V L Nienaber

Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, IL, United States

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Publications (14)89.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A series of non-amide-linked 6-substituted-2-naphthamidine urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) inhibitors are described. These compounds possess excellent binding activities and selectivities with significantly improved pharmacokinetic profiles versus previously described amide-linked inhibitors.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 02/2005; 15(1):93-8. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several 8-substituted 2-naphthamidine-based inhibitors of the serine protease urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) are described. Direct attachment of five-membered saturated or unsaturated rings improved inhibitor performance; substitution with sulfones further improved binding profiles. Combination of these substituents or of previously described NH-linked heteroaromatic rings with 6-phenyl amide substituents provided further enhancements to potency and selectivity.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 07/2004; 14(12):3063-8. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Potent inhibitors of 7,8-dihydroneopterin aldolase (DHNA; EC 4.1.2.25) have been discovered using CrystaLEAD X-ray crystallographic high-throughput screening followed by structure-directed optimization. Screening of a 10 000 compound random library provided several low affinity leads and their corresponding X-ray crystal structures bound to the enzyme. The presence of a common structural feature in each of the leads suggested a strategy for the construction of a directed library of approximately 1000 compounds that were screened for inhibitory activity in a traditional enzyme assay. Several lead compounds with IC(50) values of about 1 microM against DHNA were identified, and crystal structures of their enzyme-bound complexes were obtained by cocrystallization. Structure-directed optimization of one of the leads thus identified afforded potent inhibitors with submicromolar IC(50) values.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 04/2004; 47(7):1709-18. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The preparation and assessment of biological activity of 6-substituted 2-naphthamidine inhibitors of the serine protease urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA, or urokinase) is described. 2-Naphthamidine was chosen as a starting point based on synthetic considerations and on modeling of substituent vectors. Phenyl amides at the 6-position were found to improve binding; replacement of the amide with other two-atom linkers proved ineffective. The phenyl group itself is situated near the S1' subsite; substitutions off of the phenyl group accessed S1' and other distant binding regions. Three new points of interaction were defined and explored through ring substitution. A solvent-exposed salt bridge with the Asp60A carboxylate was formed using a 4-alkylamino group, improving affinity to K(i) = 40 nM. Inhibitors also accessed two hydrophobic regions. One interaction is characterized by a tight hydrophobic fit made with a small dimple largely defined by His57 and His99; a weaker, less specific interaction involves alkyl groups reaching into the broad prime-side protein binding region near Val41 and the Cys42-Cys58 disulfide, displacing water molecules and leading to small gains in activity. Many inhibitors accessed two of these three regions. Affinities range as low as K(i) = 6 nM, and many compounds had K(i) < 100 nM, while moderate to excellent selectivity was gained versus four of five members of a panel of relevant serine proteases. Also, some selectivity against trypsin was generated via the interaction with Asp60A. X-ray structures of many of these compounds were used to inform our inhibitor design and to increase our understanding of key interactions. In combination with our exploration of 8-substitution patterns, we have identified a number of novel binding interactions for uPA inhibitors.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 02/2004; 47(2):303-24. · 5.61 Impact Factor
  • T W Rockway, V Nienaber, V L Giranda
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    ABSTRACT: Human urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA or uPA) has been implicated in the regulation and control of basement membrane and interstitial protein degradation. Since Urokinase plays a role in tissue remodeling, it may be responsible, in part, for the disease progression of cancer. Inhibitors of urokinase may then be useful in the treatment of cancer by retarding tumor growth and metastasis. Urokinase is a multidomain protein, two regions of the protein are most responsible for the observed proteolytic activity in cancer disease and progression. The N-terminal domain or ATF binds to a Urokinase receptor (uPAR) on the cell surface and the C-terminal serine protease domain, then, activates plasminogen to plasmin, beginning a cascade of events leading to the progression of cancer. Investigations of urokinase inhibition has been an area of ongoing research for the past 3 decades. It began with the discovery of small natural and unnatural amino acid derivatives or peptide analogs which exhibited weak inhibition of uPA. The last decade has seen the generation of several classes of potent and selective Urokinase inhibitor directed to the serine protease domain of the protein which have shown potential anti-cancer effects. The availability of structural information of enzyme-inhibitor complexes either by nuclear magnetic spectroscopy (NMR) or crystallography has allowed a detailed analysis of inhibitor protein interactions that contribute to observed inhibitor potency. Structural studies of specific inhibitor-uPA complexes will be discussed as well as the contributions of specific inhibitor protein interactions that are important for overall inhibitor potency. These data were used to discover a class of urokinase inhibitor based on the 2-Naphthamidine template that exhibits potent urokinase inhibition and excellent selectivity for urokinase over similar trypsin family serine proteases.
    Current Pharmaceutical Design 02/2002; 8(28):2541-58. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of urokinase activity represents a promising target for antimetastatic therapy for several types of tumor. The present study sets out to investigate the potential of Raman spectroscopy for defining the molecular details of inhibitor binding to this enzyme, with emphasis on single crystal studies. It is demonstrated that high quality Raman spectra from a series of five inhibitors bound individually to the active site of human urokinase can be obtained in situ from urokinase single crystals in hanging drops by using a Raman microscope. After recording the spectrum of the free crystal, a solution of inhibitor containing an amidine functional group on a naphthalene ring was added, and the spectrum of the crystal-inhibitor complex was obtained. The resulting difference Raman spectrum contained only vibrational modes due to bound inhibitor, originating from the protonated group, i.e., the amidinium moiety, as well as naphthalene ring modes and features from other functionalities that made up each inhibitor. The identification of the amidinium modes was placed on a quantitative basis by experimental and theoretical work on naphthamidine compounds. For the protonated group, -C-(NH2)(2)(+), the symmetric stretch occurs near 1520 cm(-1), and a less intense antisymmetric mode appears in the Raman spectra near 1680 cm(-1). The presence of vibrational modes near 1520 cm(-1) in each of the Raman difference spectra of the five complexes examined unambiguously identifies the protonated form of the amidinium group in the active site. Several advantages were found for single crystal experiments over solution studies of inhibitor-enzyme complexes, and these are discussed. The use of single crystals permits competitive binding experiments that cannot be undertaken in solution in any kind of homogeneous assay format. The Raman difference spectrum for a single crystal that had been exposed to equimolar amounts of all five inhibitors in the hanging drop showed only the Raman signature of the compound with the lowest K(i). These findings suggest that the Raman approach may offer a route in the screening of compounds in drug design applications as well as an adjunct to crystallographic analysis.
    Biochemistry 09/2001; 40(33):9751-7. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of the proteolytic activity of urokinase has been shown to inhibit the progression of tumors in rodent models and is being investigated for use in human disease. Understanding the rodent/human species-specificity of urokinase inhibitors is therefore critical for interpretation of rodent cancer progression models that use these inhibitors. We report here studies with a panel of 11 diverse urokinase inhibitors in both human and mouse enzymatic assays. Inhibitors such as amiloride, B428, and naphthamidine, that occupy only the S1 subsite pocket were found to be nearly equipotent between the human and the murine enzymes. Inhibitors that access additional, more distal, pockets were significantly more potent against the human enzyme but there was no corresponding potency increase against the murine enzyme. X-ray crystallographic structures of these compounds bound to the serine protease domain of human urokinase were solved and examined in order to explain the human/mouse potency differences. The differences in inhibitor potency could be attributed to four amino acid residues that differ between murine and human urokinases: 60, 99, 146, and 192. These residues are Asp, His, Ser, and Gln in human and Gln, Tyr, Glu, and Lys in mouse, respectively. Compounds bearing a cationic group that interacts with residue 60 will preferentially bind to the human enzyme because of favorable electrostatic interactions. The hydrogen bonding to residue 192 and steric considerations with residues 99 and 146 also contribute to the species specificity. The nonparallel human/mouse enzyme inhibition observations were extended to a cell-culture assay of urokinase-activated plasminogen-mediated fibronectin degradation with analogous results. These studies will aid the interpretation of in vivo evaluation of urokinase inhibitors.
    Biochemistry 09/2001; 40(31):9125-31. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To increase the efficiency of diffraction data collection for protein crystallographic studies, an automated system designed to store frozen protein crystals, mount them sequentially, align them to the X-ray beam, collect complete data sets, and return the crystals to storage has been developed. Advances in X-ray data collection technology including more brilliant X-ray sources, improved focusing optics, and faster-readout detectors have reduced diffraction data acquisition times from days to hours at a typical protein crystallography laboratory [1,2]. In addition, the number of high-brilliance synchrotron X-ray beam lines dedicated to macromolecular crystallography has increased significantly, and data collection times at these facilities can be routinely less than an hour per crystal. Because the number of protein crystals that may be collected in a 24 hr period has substantially increased, unattended X-ray data acquisition, including automated crystal mounting and alignment, is a desirable goal for protein crystallography. The ability to complete X-ray data collection more efficiently should impact a number of fields, including the emerging structural genomics field [3], structure-directed drug design, and the newly developed screening by X-ray crystallography [4], as well as small molecule applications.
    Structure 01/2001; 8(12):R243-6. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The need to decrease the time scale for clinical compound discovery has led to innovations at several stages in the process, including genomics/proteomics for target identification, ultrahigh-throughput screening for lead identification, and structure-based drug design and combinatorial chemistry for lead optimization. A critical juncture in the process is the identification of a proper lead compound, because a poor choice may generate costly difficulties at later stages. Lead compounds are commonly identified from high-throughput screens of large compound libraries, derived from known substrates/inhibitors, or identified in computational prescreeusing X-ray crystal structures. Structural information is often consulted to efficiently optimize leads, but under the current paradigm, such data require preidentification and confirmation of compound binding. Here, we describe a new X-ray crystallography-driven screening technique that combines the steps of lead identification, structural assessment, and optimization. The method is rapid, efficient, and high-throughput, and it results in detailed crystallographic structure information. The utility of the method is demonstrated in the discovery and optimization of a new orally available class of urokinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer.
    Nature Biotechnology 11/2000; 18(10):1105-8. · 32.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using an NMR-based screen, a novel class of urokinase inhibitors were identified that contain a 2-aminobenzimidazole moiety. The inhibitory potency of this family of inhibitors is similar to that of inhibitors containing a guanidine or amidine group. However, unlike previously described guanidino- or amidino-based inhibitors which have pK(a) values greater than 9.0, urokinase inhibitors containing a 2-aminobenzimidazole have pK(a) values of 7.5. Thus, 2-aminobenzimidazoles may have improved pharmacokinetic properties which could increase the bioavailability of inhibitors which contain this moiety. A crystal structure of one of the lead inhibitors, 2-amino-5-hydroxybenzimidazole, complexed with urokinase reveals the electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions that stabilize complex formation and suggests nearby subsites that may be accessed to increase the potency of this new series of urokinase inhibitors.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 11/2000; 43(21):3862-6. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human urokinase-type plasminogen activator has been implicated in the regulation and control of basement membrane and interstitial protein degradation. Because of its role in tissue remodeling, urokinase is a central player in the disease progression of cancer, making it an attractive target for design of an anticancer clinical agent: Few urokinase inhibitors have been described, which suggests that discovery of such a compound is in the early stages. Towards integrating structural data into this process, a new human urokinase crystal form amenable to structure-based drug design has been used to discover potent urokinase inhibitors. On the basis of crystallographic data, 2-naphthamidine was chosen as the lead scaffold for structure-directed optimization. This co-crystal structure shows the compound binding at the primary specificity pocket of the trypsin-like protease and at a novel binding subsite that is accessible from the 8-position of 2-napthamidine. This novel subsite was characterized and used to design two compounds with very different 8-substituents that inhibit urokinase with K(i) values of 30-40 nM. Utilization of a novel subsite yielded two potent urokinase inhibitors even though this site has not been widely used in inhibitor optimization with other trypsin-like proteases, such as those reported for thrombin or factor Xa. The extensive binding pockets present at the substrate-binding groove of these other proteins are blocked by unique insertion loops in urokinase, thus necessitating the utilization of additional binding subsites. Successful implementation of this strategy and characterization of the novel site provides a significant step towards the discovery of an anticancer clinical agent.
    Structure 06/2000; 8(5):553-63. · 5.99 Impact Factor
  • V Nienaber, J Wang, D Davidson, J Henkin
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of urokinase has been shown to slow tumor growth and metastasis. To utilize structure-based drug design, human urokinase was re-engineered to provide a more optimal crystal form. The redesigned protein consists of residues Ile(16)-Lys(243) (in the chymotrypsin numbering system; for the urokinase numbering system it is Ile(159)-Lys(404)) and two point mutations, C122A and N145Q (C279A and N302Q). The protein yields crystals that diffract to ultra-high resolution at a synchrotron source. The native structure has been refined to 1.5 A resolution. This new crystal form contains an accessible active site that facilitates compound soaking, which was used to determine the co-crystal structures of urokinase in complex with the small molecule inhibitors amiloride, 4-iodo-benzo(b)thiophene-2-carboxamidine and phenylguanidine at 2. 0-2.2 A resolution. All three inhibitors bind at the primary binding pocket of urokinase. The structures of amiloride and 4-iodo-benzo(b)thiophene-2-carboxamidine also reveal that each of their halogen atoms are bound at a novel structural subsite adjacent to the primary binding pocket. This site consists of residues Gly(218), Ser(146), and Cys(191)-Cys(220) and the side chain of Lys(143). This pocket could be utilized in future drug design efforts. Crystal structures of these three inhibitors in complex with urokinase reveal strategies for the design of more potent nonpeptidic urokinase inhibitors.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2000; 275(10):7239-48. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Erm family of methyltransferases confers resistance to the macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin type B (MLS) antibiotics through the methylation of 23S ribosomal RNA. Upon the methylation of RNA, the MLS antibiotics lose their ability to bind to the ribosome and exhibit their antibiotic activity. Using an NMR-based screen, we identified a series of triazine-containing compounds that bind weakly to ErmAM. These initial lead compounds were optimized by the parallel synthesis of a large number of analogues, resulting in compounds which inhibit the Erm-mediated methylation of rRNA in the low micromolar range. NMR and X-ray structures of enzyme/inhibitor complexes reveal that the inhibitors bind to the S-adenosylmethionine binding site on the Erm protein. These compounds represent novel methyltransferase inhibitors that serve as new leads for the reversal of Erm-mediated MLS antibiotic resistance.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/1999; 42(19):3852-9. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalent mechanism of bacterial resistance to erythromycin and other antibiotics of the macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B group (MLS) is methylation of the 23S rRNA component of the 50S subunit in bacterial ribosomes. This sequence-specific methylation is catalyzed by the Erm group of methyltransferases (MTases). They are found in several strains of pathogenic bacteria, and ErmC is the most studied member of this class. The crystal structure of ErmC' (a naturally occurring variant of ErmC) from Bacillus subtilis has been determined at 3.0 A resolution by multiple anomalous diffraction phasing methods. The structure consists of a conserved alpha/beta amino-terminal domain which binds the cofactor S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM), followed by a smaller, alpha-helical RNA-recognition domain. The beta-sheet structure of the SAM-binding domain is well-conserved between the DNA, RNA, and small-molecule MTases. However, the C-terminal nucleic acid binding domain differs from the DNA-binding domains of other MTases and is unlike any previously reported RNA-recognition fold. A large, positively charged, concave surface is found at the interface of the N- and C-terminal domains and is proposed to form part of the protein-RNA interaction surface. ErmC' exhibits the conserved structural motifs previously found in the SAM-binding domain of other methyltransferases. A model of SAM bound to ErmC' is presented which is consistent with the motif conservation among MTases.
    Biochemistry 06/1998; 37(20):7103-12. · 3.38 Impact Factor