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Sample records for small molecule activation

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Small Molecules that Suppress IGF-Activated Prostate Cancers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-04-01

    leptin that stimulates appetite (32). Neuropeptide Y inhibitors are expected to treat feeding disor- ders and heart diseases (33). Adipogenesis profiling...regulatory element binding protein (SREBP), a transcription factor that activates specific genes involved in cholesterol synthesis, endocytosis of low...density lipoproteins, and the synthesis of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Our results suggest a novel crosstalk between fat/ cholesterol

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Screening for Small Molecules That Disrupt IAP-Caspases Binding to Activate Caspases and Induce Apoptosis in Breast Cancers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

    Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved 0950-9232/05 $30.00 www.nature.com/onc ORIGINAL PAPER A small molecule Smac-mimic compound induces apoptosis ...409-411. Alnemri ES. (2001). Nature , 410, 112-116. Hengartner MO. (2000). Nature , 407, 770-776. Sun C, Cai M, Gunasekera AH, Meadows RP, Wang H, Chen...AD Award Number: W81XWH-04-1-0614 TITLE: Screening for Small Molecules that Disrupt IAP-Caspases Binding to Activate Caspases and Induce Apoptosis in

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Somers, Klaartje; Chudakova, Daria A; 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; Haber, Michelle; Norris, Murray D; Henderson, Michelle J

    2016-07-19

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. "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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. [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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Small molecule modifiers of circadian clocks.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Organic small molecule-based optical coatings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, U.; Präfke, C.; Munzert, P.; Kaiser, N.

    2011-09-01

    A small molecule is a low molecular weight organic compound which is by definition not a polymer. Therefore, physical vapor deposition by evaporation as common for inorganic oxides is often possible. Organic layers can be useful as components of interference stacks for different functions. A number of organic compounds have interesting UV absorption characteristics and can be used to protect UV-sensitive polymers such as polycarbonate. In addition, organic layers can be applied to generate nanostructured thin films with a very low effective refractive index, as shown recently for polymers. A structured organic single layer can be applied as an antireflective (AR) coating for a glass lens. The applicability of several small molecule compounds will be discussed in this paper.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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. 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.

  18. Light-assisted small molecule screening against protein kinases

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Novel Small-Molecule Antibacterial Agents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-07-01

    Molecules, Reversible Inhibitors, Irreversible Inhibitors, Therapeutics, Antidotes, Countermeasures, Botulism , and Neurotoxins. REPORT DOCUMENTATION...Standard Form 298 (Rev 8/98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 W911NF-09-1-0095 507-266-7991 Final Report 56085-LS.6 a. REPORT 14. ABSTRACT 16...8,404,728 B2) is 71 ± 26 nM (2 independent experiments with chi square 1. REPORT DATE (DD-MM-YYYY) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. Small-molecule modulators of PXR and CAR.

    PubMed

    Chai, Sergio C; Cherian, Milu T; Wang, Yue-Ming; Chen, Taosheng

    2016-09-01

    Two nuclear receptors, the pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), participate in the xenobiotic detoxification system by regulating the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters in order to degrade and excrete foreign chemicals or endogenous metabolites. This review aims to expand the perceived relevance of PXR and CAR beyond their established role as master xenosensors to disease-oriented areas, emphasizing their modulation by small molecules. Structural studies of these receptors have provided much-needed insight into the nature of their binding promiscuity and the important elements that lead to ligand binding. Reports of species- and isoform-selective activation highlight the need for further scrutiny when extrapolating from animal data to humans, as animal models are at the forefront of early drug discovery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Xenobiotic nuclear receptors: New Tricks for An Old Dog, edited by Dr. Wen Xie.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Shi, Junfeng; Xu, Bing

    2015-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic Modulation using Small Molecules - Targeting Histone Acetyltransferases in Disease.

    PubMed

    Richters, André; Koehler, Angela N

    2017-02-23

    Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are epigenetic drivers that catalyze the acetyl transfer from acetyl-CoA to lysines of both histone and non-histone substrates and thereby induce transcription either by chromatin remodeling or direct transcription factor activation. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) conduct the reverse reaction to counter HAT activity. Physiological processes such as cell cycle progression or apoptosis require a thoroughly balanced equilibrium of the interplay between acetylation and deacetylation processes to maintain or, if required, alter the global acetylome status. Aberrant HAT activity has recently been demonstrated to play a crucial role in the progression of various diseases such as prostate, lung, and colon cancers as well as glioblastomas and neurodegenerative diseases. Recent investigations have aimed for the identification of HAT modulators to further decipher the complexity of acetyl transferase related signaling cascades and discover potential leads for drug design approaches. HDACs have been extensively characterized and targeted by small molecules, including four FDA-approved HDAC inhibitors; in contrast, HATs have not been active targets for therapeutic development. This review will summarize the status of HAT associated diseases and the arsenal of currently known and available HAT inhibitors with respect to their discovery, further improvements, and current applications.

  12. Small 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Weinmann, Hilmar

    2016-03-04

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Phosphate binding energy and catalysis by small and large molecules.

    PubMed

    Morrow, Janet R; Amyes, Tina L; Richard, John P

    2008-04-01

    Catalysis is an important process in chemistry and enzymology. The rate acceleration for any catalyzed reaction is the difference between the activation barriers for the uncatalyzed (Delta G(HO)(#)) and catalyzed (Delta G(Me)(#)) reactions, which corresponds to the binding energy (Delta G(S)(#) = Delta G(Me)(#)-Delta G(HO)(#)) for transfer of the reaction transition state from solution to the catalyst. This transition state binding energy is a fundamental descriptor of catalyzed reactions, and its evaluation is necessary for an understanding of any and all catalytic processes. We have evaluated the transition state binding energies obtained from interactions between low molecular weight metal ion complexes or high molecular weight protein catalysts and the phosphate group of bound substrate. Work on catalysis by small molecules is exemplified by studies on the mechanism of action of Zn2(1)(H2O). A binding energy of Delta G(S)(#) = -9.6 kcal/mol was determined for Zn2(1)(H2O)-catalyzed cleavage of the RNA analogue HpPNP. The pH-rate profile for this cleavage reaction showed that there is optimal catalytic activity at high pH, where the catalyst is in the basic form [Zn2(1)(HO-)]. However, it was also shown that the active form of the catalyst is Zn2(1)(H2O) and that this recognizes the C2-oxygen-ionized substrate in the cleavage reaction. The active catalyst Zn2(1)(H2O) shows a high affinity for oxyphosphorane transition state dianions and a stable methyl phosphate transition state analogue, compared with the affinity for phosphate monoanion substrates. The transition state binding energies, Delta G(S)(#), for cleavage of HpPNP catalyzed by a variety of Zn2+ and Eu3+ metal ion complexes reflect the increase in the catalytic activity with increasing total positive charge at the catalyst. These values of Delta G(S)(#) are affected by interactions between the metal ion and its ligands, but these effects are small in comparison with Delta G(S)(#) observed for catalysis

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Discovery of a small molecule that inhibits bacterial ribosome biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Jonathan M; Davis, Joseph H; Mangat, Chand S; Williamson, James R; Brown, Eric D

    2014-01-01

    While small molecule inhibitors of the bacterial ribosome have been instrumental in understanding protein translation, no such probes exist to study ribosome biogenesis. We screened a diverse chemical collection that included previously approved drugs for compounds that induced cold sensitive growth inhibition in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. Among the most cold sensitive was lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant drug. Lamotrigine treatment resulted in the rapid accumulation of immature 30S and 50S ribosomal subunits at 15°C. Importantly, this was not the result of translation inhibition, as lamotrigine was incapable of perturbing protein synthesis in vivo or in vitro. Spontaneous suppressor mutations blocking lamotrigine activity mapped solely to the poorly characterized domain II of translation initiation factor IF2 and prevented the binding of lamotrigine to IF2 in vitro. This work establishes lamotrigine as a widely available chemical probe of bacterial ribosome biogenesis and suggests a role for E. coli IF2 in ribosome assembly. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03574.001 PMID:25233066

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

    PubMed Central

    Yarus, M; Illangesekare, M; Christian, E

    1991-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Novel small molecule EGFR inhibitors as candidate drugs in non-small cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Berardi, Rossana; Santoni, Matteo; Morgese, Francesca; Ballatore, Zelmira; Savini, Agnese; Onofri, Azzurra; Mazzanti, Paola; Pistelli, Mirco; Pierantoni, Chiara; De Lisa, Mariagrazia; Caramanti, Miriam; Pagliaretta, Silvia; Pellei, Chiara; Cascinu, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In the last decade, better understanding of the role of epidermal growth factor receptor in the pathogenesis and progression of non-small cell lung cancer has led to a revolution in the work-up of these neoplasms. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as erlotinib and gefitinib, have been approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, demonstrating an improvement in progression-free and overall survival, particularly in patients harboring activating EGFR mutations. Nevertheless, despite initial responses and long-lasting remissions, resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors invariably develops, most commonly due to the emergence of secondary T790M mutations or to the amplification of mesenchymal–epithelial transition factor (c-Met), which inevitably leads to treatment failure. Several clinical studies are ongoing (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov), aimed to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of combined approaches and to develop novel irreversible or multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors and mutant-selective inhibitors to overcome such resistance. This review is an overview of ongoing Phase I, II, and III trials of novel small molecule epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors and combinations in non-small cell lung cancer patients. PMID:23723712

  15. BCL::Conf: small molecule conformational sampling using a knowledge based rotamer library.

    PubMed

    Kothiwale, Sandeepkumar; Mendenhall, Jeffrey L; Meiler, Jens

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of a small molecule with a protein target depends on its ability to adopt a three-dimensional structure that is complementary. Therefore, complete and rapid prediction of the conformational space a small molecule can sample is critical for both structure- and ligand-based drug discovery algorithms such as small molecule docking or three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationships. Here we have derived a database of small molecule fragments frequently sampled in experimental structures within the Cambridge Structure Database and the Protein Data Bank. Likely conformations of these fragments are stored as 'rotamers' in analogy to amino acid side chain rotamer libraries used for rapid sampling of protein conformational space. Explicit fragments take into account correlations between multiple torsion bonds and effect of substituents on torsional profiles. A conformational ensemble for small molecules can then be generated by recombining fragment rotamers with a Monte Carlo search strategy. BCL::Conf was benchmarked against other conformer generator methods including Confgen, Moe, Omega and RDKit in its ability to recover experimentally determined protein bound conformations of small molecules, diversity of conformational ensembles, and sampling rate. BCL::Conf recovers at least one conformation with a root mean square deviation of 2 Å or better to the experimental structure for 99 % of the small molecules in the Vernalis benchmark dataset. The 'rotamer' approach will allow integration of BCL::Conf into respective computational biology programs such as Rosetta.Graphical abstract:Conformation sampling is carried out using explicit fragment conformations derived from crystallographic structure databases. Molecules from the database are decomposed into fragments and most likely conformations/rotamers are used to sample correspondng sub-structure of a molecule of interest.

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

    PubMed

    Reed, James L

    2009-08-03

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Optically active quantum-dot molecules.

    PubMed

    Shlykov, Alexander I; Baimuratov, Anvar S; Baranov, Alexander V; Fedorov, Anatoly V; Rukhlenko, Ivan D

    2017-02-20

    Chiral molecules made of coupled achiral semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots, show great promise for photonic applications owing to their prospective uses as configurable building blocks for optically active structures, materials, and devices. Here we present a simple model of optically active quantum-dot molecules, in which each of the quantum dots is assigned a dipole moment associated with the fundamental interband transition between the size-quantized states of its confined charge carriers. This model is used to analytically calculate the rotatory strengths of optical transitions occurring upon the excitation of chiral dimers, trimers, and tetramers of general configurations. The rotatory strengths of such quantum-dot molecules are found to exceed the typical rotatory strengths of chiral molecules by five to six orders of magnitude. We also study how the optical activity of quantum-dot molecules shows up in their circular dichroism spectra when the energy gap between the molecular states is much smaller than the states' lifetime, and maximize the strengths of the circular dichroism peaks by optimizing orientations of the quantum dots in the molecules. Our analytical results provide clear design guidelines for quantum-dot molecules and can prove useful in engineering optically active quantum-dot supercrystals and photonic devices.

  19. Small Active Radiation Monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Badhwar, Gautam D.

    2004-01-01

    A device, named small active radiation monitor, allows on-orbit evaluations during periods of increased radiation, after extravehicular activities, or at predesignated times for crews on such long-duration space missions as on the International Space Station. It also permits direct evaluation of biological doses, a task now performed using a combination of measurements and potentially inaccurate simulations. Indeed the new monitor can measure a full array of radiation levels, from soft x-rays to hard galactic cosmic-ray particles. With refinement, it will benefit commercial (nuclear power-plant workers, airline pilots, medical technicians, physicians/dentists, and others) and military personnel as well as the astronauts for whom thermoluminescent dosimeters are inadequate. Civilian and military personnel have long since graduated from film badges to thermoluminescent dosimeters. Once used, most dosimeters must be returned to a central facility for processing, a step that can take days or even weeks. While this suffices for radiation workers for whom exposure levels are typically very low and of brief duration, it does not work for astronauts. Even in emergencies and using express mail, the results can often be delayed by as much as 24 hours. Electronic dosimeters, which are the size of electronic oral thermometers, and tattlers, small electronic dosimeters that sound an alarm when the dose/dose rate exceeds preset values, are also used but suffer disadvantages similar to those of thermoluminescent dosimeters. None of these devices fully answers the need of rapid monitoring during the space missions. Instead, radiation is monitored by passive detectors, which are read out after the missions. Unfortunately, these detectors measure only the absorbed dose and not the biologically relevant dose equivalent. The new monitor provides a real-time readout, a time history of radiation exposures (both absorbed dose and biologically relevant dose equivalent), and a count of the

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-20

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

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

    PubMed

    Fukuto, Jon M; Collins, Michael D

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Small Molecule Probes for Plant Cell Wall Polysaccharide Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Ian S.; Anderson, Charles T.

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Proteins and Small Molecules for Cellular Regenerative Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Green, Eric M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chan, Zhulong; Shi, Haitao

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopies as Tools for Small Molecule Biosensing

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Carbon nanotubes for delivery of small molecule drugs.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  8. SCH529074, a small molecule activator of mutant p53, which binds p53 DNA binding domain (DBD), restores growth-suppressive function to mutant p53 and interrupts HDM2-mediated ubiquitination of wild type p53.

    PubMed

    Demma, Mark; Maxwell, Eugene; Ramos, Robert; Liang, Lianzhu; Li, Cheng; Hesk, David; Rossman, Randall; Mallams, Alan; Doll, Ronald; Liu, Ming; Seidel-Dugan, Cynthia; Bishop, W Robert; Dasmahapatra, Bimalendu

    2010-04-02

    Abrogation of p53 function occurs in almost all human cancers, with more than 50% of cancers harboring inactivating mutations in p53 itself. Mutation of p53 is indicative of highly aggressive cancers and poor prognosis. The vast majority of mutations in p53 occur in its core DNA binding domain (DBD) and result in inactivation of p53 by reducing its thermodynamic stability at physiological temperature. Here, we report a small molecule, SCH529074, that binds specifically to the p53 DBD in a saturable manner with an affinity of 1-2 microm. Binding restores wild type function to many oncogenic mutant forms of p53. This small molecule reactivates mutant p53 by acting as a chaperone, in a manner similar to that previously reported for the peptide CDB3. Binding of SCH529074 to the p53 DBD is specifically displaced by an oligonucleotide with a sequence derived from the p53-response element. In addition to reactivating mutant p53, SCH529074 binding inhibits ubiquitination of p53 by HDM2. We have also developed a novel variant of p53 by changing a single amino acid in the core domain of p53 (N268R), which abolishes binding of SCH529074. This amino acid change also inhibits HDM2-mediated ubiquitination of p53. Our novel findings indicate that through its interaction with p53 DBD, SCH529074 restores DNA binding activity to mutant p53 and inhibits HDM2-mediated ubiquitination.

  9. High resolution studies of atoms and small molecules

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-10-01

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

  10. Polymer and small molecule based hybrid light source

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-03-16

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

  11. Chemical detoxification of small molecules by Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-15

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

  12. Key elements of bioanalytical method validation for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Surendra; DeStefano, Anthony

    2007-03-30

    Method validation is a process that demonstrates that a method will successfully meet or exceed the minimum standards recommended in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance for accuracy, precision, selectivity, sensitivity, reproducibility, and stability. This article discusses the validation of bioanalytical methods for small molecules with emphasis on chromatographic techniques. We present current thinking on validation requirements as described in the current FDA Guidance and subsequent 2006 Bioanalytical Methods Validation Workshop white paper.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  14. Multimonth controlled small molecule release from biodegradable thin films

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ruscito, Annamaria; DeRosa, Maria C.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Recent Advances on Small-Molecule Survivin Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Min; Li, Wei

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaimayo, Wanaruk; Miller, Benjamin L.

    2014-03-01

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

  19. In vitro and in vivo activity of novel small-molecule inhibitors targeting the pleckstrin homology domain of protein kinase B/AKT.

    PubMed

    Moses, Sylvestor A; Ali, M Ahad; Zuohe, Song; Du-Cuny, Lei; Zhou, Li Li; Lemos, Robert; Ihle, Nathan; Skillman, A Geoffrey; Zhang, Shuxing; Mash, Eugene A; Powis, Garth; Meuillet, Emmanuelle J

    2009-06-15

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT signaling pathway plays a critical role in activating survival and antiapoptotic pathways within cancer cells. Several studies have shown that this pathway is constitutively activated in many different cancer types. The goal of this study was to discover novel compounds that bind to the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of AKT, thereby inhibiting AKT activation. Using proprietary docking software, 22 potential PH domain inhibitors were identified. Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy was used to measure the binding of the compounds to the expressed PH domain of AKT followed by an in vitro activity screen in Panc-1 and MiaPaCa-2 pancreatic cancer cell lines. We identified a novel chemical scaffold in several of the compounds that binds selectively to the PH domain of AKT, inducing a decrease in AKT activation and causing apoptosis at low micromolar concentrations. Structural modifications of the scaffold led to compounds with enhanced inhibitory activity in cells. One compound, 4-dodecyl-N-(1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)benzenesulfonamide, inhibited AKT and its downstream targets in cells as well as in pancreatic cancer cell xenografts in immunocompromised mice; it also exhibited good antitumor activity. In summary, a pharmacophore for PH domain inhibitors targeting AKT function was developed. Computer-aided modeling, synthesis, and testing produced novel AKT PH domain inhibitors that exhibit promising preclinical properties.

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

    PubMed Central

    Koehler, Angela N.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sharma, G. D.

    2011-10-20

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

  3. Reactions of small organic molecules on silver(110)

    SciTech Connect

    Ayre, C.R.

    1992-01-01

    The interaction of two pairs of molecules (1) acetone (CH[sub 3])[sub 2]C=O and isobutylene (CH[sub 3])[sub 2] C=CH[sub 2] and (2) 1,2-propanediol CH[sub 3] CH (OH)CH[sub 2]OH and 1,3-propanediol HOCH[sub 2]CH[sub 2]CH[sub 2]OH with clean and oxygen-activated Ag(110) has been explored to investigate the effects of molecular structure on reactivity. Experimental techniques employed include temperature programmed reaction spectroscopy, isotopic labelling, surface displacement reactions, and electron energy loss spectroscopy. Acetone and isobutylene were studied to explore the relative importance of C=O and C=C bonds in governing the reactivity of structurally similar compounds. Nucleophilic attack by oxygen at the electron-deficient carbonyl carbon in acetone results in reversible formation of the metallacycle (CH[sub 3])[sub 2]COO[sub (a)] at 110 K. Upon heating C-H bond activation by O[sub (a)] occurs near 215 K to yield acetone enolate CH[sub 2]=C(CH[sub 3])O[sub (a)] and evolve H[sub 2]O[sub (g)]. Atomic oxygen activates methyl C-H bonds in isobutylene via an acid-base mechanism. Although the major products are CO[sub 2(g)] and H[sub 2]O[sub (g)], a small amount of (CH[sub 3])[sub 2]C=CH[sub 2(g)] evolves near 310 K. Evidence for the formation of [pi]-2-methylallyl CH[sub 3]C(CH[sub 2])[sub 2(a)] and trimethylenementhane C(CH[sub 2])[sub 3(a)] is presented. The reaction of 1,2-propanediol CH[sub 3] CH(OH)CH[sub 2] OH with oxygen-activated Ag(110) has been compared with that of 1,3-propanediol HOCH[sub 2]CH[sub 2]CH[sub 2]OH to evaluate the effects of varying the position of O-H bonds in both diols to produce the corresponding dialkoxides.

  4. Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationships of Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Simian Virus 40 T Antigen Oncoprotein, an Anti-Polyomaviral Target

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Tushar; Seguin, Sandlin P.; Liang, Mary; Resnick, Lynn; Goldberg, Margot T.; Manos-Turvey, Alexandra; Pipas, James M.; Wipf, Peter; Brodsky, Jeffrey L.

    2014-01-01

    Polyomavirus infections are common and relatively benign in the general human population but can become pathogenic in immunosuppressed patients. Because most treatments for polyomavirus-associated diseases nonspecifically target DNA replication, existing treatments for polyomavirus infection possess undesirable side effects. However, all polyomaviruses express Large Tumor Antigen (T Ag), which is unique to this virus family and may serve as a therapeutic target. Previous screening of pyrimidinone-peptoid hybrid compounds identified MAL2-11B and a MAL2-11B tetrazole derivative as inhibitors of viral replication and T Ag ATPase activity (IC50 of ~20-50μM). To improve upon this scaffold and to develop a structure-activity relationship for this new class of antiviral agents, several iterative series of MAL2-11B derivatives were synthesized. The replacement of a flexible methylene chain linker with a benzyl group or, alternatively, the addition of an ortho-methyl substituent on the biphenyl side chain in MAL2-11B yielded analogs with modestly improved IC50s (~15 μM), which retained antiviral activity. After combining both structural motifs, a new lead compound was identified that inhibited T Ag ATPase activity with an IC50 of ~5 μM. We suggest that the knowledge gained from the structure-activity relationship and a further refinement cycle of the MAL2-11B scaffold will provide a specific, novel therapeutic treatment option for polyomavirus infections and their associated diseases. PMID:25440730

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

    PubMed

    Schorpp, Kenji; Hadian, Kamyar

    2014-03-01

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

  6. A GPBAR1 (TGR5) Small Molecule Agonist Shows Specific Inhibitory Effects on Myeloid Cell Activation In Vitro and Reduces Experimental Autoimmune Encephalitis (EAE) In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Nuruddeen D.; Patnaude, Lori A.; Pelletier, Josephine; Souza, Donald J.; Lukas, Susan M.; King, F. James; Hill, Jonathan D.; Stefanopoulos, Dimitria E.; Ryan, Kelli; Desai, Sudha; Skow, Donna; Kauschke, Stefan G.; Broermann, Andre; Kuzmich, Daniel; Harcken, Christian; Hickey, Eugene R.; Modis, Louise K.

    2014-01-01

    GPBAR1 is a G protein-coupled receptor that is activated by certain bile acids and plays an important role in the regulation of bile acid synthesis, lipid metabolism, and energy homeostasis. Recent evidence suggests that GPBAR1 may also have important effects in reducing the inflammatory response through its expression on monocytes and macrophages. To further understand the role of GPBAR1 in inflammation, we generated a novel, selective, proprietary GPBAR1 agonist and tested its effectiveness at reducing monocyte and macrophage activation in vitro and in vivo. We have used this agonist, together with previously described agonists to study agonism of GPBAR1, and shown that they can all induce cAMP and reduce TLR activation-induced cytokine production in human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages in vitro. Additionally, through the usage of RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), we identified a select set of genes that are regulated by GPBAR1 agonism during LPS activation. To further define the in vivo role of GPBAR1 in inflammation, we assessed GPBAR1 expression and found high levels on circulating mouse monocytes. Agonism of GPBAR1 reduced LPS-induced cytokine production in mouse monocytes ex vivo and serum cytokine levels in vivo. Agonism of GPBAR1 also had profound effects in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of multiple sclerosis, where monocytes play an important role. Mice treated with the GPBAR1 agonist exhibited a significant reduction in the EAE clinical score which correlated with reduced monocyte and microglial activation and reduced trafficking of monocytes and T cells into the CNS. These data confirm the importance of GPBAR1 in controlling monocyte and macrophage activation in vivo and support the rationale for selective agonists of GPBAR1 in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. PMID:24967665

  7. Investigational small-molecule drug selectively suppresses constitutive CYP2B6 activity at the gene transcription level: physiologically based pharmacokinetic model assessment of clinical drug interaction risk.

    PubMed

    Zamek-Gliszczynski, Maciej J; Mohutsky, Michael A; Rehmel, Jessica L F; Ke, Alice B

    2014-06-01

    The glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitor LY2090314 specifically impaired CYP2B6 activity during in vitro evaluation of cytochrome P450 (P450) enzyme induction in human hepatocytes. CYP2B6 catalytic activity was significantly decreased following 3-day incubation with 0.1-10 μM LY2090314, on average by 64.3% ± 5.0% at 10 μM. These levels of LY2090314 exposure were not cytotoxic to hepatocytes and did not reduce CYP1A2 and CYP3A activities. LY2090314 was not a time-dependent CYP2B6 inhibitor, did not otherwise inhibit enzyme activity at concentrations ≤10 μM, and was not metabolized by CYP2B6. Thus, mechanism-based inactivation or other direct interaction with the enzyme could not explain the observed reduction in CYP2B6 activity. Instead, LY2090314 significantly reduced CYP2B6 mRNA levels (Imax = 61.9% ± 1.4%; IC50 = 0.049 ± 0.043 μM), which were significantly correlated with catalytic activity (r(2) = 0.87, slope = 0.77; Imax = 57.0% ± 10.8%, IC50 = 0.057 ± 0.027 μM). Direct inhibition of constitutive androstane receptor by LY2090314 is conceptually consistent with the observed CYP2B6 transcriptional suppression (Imax = 100.0% ± 10.8% and 57.1% ± 2.4%; IC50 = 2.5 ± 1.2 and 2.1 ± 0.4 μM for isoforms 1 and 3, respectively) and may be sufficiently extensive to overcome the weak but potent activation of pregnane X receptor by ≤10 μM LY2090314 (19.3% ± 2.2% of maximal rifampin response, apparent EC50 = 1.2 ± 1.1 nM). The clinical relevance of these findings was evaluated through physiologically based pharmacokinetic model simulations. CYP2B6 suppression by LY2090314 is not expected clinically, with a projected <1% decrease in hepatic enzyme activity and <1% decrease in hydroxybupropion exposure following bupropion coadministration. However, simulations showed that observed CYP2B6 suppression could be clinically relevant for a drug with different pharmacokinetic properties from LY2090314.

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

    PubMed

    Hua, Duy H

    2013-02-01

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

  9. Structure-property relationships: asymmetric alkylphenyl-substituted anthracene molecules for use in small-molecule solar cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yu Jin; Ahn, Eun Soo; Jang, Sang Hun; An, Tae Kyu; Kwon, Soon-Ki; Chung, Dae Sung; Kim, Yun-Hi; Park, Chan Eon

    2015-05-11

    Two asymmetric anthracene-based organic molecules, NDHPEA and TNDHPEA, were prepared without or with a thiophene spacer between the anthracene and naphthalene units. These asymmetric oligomers displayed different degrees of coplanarity, as evidenced by differences in the dihedral angles calculated by using DFT. Differential scanning calorimetry and XRD studies were used to probe the crystallization characteristics and molecular packing structures in the active layers. The coplanarity of the molecules in the asymmetric structure significantly affected the crystallization behavior and the formation of crystalline domains in the solid state. The small-molecule crystalline properties were correlated with the device physics by determining the J-V characteristics and hole mobilities of the devices.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Synthesis and Exploratory Catalysis of 3d Metals: Group-Transfer Reactions, and the Activation and Functionalization of Small Molecules Including Greenhouse Gases

    SciTech Connect

    Mindiola, Daniel J.

    2014-05-07

    Our work over the past three years has resulted in the development of electron rich and low-coordinate vanadium fragments, molecular nitrides of vanadium and parent imide systems of titanium, and the synthesis of phosphorus containing molecules of the 3d transition metal series. Likewise, with financial support from BES Division in DOE (DE-FG02-07ER15893), we now completed the full characterization of the first single molecular magnet (SMM) of Fe(III). We demonstrated that this monomeric form of Fe(III) has an unusual slow relaxation of the magnetization under zero applied field. To make matters more interesting, this system also undergoes a rare example of an intermediate to high-spin transition (an S = 3/2 to S = 5/2 transition). In 2010 we reported the synthesis of the first neutral and low-coordinate vanadium complexes having the terminal nitride functionality. We have now completed a full study to understand formation of the nitride ligand from the metastable azide precursor, and have also explored the reactivity of the nitride ligand in the context of incomplete and complete N-atom transfer. During the 2010-2013 period we also discovered a facile approach to assemble low-coordinate and low-valent vanadium(II) complexes and exploit their multielectron chemistry ranging from 1-3 electrons. Consequently, we can now access 3d ligand frameworks such as cyclo-P3 (and its corresponding radical anion), nitride radical anions and cations, low-coordinate vanadium oxo’s, and the first example of a vanadium thionitrosyl complex. A cis-divacant iron(IV) imido having some ligand centered radical has been also discovered, and we are in the process of elucidating its electronic structure (in particular the sign of zero field splitting and the origin of its magnitude), bonding and reactivity. We have also revisited some paramagnetic and classic metallocene compounds with S >1/2 ground states in order to understand their reactivity patterns and electronic structure. Lastly

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalia, Rajiv

    2013-03-01

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

  17. Small molecule integrin antagonists that bind to the beta2 subunit I-like domain and activate signals in one direction and block them in the other.

    PubMed

    Shimaoka, Motomu; Salas, Azucena; Yang, Wei; Weitz-Schmidt, Gabriele; Springer, Timothy A

    2003-09-01

    Leukocyte integrins contain an inserted (I) domain in their alpha subunits and an I-like domain in their beta(2) subunit, which directly bind ligand and regulate ligand binding, respectively. We describe a novel mechanistic class of integrin inhibitors that bind to the metal ion-dependent adhesion site of the beta(2) I-like domain and prevent its interaction with and activation of the alpha(L) I domain. The inhibitors do not bind to the alpha(L) I domain but stabilize alpha/beta subunit association and can show selectivity for alpha(L)beta(2) compared to alpha(M)beta(2). The inhibitors reveal a crucial intersection for relaying conformational signals within integrin extracellular domains. While blocking signals in one direction to the I domain, the antagonists induce the active conformation of the I-like domain and stalk domains, and thus transmit conformational signals in the other direction toward the transmembrane domains.

  18. Binding of a Small Molecule at a Protein–Protein Interface Regulates the Chaperone Activity of Hsp70–Hsp40

    PubMed Central

    Wisén, Susanne; Bertelsen, Eric B.; Thompson, Andrea D.; Patury, Srikanth; Ung, Peter; Chang, Lyra; Evans, Christopher G.; Walter, Gladis M.; Wipf, Peter; Carlson, Heather A.; Brodsky, Jeffrey L.; Zuiderweg, Erik R. P.; Gestwicki, Jason E.

    2010-01-01

    Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is a highly conserved molecular chaperone that plays multiple roles in protein homeostasis. In these various tasks, the activity of Hsp70 is shaped by interactions with co-chaperones, such as Hsp40. The Hsp40 family of co-chaperones binds to Hsp70 through a conserved J-domain, and these factors stimulate ATPase and protein-folding activity. Using chemical screens, we identified a compound, 115-7c, which acts as an artificial co-chaperone for Hsp70. Specifically, the activities of 115-7c mirrored those of a Hsp40; the compound stimulated the ATPase and protein-folding activities of a prokaryotic Hsp70 (DnaK) and partially compensated for a Hsp40 loss-of-function mutation in yeast. Consistent with these observations, NMR and mutagenesis studies indicate that the binding site for 115-7c is adjacent to a region on DnaK that is required for J-domain-mediated stimulation. Interestingly, we found that 115-7c and the Hsp40 do not compete for binding but act in concert. Using this information, we introduced additional steric bulk to 115-7c and converted it into an inhibitor. Thus, these chemical probes either promote or inhibit chaperone functions by regulating Hsp70–Hsp40 complex assembly at a native protein–protein interface. This unexpected mechanism may provide new avenues for exploring how chaperones and co-chaperones cooperate to shape protein homeostasis. PMID:20481474

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Mass Spectrometry-Based Tissue Imaging of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. DW10075, a novel selective and small-molecule inhibitor of VEGFR, exhibits antitumor activities both in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Li, Meng-yuan; Lv, Yong-cong; Tong, Lin-jiang; Peng, Ting; Qu, Rong; Zhang, Tao; Sun, Yi-ming; Chen, Yi; Wei, Li-xin; Geng, Mei-yu; Duan, Wen-hu; Xie, Hua; Ding, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Targeting the VEGF/VEGF receptor (VEGFR) pathway has proved to be an effective antiangiogenic approach for cancer treatment. Here, we identified 6-((2-((3-acetamidophenyl)amino)pyrimidin-4-yl)oxy)-N-phenyl-1-naphthamide (designated herein as DW10075) as a novel and highly selective inhibitor of VEGFRs. Methods: In vitro tyrosine kinase activity was measured using ELISA, and intracellular signaling pathway proteins were detected by Western blot analysis. Endothelial cell proliferation was examined with CCK-8 assays, and tumor cell proliferation was determined with SRB assays. Cell migration, tube formation and rat aortic ring assays were used to detect antiangiogenic activity. Antitumor efficacy was further evaluated in U87-MG human glioblastoma xenograft tumors in nude mice receiving DW10075 (500 mg·kg−1·d−1, po) for two weeks. Results: Among a panel of 21 kinases tested, DW10075 selectively inhibited VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3 (the IC50 values were 6.4, 0.69 and 5.5 nmol/L, respectively), but did not affect 18 other kinases including FGFR and PDGFR at 10 μmol/L. DW10075 significantly blocked VEGF-induced activation of VEGFR and its downstream signaling transduction in primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), thus inhibited VEGF-induced HUVEC proliferation. DW10075 (1–100 nmol/L) dose-dependently inhibited VEGF-induced HUVEC migration and tube formation and suppressed angiogenesis in both the rat aortic ring model and the chicken chorioallantoic membrane model. Furthermore, DW10075 exhibited anti-proliferative activity against 22 different human cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 2.2 μmol/L (for U87-MG human glioblastoma cells) to 22.2 μmol/L (for A375 melanoma cells). In U87-MG xenograft tumors in nude mice, oral administration of DW10075 significantly suppressed tumor growth, and reduced the expression of CD31 and Ki67 in the tumor tissues. Conclusion: DW10075 is a potent and highly selective inhibitor of VEGFR that

  2. Selective killing of gastric cancer cells by a small molecule via targeting TrxR1 and ROS-mediated ER stress activation

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhongwei; Weng, Qiaoyou; Chen, Xi; Ying, Shilong; Ye, Qingqing; Wang, Zhe; Ji, Jiansong; Liang, Guang

    2016-01-01

    The thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) 1 is often overexpressed in numerous cancer cells. Targeting TrxR1 leads to a reduction in tumor progression and metastasis, making the enzyme an attractive target for cancer treatment. Our previous research revealed that the curcumin derivative B19 could induce cancer cell apoptosis via activation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. However, the upstream mechanism and molecular target of B19 is still unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that B19 directly inhibits TrxR1 enzyme activity to elevate oxidative stress and then induce ROS-mediated ER Stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, subsequently resulting in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human gastric cancer cells. A computer-assistant docking showed that B19 may bind TrxR1 protein via formation of a covalent bond with the residue Cys-498. Blockage of ROS production totally reversed B19-induced anti-cancer actions. In addition, the results of xenograft experiments in mice were highly consistent with in vitro studies. Taken together, targeting TrxR1 with B19 provides deep insight into the understanding of how B19 exerts its anticancer effects. More importantly, this work indicates that targeting TrxR1 and manipulating ROS levels are effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of gastric cancer. PMID:26919094

  3. An autonomous chemically fuelled small-molecule motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. An autonomous chemically fuelled small-molecule motor.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-09

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

  5. Raman Optical Activity Spectra for Large Molecules through Molecules-in-Molecules Fragment-Based Approach.

    PubMed

    Jovan Jose, K V; Raghavachari, Krishnan

    2016-02-09

    We present an efficient method for the calculation of the Raman optical activity (ROA) spectra for large molecules through the molecules-in-molecules (MIM) fragment-based method. The relevant higher energy derivatives from smaller fragments are used to build the property tensors of the parent molecule to enable the extension of the MIM method for evaluating ROA spectra (MIM-ROA). Two factors were found to be particularly important in yielding accurate results. First, the link-atom tensor components are projected back onto the corresponding host and supporting atoms through the Jacobian projection method, yielding a mathematically rigorous method. Second, the long-range interactions between fragments are taken into account by using a less computationally expensive lower level of theory. The performance of the MIM-ROA model is calibrated on the enantiomeric pairs of 10 carbohydrate benchmark molecules, with strong intramolecular interactions. The vibrational frequencies and ROA intensities are accurately reproduced relative to the full, unfragmented, results for these systems. In addition, the MIM-ROA method is employed to predict the ROA spectra of d-maltose, α-D-cyclodextrin, and cryptophane-A, yielding spectra in excellent agreement with experiment. The accuracy and performance of the benchmark systems validate the MIM-ROA model for exploring ROA spectra of large molecules.

  6. Inhibition of Antiapoptotic BCL-XL, BCL-2, and MCL-1 Proteins by Small Molecule Mimetics

    PubMed Central

    Dalafave, D.S.; Prisco, G.

    2010-01-01

    Informatics and computational design methods were used to create new molecules that could potentially bind antiapoptotic proteins, thus promoting death of cancer cells. Apoptosis is a cellular process that leads to the death of damaged cells. Its malfunction can cause cancer and poor response to conventional chemotherapy. After being activated by cellular stress signals, proapoptotic proteins bind antiapoptotic proteins, thus allowing apoptosis to go forward. An excess of antiapoptotic proteins can prevent apoptosis. Designed molecules that mimic the roles of proapoptotic proteins can promote the death of cancer cells. The goal of our study was to create new putative mimetics that could simultaneously bind several antiapoptotic proteins. Five new small molecules were designed that formed stable complexes with BCL-2, BCL-XL, and MCL-1 antiapoptotic proteins. These results are novel because, to our knowledge, there are not many, if any, small molecules known to bind all three proteins. Drug-likeness studies performed on the designed molecules, as well as previous experimental and preclinical studies on similar agents, strongly suggest that the designed molecules may indeed be promising drug candidates. All five molecules showed “drug-like” properties and had overall drug-likeness scores between 81% and 96%. A single drug based on these mimetics should cost less and cause fewer side effects than a combination of drugs each aimed at a single protein. Computer-based molecular design promises to accelerate drug research by predicting potential effectiveness of designed molecules prior to laborious experiments and costly preclinical trials. PMID:20838611

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-12-01

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

  8. Finding small molecules for the ‘next Ebola’

    PubMed Central

    Ekins, Sean; Southan, Christopher; Coffee, Megan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yuan; Mallampalli, Rama K.

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Fourier transform vibrational circular dichroism of small pharmaceutical molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Mallampalli, Rama K

    2016-02-01

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

  12. Novel Chemical Strategies for Labeling Small Molecule Ligands for Androgen, Progestin, and Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors for Imaging Prostate and Breast Cancer and the Heart

    SciTech Connect

    Katzenellenbogen, John, A.

    2007-04-19

    Summary of Progress The specific aims of this project can be summarized as follows: • Aim 1: Prepare and evaluate radiolabeled ligands for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR), a new nuclear hormone receptor target for tumor imaging and hormone therapy. • Aim 2: Prepare steroids labeled with a cyclopentadienyl tricarbonyl technetium or rhenium unit. • Aim 3: Prepare and evaluate other organometallic systems of novel design as ligand mimics and halogenated ligands for nuclear hormone receptor-based tumor imaging. As is described in detail below, we made excellent progress on all three of these aims; the highlights of our progress are the following: • we have prepared the first fluorine-18 labeled analogs of ligands for the PPAR receptor and used these in tissue distribution studies in rats • we have developed three new methods for the synthesis of cyclopentadienyltricarbonyl rhenium and technetium (CpRe(CO)3 and CpTc(CO)3) systems and we have adapted these to the synthesis of steroids labeled with these metals, as well as ligands for other receptor systems • we have prepared a number of fluorine-18 labeled steroidal and non-steroidal androgens and measured their tissue distribution in rats • we have prepared iodine and bromine-labeled progestins with high progesterone receptor binding affinity • we have prepared inorganic metal tricarbonyl complexes and steroid receptor ligands in which the metal tricarbonyl unit is an integral part off the ligand core.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  14. Small molecule-initiated light-activated semiconducting polymer dots: an integrated nanoplatform for targeted photodynamic therapy and imaging of cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yanrong; Pang, Long; Ma, Chao; Tu, Qin; Zhang, Rui; Saeed, Elray; Mahmoud, Abd Elaal; Wang, Jinyi

    2014-03-18

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a noninvasive and light-activated method for cancer treatment. Two of the vital parameters that govern the efficiency of PDT are the light irradiation to the photosensitizer and visual detection of the selective accumulation of the photosensitizer in malignant cells. Herein, we prepared an integrated nanoplatform for targeted PDT and imaging of cancer cells using folic acid and horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-bifunctionalized semiconducting polymer dots (FH-Pdots). In the FH-Pdots, meta-tetra(hydroxyphenyl)-chlorin (m-THPC) was used as photosensitizer to produce cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS); fluorescent semiconducting polymer poly[2-methoxy-5-((2-ethylhexyl)oxy)-p-phenylenevinylene] was used as light antenna and hydrophobic matrix for incorporating m-THPC, and amphiphilic Janus dendrimer was used as a surface functionalization agent to conjugate HRP and aminated folic acid onto the surface of FH-Pdots. Results indicated that the doped m-THPC can be simultaneously excited by the on-site luminol-H2O2-HRP chemiluminescence system through two paths. One is directly through chemiluminescence resonance energy transfer (CRET), and the other is through CRET and subsequent fluorescence resonance energy transfer. In vitro PDT and specificity studies of FH-Pdots using a standard transcriptional and translational assay against MCF-7 breast cancer cells, C6 glioma cells, and NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells demonstrated that cell viability decreased with increasing concentration of FH-Pdots. At the same concentration of FH-Pdots, the decrease in cell viability was positively relevant with increasing folate receptor expression. Results from in vitro fluorescence imaging exhibited that more FH-Pdots were internalized by cancerous MCF-7 and C6 cells than by noncancerous NIH 3T3 cells. All the results demonstrate that the designed semiconducting FH-Pdots can be used as an integrated nanoplatform for targeted PDT and on-site imaging of cancer cells.

  15. A phenotypic screening platform to identify small molecule modulators of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii growth, motility and photosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Chemical biology, the interfacial discipline of using small molecules as probes to investigate biology, is a powerful approach of developing specific, rapidly acting tools that can be applied across organisms. The single-celled alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is an excellent model system because of its photosynthetic ability, cilia-related motility and simple genetics. We report the results of an automated fitness screen of 5,445 small molecules and subsequent assays on motility/phototaxis and photosynthesis. Cheminformatic analysis revealed active core structures and was used to construct a naïve Bayes model that successfully predicts algal bioactive compounds. PMID:23158586

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-02

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

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

    PubMed

    de Mol, Nico J

    2010-01-01

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

  18. The use of small molecule probes to study spatially separated stimulus-induced signaling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Kravchenko, Vladimir V.; Glöckner, Christian; Stowe, G. Neil; Kang, Young J.; Tobias, Peter S.; Mathison, John C.; Ulevitch, Richard J.; Kaufmann, Gunnar F.; Janda, Kim D.

    2012-01-01

    Simultaneous activation of signaling pathways requires dynamic assembly of higher-order protein complexes at the cytoplasmic domains of membrane-associated receptors in a stimulus-specific manner. Here, using the paradigm of cellular activation through cytokine and innate immune receptors, we demonstrate the proof-of-principle application of small molecule probes for the dissection of receptor-proximal signaling processes, such as activation of the transcription factor NF- B and the protein kinase p38. PMID:22300658

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Small Molecule Ligands of Methyl-Lysine Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Biosensor-based small molecule fragment screening with biolayer interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wartchow, Charles A.; Podlaski, Frank; Li, Shirley; Rowan, Karen; Zhang, Xiaolei; Mark, David; Huang, Kuo-Sen

    2011-07-01

    Biosensor-based fragment screening is a valuable tool in the drug discovery process. This method is advantageous over many biochemical methods because primary hits can be distinguished from non-specific or non-ideal interactions by examining binding profiles and responses, resulting in reduced false-positive rates. Biolayer interferometry (BLI), a technique that measures changes in an interference pattern generated from visible light reflected from an optical layer and a biolayer containing proteins of interest, is a relatively new method for monitoring small molecule interactions. The BLI format is based on a disposable sensor that is immersed in 96-well or 384-well plates. BLI has been validated for small molecule detection and fragment screening with model systems and well-characterized targets where affinity constants and binding profiles are generally similar to those obtained with surface plasmon resonsance (SPR). Screens with challenging targets involved in protein-protein interactions including BCL-2, JNK1, and eIF4E were performed with a fragment library of 6,500 compounds, and hit rates were compared for these targets. For eIF4E, a protein containing a PPI site and a nucleotide binding site, results from a BLI fragment screen were compared to results obtained in biochemical HTS screens. Overlapping hits were observed for the PPI site, and hits unique to the BLI screen were identified. Hit assessments with SPR and BLI are described.

  6. Roles of small molecules in somatic cell reprogramming.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Small-Molecule Modulators of Listeria monocytogenes Biofilm Development

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Uyen T.; Wenderska, Iwona B.; Chong, Matthew A.; Koteva, Kalinka; Wright, Gerard D.

    2012-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an important food-borne pathogen whose ability to form disinfectant-tolerant biofilms on a variety of surfaces presents a food safety challenge for manufacturers of ready-to-eat products. We developed here a high-throughput biofilm assay for L. monocytogenes and, as a proof of principle, used it to screen an 80-compound protein kinase inhibitor library to identify molecules that perturb biofilm development. The screen yielded molecules toxic to multiple strains of Listeria at micromolar concentrations, as well as molecules that decreased (≤50% of vehicle control) or increased (≥200%) biofilm formation in a dose-dependent manner without affecting planktonic cell density. Toxic molecules—including the protein kinase C antagonist sphingosine—had antibiofilm activity at sub-MIC concentrations. Structure-activity studies of the biofilm inhibitory compound palmitoyl-d,l-carnitine showed that while Listeria biofilm formation was inhibited with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 5.85 ± 0.24 μM, d,l-carnitine had no effect, whereas palmitic acid had stimulatory effects. Saturated fatty acids between C9:0 and C14:0 were Listeria biofilm inhibitors, whereas fatty acids of C16:0 or longer were stimulators, showing chain length specificity. De novo-synthesized short-chain acyl carnitines were less effective biofilm inhibitors than the palmitoyl forms. These molecules, whose activities against bacteria have not been previously established, are both useful probes of L. monocytogenes biology and promising leads for the further development of antibiofilm strategies. PMID:22194285

  9. Molecular Responses to Small Regulating Molecules against Huanglongbing Disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Targeting Innate Immunity for Antiviral Therapy through Small Molecule Agonists of the RLR Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Pattabhi, Sowmya; Wilkins, Courtney R.; Dong, Ran; Knoll, Megan L.; Posakony, Jeffrey; Kaiser, Shari; Mire, Chad E.; Wang, Myra L.; Ireton, Renee C.; Geisbert, Thomas W.; Bedard, Kristin M.; Iadonato, Shawn P.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The cellular response to virus infection is initiated when pathogen recognition receptors (PRR) engage viral pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). This process results in induction of downstream signaling pathways that activate the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3). IRF3 plays a critical role in antiviral immunity to drive the expression of innate immune response genes, including those encoding antiviral factors, type 1 interferon, and immune modulatory cytokines, that act in concert to restrict virus replication. Thus, small molecule agonists that can promote IRF3 activation and induce innate immune gene expression could serve as antivirals to induce tissue-wide innate immunity for effective control of virus infection. We identified small molecule compounds that activate IRF3 to differentially induce discrete subsets of antiviral genes. We tested a lead compound and derivatives for the ability to suppress infections caused by a broad range of RNA viruses. Compound administration significantly decreased the viral RNA load in cultured cells that were infected with viruses of the family Flaviviridae, including West Nile virus, dengue virus, and hepatitis C virus, as well as viruses of the families Filoviridae (Ebola virus), Orthomyxoviridae (influenza A virus), Arenaviridae (Lassa virus), and Paramyxoviridae (respiratory syncytial virus, Nipah virus) to suppress infectious virus production. Knockdown studies mapped this response to the RIG-I-like receptor pathway. This work identifies a novel class of host-directed immune modulatory molecules that activate IRF3 to promote host antiviral responses to broadly suppress infections caused by RNA viruses of distinct genera. IMPORTANCE Incidences of emerging and reemerging RNA viruses highlight a desperate need for broad-spectrum antiviral agents that can effectively control infections caused by viruses of distinct genera. We identified small molecule compounds that can

  11. Computational Analysis and Predictive Cheminformatics Modeling of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Epigenetic Modifiers

    PubMed Central

    Scaria, Vinod

    2016-01-01

    Background The dynamic and differential regulation and expression of genes is majorly governed by the complex interactions of a subset of biomolecules in the cell operating at multiple levels starting from genome organisation to protein post-translational regulation. The regulatory layer contributed by the epigenetic layer has been one of the favourite areas of interest recently. This layer of regulation as we know today largely comprises of DNA modifications, histone modifications and noncoding RNA regulation and the interplay between each of these major components. Epigenetic regulation has been recently shown to be central to development of a number of disease processes. The availability of datasets of high-throughput screens for molecules for biological properties offer a new opportunity to develop computational methodologies which would enable in-silico screening of large molecular libraries. Methods In the present study, we have used data from high throughput screens for the inhibitors of epigenetic modifiers. Computational predictive models were constructed based on the molecular descriptors. Machine learning algorithms for supervised training, Naive Bayes and Random Forest, were used to generate predictive models for the small molecule inhibitors of histone methyl-transferases and demethylases. Random forest, with the accuracy of 80%, was identified as the most accurate classifier. Further we complemented the study with substructure search approach filtering out the probable pharmacophores from the active molecules leading to drug molecules. Results We show that effective use of appropriate computational algorithms could be used to learn molecular and structural correlates of biological activities of small molecules. The computational models developed could be potentially used to screen and identify potential new biological activities of molecules from large molecular libraries and prioritise them for in-depth biological assays. To the best of our knowledge

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. System-wide detection of protein-small molecule complexes suggests extensive metabolite regulation in plants

    PubMed Central

    Veyel, Daniel; Kierszniowska, Sylwia; Kosmacz, Monika; Sokolowska, Ewelina Maria; Michaelis, Aenne; Luzarowski, Marcin; Szlachetko, Jagoda; Willmitzer, Lothar; Skirycz, Aleksandra

    2017-01-01

    Protein small molecule interactions are at the core of cell regulation controlling metabolism and development. We reasoned that due to the lack of system wide approaches only a minority of those regulatory molecules are known. In order to see whether or not this assumption is true we developed an effective approach for the identification of small molecules having potential regulatory role that obviates the need of protein or small molecule baits. At the core of this approach is a simple biochemical co-fractionation taking advantage of size differences between proteins and small molecules. Metabolomics based analysis of small molecules co-fractionating with proteins identified a multitude of small molecules in Arabidopsis suggesting the existence of numerous, small molecules/metabolites bound to proteins representing potential regulatory molecules. The approach presented here uses Arabidopsis cell cultures, but is generic and hence applicable to all biological systems. PMID:28205532

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Disordered proteins are highly prevalent in biological systems, they control myriad signaling and regulatory processes, and their levels and/or cellular localization are often altered in human disease. In contrast to folded proteins, disordered proteins, due to conformational heterogeneity and dynamics, are not considered viable drug targets. We challenged this paradigm by identifying through NMR-based screening small molecules that bound specifically, albeit weakly, to the disordered cell cycle regulator, p27Kip1 (p27). Two groups of molecules bound to sites created by transient clusters of aromatic residues within p27. Conserved chemical features within these two groups of small molecules exhibited complementarity to their binding sites within p27, establishing structure-activity relationships for small molecule:disordered protein interactions. Finally, one compound counteracted the Cdk2/cyclin A inhibitory function of p27 in vitro, providing proof-of-principle that small molecules can inhibit the function of a disordered protein (p27) through sequestration in a conformation incapable of folding and binding to a natural regulatory target (Cdk2/cyclin A). PMID:26507530

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-28

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Iconaru, Luigi I.; Ban, David; Bharatham, Kavitha; ...

    2015-10-28

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

  18. Single-molecule detection with active transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, David Allan

    A glass capillary is used near the focal region of a custom-built confocal microscope to investigate the use of active transport for single-molecule detection in solution, with both one and two-photon laser excitation. The capillary tip has a diameter of several microns and is carefully aligned nearby to the sub-micron laser beam waist, collinear to the optical axis, so that a negative pressure-difference causes molecules to be drawn into the capillary, along the laser beam axis. The flow of solution, which is characterized by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), can increase the single-molecule detection rate for slowly diffusing proteins by over a factor of 100, while the mean rate of photons during each burst is similar to that for random diffusional transport. Also, the flow is along the longest axis of the ellipsoidally-shaped confocal volume, which results in more collected photons per molecule than that for transverse flow at the same speed. When transport is dominated by flow, FCS can no longer distinguish molecules with differing translational diffusion, and hence a fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy method based on differences in fluorescence brightness is investigated as a means for assaying different solution components, for applications in pharmaceutical drug discovery. Multi-channel fluctuation spectroscopy techniques can also be used for assays with the flow system and hence this dissertation also reports the characterization of a prototype 4-channel single-photon detector with a two-wavelength polarization-resolved optical set-up.

  19. Systems Based Study of the Therapeutic Potential of Small Charged Molecules for the Inhibition of IL-1 Mediated Cartilage Degradation

    PubMed Central

    Kar, Saptarshi; Smith, David W.; Gardiner, Bruce S.; Grodzinsky, Alan J.

    2016-01-01

    Inflammatory cytokines are key drivers of cartilage degradation in post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Cartilage degradation mediated by these inflammatory cytokines has been extensively investigated using in vitro experimental systems. Based on one such study, we have developed a computational model to quantitatively assess the impact of charged small molecules intended to inhibit IL-1 mediated cartilage degradation. We primarily focus on the simplest possible computational model of small molecular interaction with the IL-1 system—direct binding of the small molecule to the active site on the IL-1 molecule itself. We first use the model to explore the uptake and release kinetics of the small molecule inhibitor by cartilage tissue. Our results show that negatively charged small molecules are excluded from the negatively charged cartilage tissue and have uptake kinetics in the order of hours. In contrast, the positively charged small molecules are drawn into the cartilage with uptake and release timescales ranging from hours to days. Using our calibrated computational model, we subsequently explore the effect of small molecule charge and binding constant on the rate of cartilage degradation. The results from this analysis indicate that the small molecules are most effective in inhibiting cartilage degradation if they are either positively charged and/or bind strongly to IL-1α, or both. Furthermore, our results showed that the cartilage structural homeostasis can be restored by the small molecule if administered within six days following initial tissue exposure to IL-1α. We finally extended the scope of the computational model by simulating the competitive inhibition of cartilage degradation by the small molecule. Results from this model show that small molecules are more efficient in inhibiting cartilage degradation by binding directly to IL-1α rather than binding to IL-1α receptors. The results from this study can be used as a template for the design and

  20. Small molecule semiconductors for high-efficiency organic photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yuze; Li, Yongfang; Zhan, Xiaowei

    2012-06-07

    Organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs) are a promising cost-effective alternative to silicon-based solar cells, and possess light-weight, low-cost, and flexibility advantages. Significant progress has been achieved in the development of novel photovoltaic materials and device structures in the last decade. Nowadays small molecular semiconductors for OPVs have attracted considerable attention, due to their advantages over their polymer counterparts, including well-defined molecular structure, definite molecular weight, and high purity without batch to batch variations. The highest power conversion efficiencies of OPVs based on small molecular donor/fullerene acceptors or polymeric donor/fullerene acceptors are up to 6.7% and 8.3%, respectively, and meanwhile nonfullerene acceptors have also exhibited some promising results. In this review we summarize the developments in small molecular donors, acceptors (fullerene derivatives and nonfullerene molecules), and donor-acceptor dyad systems for high-performance multilayer, bulk heterojunction, and single-component OPVs. We focus on correlations of molecular chemical structures with properties, such as absorption, energy levels, charge mobilities, and photovoltaic performances. This structure-property relationship analysis may guide rational structural design and evaluation of photovoltaic materials (253 references).

  1. Small GTPase Rho signaling is involved in {beta}1 integrin-mediated up-regulation of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and receptor activator of nuclear factor {kappa}B ligand on osteoblasts and osteoclast maturation

    SciTech Connect

    Hirai, Fumihiko; Nakayamada, Shingo; Okada, Yosuke; Saito, Kazuyoshi; Kurose, Hitoshi; Mogami, Akira; Tanaka, Yoshiya . E-mail: tanaka@med.uoeh-u.ac.jp

    2007-04-27

    We assessed the characteristics of human osteoblasts, focusing on small GTPase Rho signaling. {beta}1 Integrin were highly expressed on osteoblasts. Engagement of {beta}1 integrins by type I collagen augmented expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and receptor activator of nuclear factor {kappa}B ligand (RANKL) on osteoblasts. Rho was activated by {beta}1 stimulation in osteoblasts. {beta}1 Integrin-induced up-regulation of ICAM-1 and RANKL was inhibited by transfection with adenoviruses encoding C3 transferase or pretreated with Y-27632, specific Rho and Rho-kinase inhibitors. Engagement of {beta}1 integrin on osteoblasts induced formation of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive multinuclear cells (MNC) in a coculture system of osteoblasts and peripheral monocytes, but this action was completely abrogated by transfection of C3 transferase. Our results indicate the direct involvement of Rho-mediated signaling in {beta}1 integrin-induced up-regulation of ICAM-1 and RANKL and RANKL-dependent osteoclast maturation. Thus, Rho-mediated signaling in osteoblasts seems to introduce major biases to bone resorption.

  2. The identification of GPR3 inverse agonist AF64394; the first small molecule inhibitor of GPR3 receptor function.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Thomas; Elster, Lisbeth; Nielsen, Søren Møller; Poda, Suresh Babu; Loechel, Frosty; Volbracht, Christiane; Klewe, Ib Vestergaard; David, Laurent; Watson, Stephen P

    2014-11-15

    The identification of the novel and selective GPR3 inverse agonist AF64394, the first small molecule inhibitor of GPR3 receptor function, is described. Structure activity relationships and syntheses based around AF64394 are reported.

  3. Comparison of small molecules and oligonucleotides that target a toxic, non-coding RNA.

    PubMed

    Costales, Matthew G; Rzuczek, Suzanne G; Disney, Matthew D

    2016-06-01

    Potential RNA targets for chemical probes and therapeutic modalities are pervasive in the transcriptome. Oligonucleotide-based therapeutics are commonly used to target RNA sequence. Small molecules are emerging as a modality to target RNA structures selectively, but their development is still in its infancy. In this work, we compare the activity of oligonucleotides and several classes of small molecules that target the non-coding r(CCUG) repeat expansion (r(CCUG)(exp)) that causes myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2), an incurable disease that is the second-most common cause of adult onset muscular dystrophy. Small molecule types investigated include monomers, dimers, and multivalent compounds synthesized on-site by using RNA-templated click chemistry. Oligonucleotides investigated include phosphorothioates that cleave their target and vivo-morpholinos that modulate target RNA activity via binding. We show that compounds assembled on-site that recognize structure have the highest potencies amongst small molecules and are similar in potency to a vivo-morpholino modified oligonucleotide that targets sequence. These studies are likely to impact the design of therapeutic modalities targeting other repeats expansions that cause fragile X syndrome and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, for example.

  4. Targeting RSV with Vaccines and Small Molecule Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Costello, Heather M.; Ray, William C.; Chaiwatpongsakorn, Supranee; Peeples, Mark E.

    2012-01-01

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most significant cause of pediatric respiratory infections. Palivizumab (Synagis®), a humanized monoclonal antibody, has been used successfully for a number of years to prevent severe RSV disease in at-risk infants. However, despite intense efforts, there is no approved vaccine or small molecule drug for RSV. As an enveloped virus, RSV must fuse its envelope with the host cell membrane, which is accomplished through the actions of the fusion (F) glycoprotein, with attachment help from the G glycoprotein. Because of their integral role in initiation of infection and their accessibility outside the lipid bilayer, these proteins have been popular targets in the discovery and development of antiviral compounds and vaccines against RSV. This review examines advances in the development of antiviral compounds and vaccine candidates. PMID:22335496

  5. Coacervate delivery systems for proteins and small molecule drugs

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Noah R; Wang, Yadong

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Branched terthiophenes in organic electronics: from small molecules to polymers.

    PubMed

    Scheuble, Martin; Goll, Miriam; Ludwigs, Sabine

    2015-01-01

    A zoo of chemical structures is accessible when the branched unit 2,2':3',2″-terthiophene (3T) is included both in structurally well-defined small molecules and polymer-like architectures. The first part of this review article highlights literature on all-thiophene based branched oligomers including dendrimers as well as combinations of 3T-units with functional moieties for light-harvesting systems. Motivated by the perfectly branched macromolecular dendrimers both electropolymerization as well as chemical approaches are presented as methods for the preparation of branched polythiophenes with different branching densities. Structure-function relationships between the molecular architecture and optical and electronic properties are discussed throughout the article.

  7. Detection of small molecules with a flow immunosensor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kusterbeck, Anne W.; Ligler, Frances S.

    1991-01-01

    We describe the development of an easy-to-use sensor with widespread applications for detecting small molecules. The flow immunosensor can analyze discrete samples in under one minute or continuously monitor a flowing stream for the presence of specific analytes. This detection system is extremely specific, and achieves a level of sensitivity which meets or exceeds the detection limits reported for rival assays. Because the system is also compact, transportable, and automated, it has the potential to impact diverse areas. For example, the flow immunosensor has successfully detected drugs of abuse and explosives, and may well address many of the needs of the environmental community with respect to continuous monitoring for pollutants. Efforts are underway to engineer a portable device in the field.

  8. Small molecule-based approaches to adult stem cell therapies.

    PubMed

    Lairson, Luke L; Lyssiotis, Costas A; Zhu, Shoutian; Schultz, Peter G

    2013-01-01

    There is considerable interest in the development of stem cell-based strategies for the treatment of a broad range of human diseases, including neurodegenerative, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal diseases. To date, such regenerative approaches have focused largely on the development of cell transplantation therapies using cells derived from pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Although there have been exciting preliminary reports describing the efficacy of ESC-derived replacement therapies, approaches involving ex vivo manipulated ESCs are hindered by issues of mutation, immune rejection, and ethical controversy. An alternative approach involves direct in vivo modulation or ex vivo expansion of endogenous adult stem cell populations using drug-like small molecules. Here we describe chemical approaches to the regulation of somatic stem cell biology that are yielding new biological insights and that may ultimately lead to innovative new medicines.

  9. Microbial modulation of host immunity with the small molecule phosphorylcholine.

    PubMed

    Clark, Sarah E; Weiser, Jeffrey N

    2013-02-01

    All microorganisms dependent on persistence in a host for survival rely on either hiding from or modulating host responses to infection. The small molecule phosphorylcholine, or choline phosphate (ChoP), is used for both of these purposes by a wide array of bacterial and parasitic microbes. While the mechanisms underlying ChoP acquisition and expression are diverse, a unifying theme is the use of ChoP to reduce the immune response to infection, creating an advantage for ChoP-expressing microorganisms. In this minireview, we discuss several benefits of ChoP expression during infection as well as how the immune system fights back against ChoP-expressing pathogens.

  10. Functional silver coated colloidosomes as targeted carriers for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qian; Du, Yao; Zhao, Ziyan; Hall, Elizabeth Anne Howlett; Gao, Hui; Sukhorukov, Gleb B; Routh, Alexander Francis

    2017-03-30

    Colloidosomes have attracted great interest in recent years because of their capability for storage and delivery of small molecules for medical and pharmaceutical applications. However, traditional polymer shell colloidosomes leak low molecular weight drugs due to their intrinsic shell permeability. Here, we report aqueous core colloidosomes with a silver shell, which seals the core and makes the shell impermeable. The silver coated colloidosomes were prepared by reacting L-Ascorbic acid in the microcapsule core with silver nitrate in the wash solution. The silver shell colloidosomes were then modified by using 4,4'-dithiodibutyric acid and linked with rabbit Immunoglobulin G (IgG). Label-free Surface Plasmon Resonance was used to test the specific targeting of the functional silver shell with rabbit antigen. To break the shells, ultrasound treatment was used. The results demonstrate that a new type of functional silver coated colloidosome with immunoassay targeting, non-permeability, and ultrasound sensitivity could be applied to many medical applications.

  11. The dynamics of small molecules in intense laser fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Posthumus, J. H.

    2004-05-01

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

  12. Current status of the prebiotic synthesis of small molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Stanley L.

    1986-01-01

    Experiments designed to simulate conditions on the primitive earth and to demonstrate how the organic compounds that made up the first living organisms were synthesized are described. Simulated atmospheres with CH4, N2, NH3, and H2O were found to be most effective for synthesis of small prebiotic molecules, although atmospheres with H2, CO, N2, and H2O, and with H2, CO2, N2, and H2O also give good yields of organic compounds provided the H2/CO and H2/CO2 ratios are above 1 and 2, respectively. The spark discharge (which is a good source of HCN) and UV light are also important. Reasonable prebiotic syntheses were worked out for the amino acids that occur in proteins (with the exception of lysine, arginine, and histidine), and for purines, pyrimidines, sugars, and nicotinic acid. Many of the molecules that have been produced in these simulated primitive-earth experiments are found in carbonaceous chondrites.

  13. Construction of DNA Hemicatenanes from Two Small Circular DNA Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Gaillard, Claire; Strauss, François

    2015-01-01

    DNA hemicatenanes, one of the simplest possible junctions between two double stranded DNA molecules, have frequently been mentioned in the literature for their possible function in DNA replication, recombination, repair, and organization in chromosomes. They have been little studied experimentally, however, due to the lack of an appropriate method for their preparation. Here we have designed a method to build hemicatenanes from two small circular DNA molecules. The method involves, first, the assembly of two linear single strands and their circularization to form a catenane of two single stranded circles, and, second, the addition and base-pairing of the two single stranded circles complementary to the first ones, followed by their annealing using DNA topoisomerase I. The product was purified by gel electrophoresis and characterized. The arrangement of strands was as expected for a hemicatenane and clearly distinct from a full catenane. In addition, each circle was unwound by an average of half a double helical turn, also in excellent agreement with the structure of a hemicatenane. It was also observed that hemicatenanes are quickly destabilized by a single cut on either of the two strands passing inside the junction, strongly suggesting that DNA strands are able to slide easily inside the hemicatenane. This method should make it possible to study the biochemical properties of hemicatenanes and to test some of the hypotheses that have been proposed about their function, including a possible role for this structure in the organization of complex genomes in loops and chromosomal domains. PMID:25799010

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

    PubMed Central

    Fiehn, Oliver

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Decoupling Activation of Heme Biosynthesis from Anaerobic Toxicity in a Molecule Active in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Dutter, Brendan F; Mike, Laura A; Reid, Paul R; Chong, Katherine M; Ramos-Hunter, Susan J; Skaar, Eric P; Sulikowski, Gary A

    2016-05-20

    Small molecules active in the pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus are valuable tools for the study of its basic biology and pathogenesis, and many molecules may provide leads for novel therapeutics. We have previously reported a small molecule, 1, which activates endogenous heme biosynthesis in S. aureus, leading to an accumulation of intracellular heme. In addition to this novel activity, 1 also exhibits toxicity towards S. aureus growing under fermentative conditions. To determine if these activities are linked and establish what features of the molecule are required for activity, we synthesized a library of analogs around the structure of 1 and screened them for activation of heme biosynthesis and anaerobic toxicity to investigate structure-activity relationships. The results of this analysis suggest that these activities are not linked. Furthermore, we have identified the structural features that promote each activity and have established two classes of molecules: activators of heme biosynthesis and inhibitors of anaerobic growth. These molecules will serve as useful probes for their respective activities without concern for the off target effects of the parent compound.

  18. A high throughput screening assay system for the identification of small molecule inhibitors of gsp.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Nisan; Hu, Xin; Chen, Catherine Z; Mathews Griner, Lesley A; Zheng, Wei; Inglese, James; Austin, Christopher P; Marugan, Juan J; Southall, Noel; Neumann, Susanne; Northup, John K; Ferrer, Marc; Collins, Michael T

    2014-01-01

    Mis-sense mutations in the α-subunit of the G-protein, Gsα, cause fibrous dysplasia of bone/McCune-Albright syndrome. The biochemical outcome of these mutations is constitutively active Gsα and increased levels of cAMP. The aim of this study was to develop an assay system that would allow the identification of small molecule inhibitors specific for the mutant Gsα protein, the so-called gsp oncogene. Commercially available Chinese hamster ovary cells were stably transfected with either wild-type (WT) or mutant Gsα proteins (R201C and R201H). Stable cell lines with equivalent transfected Gsα protein expression that had relatively lower (WT) or higher (R201C and R201H) cAMP levels were generated. These cell lines were used to develop a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based cAMP assay in 1536-well microplate format for high throughput screening of small molecule libraries. A small molecule library of 343,768 compounds was screened to identify modulators of gsp activity. A total of 1,356 compounds with inhibitory activity were initially identified and reconfirmed when tested in concentration dose responses. Six hundred eighty-six molecules were selected for further analysis after removing cytotoxic compounds and those that were active in forskolin-induced WT cells. These molecules were grouped by potency, efficacy, and structural similarities to yield 22 clusters with more than 5 of structurally similar members and 144 singleton molecules. Seven chemotypes of the major clusters were identified for further testing and analyses.

  19. A High Throughput Screening Assay System for the Identification of Small Molecule Inhibitors of gsp

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Nisan; Hu, Xin; Chen, Catherine Z.; Mathews Griner, Lesley A.; Zheng, Wei; Inglese, James; Austin, Christopher P.; Marugan, Juan J.; Southall, Noel; Neumann, Susanne; Northup, John K.; Ferrer, Marc; Collins, Michael T.

    2014-01-01

    Mis-sense mutations in the α-subunit of the G-protein, Gsα, cause fibrous dysplasia of bone/McCune-Albright syndrome. The biochemical outcome of these mutations is constitutively active Gsα and increased levels of cAMP. The aim of this study was to develop an assay system that would allow the identification of small molecule inhibitors specific for the mutant Gsα protein, the so-called gsp oncogene. Commercially available Chinese hamster ovary cells were stably transfected with either wild-type (WT) or mutant Gsα proteins (R201C and R201H). Stable cell lines with equivalent transfected Gsα protein expression that had relatively lower (WT) or higher (R201C and R201H) cAMP levels were generated. These cell lines were used to develop a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)–based cAMP assay in 1536-well microplate format for high throughput screening of small molecule libraries. A small molecule library of 343,768 compounds was screened to identify modulators of gsp activity. A total of 1,356 compounds with inhibitory activity were initially identified and reconfirmed when tested in concentration dose responses. Six hundred eighty-six molecules were selected for further analysis after removing cytotoxic compounds and those that were active in forskolin-induced WT cells. These molecules were grouped by potency, efficacy, and structural similarities to yield 22 clusters with more than 5 of structurally similar members and 144 singleton molecules. Seven chemotypes of the major clusters were identified for further testing and analyses. PMID:24667240

  20. Targeting Th17 Cells with Small Molecules and Small Interference RNA.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hui; Song, Pingfang; Zhao, Yi; Xue, Li-Jia; Liu, Yi; Chu, Cong-Qiu

    2015-01-01

    T helper 17 (Th17) cells play a central role in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases via the production of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin- (IL-) 17, IL-17F, and IL-22. Anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibodies show potent efficacy in psoriasis but poor effect in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease. Alternative agents targeting Th17 cells may be a better way to inhibit the development and function of Th17 cells than antibodies of blocking a single effector cytokine. Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt) which acts as the master transcription factor of Th17 differentiation has been an attractive pharmacologic target for the treatment of Th17-mediated autoimmune disease. Recent progress in technology of chemical screen and engineering nucleic acid enable two new classes of therapeutics targeting RORγt. Chemical screen technology identified several small molecule specific inhibitors of RORγt from a small molecule library. Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) technology enabled target specific aptamers to be isolated from a random sequence oligonucleotide library. In this review, we highlight the development and therapeutic potential of small molecules inhibiting Th17 cells by targeting RORγt and aptamer mediated CD4(+) T cell specific delivery of small interference RNA against RORγt gene expression to inhibit pathogenic effector functions of Th17 lineage.

  1. A novel caspase 8 selective small molecule potentiates TRAIL-induced cell death.

    PubMed

    Bucur, Octavian; Gaidos, Gabriel; Yatawara, Achani; Pennarun, Bodvael; Rupasinghe, Chamila; Roux, Jérémie; Andrei, Stefan; Guo, Bingqian; Panaitiu, Alexandra; Pellegrini, Maria; Mierke, Dale F; Khosravi-Far, Roya

    2015-05-11

    Recombinant soluble TRAIL and agonistic antibodies against TRAIL receptors (DR4 and DR5) are currently being created for clinical cancer therapy, due to their selective killing of cancer cells and high safety characteristics. However, resistance to TRAIL and other targeted therapies is an important issue facing current cancer research field. An attractive strategy to sensitize resistant malignancies to TRAIL-induced cell death is the design of small molecules that target and promote caspase 8 activation. For the first time, we describe the discovery and characterization of a small molecule that directly binds caspase 8 and enhances its activation when combined with TRAIL, but not alone. The molecule was identified through an in silico chemical screen for compounds with affinity for the caspase 8 homodimer's interface. The compound was experimentally validated to directly bind caspase 8, and to promote caspase 8 activation and cell death in single living cells or population of cells, upon TRAIL stimulation. Our approach is a proof-of-concept strategy leading to the discovery of a novel small molecule that not only stimulates TRAIL-induced apoptosis in cancer cells, but may also provide insights into the structure-function relationship of caspase 8 homodimers as putative targets in cancer.

  2. A novel caspase 8 selective small molecule potentiates TRAIL-induced cell death

    PubMed Central

    Bucur, Octavian; Gaidos, Gabriel; Yatawara, Achani; Pennarun, Bodvael; Rupasinghe, Chamila; Roux, Jérémie; Andrei, Stefan; Guo, Bingqian; Panaitiu, Alexandra; Pellegrini, Maria; Mierke, Dale F.; Khosravi-Far, Roya

    2015-01-01

    Recombinant soluble TRAIL and agonistic antibodies against TRAIL receptors (DR4 and DR5) are currently being created for clinical cancer therapy, due to their selective killing of cancer cells and high safety characteristics. However, resistance to TRAIL and other targeted therapies is an important issue facing current cancer research field. An attractive strategy to sensitize resistant malignancies to TRAIL-induced cell death is the design of small molecules that target and promote caspase 8 activation. For the first time, we describe the discovery and characterization of a small molecule that directly binds caspase 8 and enhances its activation when combined with TRAIL, but not alone. The molecule was identified through an in silico chemical screen for compounds with affinity for the caspase 8 homodimer’s interface. The compound was experimentally validated to directly bind caspase 8, and to promote caspase 8 activation and cell death in single living cells or population of cells, upon TRAIL stimulation. Our approach is a proof-of-concept strategy leading to the discovery of a novel small molecule that not only stimulates TRAIL-induced apoptosis in cancer cells, but may also provide insights into the structure-function relationship of caspase 8 homodimers as putative targets in cancer. PMID:25962125

  3. Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of Cancer Stem Cell Signaling Pathways.

    PubMed

    Abetov, Danysh; Mustapova, Zhanar; Saliev, Timur; Bulanin, Denis; Batyrbekov, Kanat; Gilman, Charles P

    2015-12-01

    The main aim of oncologists worldwide is to understand and then intervene in the primary tumor initiation and propagation mechanisms. This is essential to allow targeted elimination of cancer cells without altering normal mitotic cells. Currently, there are two main rival theories describing the process of tumorigenesis. According to the Stochastic Model, potentially any cell, once defunct, is capable of initiating carcinogenesis. Alternatively the Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) Model posits that only a small fraction of undifferentiated tumor cells are capable of triggering carcinogenesis. Like healthy stem cells, CSCs are also characterized by a capacity for self-renewal and the ability to generate differentiated progeny, possibly mediating treatment resistance, thus leading to tumor recurrence and metastasis. Moreover, molecular signaling profiles are similar between CSCs and normal stem cells, including Wnt, Notch and Hedgehog pathways. Therefore, development of novel chemotherapeutic agents and proteins (e.g., enzymes and antibodies) specifically targeting CSCs are attractive pharmaceutical candidates. This article describes small molecule inhibitors of stem cell pathways Wnt, Notch and Hedgehog, and their recent chemotherapy clinical trials.

  4. Multiscale Modelling of Small Molecules Absorbed in Zeolite-4A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modine, N. A.; Chandross, Michael; Jaramillo, Eugenio

    2003-03-01

    Confinement within the nanoscale pores of a zeolite strongly modifies the physical and chemical behavior of small molecules such as water, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. Realistic modeling of such phenomena requires simultaneously capturing the detailed behavior of chemical bonds and the possibility of collective dynamics occurring in a complex unit cell (672 atoms in the case of Zeolite-4A). Classical simulations alone cannot reliably model the breaking and formation of chemical bonds, while quantum methods alone are incapable of treating the extended length and time scales characteristic of complex dynamics. Therefore, we have taken a mixed quantum/classical approach. We report our progress in developing an efficient algorithm for embedding a small region treated with density functional theory within a larger system represented by classical potentials. We discuss interesting initial results for the behavior of water and ammonia in Zeolite-4A. Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE- AC04-94AL85000.

  5. Perspective: Accurate ro-vibrational calculations on small molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tennyson, Jonathan

    2016-09-01

    In what has been described as the fourth age of quantum chemistry, variational nuclear motion programs are now routinely being used to obtain the vibration-rotation levels and corresponding wavefunctions of small molecules to the sort of high accuracy demanded by comparison with spectroscopy. In this perspective, I will discuss the current state-of-the-art which, for example, shows that these calculations are increasingly competitive with measurements or, indeed, replacing them and thus becoming the primary source of data on key processes. To achieve this accuracy ab initio requires consideration of small effects, routinely ignored in standard calculations, such as those due to quantum electrodynamics. Variational calculations are being used to generate huge lists of transitions which provide the input for models of radiative transport through hot atmospheres and to fill in or even replace measured transition intensities. Future prospects such as the study of molecular states near dissociation, which can provide a link with low-energy chemical reactions, are discussed.

  6. Identification of a small molecule that stabilizes lipoprotein lipase in vitro and lowers triglycerides in vivo.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Mikael; Caraballo, Rémi; Ericsson, Madelene; Lookene, Aivar; Enquist, Per-Anders; Elofsson, Mikael; Nilsson, Stefan K; Olivecrona, Gunilla

    2014-07-25

    Patients at increased cardiovascular risk commonly display high levels of plasma triglycerides (TGs), elevated LDL cholesterol, small dense LDL particles and low levels of HDL-cholesterol. Many remain at high risk even after successful statin therapy, presumably because TG levels remain high. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) maintains TG homeostasis in blood by hydrolysis of TG-rich lipoproteins. Efficient clearance of TGs is accompanied by increased levels of HDL-cholesterol and decreased levels of small dense LDL. Given the central role of LPL in lipid metabolism we sought to find small molecules that could increase LPL activity and serve as starting points for drug development efforts against cardiovascular disease. Using a small molecule screening approach we have identified small molecules that can protect LPL from inactivation by the controller protein angiopoietin-like protein 4 during incubations in vitro. One of the selected compounds, 50F10, was directly shown to preserve the active homodimer structure of LPL, as demonstrated by heparin-Sepharose chromatography. On injection to hypertriglyceridemic apolipoprotein A-V deficient mice the compound ameliorated the postprandial response after an olive oil gavage. This is a potential lead compound for the development of drugs that could reduce the residual risk associated with elevated plasma TGs in dyslipidemia.

  7. An anchor-dependent molecular docking process for docking small flexible molecules into rigid protein receptors.

    PubMed

    Lin, Thy-Hou; Lin, Guan-Liang

    2008-08-01

    A molecular docking method designated as ADDock, anchor-dependent molecular docking process for docking small flexible molecules into rigid protein receptors, is presented in this article. ADDock makes the bond connection lists for atoms based on anchors chosen for building molecular structures for docking small flexible molecules or ligands into rigid active sites of protein receptors. ADDock employs an extended version of piecewise linear potential for scoring the docked structures. Since no translational motion for small molecules is implemented during the docking process, ADDock searches the best docking result by systematically changing the anchors chosen, which are usually the single-edge connected nodes or terminal hydrogen atoms of ligands. ADDock takes intact ligand structures generated during the docking process for computing the docked scores; therefore, no energy minimization is required in the evaluation phase of docking. The docking accuracy by ADDock for 92 receptor-ligand complexes docked is 91.3%. All these complexes have been docked by other groups using other docking methods. The receptor-ligand steric interaction energies computed by ADDock for some sets of active and inactive compounds selected and docked into the same receptor active sites are apparently separated. These results show that based on the steric interaction energies computed between the docked structures and receptor active sites, ADDock is able to separate active from inactive compounds for both being docked into the same receptor.

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

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yun; Buchwald, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Computational approaches to analyse and predict small molecule transport and distribution at cellular and subcellular levels.

    PubMed

    Min, Kyoung Ah; Zhang, Xinyuan; Yu, Jing-yu; Rosania, Gus R

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) studies and mechanistic mathematical modeling approaches have been independently employed for analysing and predicting the transport and distribution of small molecule chemical agents in living organisms. Both of these computational approaches have been useful for interpreting experiments measuring the transport properties of small molecule chemical agents, in vitro and in vivo. Nevertheless, mechanistic cell-based pharmacokinetic models have been especially useful to guide the design of experiments probing the molecular pathways underlying small molecule transport phenomena. Unlike QSAR models, mechanistic models can be integrated from microscopic to macroscopic levels, to analyse the spatiotemporal dynamics of small molecule chemical agents from intracellular organelles to whole organs, well beyond the experiments and training data sets upon which the models are based. Based on differential equations, mechanistic models can also be integrated with other differential equations-based systems biology models of biochemical networks or signaling pathways. Although the origin and evolution of mathematical modeling approaches aimed at predicting drug transport and distribution has occurred independently from systems biology, we propose that the incorporation of mechanistic cell-based computational models of drug transport and distribution into a systems biology modeling framework is a logical next step for the advancement of systems pharmacology research.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  12. Small molecule proteostasis regulators that reprogram the ER to reduce extracellular protein aggregation

    PubMed Central

    Plate, Lars; Cooley, Christina B; Chen, John J; Paxman, Ryan J; Gallagher, Ciara M; Madoux, Franck; Genereux, Joseph C; Dobbs, Wesley; Garza, Dan; Spicer, Timothy P; Scampavia, Louis; Brown, Steven J; Rosen, Hugh; Powers, Evan T; Walter, Peter; Hodder, Peter; Wiseman, R Luke; Kelly, Jeffery W

    2016-01-01

    Imbalances in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis are associated with etiologically-diverse degenerative diseases linked to excessive extracellular protein misfolding and aggregation. Reprogramming of the ER proteostasis environment through genetic activation of the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR)-associated transcription factor ATF6 attenuates secretion and extracellular aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins. Here, we employed a screening approach that included complementary arm-specific UPR reporters and medium-throughput transcriptional profiling to identify non-toxic small molecules that phenocopy the ATF6-mediated reprogramming of the ER proteostasis environment. The ER reprogramming afforded by our molecules requires activation of endogenous ATF6 and occurs independent of global ER stress. Furthermore, our molecules phenocopy the ability of genetic ATF6 activation to selectively reduce secretion and extracellular aggregation of amyloidogenic proteins. These results show that small molecule-dependent ER reprogramming, achieved through preferential activation of the ATF6 transcriptional program, is a promising strategy to ameliorate imbalances in ER function associated with degenerative protein aggregation diseases. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15550.001 PMID:27435961

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-29

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

  14. High performance photovoltaic applications using solution-processed small molecules.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yongsheng; Wan, Xiangjian; Long, Guankui

    2013-11-19

    Energy remains a critical issue for the survival and prosperity of humancivilization. Many experts believe that the eventual solution for sustainable energy is the use of direct solar energy as the main energy source. Among the options for renewable energy, photovoltaic technologies that harness solar energy offer a way to harness an unlimited resource and minimum environment impact in contrast with other alternatives such as water, nuclear, and wind energy. Currently, almost all commercial photovoltaic technologies use Si-based technology, which has a number of disadvantages including high cost, lack of flexibility, and the serious environmental impact of the Si industry. Other technologies, such as organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells, can overcome some of these issues. Today, polymer-based OPV (P-OPV) devices have achieved power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) that exceed 9%. Compared with P-OPV, small molecules based OPV (SM-OPV) offers further advantages, including a defined structure for more reproducible performance, higher mobility and open circuit voltage, and easier synthetic control that leads to more diversified structures. Therefore, while largely undeveloped, SM-OPV is an important emerging technology with performance comparable to P-OPV. In this Account, we summarize our recent results on solution-processed SM-OPV. We believe that solution processing is essential for taking full advantage of OPV technologies. Our work started with the synthesis of oligothiophene derivatives with an acceptor-donor-acceptor (A-D-A) structure. Both the backbone conjugation length and electron withdrawing terminal groups play an important role in the light absorption, energy levels and performance of the devices. Among those molecules, devices using a 7-thiophene-unit backbone and a 3-ethylrhodanine (RD) terminal unit produced a 6.1% PCE. With the optimized conjugation length and terminal unit, we borrowed from the results with P-OPV devices to optimize the backbone. Thus we

  15. Identification of small molecule Hes1 modulators as potential anticancer chemotherapeutics.

    PubMed

    Sail, Vibhavari; Hadden, M Kyle

    2013-03-01

    Hes1 is a key transcriptional regulator primarily controlled by the Notch signaling pathway, and recent studies have demonstrated both an oncogenic and tumor suppressor role for Hes1, depending on the cell type. Small molecules that activate and inhibit Hes1 activity hold promise as future anticancer chemotherapeutics. We have utilized a cell-based dual luciferase assay to identify modulators of Hes1 expression in a medium-throughput format. A modest screen was performed in HCT-116 colon cancer cell lines, and two small molecules were identified and characterized as Hes1 regulators. Compound 3 induced Hes1 expression and exhibited anticancer effects in pulmonary carcinoid tumor cells, a cell type in which the upregulated Notch/Hes1 signaling plays a tumor suppressive role. Treatment of HCT-116 cells with compound 12 resulted in Hes1 downregulation and antitumor effects.

  16. A chemical screen identifies small molecules that regulate hepcidin expression.

    PubMed

    Gaun, Vera; Patchen, Bonnie; Volovetz, Josephine; Zhen, Aileen W; Andreev, Aleksandr; Pollastri, Michael P; Fraenkel, Paula G

    2014-12-01

    Hepcidin, a peptide hormone produced in the liver, decreases intestinal iron absorption and macrophage iron release via effects on ferroportin. Bone morphogenic protein and Stat3 signaling regulate Hepcidin's transcription. Hepcidin is a potential drug target for patients with iron overload syndromes because its levels are inappropriately low in these individuals. To generate a tool for identifying small molecules that modulate Hepcidin expression, we stably transfected human hepatocytes (HepG2) cells with a reporter construct containing 2.7kb of the human Hepcidin promoter upstream of a firefly reporter gene. We used high throughput methods to screen 10,169 chemicals in duplicate for their effect on Hepcidin expression and cell viability. Regulators were identified as chemicals that caused a change >3 standard deviations above or >1 standard deviation below the mean of the other chemicals (z-score >3 or <1), while not adversely affecting cell viability, quantified by fluorescence assay. Following validation assays, we identified 16 chemicals in a broad range of functional classes that promote Hepcidin expression. All of the chemicals identified increased expression of bone morphogenic protein-dependent and/or Stat3-dependent genes, however none of them strongly increased phosphorylation of Smad1,5,8 or Stat3.

  17. Capping of Aβ42 Oligomers by Small Molecule Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Aβ42 peptides associate into soluble oligomers and protofibrils in the process of forming the amyloid fibrils associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The oligomers have been reported to be more toxic to neurons than fibrils, and have been targeted by a wide range of small molecule and peptide inhibitors. With single touch atomic force microscopy (AFM), we show that monomeric Aβ42 forms two distinct types of oligomers, low molecular weight (MW) oligomers with heights of 1–2 nm and high MW oligomers with heights of 3–5 nm. In both cases, the oligomers are disc-shaped with diameters of ∼10–15 nm. The similar diameters suggest that the low MW species stack to form the high MW oligomers. The ability of Aβ42 inhibitors to interact with these oligomers is probed using atomic force microscopy and NMR spectroscopy. We show that curcumin and resveratrol bind to the N-terminus (residues 5–20) of Aβ42 monomers and cap the height of the oligomers that are formed at 1–2 nm. A second class of inhibitors, which includes sulindac sulfide and indomethacin, exhibit very weak interactions across the Aβ42 sequence and do not block the formation of the high MW oligomers. The correlation between N-terminal interactions and capping of the height of the Aβ oligomers provides insights into the mechanism of inhibition and the pathway of Aβ aggregation. PMID:25422864

  18. Analysis of imprecision in incurred sample reanalysis for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Subramaniam, Sriram; Patel, Devvrat; Davit, Barbara M; Conner, Dale P

    2015-01-01

    Over the years, incurred sample (IS) reanalysis (ISR) has become a tool to confirm the reliability of bioanalytical measurements. The recommendation for ISR acceptance criterion for small molecules is at least 67% of ISR samples that have reanalyzed concentrations within 20% of their original concentrations when normalized to their means. To understand the relevance of the ISR acceptance criterion and sample size requirements, simulated ISR studies evaluated the probability of ISR studies passing the acceptance criterion (ISR pass rate) as a function of IS imprecision and sample size. When IS imprecision (percent coefficient of variation: %CV) is low (≤ 10 or 1-10% CV), high ISR pass rate (≥ 99%) is attained with <50 samples. At intermediate IS imprecision (e.g., 12% CV or 7-12% CV range), 80-160 samples are required for a high ISR pass rate. When IS imprecision is at the higher end of the acceptance limit, ISR pass rate decreases significantly, and increasing sample size fails to achieve high ISR pass rate. The effect of systematic bias (e.g., instability, interconversion) on ISR pass rate is strongly dependent on sample size at intermediate IS imprecision. The results provide an understanding of the effect of IS imprecision on ISR pass rates and a framework for selection of ISR sample sizes.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-19

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

  20. Progress in Small Molecule Therapeutics for the Treatment of Retinoblastoma.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, Eleanor M; Dyer, Michael A; Guy, R Kiplin

    2016-01-01

    While mortality is low for intraocular retinoblastoma patients in the developed world who receive aggressive multimodal therapy, partial or full loss of vision occurs in approximately 50% of patients with advanced bilateral retinoblastoma. Therapies that preserve vision and reduce late effects are needed. Because clinical trials for retinoblastoma are difficult due to the young age of the patient population and relative rarity of the disease, robust preclinical testing of new therapies is critical. The last decade has seen advances towards identifying new therapies including the development of animal models of retinoblastoma for preclinical testing, progress in local drug delivery to reach intraocular targets, and improved understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms that give rise to retinoblastoma. This review discusses advances in these areas, with a focus on discovery and development of small molecules for the treatment of retinoblastoma, including novel targeted therapeutics such as inhibitors of the MDMX-p53 interaction (nutlin-3a), histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, and spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitors.

  1. 2-Quinolinecarboxaldehyde: Polymorphic behavior of a small rigid molecule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maria, Teresa M. R.; Ermelinda S. Eusébio, M.; Almeida e Silva, J.; Sobral, Abílio J. F. N.; Cardoso, C.; Paixão, J. A.; Ramos Silva, M.

    2012-12-01

    This work reports an investigation on the polymorphism of 2-quinolinecarboxaldehyde, a quinoline derivative, frequently used as a ligand in the synthesis of metal complexes. 2-Quinolinecarboxaldehyde lacks both molecular flexibility and the ability to form strong hydrogen bonds, two characteristics often seen as driving forces for the occurrence of polymorphism. Nevertheless, a rich polymorphic behavior was found for this substance. Polymorphic forms were generated by crystallization from solutions, and by melt cooling. Four polymorphic forms could be clearly identified by thermal analysis investigation and the crystalline structures of forms I and III were solved by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, at room temperature. In polymorph I, molecules are joined by π-π and weak C-H⋯O interactions while in polymorph III helicoidal chiral chains are formed and very weak C-H⋯O intermolecular interactions can be identified. Neither of these intermolecular interactions involves the formyl hydrogen atom. Concomitant polymorph crystallization from the melt was often observed. XRPD diffractograms which showed similarities to that of polymorph I but presented striking differences were obtained in some experiments. In certain cases the discrepancies may be ascribed to effects of preferential orientation. However, the existence of multiple but slightly different structures with small differences seems to be a better explanation for these experimental observations.

  2. Small-molecule inhibitors of human LDH5

    PubMed Central

    Granchi, Carlotta; Paterni, Ilaria; Rani, Reshma; Minutolo, Filippo

    2014-01-01

    The latest findings on the role played by human LDH5 (hLDH5) in the promotion of glycolysis in invasive tumor cells indicates that this enzyme subtype is a promising therapeutic target for invasive cancer. Compounds able to selectively inhibit hLDH5 hold promise for the cure of neoplastic diseases. hLDH5 has so far been a rather unexplored target, since its importance in the promotion of cancer progression has been neglected for decades. This enzyme should also be considered as a challenging target due the high polar character (mostly cationic) of its ligand cavity. Recently, significant progresses have been reached with small-molecule inhibitors of hLDH5 displaying remarkable potencies and selectivities. This review provides an overview of the newly developed hLDH5 inhibitors. The roles of hLDH isoforms will be briefly discussed, and then the inhibitors will be grouped into chemical classes. Furthermore, general pharmacophore features will be emphasized throughout the structural subgroups analyzed. PMID:24175747

  3. Targeting Drivers of Melanoma with Synthetic Small Molecules and Phytochemicals

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Leah Ray; Pal, Harish Chandra; Elmets, Craig A.; Afaq, Farrukh

    2015-01-01

    Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, but it is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths. Traditional therapeutics and immunomodulatory agents have not shown much efficacy against metastatic melanoma. Agents that target the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK (MAPK) signaling pathway—the BRAF inhibitors vemurafenib and dabrafenib, and the MEK1/2 inhibitor trametinib—have increased survival in patients with metastatic melanoma. Further, the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib has been shown to be superior to single agent therapy for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. However, resistance to these agents develops rapidly. Studies of additional agents and combinations targeting the MAPK, PI3K/AKT/mTOR (PI3K), c-kit, and other signaling pathways are currently underway. Furthermore, studies of phytochemicals have yielded promising results against proliferation, survival, invasion, and metastasis by targeting signaling pathways with established roles in melanomagenesis. The relatively low toxicities of phytochemicals make their adjuvant use an attractive treatment option. The need for improved efficacy of current melanoma treatments calls for further investigation of each of these strategies. In this review, we will discuss synthetic small molecule inhibitors, combined therapies and current progress in the development of phytochemical therapies. PMID:25597784

  4. Ion Momentum Imaging of Dissociative Electron Attachment to Small Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogle, Michael

    2015-09-01

    In recent years, low energy dissociative electron attachment (DEA) interactions have been of interest to varying biological and technological applications. To study the dynamics resulting from DEA, we used an ion-momentum imaging apparatus based on the Cold Target Recoil Ion Momentum Spectroscopy (COLTRIMS) technique in which a molecular beam is crossed by a pulsed electron beam. The beam interaction takes place in a 4 π pulsed electrostatic spectrometer that collects the anion fragments resulting from DEA. The molecular beam is formed by a supersonic expansion which results in a well-localized and cold target. Using this apparatus we have investigated the DEA dynamics for several small molecules: CO2 at the 4 eV shape resonance and the 8 eV Feshbach resonance; N2O at the 2.3 eV shape resonance; HCCH at the 3 eV shape resonance; and CF4 near the 7 eV resonance. An overview of these experimental ion-momentum results will be compared to ab initio electronic structure and fixed-nuclei scattering calculations to gauge the resulting dynamics driven by DEA. In many cases, conical intersections play a pivotal role in driving the dynamics. Some of these systems exhibit non-axial recoil conditions indicative of a bending dynamics in the transitory negative ion state while others exhibit a direct axial recoil dissociation without any bending. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Contract NSF-PHYS1404366.

  5. A Chemical Screen Identifies Small Molecules that Regulate Hepcidin Expression

    PubMed Central

    Gaun, Vera; Patchen, Bonnie; Volovetz, Josephine; Zhen, Aileen W.; Andreev, Aleksandr; Pollastri, Michael P.; Fraenkel, Paula G.

    2014-01-01

    Hepcidin, a peptide hormone produced in the liver, decreases intestinal iron absorption and macrophage iron release via effects on ferroportin. Bone morphogenic protein and Stat3 signaling regulate Hepcidin's transcription. Hepcidin is a potential drug target for patients with iron overload syndromes because its levels are inappropriately low in these individuals. To generate a tool for identifying small molecules that modulate Hepcidin expression, we stably transfected human hepatocytes (HepG2) cells with a reporter construct containing 2.7 kilobases of the human Hepcidin promoter upstream of a firefly reporter gene. We used high throughput methods to screen 10,169 chemicals in duplicate for their effect on Hepcidin expression and cell viability. Regulators were identified as chemicals that caused a change >3 standard deviations above or >1.5 standard deviations below the mean of the other chemicals (z-score >3 or <-1.5), while not adversely affecting cell viability, quantified by fluorescence assay. Following validation assays, we identified 16 chemicals in a broad range of functional classes that promote Hepcidin expression. All of the chemicals identified increased expression of bone morphogenic protein-dependent and/or Stat3-dependent genes, however none of them strongly increased phosphorylation of Smad1,5,8 or Stat3. PMID:24998898

  6. Novel Small Molecule Entry Inhibitors of Ebola Virus

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Arnab; Mills, Debra M.; Mitchell, Daniel; Ndungo, Esther; Williams, John D.; Herbert, Andrew S.; Dye, John M.; Moir, Donald T.; Chandran, Kartik; Patterson, Jean L.; Rong, Lijun; Bowlin, Terry L.

    2015-01-01

    Background. The current Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak has highlighted the troubling absence of available antivirals or vaccines to treat infected patients and stop the spread of EBOV. The EBOV glycoprotein (GP) plays critical roles in the early stage of virus infection, including receptor binding and membrane fusion, making it a potential target for the development of anti-EBOV drugs. We report the identification of 2 novel EBOV inhibitors targeting viral entry. Methods. To identify small molecule inhibitors of EBOV entry, we carried out a cell-based high-throughput screening using human immunodeficiency virus–based pseudotyped viruses expressing EBOV-GP. Two compounds were identified, and mechanism-of-action studies were performed using immunoflourescence, AlphaLISA, and enzymatic assays for cathepsin B inhibition. Results. We report the identification of 2 novel entry inhibitors. These inhibitors (1) inhibit EBOV infection (50% inhibitory concentration, approximately 0.28 and approximately 10 µmol/L) at a late stage of entry, (2) induce Niemann-Pick C phenotype, and (3) inhibit GP–Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) protein interaction. Conclusions. We have identified 2 novel EBOV inhibitors, MBX2254 and MBX2270, that can serve as starting points for the development of an anti-EBOV therapeutic agent. Our findings also highlight the importance of NPC1-GP interaction in EBOV entry and the attractiveness of NPC1 as an antifiloviral therapeutic target. PMID:26206510

  7. Small-molecule inhibitors of JC polyomavirus infection

    PubMed Central

    Yatawara, Achani; Gaidos, Gabriel; Rupasinghe, Chamila N.; O’Hara, Bethany A.; Pellegrini, Maria; Atwood, Walter J.; Mierke, Dale F.

    2015-01-01

    The JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) infects approximately 50% of the human population. In healthy individuals the infection remains dormant and asymptomatic, but in immuno-suppressed patients it can cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a potentially fatal demyelinating disease. Currently, there are no drugs against JCPyV infection, nor for the treatment of PML. Here, we report the development of small molecule inhibitors of JCPyV that target the initial interaction between the virus and host cell and thereby block viral entry. Utilizing a combination of computational and NMR-based screening techniques, we target the LSTc tetrasaccharide binding site within the VP1 pentameric coat protein of JCPyV. Four of the compounds from the screen effectively block viral infection in our in vitro assays using SVG-A cells. For the most potent compound, we used saturation transfer difference NMR to determine the mode of binding to purified pentamers of JCPyV VP1. Collectively these results demonstrate the viability of this class of compounds for eventual development of JCPyV-antiviral therapeutics. PMID:25522925

  8. Small-molecule screen in adult Drosophila identifies VMAT as a regulator of sleep.

    PubMed

    Nall, Aleksandra H; Sehgal, Amita

    2013-05-08

    Sleep is an important physiological state, but its function and regulation remain elusive. In Drosophila melanogaster, a useful model organism for studying sleep, forward genetic screens have identified important sleep-modulating genes and pathways; however, the results of such screens may be limited by developmental abnormalities or lethality associated with mutation of certain genes. To circumvent these limitations, we used a small-molecule screen to identify sleep-modulating genes and pathways. We administered 1280 pharmacologically active small molecules to adult flies and monitored their sleep. We found that administration of reserpine, a small-molecule inhibitor of the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT) that repackages monoamines into presynaptic vesicles, resulted in an increase in sleep. Supporting the idea that VMAT is the sleep-relevant target of reserpine, we found that VMAT-null mutants have an increased sleep phenotype, as well as an increased arousal threshold and resistance to the effects of reserpine. However, although the VMAT mutants are consistently resistant to reserpine, other aspects of their sleep phenotype are dependent on genetic background. These findings indicate that small-molecule screens can be used effectively to identify sleep-modulating genes whose phenotypes may be suppressed in traditional genetic screens. Mutations affecting single monoamine pathways did not affect reserpine sensitivity, suggesting that effects of VMAT/reserpine on sleep are mediated by multiple monoamines. Overall, we identify VMAT as an important regulator of sleep in Drosophila and demonstrate that small-molecule screens provide an effective approach to identify genes and pathways that impact adult Drosophila behavior.

  9. The discovery of biaryl carboxamides as novel small molecule agonists of the motilin receptor.

    PubMed

    Westaway, Susan M; Brown, Samantha L; Conway, Elizabeth; Heightman, Tom D; Johnson, Christopher N; Lapsley, Kate; Macdonald, Gregor J; MacPherson, David T; Mitchell, Darren J; Myatt, James W; Seal, Jon T; Stanway, Steven J; Stemp, Geoffrey; Thompson, Mervyn; Celestini, Paolo; Colombo, Andrea; Consonni, Alessandra; Gagliardi, Stefania; Riccaboni, Mauro; Ronzoni, Silvano; Briggs, Michael A; Matthews, Kim L; Stevens, Alexander J; Bolton, Victoria J; Boyfield, Izzy; Jarvie, Emma M; Stratton, Sharon C; Sanger, Gareth J

    2008-12-15

    Optimisation of urea (5), identified from high throughput screening and subsequent array chemistry, has resulted in the identification of pyridine carboxamide (33) which is a potent motilin receptor agonist possessing favourable physicochemical and ADME profiles. Compound (33) has demonstrated prokinetic-like activity both in vitro and in vivo in the rabbit and therefore represents a promising novel small molecule motilin receptor agonist for further evaluation as a gastroprokinetic agent.

  10. A Small Molecule, Which Competes with MAdCAM-1, Activates Integrin α4β7 and Fails to Prevent Mucosal Transmission of SHIV-SF162P3

    PubMed Central

    Arrode-Brusés, Géraldine; Goode, Diana; Kleinbeck, Kyle; Wilk, Jolanta; Frank, Ines; Byrareddy, Siddappa; Arthos, James; Grasperge, Brooke; Blanchard, James; Zydowsky, Thomas; Gettie, Agegnehu; Martinelli, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Mucosal HIV-1 transmission is inefficient. However, certain viral and host characteristics may play a role in facilitating HIV acquisition and systemic expansion. Cells expressing high levels of integrin α4β7 have been implicated in favoring the transmission process and the infusion of an anti-α4β7 mAb (RM-Act-1) prior to, and during a repeated low-dose vaginal challenge (RLDC) regimen with SIVmac251 reduced SIV acquisition and protected the gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) in the macaques that acquired SIV. α4β7 expression is required for lymphocyte trafficking to the gut lamina propria and gut inductive sites. Several therapeutic strategies that target α4β7 have been shown to be effective in treating inflammatory conditions of the intestine, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). To determine if blocking α4β7 with ELN, an orally available anti-α4 small molecule, would inhibit SHIV-SF162P3 acquisition, we tested its ability to block MAdCAM-1 (α4β7 natural ligand) and HIV-gp120 binding in vitro. We studied the pharmacokinetic profile of ELN after oral and vaginal delivery in macaques. Twenty-six macaques were divided into 3 groups: 9 animals were treated with ELN orally, 9 orally and vaginally and 8 were used as controls. All animals were challenged intra-vaginally with SHIV-SF162P3 using the RLDC regimen. We found that ELN did not protect macaques from SHIV acquisition although it reduced the SHIV-induced inflammatory status during the acute phase of infection. Notably, integrins can exist in different activation states and, comparing the effect of ELN and the anti-α4β7 mAb RM-Act-1 that reduced susceptibility to SIV infection, we determined that ELN induces the active conformation of α4β7, while RM-Act-1 inhibits its activation through an allosteric mechanism. These results suggest that inhibition of α4β7 activation may be necessary to reduce susceptibility to SIV/SHIV infection and highlight the complexity of anti

  11. A Small-Molecule Screen Identifies l-Kynurenine as a Competitive Inhibitor of TAA1/TAR Activity in Ethylene-Directed Auxin Biosynthesis and Root Growth in Arabidopsis[C][W

    PubMed Central

    He, Wenrong; Brumos, Javier; Li, Hongjiang; Ji, Yusi; Ke, Meng; Gong, Xinqi; Zeng, Qinglong; Li, Wenyang; Zhang, Xinyan; An, Fengying; Wen, Xing; Li, Pengpeng; Chu, Jinfang; Sun, Xiaohong; Yan, Cunyu; Yan, Nieng; Xie, De-Yu; Raikhel, Natasha; Yang, Zhenbiao; Stepanova, Anna N.; Alonso, Jose M.; Guo, Hongwei

    2011-01-01

    The interactions between phytohormones are crucial for plants to adapt to complex environmental changes. One example is the ethylene-regulated local auxin biosynthesis in roots, which partly contributes to ethylene-directed root development and gravitropism. Using a chemical biology approach, we identified a small molecule, l-kynurenine (Kyn), which effectively inhibited ethylene responses in Arabidopsis thaliana root tissues. Kyn application repressed nuclear accumulation of the ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3) transcription factor. Moreover, Kyn application decreased ethylene-induced auxin biosynthesis in roots, and TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE OF ARABIDOPSIS1/TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE RELATEDs (TAA1/TARs), the key enzymes in the indole-3-pyruvic acid pathway of auxin biosynthesis, were identified as the molecular targets of Kyn. Further biochemical and phenotypic analyses revealed that Kyn, being an alternate substrate, competitively inhibits TAA1/TAR activity, and Kyn treatment mimicked the loss of TAA1/TAR functions. Molecular modeling and sequence alignments suggested that Kyn effectively and selectively binds to the substrate pocket of TAA1/TAR proteins but not those of other families of aminotransferases. To elucidate the destabilizing effect of Kyn on EIN3, we further found that auxin enhanced EIN3 nuclear accumulation in an EIN3 BINDING F-BOX PROTEIN1 (EBF1)/EBF2-dependent manner, suggesting the existence of a positive feedback loop between auxin biosynthesis and ethylene signaling. Thus, our study not only reveals a new level of interactions between ethylene and auxin pathways but also offers an efficient method to explore and exploit TAA1/TAR-dependent auxin biosynthesis. PMID:22108404

  12. Using the gini coefficient to measure the chemical diversity of small-molecule libraries.

    PubMed

    Weidlich, Iwona E; Filippov, Igor V

    2016-08-15

    Modern databases of small organic molecules contain tens of millions of structures. The size of theoretically available chemistry is even larger. However, despite the large amount of chemical information, the "big data" moment for chemistry has not yet provided the corresponding payoff of cheaper computer-predicted medicine or robust machine-learning models for the determination of efficacy and toxicity. Here, we present a study of the diversity of chemical datasets using a measure that is commonly used in socioeconomic studies. We demonstrate the use of this diversity measure on several datasets that were constructed to contain various congeneric subsets of molecules as well as randomly selected molecules. We also apply our method to a number of well-known databases that are frequently used for structure-activity relationship modeling. Our results show the poor diversity of the common sources of potential lead compounds compared to actual known drugs. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. The Free Energy Landscape of Small Molecule Unbinding

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Danzhi; Caflisch, Amedeo

    2011-01-01

    The spontaneous dissociation of six small ligands from the active site of FKBP (the FK506 binding protein) is investigated by explicit water molecular dynamics simulations and network analysis. The ligands have between four (dimethylsulphoxide) and eleven (5-diethylamino-2-pentanone) non-hydrogen atoms, and an affinity for FKBP ranging from 20 to 0.2 mM. The conformations of the FKBP/ligand complex saved along multiple trajectories (50 runs at 310 K for each ligand) are grouped according to a set of intermolecular distances into nodes of a network, and the direct transitions between them are the links. The network analysis reveals that the bound state consists of several subbasins, i.e., binding modes characterized by distinct intermolecular hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic contacts. The dissociation kinetics show a simple (i.e., single-exponential) time dependence because the unbinding barrier is much higher than the barriers between subbasins in the bound state. The unbinding transition state is made up of heterogeneous positions and orientations of the ligand in the FKBP active site, which correspond to multiple pathways of dissociation. For the six small ligands of FKBP, the weaker the binding affinity the closer to the bound state (along the intermolecular distance) are the transition state structures, which is a new manifestation of Hammond behavior. Experimental approaches to the study of fragment binding to proteins have limitations in temporal and spatial resolution. Our network analysis of the unbinding simulations of small inhibitors from an enzyme paints a clear picture of the free energy landscape (both thermodynamics and kinetics) of ligand unbinding. PMID:21390201

  14. Evaluation of EML4-ALK Fusion Proteins in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Using Small Molecule Inhibitors12

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yongjun; Ye, Xiaofen; Liu, Jinfeng; Zha, Jiping; Pei, Lin

    2011-01-01

    The echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) fusion gene resulting from an inversion within chromosome 2p occurs in approximately 5% of non-small cell lung cancer and is mutually exclusive with Ras and EGFR mutations. In this study, we have used a potent and selective ALK small molecule inhibitor, NPV-TAE684, to assess the oncogenic role of EML4-ALK in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We show here that TAE684 inhibits proliferation and induces cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and tumor regression in two NSCLC models that harbor EML4-ALK fusions. TAE684 inhibits EML4-ALK activation and its downstream signaling including ERK, AKT, and STAT3. We used microarray analysis to carry out targeted pathway studies of gene expression changes in H2228 NSCLC xenograft model after TAE684 treatment and identified a gene signature of EML4-ALK inhibition. The gene signature represents 1210 known human genes, and the top biologic processes represented by these genes are cell cycle, DNA synthesis, cell proliferation, and cell death. We also compared the effect of TAE684 with PF2341066, a c-Met and ALK small molecule inhibitor currently in clinical trial in cancers harboring ALK fusions, and demonstrated that TAE684 is a much more potent inhibitor of EML4-ALK. Our data demonstrate that EML4-ALK plays an important role in the pathogenesis of a subset of NSCLC and provides insight into the mechanism of EML4-ALK inhibition by a small molecule inhibitor. PMID:21245935

  15. Fluorination-enabled optimal morphology leads to over 11% efficiency for inverted small-molecule organic solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, Dan; Zhang, Yajie; Zhang, Jianqi; Wang, Zaiyu; Zhu, Lingyun; Fang, Jin; Xia, Benzheng; Wang, Zhen; Lu, Kun; Ma, Wei; Wei, Zhixiang

    2016-12-01

    Solution-processable small molecules for organic solar cells have attracted intense attention for their advantages of definite molecular structures compared with their polymer counterparts. However, the device efficiencies based on small molecules are still lower than those of polymers, especially for inverted devices, the highest efficiency of which is <9%. Here we report three novel solution-processable small molecules, which contain π-bridges with gradient-decreased electron density and end acceptors substituted with various fluorine atoms (0F, 1F and 2F, respectively). Fluorination leads to an optimal active layer morphology, including an enhanced domain purity, the formation of hierarchical domain size and a directional vertical phase gradation. The optimal morphology balances charge separation and transfer, and facilitates charge collection. As a consequence, fluorinated molecules exhibit excellent inverted device performance, and an average power conversion efficiency of 11.08% is achieved for a two-fluorine atom substituted molecule.

  16. Fluorination-enabled optimal morphology leads to over 11% efficiency for inverted small-molecule organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Deng, Dan; Zhang, Yajie; Zhang, Jianqi; Wang, Zaiyu; Zhu, Lingyun; Fang, Jin; Xia, Benzheng; Wang, Zhen; Lu, Kun; Ma, Wei; Wei, Zhixiang

    2016-12-19

    Solution-processable small molecules for organic solar cells have attracted intense attention for their advantages of definite molecular structures compared with their polymer counterparts. However, the device efficiencies based on small molecules are still lower than those of polymers, especially for inverted devices, the highest efficiency of which is <9%. Here we report three novel solution-processable small molecules, which contain π-bridges with gradient-decreased electron density and end acceptors substituted with various fluorine atoms (0F, 1F and 2F, respectively). Fluorination leads to an optimal active layer morphology, including an enhanced domain purity, the formation of hierarchical domain size and a directional vertical phase gradation. The optimal morphology balances charge separation and transfer, and facilitates charge collection. As a consequence, fluorinated molecules exhibit excellent inverted device performance, and an average power conversion efficiency of 11.08% is achieved for a two-fluorine atom substituted molecule.

  17. Fluorination-enabled optimal morphology leads to over 11% efficiency for inverted small-molecule organic solar cells

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Dan; Zhang, Yajie; Zhang, Jianqi; Wang, Zaiyu; Zhu, Lingyun; Fang, Jin; Xia, Benzheng; Wang, Zhen; Lu, Kun; Ma, Wei; Wei, Zhixiang

    2016-01-01

    Solution-processable small molecules for organic solar cells have attracted intense attention for their advantages of definite molecular structures compared with their polymer counterparts. However, the device efficiencies based on small molecules are still lower than those of polymers, especially for inverted devices, the highest efficiency of which is <9%. Here we report three novel solution-processable small molecules, which contain π-bridges with gradient-decreased electron density and end acceptors substituted with various fluorine atoms (0F, 1F and 2F, respectively). Fluorination leads to an optimal active layer morphology, including an enhanced domain purity, the formation of hierarchical domain size and a directional vertical phase gradation. The optimal morphology balances charge separation and transfer, and facilitates charge collection. As a consequence, fluorinated molecules exhibit excellent inverted device performance, and an average power conversion efficiency of 11.08% is achieved for a two-fluorine atom substituted molecule. PMID:27991486

  18. Ionically Cross-Linked Polymer Networks for the Multiple-Month Release of Small Molecules

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Long-term (multiple-week or -month) release of small, water-soluble molecules from hydrogels remains a significant pharmaceutical challenge, which is typically overcome at the expense of more-complicated drug carrier designs. Such approaches are payload-specific and include covalent conjugation of drugs to base materials or incorporation of micro- and nanoparticles. As a simpler alternative, here we report a mild and simple method for achieving multiple-month release of small molecules from gel-like polymer networks. Densely cross-linked matrices were prepared through ionotropic gelation of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) with either pyrophosphate (PPi) or tripolyphosphate (TPP), all of which are commonly available commercial molecules. The loading of model small molecules (Fast Green FCF and Rhodamine B dyes) within these polymer networks increases with the payload/network binding strength and with the PAH and payload concentrations used during encapsulation. Once loaded into the PAH/PPi and PAH/TPP ionic networks, only a few percent of the payload is released over multiple months. This extended release is achieved regardless of the payload/network binding strength and likely reflects the small hydrodynamic mesh size within the gel-like matrices. Furthermore, the PAH/TPP networks show promising in vitro cytocompatibility with model cells (human dermal fibroblasts), though slight cytotoxic effects were exhibited by the PAH/PPi networks. Taken together, the above findings suggest that PAH/PPi and (especially) PAH/TPP networks might be attractive materials for the multiple-month delivery of drugs and other active molecules (e.g., fragrances or disinfectants). PMID:26811936

  19. Bacterial infections in cynomolgus monkeys given small molecule immunomodulatory antagonists.

    PubMed

    Price, Karen D

    2010-01-01

    Opportunistic infections (OIs) during the course of non-clinical toxicity studies can serve as a clinical indicator of immunosuppression. In monkeys, severity may be magnified since the possibility for fecal-oral and cage-to-cage transmission of bacteria exists, reserve capacity is low, and clinical signs of infection are not easily detected until the infectious process is well underway. This review summarizes a case study presented at the HESI-ILSI ITC-Sponsored workshop on Naturally Occurring Infections in Non-human Primates and Immunotoxicity Implications. It gives an overview on the impact of bacterial infections in monkeys on the development and regulatory assessment of three closely-related representative small molecule immunomodulatory (anti-inflammatory) drug candidates all inhibiting the same drug target. The infections, which sometimes progressed to bacteremia and death, originally manifested in the skin, upper respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and less frequently as soft tissue abscesses. Infections were sporadic and not observed in all studies despite coverage of equivalent or higher systemic exposures or longer durations of treatment. To address concerns regarding inconsistency in the presentation and type of findings and their potential relationship to infection, steps were taken to identify causative agents (via culture, microscopy), implement various intervention and treatment regimens (supportive care, antibiotics, drug holiday), demonstrate reversibility of clinical and immune effects, and study major immune components/mechanisms affected (cytokine/stress protein profiling, immune cell phenotyping, and humoral/innate immune cell function tests). Appropriate diagnosis and characterization of the infection was critical to discrimination of these findings as a secondary pharmacologic effect rather than a direct drug-related target organ effect, and also guided clinical protocol design and regulatory acceptance.

  20. Attachment of second harmonic-active moiety to molecules for detection of molecules at interfaces

    DOEpatents

    Salafsky, Joshua S.; Eisenthal, Kenneth B.

    2005-10-11

    This invention provides methods of detecting molecules at an interface, which comprise labeling the molecules with a second harmonic-active moiety and detecting the labeled molecules at the interface using a surface selective technique. The invention also provides methods for detecting a molecule in a medium and for determining the orientation of a molecular species within a planar surface using a second harmonic-active moiety and a surface selective technique.

  1. Non-immunosuppressive triazole-based small molecule induces anticancer activity against human hormone-refractory prostate cancers: the role in inhibition of PI3K/AKT/mTOR and c-Myc signaling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Chan, She-Hung; Hsu, Jui-Ling; Liu, Shih-Ping; Chan, Mei-Ling; Yu, Chia-Chun; Hsu, Lih-Ching; Chou, Yen-Lin; Chang, Wei-Ling; Hou, Duen-Ren; Guh, Jih-Hwa

    2016-01-01

    A series of triazole-based small molecules that mimic FTY720-mediated anticancer activity but minimize its immunosuppressive effect have been produced. SPS-7 is the most effective derivative displaying higher activity than FTY720 in anti-proliferation against human hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). It induced G1 arrest of cell cycle and subsequent apoptosis in thymidine block-mediated synchronization model. The data were supported by a decrease of cyclin D1 expression, a dramatic increase of p21 expression and an associated decrease in RB phosphorylation. c-Myc overexpression replenished protein levels of cyclin D1 indicating that c-Myc was responsible for cell cycle regulation. PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathways through p70S6K- and 4EBP1-mediated translational regulation are critical to cell proliferation and survival. SPS-7 significantly inhibited this translational pathway. Overexpression of Myr-Akt (constitutively active Akt) completely abolished SPS-7-induced inhibitory effect on mTOR/p70S6K/4EBP1 signaling and c-Myc protein expression, suggesting that PI3K/Akt serves as a key upstream regulator. SPS-7 also demonstrated substantial anti-tumor efficacy in an in vivo xenograft study using PC-3 mouse model. Notably, FTY720 but not SPS-7 induced a significant immunosuppressive effect as evidenced by depletion of marginal zone B cells, down-regulation of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors and a decrease in peripheral blood lymphocytes. In conclusion, the data suggest that SPS-7 is not an immunosuppressant while induces anticancer effect against HRPC through inhibition of Akt/mTOR/p70S6K pathwaysthat down-regulate protein levels of both c-Myc and cyclin D1, leading to G1 arrest of cell cycle and subsequent apoptosis. The data also indicate the potential of SPS-7 since PI3K/Akt signalingis responsive for the genomic alterations in prostate cancer. PMID:27769069

  2. Suppression of the FOXM1 transcriptional program via novel small molecule inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Gormally, Michael V.; Dexheimer, Thomas