Amos B Smith

Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (345)1570.49 Total impact

  • Bo Li, Brett D Williams, Amos B Smith
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    ABSTRACT: The cyclization of trans-δ-hydroxy enones to cyclic mixed ketals routinely requires superstoichiometric strong acid. By operating under a photoisomerization regime, the cyclization of trans-δ-hydroxy enones proceeds under catalytic Brønsted acid to provide cyclic ketals or unsaturated spiroketals in a highly diastereoselective fashion. A one-pot, two-step protocol was thus developed to provide cyclic methoxy ketals with a free β-hydroxy group for future functionalization.
    Organic letters. 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), a principal component of the Mediterranean diet (Med diet), is one of the most ancient known foods and has long been associated with health benefits. Many phenolic compounds extracted from Olea europea L. have attracted attention since their discovery. Among these phenolic constituents, oleocanthal has recently emerged as a potential therapeutic molecule for different diseases, showing relevant pharmacological properties in various pathogenic processes, including inflammation, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we discuss and summarize the most recent pharmacological evidence for the medical relevance of oleocanthal, focusing our attention on its anti-inflammatory and chemotherapeutic roles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Drug discovery today. 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The HIV-1 envelope (Env) mediates viral entry into host cells. To enable the direct imaging of conformational dynamics within Env we introduced fluorophores into variable regions of the gp120 subunit and measured single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) within the context of native trimers on the surface of HIV-1 virions. Our observations revealed unliganded HIV-1 Env to be intrinsically dynamic, transitioning between three distinct pre-fusion conformations, whose relative occupancies were remodeled by receptor CD4 and antibody binding. The distinct properties of neutralization-sensitive and neutralization-resistant HIV-1 isolates support a dynamics-based mechanism of immune evasion and ligand recognition.
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 10/2014;
  • Brett D Williams, Amos B Smith
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    ABSTRACT: The evolution of an enantioselective total synthesis of (+)-18-epi-latrunculol A, a congener of the marine-sponge-derived latrunculins A and B, is reported. Key steps include a late-stage Mitsunobu macrolactonization to construct the 16-membered macrolactone, a mild Carreira alkynylation to unite the northern and southern hemispheres, a diastereoselective, acid-mediated δ-hydroxy enone cyclization/equilibration sequence, and a functional-group-tolerant cross-metathesis to access the enone cyclization precursor.
    The Journal of organic chemistry. 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A series of derivatives of the known thromboxane A2 prostanoid (TP) receptor antagonists, 3-(6-((4-chlorophenyl)sulfonamido)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydronaphthalen-1-yl)propanoic acid and 3-(3-(2-((4-chlorophenyl)sulfonamido)ethyl)phenyl) propanoic acid, were synthesized in which the carboxylic acid functional group was replaced with substituted cyclopentane-1,3-dione (CPD) bioisosteres. Characterization of these molecules led to the discovery of remarkably potent new analogues, some of which were considerably more active than the corresponding parent carboxylic acid compounds. Depending on the choice of the C2 substituent of the CPD unit, these new derivatives can produce either a reversible or an apparent irreversible inhibition of the human TP receptor. Given the potency and the long-lasting inhibition of TP receptor signaling, these novel antagonists may comprise promising leads for the development of antithromboxane therapies.
    ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 09/2014; 5(9):1015-20. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cycloalkylpolyones hold promise in drug design as carboxylic acid bio-isosteres. To investigate cyclopentane-1,2-diones as potential surrogates of the carboxylic acid functional group, the acidity, tautomerism, and geometry of hydrogen bonding of representative compounds were evaluated. Prototypic derivatives of the known thromboxane A2 prostanoid (TP) receptor antagonist, 3-(3-(2-((4-chlorophenyl)sulfonamido)-ethyl)phenyl)propanoic acid, in which the carboxylic acid moiety is replaced by the cyclopentane-1,2-dione unit, were synthesized and evaluated as TP receptor antagonists. Cyclopentane-1,2-dione derivative 9 was found to be a potent TP receptor antagonist with an IC50 value comparable to that of the parent carboxylic acid. These results indicate that the cyclopentane-1,2-dione may be a potentially useful carboxylic acid bio-isostere.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Microtubule (MT) stabilizing drugs hold promise as potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related tauopathies. However, thus far epothilone D has been the only brain-penetrant MT-stabilizer to be evaluated in tau transgenic mice and in AD patients. Furthermore, this natural product exhibits potential deficiencies as a drug candidate, including an intravenous route of administration and the inhibition of the P-glycoprotein (Pgp) transporter. Thus, the identification of alternative CNS-active MT-stabilizing agents that lack these potential limitations is of interest. Toward this objective, we have evaluated representative compounds from known classes of non-naturally occurring MT-stabilizing small molecules. This led to the identification of selected triazolopyrimidines and phenylpyrimidines that are orally bioavailable and brain-penetrant without disruption of Pgp function. Pharmacodynamic studies confirmed that representative compounds from these series enhance MT-stabilization in the brains of wild-type mice. Thus, these classes of MT-stabilizers hold promise for the development of orally active, CNS-directed MT-stabilizing therapies.
    Journal of medicinal chemistry. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Approaches to prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) transmission are urgently needed. Difficulties in eliciting antibodies that bind conserved epitopes exposed on the unliganded conformation of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer represent barriers to vaccine development. During HIV-1 entry, binding of the gp120 Env to the initial receptor, CD4, triggers conformational changes in Env that result in the formation and exposure of the highly conserved gp120 site for interaction with the coreceptors, CCR5 or CXCR4. The DMJ compounds, (+)-DMJ-I-228 and (+)-DMJ-II-121, bind gp120 within the conserved Phe 43 cavity near the CD4-binding site, block CD4 binding and inhibit HIV-1 infection. Here we show that the DMJ compounds sensitize primary HIV-1, including transmitted/founder viruses, to neutralization by monoclonal antibodies directed against CD4-induced (CD4i) epitopes and the V3 region, two gp120 elements involved in coreceptor binding. Importantly, the DMJ compounds rendered primary HIV-1 sensitive to neutralization by antisera elicited by immunization of rabbits with HIV-1 gp120 cores engineered to assume the CD4-bound state. Thus, small molecules like the DMJ compounds may be useful as microbicides to inhibit HIV-1 infection directly and to sensitize primary HIV-1 to neutralization by readily elicited antibodies. Preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) transmission is a priority for global health. Eliciting antibodies that can neutralize many different strains of HIV-1 is difficult, creating problems for the development of a vaccine. We found that certain small-molecule compounds can sensitize HIV-1 to particular antibodies. These antibodies can be elicited in rabbits. These results suggest an approach to prevent HIV-1 sexual transmission in which a virus-sensitizing microbicide is combined with a vaccine.
    Journal of Virology 04/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    Minh H Nguyen, Amos B Smith
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    ABSTRACT: The rational design, synthesis, and validation of a significantly improved insoluble polymer-supported siloxane-transfer agent has been achieved that permits efficient palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. The cross-linked polystyrene support facilitates product purification with excellent siloxane recycling. Drawbacks of a previous polymer-supported siloxane-transfer agent, relating to reaction efficiency and polymer stability after repeated cycles, have been addressed.
    Organic Letters 03/2014; · 6.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Conspectus This Account provides an overview of a multidisciplinary consortium focused on structure-based strategies to devise small molecule antagonists of HIV-1 entry into human T-cells, which if successful would hold considerable promise for the development of prophylactic modalities to prevent HIV transmission and thereby alter the course of the AIDS pandemic. Entry of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) into target T-cells entails an interaction between CD4 on the host T-cell and gp120, a component of the trimeric envelope glycoprotein spike on the virion surface. The resultant interaction initiates a series of conformational changes within the envelope spike that permits binding to a chemokine receptor, formation of the gp41 fusion complex, and cell entry. A hydrophobic cavity at the CD4-gp120 interface, defined by X-ray crystallography, provided an initial site for small molecule antagonist design. This site however has evolved to facilitate viral entry. As such, the binding of prospective small molecule inhibitors within this gp120 cavity can inadvertently trigger an allosteric entry signal. Structural characterization of the CD4-gp120 interface, which provided the foundation for small molecule structure-based inhibitor design, will be presented first. An integrated approach combining biochemical, virological, structural, computational, and synthetic studies, along with a detailed analysis of ligand binding energetics, revealed that modestly active small molecule inhibitors of HIV entry can also promote viral entry into cells lacking the CD4 receptor protein; these competitive inhibitors were termed small molecule CD4 mimetics. Related congeners were subsequently identified with both improved binding affinity and more potent viral entry inhibition. Further assessment of the affinity-enhanced small molecule CD4 mimetics demonstrated that premature initiation of conformational change within the viral envelope spike, prior to cell encounter, can lead to irreversible deactivation of viral entry machinery. Related congeners, which bind the same gp120 site, possess different propensities to elicit the allosteric response that underlies the undesired enhancement of CD4-independent viral entry. Subsequently, key hotspots in the CD4-gp120 interface were categorized using mutagenesis and isothermal titration calorimetry according to the capacity to increase binding affinity without triggering the allosteric signal. This analysis, combined with cocrystal structures of small molecule viral entry agonists with gp120, led to the development of fully functional antagonists of HIV-1 entry. Additional structure-based design exploiting two hotspots followed by synthesis has now yielded low micromolar inhibitors of viral entry.
    Accounts of Chemical Research 02/2014; · 20.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Small-molecule ligands, amenable to positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of different types of neurodegenerative disease-associated amyloid deposits in the CNS of living patients, hold considerable promise for diagnostic purposes, as well as for monitoring disease progression and the effectiveness of treatments. The patent entitled 'Heterocyclic Compounds as Imaging Probes of Tau Pathology' (WO2013090497) discloses the identification of a novel class of tau imaging agents, the aminothienopyridazines. Selected compounds from this class are described that can stain selectively tau pathology in brain tissue sections. Moreover, examples of this class of compounds exhibit absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and pharmacokinetics (ADME-PK) properties that are appropriate for CNS PET ligands.
    Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents 01/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Efforts to develop therapeutic agents that inhibit HIV-1 entry have led to the identification of several small molecule leads. One of the most promising is the NBD series, which binds within a conserved gp120 cavity and possesses para-halogen substituted aromatic rings, a central oxalamide linker, and a tetramethylpiperidine moiety. In this study, we characterized structurally the interactions of four NBD analogues containing meta-fluoro substitution on the aromatic ring and various heterocyclic ring replacements of the tetramethylpiperidine group. The addition of a meta-fluorine to the aromatic ring improved surface complementarity and did not alter the position of the analogue relative to gp120. By contrast, heterocyclic ring replacements of the tetramethylpiperidine moiety exhibited diverse positioning and interactions with the vestibule of the gp120 cavity. Overall, the biological profile of NBD-congeners was modulated by ligand interactions with the gp120-cavity vestibule. Herein, six co-crystal structures of NBD-analogues with gp120 provide a structural framework for continued small molecule-entry inhibitor optimization.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85940. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microtubules (MTs), cytoskeletal elements found in all mammalian cells, play a significant role in cell structure and in cell division. They are especially critical in the proper functioning of post-mitotic central nervous system neurons, where MTs serve as the structures on which key cellular constituents are trafficked in axonal projections. MTs are stabilized in axons by the MT-associated protein tau, and in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and Parkinson's disease, tau function appears to be compromised due to the protein dissociating from MTs and depositing into insoluble inclusions referred to as neurofibrillary tangles. This loss of tau function is believed to result in alterations of MT structure and function, resulting in aberrant axonal transport that likely contributes to the neurodegenerative process. There is also evidence of axonal transport deficiencies in other neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington's disease, which may result, at least in part, from MT alterations. Accordingly, a possible therapeutic strategy for such neurodegenerative conditions is to treat with MT-stabilizing agents, such as those that have been used in the treatment of cancer. Here, we review evidence of axonal transport and MT deficiencies in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, and summarize the various classes of known MT-stabilizing agents. Finally, we highlight the growing evidence that small molecule MT-stabilizing agents provide benefit in animal models of neurodegenerative disease and discuss the desired features of such molecules for the treatment of these central nervous system disorders.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 12/2013; · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design and synthesis of alanine-rich α-helical peptides constrained in a partially unfolded state by incorporation of the S,S-tetrazine phototrigger has been achieved, permitting, upon photochemical release, observation by 2D-IR spectroscopy of the subnanosecond conformational dynamics that govern the early steps associated with α-helix formation. Solid-phase peptide synthesis was employed to elaborate the requisite fragments, with full peptide construction via solution-phase fragment condensation. The fragment union tactic was also employed to construct (13)C═(18)O isotopically edited amides to permit direct observation of conformational motion at or near specific peptide bonds.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry 12/2013; · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of new bifunctional linchpins that permit the union of diverse building blocks is essential for the synthetic utility of anion relay chemistry (ARC). The design, synthesis, and validation of three vinylepoxide linchpins for through-bond/through-space ARC are now reported. For negative charge migration, this class of bifunctional linchpins employs initial through-bond ARC by an SN 2' reaction, followed by through-space ARC exploiting a 1,4-Brook rearrangement. The trans-disubstituted vinylepoxide linchpin yields a mixture of E/Z isomers, whereas the cis-disubstituted and the trans-trisubstituted vinylepoxide linchpins proceed to deliver three-component adducts with excellent E selectivity.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 12/2013; · 11.34 Impact Factor
  • Artem Shvartsbart, Amos B Smith
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    ABSTRACT: The total synthesis of the architecturally complex Daphniphyllum alkaloid (-)-calyciphylline N has been achieved. Highlights of the synthesis include a Et2AlCl-promoted, highly stereoselective, susbtrate-controlled intramolecular Diels-Alder reaction, a transannular enolate alkylation, an effective Stille carbonylation/Nazarov cyclization sequence, and a high-risk diastereoselective hydrogenation of a fully substituted conjugated diene ester.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 12/2013; · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular ions undergoing ultrafast conformational changes on the same time scale of water motions are of significant importance in condensed phase dynamics. However, the characterization of systems with fast molecular motions has proven to be both experimentally and theoretically challenging. Here, we report the vibrational dynamics of the non-degenerate (C12,C13)-oxalate anion, an ultrafast rotor, in aqueous solution. The infrared absorption spectrum of the (C12,C13)-oxalate ion in solution reveals two vibrational transitions separated by approximately 40 cm(-1) in the 1500-1600 cm(-1) region. These two transitions are assigned to vibrational modes mainly localized in each of the carboxylate asymmetric stretch of the ion. Two-dimensional infrared spectra reveal the presence and growth of cross-peaks between these two transitions which are indicative of coupling and population transfer, respectively. A characteristic time of sub-picosecond cross-peaks growth is observed. Ultrafast pump-probe anisotropy studies reveal essentially the same characteristic time for the dipole reorientation. All the experimental data are well modeled in terms of a system undergoing ultrafast population transfer between localized states. Comparison of the experimental observations with simulations reveal a reasonable agreement, although a mechanism including only the fluctuations of the coupling caused by the changes in the dihedral angle of the rotor, is not sufficient to explain the observed ultrafast population transfer.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 10/2013; 139(16):164514. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relaxation of helical structures very close to equilibrium is observed via transient 2D IR spectroscopy. An initial distribution of synthetically distorted helices having an unnatural bridge linking the 10th and 12th residues of an alanine-rich α-helix is released to evolve into the equilibrium distribution of α-helix conformations. The bridge constrains the structure to be slightly displaced from the full α-helix equilibrium near these residues, yet the peptide is not unfolded completely. The release is accomplished by a subpicosecond pulse of UV irradiation. The resulting 2D IR signals are used to obtain snapshots of the ∼100-ps helical conformational reorganization of the distorted dihedral angle and distance between amide units at chemical bond length-scale resolution. The decay rates of the angle between the dipoles, dihedral angles, and distance autocorrelations obtained from molecular dynamics simulations support the experiments, providing evidence that the final helix collapse conforms to linear response theory.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inclusions comprising the microtubule (MT)-stabilizing protein, tau, are found within neurons in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders that are broadly referred to as tauopathies. The sequestration of tau into inclusions is believed to cause a loss of tau function, such that MT structure and function are compromised, leading to neuronal damage. Recent data reveal that the brain-penetrant MT-stabilizing agent, epothilone D (EpoD), improves cognitive function and decreases both neuron loss and tau pathology in transgenic mouse models of tauopathy. There is thus a need to identify additional MT-stabilizing compounds with blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and slow brain clearance, as observed with EpoD. We report here that the MT-stabilizing natural product, dictyostatin, crosses the BBB in mice and has extended brain retention. Moreover, a single administration of dictyostatin to mice causes prolonged stabilization of MTs in the brain. In contrast, the structurally related MT-stabilizer, discodermolide, shows significantly less brain exposure. Thus, dictyostatin merits further investigation as a potential tauopathy therapeutic.
    ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 09/2013; 4(9):886-9. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    Minh H Nguyen, Amos B. III Smith
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    ABSTRACT: The development and validation of copper-catalyzed, electrophilic amination of aryl and heteroaryl organolithiums with N,N-dialkyl-O-benzoylhydroxylamines have been achieved exploiting recoverable siloxane transfer agents. Given the ready availability of organolithium compounds, the mild reaction conditions, the ease of product purification, and the ready recovery of the siloxane transfer agents, this transformation comprises a useful tactic to access diverse aryl and heteroaryl amines.
    Organic Letters 09/2013; · 6.14 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
1,570.49 Total Impact Points


  • 1992–2014
    • Philadelphia University
      • Department of Chemistry
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1982–2014
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • • Department of Chemistry
      • • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2011–2013
    • Bryn Mawr College
      • Department of Chemistry
      Bryn Mawr, PA, United States
  • 2010–2013
    • University of Santiago de Compostela
      • Departamento de Fisiología
      Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain
  • 2012
    • Drexel University College of Medicine
      • Department of Microbiology & Immunology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 1998–2012
    • Monell Chemical Senses Center
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2004–2011
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Washington State University
      • Department of Chemistry
      Pullman, WA, United States
  • 2006
    • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
      • Department of Molecular Pharmacology
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 2005
    • Hanyang University
      • Department of Chemistry
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2002
    • Kitasato University
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2001–2002
    • University College Dublin
      • Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology
      Dublin, L, Ireland