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Sample records for small molecule activation

  1. Proteasome Activation by Small Molecules.

    PubMed

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

    2017-06-22

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

  2. Uranium-mediated activation of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Polly L

    2011-08-28

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

  3. Small-Molecule Allosteric Activators of Sirtuins

    PubMed Central

    Sinclair, David A.; Guarente, Leonard

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian sirtuins (SIRT1–7) are NAD+-dependent lysine deacylases that play central roles in cell survival, inflammation, energy metabolism, and aging. Members of this family of enzymes are considered promising pharmaceutical targets for the treatment of age-related diseases including cancer, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease. SIRT1-activating compounds (STACs), which have been identified from a variety of chemical classes, provide health benefits in animal disease models. Recent data point to a common mechanism of allosteric activation by natural and synthetic STACs that involves the binding of STACs to a conserved N-terminal domain in SIRT1. Compared with polyphenols such as resveratrol, the synthetic STACs show greater potency, solubility, and target selectivity. Although considerable progress has been made regarding SIRT1 allosteric activation, key questions remain, including how the molecular contacts facilitate SIRT1 activation, whether other sirtuin family members will be amenable to activation, and whether STACs will ultimately prove safe and efficacious in humans. PMID:24160699

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-10-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  7. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Targeting Gli Transcription Activation by Small Molecule Suppresses Tumor Growth

    PubMed Central

    Bosco-Clément, Geneviève; Zhang, Fang; Chen, Zhao; Zhou, Hai-Meng; Li, Hui; Mikami, Iwao; Hirata, Tomomi; Yagui-Beltran, Adam; Lui, Natalie; Do, Hanh T.; Cheng, Tiffany; Tseng, Hsin-Hui; Choi, Helen; Fang, Li-Tai; Kim, Il-Jin; Yue, Dongsheng; Wang, Changli; Zheng, Qingfeng; Fujii, Naoaki; Mann, Michael; Jablons, David M.; He, Biao

    2014-01-01

    Targeted inhibition of Hedgehog signaling at the cell membrane has been associated with anti-cancer activity in preclinical and early clinical studies. Hedgehog signaling involves activation of Gli transcription factors that can also be induced by alternative pathways. In this study we identified an interaction between Gli proteins and a transcription co-activator TAF9, and validated its functional relevance in regulating Gli transactivation. We also describe a novel, synthetic small molecule, FN1-8, that efficiently interferes with Gli/TAF9 interaction and down-regulate Gli/TAF9 dependent transcriptional activity. More importantly, FN1-8 suppresses cancer cell proliferation in vitro and inhibits tumor growth in vivo. Our results suggest that blocking Gli transactivation, a key control point of multiple oncogenic pathways, may be an effective anti-cancer strategy. PMID:23686308

  9. 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

  10. Small molecule inhibitors targeting activator protein 1 (AP-1).

    PubMed

    Ye, Na; Ding, Ye; Wild, Christopher; Shen, Qiang; Zhou, Jia

    2014-08-28

    Activator protein 1 (AP-1) is a pivotal transcription factor that regulates a wide range of cellular processes including proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, survival, cell migration, and transformation. Accumulating evidence supports that AP-1 plays an important role in several severe disorders including cancer, fibrosis, and organ injury, as well as inflammatory disorders such as asthma, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. AP-1 has emerged as an actively pursued drug discovery target over the past decade. Excitingly, a selective AP-1 inhibitor T-5224 (51) has been investigated in phase II human clinical trials. Nevertheless, no effective AP-1 inhibitors have yet been approved for clinical use. Despite significant advances achieved in understanding AP-1 biology and function, as well as the identification of small molecules modulating AP-1 associated signaling pathways, medicinal chemistry efforts remain an urgent need to yield selective and efficacious AP-1 inhibitors as a viable therapeutic strategy for human diseases.

  11. Small Molecules that Suppress IGF-Activated Prostate Cancers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-04-01

    organic molecules that suppress IGF-activated prostate cancers by cell-based screening and to analyze their action mechanisms . During the funding...prostate cancer cells but not serum-dependent growth. We analyzed the mechanism of action of 125B11 to gain molecular insights into how IGF1 stimulates the...screening and to analyze their action mechanisms . We have been taking a unique two-step approach to discovering such molecules: we first examine the

  12. Studies Relevent to Catalytic Activation Co & other small Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Ford, Peter C

    2005-02-22

    Detailed annual and triannual reports describing the progress accomplished during the tenure of this grant were filed with the Program Manager for Catalysis at the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. To avoid unnecessary duplication, the present report will provide a brief overview of the research areas that were sponsored by this grant and list the resulting publications and theses based on this DOE supported research. The scientific personnel participating in (and trained by) this grant's research are also listed. Research carried out under this DOE grant was largely concerned with the mechanisms of the homogeneous catalytic and photocatalytic activation of small molecules such as carbon monoxide, dihydrogen and various hydrocarbons. Much of the more recent effort has focused on the dynamics and mechanisms of reactions relevant to substrate carbonylations by homogeneous organometallic catalysts. A wide range of modern investigative techniques were employed, including quantitative fast reaction methodologies such as time-resolved optical (TRO) and time-resolved infrared (TRIR) spectroscopy and stopped flow kinetics. Although somewhat diverse, this research falls within the scope of the long-term objective of applying quantitative techniques to elucidate the dynamics and understand the principles of mechanisms relevant to the selective and efficient catalytic conversions of fundamental feedstocks to higher value materials.

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

    PubMed

    Litterman, Nadia; Lipinski, Christopher; Ekins, Sean

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Small molecules with antiviral activity against the Ebola virus

    PubMed Central

    Litterman, Nadia; Lipinski, Christopher; Ekins, Sean

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Small Molecule Activators of the Trk Receptors for Neuroprotection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-05-01

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

  16. Direct and selective small-molecule activation of proapoptotic BAX

    PubMed Central

    Gavathiotis, Evripidis; Reyna, Denis E; Bellairs, Joseph A; Leshchiner, Elizaveta S; Walensky, Loren D

    2013-01-01

    BCL-2 family proteins are key regulators of the apoptotic pathway. Antiapoptotic members sequester the BCL-2 homology 3 (BH3) death domains of proapoptotic members such as BAX to maintain cell survival. The antiapoptotic BH3-binding groove has been successfully targeted to reactivate apoptosis in cancer. We recently identified a geographically distinct BH3-binding groove that mediates direct BAX activation, suggesting a new strategy for inducing apoptosis by flipping BAX’s ‘on switch’. Here we applied computational screening to identify a BAX activator molecule that directly and selectively activates BAX. We demonstrate by NMR and biochemical analyses that the molecule engages the BAX trigger site and promotes the functional oligomerization of BAX. The molecule does not interact with the BH3-binding pocket of antiapoptotic proteins or proapoptotic BAK and induces cell death in a BAX-dependent fashion. To our knowledge, we report the first gain-of-function molecular modulator of a BCL-2 family protein and demonstrate a new paradigm for pharmacologic induction of apoptosis. PMID:22634637

  17. High quality, small molecule-activity datasets for kinase research

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Rajan; Schürer, Stephan C.; Muskal, Steven M.

    2016-01-01

    Kinases regulate cell growth, movement, and death. Deregulated kinase activity is a frequent cause of disease. The therapeutic potential of kinase inhibitors has led to large amounts of published structure activity relationship (SAR) data. Bioactivity databases such as the Kinase Knowledgebase (KKB), WOMBAT, GOSTAR, and ChEMBL provide researchers with quantitative data characterizing the activity of compounds across many biological assays. The KKB, for example, contains over 1.8M kinase structure-activity data points reported in peer-reviewed journals and patents. In the spirit of fostering methods development and validation worldwide, we have extracted and have made available from the KKB 258K structure activity data points and 76K associated unique chemical structures across eight kinase targets. These data are freely available for download within this data note. PMID:27429748

  18. Antimalarial Activity of Small-Molecule Benzothiazole Hydrazones.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Souvik; Siddiqui, Asim A; Saha, Shubhra J; De, Rudranil; Mazumder, Somnath; Banerjee, Chinmoy; Iqbal, Mohd S; Nag, Shiladitya; Adhikari, Susanta; Bandyopadhyay, Uday

    2016-07-01

    We synthesized a new series of conjugated hydrazones that were found to be active against malaria parasite in vitro, as well as in vivo in a murine model. These hydrazones concentration-dependently chelated free iron and offered antimalarial activity. Upon screening of the synthesized hydrazones, compound 5f was found to be the most active iron chelator, as well as antiplasmodial. Compound 5f also interacted with free heme (KD [equilibrium dissociation constant] = 1.17 ± 0.8 μM), an iron-containing tetrapyrrole released after hemoglobin digestion by the parasite, and inhibited heme polymerization by parasite lysate. Structure-activity relationship studies indicated that a nitrogen- and sulfur-substituted five-membered aromatic ring present within the benzothiazole hydrazones might be responsible for their antimalarial activity. The dose-dependent antimalarial and heme polymerization inhibitory activities of the lead compound 5f were further validated by following [(3)H]hypoxanthine incorporation and hemozoin formation in parasite, respectively. It is worth mentioning that compound 5f exhibited antiplasmodial activity in vitro against a chloroquine/pyrimethamine-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum (K1). We also evaluated in vivo antimalarial activity of compound 5f in a murine model where a lethal multiple-drug-resistant strain of Plasmodium yoelii was used to infect Swiss albino mice. Compound 5f significantly suppressed the growth of parasite, and the infected mice experienced longer life spans upon treatment with this compound. During in vitro and in vivo toxicity assays, compound 5f showed minimal alteration in biochemical and hematological parameters compared to control. In conclusion, we identified a new class of hydrazone with therapeutic potential against malaria. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  19. Antimalarial Activity of Small-Molecule Benzothiazole Hydrazones

    PubMed Central

    Sarkar, Souvik; Siddiqui, Asim A.; Saha, Shubhra J.; De, Rudranil; Mazumder, Somnath; Banerjee, Chinmoy; Iqbal, Mohd S.; Nag, Shiladitya; Adhikari, Susanta

    2016-01-01

    We synthesized a new series of conjugated hydrazones that were found to be active against malaria parasite in vitro, as well as in vivo in a murine model. These hydrazones concentration-dependently chelated free iron and offered antimalarial activity. Upon screening of the synthesized hydrazones, compound 5f was found to be the most active iron chelator, as well as antiplasmodial. Compound 5f also interacted with free heme (KD [equilibrium dissociation constant] = 1.17 ± 0.8 μM), an iron-containing tetrapyrrole released after hemoglobin digestion by the parasite, and inhibited heme polymerization by parasite lysate. Structure-activity relationship studies indicated that a nitrogen- and sulfur-substituted five-membered aromatic ring present within the benzothiazole hydrazones might be responsible for their antimalarial activity. The dose-dependent antimalarial and heme polymerization inhibitory activities of the lead compound 5f were further validated by following [3H]hypoxanthine incorporation and hemozoin formation in parasite, respectively. It is worth mentioning that compound 5f exhibited antiplasmodial activity in vitro against a chloroquine/pyrimethamine-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum (K1). We also evaluated in vivo antimalarial activity of compound 5f in a murine model where a lethal multiple-drug-resistant strain of Plasmodium yoelii was used to infect Swiss albino mice. Compound 5f significantly suppressed the growth of parasite, and the infected mice experienced longer life spans upon treatment with this compound. During in vitro and in vivo toxicity assays, compound 5f showed minimal alteration in biochemical and hematological parameters compared to control. In conclusion, we identified a new class of hydrazone with therapeutic potential against malaria. PMID:27139466

  20. Synthesis and activity of small molecule GPR40 agonists.

    PubMed

    Garrido, Dulce M; Corbett, David F; Dwornik, Kate A; Goetz, Aaron S; Littleton, Thomas R; McKeown, Steve C; Mills, Wendy Y; Smalley, Terrence L; Briscoe, Celia P; Peat, Andrew J

    2006-04-01

    The first report on the identification and structure-activity relationships of a novel series of GPR40 agonists based on a 3-(4-{[N-alkyl]amino}phenyl)propanoic acid template is described. Structural modifications to the original screening hit yielded compounds with a 100-fold increase in potency at the human GPR40 receptor and pEC(50)s in the low nanomolar range. The carboxylic acid moiety is not critical for activity but typically elicits an agonistic response higher than those observed with carboxamide replacements. These compounds may prove useful in unraveling the therapeutic potential of this receptor for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

  1. Small molecule activation of NOTCH signaling inhibits acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Qi; Jiang, Jue; Zhan, Guanqun; Yan, Wanyao; Huang, Liang; Hu, Yufeng; Su, Hexiu; Tong, Qingyi; Yue, Ming; Li, Hua; Yao, Guangmin; Zhang, Yonghui; Liu, Hudan

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant activation of the NOTCH signaling pathway is crucial for the onset and progression of T cell leukemia. Yet recent studies also suggest a tumor suppressive role of NOTCH signaling in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and reactivation of this pathway offers an attractive opportunity for anti-AML therapies. N-methylhemeanthidine chloride (NMHC) is a novel Amaryllidaceae alkaloid that we previously isolated from Zephyranthes candida, exhibiting inhibitory activities in a variety of cancer cells, particularly those from AML. Here, we report NMHC not only selectively inhibits AML cell proliferation in vitro but also hampers tumor development in a human AML xenograft model. Genome-wide gene expression profiling reveals that NMHC activates the NOTCH signaling. Combination of NMHC and recombinant human NOTCH ligand DLL4 achieves a remarkable synergistic effect on NOTCH activation. Moreover, pre-inhibition of NOTCH by overexpression of dominant negative MAML alleviates NMHC-mediated cytotoxicity in AML. Further mechanistic analysis using structure-based molecular modeling as well as biochemical assays demonstrates that NMHC docks in the hydrophobic cavity within the NOTCH1 negative regulatory region (NRR), thus promoting NOTCH1 proteolytic cleavage. Our findings thus establish NMHC as a potential NOTCH agonist that holds great promises for future development as a novel agent beneficial to patients with AML. PMID:27211848

  2. Dissecting dynamic allosteric pathways using chemically related small molecule activators

    PubMed Central

    Lisi, George P.; Manley, Gregory A.; Hendrickson, Heidi; Rivalta, Ivan; Batista, Victor S.; Loria, J. Patrick

    2016-01-01

    1. Summary The allosteric mechanism of the heterodimeric enzyme imidazole glycerol phosphate synthase was studied in detail with solution NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. We studied IGPS in complex with a series of allosteric activators corresponding to a large range of catalytic rate enhancements (26 – 4900 fold), in which ligand binding is entropically driven. Conformational flexibility on the millisecond timescale plays a crucial role in intersubunit communication. Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill relaxation dispersion experiments probing Ile, Leu, and Val methyl groups reveal that the apo- and glutamine-mimicked complexes are static on the millisecond timescale. Domain-wide motions are stimulated in the presence of the allosteric activators. These studies, in conjunction with ligand titrations, demonstrate that the allosteric network is widely dispersed and varies with the identity of the effector. Further, we find that stronger allosteric ligands create more conformational flexibility on the millisecond timescale throughout HisF. This domain-wide loosening leads to maximum catalytic activity. PMID:27238967

  3. Use of Small Fluorescent Molecules to Monitor Channel Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Sharon; Stringer, Sarah; Naik, Rajesh; Stone, Morley

    2001-03-01

    The Mechanosensitive channel of Large conductance (MscL) allows bacteria to rapidly adapt to changing environmental conditions such as osmolarity. The MscL channel opens in response to increases in membrane tension, which allows for the efflux of cytoplasmic constituents. Here we describe the cloning and expression of Salmonella typhimurium MscL (St-MscL). Using a fluorescence efflux assay, we demonstrate that efflux through the MscL channel during hypoosmotic shock can be monitored using endogenously produced fluorophores. In addition, we observe that thermal stimulation, i.e., heat shock, can also induce efflux through MscL. We present the first evidence of thermal activation of MscL efflux by heat shocking cells expressing the S. typhimurium protein variant. This finding has significant biosensor implications, especially for investigators exploring the use of channel proteins in biosensor applications. Thermal biosensors are relatively unexplored, but would have considerable commercial and military utility.

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Dewan, Varun; Yin, Hang

    2017-06-22

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

  5. Activation of specific apoptotic caspases with an engineered small-molecule-activated protease.

    PubMed

    Gray, Daniel C; Mahrus, Sami; Wells, James A

    2010-08-20

    Apoptosis is a conserved cellular pathway that results in the activation of cysteine-aspartyl proteases, or caspases. To dissect the nonredundant roles of the executioner caspase-3, -6, and -7 in orchestrating apoptosis, we have developed an orthogonal protease to selectively activate each isoform in human cells. Our approach uses a split-tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease under small-molecule control, which we call the SNIPer, with caspase alleles containing genetically encoded TEV cleavage sites. These studies reveal that all three caspases are transiently activated but only activation of caspase-3 or -7 is sufficient to induce apoptosis. Proteomic analysis shown here and from others reveals that 20 of the 33 subunits of the 26S proteasome can be cut by caspases, and we demonstrate synergy between proteasome inhibition and dose-dependent caspase activation. We propose a model of proteolytic reciprocal negative regulation with mechanistic implications for the combined clinical use of proteasome inhibitors and proapoptotic drugs.

  6. 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.

  7. Small-molecule probe using dual signals to monitor leucine aminopeptidase activity.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Hey Young; Shim, So Hee; Baek, Luck Ju; Hong, Jong-In

    2011-04-15

    Leucine aminopeptidases (LAPs) are widely distributed in organisms from bacteria to humans, and play crucial roles in cell maintenance and cell growth. Thus, assays for LAP are necessary for measuring its activity and inhibitor potency. In this Letter, we report a small-molecule probe which exhibits colorimetric and fluorogenic changes according to LAP activity.

  8. Synthesis, Characterization, and Activity of a Triazine Bridged Antioxidant Small Molecule.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Paulina; Pota, Kristof; Turan, Lara Su; da Costa, Viviana C P; Akkaraju, Giridhar; Green, Kayla N

    2017-08-22

    Metal-ion misregulation and oxidative stress continue to be components of the continually evolving hypothesis describing the molecular origins of Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, these features are viable targets for synthetic chemists to explore through hybridizations of metal-binding ligands and antioxidant units. To date, the metal-binding unit in potential therapeutic small molecules has largely been inspired by clioquinol with the exception of a handful of heterocyclic small molecules and open-chain systems. Heterocyclic small molecules such as cyclen (1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane) have the advantage of straightforward N-based modifications, allowing the addition of functional groups. In this work, we report the synthesis of a triazine bridged system containing two cyclen metal-binding units and an antioxidant coumarin appendage inspired by nature. This new potential therapeutic molecule shows the ability to bind copper in a unique manner compared to other chelates proposed to treat Alzheimer's disease. DPPH and TEAC assays exploring the activity of N-(2-((4,6-di(1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecan-1-yl)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino)ethyl)-2-oxo-2H-chromene-3-carboxamide (molecule 1) show that the molecule is antioxidant. Cellular studies of molecule 1 indicate a low toxicity (EC50 = 80 μM) and the ability to protect HT-22 neuronal cells from cell death induced by Aβ + copper(II), thus demonstrating the potential for molecule 1 to serve as a multimodal therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease.

  9. Group 14 hydrides with low valent elements for activation of small molecules.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Swadhin K; Roesky, Herbert W

    2012-02-21

    Transition metal compounds are well known as activators of small molecules, and they serve as efficient catalysts for a variety of homogeneous and heterogeneous transformations. In contrast, there is a general feeling that main group compounds cannot act as efficient catalysts because of their inability to activate small molecules. Traditionally, the activation of small molecules is considered one of the key steps during a catalytic cycle with transition metals. As a consequence, researchers have long neglected the full range of possibilities in harnessing main group elements for the design of efficient catalysts. Recent developments, however, have made it possible to synthesize main group compounds with low-valent elements capable of activating small molecules. In particular, the judicious use of sterically appropriate ligands has been successful in preparing and stabilizing a variety of Group 14 hydrides with low-valent elements. In this Account, we discuss recent advances in the synthesis of Group 14 hydrides with low-valent elements and assess their potential as small-molecule activators. Group 14, which comprises the nonmetal C, the semimetals Si and Ge, and the metals Sn and Pb, was for years a source of hydrides with the Group 14 element almost exclusively in tetravalent form. Synthetic difficulties and the low stability of Group 14 hydrides in lower oxidation states were difficult to overcome. But in 2000, a divalent Sn(II) hydride was prepared as a stable compound through the incorporation of sterically encumbered aromatic ligands. More recently, the stabilization of GeH(2) and SnH(2) complexes using an N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) as a donor and BH(3) or a metal carbonyl complex as an acceptor was reported. A similar strategy was also employed to synthesize the Si(II) hydride. This class of hydrides may be considered coordinatively saturated, with the lone pair of electrons on the Group 14 elements taking part in coordination. We discuss the large

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Activation of TRPM7 channels by small molecules under physiological conditions.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, T; Schäfer, S; Linseisen, M; Sytik, L; Gudermann, T; Chubanov, V

    2014-12-01

    Transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily M, member 7 (TRPM7) is a cation channel covalently linked to a protein kinase domain. TRPM7 is ubiquitously expressed and regulates key cellular processes such as Mg(2+) homeostasis, motility, and proliferation. TRPM7 is involved in anoxic neuronal death, cardiac fibrosis, and tumor growth. The goal of this work was to identify small molecule activators of the TRPM7 channel and investigate their mechanism of action. We used an aequorin bioluminescence-based assay to screen for activators of the TRPM7 channel. Valid candidates were further characterized using patch clamp electrophysiology. We identified 20 drug-like compounds with various structural backbones that can activate the TRPM7 channel. Among them, the δ opioid antagonist naltriben was studied in greater detail. Naltriben's action was selective among the TRP channels tested. Naltriben activates TRPM7 currents without prior depletion of intracellular Mg(2+) even under conditions of low PIP2. Moreover, naltriben interfered with the effect of the TRPM7 inhibitor NS8593. Finally, our experiments with TRPM7 variants carrying mutations in the pore, TRP, and kinase domains indicate that the site of TRPM7 activation by this small-molecule ligand is most likely located in or near the TRP domain. In conclusion, we identified the first organic small-molecule activators of TRPM7 channels, thus providing new experimental tools to study TRPM7 function in native cellular environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  13. Transcriptional Tools: Small Molecules for Modulating CBP KIX-dependent Transcriptional Activators

    PubMed Central

    Bates, Caleb A.; Pomerantz, William C.; Mapp, Anna K.

    2010-01-01

    Previously it was demonstrated that amphipathic isoxazolidines are able to functionally replace the transcriptional activation domains of endogenous transcriptional activators. In addition, in vitro binding studies suggested that a key binding partner of these molecules is the Creb Binding Protein (CBP), more specifically the KIX domain with this protein. Here we show that CBP and the KIX domain play an essential role in the ability of isoxazolidine transcriptional activation domains to activate transcription in cells. Consistent with this model, isoxazolidines are able to function as competitive inhibitors of the activators MLL and Jun, both of which utilize a binding interaction with KIX to up-regulate transcription. Further, modification of the N2 side chain produced two analogs with enhanced potency against Jun-mediated transcription, although increased cytotoxicity was also observed. Collectively these small KIX-binding molecules will be useful tools for dissecting the role of the KIX domain in a variety of pathological processes. PMID:20882601

  14. Small molecule inhibitors block Gas6-inducible TAM activation and tumorigenicity

    PubMed Central

    Kimani, Stanley G.; Kumar, Sushil; Bansal, Nitu; Singh, Kamalendra; Kholodovych, Vladyslav; Comollo, Thomas; Peng, Youyi; Kotenko, Sergei V.; Sarafianos, Stefan G.; Bertino, Joseph R.; Welsh, William J.; Birge, Raymond B.

    2017-01-01

    TAM receptors (Tyro-3, Axl, and Mertk) are a family of three homologous type I receptor tyrosine kinases that are implicated in several human malignancies. Overexpression of TAMs and their major ligand Growth arrest-specific factor 6 (Gas6) is associated with more aggressive staging of cancers, poorer predicted patient survival, acquired drug resistance and metastasis. Here we describe small molecule inhibitors (RU-301 and RU-302) that target the extracellular domain of Axl at the interface of the Ig-1 ectodomain of Axl and the Lg-1 of Gas6. These inhibitors effectively block Gas6-inducible Axl receptor activation with low micromolar IC50s in cell-based reporter assays, inhibit Gas6-inducible motility in Axl-expressing cell lines, and suppress H1299 lung cancer tumor growth in a mouse xenograft NOD-SCIDγ model. Furthermore, using homology models and biochemical verifications, we show that RU301 and 302 also inhibit Gas6 inducible activation of Mertk and Tyro3 suggesting they can act as pan-TAM inhibitors that block the interface between the TAM Ig1 ectodomain and the Gas6 Lg domain. Together, these observations establish that small molecules that bind to the interface between TAM Ig1 domain and Gas6 Lg1 domain can inhibit TAM activation, and support the further development of small molecule Gas6-TAM interaction inhibitors as a novel class of cancer therapeutics. PMID:28272423

  15. Activation of the stress proteome as a mechanism for small molecule therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Brose, Rebecca Deering; Shin, Gloria; McGuinness, Martina C.; Schneidereith, Tonya; Purvis, Shirley; Dong, Gao X.; Keefer, Jeffrey; Spencer, Forrest; Smith, Kirby D.

    2012-01-01

    Various small molecule pharmacologic agents with different known functions produce similar outcomes in diverse Mendelian and complex disorders, suggesting that they may induce common cellular effects. These molecules include histone deacetylase inhibitors, 4-phenylbutyrate (4PBA) and trichostatin A, and two small molecules without direct histone deacetylase inhibitor activity, hydroxyurea (HU) and sulforaphane. In some cases, the therapeutic effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors have been attributed to an increase in expression of genes related to the disease-causing gene. However, here we show that the pharmacological induction of mitochondrial biogenesis was necessary for the potentially therapeutic effects of 4PBA or HU in two distinct disease models, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy and sickle cell disease. We hypothesized that a common cellular response to these four molecules is induction of mitochondrial biogenesis and peroxisome proliferation and activation of the stress proteome, or adaptive cell survival response. Treatment of human fibroblasts with these four agents induced mitochondrial and peroxisomal biogenesis as monitored by flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and/or western analyses. In treated normal human fibroblasts, all four agents induced the adaptive cell survival response: heat shock, unfolded protein, autophagic and antioxidant responses and the c-jun N-terminal kinase pathway, at the transcriptional and translational levels. Thus, activation of the evolutionarily conserved stress proteome and mitochondrial biogenesis may be a common cellular response to such small molecule therapy and a common basis of therapeutic action in various diseases. Modulation of this novel therapeutic target could broaden the range of treatable diseases without directly targeting the causative genetic abnormalities. PMID:22752410

  16. Small molecules activating TrkB receptor for treating a variety of CNS disorders.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Yan; Wang, Xiaonan; Wang, Qiang; Liu, Shumin; Hu, Xiamin; McClintock, Shawn M

    2013-11-01

    The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high affinity receptor tropomyosin-receptor-kinase B (TrkB) play a critical role in neuronal differentiation and survival, synapse plasticity, and memory. Indeed, both have been implicated in the pathophysiology of numerous diseases. Although the remarkable therapeutic potential of BDNF has generated much research over the past decade, the poor pharmacokinetics and adverse side effect profile have limited its clinical usefulness of BDNF. Small compounds that mimic BDNF's neurotrophic signaling and overcome the pharmacokinetic and side effect barriers may have greater therapeutic potential. The purpose of this review is to provide a survey of the various strategies taken towards the development of small molecule mimetics for BDNF and the selective TrkB agonist. A particular focus was placed on TrkB agonist 7, 8-dihydroxyflavone, which modulates multiple functions and has demonstrated remarkable therapeutic efficacy in a variety of central nervous system disease models. Two other small molecules included in this review are adenosine A2A receptor agonists that indirectly activate TrkB, and TrkB binding domains of BDNF, loop II-LM22A compounds that directly activate TrkB. These alternative molecules have shown promise in preclinical studies and may be included in prospective clinical investigations.

  17. Early-Late Heterobimetallic Complexes Linked by Phosphinoamide Ligands. Tuning Redox Potentials and Small Molecule Activation

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Christine M.

    2015-08-01

    Recent attention in the chemical community has been focused on the energy efficient and environmentally benign conversion of abundant small molecules (CO2, H2O, etc.) to useful liquid fuels. This project addresses these goals by examining fundamental aspects of catalyst design to ultimately access small molecule activation processes under mild conditions. Specifically, Thomas and coworkers have targetted heterobimetallic complexes that feature metal centers with vastly different electronic properties, dictated both by their respective positions on the periodic table and their coordination environment. Unlike homobimetallic complexes featuring identical or similar metals, the bonds between metals in early/late heterobimetallics are more polarized, with the more electron-rich late metal center donating electron density to the more electron-deficient early metal center. While metal-metal bonds pose an interesting strategy for storing redox equivalents and stabilizing reactive metal fragments, the polar character of metal-metal bonds in heterobimetallic complexes renders these molecules ideally poised to react with small molecule substrates via cleavage of energy-rich single and double bonds. In addition, metal-metal interactions have been shown to dramatically affect redox potentials and promote multielectron redox activity, suggesting that metal-metal interactions may provide a mechanism to tune redox potentials and access substrate reduction/activation at mild overpotentials. This research project has provided a better fundamental understanding of how interactions between transition metals can be used as a strategy to promote and/or control chemical transformations related to the clean production of fuels. While this project focused on the study of homogeneous systems, it is anticipated that the broad conclusions drawn from these investigations will be applicable to heterogeneous catalysis as well, particularly on heterogeneous processes that occur at interfaces in

  18. 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

  19. Mechanistic characterization and crystal structure of a small molecule inactivator bound to plasminogen activator inhibitor-1

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shih-Hon; Reinke, Ashley A.; Sanders, Karen L.; Emal, Cory D.; Whisstock, James C.; Stuckey, Jeanne A.; Lawrence, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) is a member of the serine protease inhibitor (serpin) family. Excessive PAI-1 activity is associated with human disease, making it an attractive pharmaceutical target. However, like other serpins, PAI-1 has a labile structure, making it a difficult target for the development of small molecule inhibitors, and to date, there are no US Food and Drug Administration–approved small molecule inactivators of any serpins. Here we describe the mechanistic and structural characterization of a high affinity inactivator of PAI-1. This molecule binds to PAI-1 reversibly and acts through an allosteric mechanism that inhibits PAI-1 binding to proteases and to its cofactor vitronectin. The binding site is identified by X-ray crystallography and mutagenesis as a pocket at the interface of β-sheets B and C and α-helix H. A similar pocket is present on other serpins, suggesting that this site could be a common target in this structurally conserved protein family. PMID:24297881

  20. Conserved Active Site Residues Limit Inhibition of a Copper-Containing Nitrite By Small Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Tocheva, E.I.; Eltis, L.D.; Murphy, M.E.P.

    2009-05-26

    The interaction of copper-containing dissimilatory nitrite reductase from Alcaligenes faecalis S-6 ( AfNiR) with each of five small molecules was studied using crystallography and steady-state kinetics. Structural studies revealed that each small molecule interacted with the oxidized catalytic type 2 copper of AfNiR. Three small molecules (formate, acetate and nitrate) mimic the substrate by having at least two oxygen atoms for bidentate coordination to the type 2 copper atom. These three anions bound to the copper ion in the same asymmetric, bidentate manner as nitrite. Consistent with their weak inhibition of the enzyme ( K i >50 mM), the Cu-O distances in these AfNiR-inhibitor complexes were approximately 0.15 A longer than that observed in the AfNiR-nitrite complex. The binding mode of each inhibitor is determined in part by steric interactions with the side chain of active site residue Ile257. Moreover, the side chain of Asp98, a conserved residue that hydrogen bonds to type 2 copper-bound nitrite and nitric oxide, was either disordered or pointed away from the inhibitors. Acetate and formate inhibited AfNiR in a mixed fashion, consistent with the occurrence of second acetate binding site in the AfNiR-acetate complex that occludes access to the type 2 copper. A fourth small molecule, nitrous oxide, bound to the oxidized metal in a side-on fashion reminiscent of nitric oxide to the reduced copper. Nevertheless, nitrous oxide bound at a farther distance from the metal. The fifth small molecule, azide, inhibited the reduction of nitrite by AfNiR most strongly ( K ic = 2.0 +/- 0.1 mM). This ligand bound to the type 2 copper center end-on with a Cu-N c distance of approximately 2 A, and was the only inhibitor to form a hydrogen bond with Asp98. Overall, the data substantiate the roles of Asp98 and Ile257 in discriminating substrate from other small anions.

  1. Conserved active site residues limit inhibition of a copper-containing nitrite reductase by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Tocheva, Elitza I; Eltis, Lindsay D; Murphy, Michael E P

    2008-04-15

    The interaction of copper-containing dissimilatory nitrite reductase from Alcaligenes faecalis S-6 ( AfNiR) with each of five small molecules was studied using crystallography and steady-state kinetics. Structural studies revealed that each small molecule interacted with the oxidized catalytic type 2 copper of AfNiR. Three small molecules (formate, acetate and nitrate) mimic the substrate by having at least two oxygen atoms for bidentate coordination to the type 2 copper atom. These three anions bound to the copper ion in the same asymmetric, bidentate manner as nitrite. Consistent with their weak inhibition of the enzyme ( K i >50 mM), the Cu-O distances in these AfNiR-inhibitor complexes were approximately 0.15 A longer than that observed in the AfNiR-nitrite complex. The binding mode of each inhibitor is determined in part by steric interactions with the side chain of active site residue Ile257. Moreover, the side chain of Asp98, a conserved residue that hydrogen bonds to type 2 copper-bound nitrite and nitric oxide, was either disordered or pointed away from the inhibitors. Acetate and formate inhibited AfNiR in a mixed fashion, consistent with the occurrence of second acetate binding site in the AfNiR-acetate complex that occludes access to the type 2 copper. A fourth small molecule, nitrous oxide, bound to the oxidized metal in a side-on fashion reminiscent of nitric oxide to the reduced copper. Nevertheless, nitrous oxide bound at a farther distance from the metal. The fifth small molecule, azide, inhibited the reduction of nitrite by AfNiR most strongly ( K ic = 2.0 +/- 0.1 mM). This ligand bound to the type 2 copper center end-on with a Cu-N c distance of approximately 2 A, and was the only inhibitor to form a hydrogen bond with Asp98. Overall, the data substantiate the roles of Asp98 and Ile257 in discriminating substrate from other small anions.

  2. Antithrombotic and antiplatelet activities of small-molecule alkaloids from Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wonhwa; Lee, JungIn; Kulkarni, Roshan; Kim, Mi-Ae; Hwang, Jae Sam; Na, MinKyun; Bae, Jong-Sup

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to discover small-molecule anticoagulants from Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans (SSM). A new acylated polyamine (1) and a new sulfated quinoline alkaloid (2) were isolated from SSM. Treatment with the new alkaloids 1, 2, and indole acetic acid 4 prolonged the activated partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time and inhibited the activity and production of thrombin and activated factor X. Furthermore, compounds 1, 2, and 4 inhibited thrombin-catalyzed fibrin polymerization and platelet aggregation. In accordance with these potential in vitro antiplatelet activities, compounds 1, 2, and 4 showed enhanced antithrombotic effects in an in vivo pulmonary embolism and arterial thrombosis model. Compounds 1, 2, and 4 also elicited anticoagulant effects in mice. Collectively, this study may serve as the groundwork for commercializing SSM or compounds 1, 2, and 4 as functional food components for the prevention and treatment of pathogenic conditions and serve as new scaffolds for the development of anticoagulants. PMID:26905699

  3. HU0622: a small molecule promoting GAP-43 activation and neurotrophic effects.

    PubMed

    Uwabe, Ken-Ichiro; Iwakawa, Tsuneo; Matsumoto, Mitsunobu; Talkahashi, Koji; Nagata, Kiyoshi

    2006-09-01

    During the course of neuronal development or regeneration, the axonal growth cone protein growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43) is expressed in a great majority of differentiating neurons, suggesting that the regulation of this gene is tied to important differentiation signals common to many neurons. In order to discover non-peptide molecules capable of mimicking the effects of NGF, we developed a reporter gene assay system based on measurement of light production in PC12 cells stably transfected with the luciferase reporter gene, the expression of which depends on the transcriptional activation of GAP-43. High throughput screening of the proprietary compound collection using this system revealed (E,E)-1-[5-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-1-oxo-2,4-pentadienyl]piperidine (HU0622), a piperine derivative, to be an activator of GAP-43 transcription. HU0622 strongly induced neurite outgrowth and extension in PC12 and sensory neuronal cultures of chick dorsal root ganglia. The compound induced sustained extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation that is crucial for neurite outgrowth activity without activating NGF receptor, TrkA. Furthermore, HU0622 as well as NGF promoted PC12 survival under serum-free conditions and activated Akt/protein kinase B downstream from phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). HU0622 also promoted survival of rat dorsal root ganglion neurons deprived of NGF. HU0622, a small non-peptidyl molecule, may be a novel promising lead compound for the stimulation of nerve regeneration.

  4. Identification of a small molecule inhibitor that stalls splicing at an early step of spliceosome activation

    PubMed Central

    Sidarovich, Anzhalika; Will, Cindy L; Anokhina, Maria M; Ceballos, Javier; Sievers, Sonja; Agafonov, Dmitry E; Samatov, Timur; Bao, Penghui; Kastner, Berthold; Urlaub, Henning; Waldmann, Herbert; Lührmann, Reinhard

    2017-01-01

    Small molecule inhibitors of pre-mRNA splicing are important tools for identifying new spliceosome assembly intermediates, allowing a finer dissection of spliceosome dynamics and function. Here, we identified a small molecule that inhibits human pre-mRNA splicing at an intermediate stage during conversion of pre-catalytic spliceosomal B complexes into activated Bact complexes. Characterization of the stalled complexes (designated B028) revealed that U4/U6 snRNP proteins are released during activation before the U6 Lsm and B-specific proteins, and before recruitment and/or stable incorporation of Prp19/CDC5L complex and other Bact complex proteins. The U2/U6 RNA network in B028 complexes differs from that of the Bact complex, consistent with the idea that the catalytic RNA core forms stepwise during the B to Bact transition and is likely stabilized by the Prp19/CDC5L complex and related proteins. Taken together, our data provide new insights into the RNP rearrangements and extensive exchange of proteins that occurs during spliceosome activation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23533.001 PMID:28300534

  5. Novel small molecules targeting ciliary transport of Smoothened and oncogenic Hedgehog pathway activation

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Bomi; Messias, Ana C.; Schorpp, Kenji; Geerlof, Arie; Schneider, Günter; Saur, Dieter; Hadian, Kamyar; Sattler, Michael; Wanker, Erich E.; Hasenöder, Stefan; Lickert, Heiko

    2016-01-01

    Trafficking of the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Smoothened (Smo) to the primary cilium (PC) is a potential target to inhibit oncogenic Hh pathway activation in a large number of tumors. One drawback is the appearance of Smo mutations that resist drug treatment, which is a common reason for cancer treatment failure. Here, we undertook a high content screen with compounds in preclinical or clinical development and identified ten small molecules that prevent constitutive active mutant SmoM2 transport into PC for subsequent Hh pathway activation. Eight of the ten small molecules act through direct interference with the G protein-coupled receptor associated sorting protein 2 (Gprasp2)-SmoM2 ciliary targeting complex, whereas one antagonist of ionotropic receptors prevents intracellular trafficking of Smo to the PC. Together, these findings identify several compounds with the potential to treat drug-resistant SmoM2-driven cancer forms, but also reveal off-target effects of established drugs in the clinics. PMID:26931153

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Marshall, Jason D; 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.

  8. Small molecules that allosterically inhibit p21-activated kinase activity by binding to the regulatory p21-binding domain.

    PubMed

    Kim, Duk-Joong; Choi, Chang-Ki; Lee, Chan-Soo; Park, Mee-Hee; Tian, Xizhe; Kim, Nam Doo; Lee, Kee-In; Choi, Joong-Kwon; Ahn, Jin Hee; Shin, Eun-Young; Shin, Injae; Kim, Eung-Gook

    2016-04-29

    p21-activated kinases (PAKs) are key regulators of actin dynamics, cell proliferation and cell survival. Deregulation of PAK activity contributes to the pathogenesis of various human diseases, including cancer and neurological disorders. Using an ELISA-based screening protocol, we identified naphtho(hydro)quinone-based small molecules that allosterically inhibit PAK activity. These molecules interfere with the interactions between the p21-binding domain (PBD) of PAK1 and Rho GTPases by binding to the PBD. Importantly, they inhibit the activity of full-length PAKs and are selective for PAK1 and PAK3 in vitro and in living cells. These compounds may potentially be useful for determining the details of the PAK signaling pathway and may also be used as lead molecules in the development of more selective and potent PAK inhibitors.

  9. Discovery of Diverse Small Molecule Chemotypes with Cell-Based PKD1 Inhibitory Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sharlow, Elizabeth R.; Mustata Wilson, Gabriela; Close, David; Leimgruber, Stephanie; Tandon, Manuj; Reed, Robyn B.; Shun, Tong Ying; Wang, Q. Jane; Wipf, Peter; Lazo, John S.

    2011-01-01

    Protein kinase D (PKD) is a novel family of serine/threonine kinases regulated by diacylglycerol, which is involved in multiple cellular processes and various pathological conditions. The limited number of cell-active, selective inhibitors has historically restricted biochemical and pharmacological studies of PKD. We now markedly expand the PKD1 inhibitory chemotype inventory with eleven additional novel small molecule PKD1 inhibitors derived from our high throughput screening campaigns. The in vitro IC50s for these eleven compounds ranged in potency from 0.4 to 6.1 µM with all of the evaluated compounds being competitive with ATP. Three of the inhibitors (CID 1893668, (1Z)-1-(3-ethyl-5-methoxy-1,3-benzothiazol-2-ylidene)propan-2-one; CID 2011756, 5-(3-chlorophenyl)-N-[4-(morpholin-4-ylmethyl)phenyl]furan-2-carboxamide; CID 5389142, (6Z)-6-[4-(3-aminopropylamino)-6-methyl-1H-pyrimidin-2-ylidene]cyclohexa-2,4-dien-1-one) inhibited phorbol ester-induced endogenous PKD1 activation in LNCaP prostate cancer cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The specificity of these compounds for PKD1 inhibitory activity was supported by kinase assay counter screens as well as by bioinformatics searches. Moreover, computational analyses of these novel cell-active PKD1 inhibitors indicated that they were structurally distinct from the previously described cell-active PKD1 inhibitors while computational docking of the new cell-active compounds in a highly conserved ATP-binding cleft suggests opportunities for structural modification. In summary, we have discovered novel PKD1 inhibitors with in vitro and cell-based inhibitory activity, thus successfully expanding the structural diversity of small molecule inhibitors available for this important pharmacological target. PMID:21998636

  10. Mechanism of the action of SMTP-7, a novel small-molecule modulator of plasminogen activation.

    PubMed

    Koyanagi, Keiji; Narasaki, Ritsuko; Yamamichi, Shingo; Suzuki, Eriko; Hasumi, Keiji

    2014-06-01

    SMTP-7 is a small molecule that promotes the proteolytic activation of plasminogen by relaxing its conformation. SMTP-7 has excellent therapeutic activities against thrombotic stroke in several rodent models. The objective of this study was to elucidate detailed mechanism of the action of SMTP-7 in vitro. We report here that the action of SMTP-7 requires a cofactor with a long-chain alkyl or alkenyl group, and that the fifth kringle domain (kringle 5) of plasminogen is involved in the SMTP-7 action. In this study, we found that the SMTP-7 action to enhance plasminogen activation depended on the presence of a certain type of surfactant, and we screened biologically relevant molecules for their cofactor activity for the SMTP action. As a result, phospholipids, sphingolipids, and oleic acid were found to be active in assisting the SMTP-7 action. On the contrary, stearic acid and bile acids were inactive. Thus, a certain structural element, not only the surface-activating potential, is required for a compound to act as a cofactor for the SMTP-7 action. The plasminogen molecule consists of a PAN domain, five kringle domains, and a serine protease domain. The cofactor-dependent effects of SMTP-7 was observed with plasminogen species including kringle 5 such as intact plasminogen (Glu-plasminogen), des-PAN plasminogen (Lys-plasminogen), and des-[PAN - (kringles 1-4)] plasminogen (mini-plasminogen). However, SMTP-7 effect was not observed with the smallest plasminogen species des-[PAN - (kringles 1-4) and a half of kringle 5)] plasminogen (micro-plasminogen). Thus, kringle 5 is crucial for the action of SMTP-7.

  11. In Vitro and In Vivo Activity of a Novel Antifungal Small Molecule against Candida Infections

    PubMed Central

    Yuen, Kwok Yong; Wang, Yu; Yang, Dan; Samaranayake, Lakshman Perera

    2014-01-01

    Candida is the most common fungal pathogen of humans worldwide and has become a major clinical problem because of the growing number of immunocompromised patients, who are susceptible to infection. Moreover, the number of available antifungals is limited, and antifungal-resistant Candida strains are emerging. New and effective antifungals are therefore urgently needed. Here, we discovered a small molecule with activity against Candida spp. both in vitro and in vivo. We screened a library of 50,240 small molecules for inhibitors of yeast-to-hypha transition, a major virulence attribute of Candida albicans. This screening identified 20 active compounds. Further examination of the in vitro antifungal and anti-biofilm properties of these compounds, using a range of Candida spp., led to the discovery of SM21, a highly potent antifungal molecule (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) 0.2 – 1.6 µg/ml). In vitro, SM21 was toxic to fungi but not to various human cell lines or bacterial species and was active against Candida isolates that are resistant to existing antifungal agents. Moreover, SM21 was relatively more effective against biofilms of Candida spp. than the current antifungal agents. In vivo, SM21 prevented the death of mice in a systemic candidiasis model and was also more effective than the common antifungal nystatin at reducing the extent of tongue lesions in a mouse model of oral candidiasis. Propidium iodide uptake assay showed that SM21 affected the integrity of the cell membrane. Taken together, our results indicate that SM21 has the potential to be developed as a novel antifungal agent for clinical use. PMID:24465737

  12. Metal complex-assisted activation of small molecules. From NO to superoxide and peroxides.

    PubMed

    Ivanović-Burmazović, Ivana; van Eldik, Rudi

    2008-10-21

    Transition metal centres are one of the primary targets for nitric oxide (NO), superoxide (O2(-)) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which are small molecules present in a biological milieu, and of industrial and environmental interest. Coordination to a metal centre modulates their redox behaviour in such a way that they become activated for an inner-sphere oxidation or reduction, depending on the electronic and redox properties of a particular transition metal ion. Since the related redox reactions play multiple roles in physiological and pathophysiological processes, as well as in chemical catalysis in terms of synthetic applications and exhaust gas purification, the elucidation of the mechanisms of the elementary reaction steps behind these complex processes is of fundamental importance. This review concentrates on our work in this area, where by applying low temperature and high pressure kinetic and thermodynamic techniques we shed more light on the mechanisms of the particular reaction steps involved in the activation of NO, O2(-) and various peroxides. The studies include work on solvent exchange reactions that control the binding of small molecules to the metal centre and subsequent electron-transfer processes. We paid special attention to different iron and manganese complexes with heme and non-heme ligand systems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Small-molecule CFTR activators increase tear secretion and prevent experimental dry eye disease.

    PubMed

    Flores, Alyssa M; Casey, Scott D; Felix, Christian M; Phuan, Puay W; Verkman, A S; Levin, Marc H

    2016-05-01

    Dry eye disorders, including Sjögren's syndrome, constitute a common problem in the aging population, with limited effective therapeutic options available. The cAMP-activated Cl(-) channel cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a major prosecretory channel at the ocular surface. We investigated whether compounds that target CFTR can correct the abnormal tear film in dry eye. Small-molecule activators of human wild-type CFTR identified by high-throughput screening were evaluated in cell culture and in vivo assays, to select compounds that stimulate Cl(-)-driven fluid secretion across the ocular surface in mice. An aminophenyl-1,3,5-triazine, CFTRact-K089, fully activated CFTR in cell cultures with EC50 ∼250 nM and produced an ∼8.5 mV hyperpolarization in ocular surface potential difference. When delivered topically, CFTRact-K089 doubled basal tear volume for 4 h and had no effect in CF mice. CFTRact-K089 showed sustained tear film bioavailability without detectable systemic absorption. In a mouse model of aqueous-deficient dry eye produced by lacrimal ablation, topical administration of 0.1 nmol CFTRact-K089 3 times daily restored tear volume to basal levels, preventing corneal epithelial disruption when initiated at the time of surgery and reversing it when started after development of dry eye. Our results support the potential utility of CFTR-targeted activators as a novel prosecretory treatment for dry eye.-Flores, A. M., Casey, S. D., Felix, C. M., Phuan, P. W., Verkman, A. S., Levin, M. H. Small-molecule CFTR activators increase tear secretion and prevent experimental dry eye disease. © FASEB.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  16. Small Molecule-Induced Allosteric Activation of the Vibrio Cholerae RTX Cysteine Protease Domain

    SciTech Connect

    Lupardus, P.J.; Shen, A.; Bogyo, M.; Garcia, K.C.

    2009-05-19

    Vibrio cholerae RTX (repeats in toxin) is an actin-disrupting toxin that is autoprocessed by an internal cysteine protease domain (CPD). The RTX CPD is efficiently activated by the eukaryote-specific small molecule inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP{sub 6}), and we present the 2.1 angstrom structure of the RTX CPD in complex with InsP{sub 6}. InsP{sub 6} binds to a conserved basic cleft that is distant from the protease active site. Biochemical and kinetic analyses of CPD mutants indicate that InsP{sub 6} binding induces an allosteric switch that leads to the autoprocessing and intracellular release of toxin-effector domains.

  17. Computational Structure-activity Relationship Analysis of Small-Molecule Agonists for Human Formyl Peptide Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Khlebnikov, Andrei I.; Schepetkin, Igor A; Quinn, Mark T.

    2010-01-01

    N-formyl peptide receptors (FPR) are important in host defense. Because of the potential for FPRs as therapeutic targets, recent efforts have focused on identification of non-peptide agonists for two FPR subtypes, FPR1 and FPR2. Given that a number of specific small molecule agonists have recently been identified, we hypothesized that computational structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis of these molecules could provide new information regarding molecular features required for activity. We used a training set of 71 compounds, including 10 FPR1-specific agonists, 36 FPR2-specific agonists, and 25 non-active analogs. A sequence of (1) one-way analysis of variance selection, (2) cluster analysis, (3) linear discriminant analysis, and (4) classification tree analysis led to the derivation of SAR rules with high (95.8%) accuracy for correct classification of compounds. These SAR rules revealed key features distinguishing FPR1 versus FPR2 agonists. To verify predictive ability, we evaluated a test set of 17 additional FPR agonists, and found that the majority of these agonists (>94%) were classified correctly as agonists. This study represents the first successful application of classification tree methodology based on atom pairs to SAR analysis of FPR agonists. Importantly, these SAR rules represent a relatively simple classification approach for virtual screening of FPR1/FPR2 agonists. PMID:20870313

  18. Development of Small Molecule Activators of Protein Phosphotase 2A (SMAPs) for the Treatment of Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-10-01

    1 AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0598 TITLE: Development of Small Molecule Activators of Protein Phosphotase 2A (SMAPs) for the Treatment of...Small Molecule Activators of Protein Phosphotase 2A (SMAPs) for the Treatment of Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Subject: Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is among the most abundant serine threonine phosphatases in mammalian cells, a bona

  19. Pharmacogenomic identification of small molecules for lineage specific manipulation of subventricular zone germinal activity

    PubMed Central

    Marcy, Guillaume; Pieropan, Francesca; Rivera, Andrea; Donega, Vanessa; Cantù, Claudio; Williams, Gareth; Berninger, Benedikt; Butt, Arthur M.; Raineteau, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Strategies for promoting neural regeneration are hindered by the difficulty of manipulating desired neural fates in the brain without complex genetic methods. The subventricular zone (SVZ) is the largest germinal zone of the forebrain and is responsible for the lifelong generation of interneuron subtypes and oligodendrocytes. Here, we have performed a bioinformatics analysis of the transcriptome of dorsal and lateral SVZ in early postnatal mice, including neural stem cells (NSCs) and their immediate progenies, which generate distinct neural lineages. We identified multiple signaling pathways that trigger distinct downstream transcriptional networks to regulate the diversity of neural cells originating from the SVZ. Next, we used a novel in silico genomic analysis, searchable platform-independent expression database/connectivity map (SPIED/CMAP), to generate a catalogue of small molecules that can be used to manipulate SVZ microdomain-specific lineages. Finally, we demonstrate that compounds identified in this analysis promote the generation of specific cell lineages from NSCs in vivo, during postnatal life and adulthood, as well as in regenerative contexts. This study unravels new strategies for using small bioactive molecules to direct germinal activity in the SVZ, which has therapeutic potential in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:28350803

  20. A method of permeabilization of Drosophila embryos for assays of small molecule activity.

    PubMed

    Rand, Matthew D

    2014-07-13

    The Drosophila embryo has long been a powerful laboratory model for elucidating molecular and genetic mechanisms that control development. The ease of genetic manipulations with this model has supplanted pharmacological approaches that are commonplace in other animal models and cell-based assays. Here we describe recent advances in a protocol that enables application of small molecules to the developing fruit fly embryo. The method details steps to overcome the impermeability of the eggshell while maintaining embryo viability. Eggshell permeabilization across a broad range of developmental stages is achieved by application of a previously described d-limonene embryo permeabilization solvent (EPS1) and by aging embryos at reduced temperature (18 °C) prior to treatments. In addition, use of a far-red dye (CY5) as a permeabilization indicator is described, which is compatible with downstream applications involving standard red and green fluorescent dyes in live and fixed preparations. This protocol is applicable to studies using bioactive compounds to probe developmental mechanisms as well as for studies aimed at evaluating teratogenic or pharmacologic activity of uncharacterized small molecules.

  1. Small-molecule inhibitors of lethal factor protease activity protect against anthrax infection.

    PubMed

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Johnson, Alan; Leysath, Clinton; Leppla, Stephen H

    2013-09-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, manifests its pathogenesis through the action of two secreted toxins. The bipartite lethal and edema toxins, a combination of lethal factor or edema factor with the protein protective antigen, are important virulence factors for this bacterium. We previously developed small-molecule inhibitors of lethal factor proteolytic activity (LFIs) and demonstrated their in vivo efficacy in a rat lethal toxin challenge model. In this work, we show that these LFIs protect against lethality caused by anthrax infection in mice when combined with subprotective doses of either antibiotics or neutralizing monoclonal antibodies that target edema factor. Significantly, these inhibitors provided protection against lethal infection when administered as a monotherapy. As little as two doses (10 mg/kg) administered at 2 h and 8 h after spore infection was sufficient to provide a significant survival benefit in infected mice. Administration of LFIs early in the infection was found to inhibit dissemination of vegetative bacteria to the organs in the first 32 h following infection. In addition, neutralizing antibodies against edema factor also inhibited bacterial dissemination with similar efficacy. Together, our findings confirm the important roles that both anthrax toxins play in establishing anthrax infection and demonstrate the potential for small-molecule therapeutics targeting these proteins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Bypassing kinase activity of the tomato Pto resistance protein with small molecule ligands.

    PubMed

    Salomon, Dor; Bonshtien, Arale; Mayrose, Maya; Zhang, Chao; Shokat, Kevan M; Sessa, Guido

    2009-05-29

    The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) protein kinase Pto confers resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato bacteria expressing the AvrPto and AvrPtoB effector proteins. Pto specifically recognizes both effectors by direct physical interactions triggering activation of immune responses. Here, we used a chemical-genetic approach to sensitize Pto to analogs of PP1, an ATP-competitive small molecule inhibitor. By using PP1 analogs in combination with the sensitized Pto (Pto(as)), we examined the role of Pto kinase activity in effector recognition and signal transduction. Strikingly, while PP1 analogs efficiently inhibited kinase activity of Pto(as) in vitro, they enhanced interactions of Pto(as) with AvrPto and AvrPtoB in a yeast two-hybrid system. In addition, in the presence of PP1 analogs, Pto(as) bypassed mutations either at an autophosphorylation site critical for the Pto-AvrPto interaction or at catalytically essential residues and interacted with both effectors. Moreover, in the presence of the PP1 analog 3MB-PP1, a kinase-deficient form of Pto(as) triggered an AvrPto-dependent hypersensitive response in planta. These findings suggest that, rather than phosphorylation per se, a conformational change likely triggered by autophosphorylation in Pto and mimicked by ligand binding in Pto(as) is a prerequisite for recognition of bacterial effectors. Following recognition, kinase activity appears to be dispensable for Pto signaling in planta. The chemical-genetic strategy applied here to develop specific small molecule inhibitors of Pto represents an invaluable tool for the study of biological functions of other plant protein kinases in vivo.

  5. Peptidomimetic Small Molecules Disrupt Type IV Secretion System Activity in Diverse Bacterial Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Shaffer, Carrie L.; Good, James A. D.; Kumar, Santosh; Krishnan, K. Syam; Gaddy, Jennifer A.; Loh, John T.; Chappell, Joseph; Almqvist, Fredrik

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacteria utilize complex type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) to translocate diverse effector proteins or DNA into target cells. Despite the importance of T4SSs in bacterial pathogenesis, the mechanism by which these translocation machineries deliver cargo across the bacterial envelope remains poorly understood, and very few studies have investigated the use of synthetic molecules to disrupt T4SS-mediated transport. Here, we describe two synthetic small molecules (C10 and KSK85) that disrupt T4SS-dependent processes in multiple bacterial pathogens. Helicobacter pylori exploits a pilus appendage associated with the cag T4SS to inject an oncogenic effector protein (CagA) and peptidoglycan into gastric epithelial cells. In H. pylori, KSK85 impedes biogenesis of the pilus appendage associated with the cag T4SS, while C10 disrupts cag T4SS activity without perturbing pilus assembly. In addition to the effects in H. pylori, we demonstrate that these compounds disrupt interbacterial DNA transfer by conjugative T4SSs in Escherichia coli and impede vir T4SS-mediated DNA delivery by Agrobacterium tumefaciens in a plant model of infection. Of note, C10 effectively disarmed dissemination of a derepressed IncF plasmid into a recipient bacterial population, thus demonstrating the potential of these compounds in mitigating the spread of antibiotic resistance determinants driven by conjugation. To our knowledge, this study is the first report of synthetic small molecules that impair delivery of both effector protein and DNA cargos by diverse T4SSs. PMID:27118587

  6. Screening of Pharmacologically Active Small Molecule Compounds Identifies Antifungal Agents Against Candida Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Watamoto, Takao; Egusa, Hiroshi; Sawase, Takashi; Yatani, Hirofumi

    2015-01-01

    Candida species have emerged as important and common opportunistic human pathogens, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. The current antifungal therapies either have toxic side effects or are insufficiently effect. The aim of this study is develop new small-molecule antifungal compounds by library screening methods using Candida albicans, and to evaluate their antifungal effects on Candida biofilms and cytotoxic effects on human cells. Wild-type C. albicans strain SC5314 was used in library screening. To identify antifungal compounds, we screened a small-molecule library of 1,280 pharmacologically active compounds (LOPAC1280TM) using an antifungal susceptibility test (AST). To investigate the antifungal effects of the hit compounds, ASTs were conducted using Candida strains in various growth modes, including biofilms. We tested the cytotoxicity of the hit compounds using human gingival fibroblast (hGF) cells to evaluate their clinical safety. Only 35 compounds were identified by screening, which inhibited the metabolic activity of C. albicans by >50%. Of these, 26 compounds had fungistatic effects and nine compounds had fungicidal effects on C. albicans. Five compounds, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate, ellipticine and CV-3988, had strong fungicidal effects and could inhibit the metabolic activity of Candida biofilms. However, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate and ellipticine were cytotoxic to hGF cells at low concentrations. CV-3988 showed no cytotoxicity at a fungicidal concentration. Four of the compounds identified, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate and ellipticine, had toxic effects on Candida strains and hGF cells. In contrast, CV-3988 had fungicidal effects on Candida strains, but low cytotoxic effects on hGF cells. Therefore, this screening reveals agent, CV-3988 that was previously unknown to be antifungal agent, which could be a novel therapies for superficial mucosal candidiasis. PMID

  7. Activation of the Proapoptotic Bcl-2 Protein Bax by a Small Molecule Induces Tumor Cell Apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Guoping; Zhu, Yanglong; Eno, Colins O.; Liu, Yanlong; DeLeeuw, Lynn; Burlison, Joseph A.; Chaires, Jonathan B.; Trent, John O.

    2014-01-01

    The proapoptotic Bcl-2 protein Bax by itself is sufficient to initiate apoptosis in almost all apoptotic paradigms. Thus, compounds that can facilitate disruptive Bax insertion into mitochondrial membranes have potential as cancer therapeutics. In our study, we have identified small-molecule compounds predicted to associate with the Bax hydrophobic groove by a virtual-screen approach. Among these, one lead compound (compound 106) promotes Bax-dependent but not Bak-dependent apoptosis. Importantly, this compound alters Bax protein stability in vitro and promotes the insertion of Bax into mitochondria, leading to Bax-dependent permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Furthermore, as a single agent, compound 106 inhibits the growth of transplanted tumors, probably by inducing apoptosis in tumors. Our study has revealed a compound that activates Bax and induces Bax-dependent apoptosis, which may lead to the development of new therapeutic agents for cancer. PMID:24421393

  8. Microencapsulation effectiveness of small active molecules in biopolymer by ultrasonic atomization technique.

    PubMed

    Cascone, Sara; Lamberti, Gaetano; Titomanlio, Giuseppe; Barba, Anna Angela; d'Amore, Matteo

    2012-12-01

    A method to produce biopolymeric (alginate) microparticles by ultrasonic assisted atomization, previously developed, has been applied to the production of microparticles loaded with a small active molecule (theophylline). Fine loaded alginate droplets have been cross-linked with divalent ions to produce microparticles. Once produced, the particles have been separated by centrifugation or filtration and then they have been dried. Drug release has been evaluated by dissolution tests, dissolving the dried particles in acidic solution at pH 1 for a given time and then at pH 7 to simulate the stomach and intestinal environment, respectively. The encapsulation efficiency and the drug loading have been investigated and the operating conditions have been changed to clarify the role of the transport phenomena on the overall process. To increase the drug loading, shorter separation time and better network's structure were identified as the key operating parameters to allow the process to gain interest from a practical point of view.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. A small molecule modulates Jumonji histone demethylase activity and selectively inhibits cancer growth

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lei; Chang, Jianjun; Varghese, Diana; Dellinger, Michael; Kumar, Subodh; Best, Anne M.; Ruiz, Julio; Bruick, Richard; Peña-Llopis, Samuel; Xu, Junjie; Babinski, David J.; Frantz, Doug E.; Brekken, Rolf A.; Quinn, Amy M.; Simeonov, Anton; Easmon, Johnny; Martinez, Elisabeth D.

    2013-01-01

    The pharmacological inhibition of general transcriptional regulators has the potential to block growth through targeting multiple tumorigenic signaling pathways simultaneously. Here, using an innovative cell-based screen, we identify a structurally unique small molecule (named JIB-04) which specifically inhibits the activity of the Jumonji family of histone demethylases in vitro, in cancer cells, and in tumors in vivo. Unlike known inhibitors, JIB-04 is not a competitive inhibitor of α-ketoglutarate. In cancer but not in patient-matched normal cells, JIB-04 alters a subset of transcriptional pathways and blocks viability. In mice, JIB-04 reduces tumor burden and prolongs survival. Importantly, we find that patients with breast tumors that overexpress Jumonji demethylases have significantly lower survival. Thus JIB-04, a novel inhibitor of Jumonji demethylases in vitro and in vivo, constitutes a unique potential therapeutic and research tool against cancer, and validates the use of unbiased cellular screens to discover chemical modulators with disease relevance. PMID:23792809

  12. Small-molecule activator of glutamate transporter EAAT2 translation provides neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Kong, Qiongman; Chang, Ling-Chu; Takahashi, Kou; Liu, Qibing; Schulte, Delanie A; Lai, Liching; Ibabao, Brian; Lin, Yuchen; Stouffer, Nathan; Das Mukhopadhyay, Chitra; Xing, Xuechao; Seyb, Kathleen I; Cuny, Gregory D; Glicksman, Marcie A; Lin, Chien-Liang Glenn

    2014-03-01

    Glial glutamate transporter EAAT2 plays a major role in glutamate clearance in synaptic clefts. Several lines of evidence indicate that strategies designed to increase EAAT2 expression have potential for preventing excitotoxicity, which contributes to neuronal injury and death in neurodegenerative diseases. We previously discovered several classes of compounds that can increase EAAT2 expression through translational activation. Here, we present efficacy studies of the compound LDN/OSU-0212320, which is a pyridazine derivative from one of our lead series. In a murine model, LDN/OSU-0212320 had good potency, adequate pharmacokinetic properties, no observed toxicity at the doses examined, and low side effect/toxicity potential. Additionally, LDN/OSU-0212320 protected cultured neurons from glutamate-mediated excitotoxic injury and death via EAAT2 activation. Importantly, LDN/OSU-0212320 markedly delayed motor function decline and extended lifespan in an animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We also found that LDN/OSU-0212320 substantially reduced mortality, neuronal death, and spontaneous recurrent seizures in a pilocarpine-induced temporal lobe epilepsy model. Moreover, our study demonstrated that LDN/OSU-0212320 treatment results in activation of PKC and subsequent Y-box-binding protein 1 (YB-1) activation, which regulates activation of EAAT2 translation. Our data indicate that the use of small molecules to enhance EAAT2 translation may be a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  13. Natural Product-Derived Small Molecule Activators of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1)

    PubMed Central

    Nagle, Dale G.; Zhou, Yu-Dong

    2010-01-01

    Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a key mediator of oxygen homeostasis that was first identified as a transcription factor that is induced and activated by decreased oxygen tension. Upon activation, HIF-1 upregulates the transcription of genes that promote adaptation and survival under hypoxic conditions. HIF-1 is a heterodimer composed of an oxygen-regulated subunit known as HIF-1α and a constitutively expressed HIF-1β subunit. In general, the availability and activity of the HIF-1α subunit determines the activity of HIF-1. Subsequent studies have revealed that HIF-1 is also activated by environmental and physiological stimuli that range from iron chelators to hormones. Preclinical studies suggest that HIF-1 activation may be a valuable therapeutic approach to treat tissue ischemia and other ischemia/hypoxia-related disorders. The focus of this review is natural product-derived small molecule HIF-1 activators. Natural products, relatively low molecular weight organic compounds produced by plants, animals, and microbes, have been and continue to be a major source of new drugs and molecular probes. The majority of known natural product-derived HIF-1 activators were discovered through pharmacological evaluation of specifically selected individual compounds. The combination of natural products chemistry with appropriate high-throughput screening bioassays could provide an alternative approach to discover novel natural product-derived HIF-1 activators. Potent natural product-derived HIF-1 activators that exhibit a low level of toxicity and side effects hold promise as new treatment options for diseases such as myocardial and peripheral ischemia, and as chemopreventative agents that could be used to reduce the level of ischemia/reperfusion injury following heart attack and stroke. PMID:16842166

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  17. Small Molecule Fluoride Toxicity Agonists

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Small molecule fluoride toxicity agonists.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-23

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

  19. 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.

  20. Activation of insulin signal transduction pathway and anti-diabetic activity of small molecule insulin receptor activators.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, S A; Ding, V; Li, Z; Szalkowski, D; Biazzo-Ashnault, D E; Xie, D; Saperstein, R; Brady, E; Huskey, S; Shen, X; Liu, K; Xu, L; Salituro, G M; Heck, J V; Moller, D E; Jones, A B; Zhang, B B

    2000-11-24

    We recently described the identification of a non-peptidyl fungal metabolite (l-783,281, compound 1), which induced activation of human insulin receptor (IR) tyrosine kinase and mediated insulin-like effects in cells, as well as decreased blood glucose levels in murine models of Type 2 diabetes (Zhang, B., Salituro, G., Szalkowski, D., Li, Z., Zhang, Y., Royo, I., Vilella, D., Diez, M. T. , Pelaez, F., Ruby, C., Kendall, R. L., Mao, X., Griffin, P., Calaycay, J., Zierath, J. R., Heck, J. V., Smith, R. G. & Moller, D. E. (1999) Science 284, 974-977). Here we report the characterization of an active analog (compound 2) with enhanced IR kinase activation potency and selectivity over related receptors (insulin-like growth factor I receptor, epidermal growth factor receptor, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor). The IR activators stimulated tyrosine kinase activity of partially purified native IR and recombinant IR tyrosine kinase domain. Administration of the IR activators to mice was associated with increased IR tyrosine kinase activity in liver. In vivo oral treatment with compound 2 resulted in significant glucose lowering in several rodent models of diabetes. In db/db mice, oral administration of compound 2 elicited significant correction of hyperglycemia. In a streptozotocin-induced diabetic mouse model, compound 2 potentiated the glucose-lowering effect of insulin. In normal rats, compound 2 improved oral glucose tolerance with significant reduction in insulin release following glucose challenge. A structurally related inactive analog (compound 3) was not effective on insulin receptor activation or glucose lowering in db/db mice. Thus, small molecule IR activators exert insulin mimetic and sensitizing effects in cells and in animal models of diabetes. These results have implications for the future development of new therapies for diabetes mellitus.

  1. Exopolysaccharide-repressing small molecules with antibiofilm and antivirulence activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    van Tilburg Bernardes, Erik; Charron-Mazenod, Laetitia; Reading, David J; Reckseidler-Zenteno, Shauna L; Lewenza, Shawn

    2017-02-21

    Biofilm formation is a universal virulence strategy in which bacteria grow in dense microbial communities enmeshed within a polymeric extracellular matrix that protects them from antibiotic exposure and the immune system. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an archetypal biofilm-forming organism that utilizes a biofilm growth strategy to cause chronic lung infections in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. The extracellular matrix of P. aeruginosa biofilms is comprised mainly of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and DNA. Both mucoid and non-mucoid isolates of P. aeruginosa produces the Pel and Psl EPS, each of which have important roles in antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation and immune evasion. Given the central importance of the EPS for biofilms, they are attractive targets for novel anti-infective compounds. In this study we used a high throughput gene expression screen to identify compounds that repress expression of the pel genes. The pel repressors demonstrated antibiofilm activity against microplate and flow chamber biofilms formed by wild type and hyperbiofilm forming strains. To determine the potential role of EPS in virulence, mutants in pel/psl were shown to have reduced virulence in the feeding behavior and slow killing virulence assays in Caenorhabditis elegans The antibiofilm molecules also reduced P. aeruginosa PAO1 virulence in the nematode slow killing model. Importantly, the combination of antibiotics and antibiofilm compounds increased killing of P. aeruginosa biofilms. These small molecules represent a novel anti-infective strategy for the possible treatment of chronic P. aeruginosa infections.

  2. Small molecule activators of SIRT1 as therapeutics for the treatment of type 2 diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Milne, Jill C.; Lambert, Philip D.; Schenk, Simon; Carney, David P.; Smith, Jesse J.; Gagne, David J.; Jin, Lei; Boss, Olivier; Perni, Robert B.; Vu, Chi B.; Bemis, Jean E.; Xie, Roger; Disch, Jeremy S.; Ng, Pui Yee; Nunes, Joseph J.; Lynch, Amy V.; Yang, Hongying; Galonek, Heidi; Israelian, Kristine; Choy, Wendy; Iffland, Andre; Lavu, Siva; Medvedik, Oliver; Sinclair, David A.; Olefsky, Jerrold M.; Jirousek, Michael R.; Elliott, Peter J.; Westphal, Christoph H.

    2009-01-01

    Calorie restriction extends lifespan and produces a metabolic profile desirable for treating diseases of ageing such as type 2 diabetes1,2. SIRT1, an NAD+-dependent deacetylase, is a principal modulator of pathways downstream of calorie restriction that produce beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity3–9. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic SIRT1 activator, mimics the anti-ageing effects of calorie restriction in lower organisms and in mice fed a high-fat diet ameliorates insulin resistance, increases mitochondrial content, and prolongs survival10–14. Here we describe the identification and characterization of small molecule activators of SIRT1 that are structurally unrelated to, and 1,000-fold more potent than, resveratrol. These compounds bind to the SIRT1 enzyme—peptide substrate complex at an allosteric site amino-terminal to the catalytic domain and lower the Michaelis constant for acetylated substrates. In diet-induced obese and genetically obese mice, these compounds improve insulin sensitivity, lower plasma glucose, and increase mitochondrial capacity. In Zucker fa/fa rats, hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp studies demonstrate that SIRT1 activators improve whole-body glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and liver. Thus, SIRT1 activation is a promising new therapeutic approach for treating diseases of ageing such as type 2 diabetes. PMID:18046409

  3. A Pipeline for Screening Small Molecules with Growth Inhibitory Activity against Burkholderia cenocepacia

    PubMed Central

    Selin, Carrie; Stietz, Maria S.; Blanchard, Jan E.; Hall, Dennis G.; Brown, Eric D.; Cardona, Silvia T.

    2015-01-01

    Infections with the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) are very difficult to eradicate in cystic fibrosis patients due the intrinsic resistance of Bcc to most available antibiotics and the emergence of multiple antibiotic resistant strains during antibiotic treatment. In this work, we used a whole-cell based assay to screen a diverse collection of small molecules for growth inhibitors of a relevant strain of Bcc, B. cenocepacia K56-2. The primary screen used bacterial growth in 96-well plate format and identified 206 primary actives among 30,259 compounds. From 100 compounds with no previous record of antibacterial activity secondary screening and data mining selected a total of Bce bioactives that were further analyzed. An experimental pipeline, evaluating in vitro antibacterial and antibiofilm activity, toxicity and in vivo antibacterial activity using C. elegans was used for prioritizing compounds with better chances to be further investigated as potential Bcc antibacterial drugs. This high throughput screen, along with the in vitro and in vivo analysis highlights the utility of this experimental method to quickly identify bioactives as a starting point of antibacterial drug discovery. PMID:26053039

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Characterization of AQX-1125, a small-molecule SHIP1 activator

    PubMed Central

    Stenton, Grant R; Mackenzie, Patrick Tam, Lloyd F; Cross, Jennifer L; Harwig, Curtis; Raymond, Jeffrey; Toews, Judy; Wu, Joyce; Ogden, Nancy; MacRury, Thomas; Szabo, Csaba

    2013-01-01

    Background The SH2-containing inositol-5′-phosphatase 1 (SHIP1) metabolizes PI(3,4,5)P3 to PI(3,4)P2. SHIP1-deficient mice exhibit progressive inflammation. Pharmacological activation of SHIP1 is emerging as a potential therapy for pulmonary inflammatory diseases. Here we characterize the efficacy of AQX-1125, a small-molecule SHIP1 activator currently in clinical development. Experimental Approach The effects of AQX-1125 were tested in several in vitro assays: on enzyme catalytic activity utilizing recombinant human SHIP1, on Akt phosphorylation in SHIP1-proficient and SHIP1-deficient cell lines, on cytokine release in murine splenocytes, on human leukocyte chemotaxis using modified Boyden chambers and on β-hexosaminidase release from murine mast cells. In addition, pharmacokinetic and drug distribution studies were performed in rats and dogs. Results AQX-1125 increased the catalytic activity of human recombinant SHIP1, an effect, which was absent after deletion of the C2 region. AQX-1125 inhibited Akt phosphorylation in SHIP1-proficient but not in SHIP1-deficient cells, reduced cytokine production in splenocytes, inhibited the activation of mast cells and inhibited human leukocyte chemotaxis. In vivo, AQX-1125 exhibited >80% oral bioavailability and >5 h terminal half-life. Conclusions Consistent with the role of SHIP1 in cell activation and chemotaxis, the SHIP1 activator AQX-1125 inhibits Akt phosphorylation, inflammatory mediator production and leukocyte chemotaxis in vitro. The in vitro effects and the pharmacokinetic properties of the compound make it a suitable candidate for in vivo testing in various models of inflammation. Linked Article This article is accompanied by Stenton et al., pp. 1519–1529 of this issue. To view this article visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.12038 PMID:23121445

  6. Crystallographic structure of a small molecule SIRT1 activator-enzyme complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Han; Case, April W.; Riera, Thomas V.; Considine, Thomas; Lee, Jessica E.; Hamuro, Yoshitomo; Zhao, Huizhen; Jiang, Yong; Sweitzer, Sharon M.; Pietrak, Beth; Schwartz, Benjamin; Blum, Charles A.; Disch, Jeremy S.; Caldwell, Richard; Szczepankiewicz, Bruce; Oalmann, Christopher; Yee Ng, Pui; White, Brian H.; Casaubon, Rebecca; Narayan, Radha; Koppetsch, Karsten; Bourbonais, Francis; Wu, Bo; Wang, Junfeng; Qian, Dongming; Jiang, Fan; Mao, Cheney; Wang, Minghui; Hu, Erding; Wu, Joe C.; Perni, Robert B.; Vlasuk, George P.; Ellis, James L.

    2015-07-01

    SIRT1, the founding member of the mammalian family of seven NAD+-dependent sirtuins, is composed of 747 amino acids forming a catalytic domain and extended N- and C-terminal regions. We report the design and characterization of an engineered human SIRT1 construct (mini-hSIRT1) containing the minimal structural elements required for lysine deacetylation and catalytic activation by small molecule sirtuin-activating compounds (STACs). Using this construct, we solved the crystal structure of a mini-hSIRT1-STAC complex, which revealed the STAC-binding site within the N-terminal domain of hSIRT1. Together with hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) and site-directed mutagenesis using full-length hSIRT1, these data establish a specific STAC-binding site and identify key intermolecular interactions with hSIRT1. The determination of the interface governing the binding of STACs with human SIRT1 facilitates greater understanding of STAC activation of this enzyme, which holds significant promise as a therapeutic target for multiple human diseases.

  7. Crystallographic structure of a small molecule SIRT1 activator-enzyme complex

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Han; Case, April W.; Riera, Thomas V.; Considine, Thomas; Lee, Jessica E.; Hamuro, Yoshitomo; Zhao, Huizhen; Jiang, Yong; Sweitzer, Sharon M.; Pietrak, Beth; Schwartz, Benjamin; Blum, Charles A.; Disch, Jeremy S.; Caldwell, Richard; Szczepankiewicz, Bruce; Oalmann, Christopher; Yee Ng, Pui; White, Brian H.; Casaubon, Rebecca; Narayan, Radha; Koppetsch, Karsten; Bourbonais, Francis; Wu, Bo; Wang, Junfeng; Qian, Dongming; Jiang, Fan; Mao, Cheney; Wang, Minghui; Hu, Erding; Wu, Joe C.; Perni, Robert B.; Vlasuk, George P.; Ellis, James L.

    2015-01-01

    SIRT1, the founding member of the mammalian family of seven NAD+-dependent sirtuins, is composed of 747 amino acids forming a catalytic domain and extended N- and C-terminal regions. We report the design and characterization of an engineered human SIRT1 construct (mini-hSIRT1) containing the minimal structural elements required for lysine deacetylation and catalytic activation by small molecule sirtuin-activating compounds (STACs). Using this construct, we solved the crystal structure of a mini-hSIRT1-STAC complex, which revealed the STAC-binding site within the N-terminal domain of hSIRT1. Together with hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) and site-directed mutagenesis using full-length hSIRT1, these data establish a specific STAC-binding site and identify key intermolecular interactions with hSIRT1. The determination of the interface governing the binding of STACs with human SIRT1 facilitates greater understanding of STAC activation of this enzyme, which holds significant promise as a therapeutic target for multiple human diseases. PMID:26134520

  8. Small-Molecule Procaspase-3 Activation Sensitizes Cancer to Treatment with Diverse Chemotherapeutics

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Conventional chemotherapeutics remain essential treatments for most cancers, but their combination with other anticancer drugs (including targeted therapeutics) is often complicated by unpredictable synergies and multiplicative toxicities. As cytotoxic anticancer chemotherapeutics generally function through induction of apoptosis, we hypothesized that a molecularly targeted small molecule capable of facilitating a central and defining step in the apoptotic cascade, the activation of procaspase-3 to caspase-3, would broadly and predictably enhance activity of cytotoxic drugs. Here we show that procaspase-activating compound 1 (PAC-1) enhances cancer cell death induced by 15 different FDA-approved chemotherapeutics, across many cancer types and chemotherapeutic targets. In particular, the promising combination of PAC-1 and doxorubicin induces a synergistic reduction in tumor burden and enhances survival in murine tumor models of osteosarcoma and lymphoma. This PAC-1/doxorubicin combination was evaluated in 10 pet dogs with naturally occurring metastatic osteosarcoma or lymphoma, eliciting a biologic response in 3 of 6 osteosarcoma patients and 4 of 4 lymphoma patients. Importantly, in both mice and dogs, coadministration of PAC-1 with doxorubicin resulted in no additional toxicity. On the basis of the mode of action of PAC-1 and the high expression of procaspase-3 in many cancers, these results suggest the combination of PAC-1 with cytotoxic anticancer drugs as a potent and general strategy to enhance therapeutic response. PMID:27610416

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Identification of an orally active small-molecule PTHR1 agonist for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism

    PubMed Central

    Tamura, Tatsuya; Noda, Hiroshi; Joyashiki, Eri; Hoshino, Maiko; Watanabe, Tomoyuki; Kinosaki, Masahiko; Nishimura, Yoshikazu; Esaki, Tohru; Ogawa, Kotaro; Miyake, Taiji; Arai, Shinichi; Shimizu, Masaru; Kitamura, Hidetomo; Sato, Haruhiko; Kawabe, Yoshiki

    2016-01-01

    Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is essential for calcium homeostasis and its action is mediated by the PTH type 1 receptor (PTHR1), a class B G-protein-coupled receptor. Hypoparathyroidism and osteoporosis can be treated with PTH injections; however, no orally effective PTH analogue is available. Here we show that PCO371 is a novel, orally active small molecule that acts as a full agonist of PTHR1. PCO371 does not affect the PTH type 2 receptor (PTHR2), and analysis using PTHR1–PTHR2 chimeric receptors indicated that Proline 415 of PTHR1 is critical for PCO371-mediated PTHR1 activation. Oral administration of PCO371 to osteopenic rats provokes a significant increase in bone turnover with limited increase in bone mass. In hypocalcemic rats, PCO371 restores serum calcium levels without increasing urinary calcium, and with stronger and longer-lasting effects than PTH injections. These results strongly suggest that PCO371 can provide a new treatment option for PTH-related disorders, including hypoparathyroidism. PMID:27857062

  12. Inhibiting NF-κB Activation by Small Molecules As a Therapeutic Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Subash C; Sundaram, Chitra; Reuter, Simone; Aggarwal, Bharat B

    2010-01-01

    Because nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a ubiquitously expressed proinflammatory transcription factor that regulates the expression of over 500 genes involved in cellular transformation, survival, proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis, metastasis, and inflammation, the NF-κB signaling pathway has become a potential target for pharmacological intervention. A wide variety of agents can activate NF-κB through canonical and noncanonical pathways. Canonical pathway involves various steps including the phosphorylation, ubiquitnation, and degradation of the inhibitor of NF-κB (IκBα), which leads to the nuclear translocation of the p50- p65 subunits of NF-κB followed by p65 phosphorylation, acetylation and methylation, DNA binding, and gene transcription. Thus, agents that can inhibit protein kinases, protein phosphatases, proteasomes, ubiquitnation, acetylation, methylation, and DNA binding steps have been identified as NF-κB inhibitors. Here, we review the small molecules that suppress NF-κB activation and thus may have therapeutic potential. PMID:20493977

  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. Copyright© Ferrata Storti Foundation.

  14. Small Molecules Target Carcinogenic Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gradinaru, Claudiu

    2009-03-01

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

  15. Small molecule SIRT1 activators for the treatment of aging and age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Basil P.; Sinclair, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in mice have identified single molecules that can delay multiple diseases of aging and extend lifespan. In theory, such molecules could prevent dozens of diseases simultaneously, significantly extending healthy years of life. In this review we discuss recent advances, controversies, opportunities, and challenges surrounding the development of SIRT1 activators, molecules with the potential to delay aging and age-related diseases. Sirtuins comprise a family of NAD+-dependent deacylases that are central to the body’s response to diet and exercise. New studies indicate that both natural and synthetic sirtuin activating compounds (STACs) work via a common allosteric mechanism to stimulate sirtuin activity, thereby conferring broad health benefits in rodents, primates, and possibly humans. The fact that the two-thirds of people in the USA who consume multiple dietary supplements consume resveratrol, a SIRT1 activator, underscores the importance of understanding the biochemical mechanism, physiological effects, and safety of STACs. PMID:24439680

  16. Alkyne-tag Raman imaging of bio-active small molecules in live cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ando, Jun; Palonpon, Almar F.; Yamakoshi, Hiroyuki; Dodo, Kosuke; Kawata, Satoshi; Sodeoka, Mikiko; Fujita, Katsumasa

    2015-12-01

    Raman microscopy is useful for molecular imaging and analysis of biological specimens. Here, we used alkyne containing a carbon-carbon triple bond as a Raman tag for observing small molecules in live cells. Alkyne tags can maintain original properties of target molecules with providing high chemical specificity owing to its distinct peak in a Raman-silent window of biomolecules. For demonstrations, alkyne-tagged thymidine and coenzyme Q analogue in live cells were visualized with high-spatial resolution. We extended the application of alkyne-tag imaging to visualize cell organelles and specific lipid components in artificial monolayer membranes.

  17. Anticancer activity of a novel small molecule tubulin inhibitor STK899704

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kyung Ho; Choi, Tae Woong; Lee, Yongjun; Park, Chan-Mi; Thimmegowda, Naraganahalli R.; Lee, Phil Young; Shwetha, Bettaswamigowda; Srinivasrao, Ganipisetti; Pham, Thi Thu Huong; Jang, Jae-Hyuk; Yum, Hye-Won; Surh, Young-Joon; Lee, Kyung S.; Park, Hwangseo; Kim, Seung Jun; Kwon, Yong Tae; Ahn, Jong Seog; Kim, Bo Yeon

    2017-01-01

    We have identified the small molecule STK899704 as a structurally novel tubulin inhibitor. STK899704 suppressed the proliferation of cancer cell lines from various origins with IC50 values ranging from 0.2 to 1.0 μM. STK899704 prevented the polymerization of purified tubulin in vitro and also depolymerized microtubule in cultured cells leading to mitotic arrest, associated with increased Cdc25C phosphorylation and the accumulation of both cyclin B1 and polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1), and apoptosis. Unlike many anticancer drugs such as Taxol and doxorubicin, STK899704 effectively displayed antiproliferative activity against multidrug-resistant cancer cell lines. The proposed binding mode of STK899704 is at the interface between αβ-tubulin heterodimer overlapping with the colchicine-binding site. Our in vivo carcinogenesis model further showed that STK 899704 is potent in both the prevention and regression of tumors, remarkably reducing the number and volume of skin tumor by STK899704 treatment. Moreover, it was significant to note that the efficacy of STK899704 was surprisingly comparable to 5-fluorouracil, a widely used anticancer therapeutic. Thus, our results demonstrate the potential of STK899704 to be developed as an anticancer chemotherapeutic and an alternative candidate for existing therapies. PMID:28296906

  18. Small-molecule modulation of HDAC6 activity: The propitious therapeutic strategy to vanquish neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Ganai, Shabir Ahmad

    2017-02-08

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are epigenetic enzymes creating the transcriptionally inactive state of chromatin by erasing acetyl moiety from histone and non-histone substrates. HDAC6 modulates several biological pathways in dividing cells as well as in post-mitotic neurons, and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodegeneration. The distinct cellular functions and survival in these cells are reliant on HDAC6-mediated processes including intracellular trafficking, chaperone-mediated stress responses, anti-oxidation and protein degradation. Consequently, the interest in HDAC6 as a promising therapeutic target to tackle neurodegenerative disorders has escalated markedly over the last decade. Taking these grim facts into consideration the current article focuses on structural organization of HDAC6. Importantly, we discuss the general role of HDACs in cognition and neuronal death. Further, we describe the unique involvement of HDAC6 in eliminating protein aggregates, oxidative stress and mitochondrial transport. Moreover, the article rigorously details how the impaired activity of HDAC6 culminates in neurodegenerative complications like Alzheimer disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Lastly, we provide crystal clear view regarding the fascinating research areas which may lead to development of novel small-molecules for enhanced therapeutic benefit against these therapeutically arduous neurodegenerative maladies.

  19. Anticancer activity of a novel small molecule tubulin inhibitor STK899704.

    PubMed

    Sakchaisri, Krisada; Kim, Sun-Ok; Hwang, Joonsung; Soung, Nak Kyun; Lee, Kyung Ho; Choi, Tae Woong; Lee, Yongjun; Park, Chan-Mi; Thimmegowda, Naraganahalli R; Lee, Phil Young; Shwetha, Bettaswamigowda; Srinivasrao, Ganipisetti; Pham, Thi Thu Huong; Jang, Jae-Hyuk; Yum, Hye-Won; Surh, Young-Joon; Lee, Kyung S; Park, Hwangseo; Kim, Seung Jun; Kwon, Yong Tae; Ahn, Jong Seog; Kim, Bo Yeon

    2017-01-01

    We have identified the small molecule STK899704 as a structurally novel tubulin inhibitor. STK899704 suppressed the proliferation of cancer cell lines from various origins with IC50 values ranging from 0.2 to 1.0 μM. STK899704 prevented the polymerization of purified tubulin in vitro and also depolymerized microtubule in cultured cells leading to mitotic arrest, associated with increased Cdc25C phosphorylation and the accumulation of both cyclin B1 and polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1), and apoptosis. Unlike many anticancer drugs such as Taxol and doxorubicin, STK899704 effectively displayed antiproliferative activity against multidrug-resistant cancer cell lines. The proposed binding mode of STK899704 is at the interface between αβ-tubulin heterodimer overlapping with the colchicine-binding site. Our in vivo carcinogenesis model further showed that STK 899704 is potent in both the prevention and regression of tumors, remarkably reducing the number and volume of skin tumor by STK899704 treatment. Moreover, it was significant to note that the efficacy of STK899704 was surprisingly comparable to 5-fluorouracil, a widely used anticancer therapeutic. Thus, our results demonstrate the potential of STK899704 to be developed as an anticancer chemotherapeutic and an alternative candidate for existing therapies.

  20. Small-molecule MAPK inhibitors restore radioiodine incorporation in mouse thyroid cancers with conditional BRAF activation

    PubMed Central

    Chakravarty, Debyani; Santos, Elmer; Ryder, Mabel; Knauf, Jeffrey A.; Liao, Xiao-Hui; West, Brian L.; Bollag, Gideon; Kolesnick, Richard; Thin, Tin Htwe; Rosen, Neal; Zanzonico, Pat; Larson, Steven M.; Refetoff, Samuel; Ghossein, Ronald; Fagin, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Advanced human thyroid cancers, particularly those that are refractory to treatment with radioiodine (RAI), have a high prevalence of BRAF (v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1) mutations. However, the degree to which these cancers are dependent on BRAF expression is still unclear. To address this question, we generated mice expressing one of the most commonly detected BRAF mutations in human papillary thyroid carcinomas (BRAFV600E) in thyroid follicular cells in a doxycycline-inducible (dox-inducible) manner. Upon dox induction of BRAFV600E, the mice developed highly penetrant and poorly differentiated thyroid tumors. Discontinuation of dox extinguished BRAFV600E expression and reestablished thyroid follicular architecture and normal thyroid histology. Switching on BRAFV600E rapidly induced hypothyroidism and virtually abolished thyroid-specific gene expression and RAI incorporation, all of which were restored to near basal levels upon discontinuation of dox. Treatment of mice with these cancers with small molecule inhibitors of either MEK or mutant BRAF reduced their proliferative index and partially restored thyroid-specific gene expression. Strikingly, treatment with the MAPK pathway inhibitors rendered the tumor cells susceptible to a therapeutic dose of RAI. Our data show that thyroid tumors carrying BRAFV600E mutations are exquisitely dependent on the oncoprotein for viability and that genetic or pharmacological inhibition of its expression or activity is associated with tumor regression and restoration of RAI uptake in vivo in mice. These findings have potentially significant clinical ramifications. PMID:22105174

  1. Antiviral Activity of a Small Molecule Deubiquitinase Inhibitor Occurs via Induction of the Unfolded Protein Response

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Jeffrey W.; Ahmed, Mohammad; Chang, Kyeong-Ok; Donato, Nicholas J.; Showalter, Hollis D.; Wobus, Christiane E.

    2012-01-01

    Ubiquitin (Ub) is a vital regulatory component in various cellular processes, including cellular responses to viral infection. As obligate intracellular pathogens, viruses have the capacity to manipulate the ubiquitin (Ub) cycle to their advantage by encoding Ub-modifying proteins including deubiquitinases (DUBs). However, how cellular DUBs modulate specific viral infections, such as norovirus, is poorly understood. To examine the role of DUBs during norovirus infection, we used WP1130, a small molecule inhibitor of a subset of cellular DUBs. Replication of murine norovirus in murine macrophages and the human norovirus Norwalk virus in a replicon system were significantly inhibited by WP1130. Chemical proteomics identified the cellular DUB USP14 as a target of WP1130 in murine macrophages, and pharmacologic inhibition or siRNA-mediated knockdown of USP14 inhibited murine norovirus infection. USP14 is a proteasome-associated DUB that also binds to inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1), a critical mediator of the unfolded protein response (UPR). WP1130 treatment of murine macrophages did not alter proteasome activity but activated the X-box binding protein-1 (XBP-1) through an IRE1-dependent mechanism. In addition, WP1130 treatment or induction of the UPR also reduced infection of other RNA viruses including encephalomyocarditis virus, Sindbis virus, and La Crosse virus but not vesicular stomatitis virus. Pharmacologic inhibition of the IRE1 endonuclease activity partially rescued the antiviral effect of WP1130. Taken together, our studies support a model whereby induction of the UPR through cellular DUB inhibition blocks specific viral infections, and suggest that cellular DUBs and the UPR represent novel targets for future development of broad spectrum antiviral therapies. PMID:22792064

  2. Antiviral activity of a small molecule deubiquitinase inhibitor occurs via induction of the unfolded protein response.

    PubMed

    Perry, Jeffrey W; Ahmed, Mohammad; Chang, Kyeong-Ok; Donato, Nicholas J; Showalter, Hollis D; Wobus, Christiane E

    2012-01-01

    Ubiquitin (Ub) is a vital regulatory component in various cellular processes, including cellular responses to viral infection. As obligate intracellular pathogens, viruses have the capacity to manipulate the ubiquitin (Ub) cycle to their advantage by encoding Ub-modifying proteins including deubiquitinases (DUBs). However, how cellular DUBs modulate specific viral infections, such as norovirus, is poorly understood. To examine the role of DUBs during norovirus infection, we used WP1130, a small molecule inhibitor of a subset of cellular DUBs. Replication of murine norovirus in murine macrophages and the human norovirus Norwalk virus in a replicon system were significantly inhibited by WP1130. Chemical proteomics identified the cellular DUB USP14 as a target of WP1130 in murine macrophages, and pharmacologic inhibition or siRNA-mediated knockdown of USP14 inhibited murine norovirus infection. USP14 is a proteasome-associated DUB that also binds to inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1), a critical mediator of the unfolded protein response (UPR). WP1130 treatment of murine macrophages did not alter proteasome activity but activated the X-box binding protein-1 (XBP-1) through an IRE1-dependent mechanism. In addition, WP1130 treatment or induction of the UPR also reduced infection of other RNA viruses including encephalomyocarditis virus, Sindbis virus, and La Crosse virus but not vesicular stomatitis virus. Pharmacologic inhibition of the IRE1 endonuclease activity partially rescued the antiviral effect of WP1130. Taken together, our studies support a model whereby induction of the UPR through cellular DUB inhibition blocks specific viral infections, and suggest that cellular DUBs and the UPR represent novel targets for future development of broad spectrum antiviral therapies.

  3. Small Molecule Positive Allosteric Modulation of TRPV1 Activation by Vanilloids and Acidic pHS⃞

    PubMed Central

    Kaszas, Krisztian; Keller, Jason M.; Coddou, Claudio; Mishra, Santosh K.; Hoon, Mark A.; Stojilkovic, Stanko; Jacobson, Kenneth A.

    2012-01-01

    Transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) is a high-conductance, nonselective cation channel strongly expressed in nociceptive primary afferent neurons of the peripheral nervous system and functions as a multimodal nociceptor gated by temperatures greater than 43°C, protons, and small-molecule vanilloid ligands such as capsaicin. The ability to respond to heat, low pH, vanilloids, and endovanilloids and altered sensitivity and expression in experimental inflammatory and neuropathic pain models made TRPV1 a major target for the development of novel, nonopioid analgesics and resulted in the discovery of potent antagonists. In human clinical trials, observations of hyperthermia and the potential for thermal damage by suppressing the ability to sense noxious heat suggested that full-scale blockade of TRPV1 function can be counterproductive and subtler pharmacological approaches are necessary. Here we show that the dihydropyridine derivative 4,5-diethyl-3-(2-methoxyethylthio)-2-methyl-6-phenyl-1,4-(±)-dihydropyridine-3,5-dicarboxylate (MRS1477) behaves as a positive allosteric modulator of both proton and vanilloid activation of TRPV1. Under inflammatory-mimetic conditions of low pH (6.0) and protein kinase C phosphorylation, addition of MRS1477 further increased sensitivity of already sensitized TPRV1 toward capsaicin. MRS1477 does not affect inhibition by capsazepine or ruthenium red and remains effective in potentiating activation by pH in the presence of an orthosteric vanilloid antagonist. These results indicate a distinct site on TRPV1 for positive allosteric modulation that may bind endogenous compounds or novel pharmacological agents. Positive modulation of TRPV1 sensitivity suggests that it may be possible to produce a selective analgesia through calcium overload restricted to highly active nociceptive nerve endings at sites of tissue damage and inflammation. PMID:22005042

  4. Specific activation of the TLR1-TLR2 heterodimer by small-molecule agonists

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Kui; Gao, Meng; Godfroy, James I.; Brown, Peter N.; Kastelowitz, Noah; Yin, Hang

    2015-01-01

    Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists activate both the innate and the adaptive immune systems. These TLR agonists have been exploited as potent vaccine adjuvants and antitumor agents. We describe the identification and characterization of a small molecule, N-methyl-4-nitro-2-(4-(4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-1H-imidazol-1-yl)aniline (CU-T12-9), that directly targets TLR1/2 to initiate downstream signaling. CU-T12-9 specifically induces TLR1/2 activation, which can be blocked by either the anti-hTLR1 or the anti-hTLR2 antibody, but not the anti-hTLR6 antibody. Using a variety of different biophysical assays, we have demonstrated the binding mode of CU-T12-9. By binding to both TLR1 and TLR2, CU-T12-9 facilitates the TLR1/2 heterodimeric complex formation, which in turn activates the downstream signaling. Fluorescence anisotropy assays revealed competitive binding to the TLR1/2 complex between CU-T12-9 and Pam3CSK4 with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 54.4 nM. Finally, we showed that CU-T12-9 signals through nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and invokes an elevation of the downstream effectors tumor necrosis factor–α (TNF-α), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Thus, our studies not only provide compelling new insights into the regulation of TLR1/2 signaling transduction but also may facilitate future therapeutic developments. PMID:26101787

  5. Discovery of small molecule inhibitors of xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) activity by high-throughput screening

    PubMed Central

    Chormova, Dimitra; Franková, Lenka; Defries, Andrew; Cutler, Sean R.; Fry, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Small molecules (xenobiotics) that inhibit cell-wall-localised enzymes are valuable for elucidating the enzymes’ biological roles. We applied a high-throughput fluorescent dot-blot screen to search for inhibitors of Petroselinum xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) activity in vitro. Of 4216 xenobiotics tested, with cellulose-bound xyloglucan as donor-substrate, 18 inhibited XET activity and 18 promoted it (especially anthraquinones and flavonoids). No compounds promoted XET in quantitative assays with (cellulose-free) soluble xyloglucan as substrate, suggesting that promotion was dependent on enzyme–cellulose interactions. With cellulose-free xyloglucan as substrate, we found 22 XET-inhibitors – especially compounds that generate singlet oxygen (1O2) e.g., riboflavin (IC50 29 μM), retinoic acid, eosin (IC50 27 μM) and erythrosin (IC50 36 μM). The riboflavin effect was light-dependent, supporting 1O2 involvement. Other inhibitors included tannins, sulphydryl reagents and triphenylmethanes. Some inhibitors (vulpinic acid and brilliant blue G) were relatively specific to XET, affecting only two or three, respectively, of nine other wall-enzyme activities tested; others [e.g. (−)-epigallocatechin gallate and riboflavin] were non-specific. In vivo, out of eight XET-inhibitors bioassayed, erythrosin (1 μM) inhibited cell expansion in Rosa and Zea cell-suspension cultures, and 40 μM mycophenolic acid and (−)-epigallocatechin gallate inhibited Zea culture growth. Our work showcases a general high-throughput strategy for discovering wall-enzyme inhibitors, some being plant growth inhibitors potentially valuable as physiological tools or herbicide leads. PMID:26093490

  6. Discovery of small molecule inhibitors of xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) activity by high-throughput screening.

    PubMed

    Chormova, Dimitra; Franková, Lenka; Defries, Andrew; Cutler, Sean R; Fry, Stephen C

    2015-09-01

    Small molecules (xenobiotics) that inhibit cell-wall-localised enzymes are valuable for elucidating the enzymes' biological roles. We applied a high-throughput fluorescent dot-blot screen to search for inhibitors of Petroselinum xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XET) activity in vitro. Of 4216 xenobiotics tested, with cellulose-bound xyloglucan as donor-substrate, 18 inhibited XET activity and 18 promoted it (especially anthraquinones and flavonoids). No compounds promoted XET in quantitative assays with (cellulose-free) soluble xyloglucan as substrate, suggesting that promotion was dependent on enzyme-cellulose interactions. With cellulose-free xyloglucan as substrate, we found 22 XET-inhibitors - especially compounds that generate singlet oxygen ((1)O2) e.g., riboflavin (IC50 29 μM), retinoic acid, eosin (IC50 27 μM) and erythrosin (IC50 36 μM). The riboflavin effect was light-dependent, supporting (1)O2 involvement. Other inhibitors included tannins, sulphydryl reagents and triphenylmethanes. Some inhibitors (vulpinic acid and brilliant blue G) were relatively specific to XET, affecting only two or three, respectively, of nine other wall-enzyme activities tested; others [e.g. (-)-epigallocatechin gallate and riboflavin] were non-specific. In vivo, out of eight XET-inhibitors bioassayed, erythrosin (1 μM) inhibited cell expansion in Rosa and Zea cell-suspension cultures, and 40 μM mycophenolic acid and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate inhibited Zea culture growth. Our work showcases a general high-throughput strategy for discovering wall-enzyme inhibitors, some being plant growth inhibitors potentially valuable as physiological tools or herbicide leads.

  7. An Unbiased Cell Morphology–Based Screen for New, Biologically Active Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Masahiro; Bateman, Raynard; Rauh, Daniel; Vaisberg, Eugeni; Ramachandani, Shyam; Zhang, Chao; Hansen, Kirk C; Burlingame, Alma L; Trautman, Jay K; Adams, Cynthia L

    2005-01-01

    We have implemented an unbiased cell morphology–based screen to identify small-molecule modulators of cellular processes using the Cytometrix (TM) automated imaging and analysis system. This assay format provides unbiased analysis of morphological effects induced by small molecules by capturing phenotypic readouts of most known classes of pharmacological agents and has the potential to read out pathways for which little is known. Four human-cancer cell lines and one noncancerous primary cell type were treated with 107 small molecules comprising four different protein kinase–inhibitor scaffolds. Cellular phenotypes induced by each compound were quantified by multivariate statistical analysis of the morphology, staining intensity, and spatial attributes of the cellular nuclei, microtubules, and Golgi compartments. Principal component analysis was used to identify inhibitors of cellular components not targeted by known protein kinase inhibitors. Here we focus on a hydroxyl-substituted analog (hydroxy-PP) of the known Src-family kinase inhibitor PP2 because it induced cell-specific morphological features distinct from all known kinase inhibitors in the collection. We used affinity purification to identify a target of hydroxy-PP, carbonyl reductase 1 (CBR1), a short-chain dehydrogenase-reductase. We solved the X-ray crystal structure of the CBR1/hydroxy-PP complex to 1.24 Å resolution. Structure-based design of more potent and selective CBR1 inhibitors provided probes for analyzing the biological function of CBR1 in A549 cells. These studies revealed a previously unknown function for CBR1 in serum-withdrawal-induced apoptosis. Further studies indicate CBR1 inhibitors may enhance the effectiveness of anticancer anthracyclines. Morphology-based screening of diverse cancer cell types has provided a method for discovering potent new small-molecule probes for cell biological studies and anticancer drug candidates. PMID:15799708

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-16

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

  10. CCI-007, a novel small molecule with cytotoxic activity against infant leukemia with MLL rearrangements

    PubMed Central

    Middlemiss, Shiloh M.C.; Wen, Victoria W.; Clifton, Molly; Kwek, Alan; Liu, Bing; Mayoh, Chelsea; Bongers, Angelika; Karsa, Mawar; Pan, Sukey; Cruikshank, Sarah; Scandlyn, Marissa; Hoang, Wendi; Imamura, Toshihiko; Kees, Ursula R.; Gudkov, Andrei V.; Chernova, Olga B.

    2016-01-01

    There is an urgent need for the development of less toxic, more selective and targeted therapies for infants with leukemia characterized by translocation of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene. In this study, we performed a cell-based small molecule library screen on an infant MLL-rearranged (MLL-r) cell line, PER-485, in order to identify selective inhibitors for MLL-r leukemia. After screening initial hits for a cytotoxic effect against a panel of 30 cell lines including MLL-r and MLL wild-type (MLL-wt) leukemia, solid tumours and control cells, small molecule CCI-007 was identified as a compound that selectively and significantly decreased the viability of a subset of MLL-r and related leukemia cell lines with CALM-AF10 and SET-NUP214 translocation. CCI-007 induced a rapid caspase-dependent apoptosis with mitochondrial depolarization within twenty-four hours of treatment. CCI-007 altered the characteristic MLL-r gene expression signature in sensitive cells with downregulation of the expression of HOXA9, MEIS1, CMYC and BCL2, important drivers in MLL-r leukemia, within a few hours of treatment. MLL-r leukemia cells that were resistant to the compound were characterised by significantly higher baseline gene expression levels of MEIS1 and BCL2 in comparison to CCI-007 sensitive MLL-r leukemia cells. In conclusion, we have identified CCI-007 as a novel small molecule that displays rapid toxicity towards a subset of MLL-r, CALM-AF10 and SET-NUP214 leukemia cell lines. Our findings suggest an important new avenue in the development of targeted therapies for these deadly diseases and indicate that different therapeutic strategies might be needed for different subtypes of MLL-r leukemia. PMID:27317766

  11. Recent advances in small organic molecules as DNA intercalating agents: synthesis, activity, and modeling.

    PubMed

    Rescifina, Antonio; Zagni, Chiara; Varrica, Maria Giulia; Pistarà, Venerando; Corsaro, Antonino

    2014-03-03

    The interaction of small molecules with DNA plays an essential role in many biological processes. As DNA is often the target for majority of anticancer and antibiotic drugs, study about the interaction of drug and DNA has a key role in pharmacology. Moreover, understanding the interactions of small molecules with DNA is of prime significance in the rational design of more powerful and selective anticancer agents. Two of the most important and promising targets in cancer chemotherapy include DNA alkylating agents and DNA intercalators. For these last the DNA recognition is a critical step in their anti-tumor action and the intercalation is not only one kind of the interactions in DNA recognition but also a pivotal step of several clinically used anti-tumor drugs such as anthracyclines, acridines and anthraquinones. To push clinical cancer therapy, the discovery of new DNA intercalators has been considered a practical approach and a number of intercalators have been recently reported. The intercalative binding properties of such molecules can also be harnessed as diagnostic probes for DNA structure in addition to DNA-directed therapeutics. Moreover, the problem of intercalation site formation in the undistorted B-DNA of different length and sequence is matter of tremendous importance in molecular modeling studies and, nowadays, three models of DNA intercalation targets have been proposed that account for the binding features of intercalators. Finally, despite DNA being an important target for several drugs, most of the docking programs are validated only for proteins and their ligands. Therefore, a default protocol to identify DNA binding modes which uses a modified canonical DNA as receptor is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  12. Genome-Scale Architecture of Small Molecule Regulatory Networks and the Fundamental Trade-Off between Regulation and Enzymatic Activity.

    PubMed

    Reznik, Ed; Christodoulou, Dimitris; Goldford, Joshua E; Briars, Emma; Sauer, Uwe; Segrè, Daniel; Noor, Elad

    2017-09-12

    Metabolic flux is in part regulated by endogenous small molecules that modulate the catalytic activity of an enzyme, e.g., allosteric inhibition. In contrast to transcriptional regulation of enzymes, technical limitations have hindered the production of a genome-scale atlas of small molecule-enzyme regulatory interactions. Here, we develop a framework leveraging the vast, but fragmented, biochemical literature to reconstruct and analyze the small molecule regulatory network (SMRN) of the model organism Escherichia coli, including the primary metabolite regulators and enzyme targets. Using metabolic control analysis, we prove a fundamental trade-off between regulation and enzymatic activity, and we combine it with metabolomic measurements and the SMRN to make inferences on the sensitivity of enzymes to their regulators. Generalizing the analysis to other organisms, we identify highly conserved regulatory interactions across evolutionarily divergent species, further emphasizing a critical role for small molecule interactions in the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Characterization of the biological activity of a potent small molecule Hec1 inhibitor TAI-1

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hec1 (NDC80) is an integral part of the kinetochore and is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers, making it an attractive molecular target for the design of novel anticancer therapeutics. A highly potent first-in-class compound targeting Hec1, TAI-1, was identified and is characterized in this study to determine its potential as an anticancer agent for clinical utility. Methods The in vitro potency, cancer cell specificity, synergy activity, and markers for response of TAI-1 were evaluated with cell lines. Mechanism of action was confirmed with western blotting and immunofluorescent staining. The in vivo potency of TAI-1 was evaluated in three xenograft models in mice. Preliminary toxicity was evaluated in mice. Specificity to the target was tested with a kinase panel. Cardiac safety was evaluated with hERG assay. Clinical correlation was performed with human gene database. Results TAI-1 showed strong potency across a broad spectrum of tumor cells. TAI-1 disrupted Hec1-Nek2 protein interaction, led to Nek2 degradation, induced significant chromosomal misalignment in metaphase, and induced apoptotic cell death. TAI-1 was effective orally in in vivo animal models of triple negative breast cancer, colon cancer and liver cancer. Preliminary toxicity shows no effect on the body weights, organ weights, and blood indices at efficacious doses. TAI-1 shows high specificity to cancer cells and to target and had no effect on the cardiac channel hERG. TAI-1 is synergistic with doxorubicin, topotecan and paclitaxel in leukemia, breast and liver cancer cells. Sensitivity to TAI-1 was associated with the status of RB and P53 gene. Knockdown of RB and P53 in cancer cells increased sensitivity to TAI-1. Hec1-overexpressing molecular subtypes of human lung cancer were identified. Conclusions The excellent potency, safety and synergistic profiles of this potent first-in-class Hec1-targeted small molecule TAI-1 show its potential for clinically utility in anti

  14. Small Molecules-Big Data.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-17

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

  15. Exploring biology with small organic molecules.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, Brent R

    2004-12-16

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

  16. Exploring biology with small organic molecules

    PubMed Central

    Stockwell, Brent R.

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Eact, a small molecule activator of TMEM16A, activates TRPV1 and elicits pain‐ and itch‐related behaviours

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shenbin; Feng, Jing; Luo, Jialie; Yang, Pu; Brett, Thomas J

    2016-01-01

    Background and Purpose TMEM16A, also known as anoctamin 1 channel, is a member of the Ca2 +‐activated chloride channels family and serves as a heat sensor in the primary nociceptors. Eact is a recently discovered small molecule activator of the TMEM16A channel. Here, we asked if Eact produces pain‐ and itch‐related responses in vivo and investigated the cellular and molecular basis of Eact‐elicited responses in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. Experimental Approach We employed behavioural testing combined with pharmacological inhibition and genetic ablation approaches to identify transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) as the prominent mediator for Eact‐evoked itch‐ or pain‐related responses. We investigated the effects of Eact on TRPV1 and TMEM16A channels expressed in HEK293T cells and in DRG neurons isolated from wild type and Trpv1 −/− mice using Ca2 + imaging and patch‐clamp recordings. We also used site‐directed mutagenesis to determine the molecular basis of Eact activation of TRPV1. Key Results Administration of Eact elicited both itch‐ and pain‐related behaviours. Unexpectedly, the Eact‐elicited behavioural responses were dependent on the function of TRPV1, as shown by pharmacological inhibition and genetic ablation studies. Eact activated membrane currents and increased intracellular free Ca2 + in both TRPV1‐expressing HEK293T cells and isolated DRG neurons in a TRPV1‐dependent manner. Eact activation of the TRPV1 channel was severely attenuated by mutations disrupting the capsaicin‐binding sites. Conclusions and Implications Our results suggest that Eact activates primary sensory nociceptors and produces both pain and itch responses mainly through direct activation of TRPV1 channels. PMID:26756551

  19. Eact, a small molecule activator of TMEM16A, activates TRPV1 and elicits pain- and itch-related behaviours.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shenbin; Feng, Jing; Luo, Jialie; Yang, Pu; Brett, Thomas J; Hu, Hongzhen

    2016-04-01

    TMEM16A, also known as anoctamin 1 channel, is a member of the Ca(2+)-activated chloride channels family and serves as a heat sensor in the primary nociceptors. Eact is a recently discovered small molecule activator of the TMEM16A channel. Here, we asked if Eact produces pain- and itch-related responses in vivo and investigated the cellular and molecular basis of Eact-elicited responses in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. We employed behavioural testing combined with pharmacological inhibition and genetic ablation approaches to identify transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) as the prominent mediator for Eact-evoked itch- or pain-related responses. We investigated the effects of Eact on TRPV1 and TMEM16A channels expressed in HEK293T cells and in DRG neurons isolated from wild type and Trpv1(-/-) mice using Ca(2+) imaging and patch-clamp recordings. We also used site-directed mutagenesis to determine the molecular basis of Eact activation of TRPV1. Administration of Eact elicited both itch- and pain-related behaviours. Unexpectedly, the Eact-elicited behavioural responses were dependent on the function of TRPV1, as shown by pharmacological inhibition and genetic ablation studies. Eact activated membrane currents and increased intracellular free Ca(2+) in both TRPV1-expressing HEK293T cells and isolated DRG neurons in a TRPV1-dependent manner. Eact activation of the TRPV1 channel was severely attenuated by mutations disrupting the capsaicin-binding sites. Our results suggest that Eact activates primary sensory nociceptors and produces both pain and itch responses mainly through direct activation of TRPV1 channels. © 2016 The British Pharmacological Society.

  20. Small-molecule inhibition and activation-loop trans-phosphorylation of the IGF1 receptor

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jinhua; Li, Wanqing; Craddock, Barbara P; Foreman, Kenneth W; Mulvihill, Mark J; Ji, Qun-sheng; Miller, W Todd; Hubbard, Stevan R

    2008-01-01

    The insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that has a critical role in mitogenic signalling during embryogenesis and an antiapoptotic role in the survival and progression of many human tumours. Here, we present the crystal structure of the tyrosine kinase domain of IGF1R (IGF1RK), in its unphosphorylated state, in complex with a novel compound, cis-3-[3-(4-methyl-piperazin-l-yl)-cyclobutyl]-1-(2-phenyl-quinolin-7-yl)-imidazo[1,5-a]pyrazin-8-ylamine (PQIP), which we show is a potent inhibitor of both the unphosphorylated (basal) and phosphorylated (activated) states of the kinase. PQIP interacts with residues in the ATP-binding pocket and in the activation loop, which confers specificity for IGF1RK and the highly related insulin receptor (IR) kinase. In this crystal structure, the IGF1RK active site is occupied by Tyr1135 from the activation loop of an symmetry (two-fold)-related molecule. This dimeric arrangement affords, for the first time, a visualization of the initial trans-phosphorylation event in the activation loop of an RTK, and provides a molecular rationale for a naturally occurring mutation in the activation loop of the IR that causes type II diabetes mellitus. PMID:18566589

  1. Small-Molecule Inhibition and Activation-Loop Trans-Phosphorylation of the IGF1 Receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Wu,J.; Li, W.; Craddock, B.; Foreman, K.; Mulvihill, M.; Ji, Q.; Miller, W.; Hubbard, S.

    2008-01-01

    The insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) that has a critical role in mitogenic signalling during embryogenesis and an antiapoptotic role in the survival and progression of many human tumours. Here, we present the crystal structure of the tyrosine kinase domain of IGF1R (IGF1RK), in its unphosphorylated state, in complex with a novel compound, cis-3-[3-(4-methyl-piperazin-l-yl)-cyclobutyl]-1-(2-phenyl-quinolin-7-yl)-imidazo[1, 5-a]pyrazin-8-ylamine (PQIP), which we show is a potent inhibitor of both the unphosphorylated (basal) and phosphorylated (activated) states of the kinase. PQIP interacts with residues in the ATP-binding pocket and in the activation loop, which confers specificity for IGF1RK and the highly related insulin receptor (IR) kinase. In this crystal structure, the IGF1RK active site is occupied by Tyr1135 from the activation loop of an symmetry (two-fold)-related molecule. This dimeric arrangement affords, for the first time, a visualization of the initial trans-phosphorylation event in the activation loop of an RTK, and provides a molecular rationale for a naturally occurring mutation in the activation loop of the IR that causes type II diabetes mellitus.

  2. Activation of Pim Kinases Is Sufficient to Promote Resistance to MET Small Molecule Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    An, Ningfei; Xiong, Ying; LaRue, Amanda C.; Kraft, Andrew S.; Cen, Bo

    2015-01-01

    MET blockade offers a new targeted therapy particularly in those cancers with MET amplification. However, the efficacy and the duration of the response to MET inhibitors are limited by the emergence of drug resistance. Here we report that resistance to small molecule inhibitors of MET can arise from increased expression of the pro-survival Pim protein kinases. This resistance mechanism was documented in non-small cell lung cancer and gastric cancer cells with MET amplification. Inhibition of Pim kinases enhanced cell death triggered by short-term treatment with MET inhibitors. Pim kinases control the translation of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 at an internal ribosome entry site and this mechanism was identified as the basis for Pim-mediated resistance to MET inhibitors. Protein synthesis was increased in drug-resistant cells, secondary to a Pim-mediated increase in cap-independent translation. In cells rendered drug resistant by chronic treatment with MET inhibitors, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of Pim kinases was sufficient to restore sensitivity in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our results rationalize Pim inhibition as a strategy to augment responses and blunt acquired resistance to MET inhibitors in cancer. PMID:26670562

  3. Small Molecule CXCR3 Antagonists.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Stephen P; Cox, Rhona J

    2016-04-14

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

  4. Endoplasmic reticulum stress-independent activation of unfolded protein response kinases by a small molecule ATP-mimic

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, Aaron S; Alfaro, Jennifer; Morales-Soto, Marisol A; Dar, Arvin C; McCullagh, Emma; Gotthardt, Katja; Li, Han; Acosta-Alvear, Diego; Sidrauski, Carmela; Korennykh, Alexei V; Bernales, Sebastian; Shokat, Kevan M; Walter, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Two ER membrane-resident transmembrane kinases, IRE1 and PERK, function as stress sensors in the unfolded protein response. IRE1 also has an endoribonuclease activity, which initiates a non-conventional mRNA splicing reaction, while PERK phosphorylates eIF2α. We engineered a potent small molecule, IPA, that binds to IRE1's ATP-binding pocket and predisposes the kinase domain to oligomerization, activating its RNase. IPA also inhibits PERK but, paradoxically, activates it at low concentrations, resulting in a bell-shaped activation profile. We reconstituted IPA-activation of PERK-mediated eIF2α phosphorylation from purified components. We estimate that under conditions of maximal activation less than 15% of PERK molecules in the reaction are occupied by IPA. We propose that IPA binding biases the PERK kinase towards its active conformation, which trans-activates apo-PERK molecules. The mechanism by which partial occupancy with an inhibitor can activate kinases may be wide-spread and carries major implications for design and therapeutic application of kinase inhibitors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05434.001 PMID:25986605

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-29

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

  6. Lecithin:Cholesterol Acyltransferase Activation by Sulfhydryl-Reactive Small Molecules: Role of Cysteine-31

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Lita A.; Demosky, Stephen J.; Konaklieva, Monika; Kuskovsky, Rostislav; Aponte, Angel; Ossoli, Alice F.; Gordon, Scott M.; Koby, Ross F.; Manthei, Kelly A.; Shen, Min; Vaisman, Boris L.; Shamburek, Robert D.; Jadhav, Ajit; Calabresi, Laura; Gucek, Marjan; Tesmer, John J.G.; Levine, Rodney L.

    2017-01-01

    Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) catalyzes plasma cholesteryl ester formation and is defective in familial lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency (FLD), an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by low high-density lipoprotein, anemia, and renal disease. This study aimed to investigate the mechanism by which compound A [3-(5-(ethylthio)-1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-ylthio)pyrazine-2-carbonitrile], a small heterocyclic amine, activates LCAT. The effect of compound A on LCAT was tested in human plasma and with recombinant LCAT. Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance were used to determine compound A adduct formation with LCAT. Molecular modeling was performed to gain insight into the effects of compound A on LCAT structure and activity. Compound A increased LCAT activity in a subset (three of nine) of LCAT mutations to levels comparable to FLD heterozygotes. The site-directed mutation LCAT-Cys31Gly prevented activation by compound A. Substitution of Cys31 with charged residues (Glu, Arg, and Lys) decreased LCAT activity, whereas bulky hydrophobic groups (Trp, Leu, Phe, and Met) increased activity up to 3-fold (P < 0.005). Mass spectrometry of a tryptic digestion of LCAT incubated with compound A revealed a +103.017 m/z adduct on Cys31, consistent with the addition of a single hydrophobic cyanopyrazine ring. Molecular modeling identified potential interactions of compound A near Cys31 and structural changes correlating with enhanced activity. Functional groups important for LCAT activation by compound A were identified by testing compound A derivatives. Finally, sulfhydryl-reactive β-lactams were developed as a new class of LCAT activators. In conclusion, compound A activates LCAT, including some FLD mutations, by forming a hydrophobic adduct with Cys31, thus providing a mechanistic rationale for the design of future LCAT activators. PMID:28576974

  7. Sub-lethal activity of small molecules from natural sources and their synthetic derivatives against biofilm forming nosocomial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Villa, Federica; Villa, Stefania; Gelain, Arianna; Cappitelli, Francesca

    2013-01-01

    Nowadays, the patient safety is seriously jeopardized by the emergence and spread of nosocomial pathogens in the form of biofilm that is resistant to traditional and affordable antimicrobials. Although advances in organic synthesis have extended the lifetime of classic antibiotics through synthetic modifications, the search of innovative antibiofilm compounds from natural sources can provide new templates, novel targets and unique mechanisms that should have advantages over known antimicrobial agents. Testing sub-lethal concentrations of crude extracts and/or isolated compounds from plants and microorganisms is critical to acting on mechanisms subtler than the killing activity, e.g. those influencing the multicellular behavior, offering an elegant way to develop novel antimicrobial-free antibiofilm strategies. Herein we discussed the search and biological activity of small molecules from natural sources and their synthetic derivatives able to modulate biofilm genesis of nosocomial pathogens through non-microbicidal mechanisms (sub-lethal concentrations). The present work offers an overview about the approaches applied to the discovery of lead small molecules including a) conventional drug design methods like screening of chemical compounds obtained from nature and b) computer- aided drug design approaches. Finally, a classification (not exhaustive but representative) based on the natural origin of small molecules and their synthetic derivatives was reported. The information presented in this review should be of interest to a broad range of disciplines and represents an effort to summarize experimental research and advances in this field.

  8. Biological signaling by small inorganic molecules.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. A natural small molecule harmine inhibits angiogenesis and suppresses tumour growth through activation of p53 in endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Dai, Fujun; Chen, Yihua; Song, Yajuan; Huang, Li; Zhai, Dong; Dong, Yanmin; Lai, Li; Zhang, Tao; Li, Dali; Pang, Xiufeng; Liu, Mingyao; Yi, Zhengfang

    2012-01-01

    Activation of p53 effectively inhibits tumor angiogenesis that is necessary for tumor growth and metastasis. Reactivation of the p53 by small molecules has emerged as a promising new strategy for cancer therapy. Several classes of small-molecules that activate the p53 pathway have been discovered using various approaches. Here, we identified harmine (β-carboline alkaloid) as a novel activator of p53 signaling involved in inhibition of angiogenesis and tumor growth. Harmine induced p53 phosphorylation and disrupted the p53-MDM2 interaction. Harmine also prevented p53 degradation in the presence of cycloheximide and activated nuclear accumulation of p53 followed by increasing its transcriptional activity in endothelial cells. Moreover, harmine not only induced endothelial cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, but also suppressed endothelial cell migration and tube formation as well as induction of neovascularity in a mouse corneal micropocket assay. Finally, harmine inhibited tumor growth by reducing tumor angiogenesis, as demonstrated by a xenograft tumor model. Our results suggested a novel mechanism and bioactivity of harmine, which inhibited tumor growth by activating the p53 signaling pathway and blocking angiogenesis in endothelial cells.

  10. Structure-activity exploration of a small-molecule Lipid II inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Steven; Yu, Wenbo; Huang, Jing; Kwasny, Steven M; Chauhan, Jay; Opperman, Timothy J; MacKerell, Alexander D; de Leeuw, Erik P H

    2015-01-01

    We have recently identified low-molecular weight compounds that act as inhibitors of Lipid II, an essential precursor of bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. Lipid II comprises specialized lipid (bactoprenol) linked to a hydrophilic head group consisting of a peptidoglycan subunit (N-acetyl glucosamine [GlcNAc]-N-acetyl muramic acid [MurNAc] disaccharide coupled to a short pentapeptide moiety) via a pyrophosphate. One of our lead compounds, a diphenyl-trimethyl indolene pyrylium, termed BAS00127538, interacts with the MurNAc moiety and the isoprenyl tail of Lipid II. Here, we report on the structure-activity relationship of BAS00127538 derivatives obtained by in silico analyses and de novo chemical synthesis. Our results indicate that Lipid II binding and bacterial killing are related to three features: the diphenyl moiety, the indolene moiety, and the positive charge of the pyrylium. Replacement of the pyrylium moiety with an N-methyl pyridinium, which may have importance in stability of the molecule, did not alter Lipid II binding or antibacterial potency.

  11. Structure–activity exploration of a small-molecule Lipid II inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Steven; Yu, Wenbo; Huang, Jing; Kwasny, Steven M; Chauhan, Jay; Opperman, Timothy J; MacKerell, Alexander D; de Leeuw, Erik PH

    2015-01-01

    We have recently identified low-molecular weight compounds that act as inhibitors of Lipid II, an essential precursor of bacterial cell wall biosynthesis. Lipid II comprises specialized lipid (bactoprenol) linked to a hydrophilic head group consisting of a peptidoglycan subunit (N-acetyl glucosamine [GlcNAc]–N-acetyl muramic acid [MurNAc] disaccharide coupled to a short pentapeptide moiety) via a pyrophosphate. One of our lead compounds, a diphenyl-trimethyl indolene pyrylium, termed BAS00127538, interacts with the MurNAc moiety and the isoprenyl tail of Lipid II. Here, we report on the structure–activity relationship of BAS00127538 derivatives obtained by in silico analyses and de novo chemical synthesis. Our results indicate that Lipid II binding and bacterial killing are related to three features: the diphenyl moiety, the indolene moiety, and the positive charge of the pyrylium. Replacement of the pyrylium moiety with an N-methyl pyridinium, which may have importance in stability of the molecule, did not alter Lipid II binding or antibacterial potency. PMID:25987836

  12. Discovery of a small-molecule binder of the oncoprotein gankyrin that modulates gankyrin activity in the cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chattopadhyay, Anasuya; O’Connor, Cornelius J.; Zhang, Fengzhi; Galvagnion, Celine; Galloway, Warren R. J. D.; Tan, Yaw Sing; Stokes, Jamie E.; Rahman, Taufiq; Verma, Chandra; Spring, David R.; Itzhaki, Laura S.

    2016-04-01

    Gankyrin is an ankyrin-repeat oncoprotein whose overexpression has been implicated in the development of many cancer types. Elevated gankyrin levels are linked to aberrant cellular events including enhanced degradation of tumour suppressor protein p53, and inhibition of gankyrin activity has therefore been identified as an attractive anticancer strategy. Gankyrin interacts with several partner proteins, and a number of these protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are of relevance to cancer. Thus, molecules that bind the PPI interface of gankyrin and interrupt these interactions are of considerable interest. Herein, we report the discovery of a small molecule termed cjoc42 that is capable of binding to gankyrin. Cell-based experiments demonstrate that cjoc42 can inhibit gankyrin activity in a dose-dependent manner: cjoc42 prevents the decrease in p53 protein levels normally associated with high amounts of gankyrin, and it restores p53-dependent transcription and sensitivity to DNA damage. The results represent the first evidence that gankyrin is a “druggable” target with small molecules.

  13. Discovery of a small-molecule binder of the oncoprotein gankyrin that modulates gankyrin activity in the cell

    PubMed Central

    Chattopadhyay, Anasuya; O’Connor, Cornelius J.; Zhang, Fengzhi; Galvagnion, Celine; Galloway, Warren R. J. D.; Tan, Yaw Sing; Stokes, Jamie E.; Rahman, Taufiq; Verma, Chandra; Spring, David R.; Itzhaki, Laura S.

    2016-01-01

    Gankyrin is an ankyrin-repeat oncoprotein whose overexpression has been implicated in the development of many cancer types. Elevated gankyrin levels are linked to aberrant cellular events including enhanced degradation of tumour suppressor protein p53, and inhibition of gankyrin activity has therefore been identified as an attractive anticancer strategy. Gankyrin interacts with several partner proteins, and a number of these protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are of relevance to cancer. Thus, molecules that bind the PPI interface of gankyrin and interrupt these interactions are of considerable interest. Herein, we report the discovery of a small molecule termed cjoc42 that is capable of binding to gankyrin. Cell-based experiments demonstrate that cjoc42 can inhibit gankyrin activity in a dose-dependent manner: cjoc42 prevents the decrease in p53 protein levels normally associated with high amounts of gankyrin, and it restores p53-dependent transcription and sensitivity to DNA damage. The results represent the first evidence that gankyrin is a “druggable” target with small molecules. PMID:27046077

  14. An evaluation of small-molecule p53 activators as chemoprotectants ameliorating adverse effects of anticancer drugs in normal cells.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, Ingeborg M M; Rao, Bhavya; Sachweh, Marijke C C; Laín, Sonia

    2012-05-01

    Pharmacological activation of wild-type p53 has been found to protect normal cells in culture from cytotoxicity and nuclear aberrations caused by conventional cancer therapeutics. Hence, small-molecule p53 activators could have clinical benefits as chemoprotectants for cancer patients bearing p53-mutant tumors. We have evaluated 16 p53-based cyclotherapy regimes combining p53 activators tenovin-6, leptomycin B, nutlin-3 and low dose actinomycin D, with clinically utilized chemotherapeutic agents (S- and M-phase poisons), vinblastine, vinorelbine, cytosine arabinoside and gemcitabine. All the p53 activators induce reversible cell-cycle arrest in primary human fibroblasts and protect them from both S- and M-phase poisons. Furthermore, studies with p53-mutant cancer cell lines show that nutlin-3 and low dose actinomycin D do not affect the sensitivity of these cells to any of the chemotherapeutics tested. Thus, these two small molecules could be suitable choices for cyclotherapy regimes involving S- or M-phase poisons. In contrast, pre-incubation of p53-mutant cells with tenovin-6 or leptomycin B reduces the efficacy of vinca alkaloids, suggesting that these p53 activators could be effective as chemoprotectants if combined with S- but not M-phase poisons. Discrepancies were observed between the levels of protection detected immediately after treatment and following recovery in fresh medium. This highlights the need to assess both short- and long-term effects when evaluating compounds as potential chemoprotectants for cancer therapy.

  15. X-ray Absorption and Emission Study of Dioxygen Activation by a Small-Molecule Manganese Complex

    PubMed Central

    Rees, Julian A.; Martin-Diaconescu, Vlad; Kovacs, Julie A.; DeBeer, Serena

    2015-01-01

    Manganese K-edge X-ray absorption (XAS) and Kβ emission (XES) spectroscopies were used to investigate the factors contributing to O–O bond activation in a small-molecule system. The recent structural characterization of a metastable peroxo-bridged dimeric Mn(III)2 complex derived from dioxygen has provided the first opportunity to obtain X-ray spectroscopic data on this type of species. Ground state and time-dependent density functional theory calculations have provided further insight into the nature of the transitions in XAS pre-edge and valence-to-core (VtC) XES spectral regions. An experimentally validated electronic structure description has also enabled the determination of structural and electronic factors that govern peroxo bond activation, and have allowed us to propose both a rationale for the metastability of this unique compound, as well as potential future ligand designs which may further promote or inhibit O–O bond scission. Finally, we have explored the potential of VtC XES as an element-selective probe of both the coordination mode and degree of activation of peroxomanganese adducts. The comparison of these results to a recent VtC XES study of iron-mediated dintrogen activation helps to illustrate the factors that may determine the success of this spectroscopic method for future studies of small-molecule activation at transition metal sites. PMID:26061165

  16. Discovery of a Novel, Isothiazolonaphthoquinone-Based Small Molecule Activator of FOXO Nuclear-Cytoplasmic Shuttling

    PubMed Central

    Cautain, Bastien; Castillo, Francisco; Musso, Loana; Ferreira, Bibiana I.; de Pedro, Nuria; Rodriguez Quesada, Lorena; Machado, Susana; Vicente, Francisca; Dallavalle, Sabrina

    2016-01-01

    FOXO factors are tumour suppressor proteins commonly inactivated in human tumours by posttranslational modifications. Furthermore, genetic variation within the FOXO3a gene is consistently associated with human longevity. Therefore, the pharmacological activation of FOXO proteins is considered as an attractive therapeutic approach to treat cancer and age-related diseases. In order to identify agents capable of activating FOXOs, we tested a collection of small chemical compounds using image-based high content screening technology. Here, we report the discovery of LOM612 (compound 1a), a newly synthesized isothiazolonaphthoquinone as a potent FOXO relocator. Compound 1a induces nuclear translocation of a FOXO3a reporter protein as well as endogenous FOXO3a and FOXO1 in U2OS cells in a dose-dependent manner. This activity does not affect the subcellular localization of other cellular proteins including NFkB or inhibit CRM1-mediated nuclear export. Furthermore, compound 1a shows a potent antiproliferative effect in human cancer cell lines. PMID:27936162

  17. Proapoptotic and antiinvasive activity of Rac1 small molecule inhibitors on malignant glioma cells

    PubMed Central

    Cardama, Georgina A; Gonzalez, Nazareno; Ciarlantini, Matias; Gandolfi Donadío, Lucia; Comin, María Julieta; Alonso, Daniel F; Menna, Pablo Lorenzano; Gomez, Daniel E

    2014-01-01

    Malignant gliomas are characterized by an intrinsic ability to invade diffusely throughout the normal brain tissue. This feature contributes mainly to the failure of existing therapies. Deregulation of small GTPases signaling, in particular Rac1 activity, plays a key role in the invasive phenotype of gliomas. Here we report the effect of ZINC69391, a specific Rac1 inhibitor developed by our group, on human glioma cell lines LN229 and U-87 MG. ZINC69391 is able to interfere with the interaction of Rac1 with Dock180, a relevant Rac1 activator in glioma invasion, and to reduce Rac1-GTP levels. The kinase Pak1, a downstream effector of Dock180–Rac1 signaling, was also downregulated upon ZINC69391 treatment. ZINC69391 reduced cell proliferation, arrested cells in G1 phase, and triggered apoptosis in glioma cells. Importantly, ZINC69391 dramatically affected cell migration and invasion in vitro, interfering with actin cytoskeleton dynamics. We also evaluated the effect of analog 1A-116, a compound derived from ZINC69391 structure. 1A-116 showed an improved antiproliferative and antiinvasive activity on glioma cells. These findings encourage further preclinical testing in clinically relevant animal models. PMID:25378937

  18. Auxin biology revealed by small molecules.

    PubMed

    Ma, Qian; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-05-01

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

  19. Metagenomic small molecule discovery methods

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Activation of HIV-1 with Nanoparticle-Packaged Small-Molecule Protein Phosphatase-1-Targeting Compound

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kahli A.; Lin, Xionghao; Bolshakov, Oleg; Griffin, James; Niu, Xiaomei; Kovalskyy, Dmytro; Ivanov, Andrey; Jerebtsova, Marina; Taylor, Robert E.; Akala, Emmanuel; Nekhai, Sergei

    2015-01-01

    Complete eradication of HIV-1 infection is impeded by the existence of latent HIV-1 reservoirs in which the integrated HIV-1 provirus is transcriptionally inactive. Activation of HIV-1 transcription requires the viral Tat protein and host cell factors, including protein phosphatase-1 (PP1). We previously developed a library of small compounds that targeted PP1 and identified a compound, SMAPP1, which induced HIV-1 transcription. However, this compound has a limited bioavailability in vivo and may not be able to reach HIV-1-infected cells and induce HIV-1 transcription in patients. We packaged SMAPP1 in polymeric polyethylene glycol polymethyl methacrylate nanoparticles and analyzed its release and the effect on HIV-1 transcription in a cell culture. SMAPP1 was efficiently packaged in the nanoparticles and released during a 120-hr period. Treatment of the HIV-1-infected cells with the SMAPP1-loaded nanoparticles induced HIV-1 transcription. Thus, nanoparticles loaded with HIV-1-targeting compounds might be useful for future anti-HIV-1 therapeutics. PMID:26839837

  1. Affinity of Drugs and Small Biologically Active Molecules to Carbon Nanotubes: A Pharmacodynamics and Nanotoxicity Factor?

    PubMed Central

    Liu, John; Yang, Liu; Hopfinger, Anton J.

    2009-01-01

    The MM-PBSA MD method was used to estimate the affinity, as represented by log kb, of each of a variety of biologically active molecules to a carbon nanotube in an aqueous environment. These ligand-receptor binding simulations were calibrated by first estimating the log kb values for eight ligands to human serum albumin, HSA, whose log kb values have been observed. A validation linear correlation equation was established [R2 = 0.888 Q2 = 0.603] between the observed and estimated log kb values to HSA. This correlation equation was then used to re-scale all MM-PBSA MD log kb values using a carbon nanotube as the receptor. The log kb of the eight HSA ligands, nine polar and/or rigid ligands and six nonpolar and/or flexible ligands to a carbon nanotube were estimated. The range in re-scaled log kb values across this set of 23 ligands is 0.25 to 7.14, essentially seven orders of magnitude. Some ligands, like PGI2, bind in the log kb = 7 range which corresponds to the lower limits of known drugs. Thus, such significant levels of binding of biologically relevant compounds to carbon nanotubes might lead to alterations in the normal pharmacodynamic profiles of these compounds and be a source of toxicity. Ligand binding potency to a carbon nanotube is largely controlled by the shape, polarity/nonpolarity distribution and flexibility of the ligand. HSA ligands exhibit the most limited binding to a carbon nanotube, and they are relatively rigid and of generally spherical shape. Polar and/or rigid ligands bind less strongly to the carbon nanotube, on average, than nonpolar and/or flexible ligands even though the chosen members of both classes of ligands in this study have chain-like shapes that facilitate binding. The introduction of only a few strategically spaced single bonds in the polar and/or rigid ligands markedly increases their binding to a carbon nanotube. PMID:19281188

  2. Affinity of drugs and small biologically active molecules to carbon nanotubes: a pharmacodynamics and nanotoxicity factor?

    PubMed

    Liu, John; Yang, Liu; Hopfinger, Anton J

    2009-01-01

    The MM-PBSA MD method was used to estimate the affinity, as represented by log k(b), of each of a variety of biologically active molecules to a carbon nanotube in an aqueous environment. These ligand-receptor binding simulations were calibrated by first estimating the log k(b) values for eight ligands to human serum albumin, HSA, whose log k(b) values have been observed. A validation linear correlation equation was established [R(2) = 0.888, Q(2) = 0.603] between the observed and estimated log k(b) values to HSA. This correlation equation was then used to rescale all MM-PBSA MD log k(b) values using a carbon nanotube as the receptor. The log k(b) of the eight HSA ligands, nine polar and/or rigid ligands and six nonpolar and/or flexible ligands to a carbon nanotube were estimated. The range in rescaled log k(b) values across this set of 23 ligands is 0.25 to 7.14, essentially 7 orders of magnitude. Some ligands, like PGI2, bind in the log k(b) = 7 range which corresponds to the lower limits of known drugs. Thus, such significant levels of binding of biologically relevant compounds to carbon nanotubes might lead to alterations in the normal pharmacodynamic profiles of these compounds and be a source of toxicity. Ligand binding potency to a carbon nanotube is largely controlled by the shape, polarity/nonpolarity distribution and flexibility of the ligand. HSA ligands exhibit the most limited binding to a carbon nanotube, and they are relatively rigid and of generally spherical shape. Polar and/or rigid ligands bind less strongly to the carbon nanotube, on average, than nonpolar and/or flexible ligands even though the chosen members of both classes of ligands in this study have chainlike shapes that facilitate binding. The introduction of only a few strategically spaced single bonds in the polar and/or rigid ligands markedly increases their binding to a carbon nanotube.

  3. An Intramolecular Silylene Borane Capable of Facile Activation of Small Molecules, Including Metal-Free Dehydrogenation of Water.

    PubMed

    Mo, Zhenbo; Szilvási, Tibor; Zhou, Yu-Peng; Yao, Shenglai; Driess, Matthias

    2017-02-27

    The first single-component N-heterocyclic silylene borane 1 (LSi-R-BMes2 ; L=PhC(N(t) Bu)2 ; R=1,12-xanthendiyl spacer; Mes=2,4,6-Me3 C6 H2 ), acting as a frustrated Lewis pair (FLP) in small-molecule activation, can be synthesized in 65 % yields. Its HOMO is largely localized at the silicon(II) atom and the LUMO has mainly boron 2p character. In small-molecule activation 1 allows access to the intramolecular silanone-borane 3 featuring a Si=O→B interaction through reaction with O2 , N2 O, or CO2 , and formation of silanethione borane 4 from reaction with S8 . The Si(II) center in 1 undergoes immediate hydrogenation if exposed to H2 at 1 atm pressure in benzene, affording the silane borane 5-H2 , L(H2 )Si-R-BMes2 . Remarkably, no H2 activation occurs if the single silylene LSiPh and Mes3 B intermolecularly separated are exposed to dihydrogen. Unexpectedly, the pre-organized Si-B separation in 1 enables a metal-free dehydrogenation of H2 O to give the silanone-borane 3 as reactive intermediate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  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. Identification of Novel Small Molecule Activators of Nuclear Factor-κB With Neuroprotective Action Via High-Throughput Screening

    PubMed Central

    Manuvakhova, Marina S.; Johnson, Guyla G.; White, Misti C.; Ananthan, Subramaniam; Sosa, Melinda; Maddox, Clinton; McKellip, Sara; Rasmussen, Lynn; Wennerberg, Krister; Hobrath, Judith V.; White, E. Lucile; Maddry, Joseph A.; Grimaldi, Maurizio

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal noncytokine-dependent p50/p65 nuclear factor-κB (the primary NF-κB complex in the brain) activation has been shown to exert neuroprotective actions. Thus neuronal activation of NF-κB could represent a viable neuroprotective target. We have developed a cell-based assay able to detect NF-κB expression enhancement, and through its use we have identified small molecules able to up-regulate NF-κB expression and hence trigger its activation in neurons. We have successfully screened approximately 300,000 compounds and identified 1,647 active compounds. Cluster analysis of the structures within the hit population yielded 14 enriched chemical scaffolds. One high-potency and chemically attractive representative of each of these 14 scaffolds and four singleton structures were selected for follow-up. The experiments described here highlighted that seven compounds caused noncanonical long-lasting NF-κB activation in primary astrocytes. Molecular NF-κB docking experiments indicate that compounds could be modulating NF-κB-induced NF-κB expression via enhancement of NF-κB binding to its own promoter. Prototype compounds increased p65 expression in neurons and caused its nuclear translocation without affecting the inhibitor of NF-κB (I-κB). One of the prototypical compounds caused a large reduction of glutamate-induced neuronal death. In conclusion, we have provided evidence that we can use small molecules to activate p65 NF-κB expression in neurons in a cytokine receptor-independent manner, which results in both long-lasting p65 NF-κB translocation/activation and decreased glutamate neurotoxicity. PMID:21046675

  7. Lysine-Based Small Molecules That Disrupt Biofilms and Kill both Actively Growing Planktonic and Nondividing Stationary Phase Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Konai, Mohini M; Haldar, Jayanta

    2015-10-09

    The emergence of bacterial resistance is a major threat to global health. Alongside this issue, formation of bacterial biofilms is another cause of concern because most antibiotics are ineffective against these recalcitrant microbial communities. Ideal future antibacterial therapeutics should possess both antibacterial and anti-biofilm activities. In this study we engineered lysine-based small molecules, which showed not only commendable broad-spectrum antibacterial activity but also potent biofilm-disrupting properties. Synthesis of these lipophilic lysine-norspermidine conjugates was achieved in three simple reaction steps, and the resultant molecules displayed potent antibacterial activity against various Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) including drug-resistant superbugs MRSA (methicillin-resistant S. aureus), VRE (vancomycin-resistant E. faecium), and β-lactam-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. An optimized compound in the series showed activity against planktonic bacteria in the concentration range of 3-10 μg/mL, and bactericidal activity against stationary phase S. aureus was observed within an hour. The compound also displayed about 120-fold selectivity toward both classes of bacteria (S. aureus and E. coli) over human erythrocytes. This rapidly bactericidal compound primarily acts on bacteria by causing significant membrane depolarization and K(+) leakage. Most importantly, the compound disrupted preformed biofilms of S. aureus and did not trigger bacterial resistance. Therefore, this class of compounds has high potential to be developed as future antibacterial drugs for treating infections caused by planktonic bacteria as well as bacterial biofilms.

  8. Small-molecule inhibitor of USP7/HAUSP ubiquitin protease stabilizes and activates p53 in cells.

    PubMed

    Colland, Frédéric; Formstecher, Etienne; Jacq, Xavier; Reverdy, Céline; Planquette, Cécile; Conrath, Susan; Trouplin, Virginie; Bianchi, Julie; Aushev, Vasily N; Camonis, Jacques; Calabrese, Alessandra; Borg-Capra, Catherine; Sippl, Wolfgang; Collura, Vincent; Boissy, Guillaume; Rain, Jean-Christophe; Guedat, Philippe; Delansorne, Rémi; Daviet, Laurent

    2009-08-01

    Deregulation of the ubiquitin/proteasome system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many human diseases, including cancer. Ubiquitin-specific proteases (USP) are cysteine proteases involved in the deubiquitination of protein substrates. Functional connections between USP7 and essential viral proteins and oncogenic pathways, such as the p53/Mdm2 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B networks, strongly suggest that the targeting of USP7 with small-molecule inhibitors may be useful for the treatment of cancers and viral diseases. Using high-throughput screening, we have discovered HBX 41,108, a small-molecule compound that inhibits USP7 deubiquitinating activity with an IC(50) in the submicromolar range. Kinetics data indicate an uncompetitive reversible inhibition mechanism. HBX 41,108 was shown to affect USP7-mediated p53 deubiquitination in vitro and in cells. As RNA interference-mediated USP7 silencing in cancer cells, HBX 41,108 treatment stabilized p53, activated the transcription of a p53 target gene without inducing genotoxic stress, and inhibited cancer cell growth. Finally, HBX 41,108 induced p53-dependent apoptosis as shown in p53 wild-type and null isogenic cancer cell lines. We thus report the identification of the first lead-like inhibitor against USP7, providing a structural basis for the development of new anticancer drugs.

  9. Small Molecule Organic Optoelectronic Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakken, Nathan

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

  10. Anti-cancer small molecule JP-8g exhibits potent in vivo anti-inflammatory activity

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yulong; Liu, Jia; Sun, Tao; Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Yao, Jia; Kai, Ming; Jiang, Xianxing; Wang, Rui

    2014-01-01

    Spirooxindoles are a class of compounds with diverse biological activity. Previously, we identified a series of spirooxindole-pyranopyrimidine compounds that exhibited broad-spectrum anti-cancer activity. In this study, we evaluated one of these compounds, JP-8g, on mouse models and found that it showed potent in vivo anti-inflammatory activity. Further investigation suggested that JP-8g may execute its anti-inflammatory activity through nitric oxide synthase signaling pathways. Our results suggest that these spirooxindole-pyranopyrimidine class compounds have potential for not only cancer treatment but also inflammation therapy. PMID:24626153

  11. 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

  12. "Click" synthesis of small molecule probes for activity-based fingerprinting of matrix metalloproteases.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Uttamchandani, Mahesh; Li, Junqi; Hu, Mingyu; Yao, Shao Q

    2006-09-28

    By using "Click Chemistry", we achieved the facile synthesis of various affinity-based hydroxamate probes that enable generation of activity-based fingerprints of a variety of metalloproteases, including matrix metalloproteases (MMPs), in proteomics experiments.

  13. MS-1020 is a novel small molecule that selectively inhibits JAK3 activity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byung-Hak; Oh, Sei-Ryang; Yin, Chang-Hong; Lee, Sangku; Kim, Eun-Ah; Kim, Min-Seok; Sandoval, Claudio; Jayabose, Somasundaram; Bach, Erika A; Lee, Hyeong-Kyu; Baeg, Gyeong-Hun

    2010-01-01

    In order to identify Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) signalling inhibitors, a cell-based high throughput screening was performed using a plant extract library that identified Nb-(alpha-hydroxynaphthoyl)serotonin called MS-1020 as a novel JAK3 inhibitor. MS-1020 potently inhibited persistently-active STAT3 in a cell type-specific manner. Further examination showed that MS-1020 selectively blocked constitutively-active JAK3 and consistently suppressed interleukin-2-induced JAK3/STAT5 signalling but not prolactin-induced JAK2/STAT5 signalling. Furthermore, MS-1020 affected cell viability only in cancer cells harbouring persistently-active JAK3/STATs, and in vitro kinase assays showed MS-1020 binds directly with JAK3, blocking its catalytic activity. Therefore, the present study suggested that this reagent selectively inhibits JAK3 and subsequently leads to a block in STAT signalling. Finally, MS-1020 decreased cell survival by inducing apoptosis via down-regulation of anti-apoptotic gene expression. These results suggest that MS-1020 may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of cancers harbouring aberrant JAK3 signalling.

  14. Nrf2 and HSF-1 Pathway Activation via Hydroquinone-Based Proelectrophilic Small Molecules is Regulated by Electrochemical Oxidation Potential.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Takumi; Stalder, Romain; McKercher, Scott R; Williamson, Robert E; Roth, Gregory P; Lipton, Stuart A

    2015-01-01

    Activation of the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1/nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 and heat-shock protein 90/heat-shock factor-1 signal-transduction pathways plays a central role in combatting cellular oxidative damage and related endoplasmic reticulum stress. Electrophilic compounds have been shown to be activators of these transcription-mediated responses through S-alkylation of specific regulatory proteins. Previously, we reported that a prototype compound (D1, a small molecule representing a proelectrophilic, para-hydroquinone species) exhibited neuroprotective action by activating both of these pathways. We hypothesized that the para-hydroquinone moiety was critical for this activation because it enhanced transcription of these neuroprotective pathways to a greater degree than that of the corresponding ortho-hydroquinone isomer. This notion was based on the differential oxidation potentials of the isomers for the transformation of the hydroquinone to the active, electrophilic quinone species. Here, to further test this hypothesis, we synthesized a pair of para- and ortho-hydroquinone-based proelectrophilic compounds and measured their redox potentials using analytical cyclic voltammetry. The redox potential was then compared with functional biological activity, and the para-hydroquinones demonstrated a superior neuroprotective profile.

  15. Structure–Activity Relationship Studies of Indole-Based Compounds as Small Molecule HIV-1 Fusion Inhibitors Targeting Glycoprotein 41

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We previously described indole-containing compounds with the potential to inhibit HIV-1 fusion by targeting the hydrophobic pocket of transmembrane glycoprotein gp41. Here we report optimization and structure–activity relationship studies on the basic scaffold, defining the role of shape, contact surface area, and molecular properties. Thirty new compounds were evaluated in binding, cell–cell fusion, and viral replication assays. Below a 1 μM threshold, correlation between binding and biological activity was diminished, indicating an amphipathic requirement for activity in cells. The most active inhibitor 6j exhibited 0.6 μM binding affinity and 0.2 μM EC50 against cell–cell fusion and live virus replication and was active against T20 resistant strains. Twenty-two compounds with the same connectivity displayed a consensus pose in docking calculations, with rank order matching the biological activity. The work provides insight into requirements for small molecule inhibition of HIV-1 fusion and demonstrates a potent low molecular weight fusion inhibitor. PMID:24856833

  16. Modulation of Pantothenate Kinase 3 Activity by Small Molecules that Interact with the Substrate/Allosteric Regulatory Domain

    PubMed Central

    Leonardi, Roberta; Zhang, Yong-Mei; Yun, Mi-Kyung; Zhou, Ruobing; Zeng, Fu-Yue; Lin, Wenwei; Cui, Jimmy; Chen, Taosheng; Rock, Charles O.; White, Stephen W.; Jackowski, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Pantothenate kinase (PanK) catalyzes the rate-controlling step in coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. PanK3 is stringently regulated by acetyl-CoA and uses an ordered kinetic mechanism with ATP as the leading substrate. Biochemical analysis of site-directed mutants indicates that pantothenate binds in a tunnel adjacent to the active site that is occupied by the pantothenate moiety of the acetyl-CoA regulator in the PanK3•acetyl-CoA binary complex. A high-throughput screen for PanK3 inhibitors and activators was applied to a bioactive compound library. Thiazolidinediones, sulfonylureas and steroids were inhibitors, and fatty acyl-amides and tamoxifen were activators. The PanK3 activators and inhibitors either stimulated or repressed CoA biosynthesis in HepG2/C3A cells. The flexible allosteric acetyl-CoA regulatory domain of PanK3 also binds the substrates, pantothenate and pantetheine, and small molecule inhibitors and activators to modulate PanK3 activity. PMID:20797618

  17. Modulation of Pantothenate Kinase 3 Activity by Small Molecules that Interact with the Substrate/Allosteric Regulatory Domain

    SciTech Connect

    Leonardi, Roberta; Zhang, Yong-Mei; Yun, Mi-Kyung; Zhou, Ruobing; Zeng, Fu-Yue; Lin, Wenwei; Cui, Jimmy; Chen, Taosheng; Rock, Charles O.; White, Stephen W.; Jackowski, Suzanne

    2010-09-27

    Pantothenate kinase (PanK) catalyzes the rate-controlling step in coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. PanK3 is stringently regulated by acetyl-CoA and uses an ordered kinetic mechanism with ATP as the leading substrate. Biochemical analysis of site-directed mutants indicates that pantothenate binds in a tunnel adjacent to the active site that is occupied by the pantothenate moiety of the acetyl-CoA regulator in the PanK3 acetyl-CoA binary complex. A high-throughput screen for PanK3 inhibitors and activators was applied to a bioactive compound library. Thiazolidinediones, sulfonylureas and steroids were inhibitors, and fatty acyl-amides and tamoxifen were activators. The PanK3 activators and inhibitors either stimulated or repressed CoA biosynthesis in HepG2/C3A cells. The flexible allosteric acetyl-CoA regulatory domain of PanK3 also binds the substrates, pantothenate and pantetheine, and small molecule inhibitors and activators to modulate PanK3 activity.

  18. Small-molecule endothelin receptor antagonists: a review of patenting activity across therapeutic areas.

    PubMed

    Mucke, Hermann A M

    2009-06-01

    In the field of nonpeptide NCEs with endothelin receptor antagonist activity, a burst in corporate IP filings occurred in the 1990s once the human endothelin system had been characterized, but patent activity has declined in the past decade. Universities have not been active in this area of research to a degree that would have led to many patent applications. While three endothelin receptor antagonists (bosentan, sitaxentan and ambrisentan) are already available for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, the use of such compounds for the larger therapy areas of heart failure, cancer and nephropathy is still being evaluated in late-stage clinical trials. Marketed and advanced-stage endothelin receptor blockers have remarkably little chemical diversity; thus, the substantially larger chemical space defined by patenting remains to be explored.

  19. Approaches to capturing and designing biologically active small molecules produced by uncultured microbes.

    PubMed

    Piel, Jörn

    2011-01-01

    Bacteria are one of the most important sources of bioactive natural products for drug discovery. Yet, in most habitats only a small percentage of all existing prokaryotes is amenable to cultivation and chemical study. There is strong evidence that the uncultivated diversity represents an enormous resource of novel biosynthetic enzymes and secondary metabolites. In addition, many animal-derived drug candidates that are structurally characterized but difficult to access seem to be produced by uncultivated, symbiotic bacteria. This review provides an overview about established and emerging techniques for the investigation and exploitation of the environmental metabolome. These include metagenomic library construction and screening, heterologous expression, community sequencing, and single-cell methods. Such tools, the advantages and shortcomings of which are discussed, have just begun to reveal the full metabolic potential of free-living and symbiotic bacteria, providing exciting new avenues for natural product research and environmental microbiology.

  20. Cellular Activity of New Small Molecule Protein Arginine Deiminase 3 (PAD3) Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Jamali, Haya; Khan, Hasan A; Tjin, Caroline C; Ellman, Jonathan A

    2016-09-08

    The protein arginine deiminases (PADs) catalyze the post-translational deimination of arginine side chains. Multiple PAD isozymes have been characterized, and abnormal PAD activity has been associated with several human disease states. PAD3 has been characterized as a modulator of cell growth via apoptosis inducing factor and has been implicated in the neurodegenerative response to spinal cord injury. Here, we describe the design, synthesis, and evaluation of conformationally constrained versions of the potent and selective PAD3 inhibitor 2. The cell activity of representative inhibitors in this series was also demonstrated for the first time by rescue of thapsigargin-induced cell death in PAD3-expressing HEK293T cells.

  1. A High-Throughput Screen Reveals New Small-Molecule Activators and Inhibitors of Pantothenate Kinases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Pantothenate kinase (PanK) is a regulatory enzyme that controls coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. The association of PanK with neurodegeneration and diabetes suggests that chemical modifiers of PanK activity may be useful therapeutics. We performed a high throughput screen of >520000 compounds from the St. Jude compound library and identified new potent PanK inhibitors and activators with chemically tractable scaffolds. The HTS identified PanK inhibitors exemplified by the detailed characterization of a tricyclic compound (7) and a preliminary SAR. Biophysical studies reveal that the PanK inhibitor acts by binding to the ATP–enzyme complex. PMID:25569308

  2. MS-1020 is a novel small molecule that selectively inhibits JAK3 activity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Byung Hak; Oh, Sei-Ryang; Yin, Chang-Hong; Lee, Sangku; Kim, Eun-Ah; Kim, Min-Seok; Sandoval, Claudio; Jayabose, Somasundaram; Bach, Erika A.; Lee, Hyeong-Kyu; Baeg, Gyeong-Hun

    2011-01-01

    Summary To identify JAK/STAT signaling inhibitors, we performed a cell-based high throughput screening using a plant extract library and identified Nb-(α-hydroxynaphthoyl)serotonin called MS-1020 as a novel JAK3 inhibitor. MS-1020 potently inhibited persistently-active STAT3 in a cell type-specific manner. Upon further examination, we found that MS-1020 selectively blocks constitutively-active JAK3. MS-1020 consistently suppressed IL-2-induced JAK3/STAT5 signaling but not prolactin-induced JAK2/STAT5 signaling. Furthermore, MS-1020 affected cell viability only in cancer cells harboring persistently-active JAK3/STATs, and in vitro kinase assays showed MS-1020 binds directly with JAK3, blocking its catalytic activity. Therefore, our study suggested that this reagent selectively inhibits JAK3 and subsequently leads to a block in STAT signaling. Finally, we showed MS-1020 decreases cell survival by inducing apoptosis via down-regulating anti-apoptotic gene expression. Our study suggests that MS-1020 may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of cancers harboring aberrant JAK3 signaling. PMID:19793252

  3. Screening a Commercial Library of Pharmacologically Active Small Molecules against Staphylococcus aureus Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Torres, Nelson S.; Abercrombie, Johnathan J.; Srinivasan, Anand; Lopez-Ribot, Jose L.

    2016-01-01

    It is now well established that bacterial infections are often associated with biofilm phenotypes that demonstrate increased resistance to common antimicrobials. Further, due to the collective attrition of new antibiotic development programs by the pharmaceutical industries, drug repurposing is an attractive alternative. In this work, we screened 1,280 existing commercially available drugs in the Prestwick Chemical Library, some with previously unknown antimicrobial activity, against Staphylococcus aureus, one of the commonly encountered causative pathogens of burn and wound infections. From the primary screen of the entire Prestwick Chemical Library at a fixed concentration of 10 μM, 104 drugs were found to be effective against planktonic S. aureus strains, and not surprisingly, these were mostly antimicrobials and antiseptics. The activity of 18 selected repurposing candidates, that is, drugs that show antimicrobial activity that are not already considered antimicrobials, observed in the primary screen was confirmed in dose-response experiments. Finally, a subset of nine of these drug candidates was tested against preformed biofilms of S. aureus. We found that three of these drugs, niclosamide, carmofur, and auranofin, possessed antimicrobial activity against preformed biofilms, making them attractive candidates for repurposing as novel antibiofilm therapies. PMID:27401577

  4. WP1066, a small molecule inhibitor of the JAK/STAT3 pathway, inhibits ceramide glucosyltransferase activity.

    PubMed

    Tsurumaki, Hirotaka; Katano, Hikaru; Sato, Kousuke; Imai, Ryou; Niino, Satomi; Hirabayashi, Yoshio; Ichikawa, Shinichi

    2017-09-16

    WP1066 is a well-known inhibitor of the JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway. By a screen of known small molecule inhibitors of various enzymes and protein factors, we identified WP1066 as a ceramide glucosyltransferase inhibitor. Ceramide glucosyltransferase catalyzes the first glycosylation step during glycosphingolipid synthesis. We found that WP1066 inhibited the activity of ceramide glucosyltransferase with an IC50 of 7.2 μM, and that its action was independent of JAK/STAT3 pathway blockade. Moreover, the modes of inhibition of ceramide glucosyltransferase were uncompetitive with respect to both C6-NBD-cermide and UDP-glucose. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Small molecule non-peptide inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype E: Structure–activity relationship and a pharmacophore model

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Gyanendra; Agarwal, Rakhi; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2016-06-18

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most poisonous biological substance known to humans. They cause flaccid paralysis by blocking the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction. Here, we report a number of small molecule non-peptide inhibitors of BoNT serotype E. In addition, the structure–activity relationship and a pharmacophore model are presented. Although non-peptidic in nature, these inhibitors mimic key features of the uncleavable substrate peptide Arg-Ile-Met-Glu (RIME) of the SNAP-25 protein. Among the compounds tested, most of the potent inhibitors bear a zinc-chelating moiety connected to a hydrophobic and aromatic moiety through a carboxyl or amide linker. All of them show low micromolar IC50 values.

  6. Small molecule non-peptide inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype E: Structure–activity relationship and a pharmacophore model

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Gyanendra; Agarwal, Rakhi; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2016-06-18

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most poisonous biological substance known to humans. They cause flaccid paralysis by blocking the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction. Here, we report a number of small molecule non-peptide inhibitors of BoNT serotype E. In addition, the structure–activity relationship and a pharmacophore model are presented. Although non-peptidic in nature, these inhibitors mimic key features of the uncleavable substrate peptide Arg-Ile-Met-Glu (RIME) of the SNAP-25 protein. Among the compounds tested, most of the potent inhibitors bear a zinc-chelating moiety connected to a hydrophobic and aromatic moiety through a carboxyl or amide linker. All of them show low micromolar IC50 values.

  7. Small molecule non-peptide inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype E: Structure–activity relationship and a pharmacophore model

    DOE PAGES

    Kumar, Gyanendra; Agarwal, Rakhi; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2016-06-18

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most poisonous biological substance known to humans. They cause flaccid paralysis by blocking the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction. Here, we report a number of small molecule non-peptide inhibitors of BoNT serotype E. In addition, the structure–activity relationship and a pharmacophore model are presented. Although non-peptidic in nature, these inhibitors mimic key features of the uncleavable substrate peptide Arg-Ile-Met-Glu (RIME) of the SNAP-25 protein. Among the compounds tested, most of the potent inhibitors bear a zinc-chelating moiety connected to a hydrophobic and aromatic moiety through a carboxyl or amide linker. All of themmore » show low micromolar IC50 values.« less

  8. Cell-based assays to support the profiling of small molecules with histone methyltransferase and demethylase modulatory activity

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Natalia J.; Simeonov, Anton

    2015-01-01

    Histone methylation is a prevalent and dynamic chromatin modification, executed by the action of histone methyltransferases (HMTs) and demethylases (HDMs). Aberrant activity of many of these enzymes is associated with human disease, hence, there is a growing interest in identifying corresponding small molecule inhibitors with therapeutic potential. To date, most of the technologies supporting the identification of these inhibitors constitute in vitro biochemical assays which, although robust and sensitive, do not study HMTs and HDMs in their native cellular state nor provide information of inhibitor’s cell permeability and toxicity. The evident need for complementary cellular approaches has recently propelled the development of cell-based assays that enable screening of HMT and HDM enzymes in a more relevant environment. Here, we highlight current cellular methodologies for HMT and HDM drug discovery support. We anticipate that implementation of these cell-based assays will positively impact the discovery of pharmacologically potent HMT and HDM inhibitors. PMID:26723887

  9. Small molecule adenosine 5'-monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPK) modulators and human diseases.

    PubMed

    Rana, Sandeep; Blowers, Elizabeth C; Natarajan, Amarnath

    2015-01-08

    Adenosine 5'-monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a master sensor of cellular energy status that plays a key role in the regulation of whole-body energy homeostasis. AMPK is a serine/threonine kinase that is activated by upstream kinases LKB1, CaMKKβ, and Tak1, among others. AMPK exists as αβγ trimeric complexes that are allosterically regulated by AMP, ADP, and ATP. Dysregulation of AMPK has been implicated in a number of metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. Recent studies have associated roles of AMPK with the development of cancer and neurological disorders, making it a potential therapeutic target to treat human diseases. This review focuses on the structure and function of AMPK, its role in human diseases, and its direct substrates and provides a brief synopsis of key AMPK modulators and their relevance in human diseases.

  10. (-)-3-Isothujone, a small nonnitrogenous molecule with antinociceptive activity in mice.

    PubMed

    Rice, K C; Wilson, R S

    1976-08-01

    (-)-3-Isothujone and (+)-3-thujone were examined for antinociceptive activity using the hot-plate and Nilsen tests. In the hot plate test (-)-3-isothujone (ED50 = 6.5 mg/kg) was found to be codeine-like and equipotent with (-)-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol while the racemic material was essentially half as potent as the levoratatory isomer. (+)-3-Thujone was inactive in both antinociceptive tests as were several structural analogues of the 3-thujones. As with the THC's less antinociceptive activity was observed in the Nilsen test than in the hot-plate assay. Acute toxicities for the 3-thujones were determined and vastly improved synthetic procedures have been developed for two long-known but difficulty accessible 3-thujanols.

  11. Small-molecule FRET probes for protein kinase activity monitoring in living cells

    SciTech Connect

    Vaasa, Angela; Lust, Marje; Terrin, Anna; Uri, Asko; Zaccolo, Manuela

    2010-07-09

    In this study, the applicability of fluorescently labeled adenosine analogue-oligoarginine conjugates (ARC-Photo probes) for monitoring of protein kinase A (PKA) activity in living cells was demonstrated. ARC-Photo probes possessing subnanomolar affinity towards the catalytic subunit of PKA (PKAc) and competitive with the regulatory subunit (PKAr), penetrate cell plasma membrane and associate with PKAc fused with yellow fluorescent protein (PKAc-YFP). Detection of inter-molecular Foerster resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency between the fluorophores of the fusion protein and ARC-Photo probe can be used for both the evaluation of non-labeled inhibitors of PKAc and for monitoring of cAMP signaling via detection of changes in the activity of PKA as a cAMP downstream effector.

  12. Using a reverse genetics approach to investigate small-molecule activity.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Siamsa M; Robert, Stéphanie

    2014-01-01

    Chemical genomics is a highly effective approach for understanding complex and dynamic biological processes in plants. A chemical activity can be investigated by a reverse genetics strategy, for which a huge abundance and diversity of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants are readily available for exploitation. Here we present an approach to characterize a chemical of interest, as well as examples of studies demonstrating an effective combination of chemical genomics with reverse genetics strategies, drawn from recent literature on phytohormone signalling and auxin transport.

  13. Development of Small Molecules that Specifically Inhibit the D-loop Activity of RAD51.

    PubMed

    Lv, Wei; Budke, Brian; Pawlowski, Michal; Connell, Philip P; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2016-05-26

    RAD51 is the central protein in homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair and represents a therapeutic target in oncology. Herein we report a novel class of RAD51 inhibitors that were identified by high throughput screening. In contrast to many previously reported RAD51 inhibitors, our lead compound 1 is capable of blocking RAD51-mediated D-loop formation (IC50 21.3 ± 7.8 μM) at concentrations that do not influence RAD51 binding to ssDNA. In human cells, 1 inhibits HR (IC50 13.1 ± 1.6 μM) without blocking RAD51's ability to assemble into subnuclear foci at sites of DNA damage. We determined that the active constituent of 1 is actually an oxidized derivative (termed RI(dl)-1 or 8) of the original screening compound. Our SAR campaign also yielded RI(dl)-2 (hereafter termed 9h), which effectively blocks RAD51's D-loop activity in biochemical systems (IC50 11.1 ± 1.3 μM) and inhibits HR activity in human cells (IC50 3.0 ± 1.8 μM).

  14. Small-molecule arginase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Ivanenkov, Yan A; Chufarova, Nina V

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Anticancer Activity of Small Molecule and Nanoparticulate Arsenic(III) Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Swindell, Elden P.; Hankins, Patrick L.; Chen, Haimei; Miodragović, Ðenana U.; O'Halloran, Thomas V.

    2014-01-01

    Starting in ancient China and Greece, arsenic-containing compounds have been used in the treatment of disease for over 3000 years. They were used for a variety of diseases in the 20th century, including parasitic and sexually transmitted illnesses. A resurgence of interest in the therapeutic application of arsenicals has been driven by the discovery that low doses of a 1% aqueous solution of arsenic trioxide (i.e. arsenous acid) leads to complete remission of certain types of leukemia. Since FDA approval of arsenic trioxide (As2O3) for treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) in 2000, it has become a front line therapy in this indication. There are currently over 100 active clinical trials involving inorganic arsenic or organoarsenic compounds registered with the FDA for the treatment of cancers. New generations of inorganic and organometallic arsenic compounds with enhanced activity or targeted cytotoxicity are being developed to overcome some of the shortcomings of arsenic therapeutics, namely short plasma half-lives and narrow therapeutic window. PMID:24147771

  17. Small Molecule Inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Proteolytic Activation and Oligomerization

    PubMed Central

    Wein, Alexander N.; Williams, Brian N.; Liu, Shihui; Ermolinsky, Boris; Provenzano, Daniele; Abagyan, Ruben; Orry, Andrew; Leppla, Stephen H.; Peredelchuk, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA), lethal factor, and edema factor, the protein toxins of Bacillus anthracis, are among its most important virulence factors and play a key role in infection. We performed a virtual ligand screen of a library of 10,000 members to identify compounds predicted to bind to PA and prevent its oligomerization. Four of these compounds slowed PA association in a FRET-based oligomerization assay, and two of those protected cells from intoxication at concentrations of 1–10 μM. Exploration of the protective mechanism by Western blot showed decreased SDS-resistant PA oligomer on cells, and surprisingly, decreased amounts of activated PA. In vitro assays showed that one of the inhibitors blocked furin-mediated cleavage of PA, apparently through its binding to the PA substrate. Thus, we have identified inhibitors that can independently block both PA’s cleavage by furin and its subsequent oligomerization. Lead optimization on these two backbones may yield compounds with high activity and specificity for the anthrax toxins. PMID:22954387

  18. Small molecule inhibitors of ER α-glucosidases are active against multiple hemorrhagic fever viruses

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Jinhong; Warren, Travis K.; Zhao, Xuesen; Gill, Tina; Guo, Fang; Wang, Lijuan; Comunale, Mary Ann; Du, Yanming; Alonzi, Dominic S.; Yu, Wenquan; Ye, Hong; Liu, Fei; Guo, Ju-Tao; Mehta, Anand; Cuconati, Andrea; Butters, Terry D.; Bavari, Sina; Xu, Xiaodong; Block, Timothy M.

    2013-01-01

    Host cellular endoplasmic reticulum α-glucosidases I and II are essential for the maturation of viral glycosylated envelope proteins that use the calnexin mediated folding pathway. Inhibition of these glycan processing enzymes leads to the misfolding and degradation of these viral glycoproteins and subsequent reduction in virion secretion. We previously reported that, CM-10-18, an imino sugar α-glucosidase inhibitor, efficiently protected the lethality of dengue virus infection of mice. In the current study, through an extensive structure-activity relationship study, we have identified three CM-10-18 derivatives that demonstrated superior in vitro antiviral activity against representative viruses from four viral families causing hemorrhagic fever. Moreover, the three novel imino sugars significantly reduced the mortality of two of the most pathogenic hemorrhagic fever viruses, Marburg virus and Ebola virus, in mice. Our study thus proves the concept that imino sugars are promising drug candidates for the management of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by variety of viruses. PMID:23578725

  19. Constitutive activity of TRPML2 and TRPML3 channels versus activation by low extracellular sodium and small molecules.

    PubMed

    Grimm, Christian; Jörs, Simone; Guo, Zhaohua; Obukhov, Alexander G; Heller, Stefan

    2012-06-29

    The transient receptor potential channels TRPML2 and TRPML3 (MCOLN2 and MCOLN3) are nonselective cation channels. They are widely expressed in mammals. However, little is known about their physiological function(s) and activation mechanism(s). TRPML3 can be activated or rather de-inhibited by exposing it first to sodium-free extracellular solution and subsequently to high extracellular sodium. TRPML3 can also be activated by a variety of small chemical compounds identified in a high throughput screen and is inhibited by low pH. Furthermore, it was found that TRPML3 is constitutively active in low or no sodium-containing extracellular solution. This constitutive activity is independent of the intracellular presence of sodium, and whole-cell current densities are similar with pipette solutions containing cesium, potassium, or sodium. Here, we present mutagenesis data generated based on the hypothesis that negatively charged amino acids in the extracellular loops of TRPML3 may interfere with the observed sodium inhibition. We systematically mutated negatively charged amino acids in the first and second extracellular loops and found that mutating Glu-361 in the second loop has a significant impact on the sodium-mediated block of TRPML3. We further demonstrate that the TRPML3-related cation channel TRPML2 is also activated by lowering the extracellular sodium concentration as well as by a subset of small chemical compounds that were previously identified as activators of TRPML3, thus confirming the functional activity of TRPML2 at the plasma membrane and suggesting similar gating mechanisms for both TRPML channels.

  20. Discovery of a small molecule Tat-trans-activation-responsive RNA antagonist that potently inhibits human immunodeficiency virus-1 replication.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Seongwoo; Tamilarasu, Natarajan; Kibler, Karen; Cao, Hong; Ali, Akbar; Ping, Yueh-Hsin; Jeang, Kuan-Teh; Rana, Tariq M

    2003-10-03

    Antiretroviral therapy to treat AIDS uses molecules that target the reverse transcriptase and protease enzymes of human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1). A major problem associated with these treatments, however, is the emergence of drug-resistant strains. Thus, there is a compelling need to find drugs against other viral targets. One such target is the interaction between Tat, an HIV-1 regulatory protein essential for viral replication, and trans-activation-responsive (TAR) RNA. Here we describe the design and synthesis of an encoded combinatorial library containing 39,304 unnatural small molecules. Using a rapid high through-put screening technology, we identified 59 compounds. Structure-activity relationship studies led to the synthesis of 19 compounds that bind TAR RNA with high affinities. In the presence of a representative Tat-TAR inhibitor (5 microM TR87), we observed potent and sustained suppression of HIV replication in cultured cells over 24 days. The same concentration of this inhibitor did not exhibit any toxicity in cell cultures or in mice. TR87 was also shown to specifically disrupt Tat-TAR binding in vitro and inhibit Tat-mediated transcriptional activation in vitro and in vivo, providing a strong correlation between its activities and inhibition of HIV-1 replication. These results provide a structural scaffold for further development of new drugs, alone or in combination with other drugs, for treatment of HIV-1-infected individuals. Our results also suggest a general strategy for discovering pharmacophores targeting RNA structures that are essential in progression of other infectious, inflammatory, and genetic diseases.

  1. [The search of small molecules with antipsychotic activity on the background of neurotensin].

    PubMed

    Ostrovskaia, R U; Gudasheva, T A; Krupina, N A; Seredin, S B

    2012-01-01

    Tridecapeptide neurotensin (NT) is known to exert the neuroleptic-like effects in case of its intracerebral administration. The group of systemically active dipeptides , acylprolyltyrosines, was constructed on the background of NT. Methyl ester of N-caproyl-L-prolyl-L-tyrosine (Dilept) was chosen for further development. The paper is dealing with main principles of Dilept'design and with analysis of the experimental data concerning its effect on the "translational" model of schizophrenia--the deficit of prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle-reaction caused by either dopamine-mimetic, apomorphine, or by the uncompetitive NMDA-blocker, ketamine. Dilept was shown to attenuate these deficits both in case ofintraperitoneal and peroral administration. Dilept is considered as a potential antipsychotic.

  2. Probing Binding and Cellular Activity of Pyrrolidinone and Piperidinone Small Molecules Targeting the Urokinase Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Mani, Timmy; Liu, Degang; Zhou, Donghui; Li, Liwei; Knabe, William Eric; Wang, Fang; Oh, Kyungsoo; Meroueh, Samy O.

    2014-01-01

    The urokinase receptor (uPAR) is a cell-surface protein that is part of an intricate web of transient and tight protein interactions that promote cancer cell invasion and metastasis. Here we evaluate the binding and biological activity of a new class of pyrrolidinone (3) and piperidinone (4) compounds, along with derivatives of previously-identified pyrazole (1) and propylamine (2) compounds. Competition assays revealed that the compounds displaced a fluorescently-labeled peptide (AE147-FAM) with inhibition constant Ki ranging from 6 to 63 μM. Structure-based computational pharmacophore analysis followed by extensive explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations suggested pyrazole-based 1a and piperidinone-based 4 adopt different binding modes, despite their similar two-dimensional structures. In cells, compounds 1b and 1f showed significant inhibition of breast MDA-MB-231 and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell proliferation, but 4b exhibited no cytotoxicity even at concentrations of 100 μM. 1f impaired MDA-MB-231 invasion, adhesion, and migration in a concentration-dependent manner, while 4b inhibited only invasion. 1f inhibited gelatinase (MMP-9) activity in a concentration-dependent manner, while 4b showed no effect suggesting different mechanisms for inhibition of cell invasion. Signaling studies further highlighted these differences, showing that pyrazole compounds completely inhibited ERK phosphorylation and impaired HIF1α and NF-κB signaling, while pyrrolidinone and piperidinone (3 and 4b) had no effect. Annexin V staining suggested that the effect of pyrazole-based 1f on proliferation was due to cell killing through an apoptotic mechanism. PMID:24115356

  3. Screening for Active Small Molecules in Mitochondrial Complex I Deficient Patient's Fibroblasts, Reveals AICAR as the Most Beneficial Compound

    PubMed Central

    Weissman, Sarah; Link, Gabriela; Wikstrom, Jakob D.; Saada, Ann

    2011-01-01

    Congenital deficiency of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I (CI) is a common defect of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Despite major advances in the biochemical and molecular diagnostics and the deciphering of CI structure, function assembly and pathomechanism, there is currently no satisfactory cure for patients with mitochondrial complex I defects. Small molecules provide one feasible therapeutic option, however their use has not been systematically evaluated using a standardized experimental system. In order to evaluate potentially therapeutic compounds, we set up a relatively simple system measuring different parameters using only a small amount of patient's fibroblasts, in glucose free medium, where growth is highly OXPOS dependent. Ten different compounds were screened using fibroblasts derived from seven CI patients, harboring different mutations. 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribotide (AICAR) was found to be the most beneficial compound improving growth and ATP content while decreasing ROS production. AICAR also increased mitochondrial biogenesis without altering mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ). Fluorescence microscopy data supported increased mitochondrial biogenesis and activation of the AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK). Other compounds such as; bezafibrate and oltipraz were rated as favorable while polyphenolic phytochemicals (resverastrol, grape seed extract, genistein and epigallocatechin gallate) were found not significant or detrimental. Although the results have to be verified by more thorough investigation of additional OXPHOS parameters, preliminary rapid screening of potential therapeutic compounds in individual patient's fibroblasts could direct and advance personalized medical treatment. PMID:22046392

  4. In silico derived small molecules bind the filovirus VP35 protein and inhibit its polymerase co-factor activity

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Craig S.; Lee, Michael S.; Leung, Daisy W.; Wang, Tianjiao; Xu, Wei; Luthra, Priya; Anantpadma, Manu; Shabman, Reed S.; Melito, Lisa M.; MacMillan, Karen S.; Borek, Dominika M.; Otwinowski, Zbyszek; Ramanan, Parameshwaran; Stubbs, Alisha J.; Peterson, Dayna S.; Binning, Jennifer M.; Tonelli, Marco; Olson, Mark A.; Davey, Rob; Ready, Joseph M.; Basler, Christopher F.; Amarasinghe, Gaya K.

    2014-01-01

    The Ebola virus (EBOV) genome only encodes a single viral polypeptide with enzymatic activity, the viral Large (L) RNA-dependent RNA polymerase protein. However, currently there is limited information about L protein, which has hampered development of antivirals. Therefore, antifiloviral therapeutic efforts must include additional targets such as protein-protein interfaces (PPIs). Viral protein 35 (VP35) is multifunctional and plays important roles in viral pathogenesis, including viral mRNA synthesis and replication of the negative-sense RNA viral genome. Previous studies revealed that mutation of key basic residues within the VP35 interferon inhibitory domain (IID) results in significant EBOV attenuation, both in vitro and in vivo. In the current study, we use an experimental pipeline that includes structure-based in silico screening, biochemical and structural characterization, along with medicinal chemistry to identify and characterize small molecules that target a binding pocket within VP35. NMR mapping experiments and high resolution x-ray crystal structures show that select small molecules bind to a region of VP35 IID that is important for replication complex formation through interactions with the viral nucleoprotein (NP). We also tested select compounds for their ability to inhibit VP35 IID-NP interactions in vitro as well as VP35 function in a minigenome assay and EBOV replication. These results confirm the ability of compounds identified in this study to inhibit VP35-NP interactions in vitro and to impair viral replication in cell-based assays. These studies provide an initial framework to guide development of antifiloviral compounds against filoviral VP35 proteins. PMID:24495995

  5. Small molecule inhibition of PAX3-FOXO1 through AKT activation suppresses malignant phenotypes of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    Jothi, Mathivanan; Mal, Munmun; Keller, Charles; Mal, Asoke K.

    2013-01-01

    Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) comprises a rare highly malignant tumor presumed to be associated with skeletal muscle lineage in children. The hallmark of the majority of ARMS is a chromosomal translocation that generates the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein, which is an oncogenic transcription factor responsible for the development of the malignant phenotype of this tumor. ARMS cells are dependent to the oncogenic activity of PAX3-FOXO1 and its expression status in ARMS tumors correlates with worst patient outcome, suggesting that blocking this activity of PAX3-FOXO1 may be an attractive therapeutic strategy against this fusion-positive disease. In this study, we screened small-molecule chemical libraries for inhibitors of PAX3-FOXO1 transcriptional activity using a cell-based readout system. We identified the Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+-ATPases (SERCA) inhibitor thapsigargin as an effective inhibitor of PAX3-FOXO1. Subsequent experiments in ARMS cells demonstrated that activation of AKT by thapsigargin inhibited PAX3-FOXO1 activity via phosphorylation. Moreover, this AKT activation appears to be associated with the effects of thapsigargin on intracellular calcium levels. Furthermore, thapsigargin inhibited the binding of PAX3-FOXO1 to target genes and subsequently promoted its proteosomal degradation. In addition, thapsigargin treatment decreases the growth and invasive capacity of ARMS cells while inducing apoptosis in vitro. Finally, thapsigargin can suppress the growth of an ARMS xenograft tumor in vivo. These data reveal that thapsigargin-induced activation of AKT is an effective mechanism to inhibit PAX3-FOXO1 and a potential agent for targeted therapy against ARMS. PMID:24107448

  6. Targeting deubiquitinase activity with a novel small-molecule inhibitor as therapy for B-cell malignancies.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Luke F; Sun, Hanshi; Liu, Yihong; Potu, Harish; Kandarpa, Malathi; Ermann, Monika; Courtney, Stephen M; Young, Matthew; Showalter, Hollis D; Sun, Duxin; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Malek, Sami N; Talpaz, Moshe; Donato, Nicholas J

    2015-06-04

    Usp9x was recently shown to be highly expressed in myeloma patients with short progression-free survival and is proposed to enhance stability of the survival protein Mcl-1. In this study, we found that the partially selective Usp9x deubiquitinase inhibitor WP1130 induced apoptosis and reduced Mcl-1 protein levels. However, short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown (KD) of Usp9x in myeloma cells resulted in transient induction of apoptosis, followed by a sustained reduction in cell growth. A compensatory upregulation of Usp24, a deubiquitinase closely related to Usp9x, in Usp9x KD cells was noted. Direct Usp24 KD resulted in marked induction of myeloma cell death that was associated with a reduction of Mcl-1. Usp24 was found to sustain myeloma cell survival and Mcl-1 regulation in the absence of Usp9x. Both Usp9x and Usp24 were expressed and activated in primary myeloma cells whereas Usp24 protein overexpression was noted in some patients with drug-refractory myeloma and other B-cell malignancies. Furthermore, we improved the drug-like properties of WP1130 and demonstrated that the novel compound EOAI3402143 dose-dependently inhibited Usp9x and Usp24 activity, increased tumor cell apoptosis, and fully blocked or regressed myeloma tumors in mice. We conclude that small-molecule Usp9x/Usp24 inhibitors may have therapeutic activity in myeloma.

  7. Activation of MRTF-A-dependent gene expression with a small molecule promotes myofibroblast differentiation and wound healing.

    PubMed

    Velasquez, Lissette S; Sutherland, Lillian B; Liu, Zhenan; Grinnell, Frederick; Kamm, Kristine E; Schneider, Jay W; Olson, Eric N; Small, Eric M

    2013-10-15

    Myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTFs) regulate cellular contractility and motility by associating with serum response factor (SRF) and activating genes involved in cytoskeletal dynamics. We reported previously that MRTF-A contributes to pathological cardiac remodeling by promoting differentiation of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts following myocardial infarction. Here, we show that forced expression of MRTF-A in dermal fibroblasts stimulates contraction of a collagen matrix, whereas contractility of MRTF-A null fibroblasts is impaired under basal conditions and in response to TGF-β1 stimulation. We also identify an isoxazole ring-containing small molecule, previously shown to induce smooth muscle α-actin gene expression in cardiac progenitor cells, as an agonist of myofibroblast differentiation. Isoxazole stimulates myofibroblast differentiation via induction of MRTF-A-dependent gene expression. The MRTF-SRF signaling axis is activated in response to skin injury, and treatment of dermal wounds with isoxazole accelerates wound closure and suppresses the inflammatory response. These results reveal an important role for MRTF-SRF signaling in dermal myofibroblast differentiation and wound healing and suggest that targeting MRTFs pharmacologically may prove useful in treating diseases associated with inappropriate myofibroblast activity.

  8. A bioassay-guided fractionation system to identify endogenous small molecules that activate plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiuli; Yang, Yongqing; Wu, Yujiao; Liu, Xiaohui; Lei, Xiaoguang; Guo, Yan

    2017-05-17

    Plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase is essential for plant growth and development. Various environmental stimuli regulate its activity, a process that involves many protein cofactors. However, whether endogenous small molecules play a role in this regulation remains unknown. Here, we describe a bio-guided isolation method to identify endogenous small molecules that regulate PM H+-ATPase activity. We obtained crude extracts from Arabidopsis seedlings with or without salt treatment and then purified them into fractions based on polarity and molecular mass by repeated column chromatography. By evaluating the effect of each fraction on PM H+-ATPase activity, we found that fractions containing the endogenous, free unsaturated fatty acids oleic acid (C18:1), linoleic acid (C18:2), and linolenic acid (C18:3) extracted from salt-treated seedlings stimulate PM H+-ATPase activity. These results were further confirmed by the addition of exogenous C18:1, C18:2, or C18:3 in the activity assay. The ssi2 mutant, with reduced levels of C18:1, C18:2, and C18:3, displayed reduced PM H+-ATPase activity. Furthermore, C18:1, C18:2, and C18:3 directly bound to the C-terminus of the PM H+-ATPase AHA2. Collectively, our results demonstrate that the binding of free unsaturated fatty acids to the C-terminus of PM H+-ATPase is required for its activation under salt stress. The bio-guided isolation model described in this study could enable the identification of new endogenous small molecules that modulate essential protein functions, as well as signal transduction, in plants. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  9. Novel Irreversible Small Molecule Inhibitors of Replication Protein A Display Single Agent Activity and Synergize with Cisplatin

    PubMed Central

    Neher, Tracy M.; Bodenmiller, Diane; Fitch, Richard W.; Jalal, Shadia I.; Turchi, John J.

    2011-01-01

    Replication protein A (RPA) is a single-strand DNA-binding protein with essential roles in DNA replication, recombination and repair. RPA is necessary for the formation of the preincision complex which is required for proper incision of damaged DNA nucleotides during DNA repair. We have previously identified small molecule inhibitors (SMIs) with the ability to disrupt RPA binding activity to ssDNA. Further characterization of these RPA inhibitors was assessed using both lung and ovarian cancer cell lines. Lung cancer cell lines demonstrated increased apoptotic cell death following treatment with the SMI MCI13E, with IC50 values of ~5 μM. The A2780 ovarian cancer cell line and the p53-null lung cancer cell line H1299 were particularly sensitive to MCI13E treatment with IC50 values below 3 μM. Furthermore, a cell cycle effect was observed in lung cancer cell lines which resulted in a lengthening of either G1 or S-phases of the cell cycle following single agent treatment. Sequential treatment with MCI13E and cisplatin resulted in synergism. Overall these data suggest that decreasing RPA’s DNA binding activity via a SMI may disrupt RPA’s role in cell cycle regulation. Thus, RPA SMIs hold the potential to be used as single agent chemotherapeutics or in combination with current chemotherapeutic regimens to increase efficacy. PMID:21846830

  10. Water: a responsive small molecule.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-17

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

  11. Dynamics of Activated Molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Mullin, Amy S.

    2016-11-16

    Experimental studies have been performed to investigate the collisional energy transfer processes of gas-phase molecules that contain large amounts of internal energy. Such molecules are prototypes for molecules under high temperature conditions relevant in combustion and information about their energy transfer mechanisms is needed for a detailed understanding and modeling of the chemistry. We use high resolution transient IR absorption spectroscopy to measure the full, nascent product distributions for collisions of small bath molecules that relax highly vibrationally excited pyrazine molecules with E=38000 cm-1 of vibrational energy. To perform these studies, we developed new instrumentation based on modern IR light sources to expand our experimental capabilities to investigate new molecules as collision partners. This final report describes our research in four areas: the characterization of a new transient absorption spectrometer and the results of state-resolved collision studies of pyrazine(E) with HCl, methane and ammonia. Through this research we have gained fundamental new insights into the microscopic details of relatively large complex molecules at high energy as they undergo quenching collisions and redistribute their energy.

  12. Small Molecule Inhibition of RISC Loading

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. New Wind in Old Sails: Novel Applications of Triphos-based Transition Metal Complexes as Homogeneous Catalysts for Small Molecules and Renewables Activation.

    PubMed

    Mellone, Irene; Bertini, Federica; Gonsalvi, Luca; Guerriero, Antonella; Peruzzini, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in the coordination chemistry and applications of Ru-triphos [triphos = 1,1,1-tris-(diphenylphosphinomethyl)ethane] systems are reviewed, highlighting their role as active and selective homogenous catalysts for small molecule activation, biomass conversions and in carbon dioxide utilization-related processes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  16. A novel small-molecule inhibitor of influenza A virus acts by suppressing PA endonuclease activity of the viral polymerase

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Shuofeng; Chu, Hin; Singh, Kailash; Zhao, Hanjun; Zhang, Ke; Kao, Richard Y. T.; Chow, Billy K. C.; Zhou, Jie; Zheng, Bo-Jian

    2016-01-01

    The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of influenza A virus comprises conserved and independently-folded subdomains with defined functionalities. The N-terminal domain of the PA subunit (PAN) harbors the endonuclease function so that it can serve as a desired target for drug discovery. To identify a class of anti-influenza inhibitors that impedes PAN endonuclease activity, a screening approach that integrated the fluorescence resonance energy transfer based endonuclease inhibitory assay with the DNA gel-based endonuclease inhibitory assay was conducted, followed by the evaluation of antiviral efficacies and potential cytotoxicity of the primary hits in vitro and in vivo. A small-molecule compound ANA-0 was identified as a potent inhibitor against the replication of multiple subtypes of influenza A virus, including H1N1, H3N2, H5N1, H7N7, H7N9 and H9N2, in cell cultures. Combinational treatment of zanamivir and ANA-0 exerted synergistic anti-influenza effect in vitro. Intranasal administration of ANA-0 protected mice from lethal challenge and reduced lung viral loads in H1N1 virus infected BALB/c mice. In summary, ANA-0 shows potential to be developed to novel anti-influenza agents. PMID:26956222

  17. 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.

  18. Small-molecule p21-activated kinase inhibitor PF-3758309 is a potent inhibitor of oncogenic signaling and tumor growth

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Brion W.; Guo, Chuangxing; Piraino, Joseph; Westwick, John K.; Zhang, Cathy; Lamerdin, Jane; Dagostino, Eleanor; Knighton, Daniel; Loi, Cho-Ming; Zager, Michael; Kraynov, Eugenia; Popoff, Ian; Christensen, James G.; Martinez, Ricardo; Kephart, Susan E.; Marakovits, Joseph; Karlicek, Shannon; Bergqvist, Simon; Smeal, Tod

    2010-01-01

    Despite abundant evidence that aberrant Rho-family GTPase activation contributes to most steps of cancer initiation and progression, there is a dearth of inhibitors of their effectors (e.g., p21-activated kinases). Through high-throughput screening and structure-based design, we identify PF-3758309, a potent (Kd = 2.7 nM), ATP-competitive, pyrrolopyrazole inhibitor of PAK4. In cells, PF-3758309 inhibits phosphorylation of the PAK4 substrate GEF-H1 (IC50 = 1.3 nM) and anchorage-independent growth of a panel of tumor cell lines (IC50 = 4.7 ± 3 nM). The molecular underpinnings of PF-3758309 biological effects were characterized using an integration of traditional and emerging technologies. Crystallographic characterization of the PF-3758309/PAK4 complex defined determinants of potency and kinase selectivity. Global high-content cellular analysis confirms that PF-3758309 modulates known PAK4-dependent signaling nodes and identifies unexpected links to additional pathways (e.g., p53). In tumor models, PF-3758309 inhibits PAK4-dependent pathways in proteomic studies and regulates functional activities related to cell proliferation and survival. PF-3758309 blocks the growth of multiple human tumor xenografts, with a plasma EC50 value of 0.4 nM in the most sensitive model. This study defines PAK4-related pathways, provides additional support for PAK4 as a therapeutic target with a unique combination of functions (apoptotic, cytoskeletal, cell-cycle), and identifies a potent, orally available small-molecule PAK inhibitor with significant promise for the treatment of human cancers. PMID:20439741

  19. Treatment of experimental asthma using a single small molecule with anti-inflammatory and BK channel-activating properties

    PubMed Central

    Goldklang, Monica P.; Perez-Zoghbi, Jose F.; Trischler, Jordis; Nkyimbeng, Takwi; Zakharov, Sergey I.; Shiomi, Takayuki; Zelonina, Tina; Marks, Andrew R.; D'Armiento, Jeanine M.; Marx, Steven O.

    2013-01-01

    Large conductance voltage- and calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels are highly expressed in airway smooth muscle (ASM). Utilizing the ovalbumin (OVA) and house dust mite (HDM) models of asthma in C57BL/6 mice, we demonstrate that systemic administration of the BK channel agonist rottlerin (5 μg/g) during the challenge period reduced methacholine-induced airway hyperreactivity (AHR) in OVA- and HDM-sensitized mice (47% decrease in peak airway resistance in OVA-asthma animals, P<0.01; 54% decrease in HDM-asthma animals, P<0.01) with a 35–40% reduction in inflammatory cells and 20–35% reduction in Th2 cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Intravenous rottlerin (5 μg/g) reduced AHR within 5 min in the OVA-asthma mice by 45% (P<0.01). With the use of an ex vivo lung slice technique, rottlerin relaxed acetylcholine-stimulated murine airway lumen area to 87 ± 4% of the precontracted area (P<0.01 vs. DMSO control). Rottlerin increased BK channel activity in human ASM cells (V50 shifted by 73.5±13.5 and 71.8±14.6 mV in control and asthmatic cells, respectively, both P<0.05 as compared with pretreatment) and reduced the frequency of acetylcholine-induced Ca2+ oscillations in murine ex vivo lung slices. These findings suggest that rottlerin, with both anti-inflammatory and ASM relaxation properties, may have benefit in treating asthma.—Goldklang, M. P., Perez-Zoghbi, J. F., Trischler, J., Nkyimbeng, T., Zakharov, S. I., Shiomi, T., Zelonina, T., Marks, A. R., D'Armiento, J. M., Marx, S. O. Treatment of experimental asthma using a single small molecule with anti-inflammatory and BK channel-activating properties. PMID:23995289

  20. Human Relaxin Receptor Is Fully Functional in Humanized Mice and Is Activated by Small Molecule Agonist ML290

    PubMed Central

    Kaftanovskaya, Elena M.; Soula, Mariluz; Myhr, Courtney; Ho, Brian A.; Moore, Stefanie N.; Yoo, Changwon; Cervantes, Briana; How, Javier; Marugan, Juan; Agoulnik, Irina U.; Agoulnik, Alexander I.

    2017-01-01

    Relaxin, a small peptide hormone of the insulin/relaxin family, demonstrated antifibrotic, organ protective, vasodilatory, and proangiogenic properties in clinical trials and several animal models of human diseases. Relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1) is the relaxin cognate G protein-coupled receptor. We have identified a series of small molecule agonists of human RXFP1. The lead compound ML290 demonstrated preferred absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion profiles, is easy to synthesize, and has high stability in vivo. However, ML290 does not activate rodent RXFP1s and therefore cannot be tested in common preclinical animal models. Here we describe the production and analysis of a mouse transgenic model, a knock-out/knock-in of the human RXFP1 (hRXFP1) complementary DNA into the mouse Rxfp1 (mRxfp1) gene. Insertion of the vector into the mRxfp1 locus caused disruption of mRxfp1 and expression of hRXFP1. The transcriptional expression pattern of the hRXFP1 allele was similar to mRxfp1. Female mice homozygous for hRXFP1 showed relaxation of the pubic symphysis at parturition and normal development of mammary nipples and vaginal epithelium, indicating full complementation of mRxfp1 gene ablation. Intravenous injection of relaxin led to an increase in heart rate in humanized and wild-type females but not in Rxfp1-deficient mice, whereas ML290 increased heart rate in humanized but not wild-type animals, suggesting specific target engagement by ML290. Moreover, intraperitoneal injection of ML290 caused a decrease in blood osmolality. Taken together, our data show humanized RXFP1 mice can be used for testing relaxin receptor modulators in various preclinical studies. PMID:28825052

  1. Human Relaxin Receptor Is Fully Functional in Humanized Mice and Is Activated by Small Molecule Agonist ML290.

    PubMed

    Kaftanovskaya, Elena M; Soula, Mariluz; Myhr, Courtney; Ho, Brian A; Moore, Stefanie N; Yoo, Changwon; Cervantes, Briana; How, Javier; Marugan, Juan; Agoulnik, Irina U; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2017-06-01

    Relaxin, a small peptide hormone of the insulin/relaxin family, demonstrated antifibrotic, organ protective, vasodilatory, and proangiogenic properties in clinical trials and several animal models of human diseases. Relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1) is the relaxin cognate G protein-coupled receptor. We have identified a series of small molecule agonists of human RXFP1. The lead compound ML290 demonstrated preferred absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion profiles, is easy to synthesize, and has high stability in vivo. However, ML290 does not activate rodent RXFP1s and therefore cannot be tested in common preclinical animal models. Here we describe the production and analysis of a mouse transgenic model, a knock-out/knock-in of the human RXFP1 (hRXFP1) complementary DNA into the mouse Rxfp1 (mRxfp1) gene. Insertion of the vector into the mRxfp1 locus caused disruption of mRxfp1 and expression of hRXFP1. The transcriptional expression pattern of the hRXFP1 allele was similar to mRxfp1. Female mice homozygous for hRXFP1 showed relaxation of the pubic symphysis at parturition and normal development of mammary nipples and vaginal epithelium, indicating full complementation of mRxfp1 gene ablation. Intravenous injection of relaxin led to an increase in heart rate in humanized and wild-type females but not in Rxfp1-deficient mice, whereas ML290 increased heart rate in humanized but not wild-type animals, suggesting specific target engagement by ML290. Moreover, intraperitoneal injection of ML290 caused a decrease in blood osmolality. Taken together, our data show humanized RXFP1 mice can be used for testing relaxin receptor modulators in various preclinical studies.

  2. Activation of Relaxin Family Receptor 1 from Different Mammalian Species by Relaxin Peptide and Small-Molecule Agonist ML290

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Relaxin peptide (RLN), which signals through the relaxin family peptide 1 (RXFP1) GPCR receptor, has shown therapeutic effects in an acute heart failure clinical trial. We have identified a small-molecule agonist of human RXFP1, ML290; however, it does not activate the mouse receptor. To find a suitable animal model for ML290 testing and to gain mechanistic insights into the interaction of various ligands with RXFP1, we have cloned rhesus macaque, pig, rabbit, and guinea pig RXFP1s and analyzed their activation by RLN and ML290. HEK293T cells expressing macaque or pig RXFP1 responded to relaxin and ML290 treatment as measured by an increase of cAMP production. Guinea pig RXFP1 responded to relaxin but had very low response to ML290 treatment only at highest concentrations used. The rabbit RXFP1 amino acid sequence was the most divergent, with a number of unique substitutions within the ectodomain and the seven-transmembrane domain (7TM). Two splice variants of rabbit RXFP1 derived through alternative splicing of the fourth exon were identified. In contrast to the other species, rabbit RXFP1s were activated by ML290, but not with human, pig, mouse, or rabbit RLNs. Using FLAG-tagged constructs, we have shown that both rabbit RXFP1 variants are expressed on the cell surface. No binding of human Eu-labeled RLN to rabbit RXFP1 was detected, suggesting that in this species, RXFP1 might be non-functional. We used chimeric rabbit–human and guinea pig–human constructs to identify regions important for RLN or ML290 receptor activation. Chimeras with the human ectodomain and rabbit 7TM domain were activated by RLN, whereas substitution of part of the guinea pig 7TM domain with the human sequence only partially restored ML290 activation, confirming the allosteric mode of action for the two ligands. Our data demonstrate that macaque and pig models can be used for ML290 testing. PMID:26347712

  3. Small-molecule activators of TMEM16A, a calcium-activated chloride channel, stimulate epithelial chloride secretion and intestinal contraction

    PubMed Central

    Namkung, Wan; Yao, Zhen; Finkbeiner, Walter E.; Verkman, A. S.

    2011-01-01

    TMEM16A (ANO1) is a calcium-activated chloride channel (CaCC) expressed in secretory epithelia, smooth muscle, and other tissues. Cell-based functional screening of ∼110,000 compounds revealed compounds that activated TMEM16A CaCC conductance without increasing cytoplasmic Ca2+. By patch-clamp, N-aroylaminothiazole “activators” (Eact) strongly increased Cl− current at 0 Ca2+, whereas tetrazolylbenzamide “potentiators” (Fact) were not active at 0 Ca2+ but reduced the EC50 for Ca2+-dependent TMEM16A activation. Of 682 analogs tested, the most potent activator (Eact) and potentiator (Fact) produced large and more sustained CaCC Cl− currents than general agonists of Ca2+ signaling, with EC50 3–6 μM and Cl− conductance comparable to that induced transiently by Ca2+-elevating purinergic agonists. Analogs of activators were identified that fully inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance, providing further evidence for direct TMEM16A binding. The TMEM16A activators increased CaCC conductance in human salivary and airway submucosal gland epithelial cells, and IL-4 treated bronchial cells, and stimulated submucosal gland secretion in human bronchi and smooth muscle contraction in mouse intestine. Small-molecule, TMEM16A-targeted activators may be useful for drug therapy of cystic fibrosis, dry mouth, and gastrointestinal hypomotility disorders, and for pharmacological dissection of TMEM16A function.—Namkung, W., Yao, Z., Finkbeiner, W. E., Verkman, A. S. Small-molecule activators of TMEM16A, a calcium-activated chloride channel, stimulate epithelial chloride secretion and intestinal contraction. PMID:21836025

  4. Development of a screen to identify selective small molecules active against patient-derived metastatic and chemoresistant breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction High failure rates of new investigational drugs have impaired the development of breast cancer therapies. One challenge is that excellent activity in preclinical models, such as established cancer cell lines, does not always translate into improved clinical outcomes for patients. New preclinical models, which better replicate clinically-relevant attributes of cancer, such as chemoresistance, metastasis and cellular heterogeneity, may identify novel anti-cancer mechanisms and increase the success of drug development. Methods Metastatic breast cancer cells were obtained from pleural effusions of consented patients whose disease had progressed. Normal primary human breast cells were collected from a reduction mammoplasty and immortalized with human telomerase. The patient-derived cells were characterized to determine their cellular heterogeneity and proliferation rate by flow cytometry, while dose response curves were performed for chemotherapies to assess resistance. A screen was developed to measure the differential activity of small molecules on the growth and survival of patient-derived normal breast and metastatic, chemoresistant tumor cells to identify selective anti-cancer compounds. Several hits were identified and validated in dose response assays. One compound, C-6, was further characterized for its effect on cell cycle and cell death in cancer cells. Results Patient-derived cells were found to be more heterogeneous, with reduced proliferation rates and enhanced resistance to chemotherapy compared to established cell lines. A screen was subsequently developed that utilized both tumor and normal patient-derived cells. Several compounds were identified, which selectively targeted tumor cells, but not normal cells. Compound C-6 was found to inhibit proliferation and induce cell death in tumor cells via a caspase-independent mechanism. Conclusions Short-term culture of patient-derived cells retained more clinically relevant features of breast cancer

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

    PubMed

    Guan, Lirui; Disney, Matthew D

    2013-09-16

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

  6. A Fundamental Tandem Mass Spectrometry Study of the Collision-Activated Dissociation of Small Deprotonated Molecules Related to Lignin.

    PubMed

    Marcum, Christopher L; Jarrell, Tiffany M; Zhu, Hanyu; Owen, Benjamin C; Haupert, Laura J; Easton, Mckay; Hosseinaei, Omid; Bozell, Joseph; Nash, John J; Kenttämaa, Hilkka I

    2016-12-20

    The collision-activated fragmentation pathways and reaction mechanisms of 34 deprotonated model compounds representative of lignin degradation products were explored experimentally and computationally. The compounds were evaporated and ionized by using negative-ion mode electrospray ionization doped with NaOH to produce abundant deprotonated molecules. The ions were isolated and subjected to collision-activated dissociation (CAD). Their fragment ions were then isolated and also subjected to CAD. This was repeated until no further fragmentation was observed (up to MS(6) ). This approach enabled the identification of characteristic reaction pathways and delineation of reasonable fragmentation mechanisms for deprotonated molecules containing various functional groups. The varying fragmentation patterns observed for different types of compounds allow for the identification of the functionalities in these compounds. This information was utilized to identify the presence of specific functionalities and their combinations in molecules in an organosolv lignin sample.

  7. Designing a small molecule erythropoietin mimetic.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Frank

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Potent and selective small-molecule MCL-1 inhibitors demonstrate on-target cancer cell killing activity as single agents and in combination with ABT-263 (navitoclax).

    PubMed

    Leverson, J D; Zhang, H; Chen, J; Tahir, S K; Phillips, D C; Xue, J; Nimmer, P; Jin, S; Smith, M; Xiao, Y; Kovar, P; Tanaka, A; Bruncko, M; Sheppard, G S; Wang, L; Gierke, S; Kategaya, L; Anderson, D J; Wong, C; Eastham-Anderson, J; Ludlam, M J C; Sampath, D; Fairbrother, W J; Wertz, I; Rosenberg, S H; Tse, C; Elmore, S W; Souers, A J

    2015-01-15

    The anti-apoptotic protein MCL-1 is a key regulator of cancer cell survival and a known resistance factor for small-molecule BCL-2 family inhibitors such as ABT-263 (navitoclax), making it an attractive therapeutic target. However, directly inhibiting this target requires the disruption of high-affinity protein-protein interactions, and therefore designing small molecules potent enough to inhibit MCL-1 in cells has proven extremely challenging. Here, we describe a series of indole-2-carboxylic acids, exemplified by the compound A-1210477, that bind to MCL-1 selectively and with sufficient affinity to disrupt MCL-1-BIM complexes in living cells. A-1210477 induces the hallmarks of intrinsic apoptosis and demonstrates single agent killing of multiple myeloma and non-small cell lung cancer cell lines demonstrated to be MCL-1 dependent by BH3 profiling or siRNA rescue experiments. As predicted, A-1210477 synergizes with the BCL-2/BCL-XL inhibitor navitoclax to kill a variety of cancer cell lines. This work represents the first description of small-molecule MCL-1 inhibitors with sufficient potency to induce clear on-target cellular activity. It also demonstrates the utility of these molecules as chemical tools for dissecting the basic biology of MCL-1 and the promise of small-molecule MCL-1 inhibitors as potential therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.

  9. Hydrophobic Porous Material Adsorbs Small Organic Molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, Pramod K.; Hickey, Gregory S.

    1994-01-01

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

  10. Potent in vitro and in vivo antifungal activity of a small molecule host defense peptide mimic through a membrane-active mechanism.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Lorenzo P; Chowdhury, Hossain Mobaswar; Masso-Silva, Jorge Adrian; Ruddick, William; Falkovsky, Klaudia; Vorona, Rafael; Malsbary, Andrew; Cherabuddi, Kartikeya; Ryan, Lisa K; DiFranco, Kristina M; Brice, David C; Costanzo, Michael J; Weaver, Damian; Freeman, Katie B; Scott, Richard W; Diamond, Gill

    2017-06-28

    Lethal systemic fungal infections of Candida species are increasingly common, especially in immune compromised patients. By in vitro screening of small molecule mimics of naturally occurring host defense peptides (HDP), we have identified several active antifungal molecules, which also exhibited potent activity in two mouse models of oral candidiasis. Here we show that one such compound, C4, exhibits a mechanism of action that is similar to the parent HDP upon which it was designed. Specifically, its initial interaction with the anionic microbial membrane is electrostatic, as its fungicidal activity is inhibited by cations. We observed rapid membrane permeabilization to propidium iodide and ATP efflux in response to C4. Unlike the antifungal peptide histatin 5, it did not require energy-dependent transport across the membrane. Rapid membrane disruption was observed by both fluorescence and electron microscopy. The compound was highly active in vitro against numerous fluconazole-resistant clinical isolates of C. albicans and non-albicans species, and it exhibited potent, dose-dependent activity in a mouse model of invasive candidiasis, reducing kidney burden by three logs after 24 hours, and preventing mortality for up to 17 days. Together the results support the development of this class of antifungal drug to treat invasive candidiasis.

  11. Discovery of a small molecule that inhibits the interaction of anthrax edema factor with its cellular activator, calmodulin.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young-Sam; Bergson, Pamela; He, Wei Song; Mrksich, Milan; Tang, Wei-Jen

    2004-08-01

    The catalytic efficiency of adenylyl cyclase activity of edema factor (EF) from Bacillus anthracis is enhanced by approximately 1000-fold upon its binding to mammalian protein calmodulin (CaM). A tandem cell-based and protein binding-based screen of a 10,000 member library identified a molecule that inhibits the EF-CaM interaction and therefore the adenylyl cyclase activity. A combination of fluorescence spectroscopy and photolabeling studies showed that the molecule targets the CaM binding region of EF. A series of related compounds were synthesized and evaluated to identify one compound, 4-[4-(4-nitrophenyl)-thiazolylamino]-benzenesulfonamide, that maintained activity against EF but showed minimal toxicity to two cultured cell lines. This compound represents an important reagent to study the role of EF in anthrax pathology and may represent a drug lead against anthrax infection.

  12. Discovery and Characterization of a Cell-Permeable, Small-Molecule c-Abl Kinase Activator that Binds to the Myristoyl Binding Site

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Jingsong; Campobasso, Nino; Biju, Mangatt P.; Fisher, Kelly; Pan, Xiao-Qing; Cottom, Josh; Galbraith, Sarah; Ho, Thau; Zhang, Hong; Hong, Xuan; Ward, Paris; Hofmann, Glenn; Siegfried, Brett; Zappacosta, Francesca; Washio, Yoshiaki; Cao, Ping; Qu, Junya; Bertrand, Sophie; Wang, Da-Yuan; Head, Martha S.; Li, Hu; Moores, Sheri; Lai, Zhihong; Johanson, Kyung; Burton, George; Erickson-Miller, Connie; Simpson, Graham; Tummino, Peter; Copeland, Robert A.; Oliff, Allen

    2014-10-02

    c-Abl kinase activity is regulated by a unique mechanism involving the formation of an autoinhibited conformation in which the N-terminal myristoyl group binds intramolecularly to the myristoyl binding site on the kinase domain and induces the bending of the {alpha}I helix that creates a docking surface for the SH2 domain. Here, we report a small-molecule c-Abl activator, DPH, that displays potent enzymatic and cellular activity in stimulating c-Abl activation. Structural analyses indicate that DPH binds to the myristoyl binding site and prevents the formation of the bent conformation of the {alpha}I helix through steric hindrance, a mode of action distinct from the previously identified allosteric c-Abl inhibitor, GNF-2, that also binds to the myristoyl binding site. DPH represents the first cell-permeable, small-molecule tool compound for c-Abl activation.

  13. A quinolinol-based small molecule with anti-MRSA activity that targets bacterial membrane and promotes fermentative metabolism.

    PubMed

    Nair, Dhanalakshmi R; Chen, Ji; Monteiro, João M; Josten, Michaele; Pinho, Mariana G; Sahl, Hans-Georg; Wu, Jimmy; Cheung, Ambrose

    2017-10-01

    In a loss-of-viability screen of small molecules against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) USA300, we found a small molecule, designated DNAC-2, which has an MIC of 8 μg ml(-1). DNAC-2 is a quinolinol derivative that is bactericidal at 2X MIC. Macromolecular synthesis assays at 2 × MIC of DNAC-2 revealed inhibition of DNA, cell wall, RNA and protein synthesis within fifteen to thirty minutes of treatment when compared to the untreated control. Transmission electron microscopy of DNAC-2-treated cells revealed a significantly thicker cell wall and impaired daughter cell separation. Exposure of USA300 cells to 1 × MIC of DNAC-2 resulted in mislocalization of PBP2 away from the septum in an FtsZ-independent manner. In addition, membrane localization with FM4-64, as well as depolarization study with DiOC2 and lipophilic cation TPP+ displayed membrane irregularities and rapid membrane depolarization, respectively, in DNAC-2-treated cells vs -untreated control. However, DNAC-2 exhibited almost no toxicity toward eukaryotic membranes. Notably, DNAC-2 drives energy generation toward substrate level phosphorylation and the bacteria become more sensitive to DNAC-2 under anaerobic conditions. We propose that DNAC-2 affects USA300 by targeting the membrane, leading to partial membrane depolarization and subsequently affecting aerobic respiration and energy-dependent functional organization of macromolecular biosynthetic pathways. The multiple effects may have the desirable consequence of limiting the emergence of resistance to DNAC-2.

  14. Small-molecule targeting of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 to treat non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Katherine M; Bharadwaj, Uddalak; Eckols, T Kris; Kolosov, Mikhail; Kasembeli, Moses M; Fridley, Colleen; Siller, Ricardo; Tweardy, David J

    2015-11-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has an overall 5-year survival rate of 15%. While aberrant STAT3 activation has previously been observed in NSCLC, the scope of its contribution is uncertain and agents that target STAT3 for treatment are not available clinically. We determined levels of activated STAT3 (STAT3 phosphorylated on Y705, pSTAT3) and the two major isoforms of STAT3 (α and β) in protein extracts of 8 NSCLC cell lines, as well as the effects of targeting STAT3 in vitro and in vivo in NSCLC cells using short hairpin (sh) RNA and two novel small-molecule STAT3 inhibitors, C188-9 and piperlongumine (PL). Levels of pSTAT3, STAT3α, and STATβ were increased in 7 of 8 NSCLC cell lines. Of note, levels of pSTAT3 were tightly correlated with levels of STAT3β, but not STAT3α. Targeting of STAT3 in A549 cells using shRNA decreased tSTAT3 by 75%; this was accompanied by a 47-78% reduction in anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent growth and a 28-45% reduction in mRNA levels for anti-apoptotic STAT3 gene targets. C188-9 and PL (@30 μM) each reduced pSTAT3 levels in all NSCLC cell lines tested by ≥50%, reduced anti-apoptotic protein mRNA levels by 25-60%, and reduced both anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent growth of NSCLC cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 3.06 to 52.44 μM and 0.86 to 11.66 μM, respectively. Treatment of nude mice bearing A549 tumor xenografts with C188-9 or PL blocked tumor growth and reduced levels of pSTAT3 and mRNA encoding anti-apoptotic proteins. STAT3 is essential for growth of NSCLC cell lines and tumors and its targeting using C188-9 or PL may be a useful strategy for treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Small-Molecule Carbohydrate-Based Immunostimulants.

    PubMed

    Marzabadi, Cecilia H; Franck, Richard W

    2017-02-03

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

  16. Small molecule regulators of protein arginine methyltransferases.

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-04

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

  17. Novel Small-Molecule Antibacterial Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-07-01

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

  18. Teaching with the Case Study Method to Promote Active Learning in a Small Molecule Crystallography Course for Chemistry Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Michael G.; Powers, Tamara M.; Zheng, Shao-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Implementing the case study method in a practical X-ray crystallography course designed for graduate or upper-level undergraduate chemistry students is described. Compared with a traditional lecture format, assigning small groups of students to examine literature case studies encourages more active engagement with the course material and…

  19. Teaching with the Case Study Method to Promote Active Learning in a Small Molecule Crystallography Course for Chemistry Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Michael G.; Powers, Tamara M.; Zheng, Shao-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Implementing the case study method in a practical X-ray crystallography course designed for graduate or upper-level undergraduate chemistry students is described. Compared with a traditional lecture format, assigning small groups of students to examine literature case studies encourages more active engagement with the course material and…

  20. Interactions of Macromolecular Crowding Agents and Cosolutes with Small-Molecule Substrates: Effect on Horseradish Peroxidase Activity with Two Different Substrates

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The importance of solution composition on enzymatic reactions is increasingly appreciated, particularly with respect to macromolecular cosolutes. Macromolecular crowding and its effect on enzymatic reactions has been studied for several enzymes and is often understood in terms of changes to enzyme conformation. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the chemical properties of small-molecule substrates for enzyme reactions in crowded solution. In this article, we studied the reaction of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) with two small-molecule substrates that differ in their hydrophobicity. Crowding agents and cosolutes had quite different effects on HRP activity when the substrate used was 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB, which is hydrophobic) as compared to o-phenylenediamine (OPD, which is more hydrophilic). Reaction rates with TMB were much more sensitive to the presence of crowding agents and cosolutes than OPD, suggesting that the small-molecule substrates may themselves be interacting with crowders and cosolutes. At high polyethylene glycol (PEG) concentrations (25–30 wt/wt %), no reaction was observed for TMB. Even at lower concentrations, Michaelis constants (KM) for HRP with the more hydrophobic substrate increased in the presence of crowding agents and cosolutes, particularly with PEG. Diffusion of TMB and OPD in the PEG and dextran reaction media was evaluated using pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance (PFG-NMR). The diffusivity of the TMB decreased 3.9× in 10% PEG 8k compared to that in buffer and decreased only 1.7× for OPD. Together, these data suggest that weak attractive interactions between small-molecule substrates and crowders or cosolutes can reduce substrate chemical activity and consequently decrease enzyme activity and that these effects vary with the identity of the molecules involved. Because many enzymes can act on multiple substrates, it is important to consider substrate chemistry in understanding enzymatic

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

    PubMed

    Crews, Craig M

    2010-06-25

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

  2. Electronic Structure of Small Lanthanide Containing Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Small molecules that target protein misfolding.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-27

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

  4. Identification of a Small Molecule Activator for AphB, a LysR-Type Virulence Transcriptional Regulator in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Privett, Britney R; Pellegrini, Maria; Kovacikova, Gabriela; Taylor, Ronald K; Skorupski, Karen; Mierke, Dale; Kull, F Jon

    2017-07-25

    AphB is a LysR-type transcriptional regulator (LTTR) that cooperates with a second transcriptional activator, AphA, at the tcpPH promoter to initiate expression of the virulence cascade in Vibrio cholerae. Because it is not yet known whether AphB responds to a natural ligand in V. cholerae that influences its ability to activate transcription, we used a computational approach to identify small molecules that influence its activity. In silico docking was used to identify potential ligands for AphB, and saturation transfer difference nuclear magnetic resonance was subsequently employed to access the validity of promising targets. We identified a small molecule, BP-15, that specifically binds the C-terminal regulatory domain of AphB and increases its activity. Interestingly, molecular docking predicts that BP-15 does not bind in the putative primary effector-binding pocket located at the interface of RD-I and RD-II as in other LTTRs, but rather at the dimerization interface. The information gained in this study helps us to further understand the mechanism by which transcriptional activation by AphB is regulated by suggesting that AphB has a secondary ligand binding site, as observed in other LTTRs. This study also lays the groundwork for the future design of inhibitory molecules to block the V. cholerae virulence cascade, thereby preventing the devastating symptoms of cholera infection.

  5. 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

  6. Small Molecule Docking from Theoretical Structural Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  7. Plant-derived flavone Apigenin: The small-molecule with promising activity against therapeutically resistant prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ganai, Shabir Ahmad

    2017-01-01

    Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in men in the United States. Mounting evidences suggest that in the pathophysiology of prostate cancer epigenetic modifications play a considerable role. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) have strong crosstalk with prostate cancer progression as they regulate various genes meant for tumour suppression. HDACs are emerging as striking molecular targets for anticancer drugs and therapy as their aberrant expression has been implicated in several cancers. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), the small molecules interfering HDACs are the propitious chemotherapeutic agents as they tune the altered acetylation homeostasis for attenuating disease signalling. More than 20 HDACi have entered into the clinical trials and 4 have crossed the journey by gaining FDA approval for treating distinct haematological malignancies including multiple myeloma. Despite the therapeutic benefits, the synthetic HDACi cause detrimental side effects like atrial fibrillation, raising concerns regarding their applicability. Taking these facts into consideration the current article focused on plant-derived HDAC inhibitor Apigenin and its marvelous role in prostate cancer therapy. Moreover, the article sheds light on Apigenin induced apoptosis in various prostate cancer models. The defined inhibitor provokes apoptotic signaling in these models by multiple mechanisms like restraining HDACs, declining the levels of antiapoptotic proteins. Importantly, Apigenin hampers NF-κB signalling and down-modulates its regulated gene products for bringing therapeutic effect. Furthermore, Apigenin shows synergistic effect in combinatorial therapy and induces apoptosis even in prostate cancer models resistant to conventional therapeutic regimens.

  8. Identification of a small-molecule ligand that activates the neuropeptide receptor GPR171 and increases food intake

    PubMed Central

    Wardman, Jonathan H.; Gomes, Ivone; Bobeck, Erin N.; Stockert, Jennifer A.; Kapoor, Abhijeet; Bisignano, Paola; Gupta, Achla; Mezei, Mihaly; Kumar, Sanjai; Filizola, Marta; Devi, Lakshmi A.

    2016-01-01

    Several neuropeptide systems in the hypothalamus, including neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein (AgRP), control food intake. Peptides derived from proSAAS, a precursor implicated in the regulation of body weight, also control food intake. GPR171 is a heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide–binding protein (G protein)– coupled receptor (GPCR) for BigLEN (b-LEN), a peptide derived from proSAAS. To facilitate studies exploring the physiological role of GPR171, we sought to identify small-molecule ligands for this receptor by performing a virtual screen of a compound library for interaction with a homology model of GPR171. We identified MS0015203 as an agonist of GPR171 and demonstrated the selectivity of MS0015203 for GPR171 by testing the binding of this compound to 80 other membrane proteins, including family A GPCRs. Reducing the expression of GPR171 by shRNA (short hairpin RNA)–mediated knockdown blunted the cellular and tissue response to MS0015203. Peripheral injection of MS0015203 into mice increased food intake and body weight, and these responses were significantly attenuated in mice with decreased expression of GPR171 in the hypothalamus. Together, these results suggest that MS0015203 is a useful tool to probe the pharmacological and functional properties of GPR171 and that ligands targeting GPR171 may eventually lead to therapeutics for food-related disorders. PMID:27245612

  9. 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

  10. Small molecule kinase inhibitor LRRK2-IN-1 demonstrates potent activity against colorectal and pancreatic cancer through inhibition of doublecortin-like kinase 1

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Doublecortin-like kinase 1 (DCLK1) is emerging as a tumor specific stem cell marker in colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of inhibiting DCLK1 with small interfering RNA (siRNA) as well as genetically targeting the DCLK1+ cell for deletion. However, the effects of inhibiting DCLK1 kinase activity have not been studied directly. Therefore, we assessed the effects of inhibiting DCLK1 kinase activity using the novel small molecule kinase inhibitor, LRRK2-IN-1, which demonstrates significant affinity for DCLK1. Results Here we report that LRRK2-IN-1 demonstrates potent anti-cancer activity including inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion as well as induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Additionally we found that it regulates stemness, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and oncogenic targets on the molecular level. Moreover, we show that LRRK2-IN-1 suppresses DCLK1 kinase activity and downstream DCLK1 effector c-MYC, and demonstrate that DCLK1 kinase activity is a significant factor in resistance to LRRK2-IN-1. Conclusions Given DCLK1’s tumor stem cell marker status, a strong understanding of its biological role and interactions in gastrointestinal tumors may lead to discoveries that improve patient outcomes. The results of this study suggest that small molecule inhibitors of DCLK1 kinase should be further investigated as they may hold promise as anti-tumor stem cell drugs. PMID:24885928

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  12. Chapter 3: Small Molecules and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wishart, David S.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Small molecule inhibitors of ebola virus infection.

    PubMed

    Picazo, Edwige; Giordanetto, Fabrizio

    2015-02-01

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

  14. Compound 13, an α1-selective small molecule activator of AMPK, inhibits Helicobacter pylori-induced oxidative stresses and gastric epithelial cell apoptosis

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Hangyong; Zhu, Huanghuang; Lin, Zhou; Lin, Gang; Lv, Guoqiang

    2015-08-07

    Half of the world's population experiences Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, which is a main cause of gastritis, duodenal and gastric ulcer, and gastric cancers. In the current study, we investigated the potential role of compound 13 (C13), a novel α1-selective small molecule activator of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), against H. pylori-induced cytotoxicity in cultured gastric epithelial cells (GECs). We found that C13 induced significant AMPK activation, evidenced by phosphorylation of AMPKα1 and ACC (acetyl-CoA carboxylase), in both primary and transformed GECs. Treatment of C13 inhibited H. pylori-induced GEC apoptosis. AMPK activation was required for C13-mediated GEC protection. Inhibition of AMPK kinase activity by the AMPK inhibitor Compound C, or silencing AMPKα1 expression by targeted-shRNAs, alleviated C13-induced GEC protective activities against H. pylori. Significantly, C13 inhibited H. pylori-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in GECs. C13 induced AMPK-dependent expression of anti-oxidant gene heme oxygenase (HO-1) in GECs. Zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) and tin protoporphyrin (SnPP), two HO-1 inhibitors, not only suppressed C13-mediated ROS scavenging activity, but also alleviated its activity in GECs against H. pylori. Together, these results indicate that C13 inhibits H. pylori-induced ROS production and GEC apoptosis through activating AMPK–HO–1 signaling. - Highlights: • We synthesized compound 13 (C13), a α1-selective small molecule AMPK activator. • C13-induced AMPK activation requires α1 subunit in gastric epithelial cells (GECs). • C13 enhances Helicobacter pylori-induced pro-survival AMPK activation to inhibit GEC apoptosis. • C13 inhibits H. pylori-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in GECs. • AMPK-heme oxygenase (HO-1) activation is required for C13-mediated anti-oxidant activity.

  15. Small molecule modifiers of circadian clocks.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  16. Systems biology network-based discovery of a small molecule activator BL-AD008 targeting AMPK/ZIPK and inducing apoptosis in cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xupeng; Zhang, Jin; Zhang, Yonghui; Ouyang, Liang; Liu, Bo; Huang, Jian

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to discover a small molecule activator BL-AD008 targeting AMPK/ZIPK and inducing apoptosis in cervical cancer. In this study, we systematically constructed the global protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and predicted apoptosis-related protein connections by the Naïve Bayesian model. Then, we identified some classical apoptotic PPIs and other previously unrecognized PPIs between apoptotic kinases, such as AMPK and ZIPK. Subsequently, we screened a series of candidate compounds targeting AMPK/ZIPK, synthesized some compounds and eventually discovered a novel dual-target activator (BL-AD008). Moreover, we found BL-AD008 bear remarkable anti-proliferative activities toward cervical cancer cells and could induce apoptosis by death-receptor and mitochondrial pathways. Additionally, we found that BL-AD008-induced apoptosis was affected by the combination of AMPK and ZIPK. Then, we found that BL-AD008 bear its anti-tumor activities and induced apoptosis by targeting AMPK/ZIPK in vivo. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the ability of systems biology network to identify some key apoptotic kinase targets AMPK and ZIPK; thus providing a dual-target small molecule activator (BL-AD008) as a potential new apoptosis-modulating drug in future cervical cancer therapy. PMID:25797270

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-22

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

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

    PubMed

    Matalonga, Leslie; Gort, Laura; Ribes, Antonia

    2017-03-01

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

  19. A High-Content Assay Enables the Automated Screening and Identification of Small Molecules with Specific ALDH1A1-Inhibitory Activity

    PubMed Central

    Yasgar, Adam; Titus, Steven A.; Wang, Yuhong; Danchik, Carina; Yang, Shyh-Ming; Vasiliou, Vasilis; Jadhav, Ajit; Maloney, David J.; Simeonov, Anton

    2017-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes (ALDHs) have a broad spectrum of biological activities through the oxidation of both endogenous and exogenous aldehydes. Increased expression of ALDH1A1 has been identified in a wide-range of human cancer stem cells and is associated with cancer relapse and poor prognosis, raising the potential of ALDH1A1 as a therapeutic target. To facilitate quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) campaigns for the discovery, characterization and structure-activity-relationship (SAR) studies of small molecule ALDH1A1 inhibitors with cellular activity, we show herein the miniaturization to 1536-well format and automation of a high-content cell-based ALDEFLUOR assay. We demonstrate the utility of this assay by generating dose-response curves on a comprehensive set of prior art inhibitors as well as hundreds of ALDH1A1 inhibitors synthesized in house. Finally, we established a screening paradigm using a pair of cell lines with low and high ALDH1A1 expression, respectively, to uncover novel cell-active ALDH1A1-specific inhibitors from a collection of over 1,000 small molecules. PMID:28129349

  20. A High-Content Assay Enables the Automated Screening and Identification of Small Molecules with Specific ALDH1A1-Inhibitory Activity.

    PubMed

    Yasgar, Adam; Titus, Steven A; Wang, Yuhong; Danchik, Carina; Yang, Shyh-Ming; Vasiliou, Vasilis; Jadhav, Ajit; Maloney, David J; Simeonov, Anton; Martinez, Natalia J

    2017-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes (ALDHs) have a broad spectrum of biological activities through the oxidation of both endogenous and exogenous aldehydes. Increased expression of ALDH1A1 has been identified in a wide-range of human cancer stem cells and is associated with cancer relapse and poor prognosis, raising the potential of ALDH1A1 as a therapeutic target. To facilitate quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) campaigns for the discovery, characterization and structure-activity-relationship (SAR) studies of small molecule ALDH1A1 inhibitors with cellular activity, we show herein the miniaturization to 1536-well format and automation of a high-content cell-based ALDEFLUOR assay. We demonstrate the utility of this assay by generating dose-response curves on a comprehensive set of prior art inhibitors as well as hundreds of ALDH1A1 inhibitors synthesized in house. Finally, we established a screening paradigm using a pair of cell lines with low and high ALDH1A1 expression, respectively, to uncover novel cell-active ALDH1A1-specific inhibitors from a collection of over 1,000 small molecules.

  1. Database of small molecule thermochemistry for combustion.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-13

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

  2. Small-molecule AT2 receptor agonists.

    PubMed

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

    2017-06-13

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

  3. Inhibition in vivo of the activity of botulinum neurotoxin A by small molecules selected by virtual screening.

    PubMed

    Eichhorn, Tolga; Dolimbek, Behzod Z; Deeg, Katharina; Efferth, Thomas; Atassi, M Zouhair

    2012-11-01

    To search for small molecular size inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) endopeptidase activity, we have screened the NCI library containing about 1 million structures against the substrate binding pocket of BoNT/A. Virtual screening (VS) was performed with the software Glide (Grid-based ligand docking energetics) and the findings were confirmed by AutoDock. Ten compounds were found that had favorable energetic and glide criteria and 5 of these compounds were selected for their ability to protect mice in vivo against a lethal dose of BoNT/A. Each compound was incubated at different molar excesses with a lethal dose of the toxin and then the mixture injected intravenously into mice. At 4690 M excess, compounds NSC94520 and NSC99639 protected all (100%) the mice from lethal toxicity. Compounds NSC48461 and NSC627733 gave 75% protection. Compound NSC348884 showed the least inhibition of toxicity allowing only a fraction (25%) of the mice to survive challenge with a lethal dose; and in the case of the mice that did not survive there was a considerable delay of mortality. At 2400 M excess compounds NSC94520 remained fully protective while and NSC99639 afforded 75% protection and at 1200 M excess each of these two compounds gave 50% protection. The two compounds gave no protection at 600 or less molar excess. When each compound was administered intravenously at 4690 M excess at different times (from 1 h to 6 h) after the intravenous injection of the active toxin, none of the compounds was able to protect the animals from toxicity. The findings show the value of VS in identifying potential inhibitors of the toxin for further development and improvement.

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

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

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

  5. New Small Molecule Agonists to the Thyrotropin Receptor

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Computational mass spectrometry for small molecules

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Computational mass spectrometry for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Scheubert, Kerstin; Hufsky, Franziska; Böcker, Sebastian

    2013-03-01

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

  8. Targeted Protein Degradation by Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Bondeson, Daniel P; Crews, Craig M

    2017-01-06

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

  9. 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.

  10. Shape-directed compartmentalized delivery of a nanoparticle-conjugated small-molecule activator of an epigenetic enzyme in the brain.

    PubMed

    Chaturbedy, Piyush; Kumar, Manoj; Salikolimi, Krishnachary; Das, Sadhan; Sinha, Sarmistha Halder; Chatterjee, Snehajyoti; Suma, B S; Kundu, Tapas K; Eswaramoorthy, Muthusamy

    2015-11-10

    Targeted drug delivery to specific subcellular compartments of brain cells is challenging despite their importance in the treatment of several brain-related diseases. Herein, we report on shape-directed intracellular compartmentalization of nanoparticles in brain cells and their ability to deliver therapeutic molecules to specific organelles. Iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles with different morphologies (spheres, spindles, biconcaves, and nanotubes) were synthesized and coated with a fluorescent carbon layer derived from glucose (Fe3O4@C). In vivo studies showed that the Fe3O4@C nanoparticles with biconcave geometry localized predominantly in the nuclei of the brain cells, whereas those with nanotube geometry were contained mostly in the cytoplasm. Remarkably, a small-molecule activator of histone acetyltransferases delivered into the nuclei of the brain cells using nanoparticles with biconcave geometry showed enhancement in enzymatic activity by a factor of three and resulted in specific gene expression (transcription) compared with that of the molecule delivered to the cytoplasm using nanotube geometry.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  12. Inhibition of Dengue Virus Replication by a Class of Small-Molecule Compounds That Antagonize Dopamine Receptor D4 and Downstream Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jessica L.; Stein, David A.; Shum, David; Fischer, Matthew A.; Radu, Constantin; Bhinder, Bhavneet; Djaballah, Hakim; Nelson, Jay A.; Früh, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Dengue viruses (DENV) are endemic pathogens of tropical and subtropical regions that cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. To date, no vaccines or antiviral therapeutics have been approved for combating DENV-associated disease. In this paper, we describe a class of tricyclic small-molecule compounds—dihydrodibenzothiepines (DHBTs), identified through high-throughput screening—with potent inhibitory activity against DENV serotype 2. SKI-417616, a highly active representative of this class, displayed activity against all four serotypes of DENV, as well as against a related flavivirus, West Nile virus (WNV), and an alphavirus, Sindbis virus (SINV). This compound was characterized to determine its mechanism of antiviral activity. Investigation of the stage of the viral life cycle affected revealed that an early event in the life cycle is inhibited. Due to the structural similarity of the DHBTs to known antagonists of the dopamine and serotonin receptors, we explored the roles of two of these receptors, serotonin receptor 2A (5HTR2A) and the D4 dopamine receptor (DRD4), in DENV infection. Antagonism of DRD4 and subsequent downstream phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-related kinase (ERK) were found to impact DENV infection negatively, and blockade of signaling through this network was confirmed as the mechanism of anti-DENV activity for this class of compounds. IMPORTANCE The dengue viruses are mosquito-borne, reemerging human pathogens that are the etiological agents of a spectrum of febrile diseases. Currently, there are no approved therapeutic treatments for dengue-associated disease, nor is there a vaccine. This study identifies a small molecule, SKI-417616, with potent anti-dengue virus activity. Further analysis revealed that SKI-417616 acts through antagonism of the host cell dopamine D4 receptor and subsequent repression of the ERK phosphorylation pathway. These results suggest that SKI-417616, or other

  13. Inhibition of dengue virus replication by a class of small-molecule compounds that antagonize dopamine receptor d4 and downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jessica L; Stein, David A; Shum, David; Fischer, Matthew A; Radu, Constantin; Bhinder, Bhavneet; Djaballah, Hakim; Nelson, Jay A; Früh, Klaus; Hirsch, Alec J

    2014-05-01

    Dengue viruses (DENV) are endemic pathogens of tropical and subtropical regions that cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. To date, no vaccines or antiviral therapeutics have been approved for combating DENV-associated disease. In this paper, we describe a class of tricyclic small-molecule compounds-dihydrodibenzothiepines (DHBTs), identified through high-throughput screening-with potent inhibitory activity against DENV serotype 2. SKI-417616, a highly active representative of this class, displayed activity against all four serotypes of DENV, as well as against a related flavivirus, West Nile virus (WNV), and an alphavirus, Sindbis virus (SINV). This compound was characterized to determine its mechanism of antiviral activity. Investigation of the stage of the viral life cycle affected revealed that an early event in the life cycle is inhibited. Due to the structural similarity of the DHBTs to known antagonists of the dopamine and serotonin receptors, we explored the roles of two of these receptors, serotonin receptor 2A (5HTR2A) and the D4 dopamine receptor (DRD4), in DENV infection. Antagonism of DRD4 and subsequent downstream phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-related kinase (ERK) were found to impact DENV infection negatively, and blockade of signaling through this network was confirmed as the mechanism of anti-DENV activity for this class of compounds. The dengue viruses are mosquito-borne, reemerging human pathogens that are the etiological agents of a spectrum of febrile diseases. Currently, there are no approved therapeutic treatments for dengue-associated disease, nor is there a vaccine. This study identifies a small molecule, SKI-417616, with potent anti-dengue virus activity. Further analysis revealed that SKI-417616 acts through antagonism of the host cell dopamine D4 receptor and subsequent repression of the ERK phosphorylation pathway. These results suggest that SKI-417616, or other compounds targeting the same

  14. Computational Ranking of Yerba Mate Small Molecules Based on Their Predicted Contribution to Antibacterial Activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    SciTech Connect

    Rempe, Caroline S.; Burris, Kellie P.; Woo, Hannah L.; Goodrich, Benjamin; Gosnell, Denise Koessler; Tschaplinski, Timothy J.; Stewart, C. Neal

    2015-05-08

    We report that the aqueous extract of yerba mate, a South American tea beverage made from Ilex paraguariensis leaves, has demonstrated bactericidal and inhibitory activity against bacterial pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of two unique fractions of yerba mate aqueous extract revealed 8 identifiable small molecules in those fractions with antimicrobial activity. For a more comprehensive analysis, a data analysis pipeline was assembled to prioritize compounds for antimicrobial testing against both MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus using forty-two unique fractions of the tea extract that were generated in duplicate, assayed for activity, and analyzed with GC-MS. As validation of our automated analysis, we checked our predicted active compounds for activity in literature references and used authentic standards to test for antimicrobial activity. 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde showed the most antibacterial activity against MRSA at low concentrations in our bioassays. In addition, quinic acid and quercetin were identified using random forests analysis and 5-hydroxy pipecolic acid was identified using linear discriminant analysis. We also generated a ranked list of unidentified compounds that may contribute to the antimicrobial activity of yerba mate against MRSA. Here we utilized GC-MS data to implement an automated analysis that resulted in a ranked list of compounds that likely contribute to the antimicrobial activity of aqueous yerba mate extract against MRSA.

  15. Computational Ranking of Yerba Mate Small Molecules Based on Their Predicted Contribution to Antibacterial Activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    DOE PAGES

    Rempe, Caroline S.; Burris, Kellie P.; Woo, Hannah L.; ...

    2015-05-08

    We report that the aqueous extract of yerba mate, a South American tea beverage made from Ilex paraguariensis leaves, has demonstrated bactericidal and inhibitory activity against bacterial pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of two unique fractions of yerba mate aqueous extract revealed 8 identifiable small molecules in those fractions with antimicrobial activity. For a more comprehensive analysis, a data analysis pipeline was assembled to prioritize compounds for antimicrobial testing against both MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus using forty-two unique fractions of the tea extract that were generated in duplicate, assayed for activity, andmore » analyzed with GC-MS. As validation of our automated analysis, we checked our predicted active compounds for activity in literature references and used authentic standards to test for antimicrobial activity. 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde showed the most antibacterial activity against MRSA at low concentrations in our bioassays. In addition, quinic acid and quercetin were identified using random forests analysis and 5-hydroxy pipecolic acid was identified using linear discriminant analysis. We also generated a ranked list of unidentified compounds that may contribute to the antimicrobial activity of yerba mate against MRSA. Here we utilized GC-MS data to implement an automated analysis that resulted in a ranked list of compounds that likely contribute to the antimicrobial activity of aqueous yerba mate extract against MRSA.« less

  16. Computational Ranking of Yerba Mate Small Molecules Based on Their Predicted Contribution to Antibacterial Activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Woo, Hannah L.; Goodrich, Benjamin; Gosnell, Denise Koessler; Tschaplinski, Timothy J.; Stewart, C. Neal

    2015-01-01

    The aqueous extract of yerba mate, a South American tea beverage made from Ilex paraguariensis leaves, has demonstrated bactericidal and inhibitory activity against bacterial pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of two unique fractions of yerba mate aqueous extract revealed 8 identifiable small molecules in those fractions with antimicrobial activity. For a more comprehensive analysis, a data analysis pipeline was assembled to prioritize compounds for antimicrobial testing against both MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus using forty-two unique fractions of the tea extract that were generated in duplicate, assayed for activity, and analyzed with GC-MS. As validation of our automated analysis, we checked our predicted active compounds for activity in literature references and used authentic standards to test for antimicrobial activity. 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde showed the most antibacterial activity against MRSA at low concentrations in our bioassays. In addition, quinic acid and quercetin were identified using random forests analysis and 5-hydroxy pipecolic acid was identified using linear discriminant analysis. We also generated a ranked list of unidentified compounds that may contribute to the antimicrobial activity of yerba mate against MRSA. Here we utilized GC-MS data to implement an automated analysis that resulted in a ranked list of compounds that likely contribute to the antimicrobial activity of aqueous yerba mate extract against MRSA. PMID:25955847

  17. Evaluating enzymatic synthesis of small molecule drugs.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Small Molecule Activation of Procaspase-2 for the Selective Induction of Apoptotic Death in Breast Cancer Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-08-01

    have synthesized a library of compounds based on a previously identified procaspase-2 activator. These compounds were then tested for their ability to...activate procaspase-2 in vitro. The results from these tests indicated that several of the compounds did indeed activate procaspase-2. Testing of...enzyme activation screens. As a result of this discovery, the compounds were not tested for their ability to induce death in breast cancer cell lines

  19. Fragment-based discovery of a new family of non-peptidic small-molecule cyclophilin inhibitors with potent antiviral activities

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed-Belkacem, Abdelhakim; Colliandre, Lionel; Ahnou, Nazim; Nevers, Quentin; Gelin, Muriel; Bessin, Yannick; Brillet, Rozenn; Cala, Olivier; Douguet, Dominique; Bourguet, William; Krimm, Isabelle; Pawlotsky, Jean-Michel; Guichou, Jean- François

    2016-01-01

    Cyclophilins are peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerases (PPIase) that catalyse the interconversion of the peptide bond at proline residues. Several cyclophilins play a pivotal role in the life cycle of a number of viruses. The existing cyclophilin inhibitors, all derived from cyclosporine A or sanglifehrin A, have disadvantages, including their size, potential for side effects unrelated to cyclophilin inhibition and drug–drug interactions, unclear antiviral spectrum and manufacturing issues. Here we use a fragment-based drug discovery approach using nucleic magnetic resonance, X-ray crystallography and structure-based compound optimization to generate a new family of non-peptidic, small-molecule cyclophilin inhibitors with potent in vitro PPIase inhibitory activity and antiviral activity against hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus and coronaviruses. This family of compounds has the potential for broad-spectrum, high-barrier-to-resistance treatment of viral infections. PMID:27652979

  20. Discovery of quinoline small molecules with potent dispersal activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms using a scaffold hopping strategy.

    PubMed

    Abouelhassan, Yasmeen; Garrison, Aaron T; Burch, Gena M; Wong, Wilson; Norwood, Verrill M; Huigens, Robert W

    2014-11-01

    Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are recognized as the most frequent cause of biofilm-associated nosocomial and indwelling medical device infections. Biofilm-associated infections are known to be highly resistant to our current arsenal of clinically used antibiotics and antibacterial agents. To exacerbate this problem, no therapeutic option exists that targets biofilm-dependent machinery critical to Staphylococcal biofilm formation and maintenance. Here, we describe the discovery of a series of quinoline small molecules that demonstrate potent biofilm dispersal activity against methicillin-resistant S. aureus and S. epidermidis using a scaffold hopping strategy. This interesting class of quinolines also has select synthetic analogues that demonstrate potent antibacterial activity and biofilm inhibition against S. aureus and S. epidermidis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Purmorphamine as a Shh Signaling Activator Small Molecule Promotes Motor Neuron Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Cultured on Nanofibrous PCL Scaffold.

    PubMed

    Bahrami, Naghmeh; Bayat, Mohammad; Mohamadnia, Abdolreza; Khakbiz, Mehrdad; Yazdankhah, Meysam; Ai, Jafar; Ebrahimi-Barough, Somayeh

    2016-09-14

    There is variety of stem cell sources but problems in ethical issues, contamination, and normal karyotype cause many limitations in obtaining and using these cells. The cells in Wharton's jelly region of umbilical cord are abundant and available stem cells with low immunological incompatibility, which could be considered for cell replacement therapy. Small molecules have been presented as less expensive biologically active compounds that can regulate different developmental process. Purmorphamine (PMA) is a small molecule that, according to some studies, possesses certain differentiation effects. In this study, we investigated the effect of the PMA on Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cell (WJ-MSC) differentiation into motor neuronal lineages instead of sonic hedgehog (Shh) on PCL scaffold. After exposing to induction media for 15 days, the cells were characterized for expression of motor neuron markers including PAX6, NF-H, Islet1, HB9, and choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) by quantitative reverse transcription (PCR) and immunocytochemistry. Our results demonstrated that induced WJ-MSCs with PMA could significantly express motor neuron markers in RNA and protein levels 15 days post induction. These results suggested that WJ-MSCs can differentiate to motor neuron-like cells with PMA on PCL scaffold and might provide a potential source in cell therapy for nervous system.

  2. Identification and Small Molecule Inhibition of an Activating Transcription Factor 4 (ATF4)-dependent Pathway to Age-related Skeletal Muscle Weakness and Atrophy*

    PubMed Central

    Ebert, Scott M.; Dyle, Michael C.; Bullard, Steven A.; Dierdorff, Jason M.; Murry, Daryl J.; Fox, Daniel K.; Bongers, Kale S.; Lira, Vitor A.; Meyerholz, David K.; Talley, John J.; Adams, Christopher M.

    2015-01-01

    Aging reduces skeletal muscle mass and strength, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we used mouse models to investigate molecular mechanisms of age-related skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy as well as new potential interventions for these conditions. We identified two small molecules that significantly reduce age-related deficits in skeletal muscle strength, quality, and mass: ursolic acid (a pentacyclic triterpenoid found in apples) and tomatidine (a steroidal alkaloid derived from green tomatoes). Because small molecule inhibitors can sometimes provide mechanistic insight into disease processes, we used ursolic acid and tomatidine to investigate the pathogenesis of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy. We found that ursolic acid and tomatidine generate hundreds of small positive and negative changes in mRNA levels in aged skeletal muscle, and the mRNA expression signatures of the two compounds are remarkably similar. Interestingly, a subset of the mRNAs repressed by ursolic acid and tomatidine in aged muscle are positively regulated by activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). Based on this finding, we investigated ATF4 as a potential mediator of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy. We found that a targeted reduction in skeletal muscle ATF4 expression reduces age-related deficits in skeletal muscle strength, quality, and mass, similar to ursolic acid and tomatidine. These results elucidate ATF4 as a critical mediator of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy. In addition, these results identify ursolic acid and tomatidine as potential agents and/or lead compounds for reducing ATF4 activity, weakness, and atrophy in aged skeletal muscle. PMID:26338703

  3. Identification and Small Molecule Inhibition of an Activating Transcription Factor 4 (ATF4)-dependent Pathway to Age-related Skeletal Muscle Weakness and Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Ebert, Scott M; Dyle, Michael C; Bullard, Steven A; Dierdorff, Jason M; Murry, Daryl J; Fox, Daniel K; Bongers, Kale S; Lira, Vitor A; Meyerholz, David K; Talley, John J; Adams, Christopher M

    2015-10-16

    Aging reduces skeletal muscle mass and strength, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we used mouse models to investigate molecular mechanisms of age-related skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy as well as new potential interventions for these conditions. We identified two small molecules that significantly reduce age-related deficits in skeletal muscle strength, quality, and mass: ursolic acid (a pentacyclic triterpenoid found in apples) and tomatidine (a steroidal alkaloid derived from green tomatoes). Because small molecule inhibitors can sometimes provide mechanistic insight into disease processes, we used ursolic acid and tomatidine to investigate the pathogenesis of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy. We found that ursolic acid and tomatidine generate hundreds of small positive and negative changes in mRNA levels in aged skeletal muscle, and the mRNA expression signatures of the two compounds are remarkably similar. Interestingly, a subset of the mRNAs repressed by ursolic acid and tomatidine in aged muscle are positively regulated by activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). Based on this finding, we investigated ATF4 as a potential mediator of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy. We found that a targeted reduction in skeletal muscle ATF4 expression reduces age-related deficits in skeletal muscle strength, quality, and mass, similar to ursolic acid and tomatidine. These results elucidate ATF4 as a critical mediator of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy. In addition, these results identify ursolic acid and tomatidine as potential agents and/or lead compounds for reducing ATF4 activity, weakness, and atrophy in aged skeletal muscle.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Synthesis and characterization of perm-selective SERS-active silica-coated gold nanospheres for the direct detection of small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre-Bolivar, Marie Carmelle Serviane

    Noble metal nanomaterials have numerous uses in plasmonic and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection applications; however, upon the addition of analytes, nanomaterials often undergo uncontrolled aggregation which leads to inconsistent signal intensities. To overcome this limitation, the effect of gold nanosphere concentration, column purification, and surface chemistry functionalization using internally etched silica stabilization methods was investigated on SERS assays for small molecule detection. Nanostructure composition, size, shape, stability, surface chemistry, optical properties, and SERS-activity were monitored using localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR or extinction) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Raman spectroscopy. First, the behavior of citrate-stabilized gold nanospheres was monitored as a function of molecular surface coverage. Both extinction and SERS spectral intensities increased linearly below monolayer functionalization. Above this value, however, uncontrolled nanoparticle aggregation occurred and large but irreproducible SERS signal intensities were monitored. Next, gold nanoparticles were encapsulated with varying silica shell thicknesses and purified using traditional centrifugation steps and/or column chromatography. Relative to the traditionally purified (i.e. centrifuged) samples, the SERS responses from small molecules using the column purified nanoparticle samples followed a well-known SERS distance-dependence model. Thus, surface chemistry cannot form more than a 2 nm thick layer on gold nanospheres if SERS applications were targeted. To overcome these challenges, gold nanospheres encapsulated with a thick silica shell were made SERS-active by etching the internal silica layer near the metal surface. During the synthesis of these internally etched silica-coated gold nanospheres, the LSPR wavelength shift, a parameter related to the effective local refractive index near the gold core, was

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

    PubMed

    Niu, Bing; Lu, Wencong

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Neohesperidin dihydrochalcone: presentation of a small molecule activator of mammalian alpha-amylase as an allosteric effector.

    PubMed

    Kashani-Amin, Elaheh; Larijani, Bagher; Ebrahim-Habibi, Azadeh

    2013-03-18

    Flavonoids and their precursor trans-chalcone have been reported as inhibitors of mammalian alpha-amylase. With regard to this background, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone (NHDC) effect was investigated toward porcine pancreatic alpha-amylase (PPA), and found to be an activator of the enzyme. The maximal activation (up to threefold) was found to occur at 4.8mM of NHDC, which could be considered to have a high activation profile, with regard to the alpha and beta parameters (alpha<1activator of the enzyme and based on the results obtained from modeling tools, it is suggested to interact with PPA at a hydrophilic site located at the N-terminal, far from the active site of the enzyme.

  8. 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

  9. Small-molecule reductants inhibit multicatalytic activity of AA-NADase from Agkistrodon acutus venom by reducing the disulfide-bonds and Cu(II) of enzyme.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li-Yun; Xu, Xiao-Long; Luo, Zhao-Feng; Wu, Hao; Shen, Deng-Ke; Peng, Li-Li; Liu, Yang-Zhong

    2010-02-01

    AA-NADase from Agkistrodon acutus venom is a unique multicatalytic enzyme with both NADase and AT(D)Pase activities. Among all identified NADases, only AA-NADase contains Cu(II) and has disulfide-bond linkages between two peptide chains. The effects of the reduction of the disulfide-bonds and Cu(II) in AA-NADase by small-molecule reductants on its NADase and ADPase activities have been investigated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, high performance liquid chromatography, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and isothermal titration calorimetry. The results show that AA-NADase has six disulfide-bonds and fifteen free cysteine residues. L-ascorbate inhibits AA-NADase on both NADase and ADPase activities through the reduction of Cu(II) in AA-NADase to Cu(I), while other reductants, dithiothreitol, glutathione and tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine inhibit both NADase and ADPase activities through the reduction of Cu(II) to Cu(I) and the cleavage of disulfide-bonds in AA-NADase. Apo-AA-NADase can recover its NADase and ADPase activities in the presence of 1 mM Zn(II). However, apo-AA-NADase does not recover any NADase or ADPase activity in the presence of 1 mM Zn(II) and 2 mM TCEP. The multicatalytic activity relies on both disulfide-bonds and Cu(II), while Cu(I) can not activate the enzyme activities. AA-NADase is probably only active as a dimer. The inhibition curves for both ADPase and NADase activities by each reductant share a similar trend, suggesting both ADPase and NADase activities probably occur at the same site. In addition, we also find that glutathione and L-ascorbate are endogenous inhibitors to the multicatalytic activity of AA-NADase. Copyright 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. High-Throughput Screening (HTS) and Hit Validation to Identify Small Molecule Inhibitors with Activity against NS3/4A proteases from Multiple Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyun; Zhu, Tian; Patel, Kavankumar; Zhang, Yan-Yan; Truong, Lena; Hevener, Kirk E.; Gatuz, Joseph L.; Subramanya, Gitanjali; Jeong, Hyun-Young; Uprichard, Susan L.; Johnson, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Development of drug-resistant mutations has been a major problem with all currently developed Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) NS3/4A inhibitors, including the two FDA approved drugs, significantly reducing the efficacy of these inhibitors. The high incidence of drug-resistance mutations and the limited utility of these inhibitors against only genotype 1 highlight the need for novel, broad-spectrum HCV therapies. Here we used high-throughput screening (HTS) to identify low molecular weight inhibitors against NS3/4A from multiple genotypes. A total of 40,967 compounds from four structurally diverse molecular libraries were screened by HTS using fluorescence-based enzymatic assays, followed by an orthogonal binding analysis using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to eliminate false positives. A novel small molecule compound was identified with an IC50 value of 2.2 µM against the NS3/4A from genotype 1b. Mode of inhibition analysis subsequently confirmed this compound to be a competitive inhibitor with respect to the substrate, indicating direct binding to the protease active site, rather than to the allosteric binding pocket that was discovered to be the binding site of a few recently discovered small molecule inhibitors. This newly discovered inhibitor also showed promising inhibitory activity against the NS3/4As from three other HCV genotypes, as well as five common drug-resistant mutants of genotype 1b NS3/4A. The inhibitor was selective for NS3 from multiple HCV genotypes over two human serine proteases, and a whole cell lysate assay confirmed inhibitory activity in the cellular environment. This compound provides a lead for further development of potentially broader spectrum inhibitors. PMID:24130685

  11. Exoplasmic cysteine Cys384 of the HDL receptor SR-BI is critical for its sensitivity to a small-molecule inhibitor and normal lipid transport activity

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Miao; Romer, Katherine A.; Nieland, Thomas J. F.; Xu, Shangzhe; Saenz-Vash, Veronica; Penman, Marsha; Yesilaltay, Ayce; Carr, Steven A.; Krieger, Monty

    2011-01-01

    The HDL receptor, scavenger receptor, class B, type I (SR-BI), is a homooligomeric cell surface glycoprotein that controls HDL structure and metabolism by mediating the cellular selective uptake of lipids, mainly cholesteryl esters, from HDL. The mechanism underlying SR-BI-mediated lipid transfer, which differs from classic receptor-mediated endocytosis, involves a two-step process (binding followed by lipid transport) that is poorly understood. Our previous structure/activity analysis of the small-molecule inhibitor blocker of lipid transport 1 (BLT-1), which potently (IC50 ∼ 50 nM) blocks SR-BI-mediated lipid transport, established that the sulfur in BLT-1’s thiosemicarbazone moiety was essential for activity. Here we show that BLT-1 is an irreversible inhibitor of SR-BI, raising the possibility that cysteine(s) in SR-BI interact with BLT-1. Mass spectrometric analysis of purified SR-BI showed two of its six exoplasmic cysteines have free thiol groups (Cys251 and Cys384). Converting Cys384 (but not Cys251) to serine resulted in complete BLT-1 insensitivity, establishing that the unique molecular target of BLT-1 inhibition of cellular SR-BI dependent lipid transport is SR-BI itself. The C384S substitution reduced the receptor’s intrinsic lipid uptake activity by approximately 60% without dramatically altering its surface expression, homooligomerization, or HDL binding. Thus, a small-molecule screening approach identified a key residue in SR-BI involved in lipid transport, providing a powerful springboard into the analyses of the structure and mechanism of SR-BI, and highlighting the power of this approach for such analyses. PMID:21746906

  12. A small-molecule inhibitor of T. gondii motility induces the posttranslational modification of myosin light chain-1 and inhibits myosin motor activity.

    PubMed

    Heaslip, Aoife T; Leung, Jacqueline M; Carey, Kimberly L; Catti, Federica; Warshaw, David M; Westwood, Nicholas J; Ballif, Bryan A; Ward, Gary E

    2010-01-15

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that enters cells by a process of active penetration. Host cell penetration and parasite motility are driven by a myosin motor complex consisting of four known proteins: TgMyoA, an unconventional Class XIV myosin; TgMLC1, a myosin light chain; and two membrane-associated proteins, TgGAP45 and TgGAP50. Little is known about how the activity of the myosin motor complex is regulated. Here, we show that treatment of parasites with a recently identified small-molecule inhibitor of invasion and motility results in a rapid and irreversible change in the electrophoretic mobility of TgMLC1. While the precise nature of the TgMLC1 modification has not yet been established, it was mapped to the peptide Val46-Arg59. To determine if the TgMLC1 modification is responsible for the motility defect observed in parasites after compound treatment, the activity of myosin motor complexes from control and compound-treated parasites was compared in an in vitro motility assay. TgMyoA motor complexes containing the modified TgMLC1 showed significantly decreased motor activity compared to control complexes. This change in motor activity likely accounts for the motility defects seen in the parasites after compound treatment and provides the first evidence, in any species, that the mechanical activity of Class XIV myosins can be modulated by posttranslational modifications to their associated light chains.

  13. A Small-Molecule Inhibitor of T. gondii Motility Induces the Posttranslational Modification of Myosin Light Chain-1 and Inhibits Myosin Motor Activity

    PubMed Central

    Heaslip, Aoife T.; Leung, Jacqueline M.; Carey, Kimberly L.; Catti, Federica; Warshaw, David M.; Westwood, Nicholas J.; Ballif, Bryan A.; Ward, Gary E.

    2010-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that enters cells by a process of active penetration. Host cell penetration and parasite motility are driven by a myosin motor complex consisting of four known proteins: TgMyoA, an unconventional Class XIV myosin; TgMLC1, a myosin light chain; and two membrane-associated proteins, TgGAP45 and TgGAP50. Little is known about how the activity of the myosin motor complex is regulated. Here, we show that treatment of parasites with a recently identified small-molecule inhibitor of invasion and motility results in a rapid and irreversible change in the electrophoretic mobility of TgMLC1. While the precise nature of the TgMLC1 modification has not yet been established, it was mapped to the peptide Val46-Arg59. To determine if the TgMLC1 modification is responsible for the motility defect observed in parasites after compound treatment, the activity of myosin motor complexes from control and compound-treated parasites was compared in an in vitro motility assay. TgMyoA motor complexes containing the modified TgMLC1 showed significantly decreased motor activity compared to control complexes. This change in motor activity likely accounts for the motility defects seen in the parasites after compound treatment and provides the first evidence, in any species, that the mechanical activity of Class XIV myosins can be modulated by posttranslational modifications to their associated light chains. PMID:20084115

  14. Physiological roles of small RNA molecules.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  15. Multivalent Small-Molecule Pan-RAS Inhibitors.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-23

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

  16. Design, synthesis and in vitro evaluation of potent, novel, small molecule inhibitors of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1.

    PubMed

    Folkes, Adrian; Brown, S David; Canne, Lynne E; Chan, Jocelyn; Engelhardt, Erin; Epshteyn, Sergey; Faint, Richard; Golec, Julian; Hanel, Art; Kearney, Patrick; Leahy, James W; Mac, Morrison; Matthews, David; Prisbylla, Michael P; Sanderson, Jason; Simon, Reyna J; Tesfai, Zerom; Vicker, Nigel; Wang, Shouming; Webb, Robert R; Charlton, Peter

    2002-04-08

    We have synthesized and evaluated a series of tetramic acid-based and hydroxyquinolinone-based inhibitors of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). These studies resulted in the identification of several compounds which showed excellent potency against PAI-1. The design, synthesis and SAR of these compounds are described.

  17. Discovery of a small molecule activator of the human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) cardiac K+ channel.

    PubMed

    Kang, Jiesheng; Chen, Xiao-Liang; Wang, Hongge; Ji, Junzhi; Cheng, Hsien; Incardona, Josephine; Reynolds, William; Viviani, Fabrice; Tabart, Michel; Rampe, David

    2005-03-01

    Many drugs inhibit the human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) cardiac K+ channel. This leads to action potential prolongation on the cellular level, a prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram, and sometimes cardiac arrhythmia. To date, no activators of this channel have been reported. Here, we describe the in vitro electrophysiological effects of (3R,4R)-4-[3-(6-methoxyquinolin-4-yl)-3-oxo-propyl]-1-[3-(2,3,5-trifluoro-phenyl)-prop-2-ynyl]-piperidine-3-carboxylic acid (RPR260243), a novel activator of HERG. Using patch-clamp electrophysiology, we found that RPR260243 dramatically slowed current deactivation when applied to cells stably expressing HERG. The effects of RPR260243 on HERG channel deactivation were temperature- and voltage-dependent and occurred over the concentration range of 1 to 30 microM. RPR260243-modified HERG currents were inhibited by dofetilide (IC50 = 58 nM). RPR260243 had little effect on HERG current amplitude and no significant effects on steady-state activation parameters or on channel inactivation processes. RPR260243 displayed no activator-like effects on other voltage-dependent ion channels, including the closely related erg3 K+ channel. RPR260243 enhanced the delayed rectifier current in guinea pig myocytes but, when administered alone, had little effect on action potential parameters in these cells. However, RPR260243 completely reversed the action potential-prolonging effects of dofetilide in this preparation. Using the Langendorff heart method, we found that 5 microM RPR260243 increased T-wave amplitude, prolonged the PR interval, and shortened the QT interval. We believe RPR260243 represents the first known HERG channel activator and that the drug works primarily by inhibiting channel closure, leading to a persistent HERG channel current upon repolarization. Compounds like RPR260243 will be useful for studying the physiological role of HERG and may one day find use in treating cardiac disease.

  18. Subdiffusion in Membrane Permeation of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Chipot, Christophe; Comer, Jeffrey

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Subdiffusion in Membrane Permeation of Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Chipot, Christophe; Comer, Jeffrey

    2016-11-02

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

  1. Preclinical Characterization of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 Small Molecule Inhibitors for Primary and Metastatic Brain Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Assi, Hikmat H.; Paran, Chris; VanderVeen, Nathan; Savakus, Jonathan; Doherty, Robert; Petruzzella, Emanuele; Hoeschele, James D.; Appelman, Henry; Raptis, Leda; Mikkelsen, Tom; Lowenstein, Pedro R.

    2014-01-01

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) has been implicated as a hub for multiple oncogenic pathways. The constitutive activation of STAT3 is present in several cancers, including gliomas (GBMs), and is associated with poor therapeutic responses. Phosphorylation of STAT3 triggers its dimerization and nuclear transport, where it promotes the transcription of genes that stimulate tumor growth. In light of this role, inhibitors of the STAT3 pathway are attractive therapeutic targets for cancer. To this end, we evaluated the STAT3-inhibitory activities of three compounds (CPA-7 [trichloronitritodiammineplatinum(IV)], WP1066 [(S,E)-3-(6-bromopyridin-2-yl)-2-cyano-N-(1-phenylethyl)acrylamide, C17H14BrN3O], and ML116 [4-benzyl-1-{thieno[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-yl}piperidine, C18H19N3S]) in cultured rodent and human glioma cells, including GBM cancer stem cells. Our results demonstrate a potent induction of growth arrest in GBM cells after drug treatment with a concomitant induction of cell death. Although these compounds were effective at inhibiting STAT3 phosphorylation, they also displayed variable dose-dependent inhibition of STAT1, STAT5, and nuclear factor κ light-chain enhancer of activated B cells. The therapeutic efficacy of these compounds was further evaluated in peripheral and intracranial mouse tumor models. Whereas CPA-7 elicited regression of peripheral tumors, both melanoma and GBM, its efficacy was not evident when the tumors were implanted within the brain. Our data suggest poor permeability of this compound to tumors located within the central nervous system. WP1066 and ML116 exhibited poor in vivo efficacy. In summary, CPA-7 constitutes a powerful anticancer agent in models of peripheral solid cancers. Our data strongly support further development of CPA-7–derived compounds with increased permeability to enhance their efficacy in primary and metastatic brain tumors. PMID:24696041

  2. Preclinical characterization of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 small molecule inhibitors for primary and metastatic brain cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Assi, Hikmat H; Paran, Chris; VanderVeen, Nathan; Savakus, Jonathan; Doherty, Robert; Petruzzella, Emanuele; Hoeschele, James D; Appelman, Henry; Raptis, Leda; Mikkelsen, Tom; Lowenstein, Pedro R; Castro, Maria G

    2014-06-01

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) has been implicated as a hub for multiple oncogenic pathways. The constitutive activation of STAT3 is present in several cancers, including gliomas (GBMs), and is associated with poor therapeutic responses. Phosphorylation of STAT3 triggers its dimerization and nuclear transport, where it promotes the transcription of genes that stimulate tumor growth. In light of this role, inhibitors of the STAT3 pathway are attractive therapeutic targets for cancer. To this end, we evaluated the STAT3-inhibitory activities of three compounds (CPA-7 [trichloronitritodiammineplatinum(IV)], WP1066 [(S,E)-3-(6-bromopyridin-2-yl)-2-cyano-N-(1-phenylethyl)acrylamide, C17H14BrN3O], and ML116 [4-benzyl-1-{thieno[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-yl}piperidine, C18H19N3S]) in cultured rodent and human glioma cells, including GBM cancer stem cells. Our results demonstrate a potent induction of growth arrest in GBM cells after drug treatment with a concomitant induction of cell death. Although these compounds were effective at inhibiting STAT3 phosphorylation, they also displayed variable dose-dependent inhibition of STAT1, STAT5, and nuclear factor κ light-chain enhancer of activated B cells. The therapeutic efficacy of these compounds was further evaluated in peripheral and intracranial mouse tumor models. Whereas CPA-7 elicited regression of peripheral tumors, both melanoma and GBM, its efficacy was not evident when the tumors were implanted within the brain. Our data suggest poor permeability of this compound to tumors located within the central nervous system. WP1066 and ML116 exhibited poor in vivo efficacy. In summary, CPA-7 constitutes a powerful anticancer agent in models of peripheral solid cancers. Our data strongly support further development of CPA-7-derived compounds with increased permeability to enhance their efficacy in primary and metastatic brain tumors.

  3. Borreliacidal activity of Borrelia metal transporter A (BmtA) binding small molecules by manganese transport inhibition.

    PubMed

    Wagh, Dhananjay; Pothineni, Venkata Raveendra; Inayathullah, Mohammed; Liu, Song; Kim, Kwang-Min; Rajadas, Jayakumar

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, utilizes manganese (Mn) for its various metabolic needs. We hypothesized that blocking Mn transporter could be a possible approach to inhibit metabolic activity of this pathogen and eliminate the infection. We used a combination of in silico protein structure prediction together with molecular docking to target the Borrelia metal transporter A (BmtA), a single known Mn transporter in Borrelia and screened libraries of FDA approved compounds that could potentially bind to the predicted BmtA structure with high affinity. Tricyclic antihistamines such as loratadine, desloratadine, and 3-hydroxydesloratadine as well as yohimbine and tadalafil demonstrated a tight binding to the in silico folded BmtA transporter. We, then, tested borreliacidal activity and dose response of the shortlisted compounds from this screen using a series of in vitro assays. Amongst the probed compounds, desloratadine exhibited potent borreliacidal activity in vitro at and above 78 μg/mL (250 μM). Borrelia treated with lethal doses of desloratadine exhibited a significant loss of intracellular Mn specifically and a severe structural damage to the bacterial cell wall. Our results support the possibility of developing a novel, targeted therapy to treat Lyme disease by targeting specific metabolic needs of Borrelia.

  4. Borreliacidal activity of Borrelia metal transporter A (BmtA) binding small molecules by manganese transport inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Wagh, Dhananjay; Pothineni, Venkata Raveendra; Inayathullah, Mohammed; Liu, Song; Kim, Kwang-Min; Rajadas, Jayakumar

    2015-01-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, utilizes manganese (Mn) for its various metabolic needs. We hypothesized that blocking Mn transporter could be a possible approach to inhibit metabolic activity of this pathogen and eliminate the infection. We used a combination of in silico protein structure prediction together with molecular docking to target the Borrelia metal transporter A (BmtA), a single known Mn transporter in Borrelia and screened libraries of FDA approved compounds that could potentially bind to the predicted BmtA structure with high affinity. Tricyclic antihistamines such as loratadine, desloratadine, and 3-hydroxydesloratadine as well as yohimbine and tadalafil demonstrated a tight binding to the in silico folded BmtA transporter. We, then, tested borreliacidal activity and dose response of the shortlisted compounds from this screen using a series of in vitro assays. Amongst the probed compounds, desloratadine exhibited potent borreliacidal activity in vitro at and above 78 μg/mL (250 μM). Borrelia treated with lethal doses of desloratadine exhibited a significant loss of intracellular Mn specifically and a severe structural damage to the bacterial cell wall. Our results support the possibility of developing a novel, targeted therapy to treat Lyme disease by targeting specific metabolic needs of Borrelia. PMID:25709405

  5. Analysis of the Activities of RAD54, a SWI2/SNF2 Protein, Using a Specific Small-molecule Inhibitor*

    PubMed Central

    Deakyne, Julianna S.; Huang, Fei; Negri, Joseph; Tolliday, Nicola; Cocklin, Simon; Mazin, Alexander V.

    2013-01-01

    RAD54, an important homologous recombination protein, is a member of the SWI2/SNF2 family of ATPase-dependent DNA translocases. In vitro, RAD54 stimulates RAD51-mediated DNA strand exchange and promotes branch migration of Holliday junctions. It is thought that an ATPase-dependent DNA translocation is required for both of these RAD54 activities. Here we identified, by high-throughput screening, a specific RAD54 inhibitor, streptonigrin (SN), and used it to investigate the mechanisms of RAD54 activities. We found that SN specifically targets the RAD54 ATPase, but not DNA binding, through direct interaction with RAD54 and generation of reactive oxygen species. Consistent with the dependence of branch migration (BM) on the ATPase-dependent DNA translocation of RAD54, SN inhibited RAD54 BM. Surprisingly, the ability of RAD54 to stimulate RAD51 DNA strand exchange was not significantly affected by SN, indicating a relatively smaller role of RAD54 DNA translocation in this process. Thus, the use of SN enabled us to identify important differences in the effect of the RAD54 ATPase and DNA translocation on two major activities of RAD54, BM of Holliday junctions and stimulation of DNA pairing. PMID:24043618

  6. Small Molecules with Similar Structures Exhibit Agonist, Neutral Antagonist or Inverse Agonist Activity toward Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Hanzawa, Hiroyuki; Nakao, Naoki; Fujino, Masahiro; Imaizumi, Satoshi; Matsuo, Yoshino; Yanagisawa, Hiroaki; Koike, Hiroyuki; Komuro, Issei; Karnik, Sadashiva S.; Saku, Keijiro

    2012-01-01

    Small differences in the chemical structures of ligands can be responsible for agonism, neutral antagonism or inverse agonism toward a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Although each ligand may stabilize the receptor conformation in a different way, little is known about the precise conformational differences. We synthesized the angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker (ARB) olmesartan, R239470 and R794847, which induced inverse agonism, antagonism and agonism, respectively, and then investigated the ligand-specific changes in the receptor conformation with respect to stabilization around transmembrane (TM)3. The results of substituted cysteine accessibility mapping studies support the novel concept that ligand-induced changes in the conformation of TM3 play a role in stabilizing GPCR. Although the agonist-, neutral antagonist and inverse agonist-binding sites in the AT1 receptor are similar, each ligand induced specific conformational changes in TM3. In addition, all of the experimental data were obtained with functional receptors in a native membrane environment (in situ). PMID:22719858

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Induction of apoptosis in Ehrlich ascites tumour cells via p53 activation by a novel small-molecule MDM2 inhibitor - LQFM030.

    PubMed

    da Mota, Mariana F; Cortez, Alane P; Benfica, Polyana L; Rodrigues, Bruna Dos S; Castro, Thalyta F; Macedo, Larissa M; Castro, Carlos H; Lião, Luciano M; de Carvalho, Flávio S; Romeiro, Luiz A S; Menegatti, Ricardo; Verli, Hugo; Villavicencio, Bianca; Valadares, Marize C

    2016-09-01

    The activation of the p53 pathway through the inhibition of MDM2 has been proposed as a novel therapeutic strategy against tumours. A series of cis-imidazoline analogues, termed nutlins, were reported to displace the recombinant p53 protein from its complex with MDM2 by binding to MDM2 in the p53 pocket, and exhibited an antitumour activity both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the antitumour properties of LQFM030 (2), a nutlin analogue created by employing the strategy of molecular simplification. LQFM030 (2) cytotoxicity was evaluated in Ehrlich ascites tumour (EAT) cells, p53 wild type, by the trypan blue exclusion test, and the mechanisms involved in EAT cell death were investigated by light and fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, real-time PCR and Western blotting. Our results demonstrate that LQFM030 has dose-dependent antiproliferative activity and cytotoxic activity on EAT cells, induces the accumulation of p53 protein and promotes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. p53 gene transcription was unaffected by LQFM030 (2); however, MDM2 mRNA increased and MDM2 protein decreased. These results suggest that the small-molecule p53 activator LQFM030 (2) has the potential for further development as a novel cancer therapeutic agent. © 2016 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  9. Small Molecule Thin Film Solar Cells With Active Layers Composed Of Copper Phthalocyanine (CuPc) And Fullerene (C70)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kekuda, Dhananjaya; Rao, K. Mohan; Tolpadi, Amita; Rajendra, B. V.; Chu, C. W.

    2011-07-01

    We have grown organic solar cells through bilayer structure using copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) as the donor material and fullerene (C70) as the acceptor. In this article, we demonstrate power conversion efficiency of 1.47% for the bilayered solar cells composed of CuPc and C70. Successful tuning of the thickness of the individual layers was carried out to obtain the optimum solar cell parameters. It has been found that efficiency of the bilayer devices depends primarily on the individual layer thickness and thermal annealing of the devices. Overall, bilayer structure is suitable when the active layers are insoluble in most of the commonly available solvents.

  10. A novel small molecule agent displays potent anti-myeloma activity by inhibiting the JAK2-STAT3 signaling pathway

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jingyu; Xu, Yujia; Wang, Siyu; Xu, Xin; Ji, Peng; Yu, Yang; Cao, Biyin; Han, Kunkun; Hou, Tingjun; Xu, Zhuan; Kong, Yan; Jiang, Gaofeng; Tang, Xiaowen; Qiao, Chunhua; Mao, Xinliang

    2016-01-01

    The oncogenic STAT3 signaling pathway is emerging as a promising target for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). In the present study, we identified a novel STAT3 inhibitor SC99 in a target-based high throughput screen. SC99 inhibited JAK2-STAT3 activation but had no effects on other transcription factors such as NF-κB, and kinases such as AKT, ERK, and c-Src that are in association with STAT3 signaling pathway. Furthermore, SC99 downregulated the expression of STAT3-modulated genes, including Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, VEGF, cyclin D2, and E2F-1. By inhibiting the STAT3 signaling, SC99 induced MM cell apoptosis which could be partly abolished by the ectopic expression of STAT3. Furthermore, SC99 displayed potent anti-MM activity in two independent MM xenograft models in nude mice. Oral administration of SC99 led to marked decrease of tumor growth within 10 days at a daily dosage of 30 mg/kg, but did not raise toxic effects. Taken together, this study identified a novel oral JAK2/STAT3 inhibitor that could be developed as an anti-myeloma agent. PMID:26814430

  11. Importance of functional groups in predicting the activity of small molecule inhibitors for Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL.

    PubMed

    Kanakaveti, Vishnupriya; Sakthivel, Ramasamy; Rayala, S K; Gromiha, M Michael

    2017-08-01

    Evasion of apoptosis owing to aberrant expression of Bcl-2 (B-cell lymphoma-2) anti-apoptotic proteins is a promising hallmark of cancer. These proteins are associated with resistance to chemotherapy and radiation. Currently available QSAR models are limited to a set of inhibitors corresponding to a particular chemical scaffold, and unified models are required to identify the differential specificity of diverse compounds toward inhibiting these targets. In this study, we predicted the factors driving differential activity and specificity implementing multiplexed QSAR analysis for a dataset of 1,649 reported inhibitors of Bcl-2 (B-cell lymphoma-2) and Bcl-xL (B-cell lymphoma-extra large). We developed QSAR models for seven diverse scaffolds and critically analyzed the chemical space with coupling factors. The correlation values of QSAR models for Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL range from 0.95 to 0.985. The MAE and sMAPE of the models were in the range of 0.052-5.4 nm and 0.41%-10%, respectively, signifying model robustness. The crucial descriptors and moieties accounting for the activity were benchmarked against experimentally determined binding patterns. The comprehensive analysis made in the study explores latent features of the chemical space in a broad perspective. Further, we have developed a user-friendly Web server for predicting a specific/dual inhibitor of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL [http://www.iitm.ac.in/bioinfo/APPLE/]. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  12. 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.

  13. Small molecule AKAP-protein kinase A (PKA) interaction disruptors that activate PKA interfere with compartmentalized cAMP signaling in cardiac myocytes.

    PubMed

    Christian, Frank; Szaszák, Márta; Friedl, Sabine; Drewianka, Stephan; Lorenz, Dorothea; Goncalves, Andrey; Furkert, Jens; Vargas, Carolyn; Schmieder, Peter; Götz, Frank; Zühlke, Kerstin; Moutty, Marie; Göttert, Hendrikje; Joshi, Mangesh; Reif, Bernd; Haase, Hannelore; Morano, Ingo; Grossmann, Solveig; Klukovits, Anna; Verli, Judit; Gáspár, Róbert; Noack, Claudia; Bergmann, Martin; Kass, Robert; Hampel, Kornelia; Kashin, Dmitry; Genieser, Hans-Gottfried; Herberg, Friedrich W; Willoughby, Debbie; Cooper, Dermot M F; Baillie, George S; Houslay, Miles D; von Kries, Jens Peter; Zimmermann, Bastian; Rosenthal, Walter; Klussmann, Enno

    2011-03-18

    A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) tether protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling proteins to defined intracellular sites, thereby establishing compartmentalized cAMP signaling. AKAP-PKA interactions play key roles in various cellular processes, including the regulation of cardiac myocyte contractility. We discovered small molecules, 3,3'-diamino-4,4'-dihydroxydiphenylmethane (FMP-API-1) and its derivatives, which inhibit AKAP-PKA interactions in vitro and in cultured cardiac myocytes. The molecules bind to an allosteric site of regulatory subunits of PKA identifying a hitherto unrecognized region that controls AKAP-PKA interactions. FMP-API-1 also activates PKA. The net effect of FMP-API-1 is a selective interference with compartmentalized cAMP signaling. In cardiac myocytes, FMP-API-1 reveals a novel mechanism involved in terminating β-adrenoreceptor-induced cAMP synthesis. In addition, FMP-API-1 leads to an increase in contractility of cultured rat cardiac myocytes and intact hearts. Thus, FMP-API-1 represents not only a novel means to study compartmentalized cAMP/PKA signaling but, due to its effects on cardiac myocytes and intact hearts, provides the basis for a new concept in the treatment of chronic heart failure.

  14. Small Molecule AKAP-Protein Kinase A (PKA) Interaction Disruptors That Activate PKA Interfere with Compartmentalized cAMP Signaling in Cardiac Myocytes*

    PubMed Central

    Christian, Frank; Szaszák, Márta; Friedl, Sabine; Drewianka, Stephan; Lorenz, Dorothea; Goncalves, Andrey; Furkert, Jens; Vargas, Carolyn; Schmieder, Peter; Götz, Frank; Zühlke, Kerstin; Moutty, Marie; Göttert, Hendrikje; Joshi, Mangesh; Reif, Bernd; Haase, Hannelore; Morano, Ingo; Grossmann, Solveig; Klukovits, Anna; Verli, Judit; Gáspár, Róbert; Noack, Claudia; Bergmann, Martin; Kass, Robert; Hampel, Kornelia; Kashin, Dmitry; Genieser, Hans-Gottfried; Herberg, Friedrich W.; Willoughby, Debbie; Cooper, Dermot M. F.; Baillie, George S.; Houslay, Miles D.; von Kries, Jens Peter; Zimmermann, Bastian; Rosenthal, Walter; Klussmann, Enno

    2011-01-01

    A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) tether protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling proteins to defined intracellular sites, thereby establishing compartmentalized cAMP signaling. AKAP-PKA interactions play key roles in various cellular processes, including the regulation of cardiac myocyte contractility. We discovered small molecules, 3,3′-diamino-4,4′-dihydroxydiphenylmethane (FMP-API-1) and its derivatives, which inhibit AKAP-PKA interactions in vitro and in cultured cardiac myocytes. The molecules bind to an allosteric site of regulatory subunits of PKA identifying a hitherto unrecognized region that controls AKAP-PKA interactions. FMP-API-1 also activates PKA. The net effect of FMP-API-1 is a selective interference with compartmentalized cAMP signaling. In cardiac myocytes, FMP-API-1 reveals a novel mechanism involved in terminating β-adrenoreceptor-induced cAMP synthesis. In addition, FMP-API-1 leads to an increase in contractility of cultured rat cardiac myocytes and intact hearts. Thus, FMP-API-1 represents not only a novel means to study compartmentalized cAMP/PKA signaling but, due to its effects on cardiac myocytes and intact hearts, provides the basis for a new concept in the treatment of chronic heart failure. PMID:21177871

  15. Discovery of Potent Anticancer Agent HJC0416, an Orally Bioavailable Small Molecule Inhibitor of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3)

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Haijun; Yang, Zhengduo; Ding, Chunyong; Xiong, Ailian; Wild, Christopher; Wang, Lili; Ye, Na; Cai, Guoshuai; Flores, Rudolfo M.; Ding, Ye; Shen, Qiang; Zhou, Jia

    2014-01-01

    In a continuing effort to develop orally bioavailable small-molecule STAT3 inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents for human cancer, a series of novel diversified analogues based on our identified lead compound HJC0149 (1) (5-chloro-N-(1,1-dioxo-1H-1λ6-benzo[b]thiophen-6-yl)-2-hydroxybenzamide, Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2013, 62, 498–507) have been rationally designed, synthesized, and pharmacologically evaluated. Molecular docking studies and biological characterization supported our earlier findings that the O-alkylamino-tethered side chain on the hydroxyl group is an effective and essential structural determinant for improving biological activities and druglike properties of these molecules. Compounds with such modifications exhibited potent antiproliferative effects against breast and pancreatic cancer cell lines with IC50 values from low micromolar to nanomolar range. Among them, the newly discovered STAT3 inhibitor 12 (HJC0416) displayed an intriguing anticancer profile both in vitro and in vivo (i.p. & p.o.). More importantly, HJC0416 is an orally bioavailable anticancer agent as a promising candidate for further development. PMID:24904966

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Eggeling, Lothar

    2016-11-11

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

  18. Characterization of dopant diffusion within semiconducting polymer and small-molecule films using infrared-active vibrational modes and attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Maliakal, Ashok J

    2013-09-11

    Understanding dopant diffusion within organic and polymeric semiconductors is of great importance toward the development of organic photovoltaic and electronic devices, many of which require layered structures with controlled doping profiles (e.g., p-n and p-i-n structures). The current paper demonstrates a new method to determine the diffusion and permeability coefficients for dopant diffusion within polymeric and small-molecule organic semiconductors using attenuated total reflectance infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy and taking advantage of the intense IR-active vibrational bands created when dopants such as iodine accept charge from a semiconducting polymer to generate polaronic species. The diffusion and permeability coefficients for iodine within poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) are determined to be 2.5×10(-11)±1.2×10(-11) cm2/s and 2.4×10(-8)±1.2×10(-8) cm2/s·atm, respectively. The approach is applied to P3HT/PCBM (1:1 mass ratio) films, and the diffusion and permeability coefficients through these composite films are determined to be 7.8×10(-11)±2.8×10(-11) cm2/s and 4.8×10(-8)±1.3×10(-8) cm2/s·atm, respectively. Finally, the approach is extended to determining iodine diffusion within the polycrystalline semiconductor tetraphenylporphyrin (TPP) in a bilayer film with P3HT, and the diffusion coefficient of iodine through TPP is determined to be 7.1×10(-14)±1.1×10(-14) cm2/s. Although the current paper determines diffusion and permeability for the dopant iodine, this approach should be applicable to a wide array of dopants and polymeric and small-molecule semiconductors of interest in photovoltaic and electronic applications.

  19. Recent advances in developing small molecules targeting RNA.

    PubMed

    Guan, Lirui; Disney, Matthew D

    2012-01-20

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

  20. Managing missing measurements in small-molecule screens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakab, Cheryl

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Small-molecule dissection of brassinosteroid signaling.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Phase I pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of triciribine phosphate monohydrate, a small-molecule inhibitor of AKT phosphorylation, in adult subjects with solid tumors containing activated AKT.

    PubMed

    Garrett, Christopher R; Coppola, Domenico; Wenham, Robert M; Cubitt, Christopher L; Neuger, Anthony M; Frost, Timothy J; Lush, Richard M; Sullivan, Daniel M; Cheng, Jin Q; Sebti, Saïd M

    2011-12-01

    Triciribine phosphate is a potent, small-molecule inhibitor of activation of all three isoforms of AKT in vitro. AKT is an intracellular protein that, when activated, leads to cellular division; it is dysregulated in a large number of malignancies, and constitutively activating AKT mutations are present in a minority of cancers. In this phase I study triciribine phosphate monohydrate (TCN-PM) was administered to subjects whose tumors displayed evidence of increased AKT phosphorylation (p-AKT) as measured by immunohistochemical analysis (IHC). TCN-PM was administered over 30 min on days 1, 8 and 15 of a 28-day cycle. Tumor biopsy specimens, collected before treatment and on day +15, were assessed for p-AKT by IHC and western blot analyses. Nineteen subjects were enrolled; 13 received at least one cycle of therapy, and a total of 34 complete cycles were delivered. One subject was treated at the 45 mg/m(2) dose before the study was closed due to its primary objective having been met. No dose-limiting toxic effects were observed. Modest decreases in tumor p-AKT following therapy with TCN-PM were observed at the 35 mg/m(2) and 45 mg/m(2) dose levels, although definitive conclusions were limited by the small sample size. These preliminary data suggest that treatment with TCN-PM inhibits tumor p-AKT at doses that were tolerable. Although single agent activity was not observed in this enriched population, further combination studies of TCN-PM with other signal transduction pathway inhibitors in solid tumors is warranted.

  7. Phase I pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of triciribine phosphate monohydrate, a small-molecule inhibitor of AKT phosphorylation, in adult subjects with solid tumors containing activated AKT

    PubMed Central

    Garrett, Christopher R.; Coppola, Domenico; Wenham, Robert M.; Cubitt, Christopher L.; Neuger, Anthony M.; Frost, Timothy J.; Lush, Richard M.; Sullivan, Daniel M.; Cheng, Jin Q.; Sebti, Saïd M.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Purpose Triciribine phosphate is a potent, small-molecule inhibitor of activation of all three isoforms of AKT in vitro. AKT is an intracellular protein that, when activated, leads to cellular division; it is dysregulated in a large number of malignancies, and constitutively activating AKT mutations are present in a minority of cancers. Patients and methods In this phase I study triciribine phosphate monohydrate (TCN-PM) was administered to subjects whose tumors displayed evidence of increased AKT phosphorylation (p-AKT) as measured by immunohistochemical analysis (IHC). TCN-PM was administered over 30 min on days 1, 8 and 15 of a 28-day cycle. Tumor biopsy specimens, collected before treatment and on day +15, were assessed for p-AKT by IHC and western blot analyses. Results Nineteen subjects were enrolled; 13 received at least one cycle of therapy, and a total of 34 complete cycles were delivered. One subject was treated at the 45 mg/m2 dose before the study was closed due to its primary objective having been met. No dose-limiting toxic effects were observed. Modest decreases in tumor p-AKT following therapy with TCN-PM were observed at the 35 mg/m2 and 45 mg/m2 dose levels, although definitive conclusions were limited by the small sample size. Conclusions These preliminary data suggest that treatment with TCN-PM inhibits tumor p-AKT at doses that were tolerable. Although single agent activity was not observed in this enriched population, further combination studies of TCN-PM with other signal transduction pathway inhibitors in solid tumors is warranted. PMID:20644979

  8. 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.

  9. Pharmacological modulation of histone demethylase activity by a small molecule isolated from subcritical water extracts of Sasa senanensis leaves prolongs the lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Extracts of Sasa senanensis Rehder are used in traditional Japanese medicine; however, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of their potential health benefits. Methods S. senanensis leaves were extracted with subcritical water. An active small-molecule was isolated using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and identified as 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde (protocatechuic aldehyde or PA). The effects of PA on the activity of histone demethylase, the Drosophila melanogaster lifespan and gene expression in Drosophila S2 cells were investigated. Results PA inhibited the activity of Jumonji domain-containing protein 2A (JMJD2A) histone demethylase in a dose-dependent manner with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 11.6 μM. However, there was no effect on lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) or HDAC8. PA significantly extended the lifespan of female, but not male, Drosophila. In Drosophila S2 cells, the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein (4E-BP) was up-regulated by PA exposure. Conclusions Our findings provide insight into the possible relationship between the pharmacological modulation of histone demethylation and lifespan extension by PA; they might also be important in the development of alternative therapies for age-related disorders. PMID:22809229

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. A two-component small molecule system for activity-based detection and signal amplification: application to the visual detection of threshold levels of Pd(II).

    PubMed

    Baker, Matthew S; Phillips, Scott T

    2011-04-13

    A detection and signal amplification strategy aimed toward threshold diagnostic assays for use in resource-limited settings is described. The strategy employs two small molecule reagents that work in tandem. One reagent detects a specific analyte, while the second amplifies a colorimetric readout autocatalytically. The strategy is demonstrated using palladium(II) as a model analyte. © 2011 American Chemical Society

  13. Effects of the small molecule SIRT1 activator, SRT2104 on arterial stiffness in otherwise healthy cigarette smokers and subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Venkatasubramanian, Sowmya; Noh, Radzi M; Daga, Shruti; Langrish, Jeremy P; Mills, Nicholas L; Waterhouse, Brian R; Hoffmann, Ethan; Jacobson, Eric W; Lang, Ninian N; Frier, Brian M; Newby, David E

    2016-01-01

    Arterial stiffness increases with age, and is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcome including increased mortality. The effect of the oral small molecule SIRT1 activator, SRT2104, on arterial stiffness was examined in otherwise healthy cigarette smokers and participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus. 24 otherwise healthy cigarette smokers and 15 people with stable type 2 diabetes were randomised in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial and received 28 days of oral SRT2104 (2.0 g/day) or matched placebo. Blood pressure was measured using non-invasive oscillatory sphygmomanometry. Pulse wave analysis and velocity were measured using applanation tonometry at baseline and the end of each treatment period. Owing to the small sample size and similar trends for both groups, data for the two groups were pooled (post hoc analysis). Compared to placebo, treatment with SRT2104 was associated with a significant reduction in augmentation pressure (p=0.0273) and a trend towards improvement in the augmentation index and corrected augmentation index (p>0.05 for both). However, no changes were observed in pulse wave velocity and time to wave reflection (p>0.05). Systolic and diastolic blood pressures remained unchanged throughout the study. Treatment by cohort interaction was not significant for any of the pulse wave parameters, suggesting that the response to SRT2104 in otherwise healthy smokers and people with diabetes was consistent. SRT2104 may improve measures of arterial stiffness in otherwise healthy cigarette smokers and in participants with type 2 diabetes. Definitive conclusions are not possible given the small sample size and exploratory nature of this analysis. NCT01031108.

  14. VB-201, an oxidized phospholipid small molecule, inhibits CD14- and Toll-like receptor-2-dependent innate cell activation and constrains atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Mendel, I; Feige, E; Yacov, N; Salem, Y; Levi, I; Propheta-Meiran, O; Shoham, A; Ishai, E; George, J; Harats, D; Breitbart, E

    2014-01-01

    Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the vascular wall. Activated monocytes and dendritic cells (DC) in the intima layer of the vasculature promote atherogenesis. Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 and TLR-4, which are predominantly expressed on these cells and mediate their activation, are essential for atherosclerosis development. In this study we demonstrate that VB-201, an oxidized phospholipid (Ox-PL) small molecule, inhibits TLR signalling restricted to TLR-2 and TLR-4 in human and mouse monocytes and DC. Mechanistically, we show that VB-201 binds directly to TLR-2 and CD14, the TLR-4 co-receptor, to impair downstream cues and cytokine production. In a rabbit model, oral administration of VB-201 constrained atherosclerosis progression. This effect was not due to reduced cholesterol abundance, as hyperlipidaemia was sustained. We suggest that VB-201 may counter inflammation where TLR-2 and/or CD14 complicity is essential, and is therefore beneficial for the treatment of atherosclerosis. PMID:24116867

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-12-29

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

  16. Small molecule R1498 as a well-tolerated and orally active kinase inhibitor for hepatocellular carcinoma and gastric cancer treatment via targeting angiogenesis and mitosis pathways.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chao; Wu, Xihan; Zhang, Meifang; Zhu, Liangcheng; Zhao, Rong; Xu, Danqing; Lin, Zhaohu; Liang, Chungen; Chen, Taiping; Chen, Li; Ren, Yi; Zhang, Joe; Qin, Ning; Zhang, Xiongwen

    2013-01-01

    Protein kinases play important roles in tumor development and progression. Lots of kinase inhibitors have entered into market and show promising clinical benefits. Here we report the discovery of a novel small molecule, well-tolerated, orally active kinase inhibitor, R1498, majorly targeting both angiogenic and mitotic pathways for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and gastric cancer (GC). A series of biochemical and cell-based assays indicated that the target kinase cluster of R1498 included Aurora kinases and VEGFR2 et al. R1498 showed moderate in vitro growth inhibition on a panel of tumor cells with IC50 of micromole range. The in vivo anti-tumor efficacy of R1498 was evaluated on a panel of GC and HCC xenografts in a parallel comparison with another multikinase inhibitor sorafenib. R1498 demonstrated superior efficacy and toxicity profile over sorafenib in all test models with >80% tumor growth inhibition and tumor regression in some xenogratfts. The therapeutic potential of R1498 was also highlighted by its efficacy on three human GC primary tumor derived xenograft models with 10-30% tumor regression rate. R1498 was shown to actively inhibit the Aurora A activity in vivo, and decrease the vascularization in tumors. Furthermore, R1498 presented good in vivo exposure and therapeutic window in the pharmacokinetic and dose range finding studies. Theses evidences indicate that R1498 is a potent, well-tolerated, orally active multitarget kinase inhibitor with a unique antiangiogenic and antiproliferative profile, and provide strong confidence for further development for HCC and GC therapy.

  17. Small Molecule R1498 as a Well-Tolerated and Orally Active Kinase Inhibitor for Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Gastric Cancer Treatment via Targeting Angiogenesis and Mitosis Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chao; Wu, Xihan; Zhang, Meifang; Zhu, Liangcheng; Zhao, Rong; Xu, Danqing; Lin, Zhaohu; Liang, Chungen; Chen, Taiping; Chen, Li; Ren, Yi; Zhang, Joe; Qin, Ning; Zhang, Xiongwen

    2013-01-01

    Protein kinases play important roles in tumor development and progression. Lots of kinase inhibitors have entered into market and show promising clinical benefits. Here we report the discovery of a novel small molecule, well-tolerated, orally active kinase inhibitor, R1498, majorly targeting both angiogenic and mitotic pathways for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and gastric cancer (GC). A series of biochemical and cell-based assays indicated that the target kinase cluster of R1498 included Aurora kinases and VEGFR2 et al. R1498 showed moderate in vitro growth inhibition on a panel of tumor cells with IC50 of micromole range. The in vivo anti-tumor efficacy of R1498 was evaluated on a panel of GC and HCC xenografts in a parallel comparison with another multikinase inhibitor sorafenib. R1498 demonstrated superior efficacy and toxicity profile over sorafenib in all test models with >80% tumor growth inhibition and tumor regression in some xenogratfts. The therapeutic potential of R1498 was also highlighted by its efficacy on three human GC primary tumor derived xenograft models with 10–30% tumor regression rate. R1498 was shown to actively inhibit the Aurora A activity in vivo, and decrease the vascularization in tumors. Furthermore, R1498 presented good in vivo exposure and therapeutic window in the pharmacokinetic and dose range finding studies. Theses evidences indicate that R1498 is a potent, well-tolerated, orally active multitarget kinase inhibitor with a unique antiangiogenic and antiproliferative profile, and provide strong confidence for further development for HCC and GC therapy. PMID:23755206

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

    PubMed

    Doweyko, Arthur M; Doweyko, Lidia M

    2009-09-01

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

  19. Hangman Catalysis for Photo–and Photoelectro–Chemical Activation of Water Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Mechanisms of Small Molecule Activation

    SciTech Connect

    Nocera, Daniel G.

    2013-03-15

    The weakest link for the large-scale deployment of solar energy and for that matter, any renewable energy source, is its storage. The energy needs of future society demands are so large that storage must be in the form of fuels owing to their high energy density. Indeed, society has intuitively understood this disparity in energy density as it has developed over the last century as all large-scale energy storage in our society is in the form of fuels. But these fuels are carbon-based. The imperative for the discipline of chemistry, and more generally science, is to develop fuel storage methods that are easily scalable, carbon-neutral and sustainable. These methods demand the creation of catalysts to manage the multi-electron, multi-proton transformations of the conversion of small molecules into fuels. The splitting of water using solar light is a fuel-forming reaction that meets the imperative of large scale energy storage. As light does not directly act on water to engender its splitting into its elemental components, we have designed “hangman” catalysts to effect the energy conversion processes needed for the fuel forming reactions. The hangman construct utilizes a pendant acid/base functionality within the secondary coordination sphere that is “hung” above the redox platform onto which substrate binds. In this way, we can precisely control the delivery of a proton to the substrate, thus ensuring efficient coupling between the proton and electron. An emphasis was on the coupling of electron and proton in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) on Ni, Co and Fe porphyrin platforms. Electrokinetic rate laws were developed to define the proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) mechanism. The HER of Co and Fe porphyrins was metal-centered. Surprisingly, HER this was not the case for Ni porphyrins. In this system, the PCET occurred at the porphyrin platform to give rise to a phlorin. This is one of the first examples of an HER occurring via ligand non

  20. Inverted, semitransparent small molecule photovoltaic cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Energy-Related Small Molecule Activation Reactions: Oxygen Reduction and Hydrogen and Oxygen Evolution Reactions Catalyzed by Porphyrin- and Corrole-Based Systems.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Lai, Wenzhen; Cao, Rui

    2017-02-22

    Globally increasing energy demands and environmental concerns related to the use of fossil fuels have stimulated extensive research to identify new energy systems and economies that are sustainable, clean, low cost, and environmentally benign. Hydrogen generation from solar-driven water splitting is a promising strategy to store solar energy in chemical bonds. The subsequent combustion of hydrogen in fuel cells produces electric energy, and the only exhaust is water. These two reactions compose an ideal process to provide clean and sustainable energy. In such a process, a hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), an oxygen evolution reaction (OER) during water splitting, and an oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) as a fuel cell cathodic reaction are key steps that affect the efficiency of the overall energy conversion. Catalysts play key roles in this process by improving the kinetics of these reactions. Porphyrin-based and corrole-based systems are versatile and can efficiently catalyze the ORR, OER, and HER. Because of the significance of energy-related small molecule activation, this review covers recent progress in hydrogen evolution, oxygen evolution, and oxygen reduction reactions catalyzed by porphyrins and corroles.

  3. Small Molecule Inhibition of Epstein - Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen-1 DNA Binding Activity Interferes with Replication and Persistence of the Viral Genome

    PubMed Central

    Noh, Ka-Won; Joo, Eun Hye; Zhao, Bo; Kieff, Elliott; Kang, Myung-Soo

    2014-01-01

    The replication and persistence of extra chromosomal Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) episome in latently infected cells are primarily dependent on the binding of EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) to the cognate EBV oriP element. In continuation of the previous study, herein we characterized EBNA1 small molecule inhibitors (H20, H31) and their underlying inhibitory mechanisms. In silico docking analyses predicted that H20 fits into a pocket in the EBNA1 DNA binding domain (DBD). However, H20 did not significantly affect EBNA1 binding to its cognate sequence. A limited structure-relationship study of H20 identified a hydrophobic compound H31, as an EBNA1 inhibitor. An in vitro EBNA1 EMSA and in vivo EGFP-EBNA1 confocal microscopy analysis showed that H31 inhibited EBNA1-dependent oriP sequence-specific DNA binding activity, but not sequence-nonspecific chromosomal association. Consistent with this, H31 repressed the EBNA1-dependent transcription, replication, and persistence of an EBV oriP plasmid. Furthermore, H31 induced progressive loss of EBV episome. In addition, H31 selectively retarded the growth of EBV-infected LCL or Burkitt’s lymphoma cells. These data indicate that H31 inhibition of EBNA1-dependent DNA binding decreases transcription from and persistence of EBV episome in EBV-infected cells. These new compounds might be useful probes for dissecting EBNA1 functions in vitro and in vivo. PMID:24486954

  4. Antifouling Activity towards Mussel by Small-Molecule Compounds from a Strain of Vibrio alginolyticus Bacterium Associated with Sea Anemone Haliplanella sp.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiang; Huang, Yanqiu; Sheng, Yanqing; Su, Pei; Qiu, Yan; Ke, Caihuan; Feng, Danqing

    2017-03-28

    Mussels are major fouling organisms causing serious technical and economic problems. In this study, antifouling activity towards mussel was found in three compounds isolated from a marine bacterium associated with the sea anemone Haliplanella sp. This bacterial strain, called PE2, was identified as Vibrio alginolyticus using morphology, biochemical tests, and phylogenetic analysis based on sequences of 16S rRNA and four housekeeping genes (rpoD, gyrB, rctB, and toxR). Three small-molecule compounds (indole, 3-formylindole, and cyclo (Pro-Leu)) were purified from the ethyl acetate extract of V. alginolyticus PE2 using column chromatography techniques. They all significantly inhibited byssal thread production of the green mussel Perna viridis, with EC50 values of 24.45 μg/ml for indole, 50.07 μg/ml for 3-formylindole, and 49.24 μg/ml for cyclo (Pro-Leu). Previous research on the antifouling activity of metabolites from marine bacteria towards mussels is scarce. Indole, 3-formylindole and cyclo (Pro-Leu) also exhibited antifouling activity against settlement of the barnacle Balanus albicostatus (EC50 values of 8.84, 0.43, and 11.35 μg/ml, respectively) and the marine bacterium Pseudomonas sp. (EC50 values of 42.68, 69.68, and 39.05 μg/ml, respectively). These results suggested that the three compounds are potentially useful for environmentally friendly mussel control and/or the development of new antifouling additives that are effective against several biofoulers.

  5. New orally active DNA minor groove binding small molecule CT-1 acts against breast cancer by targeting tumor DNA damage leading to p53-dependent apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Saini, Karan Singh; Hamidullah; Ashraf, Raghib; Mandalapu, Dhanaraju; Das, Sharmistha; Siddiqui, Mohd Quadir; Dwivedi, Sonam; Sarkar, Jayanta; Sharma, Vishnu Lal; Konwar, Rituraj

    2017-04-01

    Targeting tumor DNA damage and p53 pathway is a clinically established strategy in the development of cancer chemotherapeutics. Majority of anti-cancer drugs are delivered through parenteral route for reasons like severe toxicity, lack of stability, and poor enteral absorption. Current DNA targeting drugs in clinical like anthracycline suffers from major drawbacks like cardiotoxicity. Here, we report identification of a new orally active small molecule curcumin-triazole conjugate (CT-1) with significant anti-breast cancer activity in vitro and in vivo. CT-1 selectively and significantly inhibits viability of breast cancer cell lines; retards cells cycle progression at S phase and induce mitochondrial-mediated cell apoptosis. CT-1 selectively binds to minor groove of DNA and induces DNA damage leading to increase in p53 along with decrease in its ubiquitination. Inhibition of p53 with pharmacological inhibitor as well as siRNA revealed the necessity of p53 in CT-1-mediated anti-cancer effects in breast cancer cells. Studies using several other intact p53 and deficient p53 cancer cell lines further confirmed necessity of p53 in CT-1-mediated anti-cancer response. Pharmacological inhibition of pan-caspase showed CT-1 induces caspase-dependent cell death in breast cancer cells. Most interestingly, oral administration of CT-1 induces significant inhibition of tumor growth in LA-7 syngeneic orthotropic rat mammary tumor model. CT-1 treated mammary tumor shows enhancement in DNA damage, p53 upregulation, and apoptosis. Collectively, CT-1 exhibits potent anti-cancer effect both in vitro and in vivo and could serve as a safe orally active lead for anti-cancer drug development. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Identification and Characterization of a Potent Activator of p53-Independent Cellular Senescence via a Small-Molecule Screen for Modifiers of the Integrated Stress Response

    PubMed Central

    Sayers, Carly M.; Papandreou, Ioanna; Guttmann, David M.; Maas, Nancy L.; Diehl, J. Alan; Witze, Eric S.; Koong, Albert C.

    2013-01-01

    The Integrated Stress Response (ISR) is a signaling program that enables cellular adaptation to stressful conditions like hypoxia and nutrient deprivation in the tumor microenvironment. An important effector of the ISR is activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), a transcription factor that regulates genes involved in redox homeostasis and amino acid metabolism and transport. Because both inhibition and overactivation of the ISR can induce tumor cell death, modulators of ATF4 expression could prove to be clinically useful. In this study, chemical libraries were screened for modulators of ATF4 expression. We identified one compound, E235 (N-(1-benzyl-piperidin-4-yl)-2-(4-fluoro-phenyl)-benzo[d]imidazo[2,1-b]thiazole-7-carboxamide), that activated the ISR and dose-dependently increased levels of ATF4 in transformed cells. A dose-dependent decrease in viability was observed in several mouse and human tumor cell lines, and knockdown of ATF4 significantly increased the antiproliferative effects of E235. Interestingly, low μM doses of E235 induced senescence in many cell types, including HT1080 human fibrosarcoma and B16F10 mouse melanoma cells. E235-mediated induction of senescence was not dependent on p21 or p53; however, p21 conferred protection against the growth inhibitory effects of E235. Treatment with E235 resulted in an increase in cells arrested at the G2/M phase with a concurrent decrease in S-phase cells. E235 also activated DNA damage response signaling, resulting in increased levels of Ser15-phosphorylated p53, γ-H2AX, and phosphorylated checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2), although E235 does not appear to cause physical DNA damage. Induction of γ-H2AX was abrogated in ATF4 knockdown cells. Together, these results suggest that modulation of the ISR pathway with the small molecule E235 could be a promising antitumor strategy. PMID:23229510

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of Small Molecule Calcium-Activated Chloride Channel Inhibitors on Structure and Function of Accessory Cholera Enterotoxin (Ace) of Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Tanaya; Sheikh, Irshad Ali; Chakravarty, Devlina; Chakrabarti, Pinak; Sarkar, Paramita; Saha, Tultul; Chakrabarti, Manoj K.; Hoque, Kazi Mirajul

    2015-01-01

    Cholera pathogenesis occurs due to synergistic pro-secretory effects of several toxins, such as cholera toxin (CTX) and Accessory cholera enterotoxin (Ace) secreted by Vibrio cholerae strains. Ace activates chloride channels stimulating chloride/bicarbonate transport that augments fluid secretion resulting in diarrhea. These channels have been targeted for drug development. However, lesser attention has been paid to the interaction of chloride channel modulators with bacterial toxins. Here we report the modulation of the structure/function of recombinant Ace by small molecule calcium-activated chloride channel (CaCC) inhibitors, namely CaCCinh-A01, digallic acid (DGA) and tannic acid. Biophysical studies indicate that the unfolding (induced by urea) free energy increases upon binding CaCCinh-A01 and DGA, compared to native Ace, whereas binding of tannic acid destabilizes the protein. Far-UV CD experiments revealed that the α-helical content of Ace-CaCCinh-A01 and Ace-DGA complexes increased relative to Ace. In contrast, binding to tannic acid had the opposite effect, indicating the loss of protein secondary structure. The modulation of Ace structure induced by CaCC inhibitors was also analyzed using docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Functional studies, performed using mouse ileal loops and Ussing chamber experiments, corroborate biophysical data, all pointing to the fact that tannic acid destabilizes Ace, inhibiting its function, whereas DGA stabilizes the toxin with enhanced fluid accumulation in mouse ileal loop. The efficacy of tannic acid in mouse model suggests that the targeted modulation of Ace structure may be of therapeutic benefit for gastrointestinal disorders. PMID:26540279

  11. Effects of Small Molecule Calcium-Activated Chloride Channel Inhibitors on Structure and Function of Accessory Cholera Enterotoxin (Ace) of Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Tanaya; Sheikh, Irshad Ali; Chakravarty, Devlina; Chakrabarti, Pinak; Sarkar, Paramita; Saha, Tultul; Chakrabarti, Manoj K; Hoque, Kazi Mirajul

    2015-01-01

    Cholera pathogenesis occurs due to synergistic pro-secretory effects of several toxins, such as cholera toxin (CTX) and Accessory cholera enterotoxin (Ace) secreted by Vibrio cholerae strains. Ace activates chloride channels stimulating chloride/bicarbonate transport that augments fluid secretion resulting in diarrhea. These channels have been targeted for drug development. However, lesser attention has been paid to the interaction of chloride channel modulators with bacterial toxins. Here we report the modulation of the structure/function of recombinant Ace by small molecule calcium-activated chloride channel (CaCC) inhibitors, namely CaCCinh-A01, digallic acid (DGA) and tannic acid. Biophysical studies indicate that the unfolding (induced by urea) free energy increases upon binding CaCCinh-A01 and DGA, compared to native Ace, whereas binding of tannic acid destabilizes the protein. Far-UV CD experiments revealed that the α-helical content of Ace-CaCCinh-A01 and Ace-DGA complexes increased relative to Ace. In contrast, binding to tannic acid had the opposite effect, indicating the loss of protein secondary structure. The modulation of Ace structure induced by CaCC inhibitors was also analyzed using docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Functional studies, performed using mouse ileal loops and Ussing chamber experiments, corroborate biophysical data, all pointing to the fact that tannic acid destabilizes Ace, inhibiting its function, whereas DGA stabilizes the toxin with enhanced fluid accumulation in mouse ileal loop. The efficacy of tannic acid in mouse model suggests that the targeted modulation of Ace structure may be of therapeutic benefit for gastrointestinal disorders.

  12. Pharmacokinetics and derivation of an anticancer dosing regimen for PAC-1, a preferential small molecule activator of procaspase-3, in healthy dogs.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Pamela W; Schmit, Joanna M; Peterson, Quinn P; West, Diana C; Hsu, Danny C; Novotny, Chris J; Dirikolu, Levent; Churchwell, Mona I; Doerge, Daniel R; Garrett, Laura D; Hergenrother, Paul J; Fan, Timothy M

    2011-10-01

    PAC-1 is a preferential small molecule activator of procaspase-3 and has potential to become a novel and effective anticancer agent. The rational development of PAC-1 for translational oncologic applications would be advanced by coupling relevant in vitro cytotoxicity studies with pharmacokinetic investigations conducted in large mammalian models possessing similar metabolism and physiology as people. In the present study, we investigated whether concentrations and exposure durations of PAC-1 that induce cytotoxicity in lymphoma cell lines in vitro can be achievable in healthy dogs through a constant rate infusion (CRI) intravenous delivery strategy. Time- and dose-dependent procaspase-3 activation by PAC-1 with subsequent cytotoxicity was determined in a panel of B-cell lymphoma cells in vitro. The pharmacokinetics of PAC-1 administered orally or intravenously was studied in 6 healthy dogs using a crossover design. The feasibility of maintaining steady state plasma concentration of PAC-1 for 24 or 48 h that paralleled in vitro cytotoxic concentrations was investigated in 4 healthy dogs. In vitro, PAC-1 induced apoptosis in lymphoma cell lines in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The oral bioavailability of PAC-1 was relatively low and highly variable (17.8 ± 9.5%). The achievement and maintenance of predicted PAC-1 cytotoxic concentrations in normal dogs was safely attained via intravenous CRI lasting for 24 or 48 h in duration. Using the dog as a large mammalian model, PAC-1 can be safely administered as an intravenous CRI while achieving predicted in vitro cytotoxic concentrations.

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

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Nobumoto; Osada, Hiroyuki

    2016-08-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  16. Computational Design of Druglike Small Molecule Plk1 PBD Inhibitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanadia, Sean

    2012-02-01

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

  17. Screening for Inhibition of Vibrio cholerae VipA-VipB Interaction Identifies Small-Molecule Compounds Active against Type VI Secretion

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Kun; Bröms, Jeanette; Lavander, Moa; Gurram, Bharat Kumar; Enquist, Per-Anders; Andersson, C. David; Elofsson, Mikael

    2014-01-01

    The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is the most prevalent bacterial secretion system and an important virulence mechanism utilized by Gram-negative bacteria, either to target eukaryotic cells or to combat other microbes. The components show much variability, but some appear essential for the function, and two homologues, denoted VipA and VipB in Vibrio cholerae, have been identified in all T6SSs described so far. Secretion is dependent on binding of an α-helical region of VipA to VipB, and in the absence of this binding, both components are degraded within minutes and secretion is ceased. The aim of the study was to investigate if this interaction could be blocked, and we hypothesized that such inhibition would lead to abrogation of T6S. A library of 9,600 small-molecule compounds was screened for their ability to block the binding of VipA-VipB in a bacterial two-hybrid system (B2H). After excluding compounds that showed cytotoxicity toward eukaryotic cells, that inhibited growth of Vibrio, or that inhibited an unrelated B2H interaction, 34 compounds were further investigated for effects on the T6SS-dependent secretion of hemolysin-coregulated protein (Hcp) or of phospholipase A1 activity. Two compounds, KS100 and KS200, showed intermediate or strong effects in both assays. Analogues were obtained, and compounds with potent inhibitory effects in the assays and desirable physicochemical properties as predicted by in silico analysis were identified. Since the compounds specifically target a virulence mechanism without affecting bacterial replication, they have the potential to mitigate the virulence with minimal risk for development of resistance. PMID:24798289

  18. In vitro and in vivo antitumor activities of T-3764518, a novel and orally available small molecule stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Nishizawa, Satoru; Sumi, Hiroyuki; Satoh, Yoshihiko; Yamamoto, Yukiko; Kitazawa, Satoshi; Honda, Kohei; Araki, Hideo; Kakoi, Kazuyo; Imamura, Keisuke; Sasaki, Masako; Miyahisa, Ikuo; Satomi, Yoshinori; Nishigaki, Ryuuichi; Hirayama, Megumi; Aoyama, Kazunobu; Maezaki, Hironobu; Hara, Takahito

    2017-07-15

    Most cancer cells are characterized by elevated lipid biosynthesis. The rapid proliferation of cancer cells requires de novo synthesis of fatty acids. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1), a key enzyme for lipogenesis, is overexpressed in various types of cancer and plays an important role in cancer cell proliferation. Therefore, it has been studied as a candidate target for cancer therapy. In this study, we demonstrate the pharmacological properties of T-3764518, a novel and orally available small molecule inhibitor of SCD1. T-3764518 inhibited stearoyl-CoA desaturase-catalyzed conversion of stearoyl-CoA to oleoyl-CoA in colorectal cancer HCT-116 cells and their growth. Further, it slowed tumor growth in an HCT-116 and a mesothelioma MSTO-211H mouse xenograft model. Comprehensive lipidomic analyses revealed that T-3764518 increases the membrane ratio of saturated: unsaturated fatty acids in various lipid species such as phosphatidylcholines and diacylglycerols in both cultured cells and HCT-116 xenografts. Treatment-associated lipidomic changes were followed by activated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress responses such as increased immunoglobulin heavy chain-binding protein expression in HCT-116 cells. These T-3764518-induced changes led to an increase in cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), a marker of apoptosis. Additionally, bovine serum albumin conjugated with oleic acid, an SCD1 product, prevented cell growth inhibition and ER stress responses by T-3764518, indicating that these outcomes were not attributable to off-target effects. These results indicate that T-3764518 is a promising new anticancer drug candidate. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Giordanetto, Fabrizio; Schäfer, Anja; Ottmann, Christian

    2014-11-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Small molecule antagonists for chemokine CCR3 receptors.

    PubMed

    Willems, Lianne I; Ijzerman, Ad P

    2010-09-01

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

  3. Small-Molecule Hormones: Molecular Mechanisms of Action

    PubMed Central

    Budzińska, Monika

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Small Molecule Chemical Probes of MicroRNA Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Small molecule chemical probes of microRNA function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  6. Structure-activity studies on the fluorescent indicator in a displacement assay for the screening of small molecules binding to RNA.

    PubMed

    Umemoto, Shiori; Im, Seongwang; Zhang, Jinhua; Hagihara, Masaki; Murata, Asako; Harada, Yasue; Fukuzumi, Takeo; Wazaki, Takahiro; Sasaoka, Shin-ichi; Nakatani, Kazuhiko

    2012-08-06

    A series of xanthone and thioxanthone derivatives with aminoalkoxy substituents were synthesized as fluorescent indicators for a displacement assay in the study of small-molecule-RNA interactions. The RNA-binding properties of these molecules were investigated in terms of the improved binding selectivity to the loop region in the RNA secondary structure relative to 2,7-bis(2-aminoethoxy)xanthone (X2S) by fluorimetric titration and displacement assay. An 11-mer double-stranded RNA and a hairpin RNA mimicking the stem loop IIB of Rev response element (RRE) RNA of HIV-1 mRNA were used. The X2S derivatives with longer aminoalkyl substituents showed a higher affinity to the double-stranded RNA than the parent molecule. Introduction of a methyl group on the aminoethoxy moiety of X2S effectively modulated the selectivity to the RNA secondary structure. Methyl group substitution at the C1' position suppressed the binding to the loop regions. Substitution with two methyl groups on the amino nitrogen atom resulted in reducing the affinity to the double-stranded region by a factor of 40%. The effect of methyl substitution on the amino nitrogen atom was also observed for a thioxanthone derivative. Titration experiments, however, suggested that thioxanthone derivatives showed a more prominent tendency of multiple binding to RNA than xanthone derivatives. The selectivity index calculated from the affinity to the double-stranded and loop regions suggested that the N,N-dimethyl derivative of X2S would be suitable for the screening of small molecules binding to RRE. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  10. Bioinspired assembly of small molecules in cell milieu.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huaimin; Feng, Zhaoqianqi; Xu, Bing

    2017-03-30

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

  11. Bacterial toxins and small molecules elucidate endosomal trafficking.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    He, Baokun; Chen, Zheng

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Sorption of small molecules in polymeric media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camboni, Federico; Sokolov, Igor M.

    2016-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Highly Parallel Translation of DNA Sequences into Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Identification of Small Molecules Which Induce Skeletal Muscle Differentiation in Embryonic Stem Cells via Activation of the Wnt and Inhibition of Smad2/3 and Sonic Hedgehog Pathways.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyunwoo; Haller, Corinne; Manneville, Carole; Doll, Thierry; Fruh, Isabelle; Keller, Caroline Gubser; Richards, Shola M; Ibig-Rehm, Yvonne; Patoor, Maude; Goette, Marjo; Bouchez, Laure C; Mueller, Matthias

    2016-02-01

    The multilineage differentiation capacity of mouse and human embryonic stem (ES) cells offers a testing platform for small molecules that mediate mammalian lineage determination and cellular specialization. Here we report the identification of two small molecules which drives mouse 129 ES cell differentiation to skeletal muscle with high efficiency without any genetic modification. Mouse embryoid bodies (EBs) were used to screen a library of 1,000 small molecules to identify compounds capable of inducing high levels of Pax3 mRNA. Stimulation of EBs with SMIs (skeletal muscle inducer, SMI1 and SMI2) from the screen resulted in a high percentage of intensively twitching skeletal muscle fibers 3 weeks after induction. Gene expression profiling studies that were carried out for mode of actions analysis showed that SMIs activated genes regulated by the Wnt pathway and inhibited expression of Smad2/3 and Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) target genes. A combination of three small molecules known to modulate these three pathways acted similarly to the SMIs found here, driving ES cells from 129 as well as Balb/c and C57Bl/6 to skeletal muscle. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the SMI drives ES cells to skeletal muscle via concerted activation of the Wnt pathway, and inhibition of Smad2/3 signaling and Shh pathways. This provides important developmental biological information about skeletal muscle differentiation from embryonic stem cells and may lead to the development of new therapeutics for muscle disease. © 2015 AlphaMed Press.

  19. Mapping small molecule binding data to structural domains

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    grouping of activity classes following the Pfam-A specifications of protein domains. This is valuable for data-focused approaches in drug discovery, for example when extrapolating potential targets of a small molecule with known activity against one or few targets, or in the assessment of a potential target for drug discovery or screening studies. PMID:23282026

  20. A small-molecule cell-based screen led to the identification of biphenylimidazoazines with highly potent and broad-spectrum anti-apicomplexan activity.

    PubMed

    Moine, Espérance; Denevault-Sabourin, Caroline; Debierre-Grockiego, Françoise; Silpa, Laurence; Gorgette, Olivier; Barale, Jean-Christophe; Jacquiet, Philippe; Brossier, Fabien; Gueiffier, Alain; Dimier-Poisson, Isabelle; Enguehard-Gueiffier, Cécile

    2015-01-07

    An in vitro screening of the anti-apicomplexan activity of 51 compounds, stemming from our chemical library and from chemical synthesis, was performed. As a study model, we used Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), expressing β-galactosidase for the colorimetric assessment of drug activity on parasites cultivated in vitro. This approach allowed the validation of a new series of molecules with a biphenylimidazoazine scaffold as inhibitors of T. gondii growth in vitro. Hence, 8 molecules significantly inhibited intracellular replication of T. gondii in vitro, with EC50 < 1 μM, while being non-toxic for human fibroblasts at these concentrations. Most attractive candidates were then selected for further biological investigations on other apicomplexan parasites (Neospora caninum, Besnoitia besnoiti, Eimeria tenella and Plasmodium falciparum). Finally, two compounds were able to inhibit growth of four different apicomplexans with EC50 in the submicromolar to nanomolar range, for each parasite. These data, including the broad anti-parasite spectrum of these inhibitors, define a new generation of potential anti-parasite compounds of wide interest, including for veterinary application. Studies realized on E. tenella suggest that these molecules act during the intracellular development steps of the parasite. Further experiments should be done to identify the molecular target(s) of these compounds. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Small Molecule Anticonvulsant Agents with Potent In Vitro Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Garry R.; Zhang, Yan; Du, Yanming; Kondaveeti, Sandeep K.; Zdilla, Michael J.; Reitz, Allen B.

    2012-01-01

    Severe seizure activity is associated with recurring cycles of excitotoxicity and oxidative stress that result in progressive neuronal damage and death. Intervention to halt these pathological processes is a compelling disease-modifying strategy for the treatment of seizure disorders. In the present study, a core small molecule with anticonvulsant activity has been structurally optimized for neuroprotection. Phenotypic screening of rat hippocampal cultures with nutrient medium depleted of antioxidants was utilized as a disease model. Increased cell death and decreased neuronal viability produced by acute treatment with glutamate or hydrogen peroxide were prevented by our novel molecules. The neuroprotection associated with this chemical series has marked structure activity relationships that focus on modification of the benzylic position of a 2-phenyl-2-hydroxyethyl sulfamide core structure. Complete separation between anticonvulsant activity and neuroprotective action was dependent on substitution at the benzylic carbon. Chiral selectivity was evident in that the S-enantiomer of the benzylic hydroxy group had neither neuroprotective nor anticonvulsant activity, while the R-enantiomer of the lead compound had full neuroprotective action at ≤40 nM and antiseizure activity in three animal models. These studies indicate that potent, multifunctional neuroprotective anticonvulsants are feasible within a single molecular entity. PMID:22535312

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-19

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria

    2016-05-01

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

  5. The Bichromatic Force on Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Inhibition of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Dimerization by Small Molecules.

    PubMed

    Tintori, Cristina; Corona, Angela; Esposito, Francesca; Brai, Annalaura; Grandi, Nicole; Ceresola, Elisa Rita; Clementi, Massimo; Canducci, Filippo; Tramontano, Enzo; Botta, Maurizio

    2016-04-15

    Because HIV-1 reverse transcriptase is an enzyme whose catalytic activity depends on its heterodimeric structure, this system could be a target for inhibitors that perturb the interactions between the protein subunits, p51 and p66. We previously demonstrated that the small molecule MAS0 reduced the association of the two RT subunits and simultaneously inhibited both the polymerase and ribonuclease H activities. In this study, some analogues of MAS0 were rationally selected by docking studies and evaluated in vitro for their ability to disrupt dimeric assembly. Two inhibitors were identified with improved activity compared to MAS0. This study lays the basis for the rational design of more potent inhibitors of RT dimerization.

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

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ashutosh; Zhang, Kam Y J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-04

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

  10. Surfen, a small molecule antagonist of heparan sulfate

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Small-molecule delivery by nanoparticles for anticancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhuo (Georgia)

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Probing translation using small molecule inhibitors

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. A Prospective Method to Guide Small Molecule Drug Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Alan T.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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)…

  19. Identification and characterization of small-molecule inhibitors of hepsin

    PubMed Central

    Chevillet, John R.; Park, Gemma J.; Bedalov, Antonio; Simon, Julian A.; Vasioukhin, Valeri I.

    2009-01-01

    Hepsin is a type-II transmembrane serine protease overexpressed in the majority of human prostate cancers. We recently demonstrated that hepsin promotes prostate cancer progression and metastasis and thus represents a potential therapeutic target. Here we report the identification of novel small-molecule inhibitors of hepsin catalytic activity. We utilized purified human hepsin for high-throughput screening of established drug and chemical diversity libraries and identified sixteen inhibitory compounds with IC50 values against hepsin ranging from 0.23–2.31μM and relative selectivity of up to 86-fold or greater. Two compounds are orally administered drugs established for human use. Four compounds attenuated hepsin-dependent pericellular serine protease activity in a dose dependent manner with limited or no cytotoxicity to a range of cell types. These compounds may be used as leads to develop even more potent and specific inhibitors of hepsin to prevent prostate cancer progression and metastasis. PMID:18852137

  20. Biocatalysts and their small molecule products from metagenomic studies

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Small molecule annotation for the Protein Data Bank.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Small Molecule Inhibitors of Protein Arginine Methyltransferases

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Hao; Qian, Kun; Ho, Meng-Chiao; Zheng, Y. George

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Arginine methylation is an abundant posttranslational modification occurring in mammalian cells and catalyzed by protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). Misregulation and aberrant expression of PRMTs are associated with various disease states, notably cancer. PRMTs are prominent therapeutic targets in drug discovery. Areas covered The authors provide an updated review of the research on the development of chemical modulators for PRMTs. Great efforts are seen in screening and designing potent and selective PRMT inhibitors, and a number of micromolar and submicromolar inhibitors have been obtained for key PRMT enzymes such as PRMT1, CARM1, and PRMT5. The authors provide a focus on their chemical structures, mechanism of action, and pharmacological activities. Pros and cons of each type of inhibitors are also discussed. Expert opinion Several key challenging issues exist in PRMT inhibitor discovery. Structural mechanisms of many PRMT inhibitors remain unclear. There lacks consistency in potency data due to divergence of assay methods and conditions. Physiologically relevant cellular assays are warranted. Substantial engagements are needed to investigate pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of the new PRMT inhibitors in pertinent disease models. Discovery and evaluation of potent, isoform-selective, cell-permeable and in vivo-active PRMT modulators will continue to be an active arena of research in years ahead. PMID:26789238

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Membrane Fusion Induced by Small Molecules and Ions

    PubMed Central

    Mondal Roy, Sutapa; Sarkar, Munna

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Anticancer activity of pyrithione zinc in oral cancer cells identified in small molecule screens and xenograft model: Implications for oral cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Gunjan; Matta, Ajay; Fu, Guodong; Somasundaram, Raj Thani; Datti, Alessandro; Walfish, Paul G; Ralhan, Ranju

    2015-10-01

    Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients diagnosed in late stages have limited chemotherapeutic options, underscoring the great need for development of new anticancer agents for more effective disease management. We aimed to identify novel anticancer agents for OSCC using quantitative high throughput assays for screening six chemical libraries consisting of 5170 small molecule inhibitors. In depth characterization resulted in identification of pyrithione zinc (PYZ) as the most effective cytotoxic agent inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis in OSCC cells in vitro. Further, treatment with PYZ reduced colony forming, migration and invasion potential of oral cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. PYZ treatment also led to altered expression of several key components of the major signaling pathways including PI3K/AKT/mTOR and WNT/β-catenin in OSCC cells. In addition, treatment with PYZ also reduced expression of 14-3-3ζ, 14-3-3σ, cyclin D1, c-Myc and pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), proteins identified in our earlier studies to be involved in development and progression of OSCCs. Importantly, PYZ treatment significantly reduced tumor xenograft volume in immunocompromised NOD/SCID/Crl mice without causing apparent toxicity to normal tissues. Taken together, we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo efficacy of PYZ in OSCC. In conclusion, we identified PYZ in HTS assays and demonstrated in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical efficacy of PYZ as a novel anticancer therapeutic candidate in OSCC.

  8. Advances in the chemistry of small molecule fluorescent probes.

    PubMed

    Wysocki, Laura M; Lavis, Luke D

    2011-12-01

    Small molecule fluorophores are essential tools for chemical biology. A benefit of synthetic dyes is the ability to employ chemical approaches to control the properties and direct the position of the fluorophore. Applying modern synthetic organic chemistry strategies enables efficient tailoring of the chemical structure to obtain probes for specific biological experiments. Chemistry can also be used to activate fluorophores; new fluorogenic enzyme substrates and photoactivatable compounds with improved properties have been prepared that facilitate advanced imaging experiments with low background fluorescence. Finally, chemical reactions in live cells can be used to direct the spatial distribution of the fluorophore, allowing labeling of defined cellular regions with synthetic dyes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Discovery of a small molecule that inhibits bacterial ribosome biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Stokes, Jonathan M; Davis, Joseph H; Mangat, Chand S; Williamson, James R; Brown, Eric D

    2014-09-18

    While small molecule inhibitors of the bacterial ribosome have been instrumental in understanding protein translation, no such probes exist to study ribosome biogenesis. We screened a diverse chemical collection that included previously approved drugs for compounds that induced cold sensitive growth inhibition in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. Among the most cold sensitive was lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant drug. Lamotrigine treatment resulted in the rapid accumulation of immature 30S and 50S ribosomal subunits at 15 °C. Importantly, this was not the result of translation inhibition, as lamotrigine was incapable of perturbing protein synthesis in vivo or in vitro. Spontaneous suppressor mutations blocking lamotrigine activity mapped solely to the poorly characterized domain II of translation initiation factor IF2 and prevented the binding of lamotrigine to IF2 in vitro. This work establishes lamotrigine as a widely available chemical probe of bacterial ribosome biogenesis and suggests a role for E. coli IF2 in ribosome assembly.

  10. Small-molecule modulators of PXR and CAR

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Sergio C.; Cherian, Milu T.; Wang, Yue-Ming; Chen, Taosheng

    2016-01-01

    Two nuclear receptors, the pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), participate in the xenobiotic detoxification system by regulating the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters in order to degrade and excrete foreign chemicals or endogenous metabolites. This review aims to expand the perceived relevance of PXR and CAR beyond their established role as master xenosensors to disease-oriented areas, emphasizing their modulation by small molecules. Structural studies of these receptors have provided much-needed insight into the nature of their binding promiscuity and the important elements that lead to ligand binding. Reports of species- and isoform-selective activation highlight the need for further scrutiny when extrapolating from animal data to humans, as animal models are at the forefront of early drug discovery. PMID:26921498

  11. Small-molecule modulators of PXR and CAR.

    PubMed

    Chai, Sergio C; Cherian, Milu T; Wang, Yue-Ming; Chen, Taosheng

    2016-09-01

    Two nuclear receptors, the pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), participate in the xenobiotic detoxification system by regulating the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters in order to degrade and excrete foreign chemicals or endogenous metabolites. This review aims to expand the perceived relevance of PXR and CAR beyond their established role as master xenosensors to disease-oriented areas, emphasizing their modulation by small molecules. Structural studies of these receptors have provided much-needed insight into the nature of their binding promiscuity and the important elements that lead to ligand binding. Reports of species- and isoform-selective activation highlight the need for further scrutiny when extrapolating from animal data to humans, as animal models are at the forefront of early drug discovery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Xenobiotic nuclear receptors: New Tricks for An Old Dog, edited by Dr. Wen Xie.

  12. Small molecule modulators of Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

    PubMed

    Mook, Robert A; Chen, Minyong; Lu, Jiuyi; Barak, Larry S; Lyerly, H Kim; Chen, Wei

    2013-04-01

    The Wnt signal transduction pathway is dysregulated in many highly prevalent diseases, including cancer. Unfortunately, drug discovery efforts have been hampered by the paucity of targets and drug-like lead molecules amenable to drug discovery. Recently, we reported the FDA-approved anthelmintic drug Niclosamide inhibits Wnt/β-catenin signaling by a unique mechanism, though the target responsible remains unknown. We interrogated the mechanism and structure-activity relationships to understand drivers of potency and to assist target identification efforts. We found inhibition of Wnt signaling by Niclosamide appears unique among the structurally-related anthelmintic agents tested and found the potency and functional response was dependent on small changes in the chemical structure of Niclosamide. Overall, these findings support efforts to identify the target of Niclosamide inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and the discovery of potent and selective modulators to treat human disease.

  13. Small-Molecule PROTACS: New Approaches to Protein Degradation.

    PubMed

    Toure, Momar; Crews, Craig M

    2016-02-05

    The current inhibitor-based approach to therapeutics has inherent limitations owing to its occupancy-based model: 1) there is a need to maintain high systemic exposure to ensure sufficient in vivo inhibition, 2) high in vivo concentrations bring potential for off-target side effects, and 3) there is a need to bind to an active site, thus limiting the drug target space. As an alternative, induced protein degradation lacks these limitations. Based on an event-driven model, this approach offers a novel catalytic mechanism to irreversibly inhibit protein function by targeting protein destruction through recruitment to the cellular quality control machinery. Prior protein degrading strategies have lacked therapeutic potential. However, recent reports of small-molecule-based proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) have demonstrated that this technology can effectively decrease the cellular levels of several protein classes.

  14. Small molecule interactions were central to the origin of life.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Robert

    2006-06-01

    Many scientists believe life began with the spontaneous formation of a replicator. This idea has been supported by "prebiotic" syntheses carried out by chemists using modern apparatus and purified reagents. The probability that such reactions would take place spontaneously on the early Earth is minute. These points are illustrated here by considering the often cited oligomerization of activated RNA components by clay minerals. A more likely alternative for the origin of life is one in which a collection of small organic molecules multiply their numbers through catalyzed reaction cycles, driven by a flow of available free energy. Although a number of possible systems of this type have been discussed, no experimental demonstration has been made. The inclusion of a "driver" reaction, directly coupled to the energy source, may lead to a solution.

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

    PubMed

    Shi, Junfeng; Xu, Bing

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gfeller, David; Zoete, Vincent

    2015-08-15

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-25

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

  2. Pharmacophore guided discovery of small-molecule interleukin 15 inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Żyżyńska-Granica, Barbara; Trzaskowski, Bartosz; Niewieczerzał, Szymon; Filipek, Sławomir; Zegrocka-Stendel, Oliwia; Dutkiewicz, Małgorzata; Krzeczyński, Piotr; Kowalewska, Magdalena; Koziak, Katarzyna

    2017-08-18

    Upregulation of interleukin 15 (IL-15) contributes directly i.a. to the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Selective blockade of IL-15 aimed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and other IL-15-related disorders has been recognized as an efficient therapeutic method. The aim of the study was to identify small molecules which would interact with IL-15 or its receptor IL-15Rα and inhibit the cytokine's activity. Based on the crystal structure of IL-15Rα·IL-15, we created pharmacophore models to screen the ZINC database of chemical compounds for potential IL-15 and IL-15Rα inhibitors. Twenty compounds with the highest predicted binding affinities were subjected to in vitro analysis using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to validate in silico data. Twelve molecules efficiently reduced IL-15-dependent TNF-α and IL-17 synthesis. Among these, cefazolin - a safe first-generation cephalosporin antibiotic - holds the highest promise for IL-15-directed therapeutic applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Computational analysis and predictive modeling of small molecule modulators of microRNA.

    PubMed

    Jamal, Salma; Periwal, Vinita; Scaria, Vinod

    2012-08-13

    MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small endogenously transcribed regulatory RNA which modulates gene expression at a post transcriptional level. These small RNAs have now been shown to be critical regulators in a number of biological processes in the cell including pathophysiology of diseases like cancers. The increasingly evident roles of microRNA in disease processes have also motivated attempts to target them therapeutically. Recently there has been immense interest in understanding small molecule mediated regulation of RNA, including microRNA. We have used publicly available datasets of high throughput screens on small molecules with potential to inhibit microRNA. We employed computational methods based on chemical descriptors and machine learning to create predictive computational models for biological activity of small molecules. We further used a substructure based approach to understand common substructures potentially contributing to the activity. We generated computational models based on Naïve Bayes and Random Forest towards mining small RNA binding molecules from large molecular datasets. We complement this with substructure based approach to identify and understand potentially enriched substructures in the active dataset. We use this approach to identify miRNA binding potential of a set of approved drugs, suggesting a probable novel mechanism of off-target activity of these drugs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first and most comprehensive computational analysis towards understanding RNA binding activities of small molecules and predictive modeling of these activities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-20

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

  5. A Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Lin28.

    PubMed

    Roos, Martina; Pradère, Ugo; Ngondo, Richard P; Behera, Alok; Allegrini, Sara; Civenni, Gianluca; Zagalak, Julian A; Marchand, Jean-Rémy; Menzi, Mirjam; Towbin, Harry; Scheuermann, Jörg; Neri, Dario; Caflisch, Amedeo; Catapano, Carlo V; Ciaudo, Constance; Hall, Jonathan

    2016-10-21

    New discoveries in RNA biology underscore a need for chemical tools to clarify their roles in pathophysiological mechanisms. In certain cancers, synthesis of the let-7 microRNA tumor suppressor is blocked by an RNA binding protein (RBP) Lin28, which docks onto a conserved sequence in let-7 precursor RNA molecules and prevents their maturation. Thus, the Lin28/let-7 interaction might be an attractive drug target, if not for the well-known difficulty in targeting RNA-protein interactions with drugs. Here, we describe a protein/RNA FRET assay using a GFP-Lin28 donor and a black-hole quencher (BHQ)-labeled let-7 acceptor, a fluorescent protein/quencher combination which is rarely used in screening despite favorable spectral properties. We tested 16 000 molecules and identified N-methyl-N-[3-(3-methyl[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-b]pyridazin-6-yl)phenyl]acetamide, which blocked the Lin28/let-7 interaction, rescued let-7 processing and function in Lin28-expressing cancer cells, induced differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells, and reduced tumor-sphere formation by 22Rv1 and Huh7 cells. A biotinylated derivative captured Lin28 from cell lysates consistent with an on-target mechanism in cells, though the compound also showed some activity against bromodomains in selectivity assays. The Lin28/let-7 axis is presently of high interest not only for its role as a bistable switch in stem-cell biology but also because of its prominent roles in numerous diseases. We anticipate that much can be learned from the use of this first reported small molecule antagonist of Lin28, including the potential of the Lin28/let-7 interaction as a new drug target for selected cancers. Furthermore, this approach to assay development may be used to identify antagonists of other RBP/RNA interactions suspected to be operative in pathophysiological mechanisms.

  6. Epigenetic Modulation using Small Molecules - Targeting Histone Acetyltransferases in Disease.

    PubMed

    Richters, André; Koehler, Angela N

    2017-02-23

    Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are epigenetic drivers that catalyze the acetyl transfer from acetyl-CoA to lysines of both histone and non-histone substrates and thereby induce transcription either by chromatin remodeling or direct transcription factor activation. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) conduct the reverse reaction to counter HAT activity. Physiological processes such as cell cycle progression or apoptosis require a thoroughly balanced equilibrium of the interplay between acetylation and deacetylation processes to maintain or, if required, alter the global acetylome status. Aberrant HAT activity has recently been demonstrated to play a crucial role in the progression of various diseases such as prostate, lung, and colon cancers as well as glioblastomas and neurodegenerative diseases. Recent investigations have aimed for the identification of HAT modulators to further decipher the complexity of acetyl transferase related signaling cascades and discover potential leads for drug design approaches. HDACs have been extensively characterized and targeted by small molecules, including four FDA-approved HDAC inhibitors; in contrast, HATs have not been active targets for therapeutic development. This review will summarize the status of HAT associated diseases and the arsenal of currently known and available HAT inhibitors with respect to their discovery, further improvements, and current applications.

  7. Small molecule glutaminase inhibitors block glutamate release from stimulated microglia.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Ajit G; O'Driscoll, Cliona M; Bressler, Joseph; Kaufmann, Walter; Rojas, Camilo J; Slusher, Barbara S

    2014-01-03

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

  8. Characterization of EHT 1864, a novel small molecule inhibitor of Rac family small GTPases.

    PubMed

    Onesto, Cercina; Shutes, Adam; Picard, Virginie; Schweighoffer, Fabien; Der, Channing J

    2008-01-01

    There is now considerable experimental evidence that aberrant activation of Rho family small GTPases promotes uncontrolled proliferation, invasion, and metastatic properties of human cancer cells. Therefore, there is considerable interest in the development of small molecule inhibitors of Rho GTPase function. However, to date, most efforts have focused on inhibitors that block Rho GTPase function indirectly, either by targeting enzymes involved in post-translational processing or downstream protein kinase effectors. We have reported the identification and characterization of the EHT 1864 small molecule as an inhibitor of Rac family small GTPases, placing Rac1 in an inert and inactive state and then impairing Rac1-mediated functions in vivo. Our work suggests that EHT 1864 selectively inhibits Rac1 downstream signaling and cellular transformation by a novel mechanism involving guanine nucleotide displacement. This chapter provides the details for some of the biochemical and biological methods used to characterize the mode of action of EHT 1864 on Rac1 and its impact on Rac1-dependent cellular functions.

  9. Augmented-plane-wave calculations on small molecules

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-12

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

  11. Efficacy of the small molecule inhibitor of Lipid II BAS00127538 against Acinetobacter baumannii

    PubMed Central

    de Leeuw, Erik PH

    2014-01-01

    Objective To test the activity of a small molecule compound that targets Lipid II against Acinetobacter baumannii. Methods Susceptibility to small molecule Lipid II inhibitor BAS00127538 was assessed using carbapenem- and colistin-resistant clinical isolates of A. baumannii. In addition, synergy between colisitin and this compound was assessed. Results Small molecule Lipid II inhibitor BAS00127538 potently acts against A. baumannii and acts synergistically with colistin. Conclusion For the first time, a compound that targets Lipid II is described that acts against multi-drug resistant isolates of A. baumannii. The synergy with colistin warrants further lead development of BAS00127538. PMID:25143710

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Weinmann, Hilmar

    2016-03-04

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

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

    PubMed

    Butcher, Rebecca A

    2017-05-17

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-02

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Interaction of aromatic molecules with small gold clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-21

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

  4. Small molecule screen for candidate antimalarials targeting Plasmodium Kinesin-5.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liqiong; Richard, Jessica; Kim, Sunyoung; Wojcik, Edward J

    2014-06-06

    Plasmodium falciparum and vivax are responsible for the majority of malaria infections worldwide, resulting in over a million deaths annually. Malaria parasites now show measured resistance to all currently utilized drugs. Novel antimalarial drugs are urgently needed. The Plasmodium Kinesin-5 mechanoenzyme is a suitable "next generation" target. Discovered via small molecule screen experiments, the human Kinesin-5 has multiple allosteric sites that are "druggable." One site in particular, unique in its sequence divergence across all homologs in the superfamily and even within the same family, exhibits exquisite drug specificity. We propose that Plasmodium Kinesin-5 shares this allosteric site and likewise can be targeted to uncover inhibitors with high specificity. To test this idea, we performed a screen for inhibitors selective for Plasmodium Kinesin-5 ATPase activity in parallel with human Kinesin-5. Our screen of nearly 2000 compounds successfully identified compounds that selectively inhibit both P. vivax and falciparum Kinesin-5 motor domains but, as anticipated, do not impact human Kinesin-5 activity. Of note is a candidate drug that did not biochemically compete with the ATP substrate for the conserved active site or disrupt the microtubule-binding site. Together, our experiments identified MMV666693 as a selective allosteric inhibitor of Plasmodium Kinesin-5; this is the first identified protein target for the Medicines of Malaria Venture validated collection of parasite proliferation inhibitors. This work demonstrates that chemical screens against human kinesins are adaptable to homologs in disease organisms and, as such, extendable to strategies to combat infectious disease.

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

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Lirui

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Small Molecule Receptor Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase γ (RPTPγ) Ligands That Inhibit Phosphatase Activity via Perturbation of the Tryptophan-Proline-Aspartate (WPD) Loop

    SciTech Connect

    Sheriff, Steven; Beno, Brett R; Zhai, Weixu; Kostich, Walter A; McDonnell, Patricia A; Kish, Kevin; Goldfarb, Valentina; Gao, Mian; Kiefer, Susan E; Yanchunas, Joseph; Huang, Yanling; Shi, Shuhao; Zhu, Shirong; Dzierba, Carolyn; Bronson, Joanne; Macor, John E; Appiah, Kingsley K; Westphal, Ryan S; O’Connell, Jonathan; Gerritz, Samuel W

    2012-11-09

    Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) catalyze the dephosphorylation of tyrosine residues, a process that involves a conserved tryptophan-proline-aspartate (WPD) loop in catalysis. In previously determined structures of PTPs, the WPD-loop has been observed in either an 'open' conformation or a 'closed' conformation. In the current work, X-ray structures of the catalytic domain of receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatase γ (RPTPγ) revealed a ligand-induced 'superopen' conformation not previously reported for PTPs. In the superopen conformation, the ligand acts as an apparent competitive inhibitor and binds in a small hydrophobic pocket adjacent to, but distinct from, the active site. In the open and closed WPD-loop conformations of RPTPγ, the side chain of Trp1026 partially occupies this pocket. In the superopen conformation, Trp1026 is displaced allowing a 3,4-dichlorobenzyl substituent to occupy this site. The bound ligand prevents closure of the WPD-loop over the active site and disrupts the catalytic cycle of the enzyme.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Increasing the thermogenic activity of adipocytes holds promise as an approach to combating human obesity and its related metabolic diseases. We identified PR domain containing 4 (Prdm4) induction by the small molecule butein as a means to induce uncoupling protein 1 expression, increase energy expenditure, and stimulate the generation of thermogenic adipocytes. This study highlights a Prdm4-dependent pathway, modulated by small molecules, that stimulates white adipose tissue browning. PMID:27159578

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Small-molecule inhibitors of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 protect against angiotensin II-induced vascular dysfunction and hypertension.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Andrew W; Kinzenbaw, Dale A; Modrick, Mary L; Faraci, Frank M

    2013-02-01

    Angiotensin II (Ang II) is known to promote vascular disease and hypertension in part by formation of cytokines, such as interleukin-6. However, the role of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in these processes and Ang II/interleukin-6 signaling is unclear. Using 2 models, we tested the hypothesis that STAT3 is essential for Ang II-induced vascular dysfunction and hypertension. Incubation of isolated carotid arteries from C57BL/6J mice with Ang II overnight increased superoxide ≈2-fold and reduced vasodilator responses to the endothelium-dependent agonist acetylcholine by ≈50% versus controls (P<0.05). These effects were prevented by the addition of small-molecular inhibitors of STAT3 activation (S3I-201 or STATTIC). In vivo, administration of Ang II (1.4 mg kg(-1) day(-1)) using osmotic minipumps increased arterial pressure by ≈40 mm Hg at day 14 compared with vehicle-treated mice, and this effect was prevented by S3I-201 treatment (5 mg/kg IP, QOD). After systemic treatment with Ang II, dilator responses to acetylcholine were reduced by ≈30% to 50% in carotid artery and basilar arteries, whereas S3I-201 treatment prevented most of this impairment (P<0.05). In contrast to effects on vascular function and blood pressure, S31-201 did not prevent Ang II-induced hypertrophy in the carotid artery. These findings provide the first evidence that inhibitors of STAT3 activation protect against Ang II-induced oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, and hypertension. Because Ang II promotes vascular disease in the presence of multiple cardiovascular risk factors, these results suggest that selective targeting of STAT3 may have substantial therapeutic potential.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Robert J.

    1990-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, R.J. )

    1990-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Feltes, Bruno César; Bonatto, Diego

    2013-11-01

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

  13. Phosphate binding energy and catalysis by small and large molecules.

    PubMed

    Morrow, Janet R; Amyes, Tina L; Richard, John P

    2008-04-01

    Catalysis is an important process in chemistry and enzymology. The rate acceleration for any catalyzed reaction is the difference between the activation barriers for the uncatalyzed (Delta G(HO)(#)) and catalyzed (Delta G(Me)(#)) reactions, which corresponds to the binding energy (Delta G(S)(#) = Delta G(Me)(#)-Delta G(HO)(#)) for transfer of the reaction transition state from solution to the catalyst. This transition state binding energy is a fundamental descriptor of catalyzed reactions, and its evaluation is necessary for an understanding of any and all catalytic processes. We have evaluated the transition state binding energies obtained from interactions between low molecular weight metal ion complexes or high molecular weight protein catalysts and the phosphate group of bound substrate. Work on catalysis by small molecules is exemplified by studies on the mechanism of action of Zn2(1)(H2O). A binding energy of Delta G(S)(#) = -9.6 kcal/mol was determined for Zn2(1)(H2O)-catalyzed cleavage of the RNA analogue HpPNP. The pH-rate profile for this cleavage reaction showed that there is optimal catalytic activity at high pH, where the catalyst is in the basic form [Zn2(1)(HO-)]. However, it was also shown that the active form of the catalyst is Zn2(1)(H2O) and that this recognizes the C2-oxygen-ionized substrate in the cleavage reaction. The active catalyst Zn2(1)(H2O) shows a high affinity for oxyphosphorane transition state dianions and a stable methyl phosphate transition state analogue, compared with the affinity for phosphate monoanion substrates. The transition state binding energies, Delta G(S)(#), for cleavage of HpPNP catalyzed by a variety of Zn2+ and Eu3+ metal ion complexes reflect the increase in the catalytic activity with increasing total positive charge at the catalyst. These values of Delta G(S)(#) are affected by interactions between the metal ion and its ligands, but these effects are small in comparison with Delta G(S)(#) observed for catalysis

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

    PubMed Central

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Buchanan, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Koh, Brian; Crews, Craig M

    2002-11-14

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

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

    PubMed

    Trim, Paul J; Snel, Marten F

    2016-07-15

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

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-24

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

  2. Small molecules increase direct neural conversion of human fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Pfisterer, Ulrich; Ek, Fredrik; Lang, Stefan; Soneji, Shamit; Olsson, Roger; Parmar, Malin

    2016-01-01

    The generation of human induced neurons (hiNs) via exogenous delivery of neural transcription factors represents a novel technique to obtain disease and patient specific neurons. These cells have the potential to be used for disease modeling, diagnostics and drug screening, and also to be further developed for brain repair. In the present study, we utilized hiNs to develop an unbiased screening assay for small molecules that increase the conversion efficiency. Using this assay, we screened 307 compounds from five annotated libraries and identified six compounds that were very potent in potentiating the reprogramming process. When combined in an optimal combination and dose, these compounds increased the reprogramming efficiency of human fibroblasts more than 6-fold. Global gene expression and CellNet analysis at different timepoints during the reprogramming process revealed that neuron-specific genes and gene regulatory networks (GRNs) became progressively more activated while converting cells shut down fibroblast-specific GRNs. Further bioinformatics analysis revealed that the addition of the six compound resulted in the accelerated upregulation of a subset of neuronal genes, and also increased expression of genes associated with transcriptional activity and mediation of cellular stress response. PMID:27917895

  3. Small molecules from natural sources, targeting signaling pathways in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qiong; Chen, Lili; Hu, Lihong; Guo, Yuewei; Shen, Xu

    2010-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease caused by genetic or environmental factors. It has rendered a severe menace to the middle-aged and elderly, while there is still lack of efficient drugs against this disease. The pathogenic mechanism for DM is complex, and the complicated networks related to this disease involve distinct signaling pathways. Currently, discovery of potential modulators targeting these pathways has become a potent approach for anti-diabetic drug lead compound development. Compared with synthetic compounds, natural products provide inherent larger-scale structural diversity and have been the major resource of bioactive agents for new drug discovery. To date, more and more active components from plants or marine organisms have been reported to regulate diabetic pathophysiological signaling pathways and exhibit anti-diabetic activity. This review will summarize the regulation of natural small molecules on some key signaling pathways involved in DM. These pathways include insulin signaling pathway, carbohydrate metabolism pathway, the pathways involving insulin secretion and PPAR regulation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammation related pathways and chromatin modification pathways. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Potential of small-molecule fungal metabolites in antiviral chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Roy, Biswajit G

    2017-08-01

    Various viral diseases, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, influenza, and hepatitis, have emerged as leading causes of human death worldwide. Scientific endeavor since invention of DNA-dependent RNA polymerase of pox virus in 1967 resulted in better understanding of virus replication and development of various novel therapeutic strategies. Despite considerable advancement in every facet of drug discovery process, development of commercially viable, safe, and effective drugs for these viruses still remains a big challenge. Decades of intense research yielded a handful of natural and synthetic therapeutic options. But emergence of new viruses and drug-resistant viral strains had made new drug development process a never-ending battle. Small-molecule fungal metabolites due to their vast diversity, stereochemical complexity, and preapproved biocompatibility always remain an attractive source for new drug discovery. Though, exploration of therapeutic importance of fungal metabolites has started early with discovery of penicillin, recent prediction asserted that only a small percentage (5-10%) of fungal species have been identified and much less have been scientifically investigated. Therefore, exploration of new fungal metabolites, their bioassay, and subsequent mechanistic study bears huge importance in new drug discovery endeavors. Though no fungal metabolites so far approved for antiviral treatment, many of these exhibited high potential against various viral diseases. This review comprehensively discussed about antiviral activities of fungal metabolites of diverse origin against some important viral diseases. This also highlighted the mechanistic details of inhibition of viral replication along with structure-activity relationship of some common and important classes of fungal metabolites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-02

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Kier, Brandon L; Andersen, Niels H

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Convertino, Marino; Vitalis, Andreas; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kier, Brandon L.; Andersen, Niels H.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  11. Case Study of Small Molecules As Antimalarials: 2-Amino-1-phenylethanol (APE) Derivatives

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Antiparasitic oral drugs have been associated to lipophilic molecules due to their intrinsic permeability. However, these kind of molecules are associated to numerous adverse effects, which have been extensively studied. Within the Tres Cantos Antimalarial Set (TCAMS) we have identified two small, soluble and simple hits that even presenting antiplasmodial activities in the range of 0.4–0.5 μM are able to show in vivo activity. PMID:24944739

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

  13. Small Molecule Protection of Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Stem Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-10-01

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

  14. Small and Large Molecules in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Takeshi; Huang, Jane

    2014-06-01

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

  15. Electrocatalytic recycling of CO2 and small organic molecules.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaeyoung; Kwon, Youngkook; Machunda, Revocatus L; Lee, Hye Jin

    2009-10-05

    As global warming directly affects the ecosystems and humankind in the 21st century, attention and efforts are continuously being made to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, there have been numerous efforts to electrochemically convert CO2 gas to small organic molecules (SOMs) and vice versa. Herein, we highlight recent advances made in the electrocatalytic recycling of CO2 and SOMs including (i) the overall trend of research activities made in this area, (ii) the relations between reduction conditions and products in the aqueous phase, (iii) the challenges in the use of gas diffusion electrodes for the continuous gas phase CO2 reduction, as well as (iv) the development of state of the art hybrid techniques for industrial applications. Perspectives geared to fully exploit the potential of zero-gap cells for CO2 reduction in the gaseous phase and the high applicability on a large scale are also presented. We envision that the hybrid system for CO2 reduction supported by sustainable solar, wind, and geothermal energies and waste heat will provide a long term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and will allow for continued use of the abundant fossil fuels by industries and/or power plants but with zero emissions.

  16. 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

  17. Small-Molecule Screening Identifies Modulators of Aquaporin-2 Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Bogum, Jana; Faust, Dörte; Zühlke, Kerstin; Eichhorst, Jenny; Moutty, Marie C.; Furkert, Jens; Eldahshan, Adeeb; Neuenschwander, Martin; von Kries, Jens Peter; Wiesner, Burkhard; Trimpert, Christiane; Deen, Peter M.T.; Valenti, Giovanna; Rosenthal, Walter

    2013-01-01

    In the principal cells of the renal collecting duct, arginine vasopressin (AVP) stimulates the synthesis of cAMP, leading to signaling events that culminate in the phosphorylation of aquaporin-2 water channels and their redistribution from intracellular domains to the plasma membrane via vesicular trafficking. The molecular mechanisms that control aquaporin-2 trafficking and the consequent water reabsorption, however, are not completely understood. Here, we used a cell-based assay and automated immunofluorescence microscopy to screen 17,700 small molecules for inhibitors of the cAMP-dependent redistribution of aquaporin-2. This approach identified 17 inhibitors, including 4-acetyldiphyllin, a selective blocker of vacuolar H+-ATPase that increases the pH of intracellular vesicles and causes accumulation of aquaporin-2 in the Golgi compartment. Although 4-acetyldiphyllin did not inhibit forskolin-induced increases in cAMP formation and downstream activation of protein kinase A (PKA), it did prevent cAMP/PKA-dependent phosphorylation at serine 256 of aquaporin-2, which triggers the redistribution to the plasma membrane. It did not, however, prevent cAMP-induced changes to the phosphorylation status at serines 261 or 269. Last, we identified the fungicide fluconazole as an inhibitor of cAMP-mediated redistribution of aquaporin-2, but its target in this pathway remains unknown. In conclusion, our screening approach provides a method to begin dissecting molecular mechanisms underlying AVP-mediated water reabsorption, evidenced by our identification of 4-acetyldiphyllin as a modulator of aquaporin-2 trafficking. PMID:23559583

  18. Discovery of a small molecule that inhibits bacterial ribosome biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Jonathan M; Davis, Joseph H; M