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is the leading cause of nosocomial diarrhea in the United States. The primary virulence factors are two homologous glucosyltransferase toxins, TcdA and TcdB, that inactivate host Rho-family GTPases. The glucosyltransferase activity has been linked to a "cytopathic" disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and contributes to the disruption of tight junctions and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. TcdB is also a potent cytotoxin that causes epithelium necrotic damage through an NADPH oxidase (NOX)-dependent mechanism. We conducted a small molecule screen to identify compounds that confer protection against TcdB-induced necrosis. We identified an enrichment of "hit compounds" with a dihydropyridine (DHP) core which led to the discovery of a key early stage calcium signal that serves as a mechanistic link between TcdB-induced NOX activation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Disruption of TcdB-induced calcium signaling (with both DHP and non-DHP molecules) is sufficient to ablate ROS production and prevent subsequent necrosis in cells and in a mouse model of intoxication.
This Letter details our efforts to discover structurally unique M PAMs containing 5,6-heteroaryl ring systems. In an attempt to improve the DMPK profiles of the 2,3-dimethyl-2H-indazole-5-carboxamide and 1-methyl-1H-benzo[d][1,2,3]triazole-6-carboxamide cores, we investigated a plethora of core replacements. This exercise identified a novel 2,3-dimethylimidazo[1,2-a]pyrazine-6-carboxamide core that provided improved M PAM activity and CNS penetration.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Overexpression of myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1) in cancers correlates with high tumor grade and poor survival. Additionally, Mcl-1 drives intrinsic and acquired resistance to many cancer therapeutics, including B cell lymphoma 2 family inhibitors, proteasome inhibitors, and antitubulins. Therefore, Mcl-1 inhibition could serve as a strategy to target cancers that require Mcl-1 to evade apoptosis. Herein, we describe the use of structure-based design to discover a novel compound (42) that robustly and specifically inhibits Mcl-1 in cell culture and animal xenograft models. Compound 42 binds to Mcl-1 with picomolar affinity and inhibited growth of Mcl-1-dependent tumor cell lines in the nanomolar range. Compound 42 also inhibited the growth of hematological and triple negative breast cancer xenografts at well-tolerated doses. These findings highlight the use of structure-based design to identify small molecule Mcl-1 inhibitors and support the use of 42 as a potential treatment strategy to block Mcl-1 activity and induce apoptosis in Mcl-1-dependent cancers.
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the Methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene. This Science & Society article focuses on pharmacological strategies that attack RTT treatment from multiple angles, including drug repurposing and de novo discovery efforts, and discusses the impacts of preclinical study design and translationally relevant outcome measures.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A scaffold hopping exercise from a monocyclic mGlu NAM with poor rodent PK led to two novel heterobicyclic series of mGlu NAMs based on either a functionalized pyrazolo[1,5- a]pyrimidine-5-carboxamide core or a thieno[3,2- b]pyridine-5-carboxamide core. These novel analogues possess enhanced rodent PK, while also maintaining good mGlu NAM potency, selectivity (versus mGlu and the remaining six mGlu receptors), and high CNS penetration. Interestingly, SAR was divergent between the new 5,6-heterobicyclic systems.
Most drug screening methods use purified proteins, cultured cells, and/or small model organisms such as , zebrafish, flies, or nematodes. These systems have proven successes in drug discovery, but they also have weaknesses. Although purified cellular components allow for identification of compounds with activity against specific targets, such systems lack the complex biological interactions present in cellular and organismal screens. In vivo systems overcome these weaknesses, but the lack of cellular permeability, efflux by cellular pumps, and/or toxicity can be major limitations. egg extract, a concentrated and biologically active cytosol, can potentially overcome these weaknesses. Drug interactions occur in a near-physiological milieu, thereby functioning in a "truer" endogenous manner than purified components. Also, egg extract is a cell-free system that lacks intact plasma membranes that could restrict drug access to potential targets. Finally, egg extract is readily manipulated at the protein level: Proteins are easily depleted or added to the system, an important feature for analyzing drug effects in disease states. Thus, egg extract offers an attractive media for screening drugs that merges strengths of both in vitro and in vivo systems.
© 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Cardiotoxic effects from cancer therapy are a major cause of morbidity during cancer treatment. Unexpected toxicity can occur during treatment and/or after completion of therapy, into the time of cancer survivorship. While older drugs such as anthracyclines have well-known cardiotoxic effects, newer drugs such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, proteasome inhibitors, and immunotherapies also can cause diverse cardiovascular and metabolic complications. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) are increasingly being used as instruments for disease modelling, drug discovery, and mechanistic toxicity studies. Promising results with hiPSC-CM chemotherapy studies are raising hopes for improving cancer therapies through personalized medicine and safer drug development. Here, we review the cardiotoxicity profiles of common chemotherapeutic agents as well as efforts to model them in vitro using hiPSC-CMs.
Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2018. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by lung inflammation and pulmonary edema, leading to arterial hypoxemia and death if the hypoxemia is severe. Strategies to correct hypoxemia have the potential to improve clinical outcomes in ARDS. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential of hemoglobin modification as a novel therapy for ARDS-induced hypoxemia. The therapeutic effect of two different doses of GBT1118, a compound that increases the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin, was evaluated in a murine model of acute lung injury induced by intratracheal LPS instillation 24 h before exposure to 5% or 10% hypoxia ( n = 8-15 per group). As expected, administration of GBT1118 to mice significantly increased the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin. Compared with mice receiving vehicle control, mice treated with GBT1118 had significantly lower mortality after LPS + 5% hypoxia (47% with vehicle vs. 22% with low-dose GBT1118, 13% with high-dose GBT1118, P = 0.032 by log rank) and had reduced severity of illness. Mice treated with GBT1118 showed a sustained significant increase in SpO over 4 h of hypoxia exposure. Treatment with GBT1118 did not alter alveolar-capillary permeability, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) inflammatory cell counts, or BAL concentrations of IL-1β, TNF-α, or macrophage inflammatory protein-1α. High-dose GBT1118 did not affect histological lung injury but did decrease tissue hypoxia as measured intensity of pimonidazole (Hypoxyprobe) staining in liver ( P = 0.043) and kidney ( P = 0.043). We concluded that increasing the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin using GBT1118 may be a novel therapy for treating hypoxemia associated with acute lung injury. NEW & NOTEWORTHY In this study, we show that GBT1118, a compound that increases hemoglobin affinity for oxygen, improves survival and oxygen saturation in a two-hit lung injury model of intratracheal LPS without causing tissue hypoxia. Modulation of hemoglobin oxygen affinity represents a novel therapeutic approach to treatment of acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome, conditions characterized by hypoxemia.
Many animal models of disease are suboptimal in their representation of human diseases and lack of predictive power in the success of pivotal human trials. In the context of repurposing drugs with known human safety, it is sometimes appropriate to conduct the "last experiment first," that is, progressing directly to human investigations. However, there are not accepted criteria for when to proceed straight to humans to test a new indication. We propose a specific set of criteria to guide the decision-making around when to initiate human proof of principle without preclinical efficacy studies in animal models. This approach could accelerate the transition of novel therapeutic approaches to human applications.
Herein we describe the continued optimization of M positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) within the 5-amino-thieno[2,3-c]pyridazine series of compounds. In this letter, we disclose our studies on tertiary amides derived from substituted azetidines. This series provided excellent CNS penetration, which had been challenging to consistently achieve in other amide series. Efforts to mitigate high clearance, aided by metabolic softspot analysis, were unsuccessful and precluded this series from further consideration as a preclinical candidate. In the course of this study, we found that potassium tetrafluoroborate salts could be engaged in a tosyl hydrazone reductive cross coupling reaction, a previously unreported transformation, which expands the synthetic utility of the methodology.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.