 126 of Bax that is not required for activation by BH3 proteins. Our results reveal a novel pathway for Bax activation independent of pro-apoptotic BH3 proteins that may have important implications for the regulation of Bax activity in cells. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Identifying a Small Molecule Blocking Antigen Presentation in Autoimmune Thyroiditis*

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cheuk Wun; Menconi, Francesca; Osman, Roman; Mezei, Mihaly; Jacobson, Eric M.; Concepcion, Erlinda; David, Chella S.; Kastrinsky, David B.; Ohlmeyer, Michael; Tomer, Yaron

    2016-01-01

    We previously showed that an HLA-DR variant containing arginine at position 74 of the DRβ1 chain (DRβ1-Arg74) is the specific HLA class II variant conferring risk for autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD). We also identified 5 thyroglobulin (Tg) peptides that bound to DRβ1-Arg74. We hypothesized that blocking the binding of these peptides to DRβ1-Arg74 could block the continuous T-cell activation in thyroiditis needed to maintain the autoimmune response to the thyroid. The aim of the current study was to identify small molecules that can block T-cell activation by Tg peptides presented within DRβ1-Arg74 pockets. We screened a large and diverse library of compounds and identified one compound, cepharanthine that was able to block peptide binding to DRβ1-Arg74. We then showed that Tg.2098 is the dominant peptide when inducing experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT) in NOD mice expressing human DRβ1-Arg74. Furthermore, cepharanthine blocked T-cell activation by thyroglobulin peptides, in particular Tg.2098 in mice that were induced with EAT. For the first time we identified a small molecule that can block Tg peptide binding and presentation to T-cells in autoimmune thyroiditis. If confirmed cepharanthine could potentially have a role in treating human AITD. PMID:26703475

  9. Identifying a Small Molecule Blocking Antigen Presentation in Autoimmune Thyroiditis.

    PubMed

    Li, Cheuk Wun; Menconi, Francesca; Osman, Roman; Mezei, Mihaly; Jacobson, Eric M; Concepcion, Erlinda; David, Chella S; Kastrinsky, David B; Ohlmeyer, Michael; Tomer, Yaron

    2016-02-19

    We previously showed that an HLA-DR variant containing arginine at position 74 of the DRβ1 chain (DRβ1-Arg74) is the specific HLA class II variant conferring risk for autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD). We also identified 5 thyroglobulin (Tg) peptides that bound to DRβ1-Arg74. We hypothesized that blocking the binding of these peptides to DRβ1-Arg74 could block the continuous T-cell activation in thyroiditis needed to maintain the autoimmune response to the thyroid. The aim of the current study was to identify small molecules that can block T-cell activation by Tg peptides presented within DRβ1-Arg74 pockets. We screened a large and diverse library of compounds and identified one compound, cepharanthine that was able to block peptide binding to DRβ1-Arg74. We then showed that Tg.2098 is the dominant peptide when inducing experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT) in NOD mice expressing human DRβ1-Arg74. Furthermore, cepharanthine blocked T-cell activation by thyroglobulin peptides, in particular Tg.2098 in mice that were induced with EAT. For the first time we identified a small molecule that can block Tg peptide binding and presentation to T-cells in autoimmune thyroiditis. If confirmed cepharanthine could potentially have a role in treating human AITD.

  10. Small-molecule ligands of methyl-lysine binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Herold, J Martin; Wigle, Tim J; Norris, Jacqueline L; Lam, Robert; Korboukh, Victoria K; Gao, Cen; Ingerman, Lindsey A; Kireev, Dmitri B; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tripathy, Ashutosh; Brown, Peter J; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H; Jin, Jian; Janzen, William P; Frye, Stephen V

    2011-04-14

    Proteins which bind methylated lysines ("readers" of the histone code) are important components in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and can also modulate other proteins that contain methyl-lysine such as p53 and Rb. Recognition of methyl-lysine marks by MBT domains leads to compaction of chromatin and a repressed transcriptional state. Antagonists of MBT domains would serve as probes to interrogate the functional role of these proteins and initiate the chemical biology of methyl-lysine readers as a target class. Small-molecule MBT antagonists were designed based on the structure of histone peptide-MBT complexes and their interaction with MBT domains determined using a chemiluminescent assay and ITC. The ligands discovered antagonize native histone peptide binding, exhibiting 5-fold stronger binding affinity to L3MBTL1 than its preferred histone peptide. The first cocrystal structure of a small molecule bound to L3MBTL1 was determined and provides new insights into binding requirements for further ligand design.

  11. Unique small molecule entry inhibitors of hemorrhagic fever arenaviruses.

    PubMed

    Lee, Andrew M; Rojek, Jillian M; Spiropoulou, Christina F; Gundersen, Anette T; Jin, Wei; Shaginian, Alex; York, Joanne; Nunberg, Jack H; Boger, Dale L; Oldstone, Michael B A; Kunz, Stefan

    2008-07-04

    Viral hemorrhagic fevers caused by the arenaviruses Lassa virus in Africa and Machupo, Guanarito, Junin, and Sabia virus in South America are among the most devastating emerging human diseases with fatality rates of 15-35% and a limited antiviral therapeutic repertoire available. Here we used high throughput screening of synthetic combinatorial small molecule libraries to identify inhibitors of arenavirus infection using pseudotyped virion particles bearing the glycoproteins (GPs) of highly pathogenic arenaviruses. Our screening efforts resulted in the discovery of a series of novel small molecule inhibitors of viral entry that are highly active against both Old World and New World hemorrhagic arenaviruses. We observed potent inhibition of infection of human and primate cells with live hemorrhagic arenaviruses (IC(50)=500-800 nm). Investigations of the mechanism of action revealed that the candidate compounds efficiently block pH-dependent fusion by the arenavirus GPs (IC(50) of 200-350 nm). Although our lead compounds were potent against phylogenetically distant arenaviruses, they did not show activity against other enveloped viruses with class I viral fusion proteins, indicating specificity for arenavirus GP-mediated membrane fusion.

  12. Small Molecule Ligands of Methyl-Lysine Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Herold, J. Martin; Wigle, Tim J.; Norris, Jacqueline L.; Lam, Robert; Korboukh, Victoria K.; Gao, Cen; Ingerman, Lindsey A.; Kireev, Dmitri B.; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tripathy, Ashutosh; Brown, Peter J.; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H.; Jin, Jian; Janzen, William P.; Frye, Stephen V.

    2011-01-01

    Proteins which bind methylated lysines (“readers” of the histone code) are important components in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and can also modulate other proteins that contain methyl-lysine such as p53 and Rb. Recognition of methyl-lysine marks by MBT domains leads to compaction of chromatin and a repressed transcriptional state. Antagonists of MBT domains would serve as probes to interrogate the functional role of these proteins and initiate the chemical biology of methyl-lysine readers as a target class. Small molecule MBT antagonists were designed based on the structure of histone peptide-MBT complexes and their interaction with MBT domains determined using a chemiluminescent assay and ITC. The ligands discovered antagonize native histone peptide binding, exhibiting 5-fold stronger binding affinity to L3MBTL1 than its preferred histone peptide. The first co-crystal structure of a small molecule bound to L3MBTL1 was determined and provides new insights into binding requirements for further ligand design. PMID:21417280

  13. Rapid parameterization of small molecules using the Force Field Toolkit

    PubMed Central

    Mayne, Christopher G.; Saam, Jan; Schulten, Klaus; Tajkhorshid, Emad; Gumbart, James C.

    2013-01-01

    The inability to rapidly generate accurate and robust parameters for novel chemical matter continues to severely limit the application of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to many biological systems of interest, especially in fields such as drug discovery. Although the release of generalized versions of common classical force fields, e.g., GAFF and CGenFF, have posited guidelines for parameterization of small molecules, many technical challenges remain that have hampered their wide-scale extension. The Force Field Toolkit (ffTK), described herein, minimizes common barriers to ligand parameterization through algorithm and method development, automation of tedious and error-prone tasks, and graphical user interface design. Distributed as a VMD plugin, ffTK facilitates the traversal of a clear and organized workflow resulting in a complete set of CHARMM-compatible parameters. A variety of tools are provided to generate quantum mechanical target data, set up multidimensional optimization routines, and analyze parameter performance. Parameters developed for a small test set of molecules using ffTK were comparable to existing CGenFF parameters in their ability to reproduce experimentally measured values for pure-solvent properties (<15% error from experiment) and free energy of solvation (±0.5 kcal/mol from experiment). PMID:24000174

  14. Potential of Nonfullerene Small Molecules with High Photovoltaic Performance.

    PubMed

    Li, Wanning; Yao, Huifeng; Zhang, Hao; Li, Sunsun; Hou, Jianhui

    2017-09-05

    Over the past decades, fullerene derivatives have become the most successful electron acceptors in organic solar cells (OSCs) and have achieved great progress, with power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of over 11 %. However, fullerenes have some drawbacks, such as weak absorption, limited energy-level tunability, and morphological instability. In addition, fullerene-based OSCs usually suffer from large energy losses of over 0.7 eV, which limits further improvements in the PCE. Recently, nonfullerene small molecules have emerged as promising electron acceptors in OSCs. Their highly tunable absorption spectra and molecular energy levels have enabled fine optimization of the resulting devices, and the highest PCE has surpassed 12 %. Furthermore, several studies have shown that OSCs based on small-molecule acceptors (SMA) have very efficient charge generation and transport efficiency at relatively low energy losses of below 0.6 eV, which suggests great potential for the further improvement of OSCs. In this focus review, we analyze the challenges and potential of SMA-based OSCs and discuss molecular design strategies for highly efficient SMAs. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Protein misfolding in disease and small molecule therapies.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Cláudio M

    2012-01-01

    A large number of human disorders are caused by defects in protein folding resulting from genetic mutations or adverse physiological conditions, and these are collectively referred to protein misfolding diseases. Such disorders imply dysfunction of a cellular process either as a result of a toxic gain of function due to protein aggregation, or loss of function due to protein instability, inefficient folding or defective trafficking. For a number of cases, drugs acting directly on the affected protein have been found to prevent misfolding and rescue function. This brief review will illustrate molecular mechanisms through which small molecules acting as folding correctors can prevent excessive protein buildup or recover faulty protein conformers, thus acting as effective therapeutic pharmacological chaperones. As background, the principles underlying the thermodynamics and kinetics of the protein folding reaction will be overviewed, as well as pathways leading to the formation of misfolding. The mechanism of action of small molecule correctors will then be discussed in light of these basic principles using illustrative examples referring to drugs that are effective over proteins involved in trafficking and folding diseases, amyloid aggregation disorders and metabolic deficiencies. An outlook on synergistic effects between different folding correctors and their combination with proteostasis regulators will also be addressed, as a relevant strategy towards the design of more effective therapies against protein folding diseases.

  16. Biophysical methods in drug discovery from small molecule to pharmaceutical.

    PubMed

    Holdgate, Geoffrey; Geschwindner, Stefan; Breeze, Alex; Davies, Gareth; Colclough, Nicola; Temesi, David; Ward, Lara

    2013-01-01

    Biophysical methods have become established in many areas of drug discovery. Application of these methods was once restricted to a relatively small number of scientists using specialized, low throughput technologies and methods. Now, automated high-throughput instruments are to be found in a growing number of laboratories. Many biophysical methods are capable of measuring the equilibrium binding constants between pairs of molecules crucial for molecular recognition processes, encompassing protein-protein, protein-small molecule, and protein-nucleic acid interactions, and several can be used to measure the kinetic or thermodynamic components controlling these biological processes. For a full characterization of a binding process, determinations of stoichiometry, binding mode, and any conformational changes associated with such interactions are also required. The suite of biophysical methods that are now available represents a powerful toolbox of techniques which can effectively deliver this full characterization.The aim of this chapter is to provide the reader with an overview of the drug discovery process and how biophysical methods, such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR), isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry (MS), and thermal unfolding methods can answer specific questions in order to influence project progression and outcomes. The selection of these examples is based upon the experiences of the authors at AstraZeneca, and relevant approaches are highlighted where they have utility in a particular drug discovery scenario.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Surfen, a small molecule antagonist of heparan sulfate

    PubMed Central

    Schuksz, Manuela; Fuster, Mark M.; Brown, Jillian R.; Crawford, Brett E.; Ditto, David P.; Lawrence, Roger; Glass, Charles A.; Wang, Lianchun; Tor, Yitzhak; Esko, Jeffrey D.

    2008-01-01

    In a search for small molecule antagonists of heparan sulfate, we examined the activity of bis-2-methyl-4-amino-quinolyl-6-carbamide, also known as surfen. Fluorescence-based titrations indicated that surfen bound to glycosaminoglycans, and the extent of binding increased according to charge density in the order heparin > dermatan sulfate > heparan sulfate > chondroitin sulfate. All charged groups in heparin (N-sulfates, O-sulfates, and carboxyl groups) contributed to binding, consistent with the idea that surfen interacted electrostatically. Surfen neutralized the anticoagulant activity of both unfractionated and low molecular weight heparins and inhibited enzymatic sulfation and degradation reactions in vitro. Addition of surfen to cultured cells blocked FGF2-binding and signaling that depended on cell surface heparan sulfate and prevented both FGF2- and VEGF165-mediated sprouting of endothelial cells in Matrigel. Surfen also blocked heparan sulfate-mediated cell adhesion to the Hep-II domain of fibronectin and prevented infection by HSV-1 that depended on glycoprotein D interaction with heparan sulfate. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of identifying small molecule antagonists of heparan sulfate and raise the possibility of developing pharmacological agents to treat disorders that involve glycosaminoglycan–protein interactions. PMID:18725627

  19. Roles of small molecules in somatic cell reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Su, Jian-bin; Pei, Duan-qing; Qin, Bao-ming

    2013-06-01

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine 2012 was awarded to Sir John B GURDON and Shinya YAMANAKA for their discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent. This event reaffirms the importance of research on cell fate plasticity and the technology progress in the stem cell field and regenerative medicine. Indeed, reprogramming technology has developed at a dazzling speed within the past 6 years, yet we are still at the early stages of understanding the mechanisms of cell fate identity. This is particularly true in the case of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which lack reliable standards in the evaluation of their fidelity and safety prior to their application. Along with the genetic approaches, small molecules nowadays become convenient tools for modulating endogenous protein functions and regulating key cellular processes, including the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition, metabolism, signal transduction and epigenetics. Moreover, small molecules may affect not only the efficiency of clone formation but also the quality of the resulting cells. With increasing availability of such chemicals, we can better understand the biology of stems cells and further improve the technology of generation of stem cells.

  20. Structural basis of AMPK regulation by small molecule activators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Moving atoms and small molecules out of open containers.

    PubMed

    McKee, Michael L

    2013-03-21

    Density functional theory with the M05-2X exchange/correlation functional is used to study the barriers for expulsion of atoms and small molecules (N2, CO, H2, Ar, Kr, Xe, H2O) out of open fullerenes (I20) and related molecular containers (C40H20, [5]beltene, cucurbit[5]uril). The reactions are examples where dispersion plays a critical role in determining the barrier heights. Calculations are compared with experimental kinetic data for N2@I20, CO@I20, and Xe@cucurbit[5]uril (Xe@CB[5]). Comparing the four molecular containers, the activation barriers for escape of an atom or small molecule correlate with the binding energies. A new open-fullerene model container C40H20 (C40) was constructed from C60 with a constriction at both ends formed by five methylene groups around the rim. The activation barriers for escape of N2 and CO from the model container are similar to those from the I20 open-cage fullerene. In the case of H2O@C40, charge analysis reveals an interesting charge transfer at the transition state as the escaping guest is "squeezed" out of the host container.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Anti-chemokine small molecule drugs: a promising future?

    PubMed

    Proudfoot, Amanda E I; Power, Christine A; Schwarz, Matthias K

    2010-03-01

    Chemokines have principally been associated with inflammation due to their role in the control of leukocyte migration, but just over a decade ago chemokine receptors were also identified as playing a pivotal role in the entry of the HIV virus into cells. Chemokines activate seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors, making them extremely attractive therapeutic targets for the pharmaceutical industry. Although there are now a large number of molecules targeting chemokines and chemokine receptors including neutralizing antibodies in clinical trials for inflammatory diseases, the results to date have not always been positive, which has been disappointing for the field. These failures have often been attributed to redundancy in the chemokine system. However, other difficulties have been encountered in drug discovery processes targeting the chemokine system, and these will be addressed in this review. In this review, the reader will get an insight into the hurdles that have to be overcome, learn about some of the pitfalls that may explain the lack of success, and get a glimpse of the outlook for the future. In 2007, the FDA approved maraviroc, an inhibitor of CCR5 for the prevention of HIV infection, the first triumph for a small-molecule drug acting on the chemokine system. The time to market, 11 years from discovery of CCR5, was fast by industry standards. A second small-molecule drug, a CXCR4 antagonist for hematopoietic stem cell mobilization, was approved by the FDA at the end of 2008. The results of a Phase III trial with a CCR9 inhibitor for Crohn's disease are also promising. This could herald the first success for a chemokine receptor antagonist as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic and confirms the importance of chemokine receptors as a target class for anti-inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

  4. Dielectric behavior of some small ketones as ideal polar molecules.

    PubMed

    Shikata, Toshiyuki; Yoshida, Nao

    2012-05-17

    The dielectric behaviors of some small symmetric ketone molecules, including acetone, 3-pentanone, cyclopentanone, 4-heptanone, and cyclohexanone, were investigated as a function of temperature (T) over a wide frequency range from 50 MHz (3.14 × 10(8) s(-1), in angular frequency) to 3 THz (1.88 × 10(13) s(-1)). The temperature dependencies of the rotational diffusion times (τ(r)) determined using (17)O NMR spin-lattice relaxation time (T(1)) measurements and viscosities of the ketones were also examined. The obtained temperature dependencies of the parameters for the ketones were compared with those of ideal polar molecules, which obey the Stokes-Einstein-Debye (SED) relationship without the formation of intermolecular dimeric associations and without orientational correlations between dipoles (molecular axes), that is, free rotation. Kirkwood correlation factors (g(K)) of only acetone and 3-pentanone were close to unity over a wide temperature range, whereas those of other ketones were obviously less than unity. These results revealed that no correlations exist between the rotational motions of dipoles in acetone and 3-pentanone, as expected in ideal polar molecules. However, other ketones exhibited orientational correlations in their dipoles because of dipole-dipole interactions via antiparallel configurations. Furthermore, because acetone and 3-pentanone satisfied the SED relationship and because their microscopic dielectric relaxation times (τ(μ)), which were calculated from the determined dielectric relaxation times (τ(D)) via the relationship τ(μ) = τ(D)g(K)(-1), were identical to 3τ(r) and were proportional to Vη(k(B)T)(-1) over the wide temperature range examined, where V, k(B), and η represent the effective molecular volume, Boltzmann's constant, and the viscosity of the liquid molecules, respectively, these two ketone molecules behave as ideal polar molecules. In addition, other ketones not significantly larger than acetone and 3-pentanone in

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-12

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

  6. Identifying cellular targets of small-molecule probes and drugs with biochemical enrichment and SILAC.

    PubMed

    Ong, Shao-En; Li, Xiaoyu; Schenone, Monica; Schreiber, Stuart L; Carr, Steven A

    2012-01-01

    Sequencing of the human genome in the last decade has not yet led to a concomitant increase in the numbers of novel drug targets. While the pharmaceutical industry has invested heavily in improving drugs for existing protein targets, it has not tended toward a similar investment in experimental approaches to identify cellular targets of drugs. It is striking that the targets of numerous widely used FDA-approved drugs remain unknown. The development of robust, unbiased methods for target identification would greatly enhance our understanding the mechanisms-of-action of small molecules. Cell-based phenotypic screens followed by unbiased target identification have the potential to identify novel combinations of small molecules and their protein targets, shed light on drug polypharmacology, and enable unbiased screening approaches to drug discovery. Classical biochemical enrichment with immobilized small molecules has been used for over four decades but has been limited by issues concerning specificity and sensitivity. The application of mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics in combination with these affinity reagents has proven to be especially useful in addressing these common issues in affinity purification experiments. We describe the use of SILAC in identifying proteins that bind small-molecule probes and drugs in a cellular context.

  7. Mesoscale inhomogeneities in aqueous solutions of small amphiphilic molecules.

    PubMed

    Subramanian, Deepa; Boughter, Christopher T; Klauda, Jeffery B; Hammouda, Boualem; Anisimov, Mikhail A

    2013-01-01

    Small amphiphilic molecules, also known as hydrotropes, are too small to form micelles in aqueous solutions. However, aqueous solutions of nonionic hydrotropes show the presence of a dynamic, loose, non-covalent clustering in the water-rich region, This clustering can be viewed as "micelle-like structural fluctuations". Although these fluctuations are short ranged (approximately 1 nm) and short lived (10 ps-50 ps), they may lead to thermodynamic anomalies. In addition, many experiments on aqueous solutions of hydrotropes show the occasional presence of mesoscale (approximately 100 nm) inhomogeneities. We have combined results obtained from molecular dynamics simulations, small-angle neutron scattering, and dynamic light-scattering experiments carried out on tertiary butyl alcohol (hydrotrope)-water solutions and on tertiary butyl alcohol-water-cyclohexane (hydrophobe) solutions to elucidate the nature and structure of these inhomogeneities. We have shown that stable mesoscale inhomogeneities occur in aqueous solutions of nonionic hydrotropes only when the solution contains a third, more hydrophobic, component. Moreover, these inhomogeneities exist in ternary systems only in the concentration range where structural fluctuations and thermodynamic anomalies are observed in the binary water-hydrotrope solutions. Addition of a hydrophobe seems to stabilize the water-hydrotrope structural fluctuations, and leads to the formation of larger (mesoscopic) droplets. The structure of these mesoscopic droplets is such that they have a hydrophobe-rich core, surrounded by a hydrogen-bonded shell of water and hydrotrope molecules. These droplets can be extremely long-lived, being stable for over a year. We refer to the phenomenon of formation of mesoscopic droplets in aqueous solutions of nonionic hydrotropes containing hydrophobes, as mesoscale solubilization. This phenomenon may represent a ubiquitous feature of nonionic hydrotropes that exhibit clustering in water, and may have

  8. Plasmonic enhancement of SERS measured on molecules in carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Niclas S; Heeg, Sebastian; Kusch, Patryk; Gaufrès, Etienne; Tang, Nathalie Y-W; Hübner, Uwe; Martel, Richard; Vijayaraghavan, Aravind; Reich, Stephanie

    2017-09-15

    We isolated the plasmonic contribution to surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and found it to be much stronger than expected. Organic dyes encapsulated in single-walled carbon nanotubes are ideal probes for quantifying plasmonic enhancement in a Raman experiment. The molecules are chemically protected through the nanotube wall and spatially isolated from the metal, which prevents enhancement by chemical means and through surface roughness. The tubes carry molecules into SERS hotspots, thereby defining molecular position and making it accessible for structural characterization with atomic-force and electron microscopy. We measured a SERS enhancement factor of 10(6) on α-sexithiophene (6T) molecules in the gap of a plasmonic nanodimer. This is two orders of magnitude stronger than predicted by the electromagnetic enhancement theory (10(4)). We discuss various phenomena that may explain the discrepancy (including hybridization, static and dynamic charge transfer, surface roughness, uncertainties in molecular position and orientation), but found all of them lacking in enhancement for our probe system. We suggest that plasmonic enhancement in SERS is, in fact, much stronger than currently anticipated. We discuss novel approaches for treating SERS quantum mechanically that appear promising for predicting correct enhancement factors. Our findings have important consequences on the understanding of SERS as well as for designing and optimizing plasmonic substrates.

  9. System-wide detection of protein-small molecule complexes suggests extensive metabolite regulation in plants

    PubMed Central

    Veyel, Daniel; Kierszniowska, Sylwia; Kosmacz, Monika; Sokolowska, Ewelina Maria; Michaelis, Aenne; Luzarowski, Marcin; Szlachetko, Jagoda; Willmitzer, Lothar; Skirycz, Aleksandra

    2017-01-01

    Protein small molecule interactions are at the core of cell regulation controlling metabolism and development. We reasoned that due to the lack of system wide approaches only a minority of those regulatory molecules are known. In order to see whether or not this assumption is true we developed an effective approach for the identification of small molecules having potential regulatory role that obviates the need of protein or small molecule baits. At the core of this approach is a simple biochemical co-fractionation taking advantage of size differences between proteins and small molecules. Metabolomics based analysis of small molecules co-fractionating with proteins identified a multitude of small molecules in Arabidopsis suggesting the existence of numerous, small molecules/metabolites bound to proteins representing potential regulatory molecules. The approach presented here uses Arabidopsis cell cultures, but is generic and hence applicable to all biological systems. PMID:28205532

  10. Proteoform-specific protein binding of small molecules in complex matrices

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Characterizing the specific binding between protein targets and small molecules is critically important for drug discovery. Conventional assays require isolation and purification of small molecules from complex matrices through multistep chromatographic fractionation, which may alter their original ...

  11. Small molecule semiconductors for high-efficiency organic photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yuze; Li, Yongfang; Zhan, Xiaowei

    2012-06-07

    Organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs) are a promising cost-effective alternative to silicon-based solar cells, and possess light-weight, low-cost, and flexibility advantages. Significant progress has been achieved in the development of novel photovoltaic materials and device structures in the last decade. Nowadays small molecular semiconductors for OPVs have attracted considerable attention, due to their advantages over their polymer counterparts, including well-defined molecular structure, definite molecular weight, and high purity without batch to batch variations. The highest power conversion efficiencies of OPVs based on small molecular donor/fullerene acceptors or polymeric donor/fullerene acceptors are up to 6.7% and 8.3%, respectively, and meanwhile nonfullerene acceptors have also exhibited some promising results. In this review we summarize the developments in small molecular donors, acceptors (fullerene derivatives and nonfullerene molecules), and donor-acceptor dyad systems for high-performance multilayer, bulk heterojunction, and single-component OPVs. We focus on correlations of molecular chemical structures with properties, such as absorption, energy levels, charge mobilities, and photovoltaic performances. This structure-property relationship analysis may guide rational structural design and evaluation of photovoltaic materials (253 references).

  12. Colloidal Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diodes Employing Phosphorescent Small Organic Molecules as Efficient Exciton Harvesters.

    PubMed

    Mutlugun, Evren; Guzelturk, Burak; Abiyasa, Agus Putu; Gao, Yuan; Sun, Xiao Wei; Demir, Hilmi Volkan

    2014-08-21

    Nonradiative energy transfer (NRET) is an alternative excitation mechanism in colloidal quantum dot (QD) based electroluminescent devices (QLEDs). Here, we develop hybrid highly spectrally pure QLEDs that facilitate energy transfer pumping via NRET from a phosphorescent small organic molecule-codoped charge transport layer to the adjacent QDs. A partially codoped exciton funnelling electron transport layer is proposed and optimized for enhanced QLED performance while exhibiting very high color purity of 99%. These energy transfer pumped hybrid QLEDs demonstrate a 6-fold enhancement factor in the external quantum efficiency over the conventional QLED structure, in which energy transfer pumping is intrinsically weak.

  13. A Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Lin28.

    PubMed

    Roos, Martina; Pradère, Ugo; Ngondo, Richard P; Behera, Alok; Allegrini, Sara; Civenni, Gianluca; Zagalak, Julian A; Marchand, Jean-Rémy; Menzi, Mirjam; Towbin, Harry; Scheuermann, Jörg; Neri, Dario; Caflisch, Amedeo; Catapano, Carlo V; Ciaudo, Constance; Hall, Jonathan

    2016-10-21

    New discoveries in RNA biology underscore a need for chemical tools to clarify their roles in pathophysiological mechanisms. In certain cancers, synthesis of the let-7 microRNA tumor suppressor is blocked by an RNA binding protein (RBP) Lin28, which docks onto a conserved sequence in let-7 precursor RNA molecules and prevents their maturation. Thus, the Lin28/let-7 interaction might be an attractive drug target, if not for the well-known difficulty in targeting RNA-protein interactions with drugs. Here, we describe a protein/RNA FRET assay using a GFP-Lin28 donor and a black-hole quencher (BHQ)-labeled let-7 acceptor, a fluorescent protein/quencher combination which is rarely used in screening despite favorable spectral properties. We tested 16 000 molecules and identified N-methyl-N-[3-(3-methyl[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-b]pyridazin-6-yl)phenyl]acetamide, which blocked the Lin28/let-7 interaction, rescued let-7 processing and function in Lin28-expressing cancer cells, induced differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells, and reduced tumor-sphere formation by 22Rv1 and Huh7 cells. A biotinylated derivative captured Lin28 from cell lysates consistent with an on-target mechanism in cells, though the compound also showed some activity against bromodomains in selectivity assays. The Lin28/let-7 axis is presently of high interest not only for its role as a bistable switch in stem-cell biology but also because of its prominent roles in numerous diseases. We anticipate that much can be learned from the use of this first reported small molecule antagonist of Lin28, including the potential of the Lin28/let-7 interaction as a new drug target for selected cancers. Furthermore, this approach to assay development may be used to identify antagonists of other RBP/RNA interactions suspected to be operative in pathophysiological mechanisms.

  14. Optimization of Donor-Acceptor Substitution for Large Optical Non-linearities in Small Organic Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beels, Marten

    The determination of the wavelength dependence of the complex third-order polarizability of organic molecules delivers information on the mechanisms of resonance enhancement and allows for comparison of the two-photon absorption cross sections on their peak to the off-resonant third-order polarizabilities. The experimental technique of degenerate four-wave mixing offers several advantages over other comparable techniques, including sensitivity, background-free signal, automatization, and information on excited state lifetimes. This work uses experimental data, computational chemistry, and analysis of the relevant terms in the sum-over-states quantum mechanics expression to analyze the significant contributions to the third-order polarizability, mechanisms of resonance enhancement, and comparison of the off resonant values, to peak resonant values. This information provides insight to the structure-property relationships for the third-order polarizability, allows for comparison to fundamental limits, and assessment of the potential for molecules to form solid state materials with a large third-order susceptibility. The use of donor-acceptor (D/A) substitution allows for the realization of small molecules with large third-order polarizabilities. However, in contrast to symmetric non-D/A oligomers that have third-order polarizabilities which scale by a power law as the molecule is made larger, D/A substituted molecules only scale up to a certain length, beyond which the molecule is over-extended and the third-order polarizability does not increase further. This work will analyze the scaling of non-D/A and D/A substituted molecules, determine the optimum length for D/A substituted molecules, and explain the physics of the saturation.

  15. Inhibition of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Dimerization by Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Tintori, Cristina; Corona, Angela; Esposito, Francesca; Brai, Annalaura; Grandi, Nicole; Ceresola, Elisa Rita; Clementi, Massimo; Canducci, Filippo; Tramontano, Enzo; Botta, Maurizio

    2016-04-15

    Because HIV-1 reverse transcriptase is an enzyme whose catalytic activity depends on its heterodimeric structure, this system could be a target for inhibitors that perturb the interactions between the protein subunits, p51 and p66. We previously demonstrated that the small molecule MAS0 reduced the association of the two RT subunits and simultaneously inhibited both the polymerase and ribonuclease H activities. In this study, some analogues of MAS0 were rationally selected by docking studies and evaluated in vitro for their ability to disrupt dimeric assembly. Two inhibitors were identified with improved activity compared to MAS0. This study lays the basis for the rational design of more potent inhibitors of RT dimerization.

  16. Detection of small molecules with a flow immunosensor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kusterbeck, Anne W.; Ligler, Frances S.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Workman, Paul; Collins, Ian

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Functional silver coated colloidosomes as targeted carriers for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qian; Du, Yao; Zhao, Ziyan; Hall, Elizabeth Anne Howlett; Gao, Hui; Sukhorukov, Gleb B; Routh, Alexander Francis

    2017-03-30

    Colloidosomes have attracted great interest in recent years because of their capability for storage and delivery of small molecules for medical and pharmaceutical applications. However, traditional polymer shell colloidosomes leak low molecular weight drugs due to their intrinsic shell permeability. Here, we report aqueous core colloidosomes with a silver shell, which seals the core and makes the shell impermeable. The silver coated colloidosomes were prepared by reacting L-Ascorbic acid in the microcapsule core with silver nitrate in the wash solution. The silver shell colloidosomes were then modified by using 4,4'-dithiodibutyric acid and linked with rabbit Immunoglobulin G (IgG). Label-free Surface Plasmon Resonance was used to test the specific targeting of the functional silver shell with rabbit antigen. To break the shells, ultrasound treatment was used. The results demonstrate that a new type of functional silver coated colloidosome with immunoassay targeting, non-permeability, and ultrasound sensitivity could be applied to many medical applications.

  1. Advances in the chemistry of small molecule fluorescent probes.

    PubMed

    Wysocki, Laura M; Lavis, Luke D

    2011-12-01

    Small molecule fluorophores are essential tools for chemical biology. A benefit of synthetic dyes is the ability to employ chemical approaches to control the properties and direct the position of the fluorophore. Applying modern synthetic organic chemistry strategies enables efficient tailoring of the chemical structure to obtain probes for specific biological experiments. Chemistry can also be used to activate fluorophores; new fluorogenic enzyme substrates and photoactivatable compounds with improved properties have been prepared that facilitate advanced imaging experiments with low background fluorescence. Finally, chemical reactions in live cells can be used to direct the spatial distribution of the fluorophore, allowing labeling of defined cellular regions with synthetic dyes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Selective small-molecule inhibition of an RNA structural element

    SciTech Connect

    Howe, John A.; Wang, Hao; Fischmann, Thierry O.; Balibar, Carl J.; Xiao, Li; Galgoci, Andrew M.; Malinverni, Juliana C.; Mayhood, Todd; Villafania, Artjohn; Nahvi, Ali; Murgolo, Nicholas; Barbieri, Christopher M.; Mann, Paul A.; Carr, Donna; Xia, Ellen; Zuck, Paul; Riley, Dan; Painter, Ronald E.; Walker, Scott S.; Sherborne, Brad; de Jesus, Reynalda; Pan, Weidong; Plotkin, Michael A.; Wu, Jin; Rindgen, Diane; Cummings, John; Garlisi, Charles G.; Zhang, Rumin; Sheth, Payal R.; Gill, Charles J.; Tang, Haifeng; Roemer, Terry

    2015-09-30

    Riboswitches are non-coding RNA structures located in messenger RNAs that bind endogenous ligands, such as a specific metabolite or ion, to regulate gene expression. As such, riboswitches serve as a novel, yet largely unexploited, class of emerging drug targets. Demonstrating this potential, however, has proven difficult and is restricted to structurally similar antimetabolites and semi-synthetic analogues of their cognate ligand, thus greatly restricting the chemical space and selectivity sought for such inhibitors. Here we report the discovery and characterization of ribocil, a highly selective chemical modulator of bacterial riboflavin riboswitches, which was identified in a phenotypic screen and acts as a structurally distinct synthetic mimic of the natural ligand, flavin mononucleotide, to repress riboswitch-mediated ribB gene expression and inhibit bacterial cell growth. Our findings indicate that non-coding RNA structural elements may be more broadly targeted by synthetic small molecules than previously expected.

  3. Discovery of a small molecule that inhibits bacterial ribosome biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Stokes, Jonathan M; Davis, Joseph H; Mangat, Chand S; Williamson, James R; Brown, Eric D

    2014-09-18

    While small molecule inhibitors of the bacterial ribosome have been instrumental in understanding protein translation, no such probes exist to study ribosome biogenesis. We screened a diverse chemical collection that included previously approved drugs for compounds that induced cold sensitive growth inhibition in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. Among the most cold sensitive was lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant drug. Lamotrigine treatment resulted in the rapid accumulation of immature 30S and 50S ribosomal subunits at 15 °C. Importantly, this was not the result of translation inhibition, as lamotrigine was incapable of perturbing protein synthesis in vivo or in vitro. Spontaneous suppressor mutations blocking lamotrigine activity mapped solely to the poorly characterized domain II of translation initiation factor IF2 and prevented the binding of lamotrigine to IF2 in vitro. This work establishes lamotrigine as a widely available chemical probe of bacterial ribosome biogenesis and suggests a role for E. coli IF2 in ribosome assembly.

  4. Microbial modulation of host immunity with the small molecule phosphorylcholine.

    PubMed

    Clark, Sarah E; Weiser, Jeffrey N

    2013-02-01

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

  5. Small-molecule modulators of PXR and CAR

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Small-molecule modulators of PXR and CAR.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Targeting RSV with Vaccines and Small Molecule Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Costello, Heather M.; Ray, William C.; Chaiwatpongsakorn, Supranee; Peeples, Mark E.

    2012-01-01

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most significant cause of pediatric respiratory infections. Palivizumab (Synagis®), a humanized monoclonal antibody, has been used successfully for a number of years to prevent severe RSV disease in at-risk infants. However, despite intense efforts, there is no approved vaccine or small molecule drug for RSV. As an enveloped virus, RSV must fuse its envelope with the host cell membrane, which is accomplished through the actions of the fusion (F) glycoprotein, with attachment help from the G glycoprotein. Because of their integral role in initiation of infection and their accessibility outside the lipid bilayer, these proteins have been popular targets in the discovery and development of antiviral compounds and vaccines against RSV. This review examines advances in the development of antiviral compounds and vaccine candidates. PMID:22335496

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Branched terthiophenes in organic electronics: from small molecules to polymers.

    PubMed

    Scheuble, Martin; Goll, Miriam; Ludwigs, Sabine

    2015-01-01

    A zoo of chemical structures is accessible when the branched unit 2,2':3',2″-terthiophene (3T) is included both in structurally well-defined small molecules and polymer-like architectures. The first part of this review article highlights literature on all-thiophene based branched oligomers including dendrimers as well as combinations of 3T-units with functional moieties for light-harvesting systems. Motivated by the perfectly branched macromolecular dendrimers both electropolymerization as well as chemical approaches are presented as methods for the preparation of branched polythiophenes with different branching densities. Structure-function relationships between the molecular architecture and optical and electronic properties are discussed throughout the article.

  10. Small molecule-based approaches to adult stem cell therapies.

    PubMed

    Lairson, Luke L; Lyssiotis, Costas A; Zhu, Shoutian; Schultz, Peter G

    2013-01-01

    There is considerable interest in the development of stem cell-based strategies for the treatment of a broad range of human diseases, including neurodegenerative, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal diseases. To date, such regenerative approaches have focused largely on the development of cell transplantation therapies using cells derived from pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Although there have been exciting preliminary reports describing the efficacy of ESC-derived replacement therapies, approaches involving ex vivo manipulated ESCs are hindered by issues of mutation, immune rejection, and ethical controversy. An alternative approach involves direct in vivo modulation or ex vivo expansion of endogenous adult stem cell populations using drug-like small molecules. Here we describe chemical approaches to the regulation of somatic stem cell biology that are yielding new biological insights and that may ultimately lead to innovative new medicines.

  11. Small molecule modulators of Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

    PubMed

    Mook, Robert A; Chen, Minyong; Lu, Jiuyi; Barak, Larry S; Lyerly, H Kim; Chen, Wei

    2013-04-01

    The Wnt signal transduction pathway is dysregulated in many highly prevalent diseases, including cancer. Unfortunately, drug discovery efforts have been hampered by the paucity of targets and drug-like lead molecules amenable to drug discovery. Recently, we reported the FDA-approved anthelmintic drug Niclosamide inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling by a unique mechanism, though the target responsible remains unknown. We interrogated the mechanism and structure-activity relationships to understand drivers of potency and to assist target identification efforts. We found inhibition of Wnt signaling by Niclosamide appears unique among the structurally-related anthelmintic agents tested and found the potency and functional response was dependent on small changes in the chemical structure of Niclosamide. Overall, these findings support efforts to identify the target of Niclosamide inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and the discovery of potent and selective modulators to treat human disease.

  12. Small-Molecule PROTACS: New Approaches to Protein Degradation.

    PubMed

    Toure, Momar; Crews, Craig M

    2016-02-05

    The current inhibitor-based approach to therapeutics has inherent limitations owing to its occupancy-based model: 1) there is a need to maintain high systemic exposure to ensure sufficient in vivo inhibition, 2) high in vivo concentrations bring potential for off-target side effects, and 3) there is a need to bind to an active site, thus limiting the drug target space. As an alternative, induced protein degradation lacks these limitations. Based on an event-driven model, this approach offers a novel catalytic mechanism to irreversibly inhibit protein function by targeting protein destruction through recruitment to the cellular quality control machinery. Prior protein degrading strategies have lacked therapeutic potential. However, recent reports of small-molecule-based proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) have demonstrated that this technology can effectively decrease the cellular levels of several protein classes.

  13. Measurement of small molecule diffusion with an optofluidic silicon chip.

    PubMed

    Ryckeboer, Eva; Vierendeels, Jan; Lee, Agnes; Werquin, Sam; Bienstman, Peter; Baets, Roel

    2013-11-21

    In this work we explore the micro-ring resonator platform to study the diffusion-driven mass transport of small molecules within microfluidic channels. The micro-ring resonators are integrated on a silicon-on-insulator photonic chip and combined with microfluidics in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). We apply a strong initial gradient in the solute concentration and use the micro-ring resonators to observe how this concentration evolves over time and space. This can be achieved by tracking the optical resonances of multiple micro-rings as they shift with changing solute concentration. Experiments are performed for both glucose and NaCl and at different temperatures. The measured concentration profiles are used to calculate the diffusion coefficient of both glucose and NaCl in water. The good agreement between measurement and theoretical prediction demonstrates the relevance of this method.

  14. Small molecule interactions were central to the origin of life.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Robert

    2006-06-01

    Many scientists believe life began with the spontaneous formation of a replicator. This idea has been supported by "prebiotic" syntheses carried out by chemists using modern apparatus and purified reagents. The probability that such reactions would take place spontaneously on the early Earth is minute. These points are illustrated here by considering the often cited oligomerization of activated RNA components by clay minerals. A more likely alternative for the origin of life is one in which a collection of small organic molecules multiply their numbers through catalyzed reaction cycles, driven by a flow of available free energy. Although a number of possible systems of this type have been discussed, no experimental demonstration has been made. The inclusion of a "driver" reaction, directly coupled to the energy source, may lead to a solution.

  15. Small molecule inhibitors targeting activator protein 1 (AP-1).

    PubMed

    Ye, Na; Ding, Ye; Wild, Christopher; Shen, Qiang; Zhou, Jia

    2014-08-28

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

  16. Current status of the prebiotic synthesis of small molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Stanley L.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gaillard, Claire; Strauss, François

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Current status of the prebiotic synthesis of small molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Stanley L.

    1986-01-01

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

  19. Pharmacophore guided discovery of small-molecule interleukin 15 inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Żyżyńska-Granica, Barbara; Trzaskowski, Bartosz; Niewieczerzał, Szymon; Filipek, Sławomir; Zegrocka-Stendel, Oliwia; Dutkiewicz, Małgorzata; Krzeczyński, Piotr; Kowalewska, Magdalena; Koziak, Katarzyna

    2017-08-18

    Upregulation of interleukin 15 (IL-15) contributes directly i.a. to the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Selective blockade of IL-15 aimed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and other IL-15-related disorders has been recognized as an efficient therapeutic method. The aim of the study was to identify small molecules which would interact with IL-15 or its receptor IL-15Rα and inhibit the cytokine's activity. Based on the crystal structure of IL-15Rα·IL-15, we created pharmacophore models to screen the ZINC database of chemical compounds for potential IL-15 and IL-15Rα inhibitors. Twenty compounds with the highest predicted binding affinities were subjected to in vitro analysis using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to validate in silico data. Twelve molecules efficiently reduced IL-15-dependent TNF-α and IL-17 synthesis. Among these, cefazolin - a safe first-generation cephalosporin antibiotic - holds the highest promise for IL-15-directed therapeutic applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  20. Small molecule inhibitors of HCV replication from Pomegranate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  1. Small Molecule Anticonvulsant Agents with Potent In Vitro Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Garry R.; Zhang, Yan; Du, Yanming; Kondaveeti, Sandeep K.; Zdilla, Michael J.; Reitz, Allen B.

    2012-01-01

    Severe seizure activity is associated with recurring cycles of excitotoxicity and oxidative stress that result in progressive neuronal damage and death. Intervention to halt these pathological processes is a compelling disease-modifying strategy for the treatment of seizure disorders. In the present study, a core small molecule with anticonvulsant activity has been structurally optimized for neuroprotection. Phenotypic screening of rat hippocampal cultures with nutrient medium depleted of antioxidants was utilized as a disease model. Increased cell death and decreased neuronal viability produced by acute treatment with glutamate or hydrogen peroxide were prevented by our novel molecules. The neuroprotection associated with this chemical series has marked structure activity relationships that focus on modification of the benzylic position of a 2-phenyl-2-hydroxyethyl sulfamide core structure. Complete separation between anticonvulsant activity and neuroprotective action was dependent on substitution at the benzylic carbon. Chiral selectivity was evident in that the S-enantiomer of the benzylic hydroxy group had neither neuroprotective nor anticonvulsant activity, while the R-enantiomer of the lead compound had full neuroprotective action at ≤40 nM and antiseizure activity in three animal models. These studies indicate that potent, multifunctional neuroprotective anticonvulsants are feasible within a single molecular entity. PMID:22535312

  2. Enhanced Raman scattering by molecules adsorbed at the surface of colloidal spheroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, D.-S.; Kerker, M.

    1981-08-01

    Equations are derived and calculations are presented for the electrodynamic mechanism of enhanced Raman scattering by molecules at the surface of prolate and oblate spheroids in the small-particle limit. The molecules may be arbitrarily distributed; the particles may be arbitrarily oriented. Calculations are presented for a monolayer distributed over randomly oriented spheroids. The effects of particle shape are considered for Ag, Au, and Cu hydrosols. The peak enhancement moves to longer wavelengths, and in the case of Au and Cu the magnitude of the enhancement increases strikingly as the eccentricity increases. The relation between the dependence of the Raman enhancement upon excitation wavelength and the extinction spectra is discussed, including the precariousness of extrapolating such relations beyond the small-particle limit.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fiehn, Oliver

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Feshbach-Resonance-Enhanced Coherent Atom-Molecule Conversion with Ultranarrow Photoassociation Resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taie, Shintaro; Watanabe, Shunsuke; Ichinose, Tomohiro; Takahashi, Yoshiro

    2016-01-01

    We reveal the existence of high-density Feshbach resonances in the collision between the ground and metastable states of 171Yb and coherently produce the associated Feshbach molecules by photoassociation. The extremely small transition rate is overcome by the enhanced Franck-Condon factor of the weakly bound Feshbach molecule, allowing us to observe Rabi oscillations with long decay time between an atom pair and a molecule in an optical lattice. We also perform the precision measurement of the binding energies, which characterizes the observed resonances. The ultranarrow photoassociation will be a basis for practical implementation of optical Feshbach resonances.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Fluorination-enabled optimal morphology leads to over 11% efficiency for inverted small-molecule organic solar cells

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Dan; Zhang, Yajie; Zhang, Jianqi; Wang, Zaiyu; Zhu, Lingyun; Fang, Jin; Xia, Benzheng; Wang, Zhen; Lu, Kun; Ma, Wei; Wei, Zhixiang

    2016-01-01

    Solution-processable small molecules for organic solar cells have attracted intense attention for their advantages of definite molecular structures compared with their polymer counterparts. However, the device efficiencies based on small molecules are still lower than those of polymers, especially for inverted devices, the highest efficiency of which is <9%. Here we report three novel solution-processable small molecules, which contain π-bridges with gradient-decreased electron density and end acceptors substituted with various fluorine atoms (0F, 1F and 2F, respectively). Fluorination leads to an optimal active layer morphology, including an enhanced domain purity, the formation of hierarchical domain size and a directional vertical phase gradation. The optimal morphology balances charge separation and transfer, and facilitates charge collection. As a consequence, fluorinated molecules exhibit excellent inverted device performance, and an average power conversion efficiency of 11.08% is achieved for a two-fluorine atom substituted molecule. PMID:27991486

  7. Fluorination-enabled optimal morphology leads to over 11% efficiency for inverted small-molecule organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Deng, Dan; Zhang, Yajie; Zhang, Jianqi; Wang, Zaiyu; Zhu, Lingyun; Fang, Jin; Xia, Benzheng; Wang, Zhen; Lu, Kun; Ma, Wei; Wei, Zhixiang

    2016-12-19

    Solution-processable small molecules for organic solar cells have attracted intense attention for their advantages of definite molecular structures compared with their polymer counterparts. However, the device efficiencies based on small molecules are still lower than those of polymers, especially for inverted devices, the highest efficiency of which is <9%. Here we report three novel solution-processable small molecules, which contain π-bridges with gradient-decreased electron density and end acceptors substituted with various fluorine atoms (0F, 1F and 2F, respectively). Fluorination leads to an optimal active layer morphology, including an enhanced domain purity, the formation of hierarchical domain size and a directional vertical phase gradation. The optimal morphology balances charge separation and transfer, and facilitates charge collection. As a consequence, fluorinated molecules exhibit excellent inverted device performance, and an average power conversion efficiency of 11.08% is achieved for a two-fluorine atom substituted molecule.

  8. Fluorination-enabled optimal morphology leads to over 11% efficiency for inverted small-molecule organic solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Dan; Zhang, Yajie; Zhang, Jianqi; Wang, Zaiyu; Zhu, Lingyun; Fang, Jin; Xia, Benzheng; Wang, Zhen; Lu, Kun; Ma, Wei; Wei, Zhixiang

    2016-12-01

    Solution-processable small molecules for organic solar cells have attracted intense attention for their advantages of definite molecular structures compared with their polymer counterparts. However, the device efficiencies based on small molecules are still lower than those of polymers, especially for inverted devices, the highest efficiency of which is <9%. Here we report three novel solution-processable small molecules, which contain π-bridges with gradient-decreased electron density and end acceptors substituted with various fluorine atoms (0F, 1F and 2F, respectively). Fluorination leads to an optimal active layer morphology, including an enhanced domain purity, the formation of hierarchical domain size and a directional vertical phase gradation. The optimal morphology balances charge separation and transfer, and facilitates charge collection. As a consequence, fluorinated molecules exhibit excellent inverted device performance, and an average power conversion efficiency of 11.08% is achieved for a two-fluorine atom substituted molecule.

  9. A novel caspase 8 selective small molecule potentiates TRAIL-induced cell death.

    PubMed

    Bucur, Octavian; Gaidos, Gabriel; Yatawara, Achani; Pennarun, Bodvael; Rupasinghe, Chamila; Roux, Jérémie; Andrei, Stefan; Guo, Bingqian; Panaitiu, Alexandra; Pellegrini, Maria; Mierke, Dale F; Khosravi-Far, Roya

    2015-05-11

    Recombinant soluble TRAIL and agonistic antibodies against TRAIL receptors (DR4 and DR5) are currently being created for clinical cancer therapy, due to their selective killing of cancer cells and high safety characteristics. However, resistance to TRAIL and other targeted therapies is an important issue facing current cancer research field. An attractive strategy to sensitize resistant malignancies to TRAIL-induced cell death is the design of small molecules that target and promote caspase 8 activation. For the first time, we describe the discovery and characterization of a small molecule that directly binds caspase 8 and enhances its activation when combined with TRAIL, but not alone. The molecule was identified through an in silico chemical screen for compounds with affinity for the caspase 8 homodimer's interface. The compound was experimentally validated to directly bind caspase 8, and to promote caspase 8 activation and cell death in single living cells or population of cells, upon TRAIL stimulation. Our approach is a proof-of-concept strategy leading to the discovery of a novel small molecule that not only stimulates TRAIL-induced apoptosis in cancer cells, but may also provide insights into the structure-function relationship of caspase 8 homodimers as putative targets in cancer.

  10. A novel caspase 8 selective small molecule potentiates TRAIL-induced cell death

    PubMed Central

    Bucur, Octavian; Gaidos, Gabriel; Yatawara, Achani; Pennarun, Bodvael; Rupasinghe, Chamila; Roux, Jérémie; Andrei, Stefan; Guo, Bingqian; Panaitiu, Alexandra; Pellegrini, Maria; Mierke, Dale F.; Khosravi-Far, Roya

    2015-01-01

    Recombinant soluble TRAIL and agonistic antibodies against TRAIL receptors (DR4 and DR5) are currently being created for clinical cancer therapy, due to their selective killing of cancer cells and high safety characteristics. However, resistance to TRAIL and other targeted therapies is an important issue facing current cancer research field. An attractive strategy to sensitize resistant malignancies to TRAIL-induced cell death is the design of small molecules that target and promote caspase 8 activation. For the first time, we describe the discovery and characterization of a small molecule that directly binds caspase 8 and enhances its activation when combined with TRAIL, but not alone. The molecule was identified through an in silico chemical screen for compounds with affinity for the caspase 8 homodimer’s interface. The compound was experimentally validated to directly bind caspase 8, and to promote caspase 8 activation and cell death in single living cells or population of cells, upon TRAIL stimulation. Our approach is a proof-of-concept strategy leading to the discovery of a novel small molecule that not only stimulates TRAIL-induced apoptosis in cancer cells, but may also provide insights into the structure-function relationship of caspase 8 homodimers as putative targets in cancer. PMID:25962125

  11. Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of Cancer Stem Cell Signaling Pathways.

    PubMed

    Abetov, Danysh; Mustapova, Zhanar; Saliev, Timur; Bulanin, Denis; Batyrbekov, Kanat; Gilman, Charles P

    2015-12-01

    The main aim of oncologists worldwide is to understand and then intervene in the primary tumor initiation and propagation mechanisms. This is essential to allow targeted elimination of cancer cells without altering normal mitotic cells. Currently, there are two main rival theories describing the process of tumorigenesis. According to the Stochastic Model, potentially any cell, once defunct, is capable of initiating carcinogenesis. Alternatively the Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) Model posits that only a small fraction of undifferentiated tumor cells are capable of triggering carcinogenesis. Like healthy stem cells, CSCs are also characterized by a capacity for self-renewal and the ability to generate differentiated progeny, possibly mediating treatment resistance, thus leading to tumor recurrence and metastasis. Moreover, molecular signaling profiles are similar between CSCs and normal stem cells, including Wnt, Notch and Hedgehog pathways. Therefore, development of novel chemotherapeutic agents and proteins (e.g., enzymes and antibodies) specifically targeting CSCs are attractive pharmaceutical candidates. This article describes small molecule inhibitors of stem cell pathways Wnt, Notch and Hedgehog, and their recent chemotherapy clinical trials.

  12. Perspective: Accurate ro-vibrational calculations on small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tennyson, Jonathan

    2016-09-01

    In what has been described as the fourth age of quantum chemistry, variational nuclear motion programs are now routinely being used to obtain the vibration-rotation levels and corresponding wavefunctions of small molecules to the sort of high accuracy demanded by comparison with spectroscopy. In this perspective, I will discuss the current state-of-the-art which, for example, shows that these calculations are increasingly competitive with measurements or, indeed, replacing them and thus becoming the primary source of data on key processes. To achieve this accuracy ab initio requires consideration of small effects, routinely ignored in standard calculations, such as those due to quantum electrodynamics. Variational calculations are being used to generate huge lists of transitions which provide the input for models of radiative transport through hot atmospheres and to fill in or even replace measured transition intensities. Future prospects such as the study of molecular states near dissociation, which can provide a link with low-energy chemical reactions, are discussed.

  13. Multiscale Modelling of Small Molecules Absorbed in Zeolite-4A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modine, N. A.; Chandross, Michael; Jaramillo, Eugenio

    2003-03-01

    Confinement within the nanoscale pores of a zeolite strongly modifies the physical and chemical behavior of small molecules such as water, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. Realistic modeling of such phenomena requires simultaneously capturing the detailed behavior of chemical bonds and the possibility of collective dynamics occurring in a complex unit cell (672 atoms in the case of Zeolite-4A). Classical simulations alone cannot reliably model the breaking and formation of chemical bonds, while quantum methods alone are incapable of treating the extended length and time scales characteristic of complex dynamics. Therefore, we have taken a mixed quantum/classical approach. We report our progress in developing an efficient algorithm for embedding a small region treated with density functional theory within a larger system represented by classical potentials. We discuss interesting initial results for the behavior of water and ammonia in Zeolite-4A. Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE- AC04-94AL85000.

  14. Targeting Innate Immunity for Antiviral Therapy through Small Molecule Agonists of the RLR Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Pattabhi, Sowmya; Wilkins, Courtney R.; Dong, Ran; Knoll, Megan L.; Posakony, Jeffrey; Kaiser, Shari; Mire, Chad E.; Wang, Myra L.; Ireton, Renee C.; Geisbert, Thomas W.; Bedard, Kristin M.; Iadonato, Shawn P.

    2015-01-01

    selectively activate IRF3 for the purpose of identifying drug-like molecules that can be developed for the treatment of viral infections. Here, we report the discovery of a hydroxyquinoline family of small molecules that can activate IRF3 to promote cellular antiviral responses. These molecules can prophylactically or therapeutically control infection in cell culture by pathogenic RNA viruses, including West Nile virus, dengue virus, hepatitis C virus, influenza A virus, respiratory syncytial virus, Nipah virus, Lassa virus, and Ebola virus. Our study thus identifies a class of small molecules with a novel mechanism to enhance host immune responses for antiviral activity against a variety of RNA viruses that pose a significant health care burden and/or that are known to cause infections with high case fatality rates. PMID:26676770

  15. Zirconium silicate assisted removal of residual proteins after organic solvent deproteinization of human plasma, enhancing the stability of the LC-ESI-MS response for the bioanalysis of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Shah; Pezzei, Cornelia; Güzel, Yüksel; Rainer, Matthias; Huck, Christian W; Bonn, Günther K

    2014-12-10

    An efficient blood plasma clean-up method was developed, where methanol protein precipitation was applied, followed by zirconium silicate assisted exclusion of residual proteins. A strong binding of zirconium (IV) silicate to the proteins enabled the elimination of remaining proteins after solvent deproteinization through a rapid solid-phase extraction (SPE) procedure. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI/TOF MS) was used for monitoring the proteins during clean-up practice applied to human plasma samples. The proteins were quantified by colorimetric detection using the bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assay. The presented analytical strategy resulted in the depletion of >99.6% proteins from human plasma samples. Furthermore, high-performance liquid chromatography hyphenated to diode-array and electrospray ionization mass spectrometric detection (HPLC-DAD/ESI MS) was applied for qualitative and quantitative analysis of the caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) and their metabolites in human plasma. The procedure demonstrated high recoveries for the standard compounds spiked at different concentrations. Cynarin and chlorogenic acid were recovered in the range of 81-86% and 78-83%, respectively. Caffeic acid was extracted in the excess of 89-92%, while ferulic acid and dihydroxyhydrocinnamic acid showed a recovery of 87-91% and 92-95%, respectively. The method was partially validated in accordance with FDA-Industry Guidelines for Bioanalytical Method Validation (2001). The presented scheme improves the clean-up efficacy of the methanol deproteinization, significantly reduces the matrix effects and provides a great analytical tool for the isolation of small molecules from human plasma.

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Yongsheng; Wan, Xiangjian; Long, Guankui

    2013-11-19

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

  17. Learning and Training: Enhancing Small Business Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kilpatrick, Sue; Crowley, Suzanne

    Owners or managers of 181 Australian businesses employing fewer than 20 people in the construction, manufacturing, property and business services, and retail industries in 3 metropolitan and 3 nonmetropolitan locations were interviewed by telephone to identify how they used training to enhance their small business's success. Of those surveyed,…

  18. Enhancement of Raman scattering from molecules placed near metal nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbiellini, B.

    2017-01-01

    Large Raman scattering cross sections from molecules on surfaces of metallic nanoparticles are described within a renormalization-group theory. In this approach the valence electrons of the molecules are embedded in an effective medium described by a dielectric function, which integrates out the effect of the plasmonic excitations of the metallic nanoparticles. The source of the enhanced photon inelastic scattering is produced by the resonant excitation of surface plasmons at the metallic nanoparticles. A similar theory has been successfully used to explain the resonant x-ray inelastic scattering and the behavior of nonlinear susceptibilities at the x-ray edges.

  19. Surface enhanced single-molecule magnetism involving 4f spin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yachao

    2016-03-01

    We study the magnetic anisotropy energy (MAE) of the isolated and deposited Eu(C8H8)2 by first-principles calculations considering the van der Waals correction and the strong correlation effects. We find that both the molecular spin moment and the easy-axis magnetic anisotropy are enhanced upon deposition on Cu(111). We propose a mechanism in terms of the weakened spin polarization of the π-2p orbitals and the induced anisotropic occupations of the 4f orbitals. Our findings pave the way for raising the MAE of 4f-element single-molecule magnets by tailoring the molecule-surface contacts.

  20. Potential of small-molecule fungal metabolites in antiviral chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Roy, Biswajit G

    2017-08-01

    Various viral diseases, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, influenza, and hepatitis, have emerged as leading causes of human death worldwide. Scientific endeavor since invention of DNA-dependent RNA polymerase of pox virus in 1967 resulted in better understanding of virus replication and development of various novel therapeutic strategies. Despite considerable advancement in every facet of drug discovery process, development of commercially viable, safe, and effective drugs for these viruses still remains a big challenge. Decades of intense research yielded a handful of natural and synthetic therapeutic options. But emergence of new viruses and drug-resistant viral strains had made new drug development process a never-ending battle. Small-molecule fungal metabolites due to their vast diversity, stereochemical complexity, and preapproved biocompatibility always remain an attractive source for new drug discovery. Though, exploration of therapeutic importance of fungal metabolites has started early with discovery of penicillin, recent prediction asserted that only a small percentage (5-10%) of fungal species have been identified and much less have been scientifically investigated. Therefore, exploration of new fungal metabolites, their bioassay, and subsequent mechanistic study bears huge importance in new drug discovery endeavors. Though no fungal metabolites so far approved for antiviral treatment, many of these exhibited high potential against various viral diseases. This review comprehensively discussed about antiviral activities of fungal metabolites of diverse origin against some important viral diseases. This also highlighted the mechanistic details of inhibition of viral replication along with structure-activity relationship of some common and important classes of fungal metabolites.

  1. Characterization of EHT 1864, a novel small molecule inhibitor of Rac family small GTPases.

    PubMed

    Onesto, Cercina; Shutes, Adam; Picard, Virginie; Schweighoffer, Fabien; Der, Channing J

    2008-01-01

    There is now considerable experimental evidence that aberrant activation of Rho family small GTPases promotes uncontrolled proliferation, invasion, and metastatic properties of human cancer cells. Therefore, there is considerable interest in the development of small molecule inhibitors of Rho GTPase function. However, to date, most efforts have focused on inhibitors that block Rho GTPase function indirectly, either by targeting enzymes involved in post-translational processing or downstream protein kinase effectors. We have reported the identification and characterization of the EHT 1864 small molecule as an inhibitor of Rac family small GTPases, placing Rac1 in an inert and inactive state and then impairing Rac1-mediated functions in vivo. Our work suggests that EHT 1864 selectively inhibits Rac1 downstream signaling and cellular transformation by a novel mechanism involving guanine nucleotide displacement. This chapter provides the details for some of the biochemical and biological methods used to characterize the mode of action of EHT 1864 on Rac1 and its impact on Rac1-dependent cellular functions.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ford, Peter C

    2005-02-22

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

  3. Progress in Small Molecule Therapeutics for the Treatment of Retinoblastoma.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, Eleanor M; Dyer, Michael A; Guy, R Kiplin

    2016-01-01

    While mortality is low for intraocular retinoblastoma patients in the developed world who receive aggressive multimodal therapy, partial or full loss of vision occurs in approximately 50% of patients with advanced bilateral retinoblastoma. Therapies that preserve vision and reduce late effects are needed. Because clinical trials for retinoblastoma are difficult due to the young age of the patient population and relative rarity of the disease, robust preclinical testing of new therapies is critical. The last decade has seen advances towards identifying new therapies including the development of animal models of retinoblastoma for preclinical testing, progress in local drug delivery to reach intraocular targets, and improved understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms that give rise to retinoblastoma. This review discusses advances in these areas, with a focus on discovery and development of small molecules for the treatment of retinoblastoma, including novel targeted therapeutics such as inhibitors of the MDMX-p53 interaction (nutlin-3a), histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitors.

  4. Electrocatalytic recycling of CO2 and small organic molecules.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-05

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogle, Michael

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Novel Small Molecule Entry Inhibitors of Ebola Virus

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Arnab; Mills, Debra M.; Mitchell, Daniel; Ndungo, Esther; Williams, John D.; Herbert, Andrew S.; Dye, John M.; Moir, Donald T.; Chandran, Kartik; Patterson, Jean L.; Rong, Lijun; Bowlin, Terry L.

    2015-01-01

    Background. The current Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak has highlighted the troubling absence of available antivirals or vaccines to treat infected patients and stop the spread of EBOV. The EBOV glycoprotein (GP) plays critical roles in the early stage of virus infection, including receptor binding and membrane fusion, making it a potential target for the development of anti-EBOV drugs. We report the identification of 2 novel EBOV inhibitors targeting viral entry. Methods. To identify small molecule inhibitors of EBOV entry, we carried out a cell-based high-throughput screening using human immunodeficiency virus–based pseudotyped viruses expressing EBOV-GP. Two compounds were identified, and mechanism-of-action studies were performed using immunoflourescence, AlphaLISA, and enzymatic assays for cathepsin B inhibition. Results. We report the identification of 2 novel entry inhibitors. These inhibitors (1) inhibit EBOV infection (50% inhibitory concentration, approximately 0.28 and approximately 10 µmol/L) at a late stage of entry, (2) induce Niemann-Pick C phenotype, and (3) inhibit GP–Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) protein interaction. Conclusions. We have identified 2 novel EBOV inhibitors, MBX2254 and MBX2270, that can serve as starting points for the development of an anti-EBOV therapeutic agent. Our findings also highlight the importance of NPC1-GP interaction in EBOV entry and the attractiveness of NPC1 as an antifiloviral therapeutic target. PMID:26206510

  8. 2-Quinolinecarboxaldehyde: Polymorphic behavior of a small rigid molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maria, Teresa M. R.; Ermelinda S. Eusébio, M.; Almeida e Silva, J.; Sobral, Abílio J. F. N.; Cardoso, C.; Paixão, J. A.; Ramos Silva, M.

    2012-12-01

    This work reports an investigation on the polymorphism of 2-quinolinecarboxaldehyde, a quinoline derivative, frequently used as a ligand in the synthesis of metal complexes. 2-Quinolinecarboxaldehyde lacks both molecular flexibility and the ability to form strong hydrogen bonds, two characteristics often seen as driving forces for the occurrence of polymorphism. Nevertheless, a rich polymorphic behavior was found for this substance. Polymorphic forms were generated by crystallization from solutions, and by melt cooling. Four polymorphic forms could be clearly identified by thermal analysis investigation and the crystalline structures of forms I and III were solved by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, at room temperature. In polymorph I, molecules are joined by π-π and weak C-H⋯O interactions while in polymorph III helicoidal chiral chains are formed and very weak C-H⋯O intermolecular interactions can be identified. Neither of these intermolecular interactions involves the formyl hydrogen atom. Concomitant polymorph crystallization from the melt was often observed. XRPD diffractograms which showed similarities to that of polymorph I but presented striking differences were obtained in some experiments. In certain cases the discrepancies may be ascribed to effects of preferential orientation. However, the existence of multiple but slightly different structures with small differences seems to be a better explanation for these experimental observations.

  9. Capping of Aβ42 Oligomers by Small Molecule Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Aβ42 peptides associate into soluble oligomers and protofibrils in the process of forming the amyloid fibrils associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The oligomers have been reported to be more toxic to neurons than fibrils, and have been targeted by a wide range of small molecule and peptide inhibitors. With single touch atomic force microscopy (AFM), we show that monomeric Aβ42 forms two distinct types of oligomers, low molecular weight (MW) oligomers with heights of 1–2 nm and high MW oligomers with heights of 3–5 nm. In both cases, the oligomers are disc-shaped with diameters of ∼10–15 nm. The similar diameters suggest that the low MW species stack to form the high MW oligomers. The ability of Aβ42 inhibitors to interact with these oligomers is probed using atomic force microscopy and NMR spectroscopy. We show that curcumin and resveratrol bind to the N-terminus (residues 5–20) of Aβ42 monomers and cap the height of the oligomers that are formed at 1–2 nm. A second class of inhibitors, which includes sulindac sulfide and indomethacin, exhibit very weak interactions across the Aβ42 sequence and do not block the formation of the high MW oligomers. The correlation between N-terminal interactions and capping of the height of the Aβ oligomers provides insights into the mechanism of inhibition and the pathway of Aβ aggregation. PMID:25422864

  10. Regulatory aspects of small molecule drugs for heart regeneration.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, Kathleen; Papinska, Anna; Mordwinkin, Nicholas

    2016-01-15

    Even though recent discoveries prove the existence of cardiac progenitor cells, internal regenerative capacity of the heart is minimal. As cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of deaths in the United States, a number of approaches are being used to develop treatments for heart repair and regeneration. Small molecule drugs are of particular interest as they are suited for oral administration and can be chemically synthesized. However, the regulatory process for the development of new treatment modalities is protracted, complex and expensive. One of the hurdles to development of appropriate therapies is the need for predictive preclinical models. The use of patient-derived cardiomyocytes from iPSC cells represents a novel tool for this purpose. Among other concepts for induction of heart regeneration, the most advanced is the combination of DPP-IV inhibitors with stem cell mobilizers. This review will focus on regulatory aspects as well as preclinical hurdles of development of new treatments for heart regeneration. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Epigenetic Modulation using Small Molecules - Targeting Histone Acetyltransferases in Disease.

    PubMed

    Richters, André; Koehler, Angela N

    2017-02-23

    Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are epigenetic drivers that catalyze the acetyl transfer from acetyl-CoA to lysines of both histone and non-histone substrates and thereby induce transcription either by chromatin remodeling or direct transcription factor activation. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) conduct the reverse reaction to counter HAT activity. Physiological processes such as cell cycle progression or apoptosis require a thoroughly balanced equilibrium of the interplay between acetylation and deacetylation processes to maintain or, if required, alter the global acetylome status. Aberrant HAT activity has recently been demonstrated to play a crucial role in the progression of various diseases such as prostate, lung, and colon cancers as well as glioblastomas and neurodegenerative diseases. Recent investigations have aimed for the identification of HAT modulators to further decipher the complexity of acetyl transferase related signaling cascades and discover potential leads for drug design approaches. HDACs have been extensively characterized and targeted by small molecules, including four FDA-approved HDAC inhibitors; in contrast, HATs have not been active targets for therapeutic development. This review will summarize the status of HAT associated diseases and the arsenal of currently known and available HAT inhibitors with respect to their discovery, further improvements, and current applications.

  12. Small molecules increase direct neural conversion of human fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Pfisterer, Ulrich; Ek, Fredrik; Lang, Stefan; Soneji, Shamit; Olsson, Roger; Parmar, Malin

    2016-01-01

    The generation of human induced neurons (hiNs) via exogenous delivery of neural transcription factors represents a novel technique to obtain disease and patient specific neurons. These cells have the potential to be used for disease modeling, diagnostics and drug screening, and also to be further developed for brain repair. In the present study, we utilized hiNs to develop an unbiased screening assay for small molecules that increase the conversion efficiency. Using this assay, we screened 307 compounds from five annotated libraries and identified six compounds that were very potent in potentiating the reprogramming process. When combined in an optimal combination and dose, these compounds increased the reprogramming efficiency of human fibroblasts more than 6-fold. Global gene expression and CellNet analysis at different timepoints during the reprogramming process revealed that neuron-specific genes and gene regulatory networks (GRNs) became progressively more activated while converting cells shut down fibroblast-specific GRNs. Further bioinformatics analysis revealed that the addition of the six compound resulted in the accelerated upregulation of a subset of neuronal genes, and also increased expression of genes associated with transcriptional activity and mediation of cellular stress response. PMID:27917895

  13. Progress in Small Molecule Therapeutics for the Treatment of Retinoblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Pritchard, Eleanor M.; Dyer, Michael A.; Guy, R. Kiplin

    2017-01-01

    While mortality is low for intraocular retinoblastoma patients in the developed world who receive aggressive multimodal therapy, partial or full loss of vision occurs in approximately 50% of patients with advanced bilateral retinoblastoma. Therapies that preserve vision and reduce late effects are needed. Because clinical trials for retinoblastoma are difficult due to the young age of the patient population and relative rarity of the disease, robust preclinical testing of new therapies is critical. The last decade has seen advances towards identifying new therapies including the development of animal models of retinoblastoma for preclinical testing, progress in local drug delivery to reach intraocular targets, and improved understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms that give rise to retinoblastoma. This review discusses advances in these areas, with a focus on discovery and development of small molecules for the treatment of retinoblastoma, including novel targeted therapeutics such as inhibitors of the MDMX-p53 interaction (nutlin-3a), histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitors. PMID:26202204

  14. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the Myc Oncoprotein

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Steven; Prochownik, Edward V.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Small-molecule inhibitors of human LDH5

    PubMed Central

    Granchi, Carlotta; Paterni, Ilaria; Rani, Reshma; Minutolo, Filippo

    2014-01-01

    The latest findings on the role played by human LDH5 (hLDH5) in the promotion of glycolysis in invasive tumor cells indicates that this enzyme subtype is a promising therapeutic target for invasive cancer. Compounds able to selectively inhibit hLDH5 hold promise for the cure of neoplastic diseases. hLDH5 has so far been a rather unexplored target, since its importance in the promotion of cancer progression has been neglected for decades. This enzyme should also be considered as a challenging target due the high polar character (mostly cationic) of its ligand cavity. Recently, significant progresses have been reached with small-molecule inhibitors of hLDH5 displaying remarkable potencies and selectivities. This review provides an overview of the newly developed hLDH5 inhibitors. The roles of hLDH isoforms will be briefly discussed, and then the inhibitors will be grouped into chemical classes. Furthermore, general pharmacophore features will be emphasized throughout the structural subgroups analyzed. PMID:24175747

  16. A chemical screen identifies small molecules that regulate hepcidin expression.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Hepcidin, a peptide hormone produced in the liver, decreases intestinal iron absorption and macrophage iron release via effects on ferroportin. Bone morphogenic protein and Stat3 signaling regulate Hepcidin's transcription. Hepcidin is a potential drug target for patients with iron overload syndromes because its levels are inappropriately low in these individuals. To generate a tool for identifying small molecules that modulate Hepcidin expression, we stably transfected human hepatocytes (HepG2) cells with a reporter construct containing 2.7kb of the human Hepcidin promoter upstream of a firefly reporter gene. We used high throughput methods to screen 10,169 chemicals in duplicate for their effect on Hepcidin expression and cell viability. Regulators were identified as chemicals that caused a change >3 standard deviations above or >1 standard deviation below the mean of the other chemicals (z-score >3 or <1), while not adversely affecting cell viability, quantified by fluorescence assay. Following validation assays, we identified 16 chemicals in a broad range of functional classes that promote Hepcidin expression. All of the chemicals identified increased expression of bone morphogenic protein-dependent and/or Stat3-dependent genes, however none of them strongly increased phosphorylation of Smad1,5,8 or Stat3.

  17. Small Molecule Identification with MOLGEN and Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Meringer, Markus; Schymanski, Emma L.

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Small-Molecule Screening Identifies Modulators of Aquaporin-2 Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Bogum, Jana; Faust, Dörte; Zühlke, Kerstin; Eichhorst, Jenny; Moutty, Marie C.; Furkert, Jens; Eldahshan, Adeeb; Neuenschwander, Martin; von Kries, Jens Peter; Wiesner, Burkhard; Trimpert, Christiane; Deen, Peter M.T.; Valenti, Giovanna; Rosenthal, Walter

    2013-01-01

    In the principal cells of the renal collecting duct, arginine vasopressin (AVP) stimulates the synthesis of cAMP, leading to signaling events that culminate in the phosphorylation of aquaporin-2 water channels and their redistribution from intracellular domains to the plasma membrane via vesicular trafficking. The molecular mechanisms that control aquaporin-2 trafficking and the consequent water reabsorption, however, are not completely understood. Here, we used a cell-based assay and automated immunofluorescence microscopy to screen 17,700 small molecules for inhibitors of the cAMP-dependent redistribution of aquaporin-2. This approach identified 17 inhibitors, including 4-acetyldiphyllin, a selective blocker of vacuolar H+-ATPase that increases the pH of intracellular vesicles and causes accumulation of aquaporin-2 in the Golgi compartment. Although 4-acetyldiphyllin did not inhibit forskolin-induced increases in cAMP formation and downstream activation of protein kinase A (PKA), it did prevent cAMP/PKA-dependent phosphorylation at serine 256 of aquaporin-2, which triggers the redistribution to the plasma membrane. It did not, however, prevent cAMP-induced changes to the phosphorylation status at serines 261 or 269. Last, we identified the fungicide fluconazole as an inhibitor of cAMP-mediated redistribution of aquaporin-2, but its target in this pathway remains unknown. In conclusion, our screening approach provides a method to begin dissecting molecular mechanisms underlying AVP-mediated water reabsorption, evidenced by our identification of 4-acetyldiphyllin as a modulator of aquaporin-2 trafficking. PMID:23559583

  19. Analysis of imprecision in incurred sample reanalysis for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Subramaniam, Sriram; Patel, Devvrat; Davit, Barbara M; Conner, Dale P

    2015-01-01

    Over the years, incurred sample (IS) reanalysis (ISR) has become a tool to confirm the reliability of bioanalytical measurements. The recommendation for ISR acceptance criterion for small molecules is at least 67% of ISR samples that have reanalyzed concentrations within 20% of their original concentrations when normalized to their means. To understand the relevance of the ISR acceptance criterion and sample size requirements, simulated ISR studies evaluated the probability of ISR studies passing the acceptance criterion (ISR pass rate) as a function of IS imprecision and sample size. When IS imprecision (percent coefficient of variation: %CV) is low (≤ 10 or 1-10% CV), high ISR pass rate (≥ 99%) is attained with <50 samples. At intermediate IS imprecision (e.g., 12% CV or 7-12% CV range), 80-160 samples are required for a high ISR pass rate. When IS imprecision is at the higher end of the acceptance limit, ISR pass rate decreases significantly, and increasing sample size fails to achieve high ISR pass rate. The effect of systematic bias (e.g., instability, interconversion) on ISR pass rate is strongly dependent on sample size at intermediate IS imprecision. The results provide an understanding of the effect of IS imprecision on ISR pass rates and a framework for selection of ISR sample sizes.

  20. Discovery of a small molecule that inhibits bacterial ribosome biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Jonathan M; Davis, Joseph H; Mangat, Chand S; Williamson, James R; Brown, Eric D

    2014-01-01

    While small molecule inhibitors of the bacterial ribosome have been instrumental in understanding protein translation, no such probes exist to study ribosome biogenesis. We screened a diverse chemical collection that included previously approved drugs for compounds that induced cold sensitive growth inhibition in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. Among the most cold sensitive was lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant drug. Lamotrigine treatment resulted in the rapid accumulation of immature 30S and 50S ribosomal subunits at 15°C. Importantly, this was not the result of translation inhibition, as lamotrigine was incapable of perturbing protein synthesis in vivo or in vitro. Spontaneous suppressor mutations blocking lamotrigine activity mapped solely to the poorly characterized domain II of translation initiation factor IF2 and prevented the binding of lamotrigine to IF2 in vitro. This work establishes lamotrigine as a widely available chemical probe of bacterial ribosome biogenesis and suggests a role for E. coli IF2 in ribosome assembly. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03574.001 PMID:25233066

  1. Hydrogen bonding characterization in water and small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silvestrelli, Pier Luigi

    2017-06-01

    The prototypical hydrogen bond in water dimer and hydrogen bonds in the protonated water dimer, in other small molecules, in water cyclic clusters, and in ice, covering a wide range of bond strengths, are theoretically investigated by first-principles calculations based on density functional theory, considering not only a standard generalized gradient approximation functional but also, for the water dimer, hybrid and van der Waals corrected functionals. We compute structural, energetic, and electrostatic (induced molecular dipole moments) properties. In particular, hydrogen bonds are characterized in terms of differential electron density distributions and profiles, and of the shifts of the centres of maximally localized Wannier functions. The information from the latter quantities can be conveyed to a single geometric bonding parameter that appears to be correlated with the Mayer bond order parameter and can be taken as an estimate of the covalent contribution to the hydrogen bond. By considering the water trimer, the cyclic water hexamer, and the hexagonal phase of ice, we also elucidate the importance of cooperative/anticooperative effects in hydrogen-bonding formation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-03

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

  3. Small molecules from natural sources, targeting signaling pathways in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qiong; Chen, Lili; Hu, Lihong; Guo, Yuewei; Shen, Xu

    2010-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease caused by genetic or environmental factors. It has rendered a severe menace to the middle-aged and elderly, while there is still lack of efficient drugs against this disease. The pathogenic mechanism for DM is complex, and the complicated networks related to this disease involve distinct signaling pathways. Currently, discovery of potential modulators targeting these pathways has become a potent approach for anti-diabetic drug lead compound development. Compared with synthetic compounds, natural products provide inherent larger-scale structural diversity and have been the major resource of bioactive agents for new drug discovery. To date, more and more active components from plants or marine organisms have been reported to regulate diabetic pathophysiological signaling pathways and exhibit anti-diabetic activity. This review will summarize the regulation of natural small molecules on some key signaling pathways involved in DM. These pathways include insulin signaling pathway, carbohydrate metabolism pathway, the pathways involving insulin secretion and PPAR regulation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammation related pathways and chromatin modification pathways. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Small-molecule inhibitors of JC polyomavirus infection

    PubMed Central

    Yatawara, Achani; Gaidos, Gabriel; Rupasinghe, Chamila N.; O’Hara, Bethany A.; Pellegrini, Maria; Atwood, Walter J.; Mierke, Dale F.

    2015-01-01

    The JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) infects approximately 50% of the human population. In healthy individuals the infection remains dormant and asymptomatic, but in immuno-suppressed patients it can cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a potentially fatal demyelinating disease. Currently, there are no drugs against JCPyV infection, nor for the treatment of PML. Here, we report the development of small molecule inhibitors of JCPyV that target the initial interaction between the virus and host cell and thereby block viral entry. Utilizing a combination of computational and NMR-based screening techniques, we target the LSTc tetrasaccharide binding site within the VP1 pentameric coat protein of JCPyV. Four of the compounds from the screen effectively block viral infection in our in vitro assays using SVG-A cells. For the most potent compound, we used saturation transfer difference NMR to determine the mode of binding to purified pentamers of JCPyV VP1. Collectively these results demonstrate the viability of this class of compounds for eventual development of JCPyV-antiviral therapeutics. PMID:25522925

  6. Small molecule screen for candidate antimalarials targeting Plasmodium Kinesin-5.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liqiong; Richard, Jessica; Kim, Sunyoung; Wojcik, Edward J

    2014-06-06

    Plasmodium falciparum and vivax are responsible for the majority of malaria infections worldwide, resulting in over a million deaths annually. Malaria parasites now show measured resistance to all currently utilized drugs. Novel antimalarial drugs are urgently needed. The Plasmodium Kinesin-5 mechanoenzyme is a suitable "next generation" target. Discovered via small molecule screen experiments, the human Kinesin-5 has multiple allosteric sites that are "druggable." One site in particular, unique in its sequence divergence across all homologs in the superfamily and even within the same family, exhibits exquisite drug specificity. We propose that Plasmodium Kinesin-5 shares this allosteric site and likewise can be targeted to uncover inhibitors with high specificity. To test this idea, we performed a screen for inhibitors selective for Plasmodium Kinesin-5 ATPase activity in parallel with human Kinesin-5. Our screen of nearly 2000 compounds successfully identified compounds that selectively inhibit both P. vivax and falciparum Kinesin-5 motor domains but, as anticipated, do not impact human Kinesin-5 activity. Of note is a candidate drug that did not biochemically compete with the ATP substrate for the conserved active site or disrupt the microtubule-binding site. Together, our experiments identified MMV666693 as a selective allosteric inhibitor of Plasmodium Kinesin-5; this is the first identified protein target for the Medicines of Malaria Venture validated collection of parasite proliferation inhibitors. This work demonstrates that chemical screens against human kinesins are adaptable to homologs in disease organisms and, as such, extendable to strategies to combat infectious disease.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Identification and validation of protein targets of bioactive small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Titov, Denis V.; Liu, Jun O.

    2013-01-01

    Identification and validation of protein targets of bioactive small molecules is an important problem in chemical biology and drug discovery. Currently, no single method is satisfactory for this task. Here, we provide an overview of common methods for target identification and validation that historically were most successful. We have classified for the first time the existing methods into two distinct and complementary types, the “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches. In a typical top-down approach, the cellular phenotype is used as a starting point and the molecular target is approached through systematic narrowing down of possibilities by taking advantage of the detailed existing knowledge of cellular pathways and processes. In contrast, the bottom-up approach entails the direct detection and identification of the molecular targets using affinity-based or genetic methods. A special emphasis is placed on target validation, including correlation analysis and genetic methods, as this area is often ignored despite its importance. PMID:22226983

  9. Identification and validation of protein targets of bioactive small molecules.

    PubMed

    Titov, Denis V; Liu, Jun O

    2012-03-15

    Identification and validation of protein targets of bioactive small molecules is an important problem in chemical biology and drug discovery. Currently, no single method is satisfactory for this task. Here, we provide an overview of common methods for target identification and validation that historically were most successful. We have classified for the first time the existing methods into two distinct and complementary types, the 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches. In a typical top-down approach, the cellular phenotype is used as a starting point and the molecular target is approached through systematic narrowing down of possibilities by taking advantage of the detailed existing knowledge of cellular pathways and processes. In contrast, the bottom-up approach entails the direct detection and identification of the molecular targets using affinity-based or genetic methods. A special emphasis is placed on target validation, including correlation analysis and genetic methods, as this area is often ignored despite its importance. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Selection of smart small-molecule ligands: the proof of principle.

    PubMed

    Drabovich, Andrei P; Berezovski, Maxim V; Musheev, Michael U; Krylov, Sergey N

    2009-01-01

    The development of drugs and diagnostics with desirable characteristics requires smart small-molecule ligandsligands with predefined binding parameters of interaction with the target. Here, we propose a general approach for selection of such ligands from highly diverse combinatorial libraries of small molecules by methods of kinetic capillary electrophoresis (KCE). We deduct three fundamental requirements for the combinatorial library to suit the KCE-based selection of smart ligands and suggest a universal design of the library for selecting smart small-molecule ligands: every small molecule in the library is tagged with DNA that encodes the structure of the molecule. Finally, we use several DNA-tagged small molecules, which represent a hypothetical library, to prove experimentally selection of smart small-molecule ligands by the proposed approach.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  12. Platinum plasmonic nanostructure arrays for massively parallel single-molecule detection based on enhanced fluorescence measurements.

    PubMed

    Saito, Toshiro; Takahashi, Satoshi; Obara, Takayuki; Itabashi, Naoshi; Imai, Kazumichi

    2011-11-04

    We fabricated platinum bowtie nanostructure arrays producing fluorescence enhancement and evaluated their performance using two-photon photoluminescence and single-molecule fluorescence measurements. A comprehensive selection of suitable materials was explored by electromagnetic simulation and Pt was chosen as the plasmonic material for visible light excitation near 500 nm, which is preferable for multicolor dye-labeling applications like DNA sequencing. The observation of bright photoluminescence (λ = 500-600 nm) from each Pt nanostructure, induced by irradiation at 800 nm with a femtosecond laser pulse, clearly indicates that a highly enhanced local field is created near the Pt nanostructure. The attachment of a single dye molecule was attempted between the Pt triangles of each nanostructure by using selective immobilization chemistry. The fluorescence intensities of the single dye molecule localized on the nanostructures were measured. A highly enhanced fluorescence, which was increased by a factor of 30, was observed. The two-photon photoluminescence intensity and fluorescence intensity showed qualitatively consistent gap size dependence. However, the average fluorescence enhancement factor was rather repressed even in the nanostructure with the smallest gap size compared to the large growth of photoluminescence. The variation of the position of the dye molecule attached to the nanostructure may influence the wide distribution of the fluorescence enhancement factor and cause the rather small average value of the fluorescence enhancement factor.

  13. Molecular locks and keys: the role of small molecules in phytohormone research.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Sandra; Rosado, Abel; Vaughan-Hirsch, John; Bishopp, Anthony; Chini, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Plant adaptation, growth and development rely on the integration of many environmental and endogenous signals that collectively determine the overall plant phenotypic plasticity. Plant signaling molecules, also known as phytohormones, are fundamental to this process. These molecules act at low concentrations and regulate multiple aspects of plant fitness and development via complex signaling networks. By its nature, phytohormone research lies at the interface between chemistry and biology. Classically, the scientific community has always used synthetic phytohormones and analogs to study hormone functions and responses. However, recent advances in synthetic and combinational chemistry, have allowed a new field, plant chemical biology, to emerge and this has provided a powerful tool with which to study phytohormone function. Plant chemical biology is helping to address some of the most enduring questions in phytohormone research such as: Are there still undiscovered plant hormones? How can we identify novel signaling molecules? How can plants activate specific hormone responses in a tissue-specific manner? How can we modulate hormone responses in one developmental context without inducing detrimental effects on other processes? The chemical genomics approaches rely on the identification of small molecules modulating different biological processes and have recently identified active forms of plant hormones and molecules regulating many aspects of hormone synthesis, transport and response. We envision that the field of chemical genomics will continue to provide novel molecules able to elucidate specific aspects of hormone-mediated mechanisms. In addition, compounds blocking specific responses could uncover how complex biological responses are regulated. As we gain information about such compounds we can design small alterations to the chemical structure to further alter specificity, enhance affinity or modulate the activity of these compounds.

  14. Small-molecule G-quadruplex interactions: Systematic exploration of conformational space using multiple molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Husby, Jarmila; Todd, Alan K; Platts, James A; Neidle, Stephen

    2013-12-01

    G-quadruplexes are higher-order four-stranded structures formed from repetitive guanine-containing tracts in nucleic acids. They comprise a core of stacked guanine-quartets linked by loops of length and sequence that vary with the context in which the quadruplex sequence occurs. Such sequences can be found in a number of genomic environments; at the telomeric ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, in promoter regions, in untranslated sequences and in open reading frames. Quadruplex formation can inhibit telomere maintenance, transcription and translation, especially when enhanced by quadruplex-binding small molecules, and quadruplex targeting is currently of considerable interest. The available experimental structural data shows that quadruplexes can have high conformational flexibility, especially in loop regions, which has hampered attempts to use high-throughput docking to find quadruplex-binding small-molecules with new scaffolds or to optimize existing ones with structure-based design methods. An approach to overcome the challenge of quadruplex conformational flexibility is presented here, which uses a combined multiple molecular dynamics and sampling approach. Two test small molecules have been used, RHPS4 and pyridostatin, which themselves have contrasting degrees of conformational flexibility. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Modulation of neurogenesis by targeting epigenetic enzymes using small molecules: an overview.

    PubMed

    Swaminathan, Amrutha; Kumar, Manoj; Halder Sinha, Sarmistha; Schneider-Anthony, Anne; Boutillier, Anne-Laurence; Kundu, Tapas K

    2014-12-17

    Neurogenesis consists of a plethora of complex cellular processes including neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation, migration, maturation or differentiation to neurons, and finally integration into the pre-existing neural circuits in the brain, which are temporally regulated and coordinated sequentially. Mammalian neurogenesis begins during embryonic development and continues in postnatal brain (adult neurogenesis). It is now evident that adult neurogenesis is driven by extracellular and intracellular signaling pathways, where epigenetic modifications like reversible histone acetylation, methylation, as well as DNA methylation play a vital role. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression during neural development is governed mainly by histone acetyltransferases (HATs), histone methyltransferase (HMTs), DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), and also the enzymes for reversal, like histone deacetylases (HDACs), and many of these have also been shown to be involved in the regulation of adult neurogenesis. The contribution of these epigenetic marks to neurogenesis is increasingly being recognized, through knockout studies and small molecule modulator based studies. These small molecules are directly involved in regeneration and repair of neurons, and not only have applications from a therapeutic point of view, but also provide a tool to study the process of neurogenesis itself. In the present Review, we will focus on small molecules that act predominantly on epigenetic enzymes to enhance neurogenesis and neuroprotection and discuss the mechanism and recent advancements in their synthesis, targeting, and biology.

  16. Lessons from the swamp: developing small molecules that confer salamander muscle cellularization in mammals.

    PubMed

    Um, JungIn; Jung, Da-Woon; Williams, Darren Reece

    2017-12-01

    The ability of salamanders, such as newts, to regenerate damaged tissues has been studied for centuries. A prominent example of this regenerative power is the ability to re-grow entire amputated limbs. One important step in this regeneration process is skeletal muscle cellularization, in which the muscle fibers break down into dedifferentiated, mononuclear cells that proliferate and form new muscle in the replacement limb. In contrast, mammalian skeletal muscle does not undergo cellularization after injury. A significant proportion of research about tissue regeneration in salamanders aims to characterize regulatory genes that may have mammalian homologs. A less mainstream approach is to develop small molecule compounds that induce regeneration-related mechanisms in mammals. In this commentary, we discuss progress in discovering small molecules that induce cellularization in mammalian muscle. New research findings using these compounds has also shed light on cellular processes that regulate cellularization, such as apoptotic signaling. Although formidable technical hurdles remain, this progress increases our understanding of tissue regeneration and provide opportunities for developing small molecules that may enhance tissue repair in humans.

  17. Nonpeptide-Based Small-Molecule Probe for Fluorogenic and Chromogenic Detection of Chymotrypsin.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lei; Yang, Shu-Hou; Xiong, Hao; Yang, Jia-Qian; Guo, Jun; Yang, Wen-Chao; Yang, Guang-Fu

    2017-03-21

    We report herein a nonpeptide-based small-molecule probe for fluorogenic and chromogenic detection of chymotrypsin, as well as the primary application for this probe. This probe was rationally designed by mimicking the peptide substrate and optimized by adjusting the recognition group. The refined probe 2 exhibits good specificity toward chymotrypsin, producing about 25-fold higher enhancement in both the fluorescence intensity and absorbance upon the catalysis by chymotrypsin. Compared with the most widely used peptide substrate (AMC-FPAA-Suc) of chymotrypsin, probe 2 shows about 5-fold higher binding affinity and comparable catalytical efficiency against chymotrypsin. Furthermore, it was successfully applied for the inhibitor characterization. To the best of our knowledge, probe 2 is the first nonpeptide-based small-molecule probe for chymotrypsin, with the advantages of simple structure and high sensitivity compared to the widely used peptide-based substrates. This small-molecule probe is expected to be a useful molecular tool for drug discovery and chymotrypsin-related disease diagnosis.

  18. Rational design of a small molecule-responsive intramer controlling transgene expression in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Ausländer, David; Wieland, Markus; Ausländer, Simon; Tigges, Marcel; Fussenegger, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Aptamers binding proteins or small molecules have been shown to be versatile and powerful building blocks for the construction of artificial genetic switches. In this study, we present a novel aptamer-based construct regulating the Tet Off system in a tetracycline-independent manner thus achieving control of transgene expression. For this purpose, a TetR protein-inhibiting aptamer was engineered for use in mammalian cells, enabling the RNA-responsive control of the tetracycline-dependent transactivator (tTA). By rationally attaching the theophylline aptamer as a sensor, the inhibitory TetR aptamer and thus tTA activity became dependent on the ligand of the sensor aptamer. Addition of the small molecule theophylline resulted in enhanced binding to the corresponding protein in vitro and in inhibition of reporter gene expression in mammalian cell lines. By using aptamers as adaptors in order to control protein activity by a predetermined small molecule, we present a simple and straightforward approach for future applications in the field of Chemical Biology. Moreover, aptamer-based control of the widely used Tet system introduces a new layer of regulation thereby facilitating the construction of more complex gene networks. PMID:21984476

  19. Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of Hybrid Nanoparticle-Single-Molecule Junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zerah-Harush, Elinor; Dubi, Yonatan

    2015-06-01

    It was recently suggested that molecular junctions would be excellent elements for efficient and high-power thermoelectric energy-conversion devices. However, experimental measurements of thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions indicate rather poor efficiency, raising the question of whether it is indeed possible to design a setup for molecular junctions that will exhibit enhanced thermoelectric performance. Here we suggest that hybrid single-molecule-nanoparticle junctions can serve as efficient thermoelectric converters. The introduction of a semiconducting nanoparticle introduces new tuning capabilities, which are absent in conventional metal-molecule-metal junctions. Using a generic model for the molecule and nanoparticle with realistic parameters, we demonstrate that the thermopower can be of the order of hundreds of microvolts per degree kelvin and that the thermoelectric figure of merit can reach values close to 1, an improvement of 4 orders of magnitude over existing measurements. This favorable performance persists over a wide range of experimentally relevant parameters and is robust against disorder (in the form of surface-attached molecules) and against electron decoherence at the nanoparticle-molecule interface.

  20. High-Performance Small Molecule/Polymer Ternary Organic Solar Cells Based on a Layer-By-Layer Process.

    PubMed

    Chen, Weichao; Du, Zhengkun; Xiao, Manjun; Zhang, Jidong; Yang, Chunpeng; Han, Liangliang; Bao, Xichang; Yang, Renqiang

    2015-10-21

    The layer-by-layer process method, which had been used to fabricate a bilayer or bulk heterojunction organic solar cell, was developed to fabricate highly efficient ternary blend solar cells in which small molecules and polymers act as two donors. The active layer could be formed by incorporating the small molecules into the polymer based active layer via a layer-by-layer method: the small molecules were first coated on the surface of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxy-thiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) ( PSS), and then the mixed solution of polymer and fullerene derivative was spin-coated on top of a small molecule layer. In this method, the small molecules in crystalline state were effectively mixed in the active layer. Without further optimization of the morphology of the ternary blend, a high power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.76% was obtained with large short-circuit current density (Jsc) (17.24 mA cm(-2)) and fill factor (FF) (0.696). The high PCE resulted from not only enhanced light harvesting but also more balanced charge transport by incorporating small molecules.

  1. Allosteric “beta-blocker” isolated from a DNA-encoded small molecule library

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Seungkirl; Kahsai, Alem W.; Pani, Biswaranjan; Wang, Qin-Ting; Zhao, Shuai; Wall, Alissa L.; Strachan, Ryan T.; Staus, Dean P.; Wingler, Laura M.; Sun, Lillian D.; Sinnaeve, Justine; Choi, Minjung; Cho, Ted; Xu, Thomas T.; Hansen, Gwenn M.; Burnett, Michael B.; Lamerdin, Jane E.; Bassoni, Daniel L.; Gavino, Bryant J.; Husemoen, Gitte; Olsen, Eva K.; Franch, Thomas; Costanzi, Stefano; Chen, Xin; Lefkowitz, Robert J.

    2017-01-01

    The β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) has been a model system for understanding regulatory mechanisms of G-protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) actions and plays a significant role in cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Because all known β-adrenergic receptor drugs target the orthosteric binding site of the receptor, we set out to isolate allosteric ligands for this receptor by panning DNA-encoded small-molecule libraries comprising 190 million distinct compounds against purified human β2AR. Here, we report the discovery of a small-molecule negative allosteric modulator (antagonist), compound 15 [([4-((2S)-3-(((S)-3-(3-bromophenyl)-1-(methylamino)-1-oxopropan-2-yl)amino)-2-(2-cyclohexyl-2-phenylacetamido)-3-oxopropyl)benzamide], exhibiting a unique chemotype and low micromolar affinity for the β2AR. Binding of 15 to the receptor cooperatively enhances orthosteric inverse agonist binding while negatively modulating binding of orthosteric agonists. Studies with a specific antibody that binds to an intracellular region of the β2AR suggest that 15 binds in proximity to the G-protein binding site on the cytosolic surface of the β2AR. In cell-signaling studies, 15 inhibits cAMP production through the β2AR, but not that mediated by other Gs-coupled receptors. Compound 15 also similarly inhibits β-arrestin recruitment to the activated β2AR. This study presents an allosteric small-molecule ligand for the β2AR and introduces a broadly applicable method for screening DNA-encoded small-molecule libraries against purified GPCR targets. Importantly, such an approach could facilitate the discovery of GPCR drugs with tailored allosteric effects. PMID:28130548

  2. Identification of small molecule binding sites within proteins using phage display technology.

    SciTech Connect

    Rodi, D. J.; Agoston, G. E.; Manon, R.; Lapcevich, R.; Green, S. J.; Makowski, L.; Biosciences Division; EntreMed Inc.; Florida State Univ.

    2001-11-01

    Affinity selection of peptides displayed on phage particles was used as the basis for mapping molecular contacts between small molecule ligands and their protein targets. Analysis of the crystal structures of complexes between proteins and small molecule ligands revealed that virtually all ligands of molecular weight 300 Da or greater have a continuous binding epitope of 5 residues or more. This observation led to the development of a technique for binding site identification which involves statistical analysis of an affinity-selected set of peptides obtained by screening of libraries of random, phage-displayed peptides against small molecules attached to solid surfaces. A random sample of the selected peptides is sequenced and used as input for a similarity scanning program which calculates cumulative similarity scores along the length of the putative receptor. Regions of the protein sequence exhibiting the highest similarity with the selected peptides proved to have a high probability of being involved in ligand binding. This technique has been employed successfully to map the contact residues in multiple known targets of the anticancer drugs paclitaxel (Taxol), docetaxel (Taxotere) and 2-methoxyestradiol and the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan, and to identify a novel paclitaxel receptor [1]. These data corroborate the observation that the binding properties of peptides displayed on the surface of phage particles can mimic the binding properties of peptides in naturally occurring proteins. It follows directly that structural context is relatively unimportant for determining the binding properties of these disordered peptides. This technique represents a novel, rapid, high resolution method for identifying potential ligand binding sites in the absence of three-dimensional information and has the potential to greatly enhance the speed of development of novel small molecule pharmaceuticals.

  3. Allosteric "beta-blocker" isolated from a DNA-encoded small molecule library.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Seungkirl; Kahsai, Alem W; Pani, Biswaranjan; Wang, Qin-Ting; Zhao, Shuai; Wall, Alissa L; Strachan, Ryan T; Staus, Dean P; Wingler, Laura M; Sun, Lillian D; Sinnaeve, Justine; Choi, Minjung; Cho, Ted; Xu, Thomas T; Hansen, Gwenn M; Burnett, Michael B; Lamerdin, Jane E; Bassoni, Daniel L; Gavino, Bryant J; Husemoen, Gitte; Olsen, Eva K; Franch, Thomas; Costanzi, Stefano; Chen, Xin; Lefkowitz, Robert J

    2017-02-14

    The β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) has been a model system for understanding regulatory mechanisms of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) actions and plays a significant role in cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Because all known β-adrenergic receptor drugs target the orthosteric binding site of the receptor, we set out to isolate allosteric ligands for this receptor by panning DNA-encoded small-molecule libraries comprising 190 million distinct compounds against purified human β2AR. Here, we report the discovery of a small-molecule negative allosteric modulator (antagonist), compound 15 [([4-((2S)-3-(((S)-3-(3-bromophenyl)-1-(methylamino)-1-oxopropan-2-yl)amino)-2-(2-cyclohexyl-2-phenylacetamido)-3-oxopropyl)benzamide], exhibiting a unique chemotype and low micromolar affinity for the β2AR. Binding of 15 to the receptor cooperatively enhances orthosteric inverse agonist binding while negatively modulating binding of orthosteric agonists. Studies with a specific antibody that binds to an intracellular region of the β2AR suggest that 15 binds in proximity to the G-protein binding site on the cytosolic surface of the β2AR. In cell-signaling studies, 15 inhibits cAMP production through the β2AR, but not that mediated by other Gs-coupled receptors. Compound 15 also similarly inhibits β-arrestin recruitment to the activated β2AR. This study presents an allosteric small-molecule ligand for the β2AR and introduces a broadly applicable method for screening DNA-encoded small-molecule libraries against purified GPCR targets. Importantly, such an approach could facilitate the discovery of GPCR drugs with tailored allosteric effects.

  4. An Unbiased Cell Morphology–Based Screen for New, Biologically Active Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Masahiro; Bateman, Raynard; Rauh, Daniel; Vaisberg, Eugeni; Ramachandani, Shyam; Zhang, Chao; Hansen, Kirk C; Burlingame, Alma L; Trautman, Jay K; Adams, Cynthia L

    2005-01-01

    We have implemented an unbiased cell morphology–based screen to identify small-molecule modulators of cellular processes using the Cytometrix (TM) automated imaging and analysis system. This assay format provides unbiased analysis of morphological effects induced by small molecules by capturing phenotypic readouts of most known classes of pharmacological agents and has the potential to read out pathways for which little is known. Four human-cancer cell lines and one noncancerous primary cell type were treated with 107 small molecules comprising four different protein kinase–inhibitor scaffolds. Cellular phenotypes induced by each compound were quantified by multivariate statistical analysis of the morphology, staining intensity, and spatial attributes of the cellular nuclei, microtubules, and Golgi compartments. Principal component analysis was used to identify inhibitors of cellular components not targeted by known protein kinase inhibitors. Here we focus on a hydroxyl-substituted analog (hydroxy-PP) of the known Src-family kinase inhibitor PP2 because it induced cell-specific morphological features distinct from all known kinase inhibitors in the collection. We used affinity purification to identify a target of hydroxy-PP, carbonyl reductase 1 (CBR1), a short-chain dehydrogenase-reductase. We solved the X-ray crystal structure of the CBR1/hydroxy-PP complex to 1.24 Å resolution. Structure-based design of more potent and selective CBR1 inhibitors provided probes for analyzing the biological function of CBR1 in A549 cells. These studies revealed a previously unknown function for CBR1 in serum-withdrawal-induced apoptosis. Further studies indicate CBR1 inhibitors may enhance the effectiveness of anticancer anthracyclines. Morphology-based screening of diverse cancer cell types has provided a method for discovering potent new small-molecule probes for cell biological studies and anticancer drug candidates. PMID:15799708

  5. Clinical Experience with (18)F-Labeled Small Molecule Inhibitors of Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Steven P; Gorin, Michael A; Salas Fragomeni, Roberto A; Drzezga, Alexander; Pomper, Martin G

    2017-04-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common noncutaneous malignancy diagnosed in men. Despite the large number of men who will suffer from PCa at some point during their lives, conventional imaging modalities for this important disease (contrast-enhanced computed tomography, bone scan, and MR imaging) have provided only marginal to moderate success in appropriately guiding patient management in certain clinical contexts. In this review, the authors discuss radiofluorinated small molecule radiotracers that have been developed to bind to the transmembrane glycoprotein prostate-specific membrane antigen, a target that is nearly universally overexpressed on PCa epithelial cells.

  6. Structure, Dynamics, and Thermodynamics of Small Molecules Adsorbed in Zeolite Micropores: Simulation and Statistical Mechanics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Tassel, Paul Robert

    1993-01-01

    This thesis describes a fully detailed molecular simulation and modeling effort aimed at understanding the fundamentals of adsorption and diffusion of small molecules in zeolite micropores. The primary emphasis is on determining the relationship between the structure and chemistry of the zeolite adsorbent and the structure, dynamics, and thermodynamics of the adsorbed phase. Further emphasis is on developing simple, predictive models of zeolite adsorption and diffusion. We begin by presenting a Monte Carlo simulation of single component adsorption of xenon, methane, and argon in zeolite NaA. The form of the adsorbate density distribution indicates the presence of discrete adsorption sites which arrange in polyhedra whose geometry depends on the number and position of zeolite framework ions. Isotherm plateaus are attributed to either (i) a low energy adsorbate configuration or (ii) the saturation of polyhedral sites. Viewing the adsorbed phase as an ordered arrangement differs from the conventional delocalized model, yet it helps explain certain experimental observations. Next, a study of binary mixtures of small molecules in zeolite NaA using the Monte Carlo method is presented. The mixing in the pore is determined to be highly nonideal by comparison to a simple pore volume filling model. Strong selectivity for a more polarizable molecule (xenon) is observed only at low pore loading. At higher pore loading, a smaller, less polarizable molecule (argon) adsorbs selectively at a significantly lower pressure than predicted by the model. This enhanced selectivity is due to the ability of the smaller molecule to pack more efficiently inside of the pore. Finally, we present two simple lattice models whose forms are arrived at following careful consideration of simulation results. The first describes the adsorption of small molecules in a zeolite. A polyhedral lattice is postulated whose neighboring sites interact energetically and entropically. The second model describes

  7. Mixing Behavior in Small Molecule: Fullerene Organic Photovoltaics [On the Mixing Behavior in Small Molecule: Fullerene Organic Photovoltaics

    DOE PAGES

    Oosterhout, Stefan D.; Savikhin, Victoria; Zhang, Junxiang; ...

    2017-02-22

    Here, we report a novel method to determine the amount of pure, aggregated phase of donor and acceptor in organic photovoltaic (OPV) bulk heterojunctions. By determination of the diffraction intensity per unit volume for both donor and acceptor, the volume content of pure, aggregated donor and acceptor in the blend can be determined. We find that for the small molecule X2:[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) system, in contrast to most polymer systems, all the PCBM is aggregated, indicating there is negligible miscibility of PCBM with X2. This provides an explanation why the performance of OPV devices of X2:PCBM are highmore » over a large range of PCBM concentrations. This is in contrast to many other OPV blends, where PCBM forms a mixed phase with the donor and does not provide sufficient transport for electrons when the PCBM concentration is low. This study demonstrates that a mixed phase is not necessarily a requirement for good OPV device performance.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Dengue-Virus Entry

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Aaron G.; Lee, Kyungae; Yang, Priscilla L.; Harrison, Stephen C.

    2012-01-01

    Flavivirus envelope protein (E) mediates membrane fusion and viral entry from endosomes. A low-pH induced, dimer-to-trimer rearrangement and reconfiguration of the membrane-proximal “stem" of the E ectodomain draw together the viral and cellular membranes. We found stem-derived peptides from dengue virus (DV) bind stem-less E trimer and mimic the stem-reconfiguration step in the fusion pathway. We adapted this experiment as a high-throughput screen for small molecules that block peptide binding and thus may inhibit viral entry. A compound identified in this screen, 1662G07, and a number of its analogs reversibly inhibit DV infectivity. They do so by binding the prefusion, dimeric E on the virion surface, before adsorption to a cell. They also block viral fusion with liposomes. Structure-activity relationship studies have led to analogs with submicromolar IC90s against DV2, and certain analogs are active against DV serotypes 1,2, and 4. The compounds do not inhibit the closely related Kunjin virus. We propose that they bind in a previously identified, E-protein pocket, exposed on the virion surface and although this pocket is closed in the postfusion trimer, its mouth is fully accessible. Examination of the E-trimer coordinates (PDB 1OK8) shows that conformational fluctuations around the hinge could open the pocket without dissociating the trimer or otherwise generating molecular collisions. We propose that compounds such as 1662G07 trap the sE trimer in a “pocket-open" state, which has lost affinity for the stem peptide and cannot support the final “zipping up" of the stem. PMID:22496653

  11. Kinetics of small molecule inhibitor binding to p38 kinase.

    PubMed

    Thurmond, R L; Wadsworth, S A; Schafer, P H; Zivin, R A; Siekierka, J J

    2001-11-01

    p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) (p38/p38-alpha/CSBP2/RK) has been implicated in the regulation of many proinflammatory pathways. Because of this, it has received much attention as a potential drug target for controlling diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, endotoxic shock, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, and many others. A number of small molecule inhibitors of this kinase have been described, and in this paper we have used surface plasmon resonance to directly measure and quantitate their binding to p38. Despite the relatively low molecular mass (approximately 400 Da) of these inhibitors, specific binding can be observed. For the two most potent inhibitors studied, SB 203580 and RWJ 67657, dissociation constants, K(d)'s, of 22 and 10 nm, respectively, were obtained. These values closely match the IC(5)0 values observed in a cell-based TNF alpha release assay implying that p38 plays a major role in TNF alpha release. The association and dissociation rates for the binding of these inhibitors to p38 have also been quantitated. SB 203580 and RWJ 67657 have very similar association rates of around 8 x 10(5) m(-1) x s(-1), and the differences in affinity are determined by different dissociation rates. The weaker binding compounds have dissociation rates similar to SB 203580, but the association rates vary by an order of magnitude or more. The direct measurement of compounds binding to p38 may help in understanding the difference between potency and efficacy for these inhibitors. This in turn may yield clues on how to develop better inhibitors.

  12. Regulation of pluripotent cell differentiation by a small molecule, staurosporine.

    PubMed

    Hughes, James Nicholas; Wong, Chong Kum Edwin; Lau, Kevin Xiuwen; Rathjen, Peter David; Rathjen, Joy

    2014-01-01

    Research in the embryo and in culture has resulted in a sophisticated understanding of many regulators of pluripotent cell differentiation. As a consequence, protocols for the differentiation of pluripotent cells generally rely on a combination of exogenous growth factors and endogenous signalling. Little consideration has been given to manipulating other pathways to achieve pluripotent cell differentiation. The integrity of cell:cell contacts has been shown to influence lineage choice during pluripotent cell differentiation, with disruption of cell:cell contacts promoting mesendoderm formation and maintenance of cell:cell contacts resulting in the preferential formation of neurectoderm. Staurosporine is a broad spectrum inhibitor of serine/threonine kinases which has several effects on cell function, including interruption of cell:cell contacts, decreasing focal contact size, inducing epithelial to mesenchyme transition (EMT) and promoting cell differentiation. The possibility that staurosporine could influence lineage choice from pluripotent cells in culture was investigated. The addition of staurosporine to differentiating mouse EPL resulted in preferential formation of mesendoderm and mesoderm populations, and inhibited the formation of neurectoderm. Addition of staurosporine to human ES cells similarly induced primitive streak marker gene expression. These data demonstrate the ability of staurosporine to influence lineage choice during pluripotent cell differentiation and to mimic the effect of disrupting cell:cell contacts. Staurosporine induced mesendoderm in the absence of known inducers of formation, such as serum and BMP4. Staurosporine induced the expression of mesendoderm markers, including markers that were not induced by BMP4, suggesting it acted as a broad spectrum inducer of molecular gastrulation. This approach has identified a small molecule regulator of lineage choice with potential applications in the commercial development of ES cell

  13. High-Throughput Screening of Small Molecules Identifies Hepcidin Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Fung, Eileen; Sugianto, Priscilla; Hsu, Jason; Damoiseaux, Robert; Ganz, Tomas

    2013-01-01

    Anemia of inflammation (AI) is common in patients with infection, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and chronic kidney disease. Unless the underlying condition can be reversed, treatment options are limited to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents with or without intravenous iron therapy, modalities that are not always effective and can cause serious adverse effects. Hepcidin, the iron regulatory hormone, has been identified as a pathogenic factor in the development of AI. To explore new therapeutic options for AI and other iron-related disorders caused by hepcidin excess, we developed a cell-based screen to identify hepcidin antagonists. Of the 70,000 small molecules in the library, we identified 14 compounds that antagonized the hepcidin effect on ferroportin. One of these was fursultiamine, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved thiamine derivative. Fursultiamine directly interfered with hepcidin binding to its receptor, ferroportin, by blocking ferroportin C326 thiol residue essential for hepcidin binding. Consequently, fursultiamine prevented hepcidin-induced ferroportin ubiquitination, endocytosis, and degradation in vitro and allowed continuous cellular iron export despite the presence of hepcidin, with IC50 in the submicromolar range. Thiamine, the fursultiamine metabolite, and benfotiamine, another thiamine derivative, did not interfere with the effect of hepcidin on ferroportin. Other FDA-approved thiol-reactive compounds were at least 1000-fold less potent than fursultiamine in antagonizing hepcidin. In vivo, fursultiamine did not reproducibly antagonize the effect of hepcidin on serum iron, likely because of its rapid conversion to inactive metabolites. Fursultiamine is a unique antagonist of hepcidin in vitro that could serve as a template for the development of drug candidates that inhibit the hepcidin-ferroportin interaction. PMID:23292796

  14. Identification of a small-molecule entry inhibitor for filoviruses.

    PubMed

    Basu, Arnab; Li, Bing; Mills, Debra M; Panchal, Rekha G; Cardinale, Steven C; Butler, Michelle M; Peet, Norton P; Majgier-Baranowska, Helena; Williams, John D; Patel, Ishan; Moir, Donald T; Bavari, Sina; Ray, Ranjit; Farzan, Michael R; Rong, Lijun; Bowlin, Terry L

    2011-04-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) causes severe hemorrhagic fever, for which therapeutic options are not available. Preventing the entry of EBOV into host cells is an attractive antiviral strategy, which has been validated for HIV by the FDA approval of the anti-HIV drug enfuvirtide. To identify inhibitors of EBOV entry, the EBOV envelope glycoprotein (EBOV-GP) gene was used to generate pseudotype viruses for screening of chemical libraries. A benzodiazepine derivative (compound 7) was identified from a high-throughput screen (HTS) of small-molecule compound libraries utilizing the pseudotype virus. Compound 7 was validated as an inhibitor of infectious EBOV and Marburg virus (MARV) in cell-based assays, with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)s) of 10 μM and 12 μM, respectively. Time-of-addition and binding studies suggested that compound 7 binds to EBOV-GP at an early stage during EBOV infection. Preliminary Schrödinger SiteMap calculations, using a published EBOV-GP crystal structure in its prefusion conformation, suggested a hydrophobic pocket at or near the GP1 and GP2 interface as a suitable site for compound 7 binding. This prediction was supported by mutational analysis implying that residues Asn69, Leu70, Leu184, Ile185, Leu186, Lys190, and Lys191 are critical for the binding of compound 7 and its analogs with EBOV-GP. We hypothesize that compound 7 binds to this hydrophobic pocket and as a consequence inhibits EBOV infection of cells, but the details of the mechanism remain to be determined. In summary, we have identified a novel series of benzodiazepine compounds that are suitable for optimization as potential inhibitors of filoviral infection.

  15. Small Molecule Screen for Candidate Antimalarials Targeting Plasmodium Kinesin-5*

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Liqiong; Richard, Jessica; Kim, Sunyoung; Wojcik, Edward J.

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum and vivax are responsible for the majority of malaria infections worldwide, resulting in over a million deaths annually. Malaria parasites now show measured resistance to all currently utilized drugs. Novel antimalarial drugs are urgently needed. The Plasmodium Kinesin-5 mechanoenzyme is a suitable “next generation” target. Discovered via small molecule screen experiments, the human Kinesin-5 has multiple allosteric sites that are “druggable.” One site in particular, unique in its sequence divergence across all homologs in the superfamily and even within the same family, exhibits exquisite drug specificity. We propose that Plasmodium Kinesin-5 shares this allosteric site and likewise can be targeted to uncover inhibitors with high specificity. To test this idea, we performed a screen for inhibitors selective for Plasmodium Kinesin-5 ATPase activity in parallel with human Kinesin-5. Our screen of nearly 2000 compounds successfully identified compounds that selectively inhibit both P. vivax and falciparum Kinesin-5 motor domains but, as anticipated, do not impact human Kinesin-5 activity. Of note is a candidate drug that did not biochemically compete with the ATP substrate for the conserved active site or disrupt the microtubule-binding site. Together, our experiments identified MMV666693 as a selective allosteric inhibitor of Plasmodium Kinesin-5; this is the first identified protein target for the Medicines of Malaria Venture validated collection of parasite proliferation inhibitors. This work demonstrates that chemical screens against human kinesins are adaptable to homologs in disease organisms and, as such, extendable to strategies to combat infectious disease. PMID:24737313

  16. Bacterial infections in cynomolgus monkeys given small molecule immunomodulatory antagonists.

    PubMed

    Price, Karen D

    2010-01-01

    Opportunistic infections (OIs) during the course of non-clinical toxicity studies can serve as a clinical indicator of immunosuppression. In monkeys, severity may be magnified since the possibility for fecal-oral and cage-to-cage transmission of bacteria exists, reserve capacity is low, and clinical signs of infection are not easily detected until the infectious process is well underway. This review summarizes a case study presented at the HESI-ILSI ITC-Sponsored workshop on Naturally Occurring Infections in Non-human Primates and Immunotoxicity Implications. It gives an overview on the impact of bacterial infections in monkeys on the development and regulatory assessment of three closely-related representative small molecule immunomodulatory (anti-inflammatory) drug candidates all inhibiting the same drug target. The infections, which sometimes progressed to bacteremia and death, originally manifested in the skin, upper respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and less frequently as soft tissue abscesses. Infections were sporadic and not observed in all studies despite coverage of equivalent or higher systemic exposures or longer durations of treatment. To address concerns regarding inconsistency in the presentation and type of findings and their potential relationship to infection, steps were taken to identify causative agents (via culture, microscopy), implement various intervention and treatment regimens (supportive care, antibiotics, drug holiday), demonstrate reversibility of clinical and immune effects, and study major immune components/mechanisms affected (cytokine/stress protein profiling, immune cell phenotyping, and humoral/innate immune cell function tests). Appropriate diagnosis and characterization of the infection was critical to discrimination of these findings as a secondary pharmacologic effect rather than a direct drug-related target organ effect, and also guided clinical protocol design and regulatory acceptance.

  17. Drug Affinity Responsive Target Stability (DARTS) for Small Molecule Target Identification

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Heejun; Schiestl, Robert; McBride, William; Loo, Joseph A.; Huang, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Drug Affinity Responsive Target Stability (DARTS) is a relatively quick and straightforward approach to identify potential protein targets for small molecules. It relies on the protection against proteolysis conferred on the target protein by interaction with a small molecule. The greatest advantage of this method is being able to use the native small molecule without having to immobilize or modify it (e.g. by incorporation of biotin, fluorescent, radioisotope, or photo-affinity labels). Here we describe in detail the protocol for performing unbiased DARTS with complex protein lysate to identify potential binding targets of small molecules and for using DARTS-Western blotting to test, screen, or validate potential small molecule targets. Although the ideas have mainly been developed from studying molecules in areas of biology that are currently of interest to us and our collaborators, the general principles should be applicable to the analysis of all molecules in nature. PMID:25618353

  18. Transcriptional Tools: Small Molecules for Modulating CBP KIX-dependent Transcriptional Activators

    PubMed Central

    Bates, Caleb A.; Pomerantz, William C.; Mapp, Anna K.

    2010-01-01

    Previously it was demonstrated that amphipathic isoxazolidines are able to functionally replace the transcriptional activation domains of endogenous transcriptional activators. In addition, in vitro binding studies suggested that a key binding partner of these molecules is the Creb Binding Protein (CBP), more specifically the KIX domain with this protein. Here we show that CBP and the KIX domain play an essential role in the ability of isoxazolidine transcriptional activation domains to activate transcription in cells. Consistent with this model, isoxazolidines are able to function as competitive inhibitors of the activators MLL and Jun, both of which utilize a binding interaction with KIX to up-regulate transcription. Further, modification of the N2 side chain produced two analogs with enhanced potency against Jun-mediated transcription, although increased cytotoxicity was also observed. Collectively these small KIX-binding molecules will be useful tools for dissecting the role of the KIX domain in a variety of pathological processes. PMID:20882601

  19. Small-molecule stabilization of the p53 - 14-3-3 protein-protein interaction.

    PubMed

    Doveston, Richard G; Kuusk, Ave; Andrei, Sebastian A; Leysen, Seppe; Cao, Qing; Castaldi, Maria P; Hendricks, Adam; Brunsveld, Luc; Chen, Hongming; Boyd, Helen; Ottmann, Christian

    2017-08-01

    14-3-3 proteins are positive regulators of the tumor suppressor p53, the mutation of which is implicated in many human cancers. Current strategies for targeting of p53 involve restoration of wild-type function or inhibition of the interaction with MDM2, its key negative regulator. Despite the efficacy of these strategies, the alternate approach of stabilizing the interaction of p53 with positive regulators and, thus, enhancing tumor suppressor activity, has not been explored. Here, we report the first example of small-molecule stabilization of the 14-3-3 - p53 protein-protein interaction (PPI) and demonstrate the potential of this approach as a therapeutic modality. We also observed a disconnect between biophysical and crystallographic data in the presence of a stabilizing molecule, which is unusual in 14-3-3 PPIs. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  20. Tuning stamp surface energy for soft lithography of polar molecules to fabricate bioactive small-molecule microarrays.

    PubMed

    Vaish, Amit; Shuster, Mitchell J; Cheunkar, Sarawut; Weiss, Paul S; Andrews, Anne M

    2011-05-23

    Soft-lithography-based techniques are widely used to fabricate microarrays. Here, the use of microcontact insertion printing is described, a soft-lithography method specifically developed for patterning at the dilute scales necessary for highly selective biorecognition. By carefully tuning the polar surface energy of polymeric stamps, problems associated with patterning hydrophilic tether molecules inserted into hydrophilic host self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are surmounted. Both prefunctionalized tethers and on-chip functionalization of SAMs patterned by microcontact insertion printing enable the fabrication of small-molecule microarrays. Substrates patterned with the neurotransmitter precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan selectively capture a number of different types of membrane-associated receptor proteins, which are native binding partners evolved to recognize free serotonin. These advances provide new avenues for chemically patterning small molecules and fabricating small molecule microarrays with highly specific molecular recognition capabilities. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Theoretical studies of photodissociation of small molecules of astrophysical importance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saxon, R. P.

    1983-01-01

    The radicals and ions observed in comets result from photodissociation and photoionization of molecules. According to current models, a comet is composed chiefly of a large, solid nucelus of frozen gases (parent molecules) such as H2O, HCN, and NH3. It is believed comets were formed at the same time and in the same region of space as the major planets and that their chemical composition is the same as that of the early solar system. As the comet nears the Sun, the surface heats up, liberating the frozen gases as well as dust particles. Solar radiation photodissociates the parent molecules into fragments that are observed by resonance fluorescence. Both polyatomic molecules, present in the interstellar medium, and cometary radicals were observed. Using laboratory photo-dissociation data and computer models, astronomers are attempting to identify the parent molecules that account for all observed radicals and ions.

  2. In Vivo Dynamic Monitoring of Small Molecules with Implantable Polymer-Dot Transducer.

    PubMed

    Sun, Kai; Tang, Ying; Li, Qiong; Yin, Shengyan; Qin, Weiping; Yu, Jiangbo; Chiu, Daniel T; Liu, Yubin; Yuan, Zhen; Zhang, Xuanjun; Wu, Changfeng

    2016-07-26

    Small molecules participate extensively in various life processes. However, specific and sensitive detection of small molecules in a living system is highly challenging. Here, we describe in vivo real-time dynamic monitoring of small molecules by a luminescent polymer-dot oxygen transducer. The optical transducer combined with an oxygen-consuming enzyme can sensitively detect small-molecule substrates as the enzyme-catalyzed reaction depletes its internal oxygen reservoir in the presence of small molecules. We exemplify this detection strategy by using glucose-oxidase-functionalized polymer dots, yielding high selectivity, large dynamic range, and reversible glucose detection in cell and tissue environments. The transducer-enzyme assembly after subcutaneous implantation provides a strong luminescence signal that is transdermally detectable and continuously responsive to blood glucose fluctuations for up to 30 days. In view of a large library of oxygen-consuming enzymes, this strategy is promising for in vivo detection and quantitative determination of a variety of small molecules.

  3. Interspecies scaling and prediction of human clearance: comparison of small- and macro-molecule drugs.

    PubMed

    Huh, Yeamin; Smith, David E; Feng, Meihau Rose

    2011-11-01

    Human clearance prediction for small- and macro-molecule drugs was evaluated and compared using various scaling methods and statistical analysis. Human clearance is generally well predicted using single or multiple species simple allometry for macro- and small-molecule drugs excreted renally. The prediction error is higher for hepatically eliminated small-molecules using single or multiple species simple allometry scaling, and it appears that the prediction error is mainly associated with drugs with low hepatic extraction ratio (Eh). The error in human clearance prediction for hepatically eliminated small-molecules was reduced using scaling methods with a correction of maximum life span (MLP) or brain weight (BRW). Human clearance of both small- and macro-molecule drugs is well predicted using the monkey liver blood flow method. Predictions using liver blood flow from other species did not work as well, especially for the small-molecule drugs.

  4. Interspecies scaling and prediction of human clearance: comparison of small- and macro-molecule drugs

    PubMed Central

    Huh, Yeamin; Smith, David E.; Feng, Meihau Rose

    2014-01-01

    Human clearance prediction for small- and macro-molecule drugs was evaluated and compared using various scaling methods and statistical analysis.Human clearance is generally well predicted using single or multiple species simple allometry for macro- and small-molecule drugs excreted renally.The prediction error is higher for hepatically eliminated small-molecules using single or multiple species simple allometry scaling, and it appears that the prediction error is mainly associated with drugs with low hepatic extraction ratio (Eh). The error in human clearance prediction for hepatically eliminated small-molecules was reduced using scaling methods with a correction of maximum life span (MLP) or brain weight (BRW).Human clearance of both small- and macro-molecule drugs is well predicted using the monkey liver blood flow method. Predictions using liver blood flow from other species did not work as well, especially for the small-molecule drugs. PMID:21892879

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

    Cancer.gov

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

  6. The small-voxel tracking algorithm for simulating chemical reactions among diffusing molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, Daniel T. Gillespie, Carol A.; Seitaridou, Effrosyni

    2014-12-21

    Simulating the evolution of a chemically reacting system using the bimolecular propensity function, as is done by the stochastic simulation algorithm and its reaction-diffusion extension, entails making statistically inspired guesses as to where the reactant molecules are at any given time. Those guesses will be physically justified if the system is dilute and well-mixed in the reactant molecules. Otherwise, an accurate simulation will require the extra effort and expense of keeping track of the positions of the reactant molecules as the system evolves. One molecule-tracking algorithm that pays careful attention to the physics of molecular diffusion is the enhanced Green's function reaction dynamics (eGFRD) of Takahashi, Tănase-Nicola, and ten Wolde [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 2473 (2010)]. We introduce here a molecule-tracking algorithm that has the same theoretical underpinnings and strategic aims as eGFRD, but a different implementation procedure. Called the small-voxel tracking algorithm (SVTA), it combines the well known voxel-hopping method for simulating molecular diffusion with a novel procedure for rectifying the unphysical predictions of the diffusion equation on the small spatiotemporal scale of molecular collisions. Indications are that the SVTA might be more computationally efficient than eGFRD for the problematic class of non-dilute systems. A widely applicable, user-friendly software implementation of the SVTA has yet to be developed, but we exhibit some simple examples which show that the algorithm is computationally feasible and gives plausible results.

  7. The small-voxel tracking algorithm for simulating chemical reactions among diffusing molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillespie, Daniel T.; Seitaridou, Effrosyni; Gillespie, Carol A.

    2014-12-01

    Simulating the evolution of a chemically reacting system using the bimolecular propensity function, as is done by the stochastic simulation algorithm and its reaction-diffusion extension, entails making statistically inspired guesses as to where the reactant molecules are at any given time. Those guesses will be physically justified if the system is dilute and well-mixed in the reactant molecules. Otherwise, an accurate simulation will require the extra effort and expense of keeping track of the positions of the reactant molecules as the system evolves. One molecule-tracking algorithm that pays careful attention to the physics of molecular diffusion is the enhanced Green's function reaction dynamics (eGFRD) of Takahashi, Tănase-Nicola, and ten Wolde [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 2473 (2010)]. We introduce here a molecule-tracking algorithm that has the same theoretical underpinnings and strategic aims as eGFRD, but a different implementation procedure. Called the small-voxel tracking algorithm (SVTA), it combines the well known voxel-hopping method for simulating molecular diffusion with a novel procedure for rectifying the unphysical predictions of the diffusion equation on the small spatiotemporal scale of molecular collisions. Indications are that the SVTA might be more computationally efficient than eGFRD for the problematic class of non-dilute systems. A widely applicable, user-friendly software implementation of the SVTA has yet to be developed, but we exhibit some simple examples which show that the algorithm is computationally feasible and gives plausible results.

  8. The small-voxel tracking algorithm for simulating chemical reactions among diffusing molecules

    PubMed Central

    Seitaridou, Effrosyni

    2014-01-01

    Simulating the evolution of a chemically reacting system using the bimolecular propensity function, as is done by the stochastic simulation algorithm and its reaction-diffusion extension, entails making statistically inspired guesses as to where the reactant molecules are at any given time. Those guesses will be physically justified if the system is dilute and well-mixed in the reactant molecules. Otherwise, an accurate simulation will require the extra effort and expense of keeping track of the positions of the reactant molecules as the system evolves. One molecule-tracking algorithm that pays careful attention to the physics of molecular diffusion is the enhanced Green's function reaction dynamics (eGFRD) of Takahashi, Tănase-Nicola, and ten Wolde [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.141, 2473 (2010)]. We introduce here a molecule-tracking algorithm that has the same theoretical underpinnings and strategic aims as eGFRD, but a different implementation procedure. Called the small-voxel tracking algorithm (SVTA), it combines the well known voxel-hopping method for simulating molecular diffusion with a novel procedure for rectifying the unphysical predictions of the diffusion equation on the small spatiotemporal scale of molecular collisions. Indications are that the SVTA might be more computationally efficient than eGFRD for the problematic class of non-dilute systems. A widely applicable, user-friendly software implementation of the SVTA has yet to be developed, but we exhibit some simple examples which show that the algorithm is computationally feasible and gives plausible results. PMID:25527927

  9. Functional and mechanistic exploration of an adult neurogenesis-promoting small molecule

    PubMed Central

    Petrik, David; Jiang, Yindi; Birnbaum, Shari G.; Powell, Craig M.; Kim, Mi-Sung; Hsieh, Jenny; Eisch, Amelia J.

    2012-01-01

    Adult neurogenesis occurs throughout life in the mammalian hippocampus and is essential for memory and mood control. There is significant interest in identifying ways to promote neurogenesis and ensure maintenance of these hippocampal functions. Previous work with a synthetic small molecule, isoxazole 9 (Isx-9), highlighted its neuronal-differentiating properties in vitro. However, the ability of Isx-9 to drive neurogenesis in vivo or improve hippocampal function was unknown. Here we show that Isx-9 promotes neurogenesis in vivo, enhancing the proliferation and differentiation of hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ) neuroblasts, and the dendritic arborization of adult-generated dentate gyrus neurons. Isx-9 also improves hippocampal function, enhancing memory in the Morris water maze. Notably, Isx-9 enhances neurogenesis and memory without detectable increases in cellular or animal activity or vascularization. Molecular exploration of Isx-9-induced regulation of neurogenesis (via FACS and microarray of SGZ stem and progenitor cells) suggested the involvement of the myocyte-enhancer family of proteins (Mef2). Indeed, transgenic-mediated inducible knockout of all brain-enriched Mef2 isoforms (Mef2a/c/d) specifically from neural stem cells and their progeny confirmed Mef2's requirement for Isx-9-induced increase in hippocampal neurogenesis. Thus, Isx-9 enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and memory in vivo, and its effects are reliant on Mef2, revealing a novel cell-intrinsic molecular pathway regulating adult neurogenesis.—Petrik, D., Jiang, Y., Birnbaum, S. G., Powell, C. M., Kim, M.-S., Hsieh, J., Eisch, A. J. Functional and mechanistic exploration of an adult neurogenesis-promoting small molecule. PMID:22542682

  10. Identification of small molecule inhibitors of the Lin28-mediated blockage of pre-let-7g processing.

    PubMed

    Lightfoot, Helen L; Miska, Eric A; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2016-11-02

    The protein Lin28 and microRNA let-7 play critical roles in mammalian development and human disease. Lin28 inhibits let-7 biogenesis through direct interaction with let-7 precursors (pre-let-7). Accumulating evidence in vitro and in vivo suggests this interaction plays a dominant role in embryonic stem cell self-renewal and tumorigenesis. Thus the Lin28-let-7 interaction might be an attractive drug target, if not for the well-known difficulties in targeting protein-RNA interactions with drugs. The identification and development of suitable probe molecules to further elucidate therapeutic potential, as well as mechanistic details of this pathway will be valuable. We report the development and application of a biophysical high-throughput screening assay for the identification of small molecule inhibitors of the Lin28-pre-let-7 interaction. A library of pharmacologically active small molecules was screened and several small molecule inhibitors were identified and biochemically validated. Of these four validated inhibitors, two compounds successfully restored processing of pre-let-7g in the presence of Lin28, validating the concept. Thus, we have identified examples of small molecule inhibitors of the interaction between Lin28 and pre-let-7. This study provides a proof of concept for small molecule inhibitors that antagonise the effects of Lin28 and enhance processing of let-7 miRNA.

  11. Novel small molecule EGFR inhibitors as candidate drugs in non-small cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Berardi, Rossana; Santoni, Matteo; Morgese, Francesca; Ballatore, Zelmira; Savini, Agnese; Onofri, Azzurra; Mazzanti, Paola; Pistelli, Mirco; Pierantoni, Chiara; De Lisa, Mariagrazia; Caramanti, Miriam; Pagliaretta, Silvia; Pellei, Chiara; Cascinu, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In the last decade, better understanding of the role of epidermal growth factor receptor in the pathogenesis and progression of non-small cell lung cancer has led to a revolution in the work-up of these neoplasms. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as erlotinib and gefitinib, have been approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, demonstrating an improvement in progression-free and overall survival, particularly in patients harboring activating EGFR mutations. Nevertheless, despite initial responses and long-lasting remissions, resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors invariably develops, most commonly due to the emergence of secondary T790M mutations or to the amplification of mesenchymal–epithelial transition factor (c-Met), which inevitably leads to treatment failure. Several clinical studies are ongoing (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov), aimed to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of combined approaches and to develop novel irreversible or multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors and mutant-selective inhibitors to overcome such resistance. This review is an overview of ongoing Phase I, II, and III trials of novel small molecule epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors and combinations in non-small cell lung cancer patients. PMID:23723712

  12. Characteristics of product recalls of biopharmaceuticals and small-molecule drugs in the USA.

    PubMed

    Ebbers, Hans C; de Tienda, Nina Fuentes; Hoefnagel, Marcel C; Nibbeling, Ria; Mantel-Teeuwisse, Aukje K

    2016-04-01

    Compared with chemically synthesized small-molecule drugs, the manufacturing process of biopharmaceuticals is more complex. Unexpected changes to product characteristics following manufacturing changes have given rise to calls for robust systems to monitor the postauthorization safety of biopharmaceuticals. We compared quality-related product recalls in the USA of biopharmaceuticals and of small molecules. Although the reasons for recalls for biopharmaceuticals differed from those for small molecules, adverse events were rarely reported. The relative contribution of recalls that could cause serious adverse health consequences was not greater for biopharmaceuticals than for small molecules. Therefore, these data do not give rise to concerns that biopharmaceuticals are more frequently associated with unexpected safety concerns.

  13. Immunoaffinity Ultrafiltration with Ion Spray HPLC/MS for Screening Small-Molecule Libraries.

    PubMed

    Wieboldt, R; Zweigenbaum, J; Henion, J

    1997-05-01

    A solution-phase screening method for libraries of pharmaceutically relevant molecules is presented. The technique is applicable to screening combinatorial libraries of 20-30 closely related molecules. In this report, individual benzodiazepines are selected from a multicomponent library mixture by formation in solution of noncovalent immunoaffinity complexes with antibodies raised to therapeutically proven drugs such as nitrazepam, temazepam, or oxazepam. Captured compounds are separated from nonspecifically bound library components by centrifugal ultrafiltration. The specifically selected molecules retained on the filter are subsequently liberated from the antibodies by acidification and analyzed by HPLC coupled with pneumatically assisted electrospray (ion spray) ionization mass spectrometric detection. Competition by the benzodiazepines for limited antibody binding sites is controlled by varying the stoichiometry of the complexation mixture. This procedure selects library components with the greatest affinity for a particular antibody. Specific capture of benzodiazepines is demonstrated by screening both a pool of structurally similar benzodiazepines and a more complex mixture of benzodiazepines with an additional set of unrelated compounds. Affinity ultrafiltration and electrospray mass spectrometry complement each other to enhance screening and identification of pooled drug candidates and potentially can be extended to other small-molecule combinatorial libraries and macromolecular receptor preparations.

  14. Nanoelectropulse-driven membrane perturbation and small molecule permeabilization

    PubMed Central

    Vernier, P Thomas; Sun, Yinghua; Gundersen, Martin A

    2006-01-01

    Background Nanosecond, megavolt-per-meter pulsed electric fields scramble membrane phospholipids, release intracellular calcium, and induce apoptosis. Flow cytometric and fluorescence microscopy evidence has associated phospholipid rearrangement directly with nanoelectropulse exposure and supports the hypothesis that the potential that develops across the lipid bilayer during an electric pulse drives phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization. Results In this work we extend observations of cells exposed to electric pulses with 30 ns and 7 ns durations to still narrower pulse widths, and we find that even 3 ns pulses are sufficient to produce responses similar to those reported previously. We show here that in contrast to unipolar pulses, which perturb membrane phospholipid order, tracked with FM1-43 fluorescence, only at the anode side of the cell, bipolar pulses redistribute phospholipids at both the anode and cathode poles, consistent with migration of the anionic PS head group in the transmembrane field. In addition, we demonstrate that, as predicted by the membrane charging hypothesis, a train of shorter pulses requires higher fields to produce phospholipid scrambling comparable to that produced by a time-equivalent train of longer pulses (for a given applied field, 30, 4 ns pulses produce a weaker response than 4, 30 ns pulses). Finally, we show that influx of YO-PRO-1, a fluorescent dye used to detect early apoptosis and activation of the purinergic P2X7 receptor channels, is observed after exposure of Jurkat T lymphoblasts to sufficiently large numbers of pulses, suggesting that membrane poration occurs even with nanosecond pulses when the electric field is high enough. Propidium iodide entry, a traditional indicator of electroporation, occurs with even higher pulse counts. Conclusion Megavolt-per-meter electric pulses as short as 3 ns alter the structure of the plasma membrane and permeabilize the cell to small molecules. The dose responses of cells to

  15. Reactions of small organic molecules on silver(110)

    SciTech Connect

    Ayre, C.R.

    1992-01-01

    The interaction of two pairs of molecules (1) acetone (CH[sub 3])[sub 2]C=O and isobutylene (CH[sub 3])[sub 2] C=CH[sub 2] and (2) 1,2-propanediol CH[sub 3] CH (OH)CH[sub 2]OH and 1,3-propanediol HOCH[sub 2]CH[sub 2]CH[sub 2]OH with clean and oxygen-activated Ag(110) has been explored to investigate the effects of molecular structure on reactivity. Experimental techniques employed include temperature programmed reaction spectroscopy, isotopic labelling, surface displacement reactions, and electron energy loss spectroscopy. Acetone and isobutylene were studied to explore the relative importance of C=O and C=C bonds in governing the reactivity of structurally similar compounds. Nucleophilic attack by oxygen at the electron-deficient carbonyl carbon in acetone results in reversible formation of the metallacycle (CH[sub 3])[sub 2]COO[sub (a)] at 110 K. Upon heating C-H bond activation by O[sub (a)] occurs near 215 K to yield acetone enolate CH[sub 2]=C(CH[sub 3])O[sub (a)] and evolve H[sub 2]O[sub (g)]. Atomic oxygen activates methyl C-H bonds in isobutylene via an acid-base mechanism. Although the major products are CO[sub 2(g)] and H[sub 2]O[sub (g)], a small amount of (CH[sub 3])[sub 2]C=CH[sub 2(g)] evolves near 310 K. Evidence for the formation of [pi]-2-methylallyl CH[sub 3]C(CH[sub 2])[sub 2(a)] and trimethylenementhane C(CH[sub 2])[sub 3(a)] is presented. The reaction of 1,2-propanediol CH[sub 3] CH(OH)CH[sub 2] OH with oxygen-activated Ag(110) has been compared with that of 1,3-propanediol HOCH[sub 2]CH[sub 2]CH[sub 2]OH to evaluate the effects of varying the position of O-H bonds in both diols to produce the corresponding dialkoxides.

  16. Small Molecules that Suppress IGF-Activated Prostate Cancers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-04-01

    organic molecules that suppress IGF-activated prostate cancers by cell-based screening and to analyze their action mechanisms . During the funding...prostate cancer cells but not serum-dependent growth. We analyzed the mechanism of action of 125B11 to gain molecular insights into how IGF1 stimulates the...screening and to analyze their action mechanisms . We have been taking a unique two-step approach to discovering such molecules: we first examine the

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-14

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

  18. Surface enhanced single-molecule magnetism involving 4f spin

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yachao

    2016-03-28

    We study the magnetic anisotropy energy (MAE) of the isolated and deposited Eu(C{sub 8}H{sub 8}){sub 2} by first-principles calculations considering the van der Waals correction and the strong correlation effects. We find that both the molecular spin moment and the easy-axis magnetic anisotropy are enhanced upon deposition on Cu(111). We propose a mechanism in terms of the weakened spin polarization of the π-2p orbitals and the induced anisotropic occupations of the 4f orbitals. Our findings pave the way for raising the MAE of 4f-element single-molecule magnets by tailoring the molecule–surface contacts.

  19. Spectra for Small Volatile Molecules for Potential Exoplanet Biosignature Gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Zhuchang; Seager, Sara; Bains, William; Eckman, Laura; Gandhi, Anshula; Lin, Zifan; Pajusalu, Mihkel; Petkowski, Janusz; Sha, Lizhou

    2015-12-01

    With thousands of exoplanets discovered orbiting nearby stars, the community anticipates that next-generation telescopes will have the capability to detect a few habitable planets and possibly find signs of life via biosignature gases in the atmosphere. We propose that life on another world could produce a large variety of gases. If a significant quantity of certain volatile molecule is produced, it could be considered as a biosignature gas. We have collected existing spectra for over 1000 volatile molecules from searching dozens of existing on-line databases. We present representative spectra for different classes of molecules, and discuss differences within each class. We highlight gases that, based on atmospheric lifetimes, might be observable if produced in abundance and offer an observational “triage” strategy.

  20. Maskless RGB color patterning of vacuum-deposited small molecule OLED displays by diffusion of luminescent dopant molecules.

    PubMed

    Kajiyama, Yoshitaka; Kajiyama, Koichi; Aziz, Hany

    2015-06-29

    A maskless RGB color patterning technique based on diffusion of luminescent dopant molecules is proposed here for vacuum-deposited small molecule OLED displays. The proposed maskless color patterning technique enables us to overcome challenging issues in OLED display manufacturing arising from shadow mask limitations. This approach utilizes selective diffusion of luminescent dopant molecules from a donor substrate to an acceptor substrate. Results show that sufficiently high doping levels can be achieved through this technique and that devices with performance similar to those produced by standard co-deposition can be easily produced. Red, green and blue OLEDs are successfully fabricated side by side on one substrate using this technique.

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Banglin; Xiang, Shengchang; Qian, Guodong

    2010-08-17

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

  2. Small-Molecule Compounds Exhibiting Target-Mediated Drug Disposition (TMDD): A Minireview.

    PubMed

    An, Guohua

    2017-02-01

    Nonlinearities are commonplace in pharmacokinetics, and 1 special source is the saturable binding of the drug to a high-affinity, low-capacity target, a phenomenon known as target-mediated drug disposition (TMDD). Compared with large-molecule compounds undergoing TMDD, which has been well recognized due to its high prevalence, TMDD in small-molecule compounds is more counterintuitive and has not been well appreciated. With more and more potent small-molecule drugs acting on highly specific targets being developed as well as increasingly sensitive analytical techniques becoming available, many small-molecule compounds have recently been reported to have nonlinear pharmacokinetics imparted by TMDD. To expand our current knowledge of TMDD in small-molecule compounds and increase the awareness of this clinically important phenomenon, this minireview provides an overview of the small-molecule compounds that demonstrate nonlinear pharmacokinetics imparted by TMDD. The present review also summarizes the general features of TMDD in small-molecule compounds and highlights the differences between TMDD in small-molecule compounds and large-molecule compounds. © 2016, The American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

  3. Enhancing the low frequency THz resonances (< 1 THz) of organic molecules via electronegative atom substitution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dash, Jyotirmayee; Ray, Shaumik; Pesala, Bala

    2015-03-01

    Terahertz (THz) technology is an active area of research with various applications in non-intrusive imaging and spectroscopy. Very few organic molecules have significant resonances below 1 THz. Understanding the origin of low frequency THz modes in these molecules and their absence in other molecules could be extremely important in design and engineering molecules with low frequency THz resonances. These engineered molecules can be used as THz tags for anti-counterfeiting applications. Studies show that low frequency THz resonances are commonly observed in molecules having higher molecular mass and weak intermolecular hydrogen bonds. In this paper, we have explored the possibility of enhancing the strength of THz resonances below 1 THz through electronegative atom substitution. Adding an electronegative atom helps in achieving higher hydrogen bond strength to enhance the resonances below 1 THz. Here acetanilide has been used as a model system. THz-Time Domain Spectroscopy (THz-TDS) results show that acetanilide has a small peak observed below 1 THz. Acetanilide can be converted to 2-fluoroacetanilide by adding an electronegative atom, fluorine, which doesn't have any prominent peak below 1 THz. However, by optimally choosing the position of the electronegative atom as in 4-fluoroacetanilide, a significant THz resonance at 0.86 THz is observed. The origin of low frequency resonances can be understood by carrying out Density Functional Theory (DFT) simulations of full crystal structure. These studies show that adding an electronegative atom to the organic molecules at an optimized position can result in significantly enhanced resonances below 1 THz.

  4. Small Talk: Children's Everyday "Molecule" Ideas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jakab, Cheryl

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports on 6-11-year-old children's "sayings and doings" (Harré 2002) as they explore molecule artefacts in dialectical-interactive teaching interviews (Fleer, "Cultural Studies of Science Education" 3:781-786, 2008; Hedegaard et al. 2008). This sociocultural study was designed to explore children's…

  5. Multiphoton spectroscopy of Rydberg states of small molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Stephen T.; McCormack, E. F.; Dehmer, Joseph L.; Dehmer, Patricia M.

    1990-09-01

    Multiphoton ionization techniques provide a versatile means for studying highly excited states of atoms and molecules and provide a valuable complement to traditional techniques based on single-photon absorption and ionization studies. In this paper we present the results of new multiphoton ionization studies of molecular nitrogen and molecular oxygen that serve to illustrate the power of these techniques. 30 refs., 3 figs.

  6. Small Talk: Children's Everyday "Molecule" Ideas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jakab, Cheryl

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports on 6-11-year-old children's "sayings and doings" (Harré 2002) as they explore molecule artefacts in dialectical-interactive teaching interviews (Fleer, "Cultural Studies of Science Education" 3:781-786, 2008; Hedegaard et al. 2008). This sociocultural study was designed to explore children's…

  7. Functional and mechanistic exploration of an adult neurogenesis-promoting small molecule.

    PubMed

    Petrik, David; Jiang, Yindi; Birnbaum, Shari G; Powell, Craig M; Kim, Mi-Sung; Hsieh, Jenny; Eisch, Amelia J

    2012-08-01

    Adult neurogenesis occurs throughout life in the mammalian hippocampus and is essential for memory and mood control. There is significant interest in identifying ways to promote neurogenesis and ensure maintenance of these hippocampal functions. Previous work with a synthetic small molecule, isoxazole 9 (Isx-9), highlighted its neuronal-differentiating properties in vitro. However, the ability of Isx-9 to drive neurogenesis in vivo or improve hippocampal function was unknown. Here we show that Isx-9 promotes neurogenesis in vivo, enhancing the proliferation and differentiation of hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ) neuroblasts, and the dendritic arborization of adult-generated dentate gyrus neurons. Isx-9 also improves hippocampal function, enhancing memory in the Morris water maze. Notably, Isx-9 enhances neurogenesis and memory without detectable increases in cellular or animal activity or vascularization. Molecular exploration of Isx-9-induced regulation of neurogenesis (via FACS and microarray of SGZ stem and progenitor cells) suggested the involvement of the myocyte-enhancer family of proteins (Mef2). Indeed, transgenic-mediated inducible knockout of all brain-enriched Mef2 isoforms (Mef2a/c/d) specifically from neural stem cells and their progeny confirmed Mef2's requirement for Isx-9-induced increase in hippocampal neurogenesis. Thus, Isx-9 enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and memory in vivo, and its effects are reliant on Mef2, revealing a novel cell-intrinsic molecular pathway regulating adult neurogenesis.

  8. 970 million druglike small molecules for virtual screening in the chemical universe database GDB-13.

    PubMed

    Blum, Lorenz C; Reymond, Jean-Louis

    2009-07-01

    GDB-13 enumerates small organic molecules containing up to 13 atoms of C, N, O, S, and Cl following simple chemical stability and synthetic feasibility rules. With 977,468,314 structures, GDB-13 is the largest publicly available small organic molecule database to date.

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2014-01-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Ferrocene-diketopyrrolopyrrole based small molecule donors for bulk heterojunction solar cells.

    PubMed

    Patil, Yuvraj; Misra, Rajneesh; Singh, Manish Kumar; Sharma, Ganesh D

    2017-03-08

    A symmetrical D-π-A-π-D type small molecule consisting of thiophene flanked diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) as a core and an end capping ferrocene donor linked by an ethynyl bridge, denoted as Fc-DPP-Fc, was synthesized and its optical, thermal and electrochemical properties were investigated in order to explore its potential applicability as a donor for solution processed bulk het