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Sample records for optimization improved small-molecule

  1. Discovery and optimization of potent and selective benzonaphthyridinone analogs as small molecule mTOR inhibitors with improved mouse microsome stability

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qingsong; Wang, Jinhua; Kang, Seong A.; Thoreen, Carson C.; Hur, Wooyoung; Choi, Hwan Geun; Waller, David L.; Sim, Taebo; Sabatini, David M.; Gray, Nathanael S.

    2014-01-01

    Starting from small molecule mTOR inhibitor Torin1, replacement of the piperazine ring with a phenyl ring resulted in a new series of mTOR inhibitors (as exemplified by 10) that showed superior potency and selectivity for mTOR, along with significantly improved mouse liver microsome stability and a longer in vivo half-life. PMID:21621413

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

    PubMed

    Chan, Zhulong; Shi, Haitao

    2015-01-01

    As a widely used warm-season turfgrass in landscapes and golf courses, bermudagrass encounters multiple abiotic stresses during the growth and development. Physiology analysis indicated that abiotic stresses induced the accumulation of ROS and decline of photosynthesis, resulting in increased cell damage and inhibited growth. Proteomic and metabolomic approaches showed that antioxidant enzymes and osmoprotectant contents (sugar, sucrose, dehydrin, proline) were extensively changed under abiotic stress conditions. Exogenous application of small molecules, such as ABA, NO, CaCl2, H2S, polyamine and melatonin, could effectively alleviate damages caused by multiple abiotic stresses, including drought, salt, heat and cold. Based on high through-put RNA seq analysis, genes involved in ROS, transcription factors, hormones, and carbohydrate metabolisms were largely enriched. The data indicated that small molecules induced the accumulation of osmoprotectants and antioxidants, kept cell membrane integrity, increased photosynthesis and kept ion homeostasis, which protected bermudagrass from damages caused by abiotic stresses. PMID:25757363

  3. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment normalizes tuberculosis granuloma vasculature and improves small molecule delivery.

    PubMed

    Datta, Meenal; Via, Laura E; Kamoun, Walid S; Liu, Chong; Chen, Wei; Seano, Giorgio; Weiner, Danielle M; Schimel, Daniel; England, Kathleen; Martin, John D; Gao, Xing; Xu, Lei; Barry, Clifton E; Jain, Rakesh K

    2015-02-10

    Tuberculosis (TB) causes almost 2 million deaths annually, and an increasing number of patients are resistant to existing therapies. Patients who have TB require lengthy chemotherapy, possibly because of poor penetration of antibiotics into granulomas where the bacilli reside. Granulomas are morphologically similar to solid cancerous tumors in that they contain hypoxic microenvironments and can be highly fibrotic. Here, we show that TB-infected rabbits have impaired small molecule distribution into these disease sites due to a functionally abnormal vasculature, with a low-molecular-weight tracer accumulating only in peripheral regions of granulomatous lesions. Granuloma-associated vessels are morphologically and spatially heterogeneous, with poor vessel pericyte coverage in both human and experimental rabbit TB granulomas. Moreover, we found enhanced VEGF expression in both species. In tumors, antiangiogenic, specifically anti-VEGF, treatments can "normalize" their vasculature, reducing hypoxia and creating a window of opportunity for concurrent chemotherapy; thus, we investigated vessel normalization in rabbit TB granulomas. Treatment of TB-infected rabbits with the anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab significantly decreased the total number of vessels while normalizing those vessels that remained. As a result, hypoxic fractions of these granulomas were reduced and small molecule tracer delivery was increased. These findings demonstrate that bevacizumab treatment promotes vascular normalization, improves small molecule delivery, and decreases hypoxia in TB granulomas, thereby providing a potential avenue to improve delivery and efficacy of current treatment regimens.

  4. Synthesis, Optimization, and Evaluation of Novel Small Molecules as Antagonists of WDR5-MLL Interaction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The WD40-repeat protein WDR5 plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity of MLL complexes and fully activating their methyltransferase function. MLL complexes, the trithorax-like family of SET1 methyltransferases, catalyze trimethylation of lysine 4 on histone 3, and they have been widely implicated in various cancers. Antagonism of WDR5 and MLL subunit interaction by small molecules has recently been presented as a practical way to inhibit activity of the MLL1 complex, and N-(2-(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)-5-substituted-phenyl) benzamides were reported as potent and selective antagonists of such an interaction. Here, we describe the protein crystal structure guided optimization of prototypic compound 2 (Kdis = 7 μM), leading to identification of more potent antagonist 47 (Kdis = 0.3 μM). PMID:24900672

  5. Synthesis, Optimization, and Evaluation of Novel Small Molecules as Antagonists of WDR5-MLL Interaction.

    PubMed

    Bolshan, Yuri; Getlik, Matthäus; Kuznetsova, Ekaterina; Wasney, Gregory A; Hajian, Taraneh; Poda, Gennadiy; Nguyen, Kong T; Wu, Hong; Dombrovski, Ludmila; Dong, Aiping; Senisterra, Guillermo; Schapira, Matthieu; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H; Brown, Peter J; Al-Awar, Rima; Vedadi, Masoud; Smil, David

    2013-03-14

    The WD40-repeat protein WDR5 plays a critical role in maintaining the integrity of MLL complexes and fully activating their methyltransferase function. MLL complexes, the trithorax-like family of SET1 methyltransferases, catalyze trimethylation of lysine 4 on histone 3, and they have been widely implicated in various cancers. Antagonism of WDR5 and MLL subunit interaction by small molecules has recently been presented as a practical way to inhibit activity of the MLL1 complex, and N-(2-(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)-5-substituted-phenyl) benzamides were reported as potent and selective antagonists of such an interaction. Here, we describe the protein crystal structure guided optimization of prototypic compound 2 (K dis = 7 μM), leading to identification of more potent antagonist 47 (K dis = 0.3 μM).

  6. Optimized small molecule antibody labeling efficiency through continuous flow centrifugal diafiltration.

    PubMed

    Cappione, Amedeo; Mabuchi, Masaharu; Briggs, David; Nadler, Timothy

    2015-04-01

    Protein immuno-detection encompasses a broad range of analytical methodologies, including western blotting, flow cytometry, and microscope-based applications. These assays which detect, quantify, and/or localize expression for one or more proteins in complex biological samples, are reliant upon fluorescent or enzyme-tagged target-specific antibodies. While small molecule labeling kits are available with a range of detection moieties, the workflow is hampered by a requirement for multiple dialysis-based buffer exchange steps that are both time-consuming and subject to sample loss. In a previous study, we briefly described an alternative method for small-scale protein labeling with small molecule dyes whereby all phases of the conjugation workflow could be performed in a single centrifugal diafiltration device. Here, we expand on this foundational work addressing functionality of the device at each step in the workflow (sample cleanup, labeling, unbound dye removal, and buffer exchange/concentration) and the implications for optimizing labeling efficiency. When compared to other common buffer exchange methodologies, centrifugal diafiltration offered superior performance as measured by four key parameters (process time, desalting capacity, protein recovery, retain functional integrity). Originally designed for resin-based affinity purification, the device also provides a platform for up-front antibody purification or albumin carrier removal. Most significantly, by exploiting the rapid kinetics of NHS-based labeling reactions, the process of continuous diafiltration minimizes reaction time and long exposure to excess dye, guaranteeing maximal target labeling while limiting the risks associated with over-labeling. Overall, the device offers a simplified workflow with reduced processing time and hands-on requirements, without sacrificing labeling efficiency, final yield, or conjugate performance.

  7. Disruption of Myc-Max heterodimerization with improved cell-penetrating analogs of the small molecule 10074-G5.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huabo; Chauhan, Jay; Hu, Angela; Pendleton, Kelsey; Yap, Jeremy L; Sabato, Philip E; Jones, Jace W; Perri, Mariarita; Yu, Jianshi; Cione, Erika; Kane, Maureen A; Fletcher, Steven; Prochownik, Edward V

    2013-06-01

    The c-Myc (Myc) oncoprotein is a high-value therapeutic target given that it is deregulated in multiple types of cancer. However, potent small molecule inhibitors of Myc have been difficult to identify, particularly those whose mechanism relies on blocking the association between Myc and its obligate heterodimerization partner, Max. We have recently reported a structure-activity relationship study of one such small molecule, 10074-G5, and generated an analog, JY-3-094, with significantly improved ability to prevent or disrupt the association between recombinant Myc and Max proteins. However, JY-3094 penetrates cells poorly. Here, we show that esterification of a critical para-carboxylic acid function of JY-3-094 by various blocking groups significantly improves cellular uptake although it impairs the ability to disrupt Myc-Max association in vitro. These pro-drugs are highly concentrated within cells where JY-3-094 is then generated by the action of esterases. However, the pro-drugs are also variably susceptible to extracellular esterases, which can deplete extracellular reservoirs. Furthermore, while JY-3-094 is retained by cells for long periods of time, much of it is compartmentalized within the cytoplasm in a form that appears to be less available to interact with Myc. Our results suggest that persistently high extracellular levels of pro-drug, without excessive susceptibility to extracellular esterases, are critical to establishing and maintaining intracellular levels of JY-3-094 that are sufficient to provide for long-term inhibition of Myc-Max association. Analogs of JY-3-094 appear to represent promising small molecule Myc inhibitors that warrant further optimization.

  8. Optimized metal-organic-framework nanospheres for drug delivery: evaluation of small-molecule encapsulation.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Jia; Kuo, Chun-Hong; Chou, Lien-Yang; Liu, De-Yu; Weerapana, Eranthie; Tsung, Chia-Kuang

    2014-03-25

    We have developed a general synthetic route to encapsulate small molecules in monodisperse zeolitic imid-azolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) nanospheres for drug delivery. Electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and elemental analysis show that the small-molecule-encapsulated ZIF-8 nanospheres are uniform 70 nm particles with single-crystalline structure. Several small molecules, including fluorescein and the anticancer drug camptothecin, were encapsulated inside of the ZIF-8 framework. Evaluation of fluorescein-encapsulated ZIF-8 nanospheres in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line demonstrated cell internalization and minimal cytotoxicity. The 70 nm particle size facilitates cellular uptake, and the pH-responsive dissociation of the ZIF-8 framework likely results in endosomal release of the small-molecule cargo, thereby rendering the ZIF-8 scaffold an ideal drug delivery vehicle. To confirm this, we demonstrate that camptothecin encapsulated ZIF-8 particles show enhanced cell death, indicative of internalization and intracellular release of the drug. To demonstrate the versatility of this ZIF-8 system, iron oxide nanoparticles were also encapsulated into the ZIF-8 nanospheres, thereby endowing magnetic features to these nanospheres.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Small-molecule ghrelin receptor antagonists improve glucose tolerance, suppress appetite, and promote weight loss.

    PubMed

    Esler, William P; Rudolph, Joachim; Claus, Thomas H; Tang, Weifeng; Barucci, Nicole; Brown, Su-Ellen; Bullock, William; Daly, Michelle; Decarr, Lynn; Li, Yaxin; Milardo, Lucinda; Molstad, David; Zhu, Jian; Gardell, Stephen J; Livingston, James N; Sweet, Laurel J

    2007-11-01

    Ghrelin, through action on its receptor, GH secretagogue receptor type 1a (GHS-R1a), exerts a variety of metabolic functions including stimulation of appetite and weight gain and suppression of insulin secretion. In the present study, we examined the effects of novel small-molecule GHS-R1a antagonists on insulin secretion, glucose tolerance, and weight loss. Ghrelin dose-dependently suppressed insulin secretion from dispersed rat islets. This effect was fully blocked by a GHS-R1a antagonist. Consistent with this observation, a single oral dose of a GHS-R1a antagonist improved glucose homeostasis in an ip glucose tolerance test in rat. Improvement in glucose tolerance was attributed to increased insulin secretion. Daily oral administration of a GHS-R1a antagonist to diet-induced obese mice led to reduced food intake and weight loss (up to 15%) due to selective loss of fat mass. Pair-feeding experiments indicated that weight loss was largely a consequence of reduced food intake. The impact of a GHS-R1a antagonist on gastric emptying was also examined. Although the GHS-R1a antagonist modestly delayed gastric emptying at the highest dose tested (10 mg/kg), delayed gastric emptying does not appear to be a requirement for weight loss because lower doses produced weight loss without an effect on gastric emptying. Consistent with the hypothesis that ghrelin regulates feeding centrally, the anorexigenic effects of potent GHS-R1a antagonists in mice appeared to correspond with their brain exposure. These observations demonstrate that GHS-R1a antagonists have the potential to improve the diabetic condition by promoting glucose-dependent insulin secretion and promoting weight loss.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Shikha; Silakari, Sanjay; Agrawal, Jitendra

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Shikha; Silakari, Sanjay; Agrawal, Jitendra

    2015-11-01

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

  20. 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

    2014-03-01

    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.

  1. Identification of small molecules that improve ATP synthesis defects conferred by Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy mutations.

    PubMed

    Datta, Sandipan; Tomilov, Alexey; Cortopassi, Gino

    2016-09-01

    Inherited mitochondrial complex I mutations cause blinding Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), for which no curative therapy exists. A specific biochemical consequence of LHON mutations in the presence of trace rotenone was observed: deficient complex I-dependent ATP synthesis (CIDAS) and mitochondrial O2 consumption, proportional to the clinical severity of the three primary LHON mutations. We optimized a high-throughput assay of CIDAS to screen 1600 drugs to 2, papaverine and zolpidem, which protected CIDAS in LHON cells concentration-dependently. TSPO and cAMP were investigated as protective mechanisms, but a conclusive mechanism remains to be elucidated; next steps include testing in animal models.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Structural Characterization and Computer-aided Optimization of a Small Molecule Inhibitor of Arp2/3 Complex, a Key Regulator of the Actin Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Baggett, Andrew W.; Cournia, Zoe; Han, Min Suk; Patargias, George; Glass, Adam C.; Liu, Shih-Yuan; Nolen, Brad J.

    2012-01-01

    CK-666 (1) is a recently discovered small molecule inhibitor of the Arp2/3 complex, a key actin cytoskeleton regulator with roles in bacterial pathogenesis and motility of cancer cells. While 1 is commercially available, the crystal structure of Arp2/3 (Actin-related protein 2/3) complex with 1 bound has not been reported, making its mechanism of action uncertain. Furthermore, its relatively low potency increases its potential for off target effects in vivo, complicating interpretation of its influence in cell biological studies and precluding its use in clinical applications. Here we report the crystal structure of 1 bound to Arp2/3 complex, which reveals that 1 binds between the Arp2 and Arp3 subunits to stabilize the inactive conformation of the complex. Based on the crystal structure, we used computational docking and free energy perturbation calculations of monosubstituted derivatives of 1 to guide optimization efforts. Biochemical assays of ten newly synthesized compounds led to the identification of compound 2, which exhibits a 3 fold increase in inhibitory activity in vitro. In addition, our computational analyses unveiled a surface groove at the interface of the Arp2 and Arp3 subunits that can be exploited for additional structure-based optimization. PMID:22623398

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Pegylation improves the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of small-molecule drugs hydrolyzable by esterases: a study of phospho-Ibuprofen.

    PubMed

    Mattheolabakis, George; Wong, Chi C; Sun, Yu; Amella, Carol A; Richards, Robert; Constantinides, Panayiotis P; Rigas, Basil

    2014-10-01

    Esterase hydrolysis of drugs can accelerate their elimination, thereby limiting their efficacy. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) covalently attached to drugs (pegylation) is known to improve the efficiency of many drugs. Using as a test agent the novel phospho-ibuprofen (PI), we examined whether pegylation of PI could abrogate its hydrolytic degradation by esterases; PI, known to inhibit colon cancer growth, has a carboxylic ester hydrolyzable by carboxylesterases (CES). We covalently attached mPEG-2000 to PI (PI-PEG) and studied its stability by exposing it to cells overexpressing CES and by administering it to mice. We also evaluated PI-PEG's anticancer efficacy in human colon cancer xenografts and in Apc(min/+) mice. PI-PEG was stable in the presence of cells overexpressing CES1 or CES2, whereas PI was extensively hydrolyzed (90.2 ± 0.7%, 14.3 ± 1.1%, mean ± S.E.M.). In mice, PI was nearly completely hydrolyzed. Intravenous administration of PI-PEG resulted in significant levels in blood and in colon cancer xenografts (xenograft values in parentheses): area under the curve for 0-24 hours = 2351 (2621) (nmol/g) × h; Cmax = 1965 (886) nmol/g; Tmax = 0.08 (2) hour. The blood levels of ibuprofen, its main hydrolytic product, were minimal. Compared with controls, PI-PEG inhibited the growth of the xenografts by 74.8% (P < 0.01) and reduced intestinal tumor multiplicity in Apc(min/+) mice by 73.1% (P < 0.01), prolonging their survival (100% versus 55.1% of controls; P = 0.013). Pegylation protects PI from esterase hydrolysis and improves its pharmacokinetics. In preclinical models of colon cancer, PI-PEG is a safe and efficacious agent that merits further evaluation.

  14. 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.

  15. Polymer-Based Prodrugs: Improving Tumor Targeting and the Solubility of Small Molecule Drugs in Cancer Therapy.

    PubMed

    Dragojevic, Sonja; Ryu, Jung Su; Raucher, Drazen

    2015-12-04

    The majority of anticancer drugs have poor aqueous solubility, produce adverse effects in healthy tissue, and thus impose major limitations on both clinical efficacy and therapeutic safety of cancer chemotherapy. To help circumvent problems associated with solubility, most cancer drugs are now formulated with co-solubilizers. However, these agents often also introduce severe side effects, thereby restricting effective treatment and patient quality of life. A promising approach to addressing problems in anticancer drug solubility and selectivity is their conjugation with polymeric carriers to form polymer-based prodrugs. These polymer-based prodrugs are macromolecular carriers, designed to increase the aqueous solubility of antitumor drugs, can enhance bioavailability. Additionally, polymer-based prodrugs approach exploits unique features of tumor physiology to passively facilitate intratumoral accumulation, and so improve chemodrug pharmacokinetics and pharmacological properties. This review introduces basic concepts of polymer-based prodrugs, provides an overview of currently emerging synthetic, natural, and genetically engineered polymers that now deliver anticancer drugs in preclinical or clinical trials, and highlights their major anticipated applications in anticancer therapies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  17. Small-molecule TrkB receptor agonists improve motor function and extend survival in a mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Mali; Peng, Qi; Liu, Xia; Jin, Jing; Hou, Zhipeng; Zhang, Jiangyang; Mori, Susumu; Ross, Christopher A; Ye, Keqiang; Duan, Wenzhen

    2013-06-15

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by abnormal motor coordination, cognitive decline and psychiatric disorders. This disease is caused by an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat in the gene encoding the protein huntingtin. Reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain, which results from transcriptional inhibition and axonal transport deficits mediated by mutant huntingtin, have been suggested as critical factors underlying selective neurodegeneration in both HD patients and HD mouse models. BDNF activates its high-affinity receptor TrkB and promotes neuronal survival; restoring BDNF signaling is thus of particular therapeutic interest. In the present study, we evaluated the ability of a small-molecule TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) and its synthetic derivative 4'-dimethylamino-7,8- dihydroxyflavone (4'-DMA-7,8-DHF) to protect neurons in the well-characterized N171-82Q HD mouse model. We found that chronic administration of 7, 8-DHF (5 mg/kg) or 4'-DMA-7,8-DHF (1 mg/kg) significantly improved motor deficits, ameliorated brain atrophy and extended survival in these N171-82Q HD mice. Moreover, 4'-DMA-7,8-DHF preserved DARPP32 levels in the striatum and rescued mutant huntingtin-induced impairment of neurogenesis in the N171-82Q HD mice. These data highlight consideration of TrkB as a therapeutic target in HD and suggest that small-molecule TrkB agonists that penetrate the brain have high potential to be further tested in clinical trials of HD.

  18. 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. PMID:22879872

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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%.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yanting

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

  3. Rational design of small molecules as vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tom Y-H; Singh, Manmohan; Miller, Andrew T; De Gregorio, Ennio; Doro, Francesco; D'Oro, Ugo; Skibinski, David A G; Mbow, M Lamine; Bufali, Simone; Herman, Ann E; Cortez, Alex; Li, Yongkai; Nayak, Bishnu P; Tritto, Elaine; Filippi, Christophe M; Otten, Gillis R; Brito, Luis A; Monaci, Elisabetta; Li, Chun; Aprea, Susanna; Valentini, Sara; Calabrό, Samuele; Laera, Donatello; Brunelli, Brunella; Caproni, Elena; Malyala, Padma; Panchal, Rekha G; Warren, Travis K; Bavari, Sina; O'Hagan, Derek T; Cooke, Michael P; Valiante, Nicholas M

    2014-11-19

    Adjuvants increase vaccine potency largely by activating innate immunity and promoting inflammation. Limiting the side effects of this inflammation is a major hurdle for adjuvant use in vaccines for humans. It has been difficult to improve on adjuvant safety because of a poor understanding of adjuvant mechanism and the empirical nature of adjuvant discovery and development historically. We describe new principles for the rational optimization of small-molecule immune potentiators (SMIPs) targeting Toll-like receptor 7 as adjuvants with a predicted increase in their therapeutic indices. Unlike traditional drugs, SMIP-based adjuvants need to have limited bioavailability and remain localized for optimal efficacy. These features also lead to temporally and spatially restricted inflammation that should decrease side effects. Through medicinal and formulation chemistry and extensive immunopharmacology, we show that in vivo potency can be increased with little to no systemic exposure, localized innate immune activation and short in vivo residence times of SMIP-based adjuvants. This work provides a systematic and generalizable approach to engineering small molecules for use as vaccine adjuvants.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-24

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

  7. Programmable DNA-binding Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Blackledge, Meghan S.; Melander, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Aberrant gene expression is responsible for a myriad of human diseases from infectious diseases to cancer. Precise regulation of these genes via specific interactions with the DNA double helix could pave the way for novel therapeutics. Pyrrole-imidazole polyamides are small molecules capable of binding to pre-determined DNA sequences up to 16 base pairs with affinity and specificity comparable to natural transcription factors. In the three decades since their development, great strides have been made relating to synthetic accessibility and improved sequence specificity and binding affinity. This perspective presents a brief history of early seminal developments in the field and highlights recent reports of the utility of polyamides as both genetic modulators and molecular probes. PMID:23665141

  8. Small Molecule Inhibitors of Anthrax Lethal Factor Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Williams, John D.; Khan, Atiyya R.; Cardinale, Steven C.; Butler, Michelle M.; Bowlin, Terry L.; Peet, Norton P.

    2014-01-01

    This manuscript describes the preparation of new small molecule inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis lethal factor. Our starting point was the symmetrical, bis-quinolinyl compound 1 (NSC 12155). Optimization of one half of this molecule led to new LF inhibitors that were desymmetrized to afford more drug-like compounds. PMID:24290062

  9. 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

  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. Two-Photon Small Molecule Enzymatic Probes.

    PubMed

    Qian, Linghui; Li, Lin; Yao, Shao Q

    2016-04-19

    Enzymes are essential for life, especially in the development of disease and on drug effects, but as we cannot yet directly observe the inside interactions and only partially observe biochemical outcomes, tools "translating" these processes into readable information are essential for better understanding of enzymes as well as for developing effective tools to fight against diseases. Therefore, sensitive small molecule probes suitable for direct in vivo monitoring of enzyme activities are ultimately desirable. For fulfilling this desire, two-photon small molecule enzymatic probes (TSMEPs) producing amplified fluorescent signals based on enzymatic conversion with better photophysical properties and deeper penetration in intact tissues and whole animals have been developed and demonstrated to be powerful in addressing the issues described above. Nonetheless, currently available TSMEPs only cover a small portion of enzymes despite the distinct advantages of two-photon fluorescence microscopy. In this Account, we would like to share design principles for TSMEPs as potential indicators of certain pathology-related biomarkers together with their applications in disease models to inspire more elegant work to be done in this area. Highlights will be addressed on how to equip two-photon fluorescent probes with features amenable for direct assessment of enzyme activities in complex pathological environments. We give three recent examples from our laboratory and collaborations in which TSMEPs are applied to visualize the distribution and activity of enzymes at cellular and organism levels. The first example shows that we could distinguish endogenous phosphatase activity in different organelles; the second illustrates that TSMEP is suitable for specific and sensitive detection of a potential Parkinson's disease marker (monoamine oxidase B) in a variety of biological systems from cells to patient samples, and the third identifies that TSMEPs can be applied to other enzyme

  12. 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)…

  13. 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

  14. Multi-parameter phenotypic profiling: using cellular effects to characterize small-molecule compounds.

    PubMed

    Feng, Yan; Mitchison, Timothy J; Bender, Andreas; Young, Daniel W; Tallarico, John A

    2009-07-01

    Multi-parameter phenotypic profiling of small molecules provides important insights into their mechanisms of action, as well as a systems level understanding of biological pathways and their responses to small molecule treatments. It therefore deserves more attention at an early step in the drug discovery pipeline. Here, we summarize the technologies that are currently in use for phenotypic profiling--including mRNA-, protein- and imaging-based multi-parameter profiling--in the drug discovery context. We think that an earlier integration of phenotypic profiling technologies, combined with effective experimental and in silico target identification approaches, can improve success rates of lead selection and optimization in the drug discovery process.

  15. Auxin biology revealed by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-05-01

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

  16. Increased Hydrogel Swelling Induced by Absorption of Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Nam, Changwoo; Zimudzi, Tawanda J; Geise, Geoffrey M; Hickner, Michael A

    2016-06-01

    The water and small molecule uptake behavior of amphiphilic diacrylate terminated poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMSDA)/poly(ethylene glycol diacrylate) (PEGDA) cross-linked hydrogels were studied using attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. These hydrogel networks absorbed more water as the PEGDA content of the network increased. In contrast to typical osmotic deswelling behavior that occurs when liquid water equilibrated hydrogels are immersed in small molecule solutions with water activities less than unity, water-swollen gels immersed in 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid (AMPS-H) solutions rapidly regained their water content within 4 min following an initial deswelling response. In situ ATR-FTIR analysis of the hydrogel film during the dynamic swelling experiment indicated that small molecule absorption into the gel played an important role in inducing gel reswelling in low water activity solutions. This aspect of polymer gel water uptake and interaction with small molecules is important for optimizing hydrogel coatings and hydrophilic polymer applications where there is an interaction between the internal chemical structure of the gel and electrolytes or other molecules in solution. PMID:27159118

  17. Profiling protein function with small molecule microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Winssinger, Nicolas; Ficarro, Scott; Schultz, Peter G.; Harris, Jennifer L.

    2002-01-01

    The regulation of protein function through posttranslational modification, local environment, and protein–protein interaction is critical to cellular function. The ability to analyze on a genome-wide scale protein functional activity rather than changes in protein abundance or structure would provide important new insights into complex biological processes. Herein, we report the application of a spatially addressable small molecule microarray to an activity-based profile of proteases in crude cell lysates. The potential of this small molecule-based profiling technology is demonstrated by the detection of caspase activation upon induction of apoptosis, characterization of the activated caspase, and inhibition of the caspase-executed apoptotic phenotype using the small molecule inhibitor identified in the microarray-based profile. PMID:12167675

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Small molecule control of bacterial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Worthington, Roberta J.; Richards, Justin J.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Small molecule control of bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Worthington, Roberta J; Richards, Justin J; Melander, Christian

    2012-10-01

    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 patients, 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

  3. 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

  4. Organic Optoelectronic Devices Employing Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleetham, Tyler Blain

    Organic optoelectronic devices have remained a research topic of great interest over the past two decades, particularly in the development of efficient organic photovoltaics (OPV) and organic light emitting diodes (OLED). In order to improve the efficiency, stability, and materials variety for organic optoelectronic devices a number of emitting materials, absorbing materials, and charge transport materials were developed and employed in a device setting. Optical, electrical, and photophysical studies of the organic materials and their corresponding devices were thoroughly carried out. Two major approaches were taken to enhance the efficiency of small molecule based OPVs: developing material with higher open circuit voltages or improved device structures which increased short circuit current. To explore the factors affecting the open circuit voltage (VOC) in OPVs, molecular structures were modified to bring VOC closer to the effective bandgap, DeltaE DA, which allowed the achievement of 1V VOC for a heterojunction of a select Ir complex with estimated exciton energy of only 1.55eV. Furthermore, the development of anode interfacial layer for exciton blocking and molecular templating provide a general approach for enhancing the short circuit current. Ultimately, a 5.8% PCE was achieved in a single heterojunction of C60 and a ZnPc material prepared in a simple, one step, solvent free, synthesis. OLEDs employing newly developed deep blue emitters based on cyclometalated complexes were demonstrated. Ultimately, a peak EQE of 24.8% and nearly perfect blue emission of (0.148,0.079) was achieved from PtON7dtb, which approaches the maximum attainable performance from a blue OLED. Furthermore, utilizing the excimer formation properties of square-planar Pt complexes, highly efficient and stable white devices employing a single emissive material were demonstrated. A peak EQE of over 20% for pure white color (0.33,0.33) and 80 CRI was achieved with the tridentate Pt complex, Pt

  5. 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.

  6. Small-molecule inhibitors of myosin proteins

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Fluorescence Polarization Assays in Small Molecule Screening

    PubMed Central

    Lea, Wendy A.; Simeonov, Anton

    2011-01-01

    Importance of the field Fluorescence polarization (FP) is a homogeneous method that allows rapid and quantitative analysis of diverse molecular interactions and enzyme activities. This technique has been widely utilized in clinical and biomedical settings, including the diagnosis of certain diseases and monitoring therapeutic drug levels in body fluids. Recent developments in the field has been symbolized by the facile adoption of FP in high-throughput screening (HTS) and small molecule drug discovery of an increasing range of target classes. Areas covered in this review The article provides a brief overview on the theoretical foundation of FP, followed by updates on recent advancements in its application for various drug target classes, including G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), enzymes and protein-protein interactions (PPIs). The strengths and weaknesses of this method, practical considerations in assay design, novel applications, and future directions are also discussed. What the reader will gain The reader will be informed of the most recent advancements and future directions of FP application to small molecule screening. Take home message In addition to its continued utilization in high-throughput screening, FP has expanded into new disease and target areas and has been marked by increased use of labeled small molecule ligands for receptor binding studies. PMID:22328899

  9. SMPDB: The Small Molecule Pathway Database.

    PubMed

    Frolkis, Alex; Knox, Craig; Lim, Emilia; Jewison, Timothy; Law, Vivian; Hau, David D; Liu, Phillip; Gautam, Bijaya; Ly, Son; Guo, An Chi; Xia, Jianguo; Liang, Yongjie; Shrivastava, Savita; Wishart, David S

    2010-01-01

    The Small Molecule Pathway Database (SMPDB) is an interactive, visual database containing more than 350 small-molecule pathways found in humans. More than 2/3 of these pathways (>280) are not found in any other pathway database. SMPDB is designed specifically to support pathway elucidation and pathway discovery in clinical metabolomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and systems biology. SMPDB provides exquisitely detailed, hyperlinked diagrams of human metabolic pathways, metabolic disease pathways, metabolite signaling pathways and drug-action pathways. All SMPDB pathways include information on the relevant organs, organelles, subcellular compartments, protein cofactors, protein locations, metabolite locations, chemical structures and protein quaternary structures. Each small molecule is hyperlinked to detailed descriptions contained in the Human Metabolome Database (HMDB) or DrugBank and each protein or enzyme complex is hyperlinked to UniProt. All SMPDB pathways are accompanied with detailed descriptions, providing an overview of the pathway, condition or processes depicted in each diagram. The database is easily browsed and supports full text searching. Users may query SMPDB with lists of metabolite names, drug names, genes/protein names, SwissProt IDs, GenBank IDs, Affymetrix IDs or Agilent microarray IDs. These queries will produce lists of matching pathways and highlight the matching molecules on each of the pathway diagrams. Gene, metabolite and protein concentration data can also be visualized through SMPDB's mapping interface. All of SMPDB's images, image maps, descriptions and tables are downloadable. SMPDB is available at: http://www.smpdb.ca. PMID:19948758

  10. Metastable States of small-molecule solutions.

    PubMed

    He, Guangwen; Tan, Reginald B H; Kenis, Paul J A; Zukoski, Charles F

    2007-12-27

    Metastable states such as gels and glasses that are commonly seen in nanoparticle suspensions have found application in a wide range of products including toothpaste, hand cream, paints, and car tires. The equilibrium and metastable state behavior of nanoparticle suspensions are often described by simple fluid models where particles are treated as having hard cores and interacting with short-range attractions. Here we explore similar models to describe the presence of metastable states of small-molecule solutions. We have recently shown that the equilibrium solubilities of small hydrogen-bonding molecules and nanoparticles fall onto a corresponding-states solubility curve suggesting that with similar average strengths of attraction these molecules have similar solubilities. This observation implies that metastable states in small-molecule solutions may be found under conditions similar to those where metastable states are observed in nanoparticle and colloidal suspensions. Here we seek confirmation of this concept by exploring the existence of metastable states in solutions of small molecules.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:24984949

  14. Anti-Ebola Activity of Diazachrysene Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Selaković, Života; Soloveva, Veronica; Gharaibeh, Dima N; Wells, Jay; Šegan, Sandra; Panchal, Rekha G; Šolaja, Bogdan A

    2015-06-12

    Herein we report on a diazachrysene class of small molecules that exhibit potent antiviral activity against the Ebola (EBOV) virus. The antiviral compounds are easily synthesized, and the most active compounds have excellent in vitro activity (0.34-0.70 μM) and are significantly less lipophilic than their predecessors. The three most potent diazachrysene antivirals do not exhibit any toxicity in vivo and protected 70-90% of the mice at 10 mg/kg following EBOV challenge. Together, these studies suggest that diazachrysenes are a promising class of compounds for hit to lead optimization and as potential Ebola therapeutics. PMID:27622742

  15. Small Molecule Bax Agonists for Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Meiguo; Li, Rui; Xie, Maohua; Park, Dongkyoo; Owonikoko, Taofeek K.; Sica, Gabriel L.; Corsino, Patrick E.; Zhou, Jia; Ding, Chunyong; White, Mark A.; Magis, Andrew T.; Ramalingam, Suresh S.; Curran, Walter J.; Khuri, Fadlo R.; Deng, Xingming

    2014-01-01

    Bax, a central death regulator, is required at the decisional stage of apoptosis. We recently identified serine 184 (S184) of Bax as a critical functional switch controlling its proapoptotic activity. Here, we employed the structural pocket around S184 as a docking site to screen the NCI library of small molecules using the UCSF-DOCK program suite. Three compounds, small molecule Bax agonists SMBA1, SMBA2 and SMBA3, induce conformational changes in Bax by blocking S184 phosphorylation, facilitating Bax insertion into mitochondrial membranes and forming Bax oligomers. The latter leads to cytochrome c release and apoptosis in human lung cancer cells, which occurs in a Bax- but not Bak-dependent fashion. SMBA1 potently suppresses lung tumor growth via apoptosis by selectively activating Bax in vivo without significant normal tissue toxicity. Development of Bax agonists as a new class of anti-cancer drugs offers a strategy for the treatment of lung cancer and other Bax-expressing malignancies. PMID:25230299

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Small Molecules from the Human Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Donia, Mohamed S.; Fischbach, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Developments in the use of genomics to guide natural product discovery and a recent emphasis on understanding the molecular mechanisms of microbiota-host interactions have converged on the discovery of natural products from the human microbiome. Here, we review what is known about small molecules produced by the human microbiota. Numerous molecules representing each of the major metabolite classes have been found that have a variety of biological activities, including immune modulation and antibiosis. We discuss technologies that will affect how microbiota-derived molecules are discovered in the future, and consider the challenges inherent in finding specific molecules that are critical for driving microbe-host and microbe-microbe interactions and their biological relevance. PMID:26206939

  19. 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

  20. Activation of small molecules by phosphorus biradicaloids.

    PubMed

    Hinz, Alexander; Kuzora, Rene; Rosenthal, Uwe; Schulz, Axel; Villinger, Alexander

    2014-11-01

    The reactivity of biradicaloid [P(μ-NTer)]2 was employed to activate small molecules bearing single, double, and triple bonds. Addition of chalcogens (O2 , S8 , Sex and Tex ) led to the formation of dichalcogen-bridged P2 N2 heterocycles, except from the reaction with molecular oxygen, which gave a P2 N2 ring featuring a dicoordinated P(III) and a four-coordinated P(V) center. In formal [2πe+2πe] addition reactions, small unsaturated compounds such as ethylene, acetylene, acetone, acetonitrile, tolane, diphenylcarbodiimide, and bis(trimethylsilyl)sulfurdiimide are readily added to the P2 N2 heterocycle of the biradicaloid [P(μ-NTer)]2 , yielding novel heteroatom cage compounds. The synthesis, reactivity, and bonding of the biradicaloid [P(μ-NTer)]2 were studied in detail as well as the synthesis, properties, and structural features of all addition products. PMID:25266101

  1. Cellular reprogramming: a small molecule perspective

    PubMed Central

    Nie, Baoming; Wang, Haixia; Laurent, Timothy; Ding, Sheng

    2013-01-01

    The discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by the expression of a few transcription factors has attracted enormous interest in biomedical research and the field of regenerative medicine. iPSCs nearly identically resemble embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and can give rise to all cell types in the body, and thus have opened new opportunities for personalized regenerative medicine and new ways of modeling human diseases. Although some studies have raised concerns about genomic stability and epigenetic memory in the resulting cells, better understanding and control of the reprogramming process should enable enhanced efficiency and higher fidelity in reprogramming. Therefore, small molecules regulating reprogramming mechanisms are valuable tools to probe the process of reprogremming and harness cell fate transitions for various applications. PMID:22959962

  2. 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; Li, Dawen

    2015-07-24

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Simulation Studies of Protein and Small Molecule Interactions and Reaction.

    PubMed

    Yang, L; Zhang, J; Che, X; Gao, Y Q

    2016-01-01

    Computational studies of protein and small molecule (protein-ligand/enzyme-substrate) interactions become more and more important in biological science and drug discovery. Computer modeling can provide molecular details of the processes such as conformational change, binding, and transportation of small molecules/proteins, which are not easily to be captured in experiments. In this chapter, we discussed simulation studies of both protein and small molecules from three aspects: conformation sampling, transportations of small molecules in enzymes, and enzymatic reactions involving small molecules. Both methodology developments and examples of simulation studies in this field were presented.

  6. Simulation Studies of Protein and Small Molecule Interactions and Reaction.

    PubMed

    Yang, L; Zhang, J; Che, X; Gao, Y Q

    2016-01-01

    Computational studies of protein and small molecule (protein-ligand/enzyme-substrate) interactions become more and more important in biological science and drug discovery. Computer modeling can provide molecular details of the processes such as conformational change, binding, and transportation of small molecules/proteins, which are not easily to be captured in experiments. In this chapter, we discussed simulation studies of both protein and small molecules from three aspects: conformation sampling, transportations of small molecules in enzymes, and enzymatic reactions involving small molecules. Both methodology developments and examples of simulation studies in this field were presented. PMID:27497167

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Synthetic Small-Molecule Prohormone Convertase 2 Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Kowalska, Dorota; Liu, Jin; Appel, Jon R.; Ozawa, Akihiko; Nefzi, Adel; Mackin, Robert B.; Houghten, Richard A.; Lindberg, Iris

    2009-01-01

    The proprotein convertases are believed to be responsible for the proteolytic maturation of a large number of peptide hormone precursors. Although potent furin inhibitors have been identified, thus far, no small-molecule prohormone convertase 1/3 or prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) inhibitors have been described. After screening 38 small-molecule positional scanning libraries against recombinant mouse PC2, two promising chemical scaffolds were identified: bicyclic guanidines, and pyrrolidine bis-piperazines. A set of individual compounds was designed from each library and tested against PC2. Pyrrolidine bis-piperazines were irreversible, time-dependent inhibitors of PC2, exhibiting noncompetitive inhibition kinetics; the most potent inhibitor exhibited a Ki value for PC2 of 0.54 μM. In contrast, the most potent bicyclic guanidine inhibitor exhibited a Ki value of 3.3 μM. Cross-reactivity with other convertases was limited: pyrrolidine bis-piperazines exhibited Ki values greater than 25 μM for PC1/3 or furin, whereas the Ki values of bicyclic guanidines for these other convertases were more than 15 μM. We conclude that pyrrolidine bis-piperazines and bicyclic guanidines represent promising initial leads for the optimization of therapeutically active PC2 inhibitors. PC2-specific inhibitors may be useful in the pharmacological blockade of PC2-dependent cleavage events, such as glucagon production in the pancreas and ectopic peptide production in small-cell carcinoma, and to study PC2-dependent proteolytic events, such as opioid peptide production. PMID:19074544

  14. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-12-29

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

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

    DOEpatents

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Antibody-enabled small-molecule drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Alastair D G

    2012-06-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Analysis of small-molecule interactions using Biacore S51 technology.

    PubMed

    Myszka, David G

    2004-06-15

    Biacore S51 is a new surface plasmon resonance-based biosensor developed by Biacore AB (Uppsala, Sweden). The instrument was engineered specifically to support small-molecule drug discovery and development. The platform includes increased sensitivity, larger sample handling capabilities, and automated data processing to improve throughput. Compared to previously released Biacore instruments, the most significant design change relates to the introduction of the hydrodynamic-addressing flow cell. This design allows two reaction surfaces and a reference surface to be placed within the same flow cell, thereby improving data quality and extending the kinetic range of the instrument. Using a set of small-molecule inhibitors of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase II, we tested the reproducibility, sensitivity, and dynamic range of the biosensor. Given the S51's performance capabilities, it should play an active role in secondary screening by providing high-resolution information for small-molecule/target interactions.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Stem cells and small molecule screening: haploid embryonic stem cells as a new tool.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bi; Li, Wei; Wang, Liu; Liu, Zhong-hua; Zhao, Xiao-yang

    2013-06-01

    Stem cells can both self-renew and differentiate into various cell types under certain conditions, which makes them a good model for development and disease studies. Recently, chemical approaches have been widely applied in stem cell biology by promoting stem cell self-renewal, proliferation, differentiation and somatic cell reprogramming using specific small molecules. Conversely, stem cells and their derivatives also provide an efficient and robust platform for small molecule and drug screening. Here, we review the current research and applications of small molecules that modulate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation and improve reprogramming, as well as the applications that use stem cells as a tool for small molecule screening. Moreover, we introduce the recent advance in haploid embryonic stem cells research. Haploid embryonic stem cells maintain haploidy and stable growth over extensive passages, possess the ability to differentiate into all three germ layers in vitro and in vivo, and contribute to the germlines of chimeras when injected into blastocysts. Androgenetic haploid stem cells can also be used in place of sperm to produce fertile progeny after intracytoplasmic injection into mature oocytes. Such characteristics demonstrate that haploid stem cells are a new approach for genetic studies at both the cellular and animal levels and that they are a valuable platform for future small molecule screening.

  8. 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

  9. Small-molecule microarrays as tools in ligand discovery

    PubMed Central

    Vegas, Arturo J.; Fuller, Jason H.; Koehler, Angela N.

    2009-01-01

    Small molecules that bind and modulate specific protein targets are increasingly used as tools to decipher protein function in a cellular context. Identifying specific small-molecule probes for each protein in the proteome will require miniaturized assays that permit screening large collections of compounds against large numbers of proteins in a highly parallel fashion. Simple and general binding assays involving small-molecule microarrays can be used to identify probes for nearly any protein in the proteome. The assay may be used to identify ligands for proteins in the absence of knowledge about structure or function. In this tutorial review, we introduce small-molecule microarrays (SMMs) as tools for ligand discovery; discuss methods for manufacturing SMMs, including both non-covalent and covalent attachment strategies; and provide examples of ligand discovery involving SMMs. PMID:18568164

  10. Liposomes as carriers of hydrophilic small molecule drugs: strategies to enhance encapsulation and delivery.

    PubMed

    Eloy, Josimar Oliveira; Claro de Souza, Marina; Petrilli, Raquel; Barcellos, Juliana Palma Abriata; Lee, Robert J; Marchetti, Juliana Maldonado

    2014-11-01

    Although hydrophilic small molecule drugs are widely used in the clinic, their rapid clearance, suboptimal biodistribution, low intracellular absorption and toxicity can limit their therapeutic efficacy. These drawbacks can potentially be overcome by loading the drug into delivery systems, particularly liposomes; however, low encapsulation efficiency usually results. Many strategies are available to improve both the drug encapsulation efficiency and delivery to the target site to reduce side effects. For encapsulation, passive and active strategies are available. Passive strategies encompass the proper selection of the composition of the formulation, zeta potential, particle size and preparation method. Moreover, many weak acids and bases, such as doxorubicin, can be actively loaded with high efficiency. It is highly desirable that once the drug is encapsulated, it should be released preferentially at the target site, resulting in an optimal therapeutic effect devoid of side effects. For this purpose, targeted and triggered delivery approaches are available. The rapidly increasing knowledge of the many overexpressed biochemical makers in pathological sites, reviewed herein, has enabled the development of liposomes decorated with ligands for cell-surface receptors and active delivery. Furthermore, many liposomal formulations have been designed to actively release their content in response to specific stimuli, such as a pH decrease, heat, external alternating magnetic field, ultrasound or light. More than half a century after the discovery of liposomes, some hydrophilic small molecule drugs loaded in liposomes with high encapsulation efficiency are available on the market. However, targeted liposomes or formulations able to deliver the drug after a stimulus are not yet a reality in the clinic and are still awaited.

  11. 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

  12. Nanolaboratories: physics and chemistry of small-molecule endofullerenes

    PubMed Central

    Levitt, Malcolm H.; Horsewill, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    This Theo Murphy Meeting Issue contains papers presented at a Discussion Meeting held at the Kavli Centre of the Royal Society in March 2012. The meeting brought together a wide variety of scientists working on different aspects of small-molecule endofullerenes—those intriguing chemical systems in which small molecules such as H2 or H2O are encapsulated in tiny carbon cages. PMID:23918720

  13. Small molecule delivery through nanofibrous scaffolds for musculoskeletal regenerative engineering

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Erica J.; Jiang, Tao; Nelson, Clarke; Henry, Nicole; Lo, Kevin W.-H.

    2014-01-01

    Musculoskeletal regenerative engineering approach using small bioactive molecules in conjunction with advanced materials has emerged as a highly promising strategy for musculoskeletal repair and regeneration. Advanced biomaterials technologies have revealed nanofiber-based scaffolds for musculoskeletal tissue engineering as vehicles for the controlled delivery of small molecule drugs. This review article highlights recent advances in nanofiber-based delivery of small molecules for musculoskeletal regenerative engineering. The article concludes with perspectives on the challenges and future directions. PMID:24907464

  14. 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.

  15. Antiobesity Effect of a Small Molecule Repressor of RORγ.

    PubMed

    Chang, Mi Ra; He, Yuanjun; Khan, Tanya M; Kuruvilla, Dana S; Garcia-Ordonez, Ruben; Corzo, Cesar A; Unger, Thaddeus J; White, David W; Khan, Susan; Lin, Li; Cameron, Michael D; Kamenecka, Theodore M; Griffin, Patrick R

    2015-07-01

    The orphan nuclear receptor RORγ is a key regulator for T helper 17 (TH17) cell differentiation, which regulates metabolic and circadian rhythm genes in peripheral tissues. Previously, it was shown that the small molecule inverse agonist of RORγ SR1555 [1-(4-((4'-(1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-hydroxypropan-2-yl)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-4-yl)methyl)piperazin-1-yl) ethanone] suppressed TH17 differentiation and stimulated induced T regulatory (iTreg) cells. Here, we show that treatment of cultured pre-adipocyctes with SR1555 represses the expression of RORγ while leading to increased expression of FGF21 and adipoQ. Chronic administration of SR1555 to obese diabetic mice resulted in a modest reduction in food intake accompanied with significant reduction in fat mass, resulting in reduced body weight and improved insulin sensitivity. Analysis ex vivo of treated mice demonstrates that SR1555 induced expression of the thermogenic gene program in fat depots. Further studies in cultured cells showed that SR1555 inhibited activation of hormone-sensitive lipase and increased fatty acid oxidation. Combined, these results suggest that pharmacological repression of RORγ may represent a strategy for treatment of obesity by increasing thermogenesis and fatty acid oxidation, while inhibition of hormone-sensitive lipase activity results in a reduction of serum free fatty acids, leading to improved peripheral insulin sensitivity.

  16. Antiobesity Effect of a Small Molecule Repressor of RORγ

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Mi Ra; He, Yuanjun; Khan, Tanya M.; Kuruvilla, Dana S.; Garcia-Ordonez, Ruben; Corzo, Cesar A.; Unger, Thaddeus J.; White, David W.; Khan, Susan; Lin, Li; Cameron, Michael D.; Kamenecka, Theodore M.

    2015-01-01

    The orphan nuclear receptor RORγ is a key regulator for T helper 17 (TH17) cell differentiation, which regulates metabolic and circadian rhythm genes in peripheral tissues. Previously, it was shown that the small molecule inverse agonist of RORγ SR1555 [1-(4-((4′-(1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-hydroxypropan-2-yl)-[1,1′-biphenyl]-4-yl)methyl)piperazin-1-yl) ethanone] suppressed TH17 differentiation and stimulated induced T regulatory (iTreg) cells. Here, we show that treatment of cultured pre-adipocyctes with SR1555 represses the expression of RORγ while leading to increased expression of FGF21 and adipoQ. Chronic administration of SR1555 to obese diabetic mice resulted in a modest reduction in food intake accompanied with significant reduction in fat mass, resulting in reduced body weight and improved insulin sensitivity. Analysis ex vivo of treated mice demonstrates that SR1555 induced expression of the thermogenic gene program in fat depots. Further studies in cultured cells showed that SR1555 inhibited activation of hormone-sensitive lipase and increased fatty acid oxidation. Combined, these results suggest that pharmacological repression of RORγ may represent a strategy for treatment of obesity by increasing thermogenesis and fatty acid oxidation, while inhibition of hormone-sensitive lipase activity results in a reduction of serum free fatty acids, leading to improved peripheral insulin sensitivity. PMID:25904554

  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. 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.

  19. Small-molecule PSMA ligands. Current state, SAR and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Machulkin, Alexey E; Ivanenkov, Yan A; Aladinskaya, Anastasia V; Veselov, Mark S; Aladinskiy, Vladimir A; Beloglazkina, Elena K; Koteliansky, Victor E; Shakhbazyan, Artem G; Sandulenko, Yuri B; Majouga, Alexander G

    2016-09-01

    Prostate cancer (PC) is the prevalent malignancy widespread among men in the Western World. Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is an established PC marker and has been considered as a promising biological target for anti-PC drug delivery and diagnostics. The protein was found to be overexpressed in PC cells, including metastatic, and the neovasculature of solid tumors. These properties make PSMA-based approach quite appropriate for effective PC imaging and specific drug therapy. Through the past decade, a variety of PSMA-targeted agents has been systematically evaluated. Small-molecule compounds have several advantages over other classes, such as improved pharmacokinetics and rapid blood clearance. These low-weight ligands have similar structure and can be divided into three basic categories in accordance with the type of their zinc-binding core-head. Several PSMA binders are currently undergoing clinical trials generally for PC imaging. The main goal of the present review is to describe the recent progress achieved within the title field and structure activity relationships (SAR) disclosed for different PSMA ligands. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies for each type of the compounds described have also been briefly summarized. PMID:26887438

  20. Catalytic in vivo protein knockdown by small-molecule PROTACs

    PubMed Central

    Bondeson, Daniel P; Mares, Alina; Smith, Ian E D; Ko, Eunhwa; Campos, Sebastien; Miah, Afjal H; Mulholland, Katie E; Routly, Natasha; Buckley, Dennis L; Gustafson, Jeffrey L; Zinn, Nico; Grandi, Paola; Shimamura, Satoko; Bergamini, Giovanna; Faelth-Savitski, Maria; Bantscheff, Marcus; Cox, Carly; Gordon, Deborah A; Willard, Ryan R; Flanagan, John J; Casillas, Linda N; Votta, Bartholomew J; den Besten, Willem; Famm, Kristoffer; Kruidenier, Laurens; Carter, Paul S; Harling, John D; Churcher, Ian; Crews, Craig M

    2015-01-01

    The current predominant theapeutic paradigm is based on maximizing drug-receptor occupancy to achieve clinical benefit. This strategy, however, generally requires excessive drug concentrations to ensure sufficient occupancy, often leading to adverse side effects. Here, we describe major improvements to the proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) method, a chemical knockdown strategy in which a heterobifunctional molecule recruits a specific protein target to an E3 ubiquitin ligase, resulting in the target’s ubiquitination and degradation. These compounds behave catalytically in their ability to induce the ubiquitination of super-stoichiometric quantities of proteins, providing efficacy that is not limited by equilibrium occupancy. We present two PROTACs that are capable of specifically reducing protein levels by >90% at nanomolar concentrations. In addition, mouse studies indicate that they provide broad tissue distribution and knockdown of the targeted protein in tumor xenografts. Together, these data demonstrate a protein knockdown system combining many of the favorable properties of small-molecule agents with the potent protein knockdown of RNAi and CRISPR. PMID:26075522

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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. PMID:26202204

  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

    2014-01-01

    Glutaminase plays a critical role in the generation of glutamate, a key excitatory neurotransmitter in the CNS. Excess glutamate release from activated macrophages and microglia correlates with upregulated glutaminase suggesting a pathogenic role for glutaminase. Both glutaminase siRNA and small molecule inhibitors have been shown to decrease excess glutamate and provide neuroprotection in multiple models of disease, including HIV-associated dementia (HAD), multiple sclerosis and ischemia. Consequently, inhibition of glutaminase could be of interest for treatment of these diseases. Bis-2-(5-phenylacetimido-1,2,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)ethyl sulfide (BPTES) and 6-diazo-5-oxo-l-norleucine (DON), two most commonly used glutaminase inhibitors, are either poorly soluble or non-specific. Recently, several new BPTES analogs with improved physicochemical properties were reported. To evaluate these new inhibitors, we established a cell-based microglial activation assay measuring glutamate release. Microglia-mediated glutamate levels were significantly augmented by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands coincident with increased glutaminase activity. While several potent glutaminase inhibitors abrogated the increase in glutamate, a structurally related analog devoid of glutaminase activity was unable to block the increase. In the absence of glutamine, glutamate levels were significantly attenuated. These data suggest that the in vitro microglia assay may be a useful tool in developing glutaminase inhibitors of therapeutic interest. PMID:24269238

  4. 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.

  5. A new class of pluripotent stem cell cytotoxic small molecules.

    PubMed

    Richards, Mark; Phoon, Chee Wee; Goh, Gwendoline Tze Wei; Seng, Eng Khuan; Guo, Xu Ming; Tan, Cherine Mei Fong; Chan, Woon-Khiong; Lee, Joel Mun Kin

    2014-01-01

    A major concern in Pluripotent Stem Cell (PSC)-derived cell replacement therapy is the risk of teratoma formation from contaminating undifferentiated cells. Removal of undifferentiated cells from differentiated cultures is an essential step before PSC-based cell therapies can be safely deployed in a clinical setting. We report a group of novel small molecules that are cytotoxic to PSCs. Our data indicates that these molecules are specific and potent in their activity allowing rapid eradication of undifferentiated cells. Experiments utilizing mixed PSC and primary human neuronal and cardiomyocyte cultures demonstrate that up to a 6-fold enrichment for specialized cells can be obtained without adversely affecting cell viability and function. Several structural variants were synthesized to identify key functional groups and to improve specificity and efficacy. Comparative microarray analysis and ensuing RNA knockdown studies revealed involvement of the PERK/ATF4/DDIT3 ER stress pathway. Surprisingly, cell death following ER stress induction was associated with a concomitant decrease in endogenous ROS levels in PSCs. Undifferentiated cells treated with these molecules preceding transplantation fail to form teratomas in SCID mice. Furthermore, these molecules remain non-toxic and non-teratogenic to zebrafish embryos suggesting that they may be safely used in vivo. PMID:24647085

  6. Application of Optical Biosensors in Small-Molecule Screening Activities

    PubMed Central

    Geschwindner, Stefan; Carlsson, Johan F.; Knecht, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    The last two decades have seen remarkable progress and improvements in optical biosensor systems such that those are currently seen as an important and value-adding component of modern drug screening activities. In particular the introduction of microplate-based biosensor systems holds the promise to match the required throughput without compromising on data quality thus representing a sought-after complement to traditional fluidic systems. This article aims to highlight the application of the two most prominent optical biosensor technologies, namely surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and optical waveguide grating (OWG), in small-molecule screening and will present, review and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different assay formats on these platforms. A particular focus will be on the specific advantages of the inhibition in solution assay (ISA) format in contrast to traditional direct binding assays (DBA). Furthermore we will discuss different application areas for both fluidic as well as plate-based biosensor systems by considering the individual strength of the platforms. PMID:22666031

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-12

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

  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. Small-Molecule Regulators of MicroRNAs in Biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Xia, Tingting; Li, Jinbo; Cheng, Hao; Zhang, Chenyu; Zhang, Yan

    2015-11-01

    Preclinical Research MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level and have been implicated in the development of various human diseases, including cancer. The regulatory networks of miRNAs play a vital role not only in normal physiology but also in pathology and may represent novel targets for drug discovery. Regulation of miRNAs and the elucidation of miRNA networks will advance miRNA-targeted research but are challenging due to a shortage of appropriate tools. Using different assay systems, diverse small molecules with unique miRNA regulatory activity have been identified. These bioactive small molecules not only showed regulation on different miRNAs but revealed previously unknown miRNA networks. Treatment of cancer both in vitro and in vivo with small-molecule regulators of miRNAs has demonstrated their therapeutic potential. In this review, we discuss assay systems for the identification of small-molecule regulators of miRNAs and reported small molecules, and discuss their applications as probes and candidate drug leads.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Regulatory protein-protein interactions are ubiquitous in biology, and small molecule protein-protein interaction inhibitors are an important focus in drug discovery. Remarkably little attention has been given to the opposite strategy-stabilization of protein-protein interactions, despite the fact that several well-known therapeutics act through this mechanism. From a structural perspective, we consider representative examples of small molecules that induce or stabilize the association of protein domains to inhibit, or alter, signaling for nuclear hormone, GTPase, kinase, phosphatase, and ubiquitin ligase pathways. These SPLINTS (small-molecule protein ligand interface stabilizers) drive interactions that are in some cases physiologically relevant, and in others entirely adventitious. The diverse structural mechanisms employed suggest approaches for a broader and systematic search for such compounds in drug discovery. PMID:26829757

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

    PubMed

    Weinmann, Hilmar

    2016-03-01

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

  13. Differentiating Alzheimer disease-associated aggregates with small molecules.

    PubMed

    Honson, Nicolette S; Johnson, Ronald L; Huang, Wenwei; Inglese, James; Austin, Christopher P; Kuret, Jeff

    2007-12-01

    Alzheimer disease is diagnosed postmortem by the density and spatial distribution of beta-amyloid plaques and tau-bearing neurofibrillary tangles. The major protein component of each lesion adopts cross-beta-sheet conformation capable of binding small molecules with submicromolar affinity. In many cases, however, Alzheimer pathology overlaps with Lewy body disease, characterized by the accumulation of a third cross-beta-sheet forming protein, alpha-synuclein. To determine the feasibility of distinguishing tau aggregates from beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein aggregates with small molecule probes, a library containing 72,455 small molecules was screened for antagonists of tau-aggregate-mediated changes in Thioflavin S fluorescence, followed by secondary screens to distinguish the relative affinity for each substrate protein. Results showed that >10-fold binding selectivity among substrates could be achieved, with molecules selective for tau aggregates containing at least three aromatic or rigid moieties connected by two rotatable bonds.

  14. Differentiating Alzheimer Disease-Associated Aggregates with Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Honson, Nicolette S.; Johnson, Ronald L.; Huang, Wenwei; Inglese, James; Austin, Christopher P.; Kuret, Jeff

    2008-01-01

    Alzheimer disease is diagnosed postmortem by the density and spatial distribution of β-amyloid plaques and tau-bearing neurofibrillary tangles. The major protein component of each lesion adopts cross-β-sheet conformation capable of binding small molecules with submicromolar affinity. In many cases, however, Alzheimer pathology overlaps with Lewy body disease, characterized by the accumulation of a third cross-β-sheet forming protein, α-synuclein. To determine the feasibility of distinguishing tau aggregates from β-amyloid and α-synuclein aggregates with small molecule probes, a library containing 71,975 small molecules was screened for antagonists of tau-aggregate mediated changes in Thioflavin S fluorescence, followed by secondary screens to distinguish the relative affinity for each substrate protein. Results showed that >10-fold binding selectivity among substrates could be achieved, with molecules selective for tau aggregates containing at least three aromatic or rigid moieties connected by two rotatable bonds. PMID:17761424

  15. Engineering vascularized tissues using natural and synthetic small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Sefcik, Lauren S; Petrie Aronin, Caren E

    2008-01-01

    Vascular growth and remodeling are complex processes that depend on the proper spatial and temporal regulation of many different signaling molecules to form functional vascular networks. The ability to understand and regulate these signals is an important clinical need with the potential to treat a wide variety of disease pathologies. Current approaches have focused largely on the delivery of proteins to promote neovascularization of ischemic tissues, most notably VEGF and FGF. Although great progress has been made in this area, results from clinical trials are disappointing and safer and more effective approaches are required. To this end, biological agents used for therapeutic neovascularization must be explored beyond the current well-investigated classes. This review focuses on potential pathways for novel drug discovery, utilizing small molecule approaches to induce and enhance neovascularization. Specifically, four classes of new and existing molecules are discussed, including transcriptional activators, receptor selective agonists and antagonists, natural product-derived small molecules, and novel synthetic small molecules. PMID:19337401

  16. A clinical commentary on the article "N-acetylglucosamine conjugated to nanoparticles enhances myocyte uptake and improves delivery of a small molecule p38 inhibitor for post-infarct healing" : N-acetylglucosamine conjugated nanoparticles: translational opportunities and barriers.

    PubMed

    Levit, Rebecca D; Taylor, W Robert

    2011-10-01

    Targeting drugs and nanoparticles to cardiomyocytes has been an elusive challenge. Cardiomyocytes are inherently non-phagocytic and their environment is subjected to contractile forces which tend to expel injected and catheter-delivered drugs. In this issue, a novel-targeting strategy, N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcNAc) coating, is shown to enhance cardiomyocyte nanoparticle uptake both in vitro and in vivo. Many effective and proven therapies for myocardial infarction are in clinical use thus raising the bar for the translation of new technologies. Nevertheless, GlcNAc targeting represents a promising approach for improved targeting of drug therapies to cardiomyocytes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Improved precision and accuracy for high-performance liquid chromatography/Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometric exact mass measurement of small molecules from the simultaneous and controlled introduction of internal calibrants via a second electrospray nebuliser.

    PubMed

    Herniman, Julie M; Bristow, Tony W T; O'Connor, Gavin; Jarvis, Jackie; Langley, G John

    2004-01-01

    The use of a second electrospray nebuliser has proved to be highly successful for exact mass measurement during high-performance liquid chromatography/Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (HPLC/FTICRMS). Much improved accuracy and precision of mass measurement were afforded by the introduction of the internal calibration solution, thus overcoming space charge issues due to the lack of control over relative ion abundances of the species eluting from the HPLC column. Further, issues of suppression of ionisation, observed when using a T-piece method, are addressed and this simple system has significant benefits over other more elaborate approaches providing data that compares very favourably with these other approaches. The technique is robust, flexible and transferable and can be used in conjunction with HPLC, infusion or flow injection analysis (FIA) to provide constant internal calibration signals to allow routine, accurate and precise mass measurements to be recorded.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. 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.

  8. Small Molecules Take A Big Step Against Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Beilhartz, Greg L; Tam, John; Melnyk, Roman A

    2015-12-01

    Effective treatment of Clostridium difficile infections demands a shift away from antibiotics towards toxin-neutralizing agents. Work by Bender et al., using a drug that attenuates toxin action in vivo without affecting bacterial survival, demonstrates the exciting potential of small molecules as a new modality in the fight against C. difficile. PMID:26547239

  9. A novel small-molecule inhibitor of 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase.

    PubMed

    Mullarky, Edouard; Lairson, Luke L; Cantley, Lewis C; Lyssiotis, Costas A

    2016-07-01

    Serine metabolism is likely to play a critical role in cancer cell growth. A recent study reports the identification of a novel small-molecule inhibitor of serine synthesis that targets 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first enzyme of the serine synthesis pathway, and selectively abrogates the proliferation of PHGDH overexpressing breast cancer cells. PMID:27652319

  10. Integration of small-molecule discovery in academic biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Ohlmeyer, Michael; Zhou, Ming-Ming

    2010-01-01

    Rapid advances in biomedical sciences in recent years have drastically accelerated the discovery of the molecular basis of human diseases. The great challenge is how to translate the newly acquired knowledge into new medicine for disease prevention and treatment. Drug discovery is a long and expensive process, and the pharmaceutical industry has not been very successful at it, despite its enormous resources and spending on the process. It is increasingly realized that academic biomedical research institutions ought to be engaged in early-stage drug discovery, especially when it can be coupled to their basic research. To leverage the productivity of new-drug development, a substantial acceleration in validation of new therapeutic targets is required, which would require small molecules that can precisely control target functions in complex biological systems in a temporal and dose-dependent manner. In this review, we describe a process of integration of small-molecule discovery and chemistry in academic biomedical research that will ideally bring together the elements of innovative approaches to new molecular targets, existing basic and clinical research, screening infrastructure, and synthetic and medicinal chemistry to follow up on small-molecule hits. Such integration of multidisciplinary resources and expertise will enable academic investigators to discover novel small molecules that are expected to facilitate their efforts in both mechanistic research and new-drug target validation. More broadly academic drug discovery should contribute new entities to therapy for intractable human diseases, especially for orphan diseases, and hopefully stimulate and synergize with the commercial sector.

  11. 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.

  12. Small molecule annotation for the Protein Data Bank.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the single global repository for three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules and their complexes, and its more than 100,000 structures contain more than 20,000 distinct ligands or small molecules bound to proteins and nucleic acids. Information about these small molecules and their interactions with proteins and nucleic acids is crucial for our understanding of biochemical processes and vital for structure-based drug design. Small molecules present in a deposited structure may be attached to a polymer or may occur as a separate, non-covalently linked ligand. During curation of a newly deposited structure by wwPDB annotation staff, each molecule is cross-referenced to the PDB Chemical Component Dictionary (CCD). If the molecule is new to the PDB, a dictionary description is created for it. The information about all small molecule components found in the PDB is distributed via the ftp archive as an external reference file. Small molecule annotation in the PDB also includes information about ligand-binding sites and about covalent and other linkages between ligands and macromolecules. During the remediation of the peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors present in the PDB archive in 2011, it became clear that additional annotation was required for consistent representation of these molecules, which are quite often composed of several sequential subcomponents including modified amino acids and other chemical groups. The connectivity information of the modified amino acids is necessary for correct representation of these biologically interesting molecules. The combined information is made available via a new resource called the Biologically Interesting molecules Reference Dictionary, which is complementary to the CCD and is now routinely used for annotation of peptide-like antibiotics and inhibitors. PMID:25425036

  13. 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

  14. Tandem organic photovoltaics using both solution and vacuum deposited small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lassiter, Brian E.; Zimmerman, Jeramy D.; Panda, Anurag; Xiao, Xin; Forrest, Stephen R.

    2012-08-01

    We demonstrate a tandem organic photovoltaic cell incorporating solution- and vacuum-deposited small molecules as the active layers. A blue and green-absorbing boron subphthalocyanine chloride:C70 graded heterojunction (HJ) sub-cell is combined with a green and red-absorbing functionalized squaraine/C70 bilayer HJ sub-cell, resulting in a tandem cell with a wavelength response from 350 nm to 800 nm. The efficiency of the cells depends on process conditions such as solvent annealing, resulting in nanocrystalline morphology that leads to improved charge and exciton transport compared with un-annealed cells. The incorporation of C70 in both sub-cells leads to an increase of short-circuit current by at least 30% compared to analogous cells using C60. The optimized power conversion efficiency of the tandem cell is 6.6% ± 0.1%, with an open-circuit voltage of 1.97 ± 0.1 V under simulated 1 sun, AM 1.5G illumination. The tandem cell voltage is equal to the sum of the constituent sub-cells, indicating that the transparent, Ag nanoparticle/MoO3 compound charge recombination layer interposed between the cells is nearly lossless.

  15. 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).

  16. Chemical de-conjugation for investigating the stability of small molecule drugs in antibody-drug conjugates.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) offer new therapeutic options for advanced cancer patients through precision killing with fewer side effects. The stability and efficacy of ADCs are closely related, emphasizing the urgency and importance of gaining a comprehensive understanding of ADC stability. In this work, a chemical de-conjugation approach was developed to investigate the in-situ stability of the small molecule drug while it is conjugated to the antibody. This method involves chemical-mediated release of the small molecule drug from the ADC and subsequent characterization of the released small molecule drug by HPLC. The feasibility of this technique was demonstrated utilizing a model ADC containing a disulfide linker that is sensitive to the reducing environment within cancer cells. Five reducing agents were screened for use in de-conjugation; tris(2-carboxyethyl) phosphine (TCEP) was selected for further optimization due to its high efficiency and clean impurity profile. The optimized de-conjugation assay was shown to have excellent specificity and precision. More importantly, it was shown to be stability indicating, enabling the identification and quantification of the small molecule drug and its degradation products under different formulation pHs and storage temperatures. In summary, the chemical de-conjugation strategy demonstrated here offers a powerful tool to assess the in-situ stability of small molecule drugs on ADCs and the resulting information will shed light on ADC formulation/process development and storage condition selection.

  17. Carbon nanotubes for delivery of small molecule drugs.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    In the realm of drug delivery, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have gained tremendous attention as promising nanocarriers, owing to their distinct characteristics, such as high surface area, enhanced cellular uptake and the possibility to be easily conjugated with many therapeutics, including both small molecules and biologics, displaying superior efficacy, enhanced specificity and diminished side effects. While most CNT-based drug delivery system (DDS) had been engineered to combat cancers, there are also emerging reports that employ CNTs as either the main carrier or adjunct material for the delivery of various non-anticancer drugs. In this review, the delivery of small molecule drugs is expounded, with special attention paid to the current progress of in vitro and in vivo research involving CNT-based DDSs, before finally concluding with some consideration on inevitable complications that hamper successful disease intervention with CNTs. PMID:23954402

  18. 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

  19. Electronic conduction in nematic phase of small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokunaga, Keiji; Takayashiki, Yukiko; Iino, Hiroaki; Hanna, Jun-Ichi

    2009-01-01

    We investigated charge-carrier transport in the nematic phase of small molecules such as 2-phenylbenzothiazoles by time-of-flight experiments, in which the conduction mechanism has been considered to be ionic. As a result, we established the hole and electron transports in the nematic phase of highly purified samples: we found that there were two transits, namely, fast and slow transits, in less pure samples; the slow transit was attributed to ionic conduction originating from trace amounts of impurities and the fast transit was attributed to electronic conduction whose attribution was elucidated by mobility changes in the diluted samples with a hydrocarbon of n -tetradecane (n-C14H30) . From these results, we conclude that the intrinsic conduction mechanism in the nematic phase of small molecules is ambipolar and electronic, irrespective of the size of the π -conjugate system of the core moiety. Thus, they provide a new insight into the conduction mechanism in fluidic materials.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Small molecules for immunomodulation in cancer: a review.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Vidhya V

    2015-01-01

    Small-molecule cytotoxic agents are already in use for cancer immunotherapy in the form of antibody conjugates containing these molecules linked covalently to antibodies or their fragments with the goal of targeting specific surface components of tumor cells. However, there are also reports of small molecules that act as antagonists to surface enzyme-linked receptors and receptors that interact with the tumor microenvironment, or that even inhibit metabolic enzymes. Such molecules have been shown to directly inhibit the signaling initiated by the respective ligands binding to their receptors, to recruit antibodies and other immunomodulatory molecules, or to promote or inhibit the proliferation of different immune cells to target specific types of cancer cells. This review will discuss immune response modifiers such as imiquimod, antibody-recruiting molecules that target prostate cancer, integrin receptor antagonists, indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase inhibitors, emodin, RORɣt antagonists, ephrin receptor antagonists, membrane-bound carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) inhibitors, and selected protein kinase inhibitors. These small molecules can open up new ways to treat many types of cancers and possibly even other diseases that arise from immune dysregulation. Finally, the review will briefly discuss some additional targets that are being pursued to modify immune system responses in the tumor microenvironment.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Small Molecule Approach to Study the Function of Mitotic Kinesins.

    PubMed

    Al-Obaidi, Naowras; Kastl, Johanna; Mayer, Thomas U

    2016-01-01

    Mitotic motor proteins of the kinesin superfamily are critical for the faithful segregation of chromosomes and the formation of the two daughter cells during meiotic and mitotic M-phase. Of the 45 human kinesins, roughly a dozen are involved in the assembly of the bipolar spindle, alignment of chromosomes at the spindle equator, chromosome segregation, and cytokinesis. The functions of kinesins in these processes are highly diverse and include the transport of cargo molecules, sliding and bundling of microtubules, and regulation of microtubule dynamics. In light of this multitude of diverse functions and the complex functional interplay of different kinesins during M-phase, it is not surprising that one of the greatest challenges in cell biology is the functional dissection of individual motor proteins. Reversible and fast acting small molecules are powerful tools to accomplish this challenge. However, the validity of conclusions drawn from small molecule studies strictly depends on compound specificity. In this chapter, we present methods for the identification of small molecule inhibitors of a motor protein of interest. In particular, we focus on a protein-based large throughput screen to identify inhibitors of the ATPase activity of kinesins. Furthermore, we provide protocols and guidelines for secondary screens to validate hits and select for specific inhibitors. PMID:27193856

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:25488859

  13. Enhanced Dynamics of HIV gp120 Glycoprotein by Small Molecule Binding

    PubMed Central

    Shrivastava, Indira; LaLonde, Judith M.

    2011-01-01

    HIV cell entry and infection are driven by binding events to the CD4 and Chemokine receptors with associated conformational change of the viral glycoprotein, gp120. Scyllatoxin mini-protein CD4 mimetics and a small molecule inhibitor of CD4 binding, NBD-556, also effectively induce gp120 conformational change. In this study we examine the fluctuation profile of gp120 in context of CD4, a mini-protein mimetic and NBD-556 with the aim of understanding the effect of ligand binding on gp120 conformational dynamics. Analysis of Molecular Dynamics trajectories indicate that NBD-556 binding in the Phe 43 cavity enhances the overall mobility of gp120 especially in the outer-domain in comparison to CD4 or mini-protein bound complex. Interactions with the more flexible bridging sheet strengthen upon NBD-556 binding and may contribute to gp120 restructuring. The enhanced mobility of D368, E370 and I371 with NBD-556 bound in the Phe 43 cavity suggests that interactions with α3-helix in the outer-domain are not optimal, providing further insights into gp120-small molecule interactions that may impact small molecule designs. PMID:21488663

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Inhibition of a viral enzyme by a small-molecule dimer disruptor.

    PubMed

    Shahian, Tina; Lee, Gregory M; Lazic, Ana; Arnold, Leggy A; Velusamy, Priya; Roels, Christina M; Guy, R Kiplin; Craik, Charles S

    2009-09-01

    We identified small-molecule dimer disruptors that inhibit an essential dimeric protease of human Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) by screening an alpha-helical mimetic library. Next, we synthesized a second generation of low-micromolar inhibitors with improved potency and solubility. Complementary methods including size exclusion chromatography and 1H-13C HSQC titration using selectively labeled 13C-Met samples revealed that monomeric protease is enriched in the presence of inhibitor. 1H-15N HSQC titration studies mapped the inhibitor binding site to the dimer interface, and mutagenesis studies targeting this region were consistent with a mechanism where inhibitor binding prevents dimerization through the conformational selection of a dynamic intermediate. These results validate the interface of herpesvirus proteases and other similar oligomeric interactions as suitable targets for the development of small-molecule inhibitors.

  18. Getting across the cell membrane: an overview for small molecules, peptides, and proteins.

    PubMed

    Yang, Nicole J; Hinner, Marlon J

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Knowledge-based annotation of small molecule binding sites in proteins

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The study of protein-small molecule interactions is vital for understanding protein function and for practical applications in drug discovery. To benefit from the rapidly increasing structural data, it is essential to improve the tools that enable large scale binding site prediction with greater emphasis on their biological validity. Results We have developed a new method for the annotation of protein-small molecule binding sites, using inference by homology, which allows us to extend annotation onto protein sequences without experimental data available. To ensure biological relevance of binding sites, our method clusters similar binding sites found in homologous protein structures based on their sequence and structure conservation. Binding sites which appear evolutionarily conserved among non-redundant sets of homologous proteins are given higher priority. After binding sites are clustered, position specific score matrices (PSSMs) are constructed from the corresponding binding site alignments. Together with other measures, the PSSMs are subsequently used to rank binding sites to assess how well they match the query and to better gauge their biological relevance. The method also facilitates a succinct and informative representation of observed and inferred binding sites from homologs with known three-dimensional structures, thereby providing the means to analyze conservation and diversity of binding modes. Furthermore, the chemical properties of small molecules bound to the inferred binding sites can be used as a starting point in small molecule virtual screening. The method was validated by comparison to other binding site prediction methods and to a collection of manually curated binding site annotations. We show that our method achieves a sensitivity of 72% at predicting biologically relevant binding sites and can accurately discriminate those sites that bind biological small molecules from non-biological ones. Conclusions A new algorithm has been

  1. (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.

  2. 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.

  3. Biophysical screening for the discovery of small-molecule ligands.

    PubMed

    Ciulli, Alessio

    2013-01-01

    Discovering small-molecule chemical probes of protein function has great potential to elucidate biological pathways and to provide early-stage proof-of-concept for target validation. Discovery of such probes therefore underpins many of the chemical biology and drug discovery efforts in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The process generally begins with screening small molecules to identify bona fide "hits" that bind non-covalently to a target protein. This chapter is concerned with the application of biophysical and structural techniques to small-molecule ligand screening, and with the validation of hits from both structural (binding mode) and energetic (binding affinity) stand-points. The methods discussed include differential scanning fluorimetry (thermal shift), fluorescence polarization (FP), surface plasmon resonance, ligand-observed NMR spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry, and protein X-ray crystallography. The principles of these techniques and the fundamental nature of the observables used to detect macromolecule-ligand binding are briefly outlined. The practicalities, advantages, and disadvantages of each technique are described, particularly in the context of detecting weak affinities, as relevant to fragment screening. Fluorescence-based methods, which offer an attractive combination of high throughput and low cost are discussed in detail. It is argued that applying a combination of different methods provides the most robust and effective way to identify high-quality starting points for follow-up medicinal chemistry and to build structure-activity relationships that better inform effective development of high-quality, cell-active chemical probes by structure-based drug design.

  4. Unraveling plant hormone signaling through the use of small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Rigal, Adeline; Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-01-01

    Plants have acquired the capacity to grow continuously and adjust their morphology in response to endogenous and external signals, leading to a high architectural plasticity. The dynamic and differential distribution of phytohormones is an essential factor in these developmental changes. Phytohormone perception is a fast but complex process modulating specific developmental reprogramming. In recent years, chemical genomics or the use of small molecules to modulate target protein function has emerged as a powerful strategy to study complex biological processes in plants such as hormone signaling. Small molecules can be applied in a conditional, dose-dependent and reversible manner, with the advantage of circumventing the limitations of lethality and functional redundancy inherent to traditional mutant screens. High-throughput screening of diverse chemical libraries has led to the identification of bioactive molecules able to induce plant hormone-related phenotypes. Characterization of the cognate targets and pathways of those molecules has allowed the identification of novel regulatory components, providing new insights into the molecular mechanisms of plant hormone signaling. An extensive structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis of the natural phytohormones, their designed synthetic analogs and newly identified bioactive molecules has led to the determination of the structural requirements essential for their bioactivity. In this review, we will summarize the so far identified small molecules and their structural variants targeting specific phytohormone signaling pathways. We will highlight how the SAR analyses have enabled better interrogation of the molecular mechanisms of phytohormone responses. Finally, we will discuss how labeled/tagged hormone analogs can be exploited, as compelling tools to better understand hormone signaling and transport mechanisms. PMID:25126092

  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. Development of Small-Molecule Antivirals for Ebola.

    PubMed

    Janeba, Zlatko

    2015-11-01

    Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species. Although a significant progress has recently been made in understanding of Ebola virus biology and pathogenesis, development of effective anti-Ebola treatments has not been very productive, compared to other areas of antiviral research (e.g., HIV and HCV infections). No approved vaccine or medicine is available for Ebola but several are currently under development. This review summarises attempts in identification, evaluation, and development of small-molecule candidates for treatment of Ebola viral disease, including the most promising experimental drugs brincidofovir (CMX001), BCX4430, and favipiravir (T-705).

  7. A new small molecule inhibitor of soluble guanylate cyclase

    PubMed Central

    Mota, Filipa; Gane, Paul; Hampden-Smith, Kathryn; Allerston, Charles K.; Garthwaite, John; Selwood, David L.

    2015-01-01

    Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is a haem containing enzyme that regulates cardiovascular homeostasis and multiple mechanisms in the central and peripheral nervous system. Commonly used inhibitors of sGC activity act through oxidation of the haem moiety, however they also bind haemoglobin and this limits their bioavailability for in vivo studies. We have discovered a new class of small molecule inhibitors of sGC and have characterised a compound designated D12 (compound 10) which binds to the catalytic domain of the enzyme with a KD of 11 μM in a SPR assay. PMID:26264842

  8. 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

  9. Discovery of small molecule antagonists of TRPV1.

    PubMed

    Rami, Harshad K; Thompson, Mervyn; Wyman, Paul; Jerman, Jeffrey C; Egerton, Julie; Brough, Stephen; Stevens, Alexander J; Randall, Andrew D; Smart, Darren; Gunthorpe, Martin J; Davis, John B

    2004-07-16

    Small molecule antagonists of the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1, also known as VR1) are disclosed. Ureas such as 5 (SB-452533) were used to explore the structure activity relationship with several potent analogues identified. Pharmacological studies using electrophysiological and FLIPR Ca(2+) based assays showed compound 5 was an antagonist versus capsaicin, noxious heat and acid mediated activation of TRPV1. Study of a quaternary salt of 5 supports a mode of action in which compounds from this series cause inhibition via an extracellularly accessible binding site on the TRPV1 receptor. PMID:15203132

  10. Single dish gradient screening of small molecule localization.

    PubMed

    Beuzer, Paolo; Axelrod, Joshua; Trzoss, Lynnie; Fenical, Willam; Dasari, Ramesh; Evidente, Antonio; Kornienko, Alexander; Cang, Hu; La Clair, James J

    2016-09-21

    Understanding trafficking in cells and tissues is one of the most critical steps in exploring the mechanisms and modes of action (MOAs) of a small molecule. Typically, deciphering the role of concentration presents one of the most difficult challenges associated with this task. Herein, we present a practical solution to this problem by developing concentration gradients within single dishes of cells. We demonstrate the method by evaluating fluorescently-labelled probes developed from two classes of natural products that have been identified as potential anti-cancer leads by STORM super-resolution microscopy. PMID:27530345

  11. Validating and understanding ring conformations using small molecule crystallographic data.

    PubMed

    Cottrell, Simon J; Olsson, Tjelvar S G; Taylor, Robin; Cole, Jason C; Liebeschuetz, John W

    2012-04-23

    Understanding the conformational preferences of ring structures is fundamental to structure-based drug design. Although the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) provides information on the preferred conformations of small molecules, analyzing this data can be very time-consuming. In order to overcome this hurdle, tools have been developed for quickly extracting geometrical preferences from the CSD. Here we describe how the program Mogul has been extended to analyze and compare ring conformations, using a library derived from over 900 000 ring fragments in the CSD. We illustrate how these can be used to understand the conformational preferences of molecules in a crystal lattice and bound to proteins. PMID:22372622

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Orthopedic tissue regeneration: cells, scaffolds, and small molecules.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Ok Hee; Elisseeff, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    Orthopedic tissue regeneration would benefit the aging population or patients with degenerative bone and cartilage diseases, especially osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Despite progress in surgical and pharmacological interventions, new regenerative approaches are needed to meet the challenge of creating bone and articular cartilage tissues that are not only structurally sound but also functional, primarily to maintain mechanical integrity in their high load-bearing environments. In this review, we discuss new advances made in exploiting the three classes of materials in bone and cartilage regenerative medicine--cells, biomaterial-based scaffolds, and small molecules--and their successes and challenges reported in the clinic. In particular, the focus will be on the development of tissue-engineered bone and cartilage ex vivo by combining stem cells with biomaterials, providing appropriate structural, compositional, and mechanical cues to restore damaged tissue function. In addition, using small molecules to locally promote regeneration will be discussed, with potential approaches that combine bone and cartilage targeted therapeutics for the orthopedic-related disease, especially osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

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

    PubMed

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria C

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Discovery and Development of Small Molecule SHIP Phosphatase Modulators

    PubMed Central

    Viernes, Dennis R.; Choi, Lydia B.

    2016-01-01

    Inositol phospholipids play an important role in the transfer of signaling information across the cell membrane in eukaryotes. These signals are often governed by the phosphorylation patterns on the inositols, which are mediated by a number of inositol kinases and phosphatases. The src homology 2 (SH2) – containing inositol 5-phosphatase (SHIP) plays a central role in these processes, influencing signals delivered through the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. SHIP modulation by small molecules has been implicated as a treatment in a number of human disease states, including cancer, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, alteration of SHIP phosphatase activity may provide a means to facilitate bone marrow transplantation and increase blood cell production. This review discusses the cellular signaling pathways and protein-protein interactions that provide the molecular basis for targeting the SHIP enzyme in these disease states. In addition, a comprehensive survey of small molecule modulators of SHIP1 and SHIP2 is provided, with a focus on the structure, potency, selectivity and solubility properties of these compounds. PMID:24302498

  17. Stability of lyophilized human platelets loaded with small molecule carbohydrates.

    PubMed

    Wang, J X; Yang, C; Wan, W; Liu, M X; Ren, S P; Quan, G B; Han, Y

    2011-01-01

    Long-term preservation of platelets is a great challenge for blood transfusion centers, due to the required narrow storage temperature arange (22 ± 2 degree C). Short shelf life and potential bacterial growth often lead to the shortage of high-quality platelets. Freeze-dried preservation is thus believed to be a potential solution for long-term platelet storage without losing the hemostasis function. Here we report a new platelet preservation method, which uses small molecule carbohydrates to extend storage time and to maintain platelet function. The activities of lyophilized platelets that were stabilized with small molecule carbohydrate (e.g., cell viability, mean platelet volume, activation characteristics, and aggregation kinetics) were maintained after storage of 30, 60, and 90 days at room temperature, 4 degree C, and -20 degree C. The recovery of freeze-dried platelets was 87 percent in comparison to fresh platelets. The mean platelet volume of rehydrated platelets increased (from 6.8 fl to 8.0 fl). About 40 percent of rehydrated platelets was in the early-activated stage (PCA-1 positive) and 30 percent was in the terminal-activated stage (CD62P positive). The cell viability was about 60 percent as measured with CMFDA vital probes. The aggregation rate of rehydrated platelets after 90-day storage was similar to fresh platelets stored at 22 degree C ± 2 degree C.

  18. Structural basis of AMPK regulation by small molecule activators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. Small-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

  20. 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

    2008-07-01

    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.

  1. Oral small molecule therapy for lysosomal storage diseases.

    PubMed

    Weinreb, Neal J

    2013-11-01

    For more than 20 years, "enzyme replacement therapy" (ERT) has been the prevalent treatment approach for lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). Unfortunately, ERT, as currently administered, is ineffective for primary neuronopathic LSDs. For LSDs whose major disease burden is non-neurological, ERT efficacy is limited by uneven tissue distribution and penetration, immunological intolerance, and disturbed intracellular homeostasis associated with persistent mutant enzymes that are not "replaced" by ERT. Many of these limitations might be circumvented by oral, low molecular weight pharmaceuticals that address relevant LSD pathophysiology and distribute widely in steady state concentrations in all cells and body tissues including the CNS. Two oral small molecule drugs (miglustat and cysteamine) are currently approved for clinical use and two (eliglustat and migalastat) are in advanced stage clinical trials. Several others are in early stages of clinical or pre-clinical investigation. This article reviews current knowledge of small molecule treatment for LSDs including approaches such as substrate synthesis inhibition, pharmacological chaperones, and proteostasis modification. PMID:24380126

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Dissecting fibrosis: therapeutic insights from the small-molecule toolbox.

    PubMed

    Nanthakumar, Carmel B; Hatley, Richard J D; Lemma, Seble; Gauldie, Jack; Marshall, Richard P; Macdonald, Simon J F

    2015-10-01

    Fibrosis, which leads to progressive loss of tissue function and eventual organ failure, has been estimated to contribute to ~45% of deaths in the developed world, and so new therapeutics to modulate fibrosis are urgently needed. Major advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying pathological fibrosis are supporting the search for such therapeutics, and the recent approval of two anti-fibrotic drugs for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis has demonstrated the tractability of this area for drug discovery. This Review examines the pharmacology and structural information for small molecules being evaluated for lung, liver, kidney and skin fibrosis. In particular, we discuss the insights gained from the use of these pharmacological tools, and how these entities can inform, and probe, emerging insights into disease mechanisms, including the potential for future drug combinations.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tormena, Cláudio F

    2016-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Infectious Complications Associated with Monoclonal Antibodies and Related Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Salvana, Edsel Maurice T.; Salata, Robert A.

    2009-01-01

    Summary: Biologics are increasingly becoming part of routine disease management. As more agents are developed, the challenge of keeping track of indications and side effects is growing. While biologics represent a milestone in targeted and specific therapy, they are not without drawbacks, and the judicious use of these “magic bullets” is essential if their full potential is to be realized. Infectious complications in particular are not an uncommon side effect of therapy, whether as a direct consequence of the agent or because of the underlying disease process. With this in mind, we have reviewed and summarized the risks of infection and the infectious disease-related complications for all FDA-approved monoclonal antibodies and some related small molecules, and we discuss the probable mechanisms involved in immunosuppression as well as recommendations for prophylaxis and treatment of specific disease entities. PMID:19366915

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

    PubMed

    Tormena, Cláudio F

    2016-08-01

    This review deals with conformational analysis in small organic molecules, and describes the stereoelectronic interactions responsible for conformational stability. Conformational analysis is usually performed using NMR spectroscopy through measurement of coupling constants at room or low temperature in different solvents to determine the populations of conformers in solution. Quantum mechanical calculations are used to address the interactions responsible for conformer stability. The conformational analysis of a large number of small molecules is described, using coupling constant measurements in different solvents and at low temperature, as well as recent applications of through-space and through-hydrogen bond coupling constants JFH as tools for the conformational analysis of fluorinated molecules. Besides NMR parameters, stereoelectronic interactions such as conjugative, hyperconjugative, steric and intramolecular hydrogen bond interactions involved in conformational preferences are discussed. PMID:27573182

  16. 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.

  17. Toward reprogramming bacteria with small molecules and RNA.

    PubMed

    Gallivan, Justin P

    2007-12-01

    A major goal of synthetic biology is to reprogram bacteria to carry out complex tasks, such as synthesizing and delivering drugs, and seeking and destroying environmental pollutants. Advances in molecular biology and bacterial genetics have made it straightforward to modify, insert, or delete genes in many bacterial strains, and advances in gene synthesis have opened the door to replacing entire genomes. However, rewriting the underlying genetic code is only part of the challenge of reprogramming cellular behavior. A remaining challenge is to control how and when the modified genes are expressed. Several recent studies have highlighted how synthetic riboswitches, which are RNA sequences that undergo a ligand-induced conformational change to alter gene expression, can be used to reprogram how bacteria respond to small molecules. PMID:17967431

  18. 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.

  19. Elucidating the germination transcriptional program using small molecules.

    PubMed

    Bassel, George W; Fung, Pauline; Chow, Tsz-fung Freeman; Foong, Justin A; Provart, Nicholas J; Cutler, Sean R

    2008-05-01

    The transition from seed to seedling is mediated by germination, a complex process that starts with imbibition and completes with radicle emergence. To gain insight into the transcriptional program mediating germination, previous studies have compared the transcript profiles of dry, dormant, and germinating after-ripened Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seeds. While informative, these approaches did not distinguish the transcriptional responses due to imbibition, shifts in metabolism, or breaking of dormancy from those triggered by the initiation of germination. In this study, three mechanistically distinct small molecules that inhibit Arabidopsis seed germination (methotrexate, 2, 4-dinitrophenol, and cycloheximide) were identified using a small-molecule screen and used to probe the germination transcriptome. Germination-responsive transcripts were defined as those with significantly altered transcript abundance across all inhibitory treatments with respect to control germinating seeds, using data from ATH1 microarrays. This analysis identified numerous germination regulators as germination responsive, including the DELLA proteins GAI, RGA, and RGL3, the abscisic acid-insensitive proteins ABI4, ABI5, ABI8, and FRY1, and the gibberellin receptor GID1A. To help visualize these and other publicly available seed microarray data, we designed a seed mRNA expression browser using the electronic Fluorescent Pictograph platform. An overall decrease in gene expression and a 5-fold greater number of transcripts identified as statistically down-regulated in drug-inhibited seeds point to a role for mRNA degradation or turnover during seed germination. The genes identified in our study as responsive to germination define potential uncharacterized regulators of this process and provide a refined transcriptional signature for germinating Arabidopsis seeds.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. 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.

  4. Development of A Cell-Based Assay to Identify Small Molecule Inhibitors of FGF23 Signaling.

    PubMed

    Diener, Susanne; Schorpp, Kenji; Strom, Tim-Matthias; Hadian, Kamyar; Lorenz-Depiereux, Bettina

    2015-10-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is a bone-derived endocrine key regulator of phosphate homeostasis. It inhibits renal tubular phosphate reabsorption by activating receptor complexes composed of FGF receptor 1c (FGFR1c) and the co-receptor Klotho. As a major signaling pathway mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is employed. In this study, we established an FGF23-inducible cell model by stably expressing human Klotho in HEK293 cells (HEK293-KL cells) containing endogenous FGF receptors. To identify novel small molecule compounds that modulate FGF23/FGFR1c/Klotho signaling, we developed and optimized a cell-based assay that is suited for high-throughput screening. The assay monitors the phosphorylation of endogenous extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 in cellular lysates of HEK293-KL cells after induction with FGF23. This cell-based assay was highly robust (Z' factor >0.5) and the induction of the system is strictly dependent on the presence of FGF23. The inhibitor response curves generated using two known MAPK pathway inhibitors correlate well with data obtained by another assay format. This assay was further used to identify small molecule modulators of the FGF23 signaling cascade by screening the 1,280 food and drug administration-approved small molecule library of Prestwick Chemical. The primary hit rate was 2% and false positives were efficiently identified by retesting the hits in primary and secondary validation screening assays and in western blot analysis. Intriguingly, by using a basic FGF (bFGF)/FGFR counterscreening approach, one validated hit compound retained specificity toward FGF23 signaling, while bFGF signaling was not affected. Since increased plasma concentrations of FGF23 are the main cause of many hypophosphatemic disorders, a modulation of its effect could be a potential novel strategy for therapeutic intervention. Moreover, this strategy may be valuable for other disorders affecting phosphate homeostasis. PMID:26461432

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Cheng-Kuang; Pao, Chun-Wei

    2016-08-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-27

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

  8. 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.

  9. Identification of small molecules that selectively inhibit diacylglycerol lipase-α activity.

    PubMed

    Appiah, Kingsley K; Blat, Yuval; Robertson, Barbara J; Pearce, Bradley C; Pedicord, Donna L; Gentles, Robert G; Yu, Xuan-Chuan; Mseeh, Faika; Nguyen, Nghi; Swaffield, Jonathan C; Harden, David G; Westphal, Ryan S; Banks, Martyn N; O'Connell, Jonathan C

    2014-04-01

    Recent genetic evidence suggests that the diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL-α) isoform is the major biosynthetic enzyme for the most abundant endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG), in the central nervous system. Revelation of its essential role in regulating retrograde synaptic plasticity and adult neurogenesis has made it an attractive therapeutic target. Therefore, it has become apparent that selective inhibition of DAGL-α enzyme activity with a small molecule could be a strategy for the development of novel therapies for the treatment of disease indications such as depression, anxiety, pain, and cognition. In this report, the authors present the identification of small-molecule inhibitor chemotypes of DAGL-α, which were selective (≥10-fold) against two other lipases, pancreatic lipase and monoacylglycerol lipase, via high-throughput screening of a diverse compound collection. Seven chemotypes of interest from a list of 185 structural clusters, which included 132 singletons, were initially selected for evaluation and characterization. Selection was based on potency, selectivity, and chemical tractability. One of the chemotypes, the glycine sulfonamide series, was prioritized as an initial lead for further medicinal chemistry optimization. PMID:24241710

  10. Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of autotaxin that inhibit melanoma cell migration and invasion.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Lauren P; Ouellette, Amy; Bandle, Russ; Chang, William Chozen; Zhou, Hongwen; Misra, Raj N; De La Cruz, Enrique M; Braddock, Demetrios T

    2008-10-01

    Autotaxin (ATX) is a prometastatic enzyme initially isolated from the conditioned medium of human melanoma cells that stimulates a myriad of biological activities, including angiogenesis and the promotion of cell growth, survival, and differentiation through the production of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). ATX increases the aggressiveness and invasiveness of transformed cells, and ATX levels directly correlate with tumor stage and grade in several human malignancies. To study the role of ATX in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma, we developed antibodies and small-molecule inhibitors against recombinant human protein. Immunohistochemistry of paraffin-embedded human tissue shows that ATX levels are markedly increased in human primary and metastatic melanoma relative to benign nevi. Chemical screens identified several small-molecule inhibitors with binding constants ranging from nanomolar to low micromolar. Cell migration and invasion assays with melanoma cell lines show that ATX markedly stimulates melanoma cell migration and invasion, an effect suppressed by ATX inhibitors. The migratory phenotype can be rescued by the addition of the enzymatic product of ATX, LPA, confirming that the observed inhibition is linked to suppression of LPA production by ATX. Chemical analogues of the inhibitors show structure-activity relationships important for ATX inhibition and indicate pathways for their optimization. These studies suggest that ATX is an approachable molecular target for the rational design of chemotherapeutic agents directed against malignant melanoma.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Screen for small molecules increasing the mitochondrial membrane potential.

    PubMed

    Montague, Christine R; Fitzmaurice, Aileen; Hover, Bradley M; Salazar, Noe A; Fey, Julien P

    2014-03-01

    The identification of small molecules that positively modulate the mitochondrial respiratory function has broad applications in fundamental research, therapeutic target validation, and drug discovery. We present an approach in which primary screens for mitochondrial function in yeast are used to efficiently identify a subset of high-value compounds that can in turn be rapidly tested against a broad range of mammalian cell lines. The ability of the yeast assay to successfully identify in a high-throughput format hit compounds that increase the mitochondrial membrane potential and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels by as little as 15% was demonstrated. In this study, 14 hits were identified from a collection of 13,680 compounds. Secondary testing with myotubes, fibroblasts, and PC-12 and HepG2 cells identified two compounds increasing ATP levels in hepatocytes and two other compounds increasing ATP in fibroblasts. The effect on hepatocytes was further studied using genomic and mitochondrial proteomic tools to characterize the changes induced by the two compounds. Changes in the accumulation of a series of factors involved in early gene response or apoptosis or linked to metabolic functions (i.e., β-Klotho, RORα, PGC-1α, G6PC, IGFBP1, FTL) were discovered.

  16. Progress in Small Molecule and Biologic Therapeutics Targeting Ghrelin Signaling.

    PubMed

    McGovern, Kayleigh R; Darling, Joseph E; Hougland, James L

    2016-01-01

    Ghrelin is a circulating peptide hormone involved in regulation of a wide array of physiological processes. As an endogenous ligand for growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR1a), ghrelin is responsible for signaling involved in energy homeostasis, including appetite stimulation, glucose metabolism, insulin signaling, and adiposity. Ghrelin has also been implicated in modulation of several neurological processes. Dysregulation of ghrelin signaling is implicated in diseases related to these pathways, including obesity, type II diabetes, and regulation of appetite and body weight in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. Multiple steps in the ghrelin signaling pathway are available for targeting in the development of therapeutics for these diseases. Agonists and antagonists of GHS-R1a have been widely studied and have shown varying levels of effectiveness within ghrelin-related physiological pathways. Agents targeting ghrelin directly, either through depletion of ghrelin levels in circulation or inhibitors of ghrelin O-acyltransferase whose action is required for ghrelin to become biologically active, are receiving increasing attention as potential therapeutic options. We discuss the approaches utilized to target ghrelin signaling and highlight the current challenges toward developing small-molecule agents as potential therapeutics for ghrelin-related diseases. PMID:26202202

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    The ability of DNA to store and encode information arises from base pairing of the four-letter nucleobase code to form a double helix. Expanding this DNA 'alphabet' by synthetic incorporation of new bases can introduce new functionalities and enable the formation of novel nucleic acid structures. However, reprogramming the self-assembly of existing nucleobases presents an alternative route to expand the structural space and functionality of nucleic acids. Here we report the discovery that a small molecule, cyanuric acid, with three thymine-like faces, reprogrammes the assembly of unmodified poly(adenine) (poly(A)) into stable, long and abundant fibres with a unique internal structure. Poly(A) DNA, RNA and peptide nucleic acid (PNA) all form these assemblies. Our studies are consistent with the association of adenine and cyanuric acid units into a hexameric rosette, which brings together poly(A) triplexes with a subsequent cooperative polymerization. Fundamentally, this study shows that small hydrogen-bonding molecules can be used to induce the assembly of nucleic acids in water, which leads to new structures from inexpensive and readily available materials. PMID:27001733

  18. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-19

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

  20. 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

  1. Beta-alanine as a small molecule neurotransmitter.

    PubMed

    Tiedje, K E; Stevens, K; Barnes, S; Weaver, D F

    2010-10-01

    This review discusses the role of beta-alanine as a neurotransmitter. Beta-alanine is structurally intermediate between alpha-amino acid (glycine, glutamate) and gamma-amino acid (GABA) neurotransmitters. In general, beta-alanine satisfies a number of the prerequisite classical criteria for being a neurotransmitter: beta-alanine occurs naturally in the CNS, is released by electrical stimulation through a Ca(2+) dependent process, has binding sites, and inhibits neuronal excitability. beta-Alanine has 5 recognized receptor sites: glycine co-agonist site on the NMDA complex (strychnine-insensitive); glycine receptor site (strychnine sensitive); GABA-A receptor; GABA-C receptor; and blockade of GAT protein-mediated glial GABA uptake. Although beta-alanine binding has been identified throughout the hippocampus, limbic structures, and neocortex, unique beta-alaninergic neurons with no GABAergic properties remain unidentified, and it is impossible to discriminate between beta-alaninergic and GABAergic properties in the CNS. Nevertheless, a variety of data suggest that beta-alanine should be considered as a small molecule neurotransmitter and should join the ranks of the other amino acid neurotransmitters. These realizations open the door for a more comprehensive evaluation of beta-alanine's neurochemistry and for its exploitation as a platform for drug design.

  2. Small molecules intercept Notch signaling and the early secretory pathway.

    PubMed

    Krämer, Andreas; Mentrup, Torben; Kleizen, Bertrand; Rivera-Milla, Eric; Reichenbach, Daniela; Enzensperger, Christoph; Nohl, Richard; Täuscher, Eric; Görls, Helmar; Ploubidou, Aspasia; Englert, Christoph; Werz, Oliver; Arndt, Hans-Dieter; Kaether, Christoph

    2013-11-01

    Notch signaling has a pivotal role in numerous cell-fate decisions, and its aberrant activity leads to developmental disorders and cancer. To identify molecules that influence Notch signaling, we screened nearly 17,000 compounds using automated microscopy to monitor the trafficking and processing of a ligand-independent Notch-enhanced GFP (eGFP) reporter. Characterization of hits in vitro by biochemical and cellular assays and in vivo using zebrafish led to five validated compounds, four of which induced accumulation of the reporter at the plasma membrane by inhibiting γ-secretase. One compound, the dihydropyridine FLI-06, disrupted the Golgi apparatus in a manner distinct from that of brefeldin A and golgicide A. FLI-06 inhibited general secretion at a step before exit from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which was accompanied by a tubule-to-sheet morphological transition of the ER, rendering FLI-06 the first small molecule acting at such an early stage in secretory traffic. These data highlight the power of phenotypic screening to enable investigations of central cellular signaling pathways. PMID:24077179

  3. Small-Molecule Inhibition of BRDT for Male Contraception

    PubMed Central

    Matzuk, Martin M.; McKeown, Michael R.; Filippakopoulos, Panagis; Li, Qinglei; Ma, Lang; Agno, Julio E.; Lemieux, Madeleine E.; Picaud, Sarah; Yu, Richard N.; Qi, Jun; Knapp, Stefan; Bradner, James E.

    2012-01-01

    Summary A pharmacologic approach to male contraception remains a longstanding challenge in medicine. Toward this objective, we explored the spermatogenic effects of a selective small-molecule inhibitor (JQ1) of the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) subfamily of epigenetic reader proteins. Here, we report potent inhibition of the testis-specific member BRDT, which is essential for chromatin remodeling during spermatogenesis. Biochemical and crystallographic studies confirm that occupancy of the BRDT acetyl-lysine binding pocket by JQ1 prevents recognition of acetylated histone H4. Treatment of mice with JQ1 reduced seminiferous tubule area, testis size, and spermatozoa number and motility without affecting hormone levels. Although JQ1-treated males mate normally, inhibitory effects of JQ1 evident at the spermatocyte and round spermatid stages cause a complete and reversible contraceptive effect. These data establish a new contraceptive that can cross the blood:testis boundary and inhibit bromodomain activity during spermatogenesis, providing a lead compound targeting the male germ cell for contraception. PaperClip PMID:22901802

  4. 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.

  5. Small molecule inhibitors of HCV replication from pomegranate.

    PubMed

    Reddy, B Uma; Mullick, Ranajoy; Kumar, Anuj; Sudha, Govindarajan; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy; Das, Saumitra

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the causative agent of end-stage liver disease. Recent advances in the last decade in anti HCV treatment strategies have dramatically increased the viral clearance rate. However, several limitations are still associated, which warrant a great need of novel, safe and selective drugs against HCV infection. Towards this objective, we explored highly potent and selective small molecule inhibitors, the ellagitannins, from the crude extract of Pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit peel. The pure compounds, punicalagin, punicalin, and ellagic acid isolated from the extract specifically blocked the HCV NS3/4A protease activity in vitro. Structural analysis using computational approach also showed that ligand molecules interact with the catalytic and substrate binding residues of NS3/4A protease, leading to inhibition of the enzyme activity. Further, punicalagin and punicalin significantly reduced the HCV replication in cell culture system. More importantly, these compounds are well tolerated ex vivo and'no observed adverse effect level' (NOAEL) was established upto an acute dose of 5000 mg/kg in BALB/c mice. Additionally, pharmacokinetics study showed that the compounds are bioavailable. Taken together, our study provides a proof-of-concept approach for the potential use of antiviral and non-toxic principle ellagitannins from pomegranate in prevention and control of HCV induced complications. PMID:24958333

  6. Small molecule inhibitors of HCV replication from Pomegranate

    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.

  7. 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

  8. JAKpot! New small molecules in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ghoreschi, Kamran; Gadina, Massimo

    2013-01-01

    Cytokines are key mediators of the development and homeostasis of hematopoietic cells, critical for host defense, but also for the development of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases like psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Blocking cytokines activity by interfering with the ligand-receptor association has been successfully employed to treat several immune disorders. A subgroup of cytokines signals through receptors requiring the association with a family of cytoplasmic protein tyrosine kinases known as Janus kinases (Jaks). Jaks have recently gained significant attention as therapeutic targets in inflammation and autoimmunity and several Jak inhibitory small molecules have been developed. The first two Jak inhibitors, tofacitinib and ruxolitinib, have been approved for the treatment of RA and primary myelofibrosis, respectively. Efficacy and safety data suggest that some of these oral Jak inhibitors as well as their topical formulations may soon enter the daily clinical practice for treating patients with psoriasis, lupus erythematosus or other inflammatory skin diseases. While biologics typically target one single cytokine, these new immunomodulators can inhibit signals from multiple cytokines intracellularly and therefore could be useful when other therapies are ineffective. Thus, Jak inhibitors may replace some traditional immunosuppressive agents and help patients not responding to previous therapies. PMID:24131352

  9. 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

  10. Allosteric control of the ribosome by small-molecule antibiotics

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Protein synthesis is targeted by numerous, chemically distinct antibiotics that bind and inhibit key functional centers of the ribosome. Using single-molecule imaging and X-ray crystallography, we show that the aminoglycoside neomycin blocks aminoacyl–transfer RNA (aa-tRNA) selection and translocation as well as ribosome recycling by binding to helix 69 (H69) of 23S ribosomal RNA within the large subunit of the Escherichia coli ribosome. There, neomycin prevents the remodeling of intersubunit bridges that normally accompanies the process of subunit rotation to stabilize a partially rotated ribosome configuration in which peptidyl (P)-site tRNA is constrained in a previously unidentified hybrid position. Direct measurements show that this neomycin-stabilized intermediate is incompatible with the translation factor binding that is required for distinct protein synthesis reactions. These findings reveal the functional importance of reversible intersubunit rotation to the translation mechanism and shed new light on the allosteric control of ribosome functions by small-molecule antibiotics. PMID:22902368

  11. 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.

  12. Small molecule screening in context: Lipid-catalyzed amyloid formation

    PubMed Central

    Hebda, James A; Magzoub, Mazin; Miranker, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Islet Amyloid Polypeptide (IAPP) is a 37-residue hormone cosecreted with insulin by the β-cells of the pancreas. Amyloid fiber aggregation of IAPP has been correlated with the dysfunction and death of these cells in type II diabetics. The likely mechanisms by which IAPP gains toxic function include energy independent cell membrane penetration and induction of membrane depolarization. These processes have been correlated with solution biophysical observations of lipid bilayer catalyzed acceleration of amyloid formation. Although the relationship between amyloid formation and toxicity is poorly understood, the fact that conditions promoting one also favor the other suggests related membrane active structural states. Here, a novel high throughput screening protocol is described that capitalizes on this correlation to identify compounds that target membrane active species. Applied to a small library of 960 known bioactive compounds, we are able to report identification of 37 compounds of which 36 were not previously reported as active toward IAPP fiber formation. Several compounds tested in secondary cell viability assays also demonstrate cytoprotective effects. It is a general observation that peptide induced toxicity in several amyloid diseases (such as Alzhiemer’s and Parkinson’s) involves a membrane bound, preamyloid oligomeric species. Our data here suggest that a screening protocol based on lipid-catalyzed assembly will find mechanistically informative small molecule hits in this subclass of amyloid diseases. PMID:25043951

  13. 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

  14. A small-molecule photoactivatable optical sensor of transmembrane potential

    PubMed Central

    Grenier, Vincent; Walker, Alison S.; Miller, Evan W.

    2015-01-01

    This paper discloses the design, synthesis, and imaging applications of the first member of a new class of SPOTs, small-molecule photoactivatable optical sensors of transmembrane potential. SPOT2.1.Cl features an established voltage-sensitive dye, VoltageFluor2.1.Cl—or—VF capped with a dimethoxy-o-nitrobenzyl (DMNB) caging group to effectively eliminate fluorescence of the VF dye prior to uncaging. SPOT2.1.Cl localizes to cell membranes and displays weak fluorescence until photoactivated. Illumination generates the parent VF dye which then optically reports on changes in the membrane voltage. After photoactivation with spatially restricted light, SPOT2.1.Cl-loaded cells display bright, voltage-sensitive fluorescence associated with the plasma membrane, while neighboring cells remain dark. Activated SPOT reports on action potentials in single trials. SPOT can be activated in neuron cell bodies or uncaged in dendrites to enable structural tracing via “backfilling” of the dye to the soma, followed by functional imaging in the labeled cell. The combination of cellular specificity achieved through spatially-defined patterns of illumination, coupled with the fast, sensitive, and non-capacitive voltage sensing characteristics of VF dyes makes SPOT2.1.Cl a useful tool for interrogating both structure and function of neuronal systems. PMID:26247778

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Overview of Recent Progress in Protein-Expression Technologies for Small-Molecule Screening.

    PubMed

    Cuozzo, John W; Soutter, Holly H

    2014-08-01

    Production of novel soluble and membrane-localized protein targets for functional and affinity-based screening has often been limited by the inability of traditional protein-expression systems to generate recombinant proteins that have properties similar to those of their endogenous counterparts. Such targets have often been labeled as challenging. Although biological validation of these challenging targets for specific disease areas may be strong, discovery of small-molecule modulators can be greatly delayed or completely halted due to target-expression issues. In this article, the limitations of traditional protein-expression systems will be discussed along with new systems designed to overcome these challenges. Recent work in this field has focused on two major areas for both soluble and membrane targets: construct-design strategies to improve expression levels and new hosts that can carry out the posttranslational modifications necessary for proper target folding and function. Another area of active research has been on the reconstitution of solubilized membrane targets for both structural analysis and screening. Finally, the potential impact of these new systems on the output of small-molecule screening campaigns will be discussed. PMID:24525871

  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. Preclinical validation of the small molecule drug quininib as a novel therapeutic for colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Adrian G.; Casey, Rory; Maguire, Aoife; Tosetto, Miriam; Butler, Clare T.; Conroy, Emer; Reynolds, Alison L.; Sheahan, Kieran; O’Donoghue, Diarmuid; Gallagher, William M.; Fennelly, David; Kennedy, Breandán N.; O’Sullivan, Jacintha

    2016-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer deaths. Molecularly targeted therapies (e.g. bevacizumab) have improved survival rates but drug resistance ultimately develops and newer therapies are required. We identified quininib as a small molecule drug with anti-angiogenic activity using in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo screening models. Quininib (2-[(E)-2-(Quinolin-2-yl) vinyl] phenol), is a small molecule drug (molecular weight 283.75 g/mol), which significantly inhibited blood vessel development in zebrafish embryos (p < 0.001). In vitro, quininib reduced endothelial tubule formation (p < 0.001), cell migration was unaffected by quininib and cell survival was reduced by quininib (p < 0.001). Using ex vivo human CRC explants, quininib significantly reduced the secretions of IL-6, IL-8, VEGF, ENA-78, GRO-α, TNF, IL-1β and MCP-1 ex vivo (all values p < 0.01). Quininib is well tolerated in mice when administered at 50 mg/kg intraperitoneally every 3 days and significantly reduced tumour growth of HT-29-luc2 CRC tumour xenografts compared to vehicle control. In addition, quininib reduced the signal from a αvβ3 integrin fluorescence probe in tumours 10 days after treatment initiation, indicative of angiogenic inhibition. Furthermore, quininib reduced the expression of angiogenic genes in xenografted tumours. Collectively, these findings support further development of quininib as a novel therapeutic agent for CRC. PMID:27739445

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Lack of permissive mechanisms and abundance of inhibitory molecules in the lesioned central nervous system of adult mammals contribute to the failure of functional recovery after injury, leading to severe disabilities in motor functions and pain. Peripheral nerve injury impairs motor, sensory, and autonomic functions, particularly in cases where nerve gaps are large and chronic nerve injury ensues. Previous studies have indicated that the neural cell adhesion molecule L1 constitutes a viable target to promote regeneration after acute injury. We screened libraries of known drugs for small molecule agonists of L1 and evaluated the effect of hit compounds in cell-based assays in vitro and in mice after femoral nerve and spinal cord injuries in vivo. We identified eight small molecule L1 agonists and showed in cell-based assays that they stimulate neuronal survival, neuronal migration, and neurite outgrowth and enhance Schwann cell proliferation and migration and myelination of neurons in an L1-dependent manner. In a femoral nerve injury mouse model, enhanced functional regeneration and remyelination after application of the L1 agonists were observed. In a spinal cord injury mouse model, L1 agonists improved recovery of motor functions, being paralleled by enhanced remyelination, neuronal survival, and monoaminergic innervation, reduced astrogliosis, and activation of microglia. Together, these findings suggest that application of small organic compounds that bind to L1 and stimulate the beneficial homophilic L1 functions may prove to be a valuable addition to treatments of nervous system injuries. PMID:26253722

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  8. iPSCs and small molecules: a reciprocal effort towards better approaches for drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ru; Zhang, Li-hong; Xie, Xin

    2013-01-01

    The revolutionary induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology provides a new path for cell replacement therapies and drug screening. Patient-specific iPSCs and subsequent differentiated cells manifesting disease phenotypes will finally position human disease pathology at the core of drug discovery. Cells used to test the toxic effects of drugs can also be generated from normal iPSCs and provide a much more accurate and cost-effective system than many animal models. Here, we highlight the recent progress in iPSC-based cell therapy, disease modeling and drug evaluations. In addition, we discuss the use of small molecule drugs to improve the generation of iPSCs and understand the reprogramming mechanism. It is foreseeable that the interplay between iPSC technology and small molecule compounds will push forward the applications of iPSC-based therapy and screening systems in the real world and eventually revolutionize the methods used to treat diseases. PMID:23603980

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:21194235

  12. Small molecule inhibitors of IRES-mediated translation

    PubMed Central

    Vaklavas, Christos; Meng, Zheng; Choi, Hyoungsoo; Grizzle, William E; Zinn, Kurt R; Blume, Scott W

    2015-01-01

    Many genes controlling cell proliferation and survival (those most important to cancer biology) are now known to be regulated specifically at the translational (RNA to protein) level. The internal ribosome entry site (IRES) provides a mechanism by which the translational efficiency of an individual or group of mRNAs can be regulated independently of the global controls on general protein synthesis. IRES-mediated translation has been implicated as a significant contributor to the malignant phenotype and chemoresistance, however there has been no effective means by which to interfere with this specialized mode of protein synthesis. A cell-based empirical high-throughput screen was performed in attempt to identify compounds capable of selectively inhibiting translation mediated through the IGF1R IRES. Results obtained using the bicistronic reporter system demonstrate selective inhibition of second cistron translation (IRES-dependent). The lead compound and its structural analogs completely block de novo IGF1R protein synthesis in genetically-unmodified cells, confirming activity against the endogenous IRES. Spectrum of activity extends beyond IGF1R to include the c-myc IRES. The small molecule IRES inhibitor differentially modulates synthesis of the oncogenic (p64) and growth-inhibitory (p67) isoforms of Myc, suggesting that the IRES controls not only translational efficiency, but also choice of initiation codon. Sustained IRES inhibition has profound, detrimental effects on human tumor cells, inducing massive (>99%) cell death and complete loss of clonogenic survival in models of triple-negative breast cancer. The results begin to reveal new insights into the inherent complexity of gene-specific translational regulation, and the importance of IRES-mediated translation to tumor cell biology. PMID:26177060

  13. 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.

  14. Mechanism of cellular response to nanoscale aggregates of small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuang, Yi

    This dissertation research focused on the illustration of the molecular mechanism of cellular response to nanoscale aggregates formed by small molecules. There are five chapters in this dissertation. Chapter 1 summarizes the current research on the evaluation of cell response (i.e., biocompatibility/cytotoxicity) to small molecular hydrogelators. Chapter 2 describes an interesting phenomenon that supramolecular hydrogelators consisting of N-terminated dipeptides, which exhibit selective inhibitory effects against cancer cells. This study calls for the development of a new approach for identification of protein targets of the hydrogelators. Chapter 3 describes the evaluation of interactions between cytosol proteins of a mammalian cell line and morphologically different nanoscale molecular aggregates formed by small peptidic molecules. Chapter 4 describes the research on the mechanism of a type of molecular aggregates, which cluster short microtubules to prevent the growth of microtubule. This unprecedented mechanism of "self-assembly to interfere with self-organization " contributes to inhibiting growth of cancer cells in several mammalian cell based assays and a xenograft tumor mice model. At the end, Chapter 5 reports a novel supramolecular hydrogelator, which consists of fluorene and the pentapeptide epitope (TIGYG) of potassium ion (K+) channels, to self-assemble in water to form the tunable, hierarchical nanostructures dictated by the concentration of K+. In conclusion, this dissertation research demonstrates a new approach for investigating cellular target and molecular mechanism of self-assembled aggregates formed by small peptide derivatives based hydrogelators, which will make contribution to the development of supramolecular hydrogelators as biomaterials. Moreover, the differential cytotoxicity of molecular aggregates illustrated in this research promises a new direction for developing anti-cancer drug based on interactions between molecular aggregates and

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freire, Ernesto

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, Ian

    2012-02-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-12

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-17

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  7. Optimized plasmonic nanostructures for improved sensing activities.

    PubMed

    Shen, Hong; Guillot, Nicolas; Rouxel, Jérémy; Lamy de la Chapelle, Marc; Toury, Timothée

    2012-09-10

    The paper outlines the optimization of plasmonic nanostructures in order to improve their sensing properties such as their sensitivity and their ease of manipulation. The key point in this study is the optimization of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) properties essential to the sensor characteristics, and more especially for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Two aspects were considered in order to optimize the sensing performance: apolar plasmonic nanostructures for non polarization dependent detection and improvements of SERS sensitivity by using a molecular adhesion layer between gold nanostructures and glass. Both issues could be generalized to all plasmon-resonance-based sensing applications.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Putnam, W C; Daniher, A T; Trawick, B N; Bashkin, J K

    2001-05-15

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Mechanisms of small molecule-DNA interactions probed by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Almaqwashi, Ali A; Paramanathan, Thayaparan; Rouzina, Ioulia; Williams, Mark C

    2016-05-19

    There is a wide range of applications for non-covalent DNA binding ligands, and optimization of such interactions requires detailed understanding of the binding mechanisms. One important class of these ligands is that of intercalators, which bind DNA by inserting aromatic moieties between adjacent DNA base pairs. Characterizing the dynamic and equilibrium aspects of DNA-intercalator complex assembly may allow optimization of DNA binding for specific functions. Single-molecule force spectroscopy studies have recently revealed new details about the molecular mechanisms governing DNA intercalation. These studies can provide the binding kinetics and affinity as well as determining the magnitude of the double helix structural deformations during the dynamic assembly of DNA-ligand complexes. These results may in turn guide the rational design of intercalators synthesized for DNA-targeted drugs, optical probes, or integrated biological self-assembly processes. Herein, we survey the progress in experimental methods as well as the corresponding analysis framework for understanding single molecule DNA binding mechanisms. We discuss briefly minor and major groove binding ligands, and then focus on intercalators, which have been probed extensively with these methods. Conventional mono-intercalators and bis-intercalators are discussed, followed by unconventional DNA intercalation. We then consider the prospects for using these methods in optimizing conventional and unconventional DNA-intercalating small molecules. PMID:27085806

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Jing

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

  20. Optimization at Wyoming gas plant improves profitability

    SciTech Connect

    Saha, L.E. ); Chontos, A.J. ); Hatch, D.R. )

    1990-05-28

    This paper reports on a computer-aided manufacturing system for on-line optimization implemented at the Painter complex (Wyoming) gas-processing plant. The system is based on rigorous process modeling techniques using real time data. Early results show significant potential for improving the plant's profitability.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-07

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

  2. Pharmacokinetic drivers of toxicity for basic molecules: Strategy to lower pKa results in decreased tissue exposure and toxicity for a small molecule Met inhibitor

    SciTech Connect

    Diaz, Dolores; Ford, Kevin A.; Hartley, Dylan P.; Harstad, Eric B.; Cain, Gary R.; Achilles-Poon, Kirsten; Nguyen, Trung; Peng, Jing; Zheng, Zhong; Merchant, Mark; Sutherlin, Daniel P.; Gaudino, John J.; Kaus, Robert; Lewin-Koh, Sock C.; Choo, Edna F.; Liederer, Bianca M.; Dambach, Donna M.

    2013-01-01

    Several toxicities are clearly driven by free drug concentrations in plasma, such as toxicities related to on-target exaggerated pharmacology or off-target pharmacological activity associated with receptors, enzymes or ion channels. However, there are examples in which organ toxicities appear to correlate better with total drug concentrations in the target tissues, rather than with free drug concentrations in plasma. Here we present a case study in which a small molecule Met inhibitor, GEN-203, with significant liver and bone marrow toxicity in preclinical species was modified with the intention of increasing the safety margin. GEN-203 is a lipophilic weak base as demonstrated by its physicochemical and structural properties: high LogD (distribution coefficient) (4.3) and high measured pKa (7.45) due to the basic amine (N-ethyl-3-fluoro-4-aminopiperidine). The physicochemical properties of GEN-203 were hypothesized to drive the high distribution of this compound to tissues as evidenced by a moderately-high volume of distribution (Vd > 3 l/kg) in mouse and subsequent toxicities of the compound. Specifically, the basicity of GEN-203 was decreased through addition of a second fluorine in the 3-position of the aminopiperidine to yield GEN-890 (N-ethyl-3,3-difluoro-4-aminopiperidine), which decreased the volume of distribution of the compound in mouse (Vd = 1.0 l/kg), decreased its tissue drug concentrations and led to decreased toxicity in mice. This strategy suggests that when toxicity is driven by tissue drug concentrations, optimization of the physicochemical parameters that drive tissue distribution can result in decreased drug concentrations in tissues, resulting in lower toxicity and improved safety margins. -- Highlights: ► Lower pKa for a small molecule: reduced tissue drug levels and toxicity. ► New analysis tools to assess electrostatic effects and ionization are presented. ► Chemical and PK drivers of toxicity can be leveraged to improve safety.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-16

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

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

    PubMed

    Ursu, Andrei; Waldmann, Herbert

    2015-08-15

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

  5. Small Molecule Radiopharmaceuticals – A Review of Current Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Chaturvedi, Shubhra; Mishra, Anil K.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Design of organic ternary blends and small-molecule bulk heterojunctions: photophysical considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajesh, Kallarakkal Ramakrishnan; Paudel, Keshab; Johnson, Brian; Hallani, Rawad; Anthony, John; Ostroverkhova, Oksana

    2015-01-01

    We explored relationships between photophysical processes and solar cell characteristics in solution-processable bulk heterojunctions (BHJs), in particular: (1) polymer donor:fullerene acceptor:small-molecule (SM) nonfullerene acceptor, (2) polymer donor:SM donor:SM nonfullerene acceptor, and (3) SM donor:SM nonfullerene or fullerene acceptor. Addition of a nonfullerene SM acceptor to "efficient" polymer:fullerene BHJs led to a reduction in power conversion efficiency (PCE), mostly due to decreased charge photogeneration efficiency and increased disorder. By contrast, addition of an SM donor to "inefficient" polymer:SM nonfullerene acceptor BHJs led to a factor of two to three improvement in the PCE, due to improved charge photogeneration efficiency and transport. In most blends, exciplex formation was observed and correlated with a reduced short-circuit current (Jsc) without negatively impacting the open-circuit voltage (Voc). A factor of ˜5 higher PCE was observed in SM donor:fullerene acceptor BHJs as compared to SMBHJs with the same SM donor but nonfullerene acceptor, due to enhanced charge carrier photogeneration in the blend with fullerene. Our study revealed that the HOMO and LUMO energies of molecules comprising a blend are not reliable parameters for predicting Voc of the blend, and an understanding of the photophysics is necessary for interpreting solar cell characteristics and improving the molecular design of BHJs.

  7. Development and utilization of non-coding RNA-small molecule interactions.

    PubMed

    Georgianna, Wesleigh E; Young, Douglas D

    2011-12-01

    RNA plays a crucial role in cellular biology as a carrier of genetic information. However, beyond this passive role, RNA has been shown to regulate various cellular processes in a form that is not translated into protein. Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) has been shown to be important in gene regulation, and its aberrant activity has been associated with several disease states. As such, ncRNAs represent a novel target for small molecule regulation and recently, significant advances have been made towards elucidating small molecule regulators of ncRNAs. Herein, we provide an overview of miRNA, siRNA, RNA aptamers, riboswitches, and ribozymes, within the context of recent findings regarding the exogenous regulation of these ncRNAs by small molecules. The development of these small molecule tools has far-reaching applications in the advancement of molecular therapeutics.

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

    PubMed

    Jung, Hye Jin; Kwon, Ho Jeong

    2015-09-01

    Identification of the target proteins of bioactive small molecules isolated from phenotypic screens plays an important role in chemical biology and drug discovery. However, discovering the targets of small molecules is often the most challenging and time-consuming step for chemical biology researchers. To overcome the bottlenecks in target identification, many new approaches based on genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics technologies have been developed. Here, we provide an overview of the current major methodologies for target deconvolution of bioactive small molecules. To obtain an integrated view of the mechanisms of action of small molecules, we propose a systematic approach that involves the combination of multi-omics-based target identification and validation and preclinical target validation.

  9. Advancing small-molecule-based chemical biology with next-generation sequencing technologies.

    PubMed

    Anandhakumar, Chandran; Kizaki, Seiichiro; Bando, Toshikazu; Pandian, Ganesh N; Sugiyama, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Next-generation-sequencing (NGS) technologies enable us to obtain extensive information by deciphering millions of individual DNA sequencing reactions simultaneously. The new DNA-sequencing strategies exceed their precursors in output by many orders of magnitude, resulting in a quantitative increase in valuable sequence information that could be harnessed for qualitative analysis. Sequencing on this scale has facilitated significant advances in diverse disciplines, ranging from the discovery, design, and evaluation of many small molecules and relevant biological mechanisms to maturation of personalized therapies. NGS technologies that have recently become affordable allow us to gain in-depth insight into small-molecule-triggered biological phenomena and empower researchers to develop advanced versions of small molecules. In this review we focus on the overlooked implications of NGS technologies in chemical biology, with a special emphasis on small-molecule development and screening.

  10. Small Molecule Control of Intracellular Protein Levels Through Modulation of the Ubiquitin Proteasome System

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Dennis L.

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, biological probes and drugs have targeted the activities of proteins (such as enzymes and receptors) that can be easily controlled by small molecules. The remaining majority of the proteome has been deemed “undruggable”. By using small molecule modulators of the ubiquitin proteasome, protein levels, rather than protein activities can be targeted instead, increasing the number of druggable targets. While targeting the proteasome itself can lead to a global increase in protein levels, targeting other components of the UPS (e.g., the hundreds of E3 ubiquitin ligases) can lead to an increase in protein levels in a more targeted fashion. Alternatively, multiple strategies for inducing protein degradation with small molecule probes are emerging. With the ability to induce and inhibit the degradation of targeted proteins, small molecule modulators of the UPS have the potential to significantly expand the druggable portion of the proteome beyond traditional targets such as enzymes and receptors. PMID:24459094

  11. Synthesis of many different types of organic small molecules using one automated process.

    PubMed

    Li, Junqi; Ballmer, Steven G; Gillis, Eric P; Fujii, Seiko; Schmidt, Michael J; Palazzolo, Andrea M E; Lehmann, Jonathan W; Morehouse, Greg F; Burke, Martin D

    2015-03-13

    Small-molecule synthesis usually relies on procedures that are highly customized for each target. A broadly applicable automated process could greatly increase the accessibility of this class of compounds to enable investigations of their practical potential. Here we report the synthesis of 14 distinct classes of small molecules using the same fully automated process. This was achieved by strategically expanding the scope of a building block-based synthesis platform to include even C(sp3)-rich polycyclic natural product frameworks and discovering a catch-and-release chromatographic purification protocol applicable to all of the corresponding intermediates. With thousands of compatible building blocks already commercially available, many small molecules are now accessible with this platform. More broadly, these findings illuminate an actionable roadmap to a more general and automated approach for small-molecule synthesis. PMID:25766227

  12. Synthesis of many different types of organic small molecules using one automated process.

    PubMed

    Li, Junqi; Ballmer, Steven G; Gillis, Eric P; Fujii, Seiko; Schmidt, Michael J; Palazzolo, Andrea M E; Lehmann, Jonathan W; Morehouse, Greg F; Burke, Martin D

    2015-03-13

    Small-molecule synthesis usually relies on procedures that are highly customized for each target. A broadly applicable automated process could greatly increase the accessibility of this class of compounds to enable investigations of their practical potential. Here we report the synthesis of 14 distinct classes of small molecules using the same fully automated process. This was achieved by strategically expanding the scope of a building block-based synthesis platform to include even C(sp3)-rich polycyclic natural product frameworks and discovering a catch-and-release chromatographic purification protocol applicable to all of the corresponding intermediates. With thousands of compatible building blocks already commercially available, many small molecules are now accessible with this platform. More broadly, these findings illuminate an actionable roadmap to a more general and automated approach for small-molecule synthesis.

  13. Synthesis of many different types of organic small molecules using one automated process

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junqi; Ballmer, Steven G.; Gillis, Eric P.; Fujii, Seiko; Schmidt, Michael J.; Palazzolo, Andrea M. E.; Lehmann, Jonathan W.; Morehouse, Greg F.; Burke, Martin D.

    2015-01-01

    Small molecule synthesis usually relies on procedures highly customized for each target. A broadly applicable automated process could greatly increase the accessibility of this class of compounds to enable investigations of their practical potential. Here we report the synthesis of 14 distinct classes of small molecules using the same fully automated process. This was achieved by strategically expanding the scope of a building block-based synthesis platform to include even Csp3-rich polycyclic natural product frameworks and discovering a catch-and-release chromatographic purification protocol applicable to all of the corresponding intermediates. With thousands of compatible building blocks already commercially available, many small molecules are now accessible with this platform. More broadly, these findings illuminate an actionable roadmap to a more general and automated approach for small molecule synthesis. PMID:25766227

  14. Small molecules enable cardiac reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts with a single factor, Oct4.

    PubMed

    Wang, Haixia; Cao, Nan; Spencer, C Ian; Nie, Baoming; Ma, Tianhua; Xu, Tao; Zhang, Yu; Wang, Xiaojing; Srivastava, Deepak; Ding, Sheng

    2014-03-13

    It was recently shown that mouse fibroblasts could be reprogrammed into cells of a cardiac fate by forced expression of multiple transcription factors and microRNAs. For ultimate application of such a reprogramming strategy for cell-based therapy or in vivo cardiac regeneration, reducing or eliminating the genetic manipulations by small molecules would be highly desirable. Here, we report the identification of a defined small-molecule cocktail that enables the highly efficient conversion of mouse fibroblasts into cardiac cells with only one transcription factor, Oct4, without any evidence of entrance into the pluripotent state. Small-molecule-induced cardiomyocytes spontaneously contract and exhibit a ventricular phenotype. Furthermore, these induced cardiomyocytes pass through a cardiac progenitor stage. This study lays the foundation for future pharmacological reprogramming approaches and provides a small-molecule condition for investigation of the mechanisms underlying the cardiac reprogramming process. PMID:24561253

  15. Restored physiology in protein-deficient yeast by a small molecule channel

    PubMed Central

    Cioffi, Alexander G.; Hou, Jennifer; Grillo, Anthony S.; Diaz, Katrina A.; Burke, Martin D.

    2015-01-01

    Deficiencies of protein ion channels underlie many currently incurable human diseases. Robust networks of pumps and channels are usually responsible for the directional movement of specific ions in organisms ranging from microbes to humans. We thus questioned whether minimally selective small molecule mimics of missing protein channels might be capable of collaborating with the corresponding protein ion pumps to restore physiology. Here we report vigorous and sustainable restoration of yeast cell growth by replacing missing protein ion channels with imperfect small molecule mimics. We further provide evidence that this tolerance for imperfect mimicry is attributable to collaboration between the channel-forming small molecule and protein ion pumps. These results illuminate a mechanistic framework for pursuing small molecule replacements for deficient protein ion channels that underlie a range of challenging human diseases. PMID:26230309

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Allosteric Small-Molecule Inhibitors of the AKT Kinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalafave, D. S.

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

  19. Identification of novel small molecules that elevate Klotho expression.

    PubMed

    King, Gwendalyn D; Chen, CiDi; Huang, Mickey M; Zeldich, Ella; Brazee, Patricia L; Schuman, Eli R; Robin, Maxime; Cuny, Gregory D; Glicksman, Marcie A; Abraham, Carmela R

    2012-01-01

    The absence of Klotho (KL) from mice causes the development of disorders associated with human aging and decreased longevity, whereas increased expression prolongs lifespan. With age, KL protein levels decrease, and keeping levels consistent may promote healthier aging and be disease-modifying. Using the KL promoter to drive expression of luciferase, we conducted a high-throughput screen to identify compounds that activate KL transcription. Hits were identified as compounds that elevated luciferase expression at least 30%. Following validation for dose-dependent activation and lack of cytotoxicity, hit compounds were evaluated further in vitro by incubation with opossum kidney and Z310 rat choroid plexus cells, which express KL endogenously. All compounds elevated KL protein compared with control. To determine whether increased protein resulted in an in vitro functional change, we assayed FGF23 (fibroblast growth factor 23) signalling. Compounds G-I augmented ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) phosphorylation in FGFR (fibroblast growth factor receptor)-transfected cells, whereas co-transfection with KL siRNA (small interfering RNA) blocked the effect. These compounds will be useful tools to allow insight into the mechanisms of KL regulation. Further optimization will provide pharmacological tools for in vivo studies of KL. PMID:21939436

  20. Discovery of selective RIO2 kinase small molecule ligand.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Banglin; Xiang, Shengchang; Qian, Guodong

    2010-08-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Identification and validation of novel small molecule disruptors of HuR-mRNA interaction.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-04-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Patterning small-molecule biocapture surfaces: microcontact insertion printing vs. photolithography.

    PubMed

    Shuster, M J; Vaish, A; Cao, H H; Guttentag, A I; McManigle, J E; Gibb, A L; Martinez-Rivera, M; Martinez, M M; Nezarati, R M; Hinds, J M; Liao, W-S; Weiss, P S; Andrews, A M

    2011-10-14

    Chemical patterns prepared by self-assembly, combined with soft lithography or photolithography, are directly compared. Pattern fidelity can be controlled in both cases but patterning at the low densities necessary for small-molecule probe capture of large biomolecule targets is better accomplished using microcontact insertion printing (μCIP). Surfaces patterned by μCIP are used to capture biomolecule binding partners for the small molecules dopamine and biotin.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. Identification of Small-Molecule Scaffolds for P450 Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    von Kries, Jens P.; Warrier, Thulasi; Podust, Larissa M.

    2015-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis cytochrome P450 enzymes (P450, CYP) attract ongoing interest for their pharmacological development potential, as evidenced by the activity of antifungal azole drugs that inhibit sterol 14α-demethylase CYP51 in fungi, tightly bind M. tuberculosis CYP enzymes, and display inhibitory potential against latent and multi drug resistant forms of tuberculosis both in vitro and in tuberculosis-infected mice. Although “piggy-backing” onto existing antifungal drug development programs would have obvious practical and economic benefits, the substantial differences between fungal CYP51 and potential CYP targets in M. tuberculosis are driving direct screening efforts against CYP enzymes with the ultimate goal of developing potent CYP-specific inhibitors and/or molecular probes to address M. tuberculosis biology. The property of CYP enzymes to shift the ferric heme Fe Soret band in response to ligand binding provides the basis for an experimental platform for high throughput screening (HTS) of compound libraries to select chemotypes with high binding affinities to the target. Newly discovered compounds can be evaluated in in vitro assays or in vivo disease models for inhibitory/therapeutic effects. The best inhibitors in complex with the target protein can be further characterized by x-ray crystallography. In conjunction with knowledge about compound inhibition potential, detailed structural characterization of the protein-inhibitor binding mode can guide lead optimization strategies to assist drug design. This unit includes protocols for compound library screening, analysis of inhibitory potential of the screen hits, and co-crystallization of top hits with the target CYP. Support protocols are provided for expression and purification of soluble CYP enzymes. PMID:20131225

  13. X-ray crystallography: Assessment and validation of protein-small molecule complexes for drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, David R.; Porebski, Przemyslaw J.; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Minor, Wladek

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Crystallography is the key initial component for structure-based and fragment-based drug design and can often generate leads that can be developed into high potency drugs. Therefore, huge sums of money are committed based on the outcome of crystallography experiments and their interpretation. Areas covered This review discusses how to evaluate the correctness of an X-ray structure, focusing on the validation of small molecule-protein complexes. Various types of inaccuracies found within the PDB are identified and the ramifications of these errors are discussed. The reader will gain an understanding of the key parameters that need to be inspected before a structure can be used in drug discovery efforts, as well as an appreciation of the difficulties of correctly interpreting electron density for small molecules. The reader will also be introduced to methods for validating small molecules within the context of a macromolecular structure. Expert opinion One of the reasons that ligand identification and positioning, within a macromolecular crystal structure, is so difficult is that the quality of small molecules widely varies in the PDB. For this reason, the PDB can not always be considered a reliable repository of structural information pertaining to small molecules, and this makes the derivation of general principles that govern small molecule-protein interactions more difficult. PMID:21779303

  14. Sustained Small Molecule Delivery from Injectable Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels through Host-Guest Mediated Retention

    PubMed Central

    Mealy, Joshua E.; Rodell, Christopher B.; Burdick, Jason A.

    2015-01-01

    Self-assembled and injectable hydrogels have many beneficial properties for the local delivery of therapeutics; however, challenges still exist in the sustained release of small molecules from these highly hydrated networks. Host-guest chemistry between cyclodextrin and adamantane has been used to create supramolecular hydrogels from modified polymers. Beyond assembly, this chemistry may also provide increased drug retention and sustained release through the formation of inclusion complexes between drugs and cyclodextrin. Here, we engineered a two-component system from adamantane-modified and β-cyclodextrin (CD)-modified hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural component of the extracellular matrix, to produce hydrogels that are both injectable and able to sustain the release of small molecules. The conjugation of cyclodextrin to HA dramatically altered its affinity for hydrophobic small molecules, such as tryptophan. This interaction led to lower molecule diffusivity and the release of small molecules for up to 21 days with release profiles dependent on CD concentration and drug-CD affinity. There was significant attenuation of release from the supramolecular hydrogels (~20% release in 24h) when compared to hydrogels without CD (~90% release in 24h). The loading of small molecules also had no effect on hydrogel mechanics or self-assembly properties. Finally, to illustrate this controlled delivery approach with clinically used small molecule pharmaceuticals, we sustained the release of two widely used drugs (i.e., doxycycline and doxorubicin) from these hydrogels. PMID:26693019

  15. Chasing the structures of small molecules in arbuscular mycorrhizal signaling.

    PubMed

    Bucher, Marcel; Wegmüller, Sarah; Drissner, David

    2009-08-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) is a symbiosis between most terrestrial plants and fungi of the ancient phylum Glomeromycota. AM improves the uptake of water and mineral nutrients, such as phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N), of the host plant in exchange for photosynthetically fixed carbon. Successful colonization and a functional interaction between host plant and mycobiont are based upon exchange of signaling molecules at different stages of symbiosis development. Strigolactones, a novel class of plant hormones, are secreted by plant roots stimulating presymbiotic growth of AM fungi. Fungi release soluble signaling molecules, the enigmatic 'Myc factors', that activate early symbiotic root responses. Lysophosphatidylcholine is a lipophilic intraradical mycorrhizal signal triggering plant phosphate transporter gene expression late in AM development through a P-controlled transcriptional mechanism. This enables uptake of orthophosphate released from the AM fungus.

  16. Stereoselective Modulation of P-Glycoprotein by Chiral Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Carocci, Alessia; Catalano, Alessia; Turi, Francesco; Lovece, Angelo; Cavalluzzi, Maria M; Bruno, Claudio; Colabufo, Nicola A; Contino, Marialessandra; Perrone, Maria G; Franchini, Carlo; Lentini, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Inhibition of drug efflux pumps such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is an approach toward combating multidrug resistance, which is a significant hurdle in current cancer treatments. To address this, N-substituted aryloxymethyl pyrrolidines were designed and synthesized in their homochiral forms in order to investigate the stereochemical requirements for the binding site of P-gp. Our study provides evidence that the chiral property of molecules could be a strategy for improving the capacity for interacting with P-gp, as the most active compounds of the series stereoselectively modulated this efflux pump. The naphthalene-1-yl analogue (R)-2-[(2,3-dichlorophenoxy)methyl]-1-(naphthalen-1-ylmethyl)pyrrolidine) [(R)-7 a] emerged foremost for its potency and stereoselectivity toward P-gp, with the S enantiomer being nearly inactive. The modulation of P-gp by (R)-7 a involved consumption of ATP, thus demonstrating that the compound behaves as a P-gp substrate.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Conjugated Polymer-Small Molecule Alloy Leads to High Efficient Ternary Organic Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianqi; Zhang, Yajie; Fang, Jin; Lu, Kun; Wang, Zaiyu; Ma, Wei; Wei, Zhixiang

    2015-07-01

    Ternary organic solar cells are promising candidates for bulk heterojunction solar cells; however, improving the power conversion efficiency (PCE) is quite challenging because the ternary system is complicated on phase separation behavior. In this study, a ternary organic solar cell (OSC) with two donors, including one polymer (PTB7-Th), one small molecule (p-DTS(FBTTH2)2), and one acceptor (PC71BM), is fabricated. We propose the two donors in the ternary blend forms an alloy. A notable averaged PCE of 10.5% for ternary OSC is obtained due to the improvement of the fill factor (FF) and the short-circuit current density (J(sc)), and the open-circuit voltage (V(oc)) does not pin to the smaller V(oc) of the corresponding binary blends. A highly ordered face-on orientation of polymer molecules is obtained due to the formation of an alloy structure, which facilitates the enhancement of charge separation and transport and the reduction of charge recombination. This work indicates that a high crystallinity and the face-on orientation of polymers could be obtained by forming alloy with two miscible donors, thus paving a way to largely enhance the PCE of OSCs by using the ternary blend strategy.

  20. Mass spectrometry for small molecule pharmaceutical product development: a review.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Todd A; Winger, Brian E

    2011-01-01

    Developing a pharmaceutical product has become increasingly difficult and expensive. With an emphasis on developing project knowledge at an earlier stage in development, the use of information-rich technologies (particularly MS) has continued to expand throughout product development. Continued improvements in LC/MS technology have widened the scope of utilizing MS methods for performing both qualitative and quantitative applications within product development. This review describes a multi-tiered MS strategy designed to enhance and accelerate the identification and profiling of both process- and degradation-related impurities in either the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) or formulated product. Such impurities can be formed either during chemical synthesis, formulation, or during storage. This review provides an overview of a variety of orthogonal-mass spectrometric methodologies, namely GC/MS, LC/MS, and ICP-MS, in support of product development. This review is not meant to be all inclusive; however, it has been written to highlight the increasing use of hyphenated MS techniques within the pharmaceutical development area.

  1. A Novel Small Molecule Modulator of Amyloid Pathology.

    PubMed

    Lovell, Mark A; Lynn, Bert C; Fister, Shuling; Bradley-Whitman, Melissa; Murphy, M Paul; Beckett, Tina L; Norris, Christopher M

    2016-05-01

    Because traditional approaches to drug development for Alzheimer's disease are becoming increasingly expensive and in many cases disappointingly unsuccessful, alternative approaches are required to shift the paradigm. Following leads from investigations of dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, we observed unique properties from a class of functionalized naphthyridines and sought to develop these as novel therapeutics that minimize amyloid pathology without the adverse effects associated with current therapeutics. Our data show methyl 2,4-dimethyl-5-oxo-5,6-dihydrobenzo[c][2,7]naphthyridine-1-carboxylate (BNC-1) significantly decreases amyloid burden in a well-established mouse model of amyloid pathology through a unique mechanism mediated by Elk-1, a transcriptional repressor of presenilin-1. Additionally, BNC-1 treatment leads to increased levels of synaptophysin and synapsin, markers of synaptic integrity, but does not adversely impact presenilin-2 or processing of Notch-1, thus avoiding negative off target effects associated with pan-gamma secretase inhibition. Overall, our data show BNC-1 significantly decreases amyloid burden and improves markers of synaptic integrity in a well-established mouse model of amyloid deposition by promoting phosphorylation and activation of Elk-1, a transcriptional repressor of presenilin-1 but not presenilin-2. These data suggest BNC-1 might be a novel, disease-modifying therapeutic that will alter the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27163808

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bernier, Matthew; Wysocki, Vicki; Dagan, Shai

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Interaction of small molecule inhibitors of HIV-1 entry with CCR5

    SciTech Connect

    Seibert, Christoph . E-mail: seiberc@mail.rockefeller.edu; Ying Weiwen; Gavrilov, Svetlana; Tsamis, Fotini; Kuhmann, Shawn E.; Palani, Anandan; Tagat, Jayaram R.; Clader, John W.; McCombie, Stuart W.; Baroudy, Bahige M.; Smith, Steven O.; Dragic, Tatjana; Moore, John P.; Sakmar, Thomas P.

    2006-05-25

    The CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is the major coreceptor for macrophage-tropic (R5) HIV-1 strains. Several small molecule inhibitors of CCR5 that block chemokine binding and HIV-1 entry are being evaluated as drug candidates. Here we define how CCR5 antagonists TAK-779, AD101 (SCH-350581) and SCH-C (SCH-351125), which inhibit HIV-1 entry, interact with CCR5. Using a mutagenesis approach in combination with a viral entry assay to provide a direct functional read out, we tested predictions based on a homology model of CCR5 and analyzed the functions of more than 30 amino acid residues. We find that a key set of aromatic and aliphatic residues serves as a hydrophobic core for the ligand binding pocket, while E283 is critical for high affinity interaction, most likely by acting as the counterion for a positively charged nitrogen atom common to all three inhibitors. These results provide a structural basis for understanding how specific antagonists interact with CCR5, and may be useful for the rational design of new, improved CCR5 ligands.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Small-molecule inhibition of STAT3 in radioresistant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Bharadwaj, Uddalak; Eckols, T. Kris; Xu, Xuejun; Kasembeli, Moses M.; Chen, Yunyun; Adachi, Makoto; Song, Yongcheng; Mo, Qianxing; Lai, Stephen Y.; Tweardy, David J.

    2016-01-01

    While STAT3 has been validated as a target for treatment of many cancers, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), a STAT3 inhibitor is yet to enter the clinic. We used the scaffold of C188, a small-molecule STAT3 inhibitor previously identified by us, in a hit-to-lead program to identify C188-9. C188-9 binds to STAT3 with high affinity and represents a substantial improvement over C188 in its ability to inhibit STAT3 binding to its pY-peptide ligand, to inhibit cytokine-stimulated pSTAT3, to reduce constitutive pSTAT3 activity in multiple HNSCC cell lines, and to inhibit anchorage dependent and independent growth of these cells. In addition, treatment of nude mice bearing xenografts of UM-SCC-17B, a radioresistant HNSCC line, with C188-9, but not C188, prevented tumor xenograft growth. C188-9 treatment modulated many STAT3-regulated genes involved in oncogenesis and radioresistance, as well as radioresistance genes regulated by STAT1, due to its potent activity against STAT1, in addition to STAT3. C188-9 was well tolerated in mice, showed good oral bioavailability, and was concentrated in tumors. Thus, C188-9, either alone or in combination with radiotherapy, has potential for use in treating HNSCC tumors that demonstrate increased STAT3 and/or STAT1 activation. PMID:27027445

  11. A Novel CMKLR1 Small Molecule Antagonist Suppresses CNS Autoimmune Inflammatory Disease

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Kareem L.; Zhang, Jian V.; Lewén, Susanna; Burke, Thomas M.; Dang, Ton; Zoudilova, Maria; Sobel, Raymond A.; Butcher, Eugene C.; Zabel, Brian A.

    2014-01-01

    Therapies that target leukocyte trafficking pathways can reduce disease activity and improve clinical outcomes in multiple sclerosis (MS). Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely studied animal model that shares many clinical and histological features with MS. Chemokine-like receptor-1 (CMKLR1) is a chemoattractant receptor that is expressed by key effector cells in EAE and MS, including macrophages, subsets of dendritic cells, natural killer cells and microglia. We previously showed that CMKLR1-deficient (CMKLR1 KO) mice develop less severe clinical and histological EAE than wild-type mice. In this study, we sought to identify CMKLR1 inhibitors that would pharmaceutically recapitulate the CMKLR1 KO phenotype in EAE. We identified 2-(α-naphthoyl) ethyltrimethylammonium iodide (α-NETA) as a CMKLR1 small molecule antagonist that inhibits chemerin-stimulated β-arrestin2 association with CMKLR1, as well as chemerin-triggered CMKLR1+ cell migration. α-NETA significantly delayed the onset of EAE induced in C57BL/6 mice by both active immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide 35-55 and by adoptive transfer of encephalitogenic T cells. In addition, α-NETA treatment significantly reduced mononuclear cell infiltrates within the CNS. This study provides additional proof-of-concept data that targeting CMKLR1:chemerin interactions may be beneficial in preventing or treating MS. PMID:25437209

  12. Sensitive bifunctional aptamer-based electrochemical biosensor for small molecules and protein.

    PubMed

    Deng, Chunyan; Chen, Jinhua; Nie, Lihua; Nie, Zhou; Yao, Shouzhuo

    2009-12-15

    In this paper, a bifunctional electrochemical biosensor for highly sensitive detection of small molecule (adenosine) or protein (lysozyme) was developed. Two aptamer units for adenosine and lysozyme were immobilized on the gold electrode by the formation of DNA/DNA duplex. The detection of adenosine or lysozyme could be carried out by virtue of switching structures of aptamers from DNA/DNA duplex to DNA/target complex. The change of the interfacial feature of the electrode was characterized by cyclic voltammertic (CV) response of surface-bound [Ru(NH(3))(6)](3+). On the other hand, DNA functionalized Au nanoparticles (DNA-AuNPs) were used to enhance the sensitivity of the aptasensor because DNA-AuNPs modified interface could load more [Ru(NH(3))(6)](3+) cations. Thus, the assembly of two aptamer-contained DNA strands integrated with the DNA-AuNPs amplification not only improves the sensitivity of the electrochemical aptasensor but also presents a simple and general model for bifunctional aptasensor. The proposed aptasensor has low detection limit (0.02 nM for adenosine and 0.01 microg mL(-1) for lysozyme) and exhibits several advantages such as high sensitivity and bifunctional recognition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-09

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

  15. Small molecule-mediated refolding and activation of myosin motor function

    PubMed Central

    Radke, Michael B; Taft, Manuel H; Stapel, Britta; Hilfiker-Kleiner, Denise; Preller, Matthias; Manstein, Dietmar J

    2014-01-01

    The small molecule EMD 57033 has been shown to stimulate the actomyosin ATPase activity and contractility of myofilaments. Here, we show that EMD 57033 binds to an allosteric pocket in the myosin motor domain. EMD 57033-binding protects myosin against heat stress and thermal denaturation. In the presence of EMD 57033, ATP hydrolysis, coupling between actin and nucleotide binding sites, and actin affinity in the presence of ATP are increased more than 10-fold. Addition of EMD 57033 to heat-inactivated β-cardiac myosin is followed by refolding and reactivation of ATPase and motile activities. In heat-stressed cardiomyocytes expression of the stress-marker atrial natriuretic peptide is suppressed by EMD 57033. Thus, EMD 57033 displays a much wider spectrum of activities than those previously associated with small, drug-like compounds. Allosteric effectors that mediate refolding and enhance enzymatic function have the potential to improve the treatment of heart failure, myopathies, and protein misfolding diseases. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01603.001 PMID:24520162

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Magesh, Sadagopan; Chen, Yu; Hu, Longqin

    2012-01-01

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

  18. XTC MRI: sensitivity improvement through parameter optimization.

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. Identification of a small molecule that turns ON the pluripotency gene circuitry in human fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Pandian, Ganesh N; Sato, Shinsuke; Anandhakumar, Chandran; Taniguchi, Junichi; Takashima, Kazuhiro; Syed, Junetha; Han, Le; Saha, Abhijit; Bando, Toshikazu; Nagase, Hiroki; Sugiyama, Hiroshi

    2014-12-19

    A nontransgenic approach to reprogram mouse somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells using only small molecules got achieved to propose a potential clinical-friendly cellular reprogramming strategy. Consequently, the screening and identification of small molecules capable of inducing pluripotency genes in human cells are increasingly a focus of research. Because cellular reprogramming is multifactorial in nature, there is a need for versatile small molecules capable of modulating the complicated gene networks associated with pluripotency. We have developed a targeting small molecule called SAHA-PIP comprising the histone deacetylase inhibitor SAHA and the sequence-specific DNA binding pyrrole-imidazole polyamides for modulating distinct gene networks. Here, we report the identification of a SAHA-PIP termed Ì that could trigger genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming and turn ON the typically conserved core pluripotency gene network. Through independent lines of evidence, we report for the first time a synthetic small molecule inducer that target and activate the OCT-3/4 regulated pluripotency genes in human dermal fibroblasts.

  1. Harnessing Connectivity in a Large-Scale Small-Molecule Sensitivity Dataset

    PubMed Central

    Seashore-Ludlow, Brinton; Rees, Matthew G.; Cheah, Jaime H.; Cokol, Murat; Price, Edmund V.; Coletti, Matthew E.; Jones, Victor; Bodycombe, Nicole E.; Soule, Christian K.; Gould, Joshua; Alexander, Benjamin; Li, Ava; Montgomery, Philip; Wawer, Mathias J.; Kuru, Nurdan; Kotz, Joanne D.; Hon, C. Suk-Yee; Munoz, Benito; Liefeld, Ted; Dančík, Vlado; Bittker, Joshua A.; Palmer, Michelle; Bradner, James E.; Shamji, Alykhan F.; Clemons, Paul A.; Schreiber, Stuart L.

    2015-01-01

    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. This analysis reveals insights into small-molecule mechanisms of action, and genomic features that associate with CCL response to small-molecule treatment. We are able to recapitulate known relationships between FDA-approved therapies and cancer dependencies and to uncover new relationships, including for KRAS-mutant cancers and neuroblastoma. To enable the cancer community to explore these data, and to generate novel hypotheses, we created an updated version of the Cancer Therapeutic Response Portal (CTRP v2). PMID:26482930

  2. Predicting metabolic pathways of small molecules and enzymes based on interaction information of chemicals and proteins.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yu-Fei; Chen, Lei; Cai, Yu-Dong; Feng, Kai-Yan; Huang, Tao; Jiang, Yang

    2012-01-01

    Metabolic pathway analysis, one of the most important fields in biochemistry, is pivotal to understanding the maintenance and modulation of the functions of an organism. Good comprehension of metabolic pathways is critical to understanding the mechanisms of some fundamental biological processes. Given a small molecule or an enzyme, how may one identify the metabolic pathways in which it may participate? Answering such a question is a first important step in understanding a metabolic pathway system. By utilizing the information provided by chemical-chemical interactions, chemical-protein interactions, and protein-protein interactions, a novel method was proposed by which to allocate small molecules and enzymes to 11 major classes of metabolic pathways. A benchmark dataset consisting of 3,348 small molecules and 654 enzymes of yeast was constructed to test the method. It was observed that the first order prediction accuracy evaluated by the jackknife test was 79.56% in identifying the small molecules and enzymes in a benchmark dataset. Our method may become a useful vehicle in predicting the metabolic pathways of small molecules and enzymes, providing a basis for some further analysis of the pathway systems.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-07

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

  4. Exploiting a global regulator for small molecule discovery in Photorhabdus luminescens.

    PubMed

    Kontnik, Renee; Crawford, Jason M; Clardy, Jon

    2010-07-16

    Bacterially produced small molecules demonstrate a remarkable range of structural and functional diversity and include some of our most useful biological probes and therapeutic agents. Annotations of bacterial genomes reveal a large gap between the number of known small molecules and the number of biosynthetic genes/loci that could produce such small molecules, a gap that most likely originates from tight regulatory control by the producing organism. This study coupled a global transcriptional regulator, HexA, to secondary metabolite production in Photorhabdus luminescens, a member of the Gammaproteobacteria that participates in a complex symbiosis with nematode worms and insect larvae. HexA is a LysR-type transcriptional repressor, and knocking it out to create a P. luminescens DeltahexA mutant led to dramatic upregulation of biosynthesized small molecules. Use of this mutant expanded a family of stilbene-derived small molecules, which were known to play important roles in the symbiosis, from three members to at least nine members. PMID:20524642

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-10

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

  6. [Ultrastructural and functional assessment on platelets loaded with small molecule carbohydrates].

    PubMed

    Yang, Chao; Wang, Jie-Xi; Han, Ying; Wang, Yan; Quan, Guo-Bo; Liu, Min-Xia; Gao, Feng; Liu, An

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of loading some small molecule carbohydrates into human platelets on ultrastucture and function. The ultrastructure of platelets were observed by transmission electron microscope (TEM); the platelet counts and mean platelet volume (MPV) were measured by hemocytometer, the maximal platelet aggregation rate was measured optically in an aggregometer; the surface marker of platelet membranes CD62p and phosphatidyl serine were analyzed by flow cytometry. The results showed that no significant changes of the ultrastructure of platelets loaded with small molecule carbohydrates were seen. The aggregation responsiveness of platelets loaded with small molecule carbohydrates reached to 60% of the fresh control platelets. The values of platelet counts and MPV showed no significant differences. The expression level of CD62p and the binding rate with Annexin V before and after loading small molecule carbohydrates into platelets were no different. It is concluded that the platelets after loading with small molecule carbohydrates remained fine ultrastructure and function.

  7. Identification of a small molecule that turns ON the pluripotency gene circuitry in human fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Pandian, Ganesh N; Sato, Shinsuke; Anandhakumar, Chandran; Taniguchi, Junichi; Takashima, Kazuhiro; Syed, Junetha; Han, Le; Saha, Abhijit; Bando, Toshikazu; Nagase, Hiroki; Sugiyama, Hiroshi

    2014-12-19

    A nontransgenic approach to reprogram mouse somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells using only small molecules got achieved to propose a potential clinical-friendly cellular reprogramming strategy. Consequently, the screening and identification of small molecules capable of inducing pluripotency genes in human cells are increasingly a focus of research. Because cellular reprogramming is multifactorial in nature, there is a need for versatile small molecules capable of modulating the complicated gene networks associated with pluripotency. We have developed a targeting small molecule called SAHA-PIP comprising the histone deacetylase inhibitor SAHA and the sequence-specific DNA binding pyrrole-imidazole polyamides for modulating distinct gene networks. Here, we report the identification of a SAHA-PIP termed Ì that could trigger genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming and turn ON the typically conserved core pluripotency gene network. Through independent lines of evidence, we report for the first time a synthetic small molecule inducer that target and activate the OCT-3/4 regulated pluripotency genes in human dermal fibroblasts. PMID:25366962

  8. Structure-based design, synthesis and validation of CD4-mimetic small molecule inhibitors of HIV-1 entry: conversion of a viral entry agonist to an antagonist.

    PubMed

    Courter, Joel R; Madani, Navid; Sodroski, Joseph; Schön, Arne; Freire, Ernesto; Kwong, Peter D; Hendrickson, Wayne A; Chaiken, Irwin M; LaLonde, Judith M; Smith, Amos B

    2014-04-15

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

  9. Unsymmetrical Donor-Acceptor-Acceptor-π-Donor Type Benzothiadiazole-Based Small Molecule for a Solution Processed Bulk Heterojunction Organic Solar Cell.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Prabhat; Misra, Rajneesh; Siddiqui, Shahbaz A; Sharma, Ganesh D

    2015-05-20

    A D1-A-A'-π-D2 type (D = donor; A = acceptor) unsymmetrical small molecule denoted as BTD3 containing different end group donor moieties has been designed and synthesized for use as a donor in the solution processable bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cell. The BTD3 exhibits a low HOMO-LUMO gap of 1.68 eV and deeper HOMO energy level (-5.5 eV). Its LUMO energy level (-3.65 eV) is compatible with the LUMO level of PC71BM to facilitate the electron transfer from BTD3 to PC71BM in the BHJ solar cell. The solution processed BHJ solar cell with optimized BTD3:PC71BM active layer processed with THF solvent exhibited a PCE of 3.15% with Jsc = 7.45 mA/cm(2), Voc = 0.94 V, and FF = 0.45. Moreover, the device with optimized concentration of 3 vol. % 1-chloronaphthalene (CN) additive, i.e., CN/THF, showed significant enhancement in PCE up to 4.61% (Jsc = 9.48 mA/cm(2), Voc = 0.90 V, and FF = 0.54). The improvement in the PCE has been attributed to the appropriate nanoscale phase separation morphology, balance charge transport, and enhancement in the light harvesting ability of the active layer.

  10. A bead-based activity screen for small-molecule inhibitors of signal transduction in chronic myelogenous leukemia cells

    PubMed Central

    Sylvester, Juliesta E.; Kron, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    Chronic myelogenous leukemia is characterized by the presence of the chimeric BCR-ABL gene, which is expressed as the constitutively active Bcr-Abl kinase. Although kinase activity is directly responsible for the clinical phenotype, current diagnostic and prognostic methods focus on a genetic classification system where molecularly distinct subcategories are used to predict patient responses to small-molecule inhibitors of the Bcr-Abl kinase. Point mutations in the kinase domain are a central factor regulating inhibitor resistance; however, compensatory signaling caused by the activation of unrelated kinases can influence inhibitor efficacy. Kinase activity profiling can be used as a complementary approach to genetic screening and allows direct screening of small-molecule inhibitors. We developed a quantitative assay to monitor tyrosine kinase activities and inhibitor sensitivities in a model of chronic myelogenous leukemia using peptide reporters covalently immobilized on Luminex beads. Kinase activity is quantified by non-linear regression from well-specific internal standard curves. Using optimized synthetic substrates and peptides derived from native substrates as probes, we measured kinase inhibition in cell lysates by the signal transduction inhibitors imatinib and dasatinib. Taking advantage of a convenient 96-well plate format, this assay also allows a straightforward and quantitative analysis of the differential effects of ATP and inhibitors on kinase activity. This method for analyzing a focused signaling network benefits from rigorous statistical analysis and short processing times, thereby offering a powerful tool for drug discovery and clinical testing. PMID:20423990

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. A Novel Class of Small Molecule Agonists with Preference for Human over Mouse TLR4 Activation

    PubMed Central

    Heeke, Darren S.; Rao, Eileen; Maynard, Sean K.; Hornigold, David; McCrae, Christopher; Fraser, Neil; Tovchigrechko, Andrey; Yu, Li; Williams, Nicola; King, Sarah; Cooper, Martin E.; Hajjar, Adeline M.; Woo, Jennifer C.

    2016-01-01

    The best-characterized Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligands are lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and its chemically modified and detoxified variant, monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL). Although both molecules are active for human TLR4, they demonstrate a potency preference for mouse TLR4 based on data from transfected cell lines and primary cells of both species. After a high throughput screening process of small molecule libraries, we have discovered a new class of TLR4 agonist with a species preference profile differing from MPL. Products of the 4-component Ugi synthesis reaction were demonstrated to potently trigger human TLR4-transfected HEK cells but not mouse TLR4, although inclusion of the human MD2 with mTLR4 was able to partially recover activity. Co-expression of CD14 was not required for optimal activity of Ugi compounds on transfected cells, as it is for LPS. The species preference profile for the panel of Ugi compounds was found to be strongly active for human and cynomolgus monkey primary cells, with reduced but still substantial activity for most Ugi compounds on guinea pig cells. Mouse, rat, rabbit, ferret, and cotton rat cells displayed little or no activity when exposed to Ugi compounds. However, engineering the human versions of TLR4 and MD2 to be expressed in mTLR4/MD2 deficient mice allowed for robust activity by Ugi compounds both in vitro and in vivo. These findings extend the range of compounds available for development as agonists of TLR4 and identify novel molecules which reverse the TLR4 triggering preference of MPL for mouse TLR4 over human TLR4. Such compounds may be amenable to formulation as more potent human-specific TLR4L-based adjuvants than typical MPL-based adjuvants. PMID:27736941

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-20

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

  15. Selective inhibition of c-Myc/Max dimerization and DNA binding by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Kiessling, Anke; Sperl, Bianca; Hollis, Angela; Eick, Dirk; Berg, Thorsten

    2006-07-01

    bZip and bHLHZip protein family members comprise a large fraction of eukaryotic transcription factors and need to bind DNA in order to exert most of their fundamental biological roles. Their binding to DNA requires homo- or heterodimerization via alpha-helical domains, which generally do not contain obvious binding sites for small molecules. We have identified two small molecules, dubbed Mycro1 and Mycro2, which inhibit the protein-protein interactions between the bHLHZip proteins c-Myc and Max. Mycros are the first inhibitors of c-Myc/Max dimerization, which have been demonstrated to inhibit DNA binding of c-Myc with preference over other dimeric transcription factors in vitro. Mycros inhibit c-Myc-dependent proliferation, gene transcription, and oncogenic transformation in the low micromolar concentration range. Our data support the idea that dimeric transcription factors can be druggable even in the absence of obvious small-molecule binding pockets.

  16. Target identification for biologically active small molecules using chemical biology approaches.

    PubMed

    Lee, Heesu; Lee, Jae Wook

    2016-09-01

    The identification and validation of the targets of biologically active molecules is an important step in the field of chemical biology. While recent advances in proteomic and genomic technology have accelerated this identification process, the discovery of small molecule targets remains the most challenging step. A general method for the identification of these small molecule targets has not yet been established. To overcome the difficulty in target identification, new technology derived from the fields of genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics has been developed. To date, pull-down methods using small molecules immobilized on a solid support followed by mass spectrometry have been the most successful approach. Here, we discuss current procedures for target identification. We also review the most recent target identification approaches and present several examples that illustrate advanced target identification technology.

  17. Large Scale Nanoparticle Screening for Small Molecule Analysis in Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Yagnik, Gargey B; Hansen, Rebecca L; Korte, Andrew R; Reichert, Malinda D; Vela, Javier; Lee, Young Jin

    2016-09-20

    Nanoparticles (NPs) have been suggested as efficient matrixes for small molecule profiling and imaging by laser-desorption ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS), but so far there has been no systematic study comparing different NPs in the analysis of various classes of small molecules. Here, we present a large scale screening of 13 NPs for the analysis of two dozen small metabolite molecules. Many NPs showed much higher LDI efficiency than organic matrixes in positive mode and some NPs showed comparable efficiencies for selected analytes in negative mode. Our results suggest that a thermally driven desorption process is a key factor for metal oxide NPs, but chemical interactions are also very important, especially for other NPs. The screening results provide a useful guideline for the selection of NPs in the LDI-MS analysis of small molecules. PMID:27573492

  18. Synthetic Small Molecule Inhibitors of Hh Signaling As Anti-Cancer Chemotherapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Maschinot, C.A.; Pace, J.R.; Hadden, M.K.

    2016-01-01

    The hedgehog (Hh) pathway is a developmental signaling pathway that is essential to the proper embryonic development of many vertebrate systems. Dysregulation of Hh signaling has been implicated as a causative factor in the development and progression of several forms of human cancer. As such, the development of small molecule inhibitors of Hh signaling as potential anti-cancer chemotherapeutics has been a major area of research interest in both academics and industry over the past ten years. Through these efforts, synthetic small molecules that target multiple components of the Hh pathway have been identified and advanced to preclinical or clinical development. The goal of this review is to provide an update on the current status of several synthetic small molecule Hh pathway inhibitors and explore the potential of several recently disclosed inhibitory scaffolds. PMID:26310919

  19. Structure of a Small-Molecule Inhibitor of a DNA Polymerase Sliding Clamp

    SciTech Connect

    Georgescu, R.; Yurieva, O; Kim, S; Kuriyan, J; Kong, X; O'Donnell, M

    2008-01-01

    DNA polymerases attach to the DNA sliding clamp through a common overlapping binding site. We identify a small-molecule compound that binds the protein-binding site in the Escherichia coli ?-clamp and differentially affects the activity of DNA polymerases II, III, and IV. To understand the molecular basis of this discrimination, the cocrystal structure of the chemical inhibitor is solved in complex with ? and is compared with the structures of Pol II, Pol III, and Pol IV peptides bound to ?. The analysis reveals that the small molecule localizes in a region of the clamp to which the DNA polymerases attach in different ways. The results suggest that the small molecule may be useful in the future to probe polymerase function with ?, and that the ?-clamp may represent an antibiotic target.

  20. Delivery of small molecules for bone regenerative engineering: preclinical studies and potential clinical applications

    PubMed Central

    Laurencin, Cato T.; Ashe, Keshia M.; Henry, Nicole; Kan, Ho Man; Lo, Kevin W-H.

    2014-01-01

    Stimulation of bone regeneration using growth factors is a promising approach for musculoskeletal regenerative engineering. Common limitations with protein growth factors are high manufacturing costs, protein instability, contamination issues, and unwanted immunogenic responses of the host. New strategies for bone regeneration that obviate these problems can have a significant impact on the treatment of skeletal injury and diseases. Over the past decade, a large number of small molecules with the potential of regenerating skeletal tissue have been reported in the literature. Here, we review this literature, paying specific attention to the prospects for small molecule-based bone-regenerative engineering. We also review the preclinical study of small molecules associated with bone regeneration. PMID:24508820

  1. Schematic Studies on the Structural Properties and Device Physics of All Small Molecule Ternary Photovoltaic Cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yu Jin; Hong, Jisu; Park, Chan Eon

    2015-09-30

    Although the field of ternary organic solar cells has seen much progress in terms of device performance in the past few years, limited understanding has restricted further development. For example, studies of the crystalline packing structure of ternary blends have rarely been reported in the solar cell field. Consequently, we chose two ternary blends of small molecules, two fullerene derivatives (small-molecule:PC71BM:PC61BM or small-molecule:PC71BM:ICBA), to investigate crystallization behavior and interactions among the three components. The crystalline structure of the ternary active blends was characterized using various techniques such as 2D-GIWAXS and AFM, and the relationship of the observed morphologies to device performance is discussed. Furthermore, the device physics associated with the charge generation, transport, and recombination dynamics of these ternary blend systems were investigated.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-11

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Efficient Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Technique Identifies Direct Interaction of Small Molecule Inhibitors with the Target Protein.

    PubMed

    Gal, Maayan; Bloch, Itai; Shechter, Nelia; Romanenko, Olga; Shir, Ofer M

    2016-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions (PPI) play a critical role in regulating many cellular processes. Finding novel PPI inhibitors that interfere with specific binding of two proteins is considered a great challenge, mainly due to the complexity involved in characterizing multi-molecular systems and limited understanding of the physical principles governing PPIs. Here we show that the combination of virtual screening techniques, which are capable of filtering a large library of potential small molecule inhibitors, and a unique secondary screening by isothermal titration calorimetry, a label-free method capable of observing direct interactions, is an efficient tool for finding such an inhibitor. In this study we applied this strategy in a search for a small molecule capable of interfering with the interaction of the tumor-suppressor p53 and the E3-ligase MDM2. We virtually screened a library of 15 million small molecules that were filtered to a final set of 80 virtual hits. Our in vitro experimental assay, designed to validate the activity of mixtures of compounds by isothermal titration calorimetry, was used to identify an active molecule against MDM2. At the end of the process the small molecule (4S,7R)-4-(4-chlorophenyl)-5-hydroxy-2,7-dimethyl-N-(6-methylpyridin-2-yl)-4,6,7,8 tetrahydrIoquinoline-3-carboxamide was found to bind MDM2 with a dissociation constant of ~2 µM. Following the identification of this single bioactive compound, spectroscopic measurements were used to further characterize the interaction of the small molecule with the target protein. 2D NMR spectroscopy was used to map the binding region of the small molecule, and fluorescence polarization measurement confirmed that it indeed competes with p53.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Small-molecule library screening by docking with PyRx.

    PubMed

    Dallakyan, Sargis; Olson, Arthur J

    2015-01-01

    Virtual molecular screening is used to dock small-molecule libraries to a macromolecule in order to find lead compounds with desired biological function. This in silico method is well known for its application in computer-aided drug design. This chapter describes how to perform small-molecule virtual screening by docking with PyRx, which is open-source software with an intuitive user interface that runs on all major operating systems (Linux, Windows, and Mac OS). Specific steps for using PyRx, as well as considerations for data preparation, docking, and data analysis, are also described. PMID:25618350

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-28

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

  13. Small molecules that promote regenerative repair for pancreatic and cardiovascular health.

    PubMed

    Menhaji-Klotz, Elnaz; Price, David A

    2015-12-01

    Regenerative medicine for repair of organ injury is an emerging area of research. The use of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent cells in combination with endogenously expressed growth factors has provided methods to generate differentiated cells for cell-based therapy and for screening purposes. As cell-based therapies continue to be investigated in the clinical setting, small molecules for in situ tissue repair are being reported. In this review, we focus on the reports applicable to the field of cardiovascular and metabolic disease by discussing small molecules that target β-cells, cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells.

  14. Small-molecule control of cytokine function: new opportunities for treating immune disorders

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, Thomas B.; Xavier, Ramnik J.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Shamji, Alykhan F.

    2016-01-01

    Manipulating cytokine function with protein-based drugs has proven effective for treating a wide variety of autoimmune and auto-inflammatory disorders. However, the limited ability of protein-based drugs to modulate intracellular targets, including many implicated by studies of the genetics and physiology of these diseases, and to coordinately neutralize redundant inflammatory cytokines, suggest an important and complementary role for small molecules in immunomodulatory drug development. The recent clinical approval of Janus kinase and phosphodiesterase inhibitors, along with emerging evidence from other compound classes, firmly establish small molecules as effective tools for modulating therapeutically relevant proteins that give rise to aberrant cytokine signaling or mediate its downstream consequences. PMID:25222143

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

    PubMed Central

    Al-Hussaini, Muneera; DiPersio, John F.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-29

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

  17. A complex task? Direct modulation of transcription factors with small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Koehler, Angela N.

    2010-01-01

    Transcription factors with aberrant activity in disease are promising yet untested targets for therapeutic development, particularly in oncology. Directly inhibiting or activating the function of a transcription factor requires specific disruption or recruitment of protein-protein or protein-DNA interactions. The discovery or design of small molecules that specifically modulate these interactions has thus far proven to be a significant challenge and the protein class is often perceived to be ‘undruggable.’ This review will summarize recent progress in the development of small-molecule probes of transcription factors and provide evidence to challenge the notion that this important protein class is chemically intractable. PMID:20395165

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. A Small-Molecule Inhibitor Targeting the Mitotic Spindle Checkpoint Impairs the Growth of Uterine Leiomyosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Weiwei; Akinfenwa, Patricia Y.; Savannah, Kari B.; Kolomeyevskaya, Nonna; Laucirica, Rudolfo; Thomas, Dafydd G.; Odunsi, Kunle; Creighton, Chad J.; Lev, Dina C.; Anderson, Matthew L.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Uterine leiomyosarcoma (ULMS) is a poorly understood cancer with few effective treatments. This study explores the molecular events involved in ULMS with the goal of developing novel therapeutic strategies. Experimental Design Genome-wide transcriptional profiling, Western blotting, and real-time PCR were used to compare specimens of myometrium, leiomyoma, and leiomyosarcoma. Aurora A kinase was targeted in cell lines derived from metastatic ULMS using siRNA or MK-5108, a highly specific small-molecule inhibitor. An orthotopic model was used to evaluate the ability of MK-5108 to inhibit ULMS growth in vivo. Results We found that 26 of 50 gene products most overexpressed in ULMS regulate mitotic centrosome and spindle functions. These include UBE2C, Aurora A and B kinase, TPX2, and Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1). Targeting Aurora A inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in LEIO285, LEIO505, and SK-LMS1, regardless of whether siRNA or MK-5108 was used. In vitro, MK-5108 did not consistently synergize with gemcitabine or docetaxel. Gavage of an orthotopic ULMS model with MK-5108 at 30 or 60 mg/kg decreased the number and size of tumor implants compared with sham-fed controls. Oral MK-5108 also decreased the rate of proliferation, increased intratumoral apoptosis, and increased expression of phosphohistone H3 in ULMS xenografts. Conclusions Our results show that dysregulated centrosome function and spindle assembly are a robust feature of ULMS that can be targeted to slow its growth both in vitro and in vivo. These observations identify novel directions that can be potentially used to improve clinical outcomes for this disease. PMID:22535157

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Small molecule inhibition of microbial natural product biosynthesis – An emerging antibiotic strategy

    PubMed Central

    Cisar, Justin S.; Tan, Derek S.

    2008-01-01

    A variety of natural products modulate critical biological processes in the microorganisms that produce them. Thus, inhibition of the corresponding natural product biosynthesis pathways represents a promising avenue to develop novel antibiotics. In this tutorial review, we describe several recent examples of designed small molecule inhibitors of microbial natural product biosynthesis and their use in evaluating this emerging antibiotic strategy. PMID:18568158

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

    PubMed

    Pandian, Ganesh N; Taniguchi, Junichi; Sugiyama, Hiroshi

    2014-03-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-28

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

  7. Signalling to the nucleus under the control of light and small molecules.

    PubMed

    Juillot, Samuel; Beyer, Hannes M; Madl, Josef; Weber, Wilfried; Zurbriggen, Matias D; Römer, Winfried

    2016-02-01

    One major regulatory mechanism in cell signalling is the spatio-temporal control of the localization of signalling molecules. We synthetically designed an entire cell signalling pathway, which allows controlling the transport of signalling molecules from the plasma membrane to the nucleus, by using light and small molecules.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yun; Buchwald, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Small-molecule suppressors of cytokine-induced beta-cell apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Danny Hung-Chieh; Bodycombe, Nicole E.; Carrinski, Hyman A.; Lewis, Timothy A.; Clemons, Paul A.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Wagner, Bridget K.

    2010-01-01

    Pancreatic beta-cell apoptosis is a critical event during the development of type-1 diabetes. The identification of small molecules capable of preventing cytokine-induced apoptosis could lead to avenues for therapeutic intervention. We developed a set of phenotypic cell-based assays designed to identify such small-molecule suppressors. Rat INS-1E cells were simultaneously treated with a cocktail of inflammatory cytokines and a collection of 2,240 diverse small molecules, and screened using an assay for cellular ATP levels. Forty-nine top-scoring compounds included glucocorticoids, several pyrazole derivatives, and known inhibitors of glycogen synthase kinase-3β. Two compounds were able to increase cellular ATP levels, reduce caspase-3 activity and nitrite production, and increase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in the presence of cytokines. These results indicate that small molecules identified by this screening approach may protect beta cells from autoimmune attack, and may be good candidates for therapeutic intervention in early stages of type-1 diabetes. PMID:20550176

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. A semantic web ontology for small molecules and their biological targets.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jooyoung; Davis, Melissa J; Newman, Andrew F; Ragan, Mark A

    2010-05-24

    A wide range of data on sequences, structures, pathways, and networks of genes and gene products is available for hypothesis testing and discovery in biological and biomedical research. However, data describing the physical, chemical, and biological properties of small molecules have not been well-integrated with these resources. Semantically rich representations of chemical data, combined with Semantic Web technologies, have the potential to enable the integration of small molecule and biomolecular data resources, expanding the scope and power of biomedical and pharmacological research. We employed the Semantic Web technologies Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL) to generate a Small Molecule Ontology (SMO) that represents concepts and provides unique identifiers for biologically relevant properties of small molecules and their interactions with biomolecules, such as proteins. We instanced SMO using data from three public data sources, i.e., DrugBank, PubChem and UniProt, and converted to RDF triples. Evaluation of SMO by use of predetermined competency questions implemented as SPARQL queries demonstrated that data from chemical and biomolecular data sources were effectively represented and that useful knowledge can be extracted. These results illustrate the potential of Semantic Web technologies in chemical, biological, and pharmacological research and in drug discovery.

  14. Rhodanine dye-based small molecule acceptors for organic photovoltaic cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yujeong; Song, Chang Eun; Moon, Sang-Jin; Lim, Eunhee

    2014-08-01

    The solution-processable small molecules based on carbazole or fluorene containing rhodanine dyes at both ends were synthesized and introduced as acceptors in organic photovoltaic cells. The high energy levels of their lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals resulted in a power conversion efficiency of 3.08% and an open circuit voltage of up to 1.03 V.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. What are preferred water-aromatic interactions in proteins and crystal structures of small molecules?

    PubMed

    Janjić, Goran V; Malkov, Saša N; Zivković, Miodrag V; Zarić, Snežana D

    2014-11-21

    The distribution of water molecules around aromatic rings in the protein structures and crystal structures of small molecules shows quite a small number of the strongest OH-π interactions, a larger number of parallel interactions, and the largest number of the weakest CH-O interactions.

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

    Cancer.gov

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

  18. Light-up properties of complexes between thiazole orange-small molecule conjugates and aptamers.

    PubMed

    Pei, Renjun; Rothman, Jeffrey; Xie, Yuli; Stojanovic, Milan N

    2009-05-01

    The full understanding of dynamics of cellular processes hinges on the development of efficient and non-invasive labels for intracellular RNA species. Light-up aptamers binding fluorogenic ligands show promise as specific labels for RNA species containing those aptamers. Herein, we took advantage of existing, non-light-up aptamers against small molecules and demonstrated a new class of light-up probes in vitro. We synthesized two conjugates of thiazole orange dye to small molecules (GMP and AMP) and characterized in vitro their interactions with corresponding RNA aptamers. The conjugates preserved specific binding to aptamers while showing several 100-fold increase in fluorescence of the dye (the 'light-up' property). In the presence of free small molecules, conjugates can be displaced from aptamers serving also as fluorescent sensors. Our in vitro results provide the proof-of-concept that the small-molecule conjugates with light-up properties can serve as a general approach to label RNA sequences containing aptamers.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kroes, Roger L.

    1987-01-01

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

  20. Direct-reversible binding of small molecules to G protein βγ subunits

    PubMed Central

    Seneviratne, AMPB; Burroughs, Michael; Giralt, Ernest; Smrcka, Alan V.

    2011-01-01

    Heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) composed of three subunits α, β, γ mediate activation of multiple intracellular signaling cascades initiated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Previously our laboratory identified small molecules that bind to Gβγ and interfere with or enhance binding of select effectors with Gβγ. To understand the molecular mechanisms of selectivity and assess binding of compounds to Gβγ, we used biophysical and biochemical approaches to directly monitor small molecule binding to Gβγ. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis indicated that multiple compounds bound directly to Gβγ with affinities in the high nanomolar to low micromolar range but with surprisingly slow on and off rate kinetics. While the koff was slow for most of the compounds in physiological buffers, they could be removed from Gβγ with mild chaotropic salts or mildly dissociating collision energy in a mass-spectrometer indicating that compound-Gβγ interactions were non-covalent. Finally, at concentrations used to observe maximal biological effects the stoichiometry of binding was 1:1. The results from this study show that small molecule modulation of Gβγ-effector interactions is by specific direct non-covalent and reversible binding of small molecules to Gβγ. This is highly relevant to development of Gβγ targeting as a therapeutic approach since reversible, direct binding is a prerequisite for drug development and important for specificity. PMID:21621014

  1. Analyzing ligand and small molecule binding activity of solubilized GPCRs using biosensor technology.

    PubMed

    Navratilova, Iva; Dioszegi, Marianna; Myszka, David G

    2006-08-01

    We used Biacore technology to measure directly the binding of natural ligands and small molecules to the chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR5. Both G protein-coupled receptors were solubilized from whole cell pellets and captured on antibody surfaces for analysis. Our solubilization conditions maintained high-affinity binding of chemokines SDF-1alpha and RANTES to CXCR4 and CCR5, respectively. Surface density- and buffer-dependent binding responses, along with binding data for a selective ligand (RCP-168), further validated the biosensor assay. In addition, we showed that it is possible to collect high-quality binding responses for the archetypal small molecule inhibitors JM-2987 and TAK-779. Finally, using our biosensor-based method, we characterized the kinetics of 19 novel small molecule inhibitors of CCR5 and showed that their affinities correlated with values determined for the membrane-associated receptor. Together, the chemokine and small molecule binding data provide evidence that the solubilized receptors maintain native binding properties. These solubilized receptor preparations could be useful reagents for biophysical studies as well as for structural analysis.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-10-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. A small-molecule IAP inhibitor overcomes resistance to cytotoxic therapies in malignant gliomas in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Ziegler, David S.; Keating, Joanna; Kesari, Santosh; Fast, Eva M.; Zawel, Leigh; Ramakrishna, Naren; Barnes, Jessica; Kieran, Mark W.; Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Sophie E.M.; Kung, Andrew L.

    2011-01-01

    We tested the use of the small-molecule Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein (IAP) inhibitor LBW242 in combination with the standard-of-care therapies of irradiation and temozolomide for malignant gliomas. In vitro assays demonstrated that LBW242 enhanced the cytotoxic activity of radiotherapy, and clonogenic assays showed that the combination therapy led to a synergistic anti-glioma effect in multiple cell lines. Neurosphere assays revealed that the combination of radiation and LBW242 led to a pro-apoptotic effect in these glioma–initiating cell-enriched assays, with a corresponding inhibition of primary tumor cell growth. Athymic mice bearing established human malignant glioma tumor xenografts treated with LBW242 plus radiation and temozolomide demonstrated a synergistic suppression of tumor growth. Taken together, these experiments show that the pro-apoptotic and anti-glioma effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be enhanced by the addition of a small-molecule IAP inhibitor. These results are readily translatable to clinical trial and offer the potential for improved treatment outcomes for patients with glioma. PMID:21724651

  7. N-(1-naphthyl) ethylenediamine dinitrate: a new matrix for negative ion MALDI-TOF MS analysis of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rui; Chen, Suming; Xiong, Caiqiao; Ding, Xunlei; Wu, Chih-Che; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Xiong, Shaoxiang; Nie, Zongxiu

    2012-09-01

    An organic salt, N-(1-naphthyl) ethylenediamine dinitrate (NEDN), with rationally designed properties of a strong UV absorbing chromophore, hydrogen binding and nitrate anion donors, has been employed as a matrix to analyze small molecules (m/z < 1000) such as oligosaccharides, peptides, metabolites and explosives using negative ion matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Compared with conventional matrixes such as α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CCA) and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB), NEDN provides a significant improvement in detection sensitivity and yields very few matrix-associated fragment and cluster ions interfering with MS analysis. For low-molecular-weight saccharides, the lowest detection limit achieved ranges from 500 amol to 5 pmol, depending on the molecular weight and the structure of the analytes. Additionally, the mass spectra in the lower mass range (m/z < 200) consist of only nitrate and nitric acid cluster ions, making the matrix particularly useful for structural identification of oligosaccharides by post-source decay (PSD) MALDI-MS. Such a characteristic is illustrated by using maltoheptaose as a model system. This work demonstrates that NEDN is a novel negative ion-mode matrix for MALDI-MS analysis of small molecules with nitrate anion attachment.

  8. N-(1-Naphthyl) Ethylenediamine Dinitrate: A New Matrix for Negative Ion MALDI-TOF MS Analysis of Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Rui; Chen, Suming; Xiong, Caiqiao; Ding, Xunlei; Wu, Chih-Che; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Xiong, Shaoxiang; Nie, Zongxiu

    2012-09-01

    An organic salt, N-(1-naphthyl) ethylenediamine dinitrate (NEDN), with rationally designed properties of a strong UV absorbing chromophore, hydrogen binding and nitrate anion donors, has been employed as a matrix to analyze small molecules ( m/z < 1000) such as oligosaccharides, peptides, metabolites and explosives using negative ion matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Compared with conventional matrixes such as α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CCA) and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB), NEDN provides a significant improvement in detection sensitivity and yields very few matrix-associated fragment and cluster ions interfering with MS analysis. For low-molecular-weight saccharides, the lowest detection limit achieved ranges from 500 amol to 5 pmol, depending on the molecular weight and the structure of the analytes. Additionally, the mass spectra in the lower mass range ( m/z < 200) consist of only nitrate and nitric acid cluster ions, making the matrix particularly useful for structural identification of oligosaccharides by post-source decay (PSD) MALDI-MS. Such a characteristic is illustrated by using maltoheptaose as a model system. This work demonstrates that NEDN is a novel negative ion-mode matrix for MALDI-MS analysis of small molecules with nitrate anion attachment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bidlingmaier, Scott; Liu, Bin

    2015-01-01

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

  11. High-throughput screening for small-molecule modulators of inward rectifier potassium channels.

    PubMed

    Raphemot, Rene; Weaver, C David; Denton, Jerod S

    2013-01-01

    Specific members of the inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channel family are postulated drug targets for a variety of disorders, including hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and pain. For the most part, however, progress toward understanding their therapeutic potential or even basic physiological functions has been slowed by the lack of good pharmacological tools. Indeed, the molecular pharmacology of the inward rectifier family has lagged far behind that of the S4 superfamily of voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels, for which a number of nanomolar-affinity and highly selective peptide toxin modulators have been discovered. The bee venom toxin tertiapin and its derivatives are potent inhibitors of Kir1.1 and Kir3 channels, but peptides are of limited use therapeutically as well as experimentally due to their antigenic properties and poor bioavailability, metabolic stability and tissue penetrance. The development of potent and selective small-molecule probes with improved pharmacological properties will be a key to fully understanding the physiology and therapeutic potential of Kir channels. The Molecular Libraries Probes Production Center Network (MLPCN) supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund has created opportunities for academic scientists to initiate probe discovery campaigns for molecular targets and signaling pathways in need of better pharmacology. The MLPCN provides researchers access to industry-scale screening centers and medicinal chemistry and informatics support to develop small-molecule probes to elucidate the function of genes and gene networks. The critical step in gaining entry to the MLPCN is the development of a robust target- or pathway-specific assay that is amenable for high-throughput screening (HTS). Here, we describe how to develop a fluorescence-based thallium (Tl(+)) flux assay of Kir channel function for high-throughput compound screening. The assay is based on the permeability of the K(+) channel pore to the K

  12. Optimizing correlation techniques for improved earthquake location

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  15. Hypercrosslinking: New approach to porous polymer monolithic capillary columns with large surface area for the highly efficient separation of small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Jiri; Svec, Frantisek; Fréchet, Jean M.J.

    2010-01-01

    Monolithic polymers with an unprecedented surface area of over 600 m2/g have been prepared from a poly(styrene-co-vinylbenzyl chloride-co-divinylbenzene) precursor monolith that was swollen in 1,2-dichloroethane and hypercrosslinked via Friedel-Crafts reaction catalyzed by ferric chloride. Both the composition of the reaction mixture used for the preparation of the precursor monolith and the conditions of the hypercrosslinking reaction have been varied using mathematical design of experiments and the optimized system validated. Hypercrosslinked monolithic capillary columns contain an array of small pores that make the column ideally suited for the high efficiency isocratic separations of small molecules such as uracil and alkylbenzenes with column efficiencies reproducibly exceeding 60,000 plates/m for retained compounds. The separation process could be accelerated while also improving peak shape through the use of higher temperatures and a ternary mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile, tetrahydrofuran, and water. As a result, seven compounds were well separated in less than 2 min. These columns also facilitate separations of peptide mixtures such as a tryptic digest of cytochrome c using a gradient elution mode which affords a sequence coverage of 93%. A 65 cm long hypercrosslinked capillary column used in size exclusion mode with tetrahydrofuran as the mobile phase afforded almost baseline separation of toluene and five polystyrene standards. PMID:21092973

  16. An improved marriage in honey bees optimization algorithm for single objective unconstrained optimization.

    PubMed

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

    Marriage in honey bees optimization (MBO) is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm developed by inspiration of the mating and fertilization process of honey bees and is a kind of swarm intelligence optimizations. In this study we propose improved marriage in honey bees optimization (IMBO) by adding Levy flight algorithm for queen mating flight and neighboring for worker drone improving. The IMBO algorithm's performance and its success are tested on the well-known six unconstrained test functions and compared with other metaheuristic optimization algorithms.

  17. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    DOEpatents

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

    2012-12-25

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

  18. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Melaine, Feriel; Roupioz, Yoann; Buhot, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sharma, Arun K; Cheng, Earl Y

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  3. Molecular overlap in the regulation of SK channels by small molecules and phosphoinositides

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Miao; Meng, Xuan-Yu; Zhang, Ji-fang; Cui, Meng; Logothetis, Diomedes E.

    2015-01-01

    Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) directly interacts with the small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ 2-a (SK2-a) channel/calmodulin complex, serving as a critical element in the regulation of channel activity. We report that changes of protein conformation in close proximity to the PIP2 binding site induced by a small-molecule SK channel modulator, NS309, can effectively enhance the interaction between the protein and PIP2 to potentiate channel activity. This novel modulation of PIP2 sensitivity by small-molecule drugs is likely not to be limited in its application to SK channels, representing an intriguing strategy to develop drugs controlling the activity of the large number of PIP2-dependent proteins. PMID:26366439

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Controlling conformations of conjugated polymers and small molecules: the role of nonbonding interactions.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Nicholas E; Savoie, Brett M; Kohlstedt, Kevin L; Olvera de la Cruz, Monica; Schatz, George C; Chen, Lin X; Ratner, Mark A

    2013-07-17

    The chemical variety present in the organic electronics literature has motivated us to investigate potential nonbonding interactions often incorporated into conformational "locking" schemes. We examine a variety of potential interactions, including oxygen-sulfur, nitrogen-sulfur, and fluorine-sulfur, using accurate quantum-chemical wave function methods and noncovalent interaction (NCI) analysis on a selection of high-performing conjugated polymers and small molecules found in the literature. In addition, we evaluate a set of nonbonding interactions occurring between various heterocyclic and pendant atoms taken from a group of representative π-conjugated molecules. Together with our survey and set of interactions, it is determined that while many nonbonding interactions possess weak binding capabilities, nontraditional hydrogen-bonding interactions, oxygen-hydrogen (CH···O) and nitrogen-hydrogen (CH···N), are alone in inducing conformational control and enhanced planarity along a polymer or small molecule backbone at room temperature.

  6. Discovery of small molecule modifiers of microRNAs for the treatment of HCV infection.

    PubMed

    Tripp, Valerie T; Young, Douglas D

    2014-01-01

    While RNA has traditionally been viewed as a mechanism to transfer genetic information, its importance and functionality has only truly been demonstrated in the past 20 years. One prime example of this significance can be found within microRNAs (miRNAs), which are involved in the regulation of a substantial number of human genes. Consequently, these miRNAs represent a novel target for therapeutic agents towards the treatment of a variety of diseases and disorders. Specifically, misregulation of miR-122 has been demonstrated to be relevant in the cellular propagation of Hepatitis C (HCV), and thus modulators of miR-122 can have a substantial effect on viral loads. This protocol describes the development of an assay for the discovery of small molecule regulators of miR-122, and ultimately HCV therapeutics. Due to the excellent pharmacokinetic properties of small molecule libraries, these regulators represent a substantial advantage over traditional antisense agents.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Correlating Molecular Structures with Transport Dynamics in High-Efficiency Small-Molecule Organic Photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Peng, Jiajun; Chen, Yani; Wu, Xiaohan; Zhang, Qian; Kan, Bin; Chen, Xiaoqing; Chen, Yongsheng; Huang, Jia; Liang, Ziqi

    2015-06-24

    Efficient charge transport is a key step toward high efficiency in small-molecule organic photovoltaics. Here we applied time-of-flight and organic field-effect transistor to complementarily study the influences of molecular structure, trap states, and molecular orientation on charge transport of small-molecule DRCN7T (D1) and its analogue DERHD7T (D2). It is revealed that, despite the subtle difference of the chemical structures, D1 exhibits higher charge mobility, the absence of shallow traps, and better photosensitivity than D2. Moreover, charge transport is favored in the out-of-plane structure within D1-based organic solar cells, while D2 prefers in-plane charge transport.

  9. Diffusion dynamics of small molecules from mesoporous silicon films by real-time optical interferometry

    SciTech Connect

    Mares, Jeremy W.; Weiss, Sharon M.

    2011-09-20

    Time-dependent laser reflectometry measurements are presented as a means to rigorously characterize analyte diffusion dynamics of small molecules from mesoporous silicon (PSi) films for drug delivery and membrane physics applications. Calculations based on inclusion of a spatially and temporally dependent solute concentration profile in a one-dimensional Fickian diffusion flow model are performed to determine the diffusion coefficients for the selected prototypical polar species, sucrose (340 Da), exiting from PSi films. The diffusion properties of the molecules depend on both PSi pore size and film thickness. For films with average pore diameters between 10-30 nm and film thicknesses between 300-900 nm, the sucrose diffusion coefficient can be tuned between approximately 100 and 550 {mu}m{sup 2}/s. Extensions of the real-time measurement and modeling approach for determining the diffusivity of small molecules that strongly interact with and corrode the internal surfaces of PSi films are also discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-16

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

  11. Working with small molecules: rules-of-thumb of "drug likeness".

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ming-Qiang

    2012-01-01

    Based on analyses of existing small organic drug molecules, a set of "rules-of-thumb" have been devised to assess the likeness of a small molecule under study to those existing drugs in terms of physicochemical and topological properties. These rules can be used to estimate the likelihood of a small molecule to possess the desired efficacy, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties, and toxicity profiles to eventually become a drug, and therefore, whether it justifies further experimental work and development. These rules are particularly useful when selecting a chemical starting point for a given project or choosing a chemical series to focus when multiple series are available. Caution should be paid, however, not to overly rely on these rules for decision-making, since these rules are restricted by knowledge of existing drugs. Novel chemotypes and/or targets may be exceptions. PMID:22065233

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shortridge, Matthew D; Varani, Gabriele

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  18. Identification of small molecules for human hepatocyte expansion and iPS differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Jing; Schwartz, Robert E.; Ross, Nathan T.; Logan, David J.; Thomas, David; Duncan, Stephen A.; North, Trista E.; Goessling, Wolfram; Carpenter, Anne E.; Bhatia, Sangeeta N.

    2013-01-01

    Cell-based therapies hold the potential to alleviate the growing burden of liver diseases. Such therapies require human hepatocytes, which, within the stromal context of the liver, are capable of many rounds of replication. However, this ability is lost ex vivo and human hepatocyte sourcing has been limiting many fields of research for decades. Here, we developed a high-throughput screening platform for primary human hepatocytes to identify small molecules in two different classes that can be used to generate renewable sources of functional human hepatocytes. One class induced functional proliferation of primary human hepatocytes in vitro. The second class enhanced hepatocyte functions and promoted differentiation of iPS-derived hepatocytes, toward a phenotype more mature than what was previously obtainable. The identification of these small molecules can help to address a major challenge impacting many facets of liver research and may lead to the development of novel therapeutics for liver diseases. PMID:23728495

  19. Working with small molecules: rules-of-thumb of "drug likeness".

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ming-Qiang

    2012-01-01

    Based on analyses of existing small organic drug molecules, a set of "rules-of-thumb" have been devised to assess the likeness of a small molecule under study to those existing drugs in terms of physicochemical and topological properties. These rules can be used to estimate the likelihood of a small molecule to possess the desired efficacy, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties, and toxicity profiles to eventually become a drug, and therefore, whether it justifies further experimental work and development. These rules are particularly useful when selecting a chemical starting point for a given project or choosing a chemical series to focus when multiple series are available. Caution should be paid, however, not to overly rely on these rules for decision-making, since these rules are restricted by knowledge of existing drugs. Novel chemotypes and/or targets may be exceptions.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Jia; Gan, Jianhua; Huang, Zhen

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Small-molecule enhancers of autophagy modulate cellular disease phenotypes suggested by human genetics

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Szu-Yu; Castoreno, Adam B.; Aldrich, Leslie N.; Lassen, Kara G.; Goel, Gautam; Dančík, Vlado; Kuballa, Petric; Latorre, Isabel; Conway, Kara L.; Sarkar, Sovan; Maetzel, Dorothea; Jaenisch, Rudolf; Clemons, Paul A.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Shamji, Alykhan F.; Xavier, Ramnik J.

    2015-01-01

    Studies of human genetics and pathophysiology have implicated the regulation of autophagy in inflammation, neurodegeneration, infection, and autoimmunity. These findings have motivated the use of small-molecule probes to study how modulation of autophagy affects disease-associated phenotypes. Here, we describe the discovery of the small-molecule probe BRD5631 that is derived from diversity-oriented synthesis and enhances autophagy through an mTOR-independent pathway. We demonstrate that BRD5631 affects several cellular disease phenotypes previously linked to autophagy, including protein aggregation, cell survival, bacterial replication, and inflammatory cytokine production. BRD5631 can serve as a valuable tool for studying the role of autophagy in the context of cellular homeostasis and disease. PMID:26195741

  2. Diamond nanowires for highly sensitive matrix-free mass spectrometry analysis of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Coffinier, Yannick; Szunerits, Sabine; Drobecq, Hervé; Melnyk, Oleg; Boukherroub, Rabah

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on the use of boron-doped diamond nanowires (BDD NWs) as an inorganic substrate for matrix-free laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) analysis of small molecules. The diamond nanowires are prepared by reactive ion etching (RIE) with oxygen plasma of highly boron-doped (the boron level is 10(19) B cm(-3)) or undoped nanocrystalline diamond substrates. The resulting diamond nanowires are coated with a thin silicon oxide layer that confers a superhydrophilic character to the surface. To minimize droplet spreading, the nanowires were chemically functionalized with octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) and then UV/ozone treated to reach a final water contact angle of 120°. The sub-bandgap absorption under UV laser irradiation and the heat confinement inside the nanowires allowed desorption/ionization, most likely via a thermal mechanism, and mass spectrometry analysis of small molecules. A detection limit of 200 zeptomole for verapamil was demonstrated.

  3. Construction of logic gates with the fluorene-based small molecule/DNA probes.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jing; Wang, Ting; Yang, Renqiang

    2012-09-01

    Fluorene-based small molecules (FSMs) have optical properties and can interact with DNA. In this paper, the integrated "INH" and "AND" gates operating in parallel are developed with the fluorene-based small molecule (FSM)/DNA probe. They are activated by taking advantage of the two-step fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) process and the sequence-recognition mechanism of DNA. Then, a "NOT" gate is obtained with a molecular beacon-like probe (FSM-MB) by using the FSM as the fluorophore. Moreover, the "NOT" gate based on the FSM-MB probe can be used as a biosensor and has potential applications in label-free detection of target molecules.

  4. Correlating Molecular Structures with Transport Dynamics in High-Efficiency Small-Molecule Organic Photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Peng, Jiajun; Chen, Yani; Wu, Xiaohan; Zhang, Qian; Kan, Bin; Chen, Xiaoqing; Chen, Yongsheng; Huang, Jia; Liang, Ziqi

    2015-06-24

    Efficient charge transport is a key step toward high efficiency in small-molecule organic photovoltaics. Here we applied time-of-flight and organic field-effect transistor to complementarily study the influences of molecular structure, trap states, and molecular orientation on charge transport of small-molecule DRCN7T (D1) and its analogue DERHD7T (D2). It is revealed that, despite the subtle difference of the chemical structures, D1 exhibits higher charge mobility, the absence of shallow traps, and better photosensitivity than D2. Moreover, charge transport is favored in the out-of-plane structure within D1-based organic solar cells, while D2 prefers in-plane charge transport. PMID:26066398

  5. Combining Small Molecule with Block Copolymer: a Facile Approach to Direct Hierarchical Assembly of Nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ting

    2009-03-01

    Precise control over the spatial organization of nanoscopic building blocks over multiple length scales is a bottleneck in the ``bottom-up'' approach to generate technologically important materials. We demonstrate a new paradigm to control the hierarchical assembly of nanoparticles through the synergistic co-assembly of block copolymers (BCP), small molecules and readily available nanoparticles. Organizations of nanoparticles into one, two and three-dimensional arrays with controlled inter-particle separation and ordering were achieved without any chemical modification of either the nanoparticles or BCPs. The ordering and distribution of small molecules between different BCP blocks are temperature dependent, leading to responsive materials where the spatial distribution of the nanoparticles can be varied, changing the local environment and the areal density of the nanoparticles. The approach described is versatile; compatible with existing fabrication processes and enables a nondisruptive approach for the generation of functional devices.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  7. Development of small-molecule probes that selectively kill cells induced to express mutant RAS

    PubMed Central

    Weïwer, Michel; Bittker, Joshua A.; Lewis, Timothy A.; Shimada, Kenichi; Yang, Wan Seok; MacPherson, Lawrence; Dandapani, Sivaraman; Palmer, Michelle; Stockwell, Brent R.; Schreiber, Stuart L.

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic lethal screening is a chemical biology approach to identify small molecules that selectively kill oncogene-expressing cell lines with the goal of identifying pathways that provide specific targets against cancer cells. We performed a high-throughput screen of 303,282 compounds from the National Institutes of Health-Molecular Libraries Small Molecule Repository (NIH-MLSMR) against immortalized BJ fibroblasts expressing HRASG12V followed by a counterscreen of lethal compounds in a series of isogenic cells lacking the HRASG12V oncogene. This effort led to the identification of two novel molecular probes (PubChem CID 3689413, ML162 and CID 49766530, ML210) with nanomolar potencies and 4–23 fold selectivities, which can potentially be used for identifying oncogene-specific pathways and targets in cancer cells. PMID:22297109

  8. [Stimulating Type I interferon response with small molecules: revival of an old idea].

    PubMed

    Khiar, Samira; Pietrancosta, Nicolas; Vidalain, Pierre-Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Type I interferons play a central role in the establishment of an innate immune response against viral infections and tumor cells. Shortly after their discovery in 1957, several groups have looked for small molecules capable of inducing the expression of these cytokines with therapeutic applications in mind. A set of active compounds in mice were identified, but because of their relative inefficiency in humans for reasons not understood at the time, these studies fell into oblivion. In recent years, the characterization of pathogen recognition receptors and the signaling pathways they activate, together with the discovery of plasmacytoid dendritic cells, have revolutionized our understanding of innate immunity. These discoveries and the popularization of high-throughput screening technologies have renewed the interest for small molecules that can induce type I interferons. Proofs about their therapeutic potency in humans are expected very soon. PMID:26514384

  9. Transportable, Chemical Genetic Methodology for the Small Molecule-Mediated Inhibition of Heat Shock Factor 1.

    PubMed

    Moore, Christopher L; Dewal, Mahender B; Nekongo, Emmanuel E; Santiago, Sebasthian; Lu, Nancy B; Levine, Stuart S; Shoulders, Matthew D

    2016-01-15

    Proteostasis in the cytosol is governed by the heat shock response. The master regulator of the heat shock response, heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), and key chaperones whose levels are HSF1-regulated have emerged as high-profile targets for therapeutic applications ranging from protein misfolding-related disorders to cancer. Nonetheless, a generally applicable methodology to selectively and potently inhibit endogenous HSF1 in a small molecule-dependent manner in disease model systems remains elusive. Also problematic, the administration of even highly selective chaperone inhibitors often has the side effect of activating HSF1 and thereby inducing a compensatory heat shock response. Herein, we report a ligand-regulatable, dominant negative version of HSF1 that addresses these issues. Our approach, which required engineering a new dominant negative HSF1 variant, permits dosable inhibition of endogenous HSF1 with a selective small molecule in cell-based model systems of interest. The methodology allows us to uncouple the pleiotropic effects of chaperone inhibitors and environmental toxins from the concomitantly induced compensatory heat shock response. Integration of our method with techniques to activate HSF1 enables the creation of cell lines in which the cytosolic proteostasis network can be up- or down-regulated by orthogonal small molecules. Selective, small molecule-mediated inhibition of HSF1 has distinctive implications for the proteostasis of both chaperone-dependent globular proteins and aggregation-prone intrinsically disordered proteins. Altogether, this work provides critical methods for continued exploration of the biological roles of HSF1 and the therapeutic potential of heat shock response modulation.

  10. Induction of sensory neurons from neuroepithelial stem cells by the ISX9 small molecule.

    PubMed

    Ali, Rouknuddin Qasim; Blomberg, Evelina; Falk, Anna; Ährlund-Richter, Lars; Ulfendahl, Mats

    2016-01-01

    Hearing impairment most often involves loss of sensory hair cells and auditory neurons. As this loss is permanent in humans, a cell therapy approach has been suggested to replace damaged cells. It is thus of interest to generate lineage restricted progenitor cells appropriate for cell based therapies. Human long-term self-renewing neuroepithelial stem (lt-NES) cell lines exhibit in vitro a developmental potency to differentiate into CNS neural lineages, and importantly lack this potency in vivo, i.e do not form teratomas. Small-molecules-driven differentiation is today an established route obtain specific cell derivatives from stem cells. In this study, we have investigated the effects of three small molecules SB431542, ISX9 and Metformin to direct differentiation of lt-NES cells into sensory neurons. Exposure of lt-NES cells to Metformin or SB431542 did not induce any marked induction of markers for sensory neurons. However, a four days exposure to the ISX9 small molecule resulted in reduced expression of NeuroD1 mRNA as well as enhanced mRNA levels of GATA3, a marker and important player in auditory neuron specification and development. Subsequent culture in the presence of the neurotrophic factors BDNF and NT3 for another seven days yielded a further increase of mRNA expression for GATA3. This regimen resulted in a frequency of up to 25-30% of cells staining positive for Brn3a/Tuj1. We conclude that an approach with ISX9 small molecule induction of lt-NES cells into auditory like neurons may thus be an attractive route for obtaining safe cell replacement therapy of sensorineural hearing loss. PMID:27335699

  11. Nonlinear Transport in Organic Thin Film Transistors with Soluble Small Molecule Semiconductor.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyeok; Song, Dong-Seok; Kwon, Jin-Hyuk; Jung, Ji-Hoon; Kim, Do-Kyung; Kim, SeonMin; Kang, In Man; Park, Jonghoo; Tae, Heung-Sik; Battaglini, Nicolas; Lang, Philippe; Horowitz, Gilles; Bae, Jin-Hyuk

    2016-03-01

    Nonlinear transport is intensively explained through Poole-Frenkel (PF) transport mechanism in organic thin film transistors with solution-processed small molecules, which is, 6,13-bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl) (TIPS) pentacene. We outline a detailed electrical study that identifies the source to drain field dependent mobility. Devices with diverse channel lengths enable the extensive exhibition of field dependent mobility due to thermal activation of carriers among traps. PMID:27455707

  12. Nonlinear Transport in Organic Thin Film Transistors with Soluble Small Molecule Semiconductor.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyeok; Song, Dong-Seok; Kwon, Jin-Hyuk; Jung, Ji-Hoon; Kim, Do-Kyung; Kim, SeonMin; Kang, In Man; Park, Jonghoo; Tae, Heung-Sik; Battaglini, Nicolas; Lang, Philippe; Horowitz, Gilles; Bae, Jin-Hyuk

    2016-03-01

    Nonlinear transport is intensively explained through Poole-Frenkel (PF) transport mechanism in organic thin film transistors with solution-processed small molecules, which is, 6,13-bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl) (TIPS) pentacene. We outline a detailed electrical study that identifies the source to drain field dependent mobility. Devices with diverse channel lengths enable the extensive exhibition of field dependent mobility due to thermal activation of carriers among traps.

  13. A scanning calorimetric study of small molecule-lipid bilayer mixtures.

    PubMed Central

    Sturtevant, J M

    1982-01-01

    The influence of small molecules on the main phase transition of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine was observed by high-sensitivity differential scanning calorimetry. The variation with temperature of the excess heat capacity is markedly affected by solid solution formation, which appears to be of frequent occurrence in solutions in lipid bilayers. The experimental results are in some cases in reasonable agreement with ideal solution theory. PMID:6955783

  14. Small molecule immunomodulatory drugs: challenges and approaches for balancing efficacy with toxicity.

    PubMed

    Haley, Patrick J

    2012-01-01

    As the molecular pathobiology of immunologically based diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, has become clearer, pharmaceutical researchers have responded with highly efficacious and selective biological compounds. In contrast to older, nonspecific small-molecule therapeutics, the exquisite species sensitivity of monoclonal antibodies has introduced new challenges to preclinical safety studies. Repeated exposure of animals to biopharmaceutical compounds tends to be restricted in the species in which these compounds have pharmacological action, and it tends to stimulate antidrug immune responses with acceleration of clearance, thereby limiting the duration of repeat-dose studies and potentially resulting in hypersensitivity reactions. Thus, the safety testing of biopharmaceutical compounds has necessitated the use of relatively short-term studies in rodents, whereas nonhuman primates have become the primary tool for large-animal, repeat-dose studies. However, as the number of highly targeted and efficacious small-molecule immunomodulators rapidly increases, these molecules will be developed in a manner similar to that of other small molecules with regard to safety assessment. Because such approaches inherently push drug levels to achieve maximally tolerated doses, the pharmacologic specificity of these new small-molecule drugs may be lost as they affect additional receptors and pathways. Therefore, toxicologic pathologists must refamiliarize themselves with the consequences of profound immunosuppression in species other than nonhuman primates. The interrelationships of cytokine signaling and receptor biology are complex, highly integrated, and at times paradoxical, and the loss of specificity at high doses may result in unforeseen consequences caused by the impact on complex down-stream pathways that culminate in exaggerated and adverse responses. The species specificity of such responses may not be inherently familiar or anticipated.

  15. Water and Small-Molecule Permeation of Dormant Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Cermak, Nathan; Feijó Delgado, Francisco; Setlow, Barbara; Setlow, Peter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT We use a suspended microchannel resonator to characterize the water and small-molecule permeability of Bacillus subtilis spores based on spores' buoyant mass in different solutions. Consistent with previous results, we found that the spore coat is not a significant barrier to small molecules, and the extent to which small molecules may enter the spore is size dependent. We have developed a method to directly observe the exchange kinetics of intraspore water with deuterium oxide, and we applied this method to wild-type spores and a panel of congenic mutants with deficiencies in the assembly or structure of the coat. Compared to wild-type spores, which exchange in approximately 1 s, several coat mutant spores were found to have relatively high water permeability with exchange times below the ∼200-ms temporal resolution of our assay. In addition, we found that the water permeability of the spore correlates with the ability of spores to germinate with dodecylamine and with the ability of TbCl3 to inhibit germination with l-valine. These results suggest that the structure of the coat may be necessary for maintaining low water permeability. IMPORTANCE Spores of Bacillus species cause food spoilage and disease and are extremely resistant to standard decontamination methods. This hardiness is partly due to spores' extremely low permeability to chemicals, including water. We present a method to directly monitor the uptake of molecules into B. subtilis spores by weighing spores in fluid. The results demonstrate the exchange of core water with subsecond resolution and show a correlation between water permeability and the rate at which small molecules can initiate or inhibit germination in coat-damaged spores. The ability to directly measure the uptake of molecules in the context of spores with known structural or genetic deficiencies is expected to provide insight into the determinants of spores' extreme resistance. PMID:26483518

  16. Label-free detection of small-molecule binding to a GPCR in the membrane environment.

    PubMed

    Heym, Roland G; Hornberger, Wilfried B; Lakics, Viktor; Terstappen, Georg C

    2015-08-01

    Evaluation of drug-target interaction kinetics is becoming increasingly important during the drug-discovery process to investigate selectivity of a drug and predict in vivo target occupancy. To date, it remains challenging to obtain kinetic information for interactions between G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and small-molecule ligands in a label-free manner. Often GPCRs need to be solubilized or even stabilized by mutations which can be difficult and is time consuming. In addition, it is often unclear if the native conformation of the receptors is sustained. In this study, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) technologies have been used to detect ligand binding to the GPCR chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) expressed in lipoparticles. We first evaluated different strategies to immobilize CXCR4-expressing lipoparticles. The highest small-molecule binding signal in SPR and SAW was achieved with a matrix-free carboxymethylated sensor chip coated with wheat germ agglutinin for lipoparticle capturing. Next, the binding kinetics of the anti-CXCR4 antibody 12G5 raised against a conformational epitope (k(on)=1.83×10(6)M(-1)s(-1), k(off)=2.79×10(-4) s(-1)) and the small molecule AMD3100 (k(on)=5.46×10(5)M(-1)s(-1), k(off)=1.01×10(-2)s(-1)) were assessed by SAW. Our kinetic and affinity data are consistent with previously published radioligand-binding experiments using cells and label-free experiments with solubilized CXCR4. This is the first study demonstrating label-free kinetic characterization of small-molecule binding to a GPCR in the membrane environment. The presented method holds the potential to greatly facilitate label-free assay development for GPRCs that can be expressed at high levels in lipoparticles.

  17. Identification of small molecule binding sites within proteins using phage display technology.

    SciTech Connect

    Rodi, D. J.; Agoston, G. E.; Manon, R.; Lapcevich, R.; Green, S. J.; Makowski, L.; Biosciences Division; EntreMed Inc.; Florida State Univ.

    2001-11-01

    Affinity selection of peptides displayed on phage particles was used as the basis for mapping molecular contacts between small molecule ligands and their protein targets. Analysis of the crystal structures of complexes between proteins and small molecule ligands revealed that virtually all ligands of molecular weight 300 Da or greater have a continuous binding epitope of 5 residues or more. This observation led to the development of a technique for binding site identification which involves statistical analysis of an affinity-selected set of peptides obtained by screening of libraries of random, phage-displayed peptides against small molecules attached to solid surfaces. A random sample of the selected peptides is sequenced and used as input for a similarity scanning program which calculates cumulative similarity scores along the length of the putative receptor. Regions of the protein sequence exhibiting the highest similarity with the selected peptides proved to have a high probability of being involved in ligand binding. This technique has been employed successfully to map the contact residues in multiple known targets of the anticancer drugs paclitaxel (Taxol), docetaxel (Taxotere) and 2-methoxyestradiol and the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan, and to identify a novel paclitaxel receptor [1]. These data corroborate the observation that the binding properties of peptides displayed on the surface of phage particles can mimic the binding properties of peptides in naturally occurring proteins. It follows directly that structural context is relatively unimportant for determining the binding properties of these disordered peptides. This technique represents a novel, rapid, high resolution method for identifying potential ligand binding sites in the absence of three-dimensional information and has the potential to greatly enhance the speed of development of novel small molecule pharmaceuticals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Overexpression of tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) is a hallmark of many inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and septic shock and hepatitis, making it a potential therapeutic target for clinical interventions. To explore chemical inhibitors against TNFα activity, we applied computer-aided drug design combined with in vitro and cell-based assays and identified a lead chemical compound, (E)-4-(2-(4-chloro-3-nitrophenyl) (named as C87 thereafter), which directly binds to TNFα, potently inhibits TNFα-induced cytotoxicity (IC50 = 8.73 μm) and effectively blocks TNFα-triggered signaling activities. Furthermore, by using a murine acute hepatitis model, we showed that C87 attenuates TNFα-induced inflammation, thereby markedly reducing injuries to the liver and improving animal survival. Thus, our results lead to a novel and highly specific small-molecule TNFα inhibitor, which can be potentially used to treat TNFα-mediated inflammatory diseases. PMID:24634219

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-18

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

  20. Exploring "one-shot" kinetics and small molecule analysis using the ProteOn XPR36 array biosensor.

    PubMed

    Bravman, Tsafrir; Bronner, Vered; Lavie, Kobi; Notcovich, Ariel; Papalia, Giuseppe A; Myszka, David G

    2006-11-15

    A ProteOn XPR36 parallel array biosensor was used to characterize the binding kinetics of a set of small molecule/enzyme interactions. Using one injection with the ProteOn's crisscrossing flow path system, we collected response data for six different concentrations of each analyte over six different target protein surfaces. This "one-shot" approach to kinetic analysis significantly improves throughput while generating high-quality data even for low-molecular-mass analytes. We found that the affinities determined for nine sulfonamide-based inhibitors of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase II were highly correlated with the values determined using isothermal titration calorimetry. We also measured the temperature dependence (from 15 to 35 degrees C) of the kinetics for four of the inhibitor/enzyme interactions. Our results illustrate the potential of this new parallel-processing biosensor to increase the speed of kinetic analysis in drug discovery and expand the applications of real-time protein interaction arrays.

  1. CSM-lig: a web server for assessing and comparing protein–small molecule affinities

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Douglas E.V.; Ascher, David B.

    2016-01-01

    Determining the affinity of a ligand for a given protein is a crucial component of drug development and understanding their biological effects. Predicting binding affinities is a challenging and difficult task, and despite being regarded as poorly predictive, scoring functions play an important role in the analysis of molecular docking results. Here, we present CSM-Lig (http://structure.bioc.cam.ac.uk/csm_lig), a web server tailored to predict the binding affinity of a protein-small molecule complex, encompassing both protein and small-molecule complementarity in terms of shape and chemistry via graph-based structural signatures. CSM-Lig was trained and evaluated on different releases of the PDBbind databases, achieving a correlation of up to 0.86 on 10-fold cross validation and 0.80 in blind tests, performing as well as or better than other widely used methods. The web server allows users to rapidly and automatically predict binding affinities of collections of structures and assess the interactions made. We believe CSM-lig would be an invaluable tool for helping assess docking poses, the effects of multiple mutations, including insertions, deletions and alternative splicing events, in protein-small molecule affinity, unraveling important aspects that drive protein–compound recognition. PMID:27151202

  2. Targeting Th17 Cells with Small Molecules and Small Interference RNA

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Hui; Song, Pingfang; Zhao, Yi; Xue, Li-Jia; Liu, Yi; Chu, Cong-Qiu

    2015-01-01

    T helper 17 (Th17) cells play a central role in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases via the production of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin- (IL-) 17, IL-17F, and IL-22. Anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibodies show potent efficacy in psoriasis but poor effect in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease. Alternative agents targeting Th17 cells may be a better way to inhibit the development and function of Th17 cells than antibodies of blocking a single effector cytokine. Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt) which acts as the master transcription factor of Th17 differentiation has been an attractive pharmacologic target for the treatment of Th17-mediated autoimmune disease. Recent progress in technology of chemical screen and engineering nucleic acid enable two new classes of therapeutics targeting RORγt. Chemical screen technology identified several small molecule specific inhibitors of RORγt from a small molecule library. Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) technology enabled target specific aptamers to be isolated from a random sequence oligonucleotide library. In this review, we highlight the development and therapeutic potential of small molecules inhibiting Th17 cells by targeting RORγt and aptamer mediated CD4+ T cell specific delivery of small interference RNA against RORγt gene expression to inhibit pathogenic effector functions of Th17 lineage. PMID:26792955

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy is a significant problem in oncology, and the development of sensitising agents or small-molecules with new mechanisms of action to kill these cells is needed. Autophagy is a cellular process responsible for the turnover of misfolded proteins or damaged organelles, and it also recycles nutrients to maintain energy levels for cell survival. In some apoptosis-resistant cancer cells, autophagy can also enhance the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs through autophagy-mediated mechanisms of cell death. Because the modulation of autophagic processes can be therapeutically useful to circumvent chemoresistance and enhance the effects of cancer treatment, the identification of novel autophagic enhancers for use in oncology is highly desirable. Many novel anti-cancer compounds have been isolated from natural products; therefore, we worked to discover natural, anti-cancer small-molecule enhancers of autophagy. Here, we have identified a group of natural alkaloid small-molecules that function as novel autophagic enhancers. These alkaloids, including liensinine, isoliensinine, dauricine and cepharanthine, stimulated AMPK-mTOR dependent induction of autophagy and autophagic cell death in a panel of apoptosis-resistant cells. Taken together, our work provides novel insights into the biological functions, mechanisms and potential therapeutic values of alkaloids for the induction of autophagy. PMID:24981420

  4. Electrocatalysis and electroanalysis of nickel, its oxides, hydroxides and oxyhydroxides toward small molecules.

    PubMed

    Miao, Yuqing; Ouyang, Lei; Zhou, Shilin; Xu, Lina; Yang, Zhuoyuan; Xiao, Mingshu; Ouyang, Ruizhuo

    2014-03-15

    The electrocatalysis toward small molecules, especially small organic compounds, is of importance in a variety of areas. Nickel based materials such as nickel, its oxides, hydroxides as well as oxyhydroxides exhibit excellent electrocatalysis performances toward many small molecules, which are widely used for fuel cells, energy storage, organic synthesis, wastewater treatment, and electrochemical sensors for pharmaceutical, medical, food or environmental analysis. Their electrocatalytic mechanisms are proposed from three aspects such as Ni(OH)2/NiOOH mediated electrolysis, direct electrocatalysis of Ni(OH)2 or NiOOH. Under exposure to air or aqueous solution, two distinct layers form on the Ni surface with a Ni hydroxide layer at the air-oxide interface and an oxide layer between the metal substrate and the outer hydroxide layer. The transformation from nickel or its oxides to hydroxides or oxyhydroxides could be further speeded up in the strong alkaline solution under the cyclic scanning at relatively high positive potential. The redox transition between Ni(OH)2 and NiOOH is also contributed to the electrocatalytic oxidation of Ni and its oxides toward small molecules in alkaline media. In addition, nickel based materials or nanomaterials, their preparations and applications are also overviewed here.

  5. Direct Reprogramming of Mouse Fibroblasts to Neural Stem Cells by Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Han, Yan-Chuang; Lim, Yoon; Duffieldl, Michael D.; Li, Hua; Liu, Jia; Abdul Manaph, Nimshitha Pavathuparambil; Yang, Miao; Keating, Damien J.; Zhou, Xin-Fu

    2016-01-01

    Although it is possible to generate neural stem cells (NSC) from somatic cells by reprogramming technologies with transcription factors, clinical utilization of patient-specific NSC for the treatment of human diseases remains elusive. The risk hurdles are associated with viral transduction vectors induced mutagenesis, tumor formation from undifferentiated stem cells, and transcription factors-induced genomic instability. Here we describe a viral vector-free and more efficient method to induce mouse fibroblasts into NSC using small molecules. The small molecule-induced neural stem (SMINS) cells closely resemble NSC in morphology, gene expression patterns, self-renewal, excitability, and multipotency. Furthermore, the SMINS cells are able to differentiate into astrocytes, functional neurons, and oligodendrocytes in vitro and in vivo. Thus, we have established a novel way to efficiently induce neural stem cells (iNSC) from fibroblasts using only small molecules without altering the genome. Such chemical induction removes the risks associated with current techniques such as the use of viral vectors or the induction of oncogenic factors. This technique may, therefore, enable NSC to be utilized in various applications within clinical medicine. PMID:26788068

  6. Concentration-related response potentiometric titrations to study the interaction of small molecules with large biomolecules.

    PubMed

    Hamidi-Asl, Ezat; Daems, Devin; De Wael, Karolien; Van Camp, Guy; Nagels, Luc J

    2014-12-16

    In the present paper, the utility of a special potentiometric titration approach for recognition and calculation of biomolecule/small-molecule interactions is reported. This approach is fast, sensitive, reproducible, and inexpensive in comparison to the other methods for the determination of the association constant values (Ka) and the interaction energies (ΔG). The potentiometric titration measurement is based on the use of a classical polymeric membrane indicator electrode in a solution of the small-molecule ligand. The biomolecule is used as a titrant. The potential is measured versus a reference electrode and transformed into a concentration-related signal over the entire concentration interval, also at low concentrations, where the millivolt (y-axis) versus log canalyte (x-axis) potentiometric calibration curve is not linear. In the procedure, Ka is calculated for the interaction of cocaine with a cocaine binding aptamer and with an anticocaine antibody. To study the selectivity and cross-reactivity, other oligonucleotides and aptamers are tested, as well as other small ligand molecules such as tetrakis(4-chlorophenyl)borate, metergoline, lidocaine, and bromhexine. The calculated Ka compared favorably to the value reported in the literature using surface plasmon resonance. The potentiometric titration approach called "concentration-related response potentiometry" is used to study molecular interaction for seven macromolecular target molecules and four small-molecule ligands.

  7. Modulation of neurogenesis by targeting epigenetic enzymes using small molecules: an overview.

    PubMed

    Swaminathan, Amrutha; Kumar, Manoj; Halder Sinha, Sarmistha; Schneider-Anthony, Anne; Boutillier, Anne-Laurence; Kundu, Tapas K

    2014-12-17

    Neurogenesis consists of a plethora of complex cellular processes including neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation, migration, maturation or differentiation to neurons, and finally integration into the pre-existing neural circuits in the brain, which are temporally regulated and coordinated sequentially. Mammalian neurogenesis begins during embryonic development and continues in postnatal brain (adult neurogenesis). It is now evident that adult neurogenesis is driven by extracellular and intracellular signaling pathways, where epigenetic modifications like reversible histone acetylation, methylation, as well as DNA methylation play a vital role. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression during neural development is governed mainly by histone acetyltransferases (HATs), histone methyltransferase (HMTs), DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), and also the enzymes for reversal, like histone deacetylases (HDACs), and many of these have also been shown to be involved in the regulation of adult neurogenesis. The contribution of these epigenetic marks to neurogenesis is increasingly being recognized, through knockout studies and small molecule modulator based studies. These small molecules are directly involved in regeneration and repair of neurons, and not only have applications from a therapeutic point of view, but also provide a tool to study the process of neurogenesis itself. In the present Review, we will focus on small molecules that act predominantly on epigenetic enzymes to enhance neurogenesis and neuroprotection and discuss the mechanism and recent advancements in their synthesis, targeting, and biology.

  8. Discovery and characterization of novel small-molecule CXCR4 receptor agonists and antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Rama K.; Shum, Andrew K.; Platanias, Leonidas C.; Miller, Richard J.; Schiltz, Gary E.

    2016-01-01

    The chemokine CXCL12 (SDF-1) and its cognate receptor CXCR4 are involved in a large number of physiological processes including HIV-1 infectivity, inflammation, tumorigenesis, stem cell migration, and autoimmune diseases. While previous efforts have identified a number of CXCR4 antagonists, there have been no small molecule agonists reported. Herein, we describe the identification of a novel series of CXCR4 modulators, including the first small molecules to display agonist behavior against this receptor, using a combination of structure- and ligand-based virtual screening. These agonists produce robust calcium mobilization in human melanoma cell lines which can be blocked by the CXCR4-selective antagonist AMD3100. We also demonstrate the ability of these new agonists to induce receptor internalization, ERK activation, and chemotaxis, all hallmarks of CXCR4 activation. Our results describe a new series of biologically relevant small molecules that will enable further study of the CXCR4 receptor and may contribute to the development of new therapeutics. PMID:27456816

  9. Suppression of the FOXM1 transcriptional programme via novel small molecule inhibition.

    PubMed

    Gormally, Michael V; Dexheimer, Thomas S; Marsico, Giovanni; Sanders, Deborah A; Lowe, Christopher; Matak-Vinković, Dijana; Michael, Sam; Jadhav, Ajit; Rai, Ganesha; Maloney, David J; Simeonov, Anton; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2014-11-12

    The transcription factor FOXM1 binds to sequence-specific motifs on DNA (C/TAAACA) through its DNA-binding domain (DBD) and activates proliferation- and differentiation-associated genes. Aberrant overexpression of FOXM1 is a key feature in oncogenesis and progression of many human cancers. Here--from a high-throughput screen applied to a library of 54,211 small molecules--we identify novel small molecule inhibitors of FOXM1 that block DNA binding. One of the identified compounds, FDI-6 (NCGC00099374), is characterized in depth and is shown to bind directly to FOXM1 protein, to displace FOXM1 from genomic targets in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, and induce concomitant transcriptional downregulation. Global transcript profiling of MCF-7 cells by RNA-seq shows that FDI-6 specifically downregulates FOXM1-activated genes with FOXM1 occupancy confirmed by ChIP-PCR. This small molecule-mediated effect is selective for FOXM1-controlled genes with no effect on genes regulated by homologous forkhead family factors.

  10. Psmir: a database of potential associations between small molecules and miRNAs.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fanlin; Wang, Jing; Dai, Enyu; Yang, Feng; Chen, Xiaowen; Wang, Shuyuan; Yu, Xuexin; Liu, Dianming; Jiang, Wei

    2016-01-13

    miRNAs are key post-transcriptional regulators of many essential biological processes, and their dysregulation has been validated in almost all human cancers. Restoring aberrantly expressed miRNAs might be a novel therapeutics. Recently, many studies have demonstrated that small molecular compounds can affect miRNA expression. Thus, prediction of associations between small molecules and miRNAs is important for investigation of miRNA-targeted drugs. Here, we analyzed 39 miRNA-perturbed gene expression profiles, and then calculated the similarity of transcription responses between miRNA perturbation and drug treatment to predict drug-miRNA associations. At the significance level of 0.05, we obtained 6501 candidate associations between 1295 small molecules and 25 miRNAs, which included 624 FDA approved drugs. Finally, we constructed the Psmir database to store all potential associations and the related materials. In a word, Psmir served as a valuable resource for dissecting the biological significance in small molecules' effects on miRNA expression, which will facilitate developing novel potential therapeutic targets or treatments for human cancers. Psmir is supported by all major browsers, and is freely available at http://www.bio-bigdata.com/Psmir/.

  11. A new small molecule inhibits streptococcus mutans biofilms in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Wenting; Fan, Mingwen; Wu, Hui; Melander, Christian; Liu, Chang

    2015-01-01

    Aims The aim of this study is to identify new small molecules that can inhibit Streptococcus mutans biofilms by in-vitro and in-vivo model. Methods and Results We evaluated the effect of a small molecule 2-amino-imidazole/triazole conjugate (2-AI/T) on the formation of S. mutans biofilms by culturing in 96-well plates. Toxicity was assessed through cell culture and intragastrically administering to mice. The anti-biofilm and anti-caries effects were investigated in vivo. The inhibitive mechanism was detected by isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (itraq) and RT-QPCR. In vitro and in vivo study revealed that 2-AI/T significantly inhibited biofilm formation of S. mutans and is more so than inhibiting planktonic cells without toxicity. The ribosome and histidine metabolism pathways of S. mutans were significantly regulated by this compound. Conclusions These results suggest that the 2-AI/T conjugate is a potent inhibitor that can be potentially developed into a new drug to treat and prevent dental caries. Significance and Impact of the Study This is the first study to use small molecule from marine natural products, to protect from dental cariesin vivo. It has potential broad range application in clinical caries prevention, or as a bioactive ingredient for food applications. PMID:26294263

  12. Identification of a small molecule that stabilizes lipoprotein lipase in vitro and lowers triglycerides in vivo.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Mikael; Caraballo, Rémi; Ericsson, Madelene; Lookene, Aivar; Enquist, Per-Anders; Elofsson, Mikael; Nilsson, Stefan K; Olivecrona, Gunilla

    2014-07-25

    Patients at increased cardiovascular risk commonly display high levels of plasma triglycerides (TGs), elevated LDL cholesterol, small dense LDL particles and low levels of HDL-cholesterol. Many remain at high risk even after successful statin therapy, presumably because TG levels remain high. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) maintains TG homeostasis in blood by hydrolysis of TG-rich lipoproteins. Efficient clearance of TGs is accompanied by increased levels of HDL-cholesterol and decreased levels of small dense LDL. Given the central role of LPL in lipid metabolism we sought to find small molecules that could increase LPL activity and serve as starting points for drug development efforts against cardiovascular disease. Using a small molecule screening approach we have identified small molecules that can protect LPL from inactivation by the controller protein angiopoietin-like protein 4 during incubations in vitro. One of the selected compounds, 50F10, was directly shown to preserve the active homodimer structure of LPL, as demonstrated by heparin-Sepharose chromatography. On injection to hypertriglyceridemic apolipoprotein A-V deficient mice the compound ameliorated the postprandial response after an olive oil gavage. This is a potential lead compound for the development of drugs that could reduce the residual risk associated with elevated plasma TGs in dyslipidemia. PMID:24984153

  13. Targeting Th17 Cells with Small Molecules and Small Interference RNA.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hui; Song, Pingfang; Zhao, Yi; Xue, Li-Jia; Liu, Yi; Chu, Cong-Qiu

    2015-01-01

    T helper 17 (Th17) cells play a central role in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases via the production of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin- (IL-) 17, IL-17F, and IL-22. Anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibodies show potent efficacy in psoriasis but poor effect in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease. Alternative agents targeting Th17 cells may be a better way to inhibit the development and function of Th17 cells than antibodies of blocking a single effector cytokine. Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt) which acts as the master transcription factor of Th17 differentiation has been an attractive pharmacologic target for the treatment of Th17-mediated autoimmune disease. Recent progress in technology of chemical screen and engineering nucleic acid enable two new classes of therapeutics targeting RORγt. Chemical screen technology identified several small molecule specific inhibitors of RORγt from a small molecule library. Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) technology enabled target specific aptamers to be isolated from a random sequence oligonucleotide library. In this review, we highlight the development and therapeutic potential of small molecules inhibiting Th17 cells by targeting RORγt and aptamer mediated CD4(+) T cell specific delivery of small interference RNA against RORγt gene expression to inhibit pathogenic effector functions of Th17 lineage. PMID:26792955

  14. Mobility of Small Molecules and Polymer Chains in CO2-Swollen Polymer Matrices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Ravi; Russell, Thomas; Watkins, James

    2003-03-01

    Compressible and supercritical fluids such as CO2 are gaining increasing importance as a medium for polymer synthesis and processing. For example, CO2 can be used to facilitate ordering in high molecular weight block copolymers for use in photonic applications that cannot be ordered by thermal means alone. In addition, infusion and condensation of metal alkoxides within CO2 - dilated copolymer templates offers an attractive route to mesoporous materials. To fully exploit CO2 as a processing medium, it is necessary to characterize mass transport in CO2-swollen polymers. We have studied the mobility of small molecules and polymer chains in CO2-swollen polymers in situ. Specifically, the mobility of small organic molecules including decacyclene and perylene were measured in a CO2 -swollen polystyrene matrix using high-pressure fluorescence NRET techniques. Polystyrene chain diffusivity was measured in CO2-swollen polystyrene using high-pressure neutron reflectivity. Both the studies were conducted in real time and reveal substantial enhancements in small molecule and chain mobility as the polystyrene matrix was swollen with moderate amounts of CO2 (5-12 wt%). The size and shape of the small molecule, polymer chain length, temperature and CO2 concentration in polystyrene films were each considered. The experimental data for all systems were modeled using the Vrentas-Duda free volume theory using a consistent set of parameters.

  15. Identification of a small molecule that stabilizes lipoprotein lipase in vitro and lowers triglycerides in vivo.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Mikael; Caraballo, Rémi; Ericsson, Madelene; Lookene, Aivar; Enquist, Per-Anders; Elofsson, Mikael; Nilsson, Stefan K; Olivecrona, Gunilla

    2014-07-25

    Patients at increased cardiovascular risk commonly display high levels of plasma triglycerides (TGs), elevated LDL cholesterol, small dense LDL particles and low levels of HDL-cholesterol. Many remain at high risk even after successful statin therapy, presumably because TG levels remain high. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) maintains TG homeostasis in blood by hydrolysis of TG-rich lipoproteins. Efficient clearance of TGs is accompanied by increased levels of HDL-cholesterol and decreased levels of small dense LDL. Given the central role of LPL in lipid metabolism we sought to find small molecules that could increase LPL activity and serve as starting points for drug development efforts against cardiovascular disease. Using a small molecule screening approach we have identified small molecules that can protect LPL from inactivation by the controller protein angiopoietin-like protein 4 during incubations in vitro. One of the selected compounds, 50F10, was directly shown to preserve the active homodimer structure of LPL, as demonstrated by heparin-Sepharose chromatography. On injection to hypertriglyceridemic apolipoprotein A-V deficient mice the compound ameliorated the postprandial response after an olive oil gavage. This is a potential lead compound for the development of drugs that could reduce the residual risk associated with elevated plasma TGs in dyslipidemia.

  16. Small Molecule-Induced Complement Factor D (Adipsin) Promotes Lipid Accumulation and Adipocyte Differentiation.

    PubMed

    Song, No-Joon; Kim, Suji; Jang, Byung-Hyun; Chang, Seo-Hyuk; Yun, Ui Jeong; Park, Ki-Moon; Waki, Hironori; Li, Dean Y; Tontonoz, Peter; Park, Kye Won

    2016-01-01

    Adipocytes are differentiated by various transcriptional cascades integrated on the master regulator, Pparγ. To discover new genes involved in adipocyte differentiation, preadipocytes were treated with three newly identified pro-adipogenic small molecules and GW7845 (a Pparγ agonist) for 24 hours and transcriptional profiling was analyzed. Four genes, Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (Pparγ), human complement factor D homolog (Cfd), Chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 9 (Ccl9), and GIPC PDZ Domain Containing Family Member 2 (Gipc2) were induced by at least two different small molecules but not by GW7845. Cfd and Ccl9 expressions were specific to adipocytes and they were altered in obese mice. Small hairpin RNA (shRNA) mediated knockdown of Cfd in preadipocytes inhibited lipid accumulation and expression of adipocyte markers during adipocyte differentiation. Overexpression of Cfd promoted adipocyte differentiation, increased C3a production, and led to induction of C3a receptor (C3aR) target gene expression. Similarly, treatments with C3a or C3aR agonist (C4494) also promoted adipogenesis. C3aR knockdown suppressed adipogenesis and impaired the pro-adipogenic effects of Cfd, further suggesting the necessity for C3aR signaling in Cfd-mediated pro-adipogenic axis. Together, these data show the action of Cfd in adipogenesis and underscore the application of small molecules to identify genes in adipocytes. PMID:27611793

  17. New small-molecule drug design strategies for fighting resistant influenza A

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Zuyuan; Lou, Kaiyan; Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Influenza A virus is the major cause of seasonal or pandemic flu worldwide. Two main treatment strategies–vaccination and small molecule anti-influenza drugs are currently available. As an effective vaccine usually takes at least 6 months to develop, anti-influenza small molecule drugs are more effective for the first line of protection against the virus during an epidemic outbreak, especially in the early stage. Two major classes of anti-influenza drugs currently available are admantane-based M2 protein blockers (amantadine and rimantadine) and neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir). However, the continuous evolvement of influenza A virus and the rapid emergence of resistance to current drugs, particularly to amantadine, rimantadine, and oseltamivir, have raised an urgent need for developing new anti-influenza drugs against resistant forms of influenza A virus. In this review, we first give a brief introduction of the molecular mechanisms behind resistance, and then discuss new strategies in small-molecule drug development to overcome influenza A virus resistance targeting mutant M2 proteins and neuraminidases, and other viral proteins not associated with current drugs. PMID:26579472

  18. Small Molecule-Induced Complement Factor D (Adipsin) Promotes Lipid Accumulation and Adipocyte Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Byung-Hyun; Chang, Seo-Hyuk; Yun, Ui Jeong; Park, Ki-Moon; Waki, Hironori; Li, Dean Y.; Tontonoz, Peter; Park, Kye Won

    2016-01-01

    Adipocytes are differentiated by various transcriptional cascades integrated on the master regulator, Pparγ. To discover new genes involved in adipocyte differentiation, preadipocytes were treated with three newly identified pro-adipogenic small molecules and GW7845 (a Pparγ agonist) for 24 hours and transcriptional profiling was analyzed. Four genes, Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (Pparγ), human complement factor D homolog (Cfd), Chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 9 (Ccl9), and GIPC PDZ Domain Containing Family Member 2 (Gipc2) were induced by at least two different small molecules but not by GW7845. Cfd and Ccl9 expressions were specific to adipocytes and they were altered in obese mice. Small hairpin RNA (shRNA) mediated knockdown of Cfd in preadipocytes inhibited lipid accumulation and expression of adipocyte markers during adipocyte differentiation. Overexpression of Cfd promoted adipocyte differentiation, increased C3a production, and led to induction of C3a receptor (C3aR) target gene expression. Similarly, treatments with C3a or C3aR agonist (C4494) also promoted adipogenesis. C3aR knockdown suppressed adipogenesis and impaired the pro-adipogenic effects of Cfd, further suggesting the necessity for C3aR signaling in Cfd-mediated pro-adipogenic axis. Together, these data show the action of Cfd in adipogenesis and underscore the application of small molecules to identify genes in adipocytes. PMID:27611793

  19. Suppression of the FOXM1 transcriptional program via novel small molecule inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Gormally, Michael V.; Dexheimer, Thomas S.; Marsico, Giovanni; Sanders, Deborah A.; Lowe, Christopher; Matak-Vinkovi, Dijana; Michael, Sam; Jadhav, Ajit; Rai, Ganesha; Maloney, David J.; Simeonov, Anton; Balasubramanian, Shankar

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factor FOXM1 binds to sequence-specific motifs on DNA (C/TAAACA) through its DNA binding domain (DBD), and activates proliferation- and differentiation-associated genes. Aberrant overexpression of FOXM1 is a key feature in oncogenesis and progression of many human cancers. Here — from a high-throughput screen applied to a library of 54,211 small molecules — we identify novel small molecule inhibitors of FOXM1 that block DNA binding. One of the identified compounds: FDI-6 (NCGC00099374) is characterized in depth and is shown to bind directly to FOXM1 protein, to displace FOXM1 from genomic targets in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, and induce concomitant transcriptional down-regulation. Global transcript profiling of MCF-7 cells by RNA-seq shows that FDI-6 specifically down regulates FOXM1-activated genes with FOXM1 occupancy confirmed by ChIP-seq. This small molecule mediated effect is selective for FOXM1-controlled genes with no effect on genes regulated by homologous forkhead family factors. PMID:25387393

  20. Discovery and characterization of novel small-molecule CXCR4 receptor agonists and antagonists.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Rama K; Shum, Andrew K; Platanias, Leonidas C; Miller, Richard J; Schiltz, Gary E

    2016-01-01

    The chemokine CXCL12 (SDF-1) and its cognate receptor CXCR4 are involved in a large number of physiological processes including HIV-1 infectivity, inflammation, tumorigenesis, stem cell migration, and autoimmune diseases. While previous efforts have identified a number of CXCR4 antagonists, there have been no small molecule agonists reported. Herein, we describe the identification of a novel series of CXCR4 modulators, including the first small molecules to display agonist behavior against this receptor, using a combination of structure- and ligand-based virtual screening. These agonists produce robust calcium mobilization in human melanoma cell lines which can be blocked by the CXCR4-selective antagonist AMD3100. We also demonstrate the ability of these new agonists to induce receptor internalization, ERK activation, and chemotaxis, all hallmarks of CXCR4 activation. Our results describe a new series of biologically relevant small molecules that will enable further study of the CXCR4 receptor and may contribute to the development of new therapeutics. PMID:27456816