The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
infects every niche of the human host. In response to microbial infection, vertebrates have an arsenal of antimicrobial compounds that inhibit bacterial growth or kill bacterial cells. One class of antimicrobial compounds consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are highly abundant in eukaryotes and encountered by at the host-pathogen interface. Arachidonic acid (AA) is one of the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids in vertebrates and is released in large amounts during the oxidative burst. Most of the released AA is converted to bioactive signaling molecules, but, independently of its role in inflammatory signaling, AA is toxic to Here, we report that AA kills through a lipid peroxidation mechanism whereby AA is oxidized to reactive electrophiles that modify macromolecules, eliciting toxicity. This process is rescued by cotreatment with antioxidants as well as in a strain genetically inactivated for (USA300 mutant) that produces lower levels of reactive oxygen species. However, resistance to AA stress in the USA300 mutant comes at a cost, making the mutant more susceptible to β-lactam antibiotics and attenuated for pathogenesis in a murine infection model compared to the parental methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strain, indicating that resistance to AA toxicity increases susceptibility to other stressors encountered during infection. This report defines the mechanism by which AA is toxic to and identifies lipid peroxidation as a pathway that can be modulated for the development of future therapeutics to treat infections. Despite the ability of the human immune system to generate a plethora of molecules to control infections, is among the pathogens with the greatest impact on human health. One class of host molecules toxic to consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Here, we investigated the antibacterial properties of arachidonic acid, one of the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids in humans, and discovered that the mechanism of toxicity against proceeds through lipid peroxidation. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the immune system kills , and by which avoids host killing, will enable the optimal design of therapeutics that complement the ability of the vertebrate immune response to eliminate infections.
Copyright © 2019 Beavers et al.
Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) are mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) that play a pro-tumorigenic role in numerous cancers. ERK1/2 possess two protein-docking sites that are distinct from the active site: the D-recruitment site (DRS) and the F-recruitment site. These docking sites facilitate substrate recognition, intracellular localization, signaling specificity, and protein complex assembly. Targeting these sites on ERK in a therapeutic context may overcome many problems associated with traditional ATP-competitive inhibitors. Here, we identified a new class of inhibitors that target the ERK DRS by screening a synthetic combinatorial library of more than 30 million compounds. The screen detects the competitive displacement of a fluorescent peptide from the DRS of ERK2. The top molecular scaffold from the screen was optimized for structure-activity relationship by positional scanning of different functional groups. This resulted in 10 compounds with similar binding affinities and a shared core structure consisting of a tertiary amine hub with three functionalized cyclic guanidino branches. Compound 2507-1 inhibited ERK2 from phosphorylating a DRS-targeting substrate and prevented the phosphorylation of ERK2 by a constitutively active MEK1 (MAPK/ERK kinase 1) mutant. Interaction between an analogue, 2507-8, and the ERK2 DRS was confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray crystallography. 2507-8 forms critical interactions at the common docking domain residue Asp319 via an arginine-like moiety that is shared by all 10 hits, suggesting a common binding mode. The structural and biochemical insights reported here provide the basis for developing new ERK inhibitors that are not ATP-competitive but instead function by disrupting critical protein-protein interactions.
Purpose - To use our intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) rabbit model to assess the impact of IAC procedure, drug, dose, and choice of technique on ocular structure and function, to study the nature and etiology of IAC toxicity, and to compare to observations in patients.
Methods - Rabbits received IAC melphalan (0.4-0.8 mg/kg), carboplatin (25-50 mg), or saline, either by direct ophthalmic artery cannulation, or with a technique emulating nonocclusion. Ocular structure/function were assessed with examination, electroretinography (ERG), fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and OCT angiography, prior to and 5 to 6 weeks after IAC. Blood counts were obtained weekly. We reviewed our last 50 IAC treatments in patients for evidence of ocular or systemic complications.
Results - No toxicity was seen in the saline control group. With standard (0.4 mg/kg) melphalan, no vascular/microvascular abnormalities were seen with either technique. However, severe microvascular pruning and arteriolar occlusions were seen occasionally at 0.8 mg/kg doses. ERG reductions were dose-dependent. Histology showed melphalan dose-dependent degeneration in all retinal layers, restricted geographically to areas of greatest vascular density. Carboplatin caused massive edema of ocular/periocular structures. IAC patients experienced occasional periocular swelling/rash, and only rarely experienced retinopathy or vascular events/hemorrhage in eyes treated multiple times with triple (melphalan/carboplatin/topotecan) therapy. Transient neutropenia occurred after 46% of IAC procedures, generally after triple therapy.
Conclusions - IAC toxicity appears to be related to the specific drug being used and is dose-dependent, rather than related to the IAC procedure itself or the specific technique selected. These rabbit findings are corroborated by our clinical findings in patients.
PURPOSE - The third-generation EGFR inhibitor, osimertinib, is the first mutant-selective inhibitor that has received regulatory approval for the treatment of patients with -mutant lung cancer. Despite the development of highly selective third-generation inhibitors, acquired resistance remains a significant clinical challenge. Recently, we and others have identified a novel osimertinib resistance mutation, G724S, which was not predicted in screens. Here, we investigate how G724S confers resistance to osimertinib. We combine structure-based predictive modeling of G724S in combination with the 2 most common EGFR-activating mutations, exon 19 deletion (Ex19Del) and L858R, with drug-response models and patient genomic profiling.
RESULTS - Our simulations suggest that the G724S mutation selectively reduces osimertinib-binding affinity in the context of Ex19Del. Consistent with our simulations, cell lines transduced with Ex19Del/G724S demonstrate resistance to osimertinib, whereas cells transduced with L858R/G724S are sensitive to osimertinib. Subsequent clinical genomic profiling data further suggest G724S occurs with Ex19Del but not L858R. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Ex19Del/G724S retains sensitivity to afatinib, but not to erlotinib, suggesting a possible therapy for patients at the time of disease relapse.
CONCLUSIONS - Altogether, these data suggest that G724S is an allele-specific resistance mutation emerging in the context of Ex19Del but not L858R. Our results fundamentally reframe the problem of targeted therapy resistance from one focused on the "drug-resistance mutation" pair to one focused on the "activating mutation-drug-resistance mutation" trio. This has broad implications across clinical oncology.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.
This letter describes a focused exercise to explore the role of the β-amino carboxamide moiety found in all of the first generation M PAMs and question if the NH group served solely to stabilize an intramolecular hydrogen bond (IMHB) and enforce planarity. To address this issue (and to potentially find a substitute for the β-amino carboxamide that engendered P-gp and contributed to solubility liabilities), we removed the NH, generating des-amino congeners and surveyed other functional groups in the β-position. These modifications led to weak M PAMs with poor DMPK properties. Cyclization of the β-amino carboxamide moiety by virtue of a pyrazole ring re-enforced the IMHB, led to potent (and patented) M PAMs, many as potent as the classical bicyclic β-amino carboxamide analogs, but with significant CYP1A2 inhibition. Overall, this exercise indicated that the β-amino carboxamide moiety most likely facilitates an IMHB, and is essential for M PAM activity within classical bicyclic M PAM scaffolds.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This letter describes the first account of the chemical optimization (SAR and DMPK profiling) of a new series of mGlu positive allosteric modulators (PAMs), leading to the identification of VU0652957 (VU2957, Valiglurax), a compound profiled as a preclinical development candidate. Here, we detail the challenges faced in allosteric modulator programs (e.g., steep SAR, as well as subtle structural changes affecting overall physiochemical/DMPK properties and CNS penetration).
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels are potassium-selective ion channels. As their name suggests, GIRK channels are effectors of G G protein-couple receptors whereby activation of these GPCRs leads to increased GIRK channel activity resulting in decreased cellular excitability. In this way, GIRK channels play diverse roles in physiology as effectors of G-coupled GPCRs: peacemaking in the heart rate, modulation of hormone secretion in endocrine tissues, as well as numerous CNS functions including learning, memory, and addiction/reward. Notably, GIRK channels are widely expressed along the spinothalamic tract and are positioned to play roles in both ascending and descending pain pathways. More notably, GIRK channel knockout and knock-down studies have found that GIRK channels play a major role in the action of opioid analgesics which act predominantly through G-coupled, opioid-activated GPCRs (e.g., μ-opioid receptors). Recent advances in GIRK channel pharmacology have led to the development of small molecules that directly and selectively activate GIRK channels. Based on research implicating the involvement of GIRK channels in pain pathways and as effectors of opioid analgesics, we conducted a study to determine whether direct pharmacological activation of GIRK channels could produce analgesic efficacy and/or augment the analgesic efficacy morphine, an opioid receptor agonist capable of activating μ-opioid receptors as well as other opioid receptor subtypes. In the present study, we demonstrate that the small-molecule GIRK activator, VU0466551, has analgesic effects when dosed alone or in combination with submaximally effective doses of morphine.
This letter describes the further chemical optimization of VU0424238 (auglurant), an mGlu NAM clinical candidate that failed in non-human primate (NHP) 28 day toxicology due to accumulation of a species-specific aldehyde oxidase (AO) metabolite of the pyrimidine head group. Here, we excised the pyrimidine moiety, identified the minimum pharmacophore, and then developed a new series of saturated ether head groups that ablated any AO contribution to metabolism. Putative back-up compounds in this novel series provided increased sp character, uniform CYP-mediated metabolism across species, good functional potency and high CNS penetration. Key to the optimization was a combination of matrix and iterative libraries that allowed rapid surveillance of multiple domains of the allosteric ligand.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
G protein-gated, inwardly rectifying, potassium (GIRK) channels are important regulators of cellular excitability throughout the body. GIRK channels are heterotetrameric and homotetrameric combinations of the K3.1-4 (GIRK1-4) subunits. Different subunit combinations are expressed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery, and most of these combinations contain a GIRK1 subunit. For example, the predominance of GIRK channels in the CNS are composed of GIRK1 and GIRK2 subunits, while the GIRK channels in cardiac atrial myocytes are made up mostly of GIRK1 and GIRK4 subunits. Although the vast majority of GIRK channels contain a GIRK1 subunit, discrete populations of cells that express non-GIRK1-containing GIRK (non-GIRK1/X) channels do exist. For instance, dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area of the brain, associated with addiction and reward, do not express the GIRK1 subunit. Targeting these non-GIRK1/X channels with subunit-selective pharmacological probes could lead to important insights into how GIRK channels are involved in reward and addiction. Such insights may, in turn, reveal therapeutic opportunities for the treatment or prevention of addiction. Previously, our laboratory discovered small molecules that can specifically modulate the activity of GIRK1-containing GIRK channels. However, efforts to generate compounds active on non-GIRK1/X channels from these scaffolds have been unsuccessful. Recently, ivermectin was shown to modulate non-GIRK1/X channels, and historically, ivermectin is known to modulate a wide variety of neuronal channels and receptors. Further, ivermectin is a complex natural product, which makes it a challenging starting point for development of more selective, effective, and potent compounds. Thus, while ivermectin provides proof-of-concept as a non-GIRK1/X channel activator, it is of limited utility. Therefore, we sought to discover a synthetic small molecule that would serve as a starting point for the development of non-GIRK1/X channel modulators. To accomplish this, we used a high-throughput thallium flux assay to screen a 100 000-compound library in search of activators of homomeric GIRK2 channels. Using this approach, we discovered VU0529331, the first synthetic small molecule reported to activate non-GIRK1/X channels, to our knowledge. This discovery represents the first step toward developing potent and selective non-GIRK1/X channel probes. Such molecules will help elucidate the role of GIRK channels in addiction, potentially establishing a foundation for future development of therapies utilizing targeted GIRK channel modulation.
RATIONALE - Metabotropic glutamate receptors and muscarinic M receptors have been proposed as novel targets for various brain disorders, including schizophrenia. Both receptors are coupled to G proteins and are expressed in brain circuits that are important in schizophrenia. Therefore, their mutual activation may be an effective treatment and allow minimizing the doses of ligands required for optimal activity.
OBJECTIVES - In the present studies, subactive doses of mGlu and M activators (LSP4-2022 and VU152100, respectively) were administered to investigate the mutual interaction between mGlu and M receptors in animal models of schizophrenia.
METHODS - The behavioral tests used were MK-801-induced hyperactivity, (±)-2.5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine hydrochloride (DOI)-induced head twitches, the modified forced swim test, and MK-801-induced disruptions of social interactions and novel object recognition. DOI-induced spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in brain slices and positron emission tomography (PET) in were used to establish the ability of these compounds to modulate the glutamatergic and dopaminergic systems. Rotarod was used to assess putative adverse effects.
RESULTS - The mutual administration of subactive doses of LSP4-2022 and VU152100 exerted similar antipsychotic-like efficacy in animals as observed for active doses of both compounds, indicating their additive actions. VU152100 inhibited the DOI-induced frequency (but not amplitude) of sEPSCs in the frontal cortex, confirming presynaptic regulation of glutamate release. Both compounds reversed amphetamine-induced decrease in D receptor levels in the striatum, as measured with [F]fallypride. The compounds did not induce any motor impartments when measured in rotarod test.
CONCLUSIONS - Based on our results, the simultaneous activation of M and mGlu receptors is beneficial in reversing MK-801- and amphetamine-induced schizophrenia-related changes in animals.