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Sample records for optimization improved small-molecule

  1. 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

  2. Simultaneous optimization of biomolecular energy function on features from small molecules and macromolecules

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hahnbeom; Bradley, Philip; Greisen, Per; Liu, Yuan; Mulligan, Vikram Khipple; Kim, David E.; Baker, David; DiMaio, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Most biomolecular modeling energy functions for structure prediction, sequence design, and molecular docking, have been parameterized using existing macromolecular structural data; this contrasts molecular mechanics force fields which are largely optimized using small-molecule data. In this study, we describe an integrated method that enables optimization of a biomolecular modeling energy function simultaneously against small-molecule thermodynamic data and high-resolution macromolecular structural data. We use this approach to develop a next-generation Rosetta energy function that utilizes a new anisotropic implicit solvation model, and an improved electrostatics and Lennard-Jones model, illustrating how energy functions can be considerably improved in their ability to describe large-scale energy landscapes by incorporating both small-molecule and macromolecule data. The energy function improves performance in a wide range of protein structure prediction challenges, including monomeric structure prediction, protein-protein and protein-ligand docking, protein sequence design, and prediction of the free energy changes by mutation, while reasonably recapitulating small-molecule thermodynamic properties. PMID:27766851

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Putting the pieces together: contribution of fluorescence polarization assays to small-molecule lead optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keating, Susan M.; Marsters, Jim; Beresini, Maureen; Ladner, Carmen; Zioncheck, Kim; Clark, Kevin; Arellano, Fred; Bodary, Sarah

    2000-04-01

    Fluorescence polarization assays with both purified receptor and intact cells have been developed to assess potency and selectivity of antagonists of the interaction of the lymphocyte receptor, LFA-1, and its endothelial ligand, ICAM-1. Fluorescein isothiocyanate conjugated small molecule probes were optimized for use in binding assay with LFA-1 and a closely related receptor, MAC-1. In the assays, the antagonists compete with the fluorescent probe for binding to the receptor. This enables the determination of IC50 and consequently Ki values of the antagonists for each of the receptors. Routine use of polarization assay with tranfected cells, in addition to purified receptors, has become feasible with the availability of sensitive plate readers that are able to detect 1 nM fluorescent probe in 15 (mu) l sample volumes with good signal to noise. These measurements aid in the iterative synthesis of more potent and selective compounds.

  8. Improvement of interfacial contacts for new small-molecule bulk-heterojunction organic photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Andres; Welch, Gregory C; Ratcliff, Erin L; Ginley, David S; Bazan, Guillermo C; Olson, Dana C

    2012-10-09

    The influence of protonation reactions between poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) and a thiadiazolo[3,4-c]pyridine small-molecule donor are reported; these result in poor solar-cell performance due to a barrier for charge extraction. The use of a NiO(x) contact eliminates such deleterious chemical interactions and results in substantial improvements in open-circuit voltage, fill factor, and an increased power conversion efficiency from 2.3% to 5.1%.

  9. Discovery and optimization of small-molecule ligands for the CBP/p300 bromodomains.

    PubMed

    Hay, Duncan A; Fedorov, Oleg; Martin, Sarah; Singleton, Dean C; Tallant, Cynthia; Wells, Christopher; Picaud, Sarah; Philpott, Martin; Monteiro, Octovia P; Rogers, Catherine M; Conway, Stuart J; Rooney, Timothy P C; Tumber, Anthony; Yapp, Clarence; Filippakopoulos, Panagis; Bunnage, Mark E; Müller, Susanne; Knapp, Stefan; Schofield, Christopher J; Brennan, Paul E

    2014-07-02

    Small-molecule inhibitors that target bromodomains outside of the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) sub-family are lacking. Here, we describe highly potent and selective ligands for the bromodomain module of the human lysine acetyl transferase CBP/p300, developed from a series of 5-isoxazolyl-benzimidazoles. Our starting point was a fragment hit, which was optimized into a more potent and selective lead using parallel synthesis employing Suzuki couplings, benzimidazole-forming reactions, and reductive aminations. The selectivity of the lead compound against other bromodomain family members was investigated using a thermal stability assay, which revealed some inhibition of the structurally related BET family members. To address the BET selectivity issue, X-ray crystal structures of the lead compound bound to the CREB binding protein (CBP) and the first bromodomain of BRD4 (BRD4(1)) were used to guide the design of more selective compounds. The crystal structures obtained revealed two distinct binding modes. By varying the aryl substitution pattern and developing conformationally constrained analogues, selectivity for CBP over BRD4(1) was increased. The optimized compound is highly potent (Kd = 21 nM) and selective, displaying 40-fold selectivity over BRD4(1). Cellular activity was demonstrated using fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching (FRAP) and a p53 reporter assay. The optimized compounds are cell-active and have nanomolar affinity for CBP/p300; therefore, they should be useful in studies investigating the biological roles of CBP and p300 and to validate the CBP and p300 bromodomains as therapeutic targets.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Optimization of a New Aerodynamic Cylindrical FAIMS Device for Small Molecule Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purves, Randy W.; Prasad, Satendra; Belford, Michael; Vandenberg, Albert; Dunyach, Jean-Jacques

    2017-03-01

    The implementation of an aerodynamic mechanism to improve ion sampling between nanoelectrospray (n-ESI) and FAIMS was recently reported for proteomic analyses. This investigation explores the new FAIMS interface for small molecule analysis at high liquid flow rates and includes an examination of key differences in ionization between heated-ESI (HESI) and n-ESI. The sheath gas, critical for desolvation with HESI, affects FAIMS operation as higher FAIMS gas flow rates are required to achieve sufficient desolvation. Gas flow rate experiments also uncovered m/z discrimination with the conventional design as larger (slower moving) m/z ions experienced larger signal intensity losses than smaller m/z ions due to the desolvation gas flow having a greater drag effect on slower moving ions. The modified inlet in new FAIMS dampens the gas drag, making the HESI source more amenable as less m/z bias and significantly lower %RSD values were observed. Furthermore, a larger radius inner electrode in new FAIMS enables significantly higher E/N (electric field/number gas density) to be achieved using the existing waveform generator. Thus, new FAIMS signal intensities using only nitrogen improved 1.25- to 2-fold compared with the conventional design and 50% helium. Adding helium to the new FAIMS gave no significant improvements. The larger inner electrode also decreased ion focusing capabilities, and the effect on peak separation and ion intensity was examined in detail. The peak capacity of new FAIMS was approximately double that of conventional FAIMS; separation of seven low m/z ions gave a peak capacity of 37.7 using the gas additive 2-propanol.

  14. Optimization of a New Aerodynamic Cylindrical FAIMS Device for Small Molecule Analysis.

    PubMed

    Purves, Randy W; Prasad, Satendra; Belford, Michael; Vandenberg, Albert; Dunyach, Jean-Jacques

    2017-03-01

    The implementation of an aerodynamic mechanism to improve ion sampling between nanoelectrospray (n-ESI) and FAIMS was recently reported for proteomic analyses. This investigation explores the new FAIMS interface for small molecule analysis at high liquid flow rates and includes an examination of key differences in ionization between heated-ESI (HESI) and n-ESI. The sheath gas, critical for desolvation with HESI, affects FAIMS operation as higher FAIMS gas flow rates are required to achieve sufficient desolvation. Gas flow rate experiments also uncovered m/z discrimination with the conventional design as larger (slower moving) m/z ions experienced larger signal intensity losses than smaller m/z ions due to the desolvation gas flow having a greater drag effect on slower moving ions. The modified inlet in new FAIMS dampens the gas drag, making the HESI source more amenable as less m/z bias and significantly lower %RSD values were observed. Furthermore, a larger radius inner electrode in new FAIMS enables significantly higher E/N (electric field/number gas density) to be achieved using the existing waveform generator. Thus, new FAIMS signal intensities using only nitrogen improved 1.25- to 2-fold compared with the conventional design and 50% helium. Adding helium to the new FAIMS gave no significant improvements. The larger inner electrode also decreased ion focusing capabilities, and the effect on peak separation and ion intensity was examined in detail. The peak capacity of new FAIMS was approximately double that of conventional FAIMS; separation of seven low m/z ions gave a peak capacity of 37.7 using the gas additive 2-propanol. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  15. Optimization of a New Aerodynamic Cylindrical FAIMS Device for Small Molecule Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purves, Randy W.; Prasad, Satendra; Belford, Michael; Vandenberg, Albert; Dunyach, Jean-Jacques

    2017-01-01

    The implementation of an aerodynamic mechanism to improve ion sampling between nanoelectrospray (n-ESI) and FAIMS was recently reported for proteomic analyses. This investigation explores the new FAIMS interface for small molecule analysis at high liquid flow rates and includes an examination of key differences in ionization between heated-ESI (HESI) and n-ESI. The sheath gas, critical for desolvation with HESI, affects FAIMS operation as higher FAIMS gas flow rates are required to achieve sufficient desolvation. Gas flow rate experiments also uncovered m/z discrimination with the conventional design as larger (slower moving) m/z ions experienced larger signal intensity losses than smaller m/z ions due to the desolvation gas flow having a greater drag effect on slower moving ions. The modified inlet in new FAIMS dampens the gas drag, making the HESI source more amenable as less m/z bias and significantly lower %RSD values were observed. Furthermore, a larger radius inner electrode in new FAIMS enables significantly higher E/N (electric field/number gas density) to be achieved using the existing waveform generator. Thus, new FAIMS signal intensities using only nitrogen improved 1.25- to 2-fold compared with the conventional design and 50% helium. Adding helium to the new FAIMS gave no significant improvements. The larger inner electrode also decreased ion focusing capabilities, and the effect on peak separation and ion intensity was examined in detail. The peak capacity of new FAIMS was approximately double that of conventional FAIMS; separation of seven low m/z ions gave a peak capacity of 37.7 using the gas additive 2-propanol.

  16. A small molecule chemical chaperone optimizes its unfolded state contraction and denaturant like properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Sunny; Sarkar, Suparna; Paul, Simanta Sarani; Roy, Syamal; Chattopadhyay, Krishnananda

    2013-12-01

    Protein aggregation is believed to occur through the formation of misfolded conformations. It is expected that, in order to minimize aggregation, an effective small molecule chaperone would destabilize these intermediates. To study the mechanism of a chemical chaperone, we have designed a series of mutant proteins in which a tryptophan residue experiences different local environments and solvent exposures. We show that these mutants correspond to a series of conformationally altered proteins with varying degree of misfolding stress and aggregation propensities. Using arginine as a model small molecule, we show that a combination of unfolded state contraction and denaturant like properties results in selective targeting and destabilization of the partially folded proteins. In comparison, the effect of arginine towards the folded like control mutant, which is not aggregation prone, is significantly less. Other small molecules, lacking either of the above two properties, do not offer any specificity towards the misfolded proteins.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of PKR Improve Glucose Homeostasis in Obese Diabetic Mice

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Takahisa; Arduini, Alessandro; Baccaro, Brenna; Furuhashi, Masato; Hotamisligil, Gökhan S.

    2014-01-01

    Obesity and metabolic diseases appear as clusters, often featuring high risk for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, and constitute a major global health problem with limited treatment options. Previous studies have shown that double-stranded RNA–dependent kinase, PKR, plays an important role in the nutrient/pathogen-sensing interface, and acts as a key modulator of chronic metabolic inflammation, insulin sensitivity, and glucose homeostasis in obesity. Recently, pathological PKR activation was also demonstrated in obese humans, strengthening its prospects as a potential drug target. Here, we investigate the use of two structurally distinct small-molecule inhibitors of PKR in the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in cells and in a mouse model of severe obesity and insulin resistance. Inhibition of PKR reduced stress-induced Jun NH2-terminal kinase activation and insulin receptor substrate 1 serine phosphorylation in vitro and in vivo. In addition, treatment with both PKR inhibitors reduced adipose tissue inflammation, improved insulin sensitivity, and improved glucose intolerance in mice after the establishment of obesity and insulin resistance. Our findings suggest that pharmacologically targeting PKR may be an effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. PMID:24150608

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. SMPDB 2.0: big improvements to the Small Molecule Pathway Database.

    PubMed

    Jewison, Timothy; Su, Yilu; Disfany, Fatemeh Miri; Liang, Yongjie; Knox, Craig; Maciejewski, Adam; Poelzer, Jenna; Huynh, Jessica; Zhou, You; Arndt, David; Djoumbou, Yannick; Liu, Yifeng; Deng, Lu; Guo, An Chi; Han, Beomsoo; Pon, Allison; Wilson, Michael; Rafatnia, Shahrzad; Liu, Philip; Wishart, David S

    2014-01-01

    The Small Molecule Pathway Database (SMPDB, http://www.smpdb.ca) is a comprehensive, colorful, fully searchable and highly interactive database for visualizing human metabolic, drug action, drug metabolism, physiological activity and metabolic disease pathways. SMPDB contains >600 pathways with nearly 75% of its pathways not found in any other database. All SMPDB pathway diagrams are extensively hyperlinked and include detailed information on the relevant tissues, organs, organelles, subcellular compartments, protein cofactors, protein locations, metabolite locations, chemical structures and protein quaternary structures. Since its last release in 2010, SMPDB has undergone substantial upgrades and significant expansion. In particular, the total number of pathways in SMPDB has grown by >70%. Additionally, every previously entered pathway has been completely redrawn, standardized, corrected, updated and enhanced with additional molecular or cellular information. Many SMPDB pathways now include transporter proteins as well as much more physiological, tissue, target organ and reaction compartment data. Thanks to the development of a standardized pathway drawing tool (called PathWhiz) all SMPDB pathways are now much more easily drawn and far more rapidly updated. PathWhiz has also allowed all SMPDB pathways to be saved in a BioPAX format. Significant improvements to SMPDB's visualization interface now make the browsing, selection, recoloring and zooming of pathways far easier and far more intuitive. Because of its utility and breadth of coverage, SMPDB is now integrated into several other databases including HMDB and DrugBank.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-14

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

  4. Small-molecule inhibitors of cytokine-mediated STAT1 signal transduction in β-cells with improved aqueous solubility.

    PubMed

    Scully, Stephen S; Tang, Alicia J; Lundh, Morten; Mosher, Carrie M; Perkins, Kedar M; Wagner, Bridget K

    2013-05-23

    We previously reported the discovery of BRD0476 (1), a small molecule generated by diversity-oriented synthesis that suppresses cytokine-induced β-cell apoptosis. Herein, we report the synthesis and biological evaluation of 1 and analogues with improved aqueous solubility. By replacing naphthyl with quinoline moieties, we prepared active analogues with up to a 1400-fold increase in solubility from 1. In addition, we demonstrated that 1 and analogues inhibit STAT1 signal transduction induced by IFN-γ.

  5. Small-Molecule Ligands of Methyl-Lysine Binding Proteins: Optimization of Selectivity for L3MBTL3

    PubMed Central

    James, Lindsey I.; Korboukh, Victoria K.; Krichevsky, Liubov; Baughman, Brandi M.; Herold, J. Martin; Norris, Jacqueline L.; Jin, Jian; Kireev, Dmitri B.; Janzen, William P.; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H.; Frye, Stephen V.

    2013-01-01

    Lysine methylation is a key epigenetic mark, the dysregulation of which is linked to many diseases. Small molecule antagonism of methyl-lysine (Kme) binding proteins that recognize such epigenetic marks can improve our understanding of these regulatory mechanisms and potentially validate Kme binding proteins as drug discovery targets. We previously reported the discovery of 1 (UNC1215), the first potent and selective small molecule chemical probe of a methyl-lysine reader protein, L3MBTL3, which antagonizes the mono- and dimethyl-lysine reading function of L3MBTL3. The design, synthesis, and structure activity relationship studies that led to the discovery of 1 are described herein. These efforts established the requirements for potent L3MBTL3 binding and enabled the design of novel antagonists, such as compound 2 (UNC1679), that maintain in vitro and cellular potency with improved selectivity against other MBT-containing proteins. The antagonists described were also found to effectively interact with unlabeled endogenous L3MBTL3 in cells. PMID:24040942

  6. Small-molecule ligands of methyl-lysine binding proteins: optimization of selectivity for L3MBTL3.

    PubMed

    James, Lindsey I; Korboukh, Victoria K; Krichevsky, Liubov; Baughman, Brandi M; Herold, J Martin; Norris, Jacqueline L; Jin, Jian; Kireev, Dmitri B; Janzen, William P; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H; Frye, Stephen V

    2013-09-26

    Lysine methylation is a key epigenetic mark, the dysregulation of which is linked to many diseases. Small-molecule antagonism of methyl-lysine (Kme) binding proteins that recognize such epigenetic marks can improve our understanding of these regulatory mechanisms and potentially validate Kme binding proteins as drug-discovery targets. We previously reported the discovery of 1 (UNC1215), the first potent and selective small-molecule chemical probe of a methyl-lysine reader protein, L3MBTL3, which antagonizes the mono- and dimethyl-lysine reading function of L3MBTL3. The design, synthesis, and structure-activity relationship studies that led to the discovery of 1 are described herein. These efforts established the requirements for potent L3MBTL3 binding and enabled the design of novel antagonists, such as compound 2 (UNC1679), that maintain in vitro and cellular potency with improved selectivity against other MBT-containing proteins. The antagonists described were also found to effectively interact with unlabeled endogenous L3MBTL3 in cells.

  7. Optimization and Comparison of Multiple MALDI Matrix Application Methods for Small Molecule Mass Spectrometric Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The matrix application technique is critical to the success of a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) experiment. This work presents a systematic study aiming to evaluate three different matrix application techniques for MALDI mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) of endogenous metabolites from legume plant, Medicago truncatula, root nodules. Airbrush, automatic sprayer, and sublimation matrix application methods were optimized individually for detection of metabolites in the positive ionization mode exploiting the two most widely used MALDI matrices, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB) and α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA). Analytical reproducibility and analyte diffusion were examined and compared side-by-side for each method. When using DHB, the optimized method developed for the automatic matrix sprayer system resulted in approximately double the number of metabolites detected when compared to sublimation and airbrush. The automatic sprayer method also showed more reproducible results and less analyte diffusion than the airbrush method. Sublimation matrix deposition yielded high spatial resolution and reproducibility but fewer analytes in the higher m/z range (500–1000 m/z). When the samples were placed in a humidity chamber after sublimation, there was enhanced detection of higher mass metabolites but increased analyte diffusion in the lower mass range. When using CHCA, the optimized automatic sprayer method and humidified sublimation method resulted in double the number of metabolites detected compared to standard airbrush method. PMID:25331774

  8. Optimization and comparison of multiple MALDI matrix application methods for small molecule mass spectrometric imaging.

    PubMed

    Gemperline, Erin; Rawson, Stephanie; Li, Lingjun

    2014-10-21

    The matrix application technique is critical to the success of a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) experiment. This work presents a systematic study aiming to evaluate three different matrix application techniques for MALDI mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) of endogenous metabolites from legume plant, Medicago truncatula, root nodules. Airbrush, automatic sprayer, and sublimation matrix application methods were optimized individually for detection of metabolites in the positive ionization mode exploiting the two most widely used MALDI matrices, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB) and α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA). Analytical reproducibility and analyte diffusion were examined and compared side-by-side for each method. When using DHB, the optimized method developed for the automatic matrix sprayer system resulted in approximately double the number of metabolites detected when compared to sublimation and airbrush. The automatic sprayer method also showed more reproducible results and less analyte diffusion than the airbrush method. Sublimation matrix deposition yielded high spatial resolution and reproducibility but fewer analytes in the higher m/z range (500-1000 m/z). When the samples were placed in a humidity chamber after sublimation, there was enhanced detection of higher mass metabolites but increased analyte diffusion in the lower mass range. When using CHCA, the optimized automatic sprayer method and humidified sublimation method resulted in double the number of metabolites detected compared to standard airbrush method.

  9. Fragment-Based Optimization of Small Molecule CXCL12 Inhibitors for Antagonizing the CXCL12/CXCR4 Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Ziarek, Joshua J.; Liu, Yan; Smith, Emmanuel; Zhang, Guolin; Peterson, Francis C.; Chen, Jun; Yu, Yongping; Chen, Yu; Volkman, Brian F.; Li, Rongshi

    2013-01-01

    The chemokine CXCL12 and its G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) CXCR4 are high-priority clinical targets because of their involvement in metastatic cancers (also implicated in autoimmune disease and cardiovascular disease). Because chemokines interact with two distinct sites to bind and activate their receptors, both the GPCRs and chemokines are potential targets for small molecule inhibition. A number of chemokines have been validated as targets for drug development, but virtually all drug discovery efforts focus on the GPCRs. However, all CXCR4 receptor antagonists with the exception of MSX-122 have failed in clinical trials due to unmanageable toxicities, emphasizing the need for alternative strategies to interfere with CXCL12/CXCR4-guided metastatic homing. Although targeting the relatively featureless surface of CXCL12 was presumed to be challenging, focusing efforts at the sulfotyrosine (sY) binding pockets proved successful for procuring initial hits. Using a hybrid structure-based in silico/NMR screening strategy, we recently identified a ligand that occludes the receptor recognition site. From this initial hit, we designed a small fragment library containing only nine tetrazole derivatives using a fragment-based and bioisostere approach to target the sY binding sites of CXCL12. Compound binding modes and affinities were studied by 2D NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, molecular docking and cell-based functional assays. Our results demonstrate that the sY binding sites are conducive to the development of high affinity inhibitors with better ligand efficiency (LE) than typical protein-protein interaction inhibitors (LE ≤ 0.24). Our novel tetrazole-based fragment 18 was identified to bind the sY21 site with a Kd of 24 μM (LE = 0.30). Optimization of 18 yielded compound 25 which specifically inhibits CXCL12-induced migration with an improvement in potency over the initial hit 9. The fragment from this library that exhibited the highest affinity and

  10. Buffer Optimization of Thermal Melt Assays of Plasmodium Proteins for Detection of Small-Molecule Ligands

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Cytokine-Mediated STAT1 Signal Transduction In β-Cells With Improved Aqueous Solubility

    PubMed Central

    Scully, Stephen S.; Tang, Alicia J.; Lundh, Morten; Mosher, Carrie M.; Perkins, Kedar M.; Wagner, Bridget K.

    2013-01-01

    We previously reported the discovery of BRD0476 (1), a small molecule generated by diversity-oriented synthesis that suppresses cytokine-induced β-cell apoptosis. Herein, we report the synthesis and biological evaluation of 1 and analogs with improved aqueous solubility. By replacing naphthyl with quinoline moieties, we prepared active analogs with up to a 1400-fold increase in solubility from 1. In addition, we demonstrated that compound 1 and analogs inhibit STAT1 signal transduction induced by IFN-γ. PMID:23617753

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Structure-based approach to improve a small-molecule inhibitor by the use of a competitive peptide ligand.

    PubMed

    Ono, Katsuki; Takeuchi, Koh; Ueda, Hiroshi; Morita, Yasuhiro; Tanimura, Ryuji; Shimada, Ichio; Takahashi, Hideo

    2014-03-03

    Structural information about the target-compound complex is invaluable in the early stage of drug discovery. In particular, it is important to know into which part of the initial compound additional interaction sites could be introduced to improve its affinity. Herein, we demonstrate that the affinity of a small-molecule inhibitor for its target protein could be successfully improved by the constructive introduction of the interaction mode of a competitive peptide. The strategy involved the discrimination of overlapping and non-overlapping peptide-compound pharmacophores by the use of a ligand-based NMR spectroscopic approach, INPHARMA. The obtained results enabled the design of a new compound with improved affinity for the platelet receptor glycoprotein VI (GPVI). The approach proposed herein efficiently combines the advantages of compounds and peptides for the development of higher-affinity druglike ligands.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-19

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

  16. Optimizing cell-free protein expression in CHO: Assessing small molecule mass transfer effects in various reactor configurations.

    PubMed

    Peñalber-Johnstone, Chariz; Ge, Xudong; Tran, Kevin; Selock, Nicholas; Sardesai, Neha; Gurramkonda, Chandrasekhar; Pilli, Manohar; Tolosa, Michael; Tolosa, Leah; Kostov, Yordan; Frey, Douglas D; Rao, Govind

    2017-07-01

    Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) is an ideal platform for rapid and convenient protein production. However, bioreactor design remains a critical consideration in optimizing protein expression. Using turbo green fluorescent protein (tGFP) as a model, we tracked small molecule components in a Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) CFPS system to optimize protein production. Here, three bioreactors in continuous-exchange cell-free (CECF) format were characterized. A GFP optical sensor was built to monitor the product in real-time. Mass transfer of important substrate and by-product components such as nucleoside triphosphates (NTPs), creatine, and inorganic phosphate (Pi) across a 10-kDa MWCO cellulose membrane was calculated. The highest efficiency measured by tGFP yields were found in a microdialysis device configuration; while a negative effect on yield was observed due to limited mass transfer of NTPs in a dialysis cup configuration. In 24-well plate high-throughput CECF format, addition of up to 40 mM creatine phosphate in the system increased yields by up to ∼60% relative to controls. Direct ATP addition, as opposed to creatine phosphate addition, negatively affected the expression. Pi addition of up to 30 mM to the expression significantly reduced yields by over ∼40% relative to controls. Overall, data presented in this report serves as a valuable reference to optimize the CHO CFPS system for next-generation bioprocessing. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 1478-1486. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Inhibition of SREBP by a small molecule, betulin, improves hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance and reduces atherosclerotic plaques.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jing-Jie; Li, Jia-Gui; Qi, Wei; Qiu, Wen-Wei; Li, Pei-Shan; Li, Bo-Liang; Song, Bao-Liang

    2011-01-05

    Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are major transcription factors activating the expression of genes involved in biosynthesis of cholesterol, fatty acid and triglyceride. In this study, we identified a small molecule, betulin, that specifically inhibited the maturation of SREBP by inducing interaction of SREBP cleavage activating protein (SCAP) and Insig. Inhibition of SREBP by betulin decreased the biosynthesis of cholesterol and fatty acid. In vivo, betulin ameliorated diet-induced obesity, decreased the lipid contents in serum and tissues, and increased insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, betulin reduced the size and improved the stability of atherosclerotic plaques. Our study demonstrates that inhibition SREBP pathway can be employed as a therapeutic strategy to treat metabolic diseases including type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. Betulin, which is abundant in birch bark, could be a leading compound for development of drugs for hyperlipidemia.

  18. Use of Topical Small Molecule Technology to Improve Patient Outcomes in the Diabetic Wound Care Setting.

    PubMed

    Mrdjenovich, Donald E

    2013-08-01

    Patients were chosen at random by primary investigator based upon initial presentation with dry, cracked, and/or reddened skin, with underlying complications from compromised microvasculature. Intervention was conducted by using topical products designed to utilize small molecule technologies, with a molecular weight of fewer than 500 Da, to deliver, via topical diffusion, nutrients and antioxidants through the skin layers to address issues stemming from inadequate blood flow to the dermis. An "all-in-one" moisturizing cleansing lotion was applied to the affected areas and washed gently with a warm damp cloth. After cleansing, the skin was treated with a moisturizing skin cream or a chlorhexidine-containing skin shield on areas with redness or advanced breakdown. All products contain dimethicone as an active ingredient and are classified as OTC skin protectants per approved FDA monographs. Patients were evaluated by the primary investigator for noticeable resolution or improvements in dryness, scaling, skin cracks, and erythema.

  19. Use of Topical Small Molecule Technology to Improve Patient Outcomes in the Diabetic Wound Care Setting

    PubMed Central

    Mrdjenovich, Donald E.

    2014-01-01

    Patients were chosen at random by primary investigator based upon initial presentation with dry, cracked, and/or reddened skin, with underlying complications from compromised microvasculature. Intervention was conducted by using topical products designed to utilize small molecule technologies, with a molecular weight of fewer than 500 Da, to deliver, via topical diffusion, nutrients and antioxidants through the skin layers to address issues stemming from inadequate blood flow to the dermis. An “all-in-one” moisturizing cleansing lotion was applied to the affected areas and washed gently with a warm damp cloth. After cleansing, the skin was treated with a moisturizing skin cream or a chlorhexidine-containing skin shield on areas with redness or advanced breakdown. All products contain dimethicone as an active ingredient and are classified as OTC skin protectants per approved FDA monographs. Patients were evaluated by the primary investigator for noticeable resolution or improvements in dryness, scaling, skin cracks, and erythema. PMID:26199889

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Improving Photovoltaic Performance of the Linear A-Ar-A-type Small Molecules with Diketopyrropyrrole Arms by Tuning the Linkage Position of the Anthracene Core.

    PubMed

    Duan, Xiongwei; Xiao, Manjun; Chen, Jianhua; Wang, Xiangdong; Peng, Wenhong; Duan, Linrui; Tan, Hua; Lei, Gangtie; Yang, Renqiang; Zhu, Weiguo

    2015-08-26

    Two isomeric A-Ar-A-type small molecules of DPP2An(9,10) and DPP2An(2,6), were synthesized with two acceptor arms of diketopyrropyrroles (DPP) and a planar aryl hydrocarbon core of the different substituted anthracene (An), respectively. Their thermal stability, crystallinity, optoelectronic, and photovoltaic performances were investigated. Significantly red-shifted absorption profile and higher HOMO level were observed for the DPP2An(2,6) with 2,6-substituted anthracene relative to the DPP2An(9,10) with 9,10-substituted anthracene, as the former exhibited better planarity and a larger conjugate system. As a result, the solution-processing solar cells based on DPP2An(2,6) and PC71BM (w/w,1:1) displayed remarkably increased power conversion efficiency of 5.44% and short-circuit current density (Jsc) of 11.90 mA/cm(2) under 1% 1,8-diiodooctane additive. The PCE and Jsc values were 3.7 and 2.9 times those of the optimized DPP2An(9,10)-based cells, respectively. This work demonstrates that changing the linkage position of the anthracene core in the A-Ar-A-type SMs can strongly improve the photovoltaic properties in organic solar cells.

  4. Improvements, extensions, and practical aspects of rapid ASAP-HSQC and ALSOFAST-HSQC pulse sequences for studying small molecules at natural abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze-Sünninghausen, David; Becker, Johanna; Koos, Martin R. M.; Luy, Burkhard

    2017-08-01

    Previously we introduced two novel NMR experiments for small molecules, the so-called ASAP-HSQC and ALSOFAST-HSQC (Schulze-Sünninghausen et al., 2014), which allow the detection of heteronuclear one-bond correlations in less than 30 s at natural abundance. We propose an improved symmetrized pulse scheme of the basic experiment to minimize artifact intensities and the combination with non-uniform sampling to enable the acquisition of conventional HSQC spectra in as short as a couple of seconds and extremely 13C-resolved spectra in less than ten minutes. Based on steady state investigations, a first estimate to relative achievable signal intensities with respect to conventional, ASAP-, and ALSOFAST-HSQC experiments is given. In addition, we describe several extensions to the basic pulse schemes, like a multiplicity-edited version, a revised symmetrized CLIP-ASAP-HSQC, an ASAP-/ALSOFAST-HSQC sequence with broadband BIRD-based 1H,1H decoupling, and a symmetrized sequence optimized for water suppression. Finally, RF-power considerations with respect to the high duty cycle of the experiments are given.

  5. Improved Proliferative Capacity of NP-Like Cells Derived from Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Neuronal Transdifferentiation by Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Aguilera-Castrejon, Alejandro; Pasantes-Morales, Herminia; Montesinos, Juan José; Cortés-Medina, Lorena V; Castro-Manrreza, Marta E; Mayani, Héctor; Ramos-Mandujano, Gerardo

    2017-02-01

    Neural progenitors (NP), found in fetal and adult brain, differentiate into neurons potentially able to be used in cell replacement therapies. This approach however, raises technical and ethical problems which limit their potential therapeutic use. Alternately, NPs can be obtained by transdifferentiation of non-neural somatic cells evading these difficulties. Human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are suggested to transdifferentiate into NP-like cells, which however, have a low proliferation capacity. The present study demonstrates the requisite of cell adhesion for proliferation and survival of NP-like cells and re-evaluates some neuronal features after differentiation by standard procedures. Mature neuronal markers, though, were not detected by these procedures. A chemical differentiation approach was used in this study to convert MSCs-derived NP-like cells into neurons by using a cocktail of six molecules, CHIR99021, I-BET151, RepSox, DbcAMP, forskolin and Y-27632, defined after screening combinations of 22 small molecules. Direct transdifferentiation of MSCs into neuronal cells was obtained with the small molecule cocktail, without requiring the NP-like intermediate stage.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Stepped MS(All) Relied Transition (SMART): An approach to rapidly determine optimal multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry parameters for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ye, Hui; Zhu, Lin; Wang, Lin; Liu, Huiying; Zhang, Jun; Wu, Mengqiu; Wang, Guangji; Hao, Haiping

    2016-02-11

    Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) is a universal approach for quantitative analysis because of its high specificity and sensitivity. Nevertheless, optimization of MRM parameters remains as a time and labor-intensive task particularly in multiplexed quantitative analysis of small molecules in complex mixtures. In this study, we have developed an approach named Stepped MS(All) Relied Transition (SMART) to predict the optimal MRM parameters of small molecules. SMART requires firstly a rapid and high-throughput analysis of samples using a Stepped MS(All) technique (sMS(All)) on a Q-TOF, which consists of serial MS(All) events acquired from low CE to gradually stepped-up CE values in a cycle. The optimal CE values can then be determined by comparing the extracted ion chromatograms for the ion pairs of interest among serial scans. The SMART-predicted parameters were found to agree well with the parameters optimized on a triple quadrupole from the same vendor using a mixture of standards. The parameters optimized on a triple quadrupole from a different vendor was also employed for comparison, and found to be linearly correlated with the SMART-predicted parameters, suggesting the potential applications of the SMART approach among different instrumental platforms. This approach was further validated by applying to simultaneous quantification of 31 herbal components in the plasma of rats treated with a herbal prescription. Because the sMS(All) acquisition can be accomplished in a single run for multiple components independent of standards, the SMART approach are expected to find its wide application in the multiplexed quantitative analysis of complex mixtures.

  9. Improving performance and lifetime of small-molecule organic photovoltaic devices by using bathocuproine-fullerene cathodic layer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shun-Wei; Lee, Chih-Chien; Su, Wei-Cheng; Yuan, Chih-Hsien; Shu, Yi-Sheng; Chang, Wen-Chang; Guo, Jhih-Yan; Chiu, Chien-Feng; Li, Ya-Ze; Su, Tsung-Hao; Chen, Kuan-Ting; Chang, Po-Chien; Yeh, Tzu-Hung; Liu, Yu-Hsuan

    2015-05-06

    In this study, we compared the use of neat bathocuproine (BCP) and BCP:C60 mixed buffer layers in chloroboron subphthalocyanine (SubPc)/C60 bilayer organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices and analyzed their influence on device performance. Replacing the conventional BCP with BCP:C60 enabled manipulating the optical field distribution for optimizing the optical properties of the devices. Estimation of the interfacial barrier indicated that the insertion of the BCP:C60 between the C60 and electrode can effectively reduce the barrier for electrons and enhance electron collection at the electrode. Temperature-dependent measurements of the OPV devices performed to calculate the barrier height at the SubPc/C60 interface suggested that band bending was larger when the BCP:C60 buffer layer was used, reflecting increased exciton dissociation efficiency. In addition, the device lifetime was considerably improved when the BCP:C60 buffer layer was used. The device performance was stabilized after the photodegradation of the active layers, thereby increasing the device lifetime compared with the use of the neat BCP buffer layer. Atomic force microscopy images showed that the neat BCP was easily crystallized and could degrade the cathodic interface, whereas the blend of C60 and BCP suppressed the crystallization of BCP. Therefore, the optimal buffer layer improved both the device performance and the device lifetime.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-11

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Reversible linkage of two distinct small molecule inhibitors of Myc generates a dimeric inhibitor with improved potency that is active in myc over-expressing cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

    Wanner, Jutta; Romashko, Darlene; Werner, Douglas S; May, Earl W; Peng, Yue; Schulz, Ryan; Foreman, Kenneth W; Russo, Suzanne; Arnold, Lee D; Pingle, Maneesh; Bergstrom, Donald E; Barany, Francis; Thomson, Stuart

    2015-01-01

    We describe the successful application of a novel approach for generating dimeric Myc inhibitors by modifying and reversibly linking two previously described small molecules. We synthesized two directed libraries of monomers, each comprised of a ligand, a connector, and a bioorthogonal linker element, to identify the optimal dimer configuration required to inhibit Myc. We identified combinations of monomers, termed self-assembling dimeric inhibitors, which displayed synergistic inhibition of Myc-dependent cell growth. We confirmed that these dimeric inhibitors directly bind to Myc blocking its interaction with Max and affect transcription of MYC dependent genes. Control combinations that are unable to form a dimer do not show any synergistic effects in these assays. Collectively, these data validate our new approach to generate more potent and selective inhibitors of Myc by self-assembly from smaller, lower affinity components. This approach provides an opportunity for developing novel therapeutics against Myc and other challenging protein:protein interaction (PPI) target classes.

  14. Reversible Linkage of Two Distinct Small Molecule Inhibitors of Myc Generates a Dimeric Inhibitor with Improved Potency That Is Active in Myc Over-Expressing Cancer Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Wanner, Jutta; Romashko, Darlene; Werner, Douglas S.; May, Earl W.; Peng, Yue; Schulz, Ryan; Foreman, Kenneth W.; Russo, Suzanne; Arnold, Lee D.; Pingle, Maneesh; Bergstrom, Donald E.; Barany, Francis; Thomson, Stuart

    2015-01-01

    We describe the successful application of a novel approach for generating dimeric Myc inhibitors by modifying and reversibly linking two previously described small molecules. We synthesized two directed libraries of monomers, each comprised of a ligand, a connector, and a bioorthogonal linker element, to identify the optimal dimer configuration required to inhibit Myc. We identified combinations of monomers, termed self-assembling dimeric inhibitors, which displayed synergistic inhibition of Myc-dependent cell growth. We confirmed that these dimeric inhibitors directly bind to Myc blocking its interaction with Max and affect transcription of MYC dependent genes. Control combinations that are unable to form a dimer do not show any synergistic effects in these assays. Collectively, these data validate our new approach to generate more potent and selective inhibitors of Myc by self-assembly from smaller, lower affinity components. This approach provides an opportunity for developing novel therapeutics against Myc and other challenging protein:protein interaction (PPI) target classes. PMID:25875098

  15. 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

  16. Design, synthesis, and analysis of a polyethelene glycol-modified (PEGylated) small molecule inhibitor of integrin {alpha}4{beta}1 with improved pharmaceutical properties.

    PubMed

    Pepinsky, R B; Lee, W-C; Cornebise, M; Gill, A; Wortham, K; Chen, L L; Leone, D R; Giza, K; Dolinski, B M; Perper, S; Nickerson-Nutter, C; Lepage, D; Chakraborty, A; Whalley, E T; Petter, R C; Adams, S P; Lobb, R R; Scott, D M

    2005-02-01

    Integrin alpha4beta1 plays an important role in inflammatory processes by regulating the migration of leukocytes into inflamed tissues. Previously, we identified BIO5192 [2(S)-{[1-(3,5-dichloro-benzenesulfonyl)-pyrrolidine-2(S)-carbonyl]-amino}-4-[4-methyl-2(S)-(methyl-{2-[4-(3-o-tolyl-ureido)-phenyl]-acetyl}-amino)-pentanoylamino]-butyric acid], a highly selective and potent (K(D) of 9 pM) small molecule inhibitor of alpha4beta1. Although BIO5192 is efficacious in various animal models of inflammatory disease, high doses and daily treatment of the compound are needed to achieve a therapeutic effect because of its relatively short serum half-life. To address this issue, polyethylene glycol modification (PEGylation) was used as an approach to improve systemic exposure. BIO5192 was PEGylated by a targeted approach in which derivatizable amino groups were incorporated into the molecule. Two sites were identified that could be modified, and from these, five PEGylated compounds were synthesized and characterized. One compound, 2a-PEG (K(D) of 19 pM), was selected for in vivo studies. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of 2a-PEG were dramatically improved relative to the unmodified compound. The PEGylated compound was efficacious in a rat model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis at a 30-fold lower molar dose than the parent compound and required only a once-a-week dosing regimen compared with a daily treatment for BIO5192. Compound 2a-PEG was highly selective for alpha4beta1. These studies demonstrate the feasibility of PEGylation of alpha4beta1-targeted small molecules with retention of activity in vitro and in vivo. 2a-PEG, and related compounds, will be valuable reagents for assessing alpha4beta1 biology and may provide a new therapeutic approach to treatment of human inflammatory diseases.

  17. AutoDock4(Zn): an improved AutoDock force field for small-molecule docking to zinc metalloproteins.

    PubMed

    Santos-Martins, Diogo; Forli, Stefano; Ramos, Maria João; Olson, Arthur J

    2014-08-25

    Zinc is present in a wide variety of proteins and is important in the metabolism of most organisms. Zinc metalloenzymes are therapeutically relevant targets in diseases such as cancer, heart disease, bacterial infection, and Alzheimer's disease. In most cases a drug molecule targeting such enzymes establishes an interaction that coordinates with the zinc ion. Thus, accurate prediction of the interaction of ligands with zinc is an important aspect of computational docking and virtual screening against zinc containing proteins. We have extended the AutoDock force field to include a specialized potential describing the interactions of zinc-coordinating ligands. This potential describes both the energetic and geometric components of the interaction. The new force field, named AutoDock4Zn, was calibrated on a data set of 292 crystal complexes containing zinc. Redocking experiments show that the force field provides significant improvement in performance in both free energy of binding estimation as well as in root-mean-square deviation from the crystal structure pose. The new force field has been implemented in AutoDock without modification to the source code.

  18. Vacuum-deposited small-molecule organic solar cells with high power conversion efficiencies by judicious molecular design and device optimization.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi-Hong; Lin, Li-Yen; Lu, Chih-Wei; Lin, Francis; Huang, Zheng-Yu; Lin, Hao-Wu; Wang, Po-Han; Liu, Yi-Hung; Wong, Ken-Tsung; Wen, Jianguo; Miller, Dean J; Darling, Seth B

    2012-08-22

    Three new tailor-made molecules (DPDCTB, DPDCPB, and DTDCPB) were strategically designed and convergently synthesized as donor materials for small-molecule organic solar cells. These compounds possess a donor-acceptor-acceptor molecular architecture, in which various electron-donating moieties are connected to an electron-withdrawing dicyanovinylene moiety through another electron-accepting 2,1,3-benzothiadiazole block. The molecular structures and crystal packings of DTDCPB and the previously reported DTDCTB were characterized by single-crystal X-ray crystallography. Photophysical and electrochemical properties as well as energy levels of this series of donor molecules were thoroughly investigated, affording clear structure-property relationships. By delicate manipulation of the trade-off between the photovoltage and the photocurrent via molecular structure engineering together with device optimizations, which included fine-tuning the layer thicknesses and the donor:acceptor blended ratio in the bulk heterojunction layer, vacuum-deposited hybrid planar-mixed heterojunction devices utilizing DTDCPB as the donor and C(70) as the acceptor showed the best performance with a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 6.6 ± 0.2% (the highest PCE of 6.8%), along with an open-circuit voltage (V(oc)) of 0.93 ± 0.02 V, a short-circuit current density (J(sc)) of 13.48 ± 0.27 mA/cm(2), and a fill factor (FF) of 0.53 ± 0.02, under 1 sun (100 mW/cm(2)) AM 1.5G simulated solar illumination.

  19. Targeting the Type II Secretion System: Development, Optimization, and Validation of a High-Throughput Screen for the Identification of Small Molecule Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Waack, Ursula; Johnson, Tanya L.; Chedid, Khalil; Xi, Chuanwu; Simmons, Lyle A.; Mobley, Harry L. T.; Sandkvist, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Nosocomial pathogens that develop multidrug resistance present an increasing problem for healthcare facilities. Due to its rapid rise in antibiotic resistance, Acinetobacter baumannii is one of the most concerning gram-negative species. A. baumannii typically infects immune compromised individuals resulting in a variety of outcomes, including pneumonia and bacteremia. Using a murine model for bacteremia, we have previously shown that the type II secretion system (T2SS) contributes to in vivo fitness of A. baumannii. Here, we provide support for a role of the T2SS in protecting A. baumannii from human complement as deletion of the T2SS gene gspD resulted in a 100-fold reduction in surviving cells when incubated with human serum. This effect was abrogated in the absence of Factor B, a component of the alternative pathway of complement activation, indicating that the T2SS protects A. baumannii against the alternative complement pathway. Because inactivation of the T2SS results in loss of secretion of multiple enzymes, reduced in vivo fitness, and increased sensitivity to human complement, the T2SS may be a suitable target for therapeutic intervention. Accordingly, we developed and optimized a whole-cell high-throughput screening (HTS) assay based on secreted lipase activity to identify small molecule inhibitors of the T2SS. We tested the reproducibility of our assay using a 6,400-compound library. With small variation within controls and a dynamic range between positive and negative controls, the assay had a z-factor of 0.65, establishing its suitability for HTS. Our screen identified the lipase inhibitors Orlistat and Ebelactone B demonstrating the specificity of the assay. To eliminate inhibitors of lipase activity and lipase expression, two counter assays were developed and optimized. By implementing these assays, all seven tricyclic antidepressants present in the library were found to be inhibitors of the lipase, highlighting the potential of identifying

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Selective small molecule Stat3 inhibitor reduces breast cancer tumor-initiating cells and improves recurrence free survival in a human-xenograft model.

    PubMed

    Dave, Bhuvanesh; Landis, Melissa D; Tweardy, David J; Chang, Jenny C; Dobrolecki, Lacey E; Wu, Meng-Fen; Zhang, Xiaomei; Westbrook, Thomas F; Hilsenbeck, Susan G; Liu, Dan; Lewis, Michael T

    2012-01-01

    Metastasis and disease relapse are hypothesized to result from tumor initiating cells (TICs). Previously, we have defined a CD44+/CD24-/low mammosphere-forming tumorigenic 493-gene signature in breast cancer. Stat3 was identified as a critical node in self-renewal based on an ongoing lentiviral shRNA screen being conducted in two breast cancer cell lines SUM159 and BT549. In corroborating work, targeting the SH2 domain of Stat3 with a novel small molecule decreased the percentage of cells expressing TIC markers (CD44+/CD24-/low and ALDH+) and mammosphere formation in p-Stat3 overexpressing human breast cancer xenografts in SCID-beige mice. Importantly, we observed a four-fold improvement in the 30-day recurrence-free survival relative to docetaxel alone with the addition of the Stat3 inhibitor in the chemoresistant tumor model. Thus, these findings provide a strong impetus for the development of selective Stat3 inhibitors in order to improve survival in patients with p-Stat3 overexpressing tumors.

  2. Selective Small Molecule Stat3 Inhibitor Reduces Breast Cancer Tumor-Initiating Cells and Improves Recurrence Free Survival in a Human-Xenograft Model

    PubMed Central

    Dave, Bhuvanesh; Landis, Melissa D.; Dobrolecki, Lacey E.; Wu, Meng-Fen; Zhang, Xiaomei; Westbrook, Thomas F.; Hilsenbeck, Susan G.; Liu, Dan; Lewis, Michael T.; Tweardy, David J.; Chang, Jenny C.

    2012-01-01

    Metastasis and disease relapse are hypothesized to result from tumor initiating cells (TICs). Previously, we have defined a CD44+/CD24−/low mammosphere-forming tumorigenic 493-gene signature in breast cancer. Stat3 was identified as a critical node in self-renewal based on an ongoing lentiviral shRNA screen being conducted in two breast cancer cell lines SUM159 and BT549. In corroborating work, targeting the SH2 domain of Stat3 with a novel small molecule decreased the percentage of cells expressing TIC markers (CD44+/CD24−/low and ALDH+) and mammosphere formation in p-Stat3 overexpressing human breast cancer xenografts in SCID-beige mice. Importantly, we observed a four-fold improvement in the 30-day recurrence-free survival relative to docetaxel alone with the addition of the Stat3 inhibitor in the chemoresistant tumor model. Thus, these findings provide a strong impetus for the development of selective Stat3 inhibitors in order to improve survival in patients with p-Stat3 overexpressing tumors. PMID:22879872

  3. 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.

  4. A TrkB Small Molecule Partial Agonist Rescues TrkB Phosphorylation Deficits and Improves Respiratory Function in a Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, Danielle; Yang, Tao; Ogier, Michael; Adams, Ian; Mirakhur, Yatin; Wang, Qifang; Massa, Stephen M.; Longo, Frank M.; Katz, David M.

    2012-01-01

    Rett syndrome (RTT) results from loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and is characterized by abnormal motor, respiratory and autonomic control, cognitive impairment, autistic-like behaviors and increased risk of seizures. RTT patients and Mecp2 null mice exhibit reduced expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which has been linked in mice to increased respiratory frequency, a hallmark of RTT. The present study was undertaken to test the hypotheses that BDNF deficits in Mecp2 mutants are associated with reduced activation of the BDNF receptor, TrkB, and that pharmacologic activation of TrkB would improve respiratory function. We characterized BDNF protein expression, TrkB activation and respiration in heterozygous female Mecp2 mutant mice (Het), a model that recapitulates the somatic mosaicism for mutant Mecp2 found in typical RTT patients, and evaluated the ability of a small molecule TrkB agonist, LM22A-4, to ameliorate biochemical and functional abnormalities in these animals. We found that Het mice exhibit 1) reduced BDNF expression and TrkB activation in the medulla and pons and 2) breathing dysfunction, characterized by increased frequency due to periods of tachypnea, and increased apneas, as in RTT patients. Treatment of Het mice with LM22A-4 for 4 weeks rescued wildtype levels of TrkB phosphorylation in the medulla and pons and restored wildtype breathing frequency. These data provide new insight into the role of BDNF signaling deficits in the pathophysiology of RTT and highlight TrkB as a possible therapeutic target in this disease. PMID:22302819

  5. A TrkB small molecule partial agonist rescues TrkB phosphorylation deficits and improves respiratory function in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Danielle A; Yang, Tao; Ogier, Michael; Adams, Ian; Mirakhur, Yatin; Wang, Qifang; Massa, Stephen M; Longo, Frank M; Katz, David M

    2012-02-01

    Rett syndrome (RTT) results from loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and is characterized by abnormal motor, respiratory and autonomic control, cognitive impairment, autistic-like behaviors and increased risk of seizures. RTT patients and Mecp2-null mice exhibit reduced expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked in mice to increased respiratory frequency, a hallmark of RTT. The present study was undertaken to test the hypotheses that BDNF deficits in Mecp2 mutants are associated with reduced activation of the BDNF receptor, TrkB, and that pharmacologic activation of TrkB would improve respiratory function. We characterized BDNF protein expression, TrkB activation and respiration in heterozygous female Mecp2 mutant mice (Het), a model that recapitulates the somatic mosaicism for mutant MECP2 found in typical RTT patients, and evaluated the ability of a small molecule TrkB agonist, LM22A-4, to ameliorate biochemical and functional abnormalities in these animals. We found that Het mice exhibit (1) reduced BDNF expression and TrkB activation in the medulla and pons and (2) breathing dysfunction, characterized by increased frequency due to periods of tachypnea, and increased apneas, as in RTT patients. Treatment of Het mice with LM22A-4 for 4 weeks rescued wild-type levels of TrkB phosphorylation in the medulla and pons and restored wild-type breathing frequency. These data provide new insight into the role of BDNF signaling deficits in the pathophysiology of RTT and highlight TrkB as a possible therapeutic target in this disease.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-16

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

  10. Structure-Guided Design and Optimization of Small Molecules Targeting the Protein–Protein Interaction between the von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) E3 Ubiquitin Ligase and the Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) Alpha Subunit with in Vitro Nanomolar Affinities

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    E3 ubiquitin ligases are attractive targets in the ubiquitin–proteasome system, however, the development of small-molecule ligands has been rewarded with limited success. The von Hippel–Lindau protein (pVHL) is the substrate recognition subunit of the VHL E3 ligase that targets HIF-1α for degradation. We recently reported inhibitors of the pVHL:HIF-1α interaction, however they exhibited moderate potency. Herein, we report the design and optimization, guided by X-ray crystal structures, of a ligand series with nanomolar binding affinities. PMID:25166285

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yanting

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-28

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

  16. 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.

  17. Improvement of intramolecular charge transfer within a donor-acceptor blend by doping novel synthesized benzothiadiazole small molecules in solid state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinçalp, Haluk; Murat, Gözde; İçli, Sıddık

    2014-07-01

    Three electron-deficient small molecules based on 2,1,3-benzothiadiazole (BTD) units namely, 4,7-bis(3-methoxyphenyl)-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole (BT1), (3-{7-[3-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole-4-yl}phenyl)dimethylamine (BT2) and 3,3‧-(2,1,3-benzothiadiazole-4,7-dyl)dianiline (BT3) were synthesized and their photophysical properties were investigated systematically to understand their potential usage in ternary organic solar cells (OSCs) as additive material to enhance the cell efficiency. All these molecules show broad absorption bands in 350-750 nm on glass substrate and their optical band gaps were calculated to be around 2.50-2.80 eV. BTD fluorescence dynamics were measured in polymer:BT1:fullerene blends with varying emission wavelengths of active layer. Fluorescence emission and time resolved measurements indicated photoinduced energy shift from BT1 dye to fullerene and also from polymer to BT1 dye upon excitation of the active layer.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Huryn, Donna M; Smith, Amos B

    2009-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Computer-Aided Lead Optimization: Improved Small-Molecule Inhibitor of the Zinc Endopeptidase of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-08-01

    the yield of Friedel - Crafts acylation [29,30] for preparing 5 (Figure 3) was reduced to Figure 1. Chemical structures of inhibitors 1 and 2. doi...perform Friedel - Crafts acylation first and then Suzuki coupling (Figure 4); this scheme enables facile derivatization of the phenyl group substituted

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. AJS1669, a novel small-molecule muscle glycogen synthase activator, improves glucose metabolism and reduces body fat mass in mice.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Kazuhiro; Takeshita, Sen; Kawasaki, Noriko; Miyanaga, Wataru; Okamatsu, Yoriko; Dohi, Mizuki; Nakagawa, Tadakiyo

    2017-04-01

    Impaired glycogen synthesis and turnover are common in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. As glycogen synthase (GS) is a key enzyme involved in the synthetic process, it presents a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In the present study, we identified a novel, potent and orally available GS activator AJS1669 {sodium 2-[[5-[[4-(4,5-difluoro-2-methylsulfanyl-phenyl)phenoxy] methyl]furan-2-carbonyl]-(2-furylmethyl)amino] acetate}. In vitro, we performed a glycogen synthase 1 (GYS1) activation assay for screening GS activators and identified that the activity of AJS1669 was further potentiated in the presence of glucose-6-phosphate (G6P). In vivo, we used ob/ob mice to evaluate the novel anti-diabetic effects of AJS1669 by measuring basal blood glucose levels, glucose tolerance and body fat mass index. Repeated administration of AJS1669 over 4 weeks reduced blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels in ob/ob mice. AJS1669 also improved glucose tolerance in a dose-dependent manner, and decreased body fat mass. The mRNA levels of genes involved in mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial biogenesis were elevated in skeletal muscle tissue following AJS1669 treatment. Hepatic tissue of treated mice also exhibited elevated expression of genes associated with fatty acid oxidation. In contrast to ob/ob mice, in C57Bl/6 mice AJS1669 administration did not alter body weight or reduce glucose levels. These results demonstrate that pharmacological agents that activate GYS1, the main GS subtype found in skeletal muscle, have potential for use as novel treatments for diabetes that improve glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle.

  7. AJS1669, a novel small-molecule muscle glycogen synthase activator, improves glucose metabolism and reduces body fat mass in mice

    PubMed Central

    Nakano, Kazuhiro; Takeshita, Sen; Kawasaki, Noriko; Miyanaga, Wataru; Okamatsu, Yoriko; Dohi, Mizuki; Nakagawa, Tadakiyo

    2017-01-01

    Impaired glycogen synthesis and turnover are common in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. As glycogen synthase (GS) is a key enzyme involved in the synthetic process, it presents a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In the present study, we identified a novel, potent and orally available GS activator AJS1669 {sodium 2-[[5-[[4-(4,5-difluoro-2-methylsulfanyl-phenyl) phenoxy] methyl]furan-2-carbonyl]-(2-furylmethyl)amino] acetate}. In vitro, we performed a glycogen synthase 1 (GYS1) activation assay for screening GS activators and identified that the activity of AJS1669 was further potentiated in the presence of glucose-6-phosphate (G6P). In vivo, we used ob/ob mice to evaluate the novel anti-diabetic effects of AJS1669 by measuring basal blood glucose levels, glucose tolerance and body fat mass index. Repeated administration of AJS1669 over 4 weeks reduced blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels in ob/ob mice. AJS1669 also improved glucose tolerance in a dose-dependent manner, and decreased body fat mass. The mRNA levels of genes involved in mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial biogenesis were elevated in skeletal muscle tissue following AJS1669 treatment. Hepatic tissue of treated mice also exhibited elevated expression of genes associated with fatty acid oxidation. In contrast to ob/ob mice, in C57Bl/6 mice AJS1669 administration did not alter body weight or reduce glucose levels. These results demonstrate that pharmacological agents that activate GYS1, the main GS subtype found in skeletal muscle, have potential for use as novel treatments for diabetes that improve glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle. PMID:28290602

  8. Improved small molecule drug release from in situ forming poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) scaffolds incorporating poly(β-amino ester) and hydroxyapatite microparticles.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Paul D; Palomino, Pablo; Milbrandt, Todd A; Hilt, J Zach; Puleo, David A

    2014-01-01

    In situ forming implants are an attractive choice for controlled drug release into a fixed location. Currently, rapidly solidifying solvent exchange systems suffer from a high initial burst, and sustained release behavior is tied to polymer precipitation and degradation rate. The present studies investigated addition of hydroxyapatite (HA) and drug-loaded poly(β-amino ester) (PBAE) microparticles to in situ forming poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-based systems to prolong release and reduce burst. PBAEs were synthesized, imbibed with simvastatin (osteogenic) or clodronate (anti-resorptive), and then ground into microparticles. Microparticles were mixed with or without HA into a PLGA solution, and the mixture was injected into buffer, leading to precipitation and creating solid scaffolds with embedded HA and PBAE microparticles. Simvastatin release was prolonged through 30 days, and burst release was reduced from 81 to 39% when loaded into PBAE microparticles. Clodronate burst was reduced from 49 to 32% after addition of HA filler, but release kinetics were unaffected after loading into PBAE microparticles. Scaffold dry mass remained unchanged through day 15, with a pronounced increase in degradation rate after day 30, while wet scaffolds experienced a mass increase through day 25 due to swelling. Porosity and pore size changed throughout degradation, likely due to a combination of swelling and degradation. The system offers improved release kinetics, multiple release profiles, and rapid solidification compared to traditional in situ forming implants.

  9. Improved small molecule drug release from in situ forming poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) scaffolds incorporating poly(β-amino ester) and hydroxyapatite microparticles

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Paul D.; Palomino, Pablo; Milbrandt, Todd A.; Hilt, J. Zach; Puleo, David A.

    2014-01-01

    In situ forming implants are an attractive choice for controlled drug release into a fixed location. Currently, rapidly solidifying solvent exchange systems suffer from a high initial burst, and sustained release behavior is tied to polymer precipitation and degradation rate. The present studies investigated addition of hydroxyapatite (HA) and drug-loaded poly(β-amino ester) (PBAE) microparticles to in situ forming poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)–based systems to prolong release and reduce burst. PBAEs were synthesized, imbibed with simvastatin (osteogenic) or clodronate (anti-resorptive), and then ground into microparticles. Microparticles were mixed with or without HA into a PLGA solution, and the mixture was injected into buffer, leading to precipitation and creating solid scaffolds with embedded HA and PBAE microparticles. Simvastatin release was prolonged through 30 days, and burst release was reduced from 81% to 39% when loaded into PBAE microparticles. Clodronate burst was reduced from 49% to 32% after addition of HA filler, but release kinetics were unaffected after loading into PBAE microparticles. Scaffold dry mass remained unchanged through day 15, with a pronounced increase in degradation rate after day 30, while wet scaffolds experienced a mass increase through day 25 due to swelling. Porosity and pore size changed throughout degradation, likely due to a combination of swelling and degradation. The system offers improved release kinetics, multiple release profiles, and rapid solidification compared to traditional in situ forming implants. PMID:24903524

  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. Work-Function and Surface Energy Tunable Cyanoacrylic Acid Small-Molecule Derivative Interlayer on Planar ZnO Nanorods for Improved Organic Photovoltaic Performance.

    PubMed

    Ambade, Swapnil B; Ambade, Rohan B; Bagde, Sushil S; Lee, Soo-Hyoung

    2016-12-28

    The issue of work-function and surface energy is fundamental to "decode" the critical inorganic/organic interface in hybrid organic photovoltaics, which influences important photovoltaic events like exciton dissociation, charge transfer, photocurrent (Jsc), open-circuit voltage (Voc), etc. We demonstrate that by incorporating an interlayer of cyanoacrylic acid small molecular layer (SML) on solution-processed, spin-coated, planar ZnO nanorods (P-ZnO NRs), higher photovoltaic (PV) performances were achieved in both inverted organic photovoltaic (iOPV) and hybrid organic photovoltaic (HOPV) devices, where ZnO acts as an "electron-transporting layer" and as an "electron acceptor", respectively. For the tuned range of surface energy from 52.5 to 33 mN/m, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) iOPVs based on poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and phenyl-C60-butyric acid methyl ester (PC60BM) increases from 3.16% to 3.68%, and that based on poly[4,8-bis(5-(2-ethylhexyl)thiophen-2-yl)benzo[1,2-b;4,5b']dithiophene-2,6-diyl-alt-(4-(2-ethylhexyl)-3-fluorothieno[3,4-b]thiophene)-2-carboxylate-2-6-diyl)] (PTB7:Th):[6,6]-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) photoactive BHJ increases from 6.55% to 8.0%, respectively. The improved PV performance in iOPV devices is majorly attributed to enhanced photocurrents achieved as a result of reduced surface energy and greater electron affinity from the covalent attachment of the strong electron-withdrawing cyano moiety, while that in HOPV devices, where PCE increases from 0.21% to 0.79% for SML-modified devices, is ascribed to a large increase in Voc benefitted due to reduced work function effected from the presence of strong dipole moment in SML that points away from P-ZnO NRs.

  13. 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

  14. A Prospective Method to Guide Small Molecule Drug Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Alan T.

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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)…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Auxin biology revealed by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-05-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Lirui

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Small-molecule 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.

  4. 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

  5. Small molecule control of bacterial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Worthington, Roberta J.; Richards, Justin J.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mikitsh, John L; Chacko, Ann-Marie

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Connecting synthetic chemistry decisions to cell and genome biology using small-molecule phenotypic profiling

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Bridget K.; Clemons, Paul A.

    2009-01-01

    Discovering small-molecule modulators for thousands of gene products requires multiple stages of biological testing, specificity evaluation, and chemical optimization. Many cellular profiling methods, including cellular sensitivity, gene-expression, and cellular imaging, have emerged as methods to assess the functional consequences of biological perturbations. Cellular profiling methods applied to small-molecule science provide opportunities to use complex phenotypic information to prioritize and optimize small-molecule structures simultaneously against multiple biological endpoints. As throughput increases and cost decreases for such technologies, we see an emerging paradigm of using more information earlier in probe- and drug-discovery efforts. Moreover, increasing access to public datasets makes possible the construction of “virtual” profiles of small-molecule performance, even when multiplexed measurements were not performed or when multidimensional profiling was not the original intent. We review some key conceptual advances in small-molecule phenotypic profiling, emphasizing connections to other information, such as protein-binding measurements, genetic perturbations, and cell states. We argue that to maximally leverage these measurements in probe and drug discovery requires a fundamental connection to synthetic chemistry, allowing the consequences of synthetic decisions to be described in terms of changes in small-molecule profiles. Mining such data in the context of chemical structure and synthesis strategies can inform decisions about chemistry procurement and library development, leading to optimal small-molecule screening collections. PMID:19825513

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Impact of the electron-transport layer on the performance of solution-processed small-molecule organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Long, Guankui; Wan, Xiangjian; Kan, Bin; Hu, Zhicheng; Yang, Xuan; Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Mingtao; Wu, Hongbing; Huang, Fei; Su, Shijian; Cao, Yong; Chen, Yongsheng

    2014-08-01

    Although the performance of polymer solar cells has been improved significantly recently through careful optimization with different interlayers for the same materials, more improvement is needed in this respect for small-molecule-based solar cells, particularly for the electron-transport layers (ETLs). In this work, three different solution-processed ETLs, PFN, ZnO nanoparticles, and LiF, were investigated and compared in the performance of small-molecule-based devices, and power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of 8.32, 7.30, and 7.38% were achieved, respectively. The mechanism for the ETL-induced enhancement has been studied, and different ETLs have a significantly different impact on the device performance. The clearly improved performance of PFN is attributed to the combination of reduced bimolecular recombination and increased effective photon absorption in the active layer.

  3. 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).

  4. Design of Diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP)-Based Small Molecules for Organic-Solar-Cell Applications.

    PubMed

    Tang, Ailing; Zhan, Chuanlang; Yao, Jiannian; Zhou, Erjun

    2017-01-01

    After the first report in 2008, diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP)-based small-molecule photovoltaic materials have been intensively explored. The power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) for the DPP-based small-molecule donors have been improved up to 8%. Furthermore, through judicious structure modification, DPP-based small molecules can also be converted into electron-acceptor materials, and, recently, some exciting progress has been achieved. The development of DPP-based photovoltaic small molecules is summarized here, and the photovoltaic performance is discussed in relation to structural modifications, such as the variations of donor-acceptor building blocks, alkyl substitutions, and the type of conjugated bridges, as well as end-capped groups. It is expected that the discussion will provide a guideline in the exploration of novel and promising DPP-containing photovoltaic small molecules. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-21

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

  8. A-D-A small molecules for solution-processed organic photovoltaic cells.

    PubMed

    Ni, Wang; Wan, Xiangjian; Li, Miaomiao; Wang, Yunchuang; Chen, Yongsheng

    2015-03-25

    A-D-A small molecules have drawn more and more attention in solution-processed organic solar cells due to the advantages of a diversity of structures, easy control of energy levels, etc. Recently, a power conversion efficiency of nearly 10% has been achieved through careful material design and device optimization. This feature article reviews recent representative progress in the design and application of A-D-A small molecules in organic photovoltaic cells.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Designing a small molecule erythropoietin mimetic.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Frank

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    DOE 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-24

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

  18. 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

  19. Direct Proximity Tagging of Small Molecule Protein Targets Using an Engineered NEDD8 Ligase.

    PubMed

    Hill, Zachary B; Pollock, Samuel B; Zhuang, Min; Wells, James A

    2016-10-12

    Identifying the protein targets of bioactive small molecules remains a major problem in the discovery of new chemical probes and therapeutics. While activity-based probes and photo-cross-linkers have had success in identifying protein targets of small molecules, each technique has limitations. Here we describe a method for direct proximity tagging of proteins that bind small molecules. We engineered a promiscuous ligase based on the NEDD8 conjugating enzyme, Ubc12, which can be covalently linked to a small molecule of interest. When target proteins bind the small molecule, they are directly labeled on surface lysines with a biotinylated derivative of the small ubiquitin homologue, NEDD8. This unique covalent tag can then be used to identify the small molecule binding proteins. Utilizing the drug dasatinib, we have shown that dasatinib-directed NEDDylation occurs for known endogenous protein binders in complex cell lysates. In addition, we have been able to improve NEDDylation efficiency through rational mutagenesis. Finally, we have shown that affinity-directed NEDDylation can be applied to two other protein-ligand interactions beyond kinases. Proximity tagging using this engineered ligase requires direct binding of the target and, thus, provides a useful and orthogonal approach to facilitate small molecule target identification.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A dual small-molecule rheostat for precise control of protein concentration in Mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yu Hsuan; Pratt, Matthew R

    2014-04-14

    One of the most successful strategies for controlling protein concentrations in living cells relies on protein destabilization domains (DD). Under normal conditions, a DD will be rapidly degraded by the proteasome. However, the same DD can be stabilized or "shielded" in a stoichiometric complex with a small molecule, enabling dose-dependent control of its concentration. This process has been exploited by several labs to post-translationally control the expression levels of proteins in vitro as well as in vivo, although the previous technologies resulted in permanent fusion of the protein of interest to the DD, which can affect biological activity and complicate results. We previously reported a complementary strategy, termed traceless shielding (TShld), in which the protein of interest is released in its native form. Here, we describe an optimized protein concentration control system, TTShld, which retains the traceless features of TShld but utilizes two tiers of small molecule control to set protein concentrations in living cells. These experiments provide the first protein concentration control system that results in both a wide range of protein concentrations and proteins free from engineered fusion constructs. The TTShld system has a greatly improved dynamic range compared to our previously reported system, and the traceless feature is attractive for elucidation of the consequences of protein concentration in cell biology. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Antibacterial small molecules targeting the conserved TOPRIM domain of DNA gyrase

    PubMed Central

    Labroli, Marc; Painter, Ronald E.; Wiltsie, Judyann; Sherborne, Brad; Murgolo, Nicholas; Sher, Xinwei; Mann, Paul; Zuck, Paul; Garlisi, Charles G.; Su, Jing; Kargman, Stacia; Xiao, Li; Scapin, Giovanna; Salowe, Scott; Devito, Kristine; Sheth, Payal; Buist, Nichole; Tan, Christopher M.; Black, Todd A.; Roemer, Terry

    2017-01-01

    To combat the threat of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, novel agents that circumvent established resistance mechanisms are urgently needed. Our approach was to focus first on identifying bioactive small molecules followed by chemical lead prioritization and target identification. Within this annotated library of bioactives, we identified a small molecule with activity against efflux-deficient Escherichia coli and other sensitized Gram-negatives. Further studies suggested that this compound inhibited DNA replication and selection for resistance identified mutations in a subunit of E. coli DNA gyrase, a type II topoisomerase. Our initial compound demonstrated weak inhibition of DNA gyrase activity while optimized compounds demonstrated significantly improved inhibition of E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa DNA gyrase and caused cleaved complex stabilization, a hallmark of certain bactericidal DNA gyrase inhibitors. Amino acid substitutions conferring resistance to this new class of DNA gyrase inhibitors reside exclusively in the TOPRIM domain of GyrB and are not associated with resistance to the fluoroquinolones, suggesting a novel binding site for a gyrase inhibitor. PMID:28700746

  7. Antibacterial small molecules targeting the conserved TOPRIM domain of DNA gyrase.

    PubMed

    Walker, Scott S; Labroli, Marc; Painter, Ronald E; Wiltsie, Judyann; Sherborne, Brad; Murgolo, Nicholas; Sher, Xinwei; Mann, Paul; Zuck, Paul; Garlisi, Charles G; Su, Jing; Kargman, Stacia; Xiao, Li; Scapin, Giovanna; Salowe, Scott; Devito, Kristine; Sheth, Payal; Buist, Nichole; Tan, Christopher M; Black, Todd A; Roemer, Terry

    2017-01-01

    To combat the threat of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, novel agents that circumvent established resistance mechanisms are urgently needed. Our approach was to focus first on identifying bioactive small molecules followed by chemical lead prioritization and target identification. Within this annotated library of bioactives, we identified a small molecule with activity against efflux-deficient Escherichia coli and other sensitized Gram-negatives. Further studies suggested that this compound inhibited DNA replication and selection for resistance identified mutations in a subunit of E. coli DNA gyrase, a type II topoisomerase. Our initial compound demonstrated weak inhibition of DNA gyrase activity while optimized compounds demonstrated significantly improved inhibition of E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa DNA gyrase and caused cleaved complex stabilization, a hallmark of certain bactericidal DNA gyrase inhibitors. Amino acid substitutions conferring resistance to this new class of DNA gyrase inhibitors reside exclusively in the TOPRIM domain of GyrB and are not associated with resistance to the fluoroquinolones, suggesting a novel binding site for a gyrase inhibitor.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-21

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiang-Hong; Wang, Shuo

    2008-01-01

    The following review of sensors and biosensors focuses on the determination of commonly studied small molecule biological toxins, including mycotoxins and small molecule neurotoxins. Because of the high toxicity of small molecule toxins, an effective analysis technique for determining their toxicity is indispensable. Sensors and biosensors have emerged as sensitive and rapid techniques for toxicity analysis in the past decade. Several different sensors for the determination of mycotoxins and other small molecule neurotoxins have been reported in the literature, and many of these sensors such as tissue biosensors, enzyme sensors, optical immunosensors, electrochemical sensors, quartz crystal sensors, and surface plasmon resonance biosensors are reviewed in this paper. Sensors are a practical and convenient monitoring tool in the area of routine analysis, and their specificity, sensitivity, reproducibility and analysis stability should all be improved in future work. In addition, accuracy field portable sensing devices and multiplexing analysis devices will be important requirement for the future. PMID:27873857

  13. 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.

  14. [Lead compound optimization strategy (3)--Structure modification strategies for improving water solubility].

    PubMed

    Li, Zeng; Wang, Jiang; Zhou, Yu; Liu, Hong

    2014-09-01

    Water solubility is an essential physical chemistry property of organic small molecule drug and is also a very important issue in drug discovery. Good water solubility often leads to a good drug potency and pleasant pharmacokinetic profiles. To improve water solubility, structure modification is a straight and effective way based on the theory of water solubility. This review summarized valid structure modification strategies for improving water solubility including salt formation, polar group introduction, liposolubility reduction, conformation optimization and prodrug.

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-18

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Small 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.

  11. Alternative alcohol-soluble conjugated small molecule electrolytes for high-efficiency inverted polymer solar cells.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yueqin; Tan, Licheng; Chen, Lie; Chen, Yiwang

    2015-02-07

    New alcohol-soluble conjugated small molecule electrolytes (CSMEs), 3,6-bis-(5-benzoic acid-thiophen-2-yl)-2,5-bis-(2-ethylhexyl)-2,5-dihydro-pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-dione liquid crystalline (DPP-COOH) and di-tetrabutylammonium cis-bis(isothiocyanato)bis(2,2'-bipyridyl-4,4'-dicarboxylato)ruthenium(II) dye (N719), are developed as interfacial modification in inverted polymer solar cells (PSCs). Further optimization of the device architecture by combining the electrolytes as hole and electron buffer layers can significantly promote the photovoltaic performances of PSCs due to the integrated advantages of excellent alcohol processability, hole and electron mobility, interfacial dipole effect and good energy level alignment with electrodes. Moreover, the PSCs with the CSMEs interlayers based on narrow band-gap PTB7:PC71BM active layers show considerable improvement in power conversion efficiency (PCE), compared with P3HT:PCBM active layer-based devices. Devices with DPP-COOH and N719 modifications after thermal treatment at 120 °C exhibit the PCE of 8.0% and 7.6% under AM 1.5G irradiation, respectively, improving from 6.7% PCE of the pristine device without any interfacial layer. Encouragingly, the simultaneous use of CSMEs as hole and electron modification layers can boost the PCE to 8.2%. These findings demonstrate that the utilization of alcohol-soluble small molecule conjugated electrolytes with lower band gaps as interfacial modification layers is an effective and practical strategy for improving photovoltaic performance in PSCs.

  12. 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.

  13. NIR Fluorescent Small Molecules for Intraoperative Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Owens, Eric A.; Lee, Stephanie; Choi, JungMun; Henary, Maged; Choi, Hak Soo

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in bioimaging and nanomedicine have permitted the exploitation of molecular optical imaging in image-guided surgery; however, the parameters mediating optimum performance of contrast agents are not yet precisely determined. To develop ideal contrast agents for image-guided surgery, we need to consider the following criteria: 1) excitation and emission wavelengths in the NIR window, 2) optimized optical characteristics for high in vivo performance, 3) overcoming or harnessing biodistribution and clearance, and 4) reducing nonspecific uptake. The design considerations should be focused on optimizing the optical and physicochemical property criteria. Biodistribution and clearance should first be considered because they mediate the fate of a contrast agent in the body such as how long after intravenous injection a contrast agent reaches the peak signal-to-background ratio (SBR) and how long the signal lasts (retention). PMID:25645081

  14. Discovery of Small Molecules as Multi-Toll-like Receptor Agonists with Proinflammatory and Anticancer Activities.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Dewan, Varun; Yin, Hang

    2017-06-22

    Therapies based on activation of multiple Toll-like receptors (TLRs) may offer superior therapeutic profiles than that of single TLR activation. To discover new small molecules that could activate multiple TLRs, we performed a cell-based high-throughput screening of a small-molecule library based on TLR3-mediated NF-κB activation. Subsequent structural optimization and counterscreening of other TLRs produced the first small molecule 17e (CU-CPT17e) capable of simultaneously activating TLRs 3, 8, and 9. Biochemical studies demonstrated that 17e could induce a strong immune response via the production of various cytokines in human monocytic THP-1 cells. Furthermore, 17e inhibited the proliferation of HeLa cancer cells by triggering apoptosis and arresting the cell cycle at the S phase. These results showcase potential therapeutic applications of 17e in both vaccine adjuvants and anticancer therapies based on multi-TLR activation.

  15. An Improved Cockroach Swarm Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Obagbuwa, I. C.; Adewumi, A. O.

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Discovery of methyl 4'-methyl-5-(7-nitrobenzo[c][1,2,5]oxadiazol-4-yl)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-3-carboxylate, an improved small-molecule inhibitor of c-Myc-max dimerization.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, Jay; Wang, Huabo; Yap, Jeremy L; Sabato, Philip E; Hu, Angela; Prochownik, Edward V; Fletcher, Steven

    2014-10-01

    c-Myc is a basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper (bHLH-ZIP) transcription factor that is responsible for the transcription of a wide range of target genes involved in many cancer-related cellular processes. Over-expression of c-Myc has been observed in, and directly contributes to, a variety of human cancers including those of the hematopoietic system, lung, prostate and colon. To become transcriptionally active, c-Myc must first dimerize with Myc-associated factor X (Max) via its own bHLH-ZIP domain. A proven strategy towards the inhibition of c-Myc oncogenic activity is to interfere with the structural integrity of the c-Myc-Max heterodimer. The small molecule 10074-G5 is an inhibitor of c-Myc-Max dimerization (IC50 =146 μM) that operates by binding and stabilizing c-Myc in its monomeric form. We have identified a congener of 10074-G5, termed 3jc48-3 (methyl 4'-methyl-5-(7-nitrobenzo[c][1,2,5]oxadiazol-4-yl)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-3-carboxylate), that is about five times as potent (IC50 =34 μM) at inhibiting c-Myc-Max dimerization as the parent compound. 3jc48-3 exhibited an approximate twofold selectivity for c-Myc-Max heterodimers over Max-Max homodimers, suggesting that its mode of action is through binding c-Myc. 3jc48-3 inhibited the proliferation of c-Myc-over-expressing HL60 and Daudi cells with single-digit micromolar IC50 values by causing growth arrest at the G0 /G1 phase. Co-immunoprecipitation studies indicated that 3jc48-3 inhibits c-Myc-Max dimerization in cells, which was further substantiated by the specific silencing of a c-Myc-driven luciferase reporter gene. Finally, 3jc48-3's intracellular half-life was >17 h. Collectively, these data demonstrate 3jc48-3 to be one of the most potent, cellularly active and stable c-Myc inhibitors reported to date.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Shi, C Y; Deng, C H

    2016-05-10

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

  19. Advances in small molecule inhibitors of androgen receptor for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Sadar, Marianne D

    2012-06-01

    Current treatments for localized prostate cancer include brachytherapy, external beam radiation, surgery, and active surveillance. Unfortunately, 20-40% of prostate cancer patients will experience recurrence and require hormonal therapies. These therapies involve androgen ablation by chemical or surgical castration and application of antiandrogens. Hormonal therapy is initially effective, but will inevitably fail and the disease will progress to lethal castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) from which patients succumb within 2 years. CRPC is considered to be dependent on transcriptionally active androgen receptors (AR). This article reviews recent advances in the discovery and development of small molecule inhibitors of AR. A PubMed database search was performed for articles focused on small molecule inhibitors of AR for potential development for the treatment of prostate cancer. Compounds with broad effects on other pathways were not included. Currently, there are several novel antiandrogens being tested in the clinic that have improved affinity for the AR and work by different mechanisms to the current battery of approved antiandrogens that are discussed. Small molecule inhibitors that interact with regions other than the AR ligand-binding pocket have been also been discovered. These small molecules include allosteric inhibitors of the LBD, compounds that alter AR conformation, and antagonists to the AR NTD and are highlighted. CRPC is dependent upon transcriptionally active AR. Survival improvement may be achieved by complete blockade of all AR activity using novel small molecule inhibitors with unique mechanisms of action.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-17

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sharma, G. D.

    2011-10-20

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

  9. Use of mRNA expression signatures to discover small molecule inhibitors of skeletal muscle atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Christopher M.; Ebert, Scott M.; Dyle, Michael C.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose of review Here, we discuss a recently developed experimental strategy for discovering small molecules with potential to prevent and treat skeletal muscle atrophy. Recent findings Muscle atrophy involves and requires widespread changes in skeletal muscle gene expression, which generate complex but measurable patterns of positive and negative changes in skeletal muscle mRNA levels (a.k.a. mRNA expression signatures of muscle atrophy). Many bioactive small molecules generate their own characteristic mRNA expression signatures, and by identifying small molecules whose signatures approximate mirror images of muscle atrophy signatures, one may identify small molecules with potential to prevent and/or reverse muscle atrophy. Unlike a conventional drug discovery approach, this strategy does not rely on a predefined molecular target but rather exploits the complexity of muscle atrophy to identify small molecules that counter the entire spectrum of pathological changes in atrophic muscle. We discuss how this strategy has been used to identify two natural compounds, ursolic acid and tomatidine, that reduce muscle atrophy and improve skeletal muscle function. Summary Discovery strategies based on mRNA expression signatures can elucidate new approaches for preserving and restoring muscle mass and function. PMID:25807353

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Multimodality Plant Imaging of Small Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    DeJesus, Onofre T.

    2015-03-12

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

  16. 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

  17. Efficient small-molecule photovoltaic cells using a crystalline diindenoperylene film as a nanostructured template.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-13

    A cascade-type small-molecule organic photovoltaic cell using a crystalline diindenoperylene film as a nanostructured template is demonstrated. This cell architecture simultaneously realizes organic nanostructure and cascade energy concepts, which significantly improves the photocurrent generation and fill factor, leading to a power conversion efficiency of 5.2±0.3%.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  11. 'Reactive' nano-complex coated medical cotton: a facile avenue for tailored release of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Rather, Adil Majeed; Mahato, Sulendar; Maji, Kousik; Gogoi, Neeha; Manna, Uttam

    2017-08-15

    .36 wt% without compromising the embedded anti-wetting property. Thus, our current approach has immense potential to develop appropriate materials for a sustained and controlled release of small molecules from a clinically relevant substrate (i.e., medical-cotton) and may be useful in various bio-medical applications including improving wound management, preventing bacterial infections, better pain management, etc.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Small Molecules in Development for the Treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Calder, Alyssa N; Androphy, Elliot J; Hodgetts, Kevin J

    2016-11-23

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease resulting from pathologically low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. The majority of mRNA from the SMN2 allele undergoes alternative splicing and excludes critical codons, causing an SMN protein deficiency. While there is currently no FDA-approved treatment for SMA, early therapeutic efforts have focused on testing repurposed drugs such as phenylbutyrate (2), valproic acid (3), riluzole (6), hydroxyurea (7), and albuterol (9), none of which has demonstrated clinical effectiveness. More recently, clinical trials have focused on novel small-molecule compounds identified from high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry optimization such as olesoxime (11), CK-2127107, RG7800, LMI070, and RG3039 (17). In this paper, we review both repurposed drugs and small-molecule compounds discovered following medicinal chemistry optimization for the potential treatment of SMA.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1) belongs to the family of 7TM, G protein-coupled receptors, and is activated by the 13-amino-acid peptide neurotensin (NTS) that has been shown to play important roles in neurological disorders and the promotion of cancer cells. Recently, a high-resolution x-ray crystal structure of NTSR1 in complex with NTS8-13 has been determined, providing novel insights into peptide ligand recognition by 7TM receptors. SR48692, a potent and selective small molecule antagonist has previously been used extensively as a tool compound to study NTSR1 receptor signaling properties. To investigate the binding mode of SR48692 and other small molecule compounds to NTSR1, we applied an Automated Ligand-guided Backbone Ensemble Receptor Optimization protocol (ALiBERO), taking receptor flexibility and ligand knowledge into account. Structurally overlapping binding poses for SR48692 and NTS8-13 were observed, despite their distinct chemical nature and inverse pharmacological profiles. The optimized models showed significantly improved ligand recognition in a large-scale virtual screening assessment compared to the crystal structure. Our models provide new insights into small molecule ligand binding to NTSR1 and could facilitate the structure-based design of non-peptide ligands for the evaluation of the pharmacological potential of NTSR1 in neurological disorders and cancer. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone, a Small Molecule TrkB Agonist, Improves Spatial Memory and Increases Thin Spine Density in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer Disease-Like Neuronal Loss

    PubMed Central

    Castello, Nicholas A.; Nguyen, Michael H.; Tran, Jenny D.; Cheng, David; Green, Kim N.; LaFerla, Frank M.

    2014-01-01

    Augmenting BDNF/TrkB signaling has been demonstrated to be a promising strategy for reversing cognitive deficits in preclinical models of Alzheimer disease (AD). Although these studies highlight the potential of targeting BDNF/TrkB signaling, this strategy has not yet been tested in a model that develops the disease features that are most closely associated with cognitive decline in AD: severe synaptic and neuronal loss. In the present study, we investigated the impact of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (DHF), a TrkB agonist, in CaM/Tet-DTA mice, an inducible model of severe neuronal loss in the hippocampus and cortex. Systemic 7,8-DHF treatment significantly improved spatial memory in lesioned mice, as measured by water maze. Analysis of GFP-labeled neurons in CaM/Tet-DTA mice revealed that 7,8-DHF induced a significant and selective increase in the density of thin spines in CA1 of lesioned mice, without affecting mushroom or stubby spines. These findings suggest chronic upregulation of TrkB signaling with 7,8-DHF may be an effective and practical strategy for improving function in AD, even after substantial neuronal loss has occurred. PMID:24614170

  8. The evolving biology of small molecules: controlling cell fate and identity.

    PubMed

    Efe, Jem A; Ding, Sheng

    2011-08-12

    Small molecules have been playing important roles in elucidating basic biology and treatment of a vast number of diseases for nearly a century, making their use in the field of stem cell biology a comparatively recent phenomenon. Nonetheless, the power of biology-oriented chemical design and synthesis, coupled with significant advances in screening technology, has enabled the discovery of a growing number of small molecules that have improved our understanding of stem cell biology and allowed us to manipulate stem cells in unprecedented ways. This review focuses on recent small molecule studies of (i) the key pathways governing stem cell homeostasis, (ii) the pluripotent stem cell niche, (iii) the directed differentiation of stem cells, (iv) the biology of adult stem cells, and (v) somatic cell reprogramming. In a very short period of time, small molecules have defined a perhaps universally attainable naive ground state of pluripotency, and are facilitating the precise, rapid and efficient differentiation of stem cells into somatic cell populations relevant to the clinic. Finally, following the publication of numerous groundbreaking studies at a pace and consistency unusual for a young field, we are closer than ever to completely eliminating the need for genetic modification in reprogramming.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Selecting, Acquiring, and Using Small Molecule Libraries for High-Throughput Screening

    PubMed Central

    Dandapani, Sivaraman; Rosse, Gerard; Southall, Noel; Salvino, Joseph M.; Thomas, Craig J.

    2015-01-01

    The selection, acquisition and use of high quality small molecule libraries for screening is an essential aspect of drug discovery and chemical biology programs. Screening libraries continue to evolve as researchers gain a greater appreciation of the suitability of small molecules for specific biological targets, processes and environments. The decisions surrounding the make-up of any given small molecule library is informed by a multitude of variables and opinions vary on best-practices. The fitness of any collection relies upon upfront filtering to avoiding problematic compounds, assess appropriate physicochemical properties, install the ideal level of structural uniqueness and determine the desired extent of molecular complexity. These criteria are under constant evaluation and revision as academic and industrial organizations seek out collections that yield ever improving results from their screening portfolios. Practical questions including cost, compound management, screening sophistication and assay objective also play a significant role in the choice of library composition. This overview attempts to offer advice to all organizations engaged in small molecule screening based upon current best practices and theoretical considerations in library selection and acquisition. PMID:26705509

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Selecting, Acquiring, and Using Small Molecule Libraries for High-Throughput Screening.

    PubMed

    Dandapani, Sivaraman; Rosse, Gerard; Southall, Noel; Salvino, Joseph M; Thomas, Craig J

    The selection, acquisition and use of high quality small molecule libraries for screening is an essential aspect of drug discovery and chemical biology programs. Screening libraries continue to evolve as researchers gain a greater appreciation of the suitability of small molecules for specific biological targets, processes and environments. The decisions surrounding the make-up of any given small molecule library is informed by a multitude of variables and opinions vary on best-practices. The fitness of any collection relies upon upfront filtering to avoiding problematic compounds, assess appropriate physicochemical properties, install the ideal level of structural uniqueness and determine the desired extent of molecular complexity. These criteria are under constant evaluation and revision as academic and industrial organizations seek out collections that yield ever improving results from their screening portfolios. Practical questions including cost, compound management, screening sophistication and assay objective also play a significant role in the choice of library composition. This overview attempts to offer advice to all organizations engaged in small molecule screening based upon current best practices and theoretical considerations in library selection and acquisition.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Organic Small Molecule as the Underlayer Toward High Performance Planar Perovskite Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Cong, Shan; Yang, Hao; Lou, Yanhui; Han, Liang; Yi, Qinghua; Wang, Haibo; Sun, Yinghui; Zou, Guifu

    2017-01-25

    The underlayer plays an important role for organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite formation and charge transport in perovskite solar cells (PSCs). Here, we employ a classical organic small molecule, 5,6,11,12-tetraphenyltetracene (rubrene), as the underlayer of perovskite films to achieve 15.83% of power conversion efficiency with remarkable moisture tolerance exposed to the atmosphere. Experiments demonstrate rubrene hydrophobic underlayer not only drives the crystalline grain growth of high quality perovskite, but also contributes to the moisture tolerance of PSCs. Moreover, the matching energy level of the desirable underlayer is conductive to extracting holes and blocking electrons at anode in PSCs. This introduction of organic small molecule into PSCs provides alternative materials for interface optimization, as well as platform for flexible and wearable solar cells.

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

    PubMed

    Krishna, Sandeep; Semsey, Szabolcs; Sneppen, Kim

    2007-12-26

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

  7. Small Molecule Recognition and Tools to Study Modulation of r(CGG)(exp) in Fragile X-Associated Tremor Ataxia Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wang-Yong; He, Fang; Strack, Rita L; Oh, Seok Yoon; Frazer, Michelle; Jaffrey, Samie R; Todd, Peter K; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-09-16

    RNA transcripts containing expanded nucleotide repeats cause many incurable diseases via various mechanisms. One such disorder, fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), is caused by a noncoding r(CGG) repeat expansion (r(CGG)(exp)) that (i) sequesters proteins involved in RNA metabolism in nuclear foci, causing dysregulation of alternative pre-mRNA splicing, and (ii) undergoes repeat associated non-ATG translation (RANT), which produces toxic homopolymeric proteins without using a start codon. Here, we describe the design of two small molecules that inhibit both modes of toxicity and the implementation of various tools to study perturbation of these cellular events. Competitive Chemical Cross Linking and Isolation by Pull Down (C-Chem-CLIP) established that compounds bind r(CGG)(exp) and defined small molecule occupancy of r(CGG)(exp) in cells, the first approach to do so. Using an RNA GFP mimic, r(CGG)(exp)-Spinach2, we observe that our optimal designed compound binds r(CGG)(exp) and affects RNA localization by disrupting preformed RNA foci. These events correlate with an improvement of pre-mRNA splicing defects caused by RNA gain of function. In addition, the compounds reduced levels of toxic homopolymeric proteins formed via RANT. Polysome profiling studies showed that small molecules decreased loading of polysomes onto r(CGG)(exp), explaining decreased translation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopies as Tools for Small Molecule Biosensing

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Flat SAR of P3-methylsulphonamide based small molecule legumain inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Ness, Kerry Anne; Eddie, Sharon L; Burton, Stephanie; Harrison, Timothy; Mullan, Paul; Williams, Rich

    2016-01-15

    This letter describes the design, development and SAR exploration of a novel series of small legumain inhibitors. The SAR of a new small molecule legumain inhibitor chemotype was explored and found to have improved physiochemical properties compared to previously developed inhibitors within our group. However, further development of this series was found to be limited as the SAR was observed to be relatively flat. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. On-Chip Bioorthogonal Chemistry Enables Immobilization of In Situ Modified Nanoparticles and Small Molecules for Label-Free Monitoring of Protein Binding and Reaction Kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Tassa, Carlos; Liong, Monty; Hilderbrand, Scott; Sandler, Jason E.; Reiner, Thomas; Keliher, Edmund J.; Weissleder, Ralph; Shaw, Stanley Y.

    2012-01-01

    Efficient methods to immobilize small molecules under continuous-flow microfluidic conditions would greatly improve label-free molecular interaction studies using biosensor technology. At present, small-molecule immobilization chemistries require special conditions and in many cases must be performed outside the detector and microfluidic system where real-time monitoring is not possible. Here, we have developed and optimized a method for on-chip bioorthogonal chemistry that enables rapid, reversible immobilization of small molecules with control over orientation and immobilization density, and apply this technique to surface plasmon resonance (SPR) studies. Immobilized small molecules reverse the orientation of canonical SPR interaction studies, and also enable a variety of new SPR applications including on-chip assembly and interaction studies of multicomponent structures such as functionalized nanoparticles, and measurement of bioorthogonal reaction rates. We use this approach to demonstrate that on-chip assembled functionalized nanoparticles show a preserved ability to interact with their target protein, and to measure rapid bioorthogonal reaction rates with k2 > 103 M−1 s−1. This method offers multiple benefits for microfluidic biological applications, including rapid screening of targeted nanoparticles with vastly decreased nanoparticle synthetic requirements, robust immobilization chemistry in the presence of serum, and a continuous flow technique that mimics biologic contexts better than current methods used to measure bioorthogonal reaction kinetics such as NMR or UV-vis spectroscopy (e.g., stopped flow kinetics). Taken together, this approach constitutes a flexible and powerful technique for evaluating a wide variety of reactions and intermolecular interactions for in vitro or in vivo applications. PMID:22760641

  6. On-chip bioorthogonal chemistry enables immobilization of in situ modified nanoparticles and small molecules for label-free monitoring of protein binding and reaction kinetics.

    PubMed

    Tassa, C; Liong, M; Hilderbrand, S; Sandler, J E; Reiner, T; Keliher, E J; Weissleder, R; Shaw, S Y

    2012-09-07

    Efficient methods to immobilize small molecules under continuous-flow microfluidic conditions would greatly improve label-free molecular interaction studies using biosensor technology. At present, small-molecule immobilization chemistries require special conditions and in many cases must be performed outside the detector and microfluidic system where real-time monitoring is not possible. Here, we have developed and optimized a method for on-chip bioorthogonal chemistry that enables rapid, reversible immobilization of small molecules with control over orientation and immobilization density, and apply this technique to surface plasmon resonance (SPR) studies. Immobilized small molecules reverse the orientation of canonical SPR interaction studies, and also enable a variety of new SPR applications including on-chip assembly and interaction studies of multicomponent structures, such as functionalized nanoparticles, and measurement of bioorthogonal reaction rates. We use this approach to demonstrate that on-chip assembled functionalized nanoparticles show a preserved ability to interact with their target protein, and to measure rapid bioorthogonal reaction rates with k(2) > 10(3) M(-1) s(-1). This method offers multiple benefits for microfluidic biological applications, including rapid screening of targeted nanoparticles with vastly decreased nanoparticle synthetic requirements, robust immobilization chemistry in the presence of serum, and a continuous flow technique that mimics biologic contexts better than current methods used to measure bioorthogonal reaction kinetics such as NMR or UV-vis spectroscopy (e.g., stopped flow kinetics). Taken together, this approach constitutes a flexible and powerful technique for evaluating a wide variety of reactions and intermolecular interactions for in vitro or in vivo applications.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Small-Molecule Hormones: Molecular Mechanisms of Action

    PubMed Central

    Budzińska, Monika

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yu Jin; Park, Chan Eon

    2016-03-01

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

  5. Surveying protein structure and function using bis-arsenical small molecules.

    PubMed

    Scheck, Rebecca A; Schepartz, Alanna

    2011-09-20

    Exploration across the fields of biology, chemical biology, and medicine has led to an increasingly complex, albeit incomplete, view of the interactions that drive life's processes. The ability to monitor and track the movement, activity, and interactions of biomolecules in living cells is an essential part of this investigation. In our laboratory, we have endeavored to develop tools that are capable not only of monitoring protein localization but also reporting on protein structure and function. Central to our efforts is a new strategy, bipartite tetracysteine display, that relies on the specific and high-affinity interaction between a fluorogenic, bis-arsenical small molecule and a unique protein sequence, conformation, or assembly. In 1998, a small-molecule analogue of fluorescein with two arsenic atoms, FlAsH, was shown by Tsien and coworkers to fluoresce upon binding to a linear amino acid sequence, Cys-Cys-Arg-Glu-Cys-Cys. Later work demonstrated that substituting Pro-Gly for Arg-Glu optimized both binding and fluorescence yield. Our strategy of bipartite tetracysteine display emanated from the idea that it would be possible to replace the intervening Pro-Gly dipeptide in this sequence with a protein or protein partnership, provided the assembled protein fold successfully reproduced the approximate placement of the two Cys-Cys pairs. In this Account, we describe our recent progress in this area, with an emphasis on the fundamental concepts that underlie the successful use of bis-arsenicals such as FlAsH and the related ReAsH for bipartite display experiments. In particular, we highlight studies that have explored how broadly bipartite tetracysteine display can be employed and that have navigated the conformational boundary conditions favoring success. To emphasize the utility of these principles, we outline two recently reported applications of bipartite tetracysteine display. The first is a novel, encodable, selective, Src kinase sensor that lacks

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

    This work reported chitosan derivatives (CSD)/reduced graphene oxide (rGO) blending with alginate to prepare hydrogel beads for small-molecule drug delivery for the first time. At the beginning, graphene oxide (GO) was successfully reduced using diverse CSD as reducing and stabilizing agents via facile heating. Then the obtained CSD/rGO was blended with alginate and crosslinked into hydrogel beads in CaCl2 solution. Finally, the beads were systematically evaluated as novel vehicles for pH-responsive small-molecule drug delivery. The optimal CSD/rGO/alginate beads showed a high drug-loading efficiency of 82.8% on small-molecule fluorescein sodium (FL), outstanding sustainable release of 71.6% upon 150h at a physiological pH and quick-release of 82.4% drug content at 20h in an acidic medium. Additionally, the cytotoxicity assay result suggested that the CSD/rGO/alginate beads showed negligible cytotoxicity to hepatic stellate cell lines, opening up possibilities for safe and efficient drug delivery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Biomedical application of MALDI mass spectrometry for small-molecule analysis.

    PubMed

    van Kampen, Jeroen J A; Burgers, Peter C; de Groot, Ronald; Gruters, Rob A; Luider, Theo M

    2011-01-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) is an emerging analytical tool for the analysis of molecules with molar masses below 1,000 Da; that is, small molecules. This technique offers rapid analysis, high sensitivity, low sample consumption, a relative high tolerance towards salts and buffers, and the possibility to store sample on the target plate. The successful application of the technique is, however, hampered by low molecular weight (LMW) matrix-derived interference signals and by poor reproducibility of signal intensities during quantitative analyses. In this review, we focus on the biomedical application of MALDI-MS for the analysis of small molecules and discuss its favorable properties and its challenges as well as strategies to improve the performance of the technique. Furthermore, practical aspects and applications are presented.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Phage anti-immune complex assay: general strategy for noncompetitive immunodetection of small molecules.

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-15

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

  14. MARS: bringing the automation of small-molecule bioanalytical sample preparations to a new frontier.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Chou, Judy; Jing, Jing; Xu, Hui; Costa, Aldo; Caputo, Robin; Mikkilineni, Rajesh; Flannelly-King, Shane; Rohde, Ellen; Gan, Lawrence; Klunk, Lewis; Yang, Liyu

    2012-06-01

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest in automating small-molecule bioanalytical sample preparations specifically using the Hamilton MicroLab(®) STAR liquid-handling platform. In the most extensive work reported thus far, multiple small-molecule sample preparation assay types (protein precipitation extraction, SPE and liquid-liquid extraction) have been integrated into a suite that is composed of graphical user interfaces and Hamilton scripts. Using that suite, bioanalytical scientists have been able to automate various sample preparation methods to a great extent. However, there are still areas that could benefit from further automation, specifically, the full integration of analytical standard and QC sample preparation with study sample extraction in one continuous run, real-time 2D barcode scanning on the Hamilton deck and direct Laboratory Information Management System database connectivity. We developed a new small-molecule sample-preparation automation system that improves in all of the aforementioned areas. The improved system presented herein further streamlines the bioanalytical workflow, simplifies batch run design, reduces analyst intervention and eliminates sample-handling error.

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

    PubMed

    Luo, Yiling; Disney, Matthew D

    2014-09-22

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

  16. ErbB small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) induced diarrhoea: Chloride secretion as a mechanistic hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Van Sebille, Ysabella Z A; Gibson, Rachel J; Wardill, Hannah R; Bowen, Joanne M

    2015-07-01

    Diarrhoea is a common, debilitating and potentially life threatening toxicity of many cancer therapies. While the mechanisms of diarrhoea induced by traditional chemotherapy have been the focus of much research, the mechanism(s) of diarrhoea induced by small molecule ErbB TKI, have received relatively little attention. Given the increasing use of small molecule ErbB TKIs, identifying this mechanism is key to optimal cancer care. This paper critically reviews the literature and forms a hypothesis that diarrhoea induced by small molecule ErbB TKIs is driven by intestinal chloride secretion based on the negative regulation of chloride secretion by ErbB receptors being disrupted by tyrosine kinase inhibition.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. (Too) optimistic about optimism: the belief that optimism improves performance.

    PubMed

    Tenney, Elizabeth R; Logg, Jennifer M; Moore, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A series of experiments investigated why people value optimism and whether they are right to do so. In Experiments 1A and 1B, participants prescribed more optimism for someone implementing decisions than for someone deliberating, indicating that people prescribe optimism selectively, when it can affect performance. Furthermore, participants believed optimism improved outcomes when a person's actions had considerable, rather than little, influence over the outcome (Experiment 2). Experiments 3 and 4 tested the accuracy of this belief; optimism improved persistence, but it did not improve performance as much as participants expected. Experiments 5A and 5B found that participants overestimated the relationship between optimism and performance even when their focus was not on optimism exclusively. In summary, people prescribe optimism when they believe it has the opportunity to improve the chance of success-unfortunately, people may be overly optimistic about just how much optimism can do. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Yu Jin; Park, Chan Eon

    2016-04-14

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 2016 White Paper on recent issues in bioanalysis: focus on biomarker assay validation (BAV) (Part 1 - small molecules, peptides and small molecule biomarkers by LCMS).

    PubMed

    Yang, Eric; Welink, Jan; Cape, Stephanie; Woolf, Eric; Sydor, Jens; James, Christopher; Goykhman, Dina; Arnold, Mark; Addock, Neil; Bauer, Ronald; Buonarati, Michael; Ciccimaro, Eugene; Dodda, Raj; Evans, Christopher; Garofolo, Fabio; Hughes, Nicola; Islam, Rafiq; Nehls, Corey; Wilson, Amanda; Briscoe, Chad; Bustard, Mark; Coppola, Laura; Croft, Stephanie; Drexler, Dieter; Ferrari, Luca; Fraier, Daniela; Jenkins, Rand; Kadavil, John; King, Lloyd; Li, Wenkui; Lima Santos, Gustavo Mendes; Musuku, Adrien; Ramanathan, Ragu; Saito, Yoshiro; Savoie, Natasha; Summerfield, Scott; Sun, Rachel; Tampal, Nilufer; Vinter, Steve; Wakelin-Smith, Jason; Yue, Qin

    2016-10-07

    The 2016 10(th) Workshop on Recent Issues in Bioanalysis (10(th) WRIB) took place in Orlando, Florida with participation of close to 700 professionals from pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, contract research organizations, and regulatory agencies worldwide. WRIB was once again a 5-day, weeklong event - A Full Immersion Week of Bioanalysis including Biomarkers and Immunogenicity. As usual, it was specifically designed to facilitate sharing, reviewing, discussing and agreeing on approaches to address the most current issues of interest including both small and large molecule analysis involving LCMS, hybrid LBA/LCMS, and LBA approaches, with the focus on biomarkers and immunogenicity. This 2016 White Paper encompasses recommendations emerging from the extensive discussions held during the workshop, and is aimed to provide the bioanalytical community with key information and practical solutions on topics and issues addressed, in an effort to enable advances in scientific excellence, improved quality and better regulatory compliance. This white paper is published in 3 parts due to length. This part (Part 1) discusses the recommendations for small molecules, peptides and small molecule biomarkers by LCMS. Part 2 (Hybrid LBA/LCMS and regulatory inputs from major global health authorities) and Part 3 (large molecule bioanalysis using LBA, biomarkers and immunogenicity) will be published in the Bioanalysis journal, issue 23.

  10. Library design practices for success in lead generation with small molecule libraries.

    PubMed

    Goodnow, R A; Guba, W; Haap, W

    2003-11-01

    The generation of novel structures amenable to rapid and efficient lead optimization comprises an emerging strategy for success in modern drug discovery. Small molecule libraries of sufficient size and diversity to increase the chances of discovery of novel structures make the high throughput synthesis approach the method of choice for lead generation. Despite an industry trend for smaller, more focused libraries, the need to generate novel lead structures makes larger libraries a necessary strategy. For libraries of a several thousand or more members, solid phase synthesis approaches are the most suitable. While the technology and chemistry necessary for small molecule library synthesis continue to advance, success in lead generation requires rigorous consideration in the library design process to ensure the synthesis of molecules possessing the proper characteristics for subsequent lead optimization. Without proper selection of library templates and building blocks, solid phase synthesis methods often generate molecules which are too heavy, too lipophilic and too complex to be useful for lead optimization. The appropriate filtering of virtual library designs with multiple computational tools allows the generation of information-rich libraries within a drug-like molecular property space. An understanding of the hit-to-lead process provides a practical guide to molecular design characteristics. Examples of leads generated from library approaches also provide a benchmarking of successes as well as aspects for continued development of library design practices.

  11. Rational Design of Small Molecules Targeting Oncogenic Noncoding RNAs from Sequence.

    PubMed

    Disney, Matthew D; Angelbello, Alicia J

    2016-12-20

    The discovery of RNA catalysis in the 1980s and the dissemination of the human genome sequence at the start of this century inspired investigations of the regulatory roles of noncoding RNAs in biology. In fact, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has shown that only 1-2% of the human genome encodes protein, yet 75% is transcribed into RNA. Functional studies both preceding and following the ENCODE project have shown that these noncoding RNAs have important roles in regulating gene expression, developmental timing, and other critical functions. RNA's diverse roles are often a consequence of the various folds that it adopts. The single-stranded nature of the biopolymer enables it to adopt intramolecular folds with noncanonical pairings to lower its free energy. These folds can be scaffolds to bind proteins or to form frameworks to interact with other RNAs. Not surprisingly, dysregulation of certain noncoding RNAs has been shown to be causative of disease. Given this as the background, it is easy to see why it would be useful to develop methods that target RNA and manipulate its biology in rational and predictable ways. The antisense approach has afforded strategies to target RNAs via Watson-Crick base pairing and has typically focused on targeting partially unstructured regions of RNA. Small molecule strategies to target RNA would be desirable not only because compounds could be lead optimized via medicinal chemistry but also because structured regions within an RNA of interest could be targeted to directly interfere with RNA folds that contribute to disease. Additionally, small molecules have historically been the most successful drug candidates. Until recently, the ability to design small molecules that target non-ribosomal RNAs has been elusive, creating the perception that they are "undruggable". In this Account, approaches to demystify targeting RNA with small molecules are described. Rather than bulk screening for compounds that bind to singular

  12. Novel Small Molecule Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonist Stimulates Insulin Secretion in Rodents and From Human Islets

    PubMed Central

    Sloop, Kyle W.; Willard, Francis S.; Brenner, Martin B.; Ficorilli, James; Valasek, Kathleen; Showalter, Aaron D.; Farb, Thomas B.; Cao, Julia X.C.; Cox, Amy L.; Michael, M. Dodson; Gutierrez Sanfeliciano, Sonia Maria; Tebbe, Mark J.; Coghlan, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The clinical effectiveness of parenterally-administered glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) mimetics to improve glucose control in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes strongly supports discovery pursuits aimed at identifying and developing orally active, small molecule GLP-1 receptor agonists. The purpose of these studies was to identify and characterize novel nonpeptide agonists of the GLP-1 receptor. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Screening using cells expressing the GLP-1 receptor and insulin secretion assays with rodent and human islets were used to identify novel molecules. The intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) and hyperglycemic clamp characterized the insulinotropic effects of compounds in vivo. RESULTS Novel low molecular weight pyrimidine-based compounds that activate the GLP-1 receptor and stimulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion are described. These molecules induce GLP-1 receptor-mediated cAMP signaling in HEK293 cells expressing the GLP-1 receptor and increase insulin secretion from rodent islets in a dose-dependent manner. The compounds activate GLP-1 receptor signaling, both alone or in an additive fashion when combined with the endogenous GLP-1 peptide; however, these agonists do not compete with radiolabeled GLP-1 in receptor-binding assays. In vivo studies using the IVGTT and the hyperglycemic clamp in Sprague Dawley rats demonstrate increased insulin secretion in compound-treated animals. Further, perifusion assays with human islets isolated from a donor with type 2 diabetes show near-normalization of insulin secretion upon compound treatment. CONCLUSIONS These studies characterize the insulinotropic effects of an early-stage, small molecule GLP-1 receptor agonist and provide compelling evidence to support pharmaceutical optimization. PMID:20823098

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. X-Ray Structural Study of Amyloid-Like Fibrils of Tau Peptides Bound to Small-Molecule Ligands.

    PubMed

    Tayeb-Fligelman, Einav; Landau, Meytal

    2017-01-01

    Atomic structures of Tau involved in Alzheimer's disease complexed with small molecule binders are the first step to define the Tau pharmacophore, leading the way to a structure-based design of improved diagnostics and therapeutics. Yet the partially disordered and polymorphic nature of Tau hinders structural analyses. Fortunately, short segments from amyloid proteins, which exhibit similar biophysical properties to the full-length proteins, also form fibrils and oligomers, and their atomic structures can be determined using X-ray microcrystallography. Such structures were successfully used to design amyloid inhibitors. This chapter describes experimental procedures used to determine crystal structures of Tau peptide segments in complex with small-molecule binders.

  15. 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 ...

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fiehn, Oliver

    2010-01-01

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

  7. An autonomous chemically fuelled small-molecule motor.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-09

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 heterojunction solar cells. The photophysical and electrochemical properties of this small molecule showed strong charge transfer interaction between the ferrocene donor and the DPP acceptor, and it is found to be suitable as a small molecule donor along with PC71BM as an electron acceptor for solution processed bulk heterojunction organic solar cells (OSCs). Although the open circuit voltage (Voc) of the OSC based on as cast Fc-DPP-Fc : PC71BM (1 : 2 weight ratio) from a THF solvent is quite high (0.98 V), it showed an overall power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 2.55% with low values of short circuit current (Jsc) and fill factor (FF) of 6.35 mA cm(-2) and 0.41, respectively. After using a solvent additive (SA), i.e. 3 v% DIO/THF solution for film deposition, the resultant OSC showed an improved overall PCE of 4.83% and it further improved up to 6.44%. The improvement in the PCE value is mainly attributed to the enhancement in Jsc and FF, resulting from the increased light harvesting efficiency, balanced charge transport and favorable nanoscale morphology of the active layer, induced by SA and TSA.

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Cheng-Kuang; Pao, Chun-Wei

    2016-08-17

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Small-Molecule-Induced and Cooperative Enzyme Assembly on a 14-3-3 Scaffold.

    PubMed

    den Hamer, Anniek; Lemmens, Lenne J M; Nijenhuis, Minke A D; Ottmann, Christian; Merkx, Maarten; de Greef, Tom F A; Brunsveld, Luc

    2017-02-01

    Scaffold proteins regulate cell signalling by promoting the proximity of putative interaction partners. Although they are frequently applied in cellular settings, fundamental understanding of them in terms of, amongst other factors, quantitative parameters has been lagging behind. Here we present a scaffold protein platform that is based on the native 14-3-3 dimeric protein and is controllable through the action of a small-molecule compound, thus permitting study in an in vitro setting and mathematical description. Robust small-molecule regulation of caspase-9 activity through induced dimerisation on the 14-3-3 scaffold was demonstrated. The individual parameters of this system were precisely determined and used to develop a mathematical model of the scaffolding concept. This model was used to elucidate the strong cooperativity of the enzyme activation mediated by the 14-3-3 scaffold. This work provides an entry point for the long-needed quantitative insights into scaffold protein functioning and paves the way for the optimal use of reengineered 14-3-3 proteins as chemically inducible scaffolds in synthetic systems. © 2016 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Small-Molecule Stabilization of 14-3-3 Protein-Protein Interactions Stimulates Axon Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Andrew; Morquette, Barbara; Kroner, Antje; Leong, SooYuen; Madwar, Carolin; Sanz, Ricardo; Banerjee, Sara L; Antel, Jack; Bisson, Nicolas; David, Samuel; Fournier, Alyson E

    2017-03-08

    Damaged central nervous system (CNS) neurons have a poor ability to spontaneously regenerate, causing persistent functional deficits after injury. Therapies that stimulate axon growth are needed to repair CNS damage. 14-3-3 adaptors are hub proteins that are attractive targets to manipulate cell signaling. We identify a positive role for 14-3-3s in axon growth and uncover a developmental regulation of the phosphorylation and function of 14-3-3s. We show that fusicoccin-A (FC-A), a small-molecule stabilizer of 14-3-3 protein-protein interactions, stimulates axon growth in vitro and regeneration in vivo. We show that FC-A stabilizes a complex between 14-3-3 and the stress response regulator GCN1, inducing GCN1 turnover and neurite outgrowth. These findings show that 14-3-3 adaptor protein complexes are druggable targets and identify a new class of small molecules that may be further optimized for the repair of CNS damage.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-18

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    the mobility of small molecules in a zeolite. Motion is assumed to be a series of activated site-to-site hops whose rate is governed by energetic and entropic barriers between sites. The topology of the lattice allows for hops within a zeolite cage and hops between cages. Both models offer improvement over existing models.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Comparison between conventional indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (icELISA) and simplified icELISA for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jing; Li, Gang; Yi, Guo-Xiang; Wang, Bao-Min; Deng, Ai-Xing; Nan, Tie-Gui; Li, Zhao-Hu; Li, Qing X

    2006-06-30

    A simplified indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (icELISA) for small molecules was established by modifying the procedure of conventional icELISA. The key change was that the analyte, antibody, and enzyme-labeled second antibody in the simplified icELISA were added in one step, whereas in conventional icELISA these reagents were added in two separate steps. Three small chemicals, namely zeatin riboside, glycyrrhetinic acid, and chlorimuron-ethyl, were used to verify the new assay format and compare the results obtained from conventional icELISA and simplified icELISA. The results indicated that, under optimized conditions, the new assay offered several advantages over the conventional icELISA, which are simpler, less time consuming and higher sensitive although it requires more amount of reagents. The assay sensitivity (IC50) was improved for 1.2-1.4-fold. Four licorice roots samples were analyzed by conventional icELISA and simplified icELISA, as well as liquid chromatography (LC). There was no significant difference among the content obtained from the three methods for each sample. The correlation between data obtained from conventional icELISA and simplified icELISA analyses was 0.9888. The results suggest that the simplified icELISA be useful for high throughput screening of small molecules.

  10. Characterization of the Hole Transport and Electrical Properties in the Small-Molecule Organic Semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L. G.; Zhu, J. J.; Liu, X. L.; Cheng, L. F.

    2017-06-01

    In this paper, we investigate the hole transport and electrical properties in a small-molecule organic material N,N'-bis(1-naphthyl)-N,N'-diphenyl-1,1'-biphenyl-4,4'-diamine (NPB), which is frequently used in organic light-emitting diodes. It is shown that the thickness-dependent current density versus voltage (J-V) characteristics of sandwich-type NPB-based hole-only devices cannot be described well using the conventional mobility model without carrier density or electric field dependence. However, a consistent and excellent description of the thickness-dependent and temperature-dependent J-V characteristics of NPB hole-only devices can be obtained with a single set of parameters by using our recently introduced improved model that take into account the temperature, carrier density, and electric field dependence of the mobility. For the small-molecule organic semiconductor studied, we find that the width of the Gaussian distribution of density of states σ and the lattice constant a are similar to the values reported for conjugated polymers. Furthermore, we show that the boundary carrier density has an important effect on the J-V characteristics. Both the maximum of carrier density and the minimum of electric field appear near the interface of NPB hole-only devices.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  13. Gas Separation Membranes Derived from High-Performance Immiscible Polymer Blends Compatibilized with Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Panapitiya, Nimanka P; Wijenayake, Sumudu N; Nguyen, Do D; Huang, Yu; Musselman, Inga H; Balkus, Kenneth J; Ferraris, John P

    2015-08-26

    An immiscible polymer blend comprised of high-performance copolyimide 6FDA-DAM:DABA(3:2) (6FDD) and polybenzimidazole (PBI) was compatibilized using 2-methylimidazole (2-MI), a commercially available small molecule. Membranes were fabricated from blends of 6FDD:PBI (50:50) with and without 2-MI for H2/CO2 separations. The membranes demonstrated a matrix-droplet type microstructure as evident with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging where 6FDD is the dispersed phase and PBI is the continuous phase. In addition, membranes with 2-MI demonstrated a uniform microstructure as observed by smaller and more uniformly dispersed 6FDD domains in contrast to 6FDD:PBI (50:50) blend membranes without 2-MI. This compatibilization effect of 2-MI was attributed to interfacial localization of 2-MI that lowers the interfacial energy similar to a surfactant. Upon the incorporation of 2-MI, the H2/CO2 selectivity improved remarkably, compared to the pure blend, and surpassed the Robeson's upper bound. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the use of a small molecule to compatibilize a high-performance immiscible polymer blend. This approach could afford a novel class of membranes in which immiscible polymer blends can be compatibilized in an economical and convenient fashion.

  14. 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.

  15. Small molecule organic semiconductors on the move: promises for future solar energy technology.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Amaresh; Bäuerle, Peter

    2012-02-27

    This article is written from an organic chemist's point of view and provides an up-to-date review about organic solar cells based on small molecules or oligomers as absorbers and in detail deals with devices that incorporate planar-heterojunctions (PHJ) and bulk heterojunctions (BHJ) between a donor (p-type semiconductor) and an acceptor (n-type semiconductor) material. The article pays particular attention to the design and development of molecular materials and their performance in corresponding devices. In recent years, a substantial amount of both, academic and industrial research, has been directed towards organic solar cells, in an effort to develop new materials and to improve their tunability, processability, power conversion efficiency, and stability. On the eve of commercialization of organic solar cells, this review provides an overview over efficiencies attained with small molecules/oligomers in OSCs and reflects materials and device concepts developed over the last decade. Approaches to enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells are analyzed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Biomarkers for Tuberculosis Based on Secreted, Species-Specific, Bacterial Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Shih-Jung; Tapley, Asa; Adamson, John; Little, Tessa; Urbanowski, Michael; Cohen, Keira; Pym, Alexander; Almeida, Deepak; Dorasamy, Afton; Layre, Emilie; Young, David C.; Singh, Ravesh; Patel, Vinod B.; Wallengren, Kristina; Ndung'u, Thumbi; Wilson, Douglas; Moody, D. Branch; Bishai, William

    2015-01-01

    Improved biomarkers are needed for tuberculosis. To develop tests based on products secreted by tubercle bacilli that are strictly associated with viability, we evaluated 3 bacterial-derived, species-specific, small molecules as biomarkers: 2 mycobactin siderophores and tuberculosinyladenosine. Using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrated the presence of 1 or both mycobactins and/or tuberculosinyladenosine in serum and whole lung tissues from infected mice and sputum, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or lymph nodes from infected patients but not uninfected controls. Detection of the target molecules distinguished host infection status in 100% of mice with both serum and lung as the target sample. In human subjects, we evaluated detection of the bacterial small molecules (BSMs) in multiple body compartments in 3 patient cohorts corresponding to different forms of tuberculosis. We detected at least 1 of the 3 molecules in 90%, 71%, and 40% of tuberculosis patients' sputum, CSF, and lymph node samples, respectively. In paucibacillary forms of human tuberculosis, which are difficult to diagnose even with culture, detection of 1 or more BSM was rapid and compared favorably to polymerase chain reaction–based detection. Secreted BSMs, detectable in serum, warrant further investigation as a means for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring in patients with tuberculosis. PMID:26014799

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Biomarkers for Tuberculosis Based on Secreted, Species-Specific, Bacterial Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Pan, Shih-Jung; Tapley, Asa; Adamson, John; Little, Tessa; Urbanowski, Michael; Cohen, Keira; Pym, Alexander; Almeida, Deepak; Dorasamy, Afton; Layre, Emilie; Young, David C; Singh, Ravesh; Patel, Vinod B; Wallengren, Kristina; Ndung'u, Thumbi; Wilson, Douglas; Moody, D Branch; Bishai, William

    2015-12-01

    Improved biomarkers are needed for tuberculosis. To develop tests based on products secreted by tubercle bacilli that are strictly associated with viability, we evaluated 3 bacterial-derived, species-specific, small molecules as biomarkers: 2 mycobactin siderophores and tuberculosinyladenosine. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrated the presence of 1 or both mycobactins and/or tuberculosinyladenosine in serum and whole lung tissues from infected mice and sputum, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or lymph nodes from infected patients but not uninfected controls. Detection of the target molecules distinguished host infection status in 100% of mice with both serum and lung as the target sample. In human subjects, we evaluated detection of the bacterial small molecules (BSMs) in multiple body compartments in 3 patient cohorts corresponding to different forms of tuberculosis. We detected at least 1 of the 3 molecules in 90%, 71%, and 40% of tuberculosis patients' sputum, CSF, and lymph node samples, respectively. In paucibacillary forms of human tuberculosis, which are difficult to diagnose even with culture, detection of 1 or more BSM was rapid and compared favorably to polymerase chain reaction-based detection. Secreted BSMs, detectable in serum, warrant further investigation as a means for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring in patients with tuberculosis.

  1. Characterization of the Hole Transport and Electrical Properties in the Small-Molecule Organic Semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L. G.; Zhu, J. J.; Liu, X. L.; Cheng, L. F.

    2017-10-01

    In this paper, we investigate the hole transport and electrical properties in a small-molecule organic material N, N'-bis(1-naphthyl)- N, N'-diphenyl-1,1'-biphenyl-4,4'-diamine (NPB), which is frequently used in organic light-emitting diodes. It is shown that the thickness-dependent current density versus voltage ( J- V) characteristics of sandwich-type NPB-based hole-only devices cannot be described well using the conventional mobility model without carrier density or electric field dependence. However, a consistent and excellent description of the thickness-dependent and temperature-dependent J- V characteristics of NPB hole-only devices can be obtained with a single set of parameters by using our recently introduced improved model that take into account the temperature, carrier density, and electric field dependence of the mobility. For the small-molecule organic semiconductor studied, we find that the width of the Gaussian distribution of density of states σ and the lattice constant a are similar to the values reported for conjugated polymers. Furthermore, we show that the boundary carrier density has an important effect on the J- V characteristics. Both the maximum of carrier density and the minimum of electric field appear near the interface of NPB hole-only devices.

  2. Towards Development of Small Molecule Lipid II Inhibitors as Novel Antibiotics

    PubMed Central

    Chauhan, Jamal; Cardinale, Steven; Fang, Lei; Huang, Jing; Kwasny, Steven M.; Pennington, M. Ross; Basi, Kelly; diTargiani, Robert; Capacio, Benedict R.; MacKerell, Alexander D.; Opperman, Timothy J.; Fletcher, Steven; de Leeuw, Erik P. H.

    2016-01-01

    Recently we described a novel di-benzene-pyrylium-indolene (BAS00127538) inhibitor of Lipid II. BAS00127538 (1-Methyl-2,4-diphenyl-6-((1E,3E)-3-(1,3,3-trimethylindolin-2-ylidene)prop-1-en-1-yl)pyryl-1-ium) tetrafluoroborate is the first small molecule Lipid II inhibitor and is structurally distinct from natural agents that bind Lipid II, such as vancomycin. Here, we describe the synthesis and biological evaluation of 50 new analogs of BAS00127538 designed to explore the structure-activity relationships of the scaffold. The results of this study indicate an activity map of the scaffold, identifying regions that are critical to cytotoxicity, Lipid II binding and range of anti-bacterial action. One compound, 6jc48-1, showed significantly enhanced drug-like properties compared to BAS00127538. 6jc48-1 has reduced cytotoxicity, while retaining specific Lipid II binding and activity against Enterococcus spp. in vitro and in vivo. Further, this compound showed a markedly improved pharmacokinetic profile with a half-life of over 13 hours upon intravenous and oral administration and was stable in plasma. These results suggest that scaffolds like that of 6jc48-1 can be developed into small molecule antibiotic drugs that target Lipid II. PMID:27776124

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Chemogenomics and parasitology: small molecules and cell-based assays to study infectious processes.

    PubMed

    Muskavitch, Marc A T; Barteneva, Natasha; Gubbels, Marc-Jan

    2008-09-01

    Infectious diseases caused by protozoan parasites--malaria, sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, Chagas' disease, toxoplasmosis--remain chronic problems for humanity. We lack vaccines and have limited drug options effective against protozoa. Research into anti-protozoan drugs has accelerated with improved in vitro cultivation methods, enhanced genetic accessibility, completed genome sequences for key protozoa, and increased prominence of protozoan diseases on the agendas of well-resourced public figures and foundations. Concurrent advances in high-throughput screening (HTS) technologies and availability of diverse small molecule libraries offer the promise of accelerated discovery of new drug targets and new drugs that will reduce disease burdens imposed on humanity by parasitic protozoa. We provide a status report on HTS technologies in hand and cell-based assays under development for biological investigations and drug discovery directed toward the three best-characterized parasitic protozoa: Trypanosoma brucei, Plasmodium falciparum, and Toxoplasma gondii. We emphasize cell growth assays and new insights into parasite cell biology speeding development of better cell-based assays, useful in primary screens for anti-protozoan drug leads and secondary screens to decipher mechanisms of action of leads identified in growth assays. Small molecules that interfere with specific aspects of protozoan biology, identified in such screens, will be valuable tools for dissecting parasite cell biology and developing anti-protozoan drugs. We discuss potential impacts on drug development of new consortia among academic, corporate, and public partners committed to discovery of new, effective anti-protozoan drugs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. SCNT versus iPSCs: proteins and small molecules in reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Han, Fei; Li, Xia; Song, Dandan; Jiang, Shaoshuai; Xu, Qun; Zhang, Yunhai

    2015-01-01

    Somatic cell nuclear transplantation (SCNT) and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies can be employed to change cell fate by reprogramming. The discoveries of SCNT and iPSCs were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 2012, which reaffirmed the importance of cell fate plasticity. However, the low cloning efficiency of SCNT and differences between iPSCs and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are great barriers and may be caused by incomplete or aberrant reprogramming. Additionally, the well characterized reprogramming factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc (OSKM) are not simultaneously expressed at high levels in enucleated or early embryonic oocytes, suggesting reprogramming may be different in the above two methods. Recent studies have demonstrated that small molecules and specific proteins expressed in oocytes and in early embryonic development play important roles in reprogramming by replacing transcription factors, erasing reprogramming memory and accelerating the speed and extent of reprogramming. In this review, we summarize the current state of SCNT and iPSCs technologies and discuss the latest advances in the research of proteins and small molecules affecting SCNT and iPSCs. This is an area of research in which chemical biology and proteomics are combining to facilitate improving cellular reprogramming and production of clinical grade iPSCs.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, Ian

    2012-02-29

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-04-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  12. Recurrent RNA motifs as scaffolds for genetically encodable small-molecule biosensors.

    PubMed

    Porter, Ely B; Polaski, Jacob T; Morck, Makenna M; Batey, Robert T

    2017-03-01

    Allosteric RNA devices are increasingly being viewed as important tools capable of monitoring enzyme evolution, optimizing engineered metabolic pathways, facilitating gene discovery and regulators of nucleic acid-based therapeutics. A key bottleneck in the development of these platforms is the availability of small-molecule-binding RNA aptamers that robustly function in the cellular environment. Although aptamers can be raised against nearly any desired target through in vitro selection, many cannot easily be integrated into devices or do not reliably function in a cellular context. Here, we describe a new approach using secondary- and tertiary-structural scaffolds derived from biologically active riboswitches and small ribozymes. When applied to the neurotransmitter precursors 5-hydroxytryptophan and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, this approach yielded easily identifiable and characterizable aptamers predisposed for coupling to readout domains to allow engineering of nucleic acid-sensory devices that function in vitro and in the cellular context.

  13. PubChem: a public information system for analyzing bioactivities of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanli; Xiao, Jewen; Suzek, Tugba O; Zhang, Jian; Wang, Jiyao; Bryant, Stephen H

    2009-07-01

    PubChem (http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) is a public repository for biological properties of small molecules hosted by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). PubChem BioAssay database currently contains biological test results for more than 700 000 compounds. The goal of PubChem is to make this information easily accessible to biomedical researchers. In this work, we present a set of web servers to facilitate and optimize the utility of biological activity information within PubChem. These web-based services provide tools for rapid data retrieval, integration and comparison of biological screening results, exploratory structure-activity analysis, and target selectivity examination. This article reviews these bioactivity analysis tools and discusses their uses. Most of the tools described in this work can be directly accessed at http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/assay/. URLs for accessing other tools described in this work are specified individually.

  14. Investigations into Small Molecule Non-Peptidic Inhibitors of the Botulinum Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Čapková, Kateřina; Salzameda, Nicholas T.; Janda, Kim D.

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), proteins secreted by the bacteria genus Clostridium, represent a group of extremely lethal toxins and a potential bioterrorism threat. As the current therapeutic options are of a predominantly prophylactic nature and cannot be used en masse, new strategies and ultimately potential treatments are desperately needed to combat any widespread release of these neurotoxins. In these regards, our laboratory has been working on developing new alternatives to treat botulinum intoxication through the development of inhibitors of the light chain proteases, the etiological agent which causes BoNT intoxication. Such a strategy has required the construction of two high throughput screens and small molecule non-peptidic libraries; excitingly, inhibitors of the BoNT/A protease have been uncovered and are being optimized via structure activity relationship studies. PMID:19327377

  15. Fully automatic assignment of small molecules' NMR spectra without relying on chemical shift predictions.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Andrés M; Bernal, Andrés; Patiny, Luc; Wist, Julien

    2015-08-01

    We present a method for the automatic assignment of small molecules' NMR spectra. The method includes an automatic and novel self-consistent peak-picking routine that validates NMR peaks in each spectrum against peaks in the same or other spectra that are due to the same resonances. The auto-assignment routine used is based on branch-and-bound optimization and relies predominantly on integration and correlation data; chemical shift information may be included when available to fasten the search and shorten the list of viable assignments, but in most cases tested, it is not required in order to find the correct assignment. This automatic assignment method is implemented as a web-based tool that runs without any user input other than the acquired spectra. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Discovery of Small Molecule Mer Kinase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Ectopic Mer expression promotes pro-survival signaling and contributes to leukemogenesis and chemoresistance in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Consequently, Mer kinase inhibitors may promote leukemic cell death and further act as chemosensitizers increasing efficacy and reducing toxicities of current ALL regimens. We have applied a structure-based design approach to discover novel small molecule Mer kinase inhibitors. Several pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives effectively inhibit Mer kinase activity at subnanomolar concentrations. Furthermore, the lead compound shows a promising selectivity profile against a panel of 72 kinases and has excellent pharmacokinetic properties. We also describe the crystal structure of the complex between the lead compound and Mer, opening new opportunities for further optimization and new template design. PMID:22662287

  17. Discovery of Novel Small Molecule Mer Kinase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Yang, Chao; Simpson, Catherine; Deryckere, Deborah; Van Deusen, Amy; Miley, Michael J; Kireev, Dmitri; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Sather, Susan; Hunter, Debra; Korboukh, Victoria K; Patel, Hari S; Janzen, William P; Machius, Mischa; Johnson, Gary L; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2012-02-09

    Ectopic Mer expression promotes pro-survival signaling and contributes to leukemogenesis and chemoresistance in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Consequently, Mer kinase inhibitors may promote leukemic cell death and further act as chemosensitizers increasing efficacy and reducing toxicities of current ALL regimens. We have applied a structure-based design approach to discover novel small molecule Mer kinase inhibitors. Several pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives effectively inhibit Mer kinase activity at sub-nanomolar concentrations. Furthermore, the lead compound shows a promising selectivity profile against a panel of 72 kinases and has excellent pharmacokinetic properties. We also describe the crystal structure of the complex between the lead compound and Mer, opening new opportunities for further optimization and new template design.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freire, Ernesto

    2010-03-01

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

  19. One-step, low-temperature deposited perovskite solar cell utilizing small molecule additive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Chun-Chao; Hong, Zirou; Li, Gang; Chen, Qi; Zhou, Huanping; Yang, Yang

    2015-01-01

    In the current study, the perovskite absorber (CH3NH3PbI3) is processed via one-step deposition employing the small molecule additive, BmPyPhB, which can be dissolved in dimethylformamide along with precursors. Here, 1,3-Bis[3,5-di(pyridin-3-yl)phenyl]benzene (BmPyPhB) functions as the morphology controller to introduce an intermediate phase during perovskite film growth, which allows well-defined and precrystallized domains formed before the annealing treatment. Furthermore, a chloroform solvent wash procedure is applied afterward to remove BmPyPhB from perovskite without damaging the predetermined morphology. Thus, postannealing as low as 100°C for 5 min can achieve the optimal power conversion efficiency of 8% in a planar-structured inverted solar cell.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Thieno[3,4-b]thiophene-Based Novel Small-Molecule Optoelectronic Materials.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Cheng; Zhu, Xiaozhang

    2017-04-04

    Because of the tailorable photoelectric properties derived from judicious molecular design and large-area and low-temperature processability especially on flexible substrates, design and synthesis of new organic π-functional materials is always a central topic in the field of organic optoelectronics, which siginificantly contributed to the development of high-performance optoelectronic devices such as organic photovoltaics (OPVs), organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Compared with polymers, small molecules with well-defined molecular structures benefit the establishment of structure-property relationships, which may provide valuable guidelines for the design of new optoelectronic materials to further promote the device performance. New building blocks are essential for the construction of optoelectronic materials. As is well recognized, thiophene-based functional materials have played an indispensable role in the development of organic optoelectronics. Compared with six-membered benzene, five-membered thiophene shows weaker aromaticity and lower steric hindrance and may provide extra sulfur-sulfur interactions in solid state. Among various thiophene building blocks, thieno[3,4-b]thiophene (TbT) is an asymmetric fused bithiophene containing four functionalization positions, in which the proaromatic thiophene can effectively stabilize the quinoidal resonance of the aromatic thiophene. Thus, TbT exhibits a unique characteristic of quinoid-resonance effect that is powerful to modulate electronic structures. Although the application of TbT in polymer donor materials represented by PTB-7 has achieved a great success, its application in small-molecule optoelectronic materials is almost an untouched field. In this Account, we summerize the rational design of a series of TbT-based small-molecule optoelectronic materials designed and optimized by quinoid-resonance effect, regiochemistry, and side-chain engineering and

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Theoretical characterization on photoelectric properties of benzothiadiazole- and fluorene-based small molecule acceptor materials for the organic photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Sui, Mingyue; Li, Shuangbao; Pan, Qingqing; Sun, Guangyan; Geng, Yun

    2017-01-01

    The upper efficiency of heterojunction organic photovoltaics depends on the increased open-circuit voltage (V oc) and short-circuit current (J sc). So, a higher lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) level is necessary for organic acceptor material to possess higher V oc and more photons absorbsorption in the solar spectrum is needed for larger J sc. In this article, we theoretically designed some small molecule acceptors (2∼5) based on fluorene (F), benzothiadiazole, and cyano group (CN) referring to the reported acceptor material 2-[{7-(9,9-di-n-propyl-9H-fluoren-2-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazol-4-yl}methylene]malononitrile (1), the crucial parameters affecting photoelectrical properties of compounds 2∼5 were evaluated by the density functional theory (DFT) and time dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) methods. The results reveal that compared with 1, 3 and 4 could have the better complementary absorption spectra with P3HT, the increased LUMO level, the improved V oc, and the decreased electronic organization energy (λ e). From the simulation of transition density matrix, it is very clear that the excitons of molecules 3 and 4 are easier to separate in the material surface. Therefore, 3 and 4 may become potential acceptor candidates for organic photovoltaic cells. In addition, with the increased number of CN, the optoelectronic properties of the molecules show a regular change, mainly improve the LUMO level, energy gap, V oc, and absorption intensity. In summary, reasonably adjusting CN can effectively improve the photovoltaic properties of small molecule acceptors. Graphical Abstract Structure-property relationship of small molecule acceptors could be rationally evaluated in the article. The changes of conjugate length and CN are important strategies to alter the photovoltaic properties of small molecule acceptors. Therefore, taking the K12/1 as a reference, we have theoretically designed a series of small molecule acceptors (2-4). The calculated

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Improving the efficiency of aerodynamic shape optimization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burgreen, Greg W.; Baysal, Oktay; Eleshaky, Mohamed E.

    1994-01-01

    The computational efficiency of an aerodynamic shape optimization procedure that is based on discrete sensitivity analysis is increased through the implementation of two improvements. The first improvement involves replacing a grid-point-based approach for surface representation with a Bezier-Bernstein polynomial parameterization of the surface. Explicit analytical expressions for the grid sensitivity terms are developed for both approaches. The second improvement proposes the use of Newton's method in lieu of an alternating direction implicit methodology to calculate the highly converged flow solutions that are required to compute the sensitivity coefficients. The modified design procedure is demonstrated by optimizing the shape of an internal-external nozzle configuration. Practically identical optimization results are obtained that are independent of the method used to represent the surface. A substantial factor of 8 decrease in computational time for the optimization process is achieved by implementing both of the design procedure improvements.

  11. Electron-transporting small molecule/ o-xylene hybrid additives to boost the performance of simplified inverted polymer solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Dashan; Cao, Huan; Zhang, Jidong

    2017-05-01

    Electron-transporting small molecule bathophenanthroline (Bphen) together with o-xylene has been used as hybrid additives to improve the performance of simplified inverted polymer solar cells employing ITO alone as cathode and photoactive layer based on polymer [[2,6'-4,8-di(5-ethylhexylthienyl)benzo[1,2-b;3,3-b] dithiophene] [3-fluoro-2[(2-ethylhexyl)carbonyl]thieno[3,4-b]thiophenediyl

  12. Understanding the charge-transfer state and singlet exciton emission from solution-processed small-molecule organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Ran, Niva A; Kuik, Martijn; Love, John A; Proctor, Christopher M; Nagao, Ikuhiro; Bazan, Guillermo C; Nguyen, Thuc-Quyen

    2014-11-19

    Electroluminescence (EL) from the charge-transfer state and singlet excitons is observed at low applied voltages from high-performing small-molecule bulk-heterojunction solar cells. Singlet emission from the blends emerges upon altering the processing conditions, such as thermal annealing and processing with a solvent additive, and correlates with improved photovoltaic performance. Low-temperature EL measurements are utilized to access the physics behind the singlet emission.

  13. Identification of small molecules that support human leukemia stem cell activity ex vivo.

    PubMed

    Pabst, Caroline; Krosl, Jana; Fares, Iman; Boucher, Geneviève; Ruel, Réjean; Marinier, Anne; Lemieux, Sébastien; Hébert, Josée; Sauvageau, Guy

    2014-04-01

    Leukemic stem cells (LSCs) are considered a major cause of relapse in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Defining pathways that control LSC self-renewal is crucial for a better understanding of underlying mechanisms and for the development of targeted therapies. However, currently available culture conditions do not prevent spontaneous differentiation of LSCs, which greatly limits the feasibility of cell-based assays. To overcome these constraints we conducted a high-throughput chemical screen and identified small molecules that inhibit differentiation and support LSC activity in vitro. Similar to reports with cord blood stem cells, several of these compounds suppressed the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway, which we show to be inactive in vivo and rapidly activated ex vivo in AML cells. We also identified a compound, UM729, that collaborates with AhR suppressors in preventing AML cell differentiation. Together, these findings provide newly defined culture conditions for improved ex vivo culture of primary human AML cells.

  14. 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

  15. A synthetic small molecule for rapid induction of multiple pluripotency genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandian, Ganesh N.; Nakano, Yusuke; Sato, Shinsuke; Morinaga, Hironobu; Bando, Toshikazu; Nagase, Hiroki; Sugiyama, Hiroshi

    2012-07-01

    Cellular reprogramming involves profound alterations in genome-wide gene expression that is precisely controlled by a hypothetical epigenetic code. Small molecules have been shown to artificially induce epigenetic modifications in a sequence independent manner. Recently, we showed that specific DNA binding hairpin pyrrole-imidazole polyamides (PIPs) could be conjugated with chromatin modifying histone deacetylase inhibitors like SAHA to epigenetically activate certain pluripotent genes in mouse fibroblasts. In our steadfast progress to improve the efficiency of SAHA-PIPs, we identified a novel compound termed, δ that could dramatically induce the endogenous expression of Oct-3/4 and Nanog. Genome-wide gene analysis suggests that in just 24 h and at nM concentration, δ induced multiple pluripotency-associated genes including Rex1 and Cdh1 by more than ten-fold. δ treated MEFs also rapidly overcame the rate-limiting step of epithelial transition in cellular reprogramming by switching ``'' the complex transcriptional gene network.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Small molecule activators of SIRT1 replicate signaling pathways triggered by calorie restriction in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jesse J; Kenney, Renée Deehan; Gagne, David J; Frushour, Brian P; Ladd, William; Galonek, Heidi L; Israelian, Kristine; Song, Jeffrey; Razvadauskaite, Giedre; Lynch, Amy V; Carney, David P; Johnson, Robin J; Lavu, Siva; Iffland, Andre; Elliott, Peter J; Lambert, Philip D; Elliston, Keith O; Jirousek, Michael R; Milne, Jill C; Boss, Olivier

    2009-01-01

    Background Calorie restriction (CR) produces a number of health benefits and ameliorates diseases of aging such as type 2 diabetes. The components of the pathways downstream of CR may provide intervention points for developing therapeutics for treating diseases of aging. The NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase SIRT1 has been implicated as one of the key downstream regulators of CR in yeast, rodents, and humans. Small molecule activators of SIRT1 have been identified that exhibit efficacy in animal models of diseases typically associated with aging including type 2 diabetes. To identify molecular processes induced in the liver of mice treated with two structurally distinct SIRT1 activators, SIRT501 (formulated resveratrol) and SRT1720, for three days, we utilized a systems biology approach and applied Causal Network Modeling (CNM) on gene expression data to elucidate downstream effects of SIRT1 activation. Results Here we demonstrate that SIRT1 activators recapitulate many of the molecular events downstream of CR in vivo, such as enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis, improving metabolic signaling pathways, and blunting pro-inflammatory pathways in mice fed a high fat, high calorie diet. Conclusion CNM of gene expression data from mice treated with SRT501 or SRT1720 in combination with supporting in vitro and in vivo data demonstrates that SRT501 and SRT1720 produce a signaling profile that mirrors CR, improves glucose and insulin homeostasis, and acts via SIRT1 activation in vivo. Taken together these results are encouraging regarding the use of small molecule activators of SIRT1 for therapeutic intervention into type 2 diabetes, a strategy which is currently being investigated in multiple clinical trials. PMID:19284563

  19. Tumor Targeting of Polymeric Nanoparticles Conjugated with Peptides, Saccharides, and Small Molecules for Anticancer Drugs.

    PubMed

    Bayram, Banu; Özgür, Aykut; Tutar, Lütfi; Tutar, Yusuf

    2017-06-07

    Targeting drugs or pharmaceutical compounds to tumor site increases cancer treatment efficiency and therapeutic outcome. Nanoparticles are unique delivery systems for site-targeting within an organism. Many novel technologies have been established in drug research and development area. Nanotechnology now offers nanometer size polymeric nanoparticles and these particles direct drugs to their targets, protect drugs against degradation, and release the drug in a controlled manner. Modification of nanoparticle surface by molecules leads to prolonged retention and accumulation in the target area of the organism. Current efforts of designing polymeric nanoparticles include drug activation in the target area, controlled drug release at the site upon stimulation, and increased drug loading capacity of drug polymer conjugates. Recent progress in molecular mechanism elucidation of cancer cell and rising research in nanoparticle designs may provide efficient cancer treatment modality and innovative nanoparticle designs in the near future. Recent years have seen many developments in the field of innovative peptide based drug nanoparticles. Although none of them approved to be used in clinic yet, peptides are promising structures due to their simple and non-antigenic nature. Biodegrable materials are also preferred materials in drug delivery. Polysaccharide-based micelle systems improve hydrophobic drug and protein delivery. Ease of saccharide structure modification improves pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of drug molecules as well as their delivery to a specific site in a controlled manner and sustained rate. Small molecules, especially drugs, conjugated to nanoparticles and several nanoparticles of this type are in the clinical trials and at the market. This review provides recent developments of polymeric nanoparticles conjugated with peptides, saccharides, and small molecules in cancer theraphy. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-18

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-29

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

  5. Small molecule cardiogenol C upregulates cardiac markers and induces cardiac functional properties in lineage-committed progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Mike, Agnes K; Koenig, Xaver; Koley, Moumita; Heher, Philipp; Wahl, Gerald; Rubi, Lena; Schnürch, Michael; Mihovilovic, Marko D; Weitzer, Georg; Hilber, Karlheinz

    2014-01-01

    Cell transplantation into the heart is a new therapy after myocardial infarction. Its success, however, is impeded by poor donor cell survival and by limited transdifferentiation of the transplanted cells into functional cardiomyocytes. A promising strategy to overcome these problems is the induction of cardiomyogenic properties in donor cells by small molecules. Here we studied cardiomyogenic effects of the small molecule compound cardiogenol C (CgC), and structural derivatives thereof, on lineage-committed progenitor cells by various molecular biological, biochemical, and functional assays. Treatment with CgC up-regulated cardiac marker expression in skeletal myoblasts. Importantly, the compound also induced cardiac functional properties: first, cardiac-like sodium currents in skeletal myoblasts, and secondly, spontaneous contractions in cardiovascular progenitor cell-derived cardiac bodies. CgC induces cardiomyogenic function in lineage-committed progenitor cells, and can thus be considered a promising tool to improve cardiac repair by cell therapy.

  6. Solution-processed and high-performance organic solar cells using small molecules with a benzodithiophene unit.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jiaoyan; Zuo, Yi; Wan, Xiangjian; Long, Guankui; Zhang, Qian; Ni, Wang; Liu, Yongsheng; Li, Zhi; He, Guangrui; Li, Chenxi; Kan, Bin; Li, Miaomiao; Chen, Yongsheng

    2013-06-12

    Three small molecules named DR3TBDTT, DR3TBDTT-HD, and DR3TBD2T with a benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']dithiophene (BDT) unit as the central building block have been designed and synthesized for solution-processed bulk-heterojunction solar cells. Power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of 8.12% (certified 7.61%) and 8.02% under AM 1.5G irradiation (100 mW cm(-2)) have been achieved for DR3TBDTT- and DR3TBDT2T-based organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs) with PC71BM as the acceptor, respectively. The better PCEs were achieved by improving the short-circuit current density without sacrificing the high open-circuit voltage and fill factor through the strategy of incorporating the advantages of both conventional small molecules and polymers for OPVs.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Chemical Derivatives of a Small Molecule Deubiquitinase Inhibitor Have Antiviral Activity against Several RNA Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Hernandez, Marta J.; Pal, Anupama; Gyan, Kofi E.; Charbonneau, Marie-Eve; Showalter, Hollis D.; Donato, Nicholas J.; O'Riordan, Mary; Wobus, Christiane E.

    2014-01-01

    Most antiviral treatment options target the invading pathogen and unavoidably encounter loss of efficacy as the pathogen mutates to overcome replication restrictions. A good strategy for circumventing drug resistance, or for pathogens without treatment options, is to target host cell proteins that are utilized by viruses during infection. The small molecule WP1130 is a selective deubiquitinase inhibitor shown previously to successfully reduce replication of noroviruses and some other RNA viruses. In this study, we screened a library of 31 small molecule derivatives of WP1130 to identify compounds that retained the broad-spectrum antiviral activity of the parent compound in vitro but exhibited improved drug-like properties, particularly increased aqueous solubility. Seventeen compounds significantly reduced murine norovirus infection in murine macrophage RAW 264.7 cells, with four causing decreases in viral titers that were similar or slightly better than WP1130 (1.9 to 2.6 log scale). Antiviral activity was observed following pre-treatment and up to 1 hour postinfection in RAW 264.7 cells as well as in primary bone marrow-derived macrophages. Treatment of the human norovirus replicon system cell line with the same four compounds also decreased levels of Norwalk virus RNA. No significant cytotoxicity was observed at the working concentration of 5 µM for all compounds tested. In addition, the WP1130 derivatives maintained their broad-spectrum antiviral activity against other RNA viruses, Sindbis virus, LaCrosse virus, encephalomyocarditis virus, and Tulane virus. Thus, altering structural characteristics of WP1130 can maintain effective broad-spectrum antiviral activity while increasing aqueous solubility. PMID:24722666

  10. Chemical derivatives of a small molecule deubiquitinase inhibitor have antiviral activity against several RNA viruses.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Most antiviral treatment options target the invading pathogen and unavoidably encounter loss of efficacy as the pathogen mutates to overcome replication restrictions. A good strategy for circumventing drug resistance, or for pathogens without treatment options, is to target host cell proteins that are utilized by viruses during infection. The small molecule WP1130 is a selective deubiquitinase inhibitor shown previously to successfully reduce replication of n