[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a powerful model system for the study of basic eukaryotic cell biology, has been used increasingly as a screening tool for the identification of bioactive small molecules. We have developed a novel yeast toxicity screen that is easily automated and compatible with high-throughput screening robotics. The new screen is quantitative and allows inhibitory potencies to be determined, since the diffusion of the sample provides a concentration gradient and a corresponding toxicity halo. The efficacy of this new screen was illustrated by testing materials including 3104 compounds from the NCI libraries, 167 marine sponge crude extracts, and 149 crude marine-derived fungal extracts. There were 46 active compounds among the NCI set. One very active extract was selected for bioactivity-guided fractionation, resulting in the identification of crambescidin 800 as a potent antifungal agent.
Journal of Natural Products 04/2007; 70(3):383-90. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report an atomistic physical model for the passive membrane permeability of cyclic peptides. The computational modeling was performed in advance of the experiments and did not involve the use of "training data". The model explicitly treats the conformational flexibility of the peptides by extensive conformational sampling in low (membrane) and high (water) dielectric environments. The passive membrane permeabilities of 11 cyclic peptides were obtained experimentally using a parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) and showed a linear correlation with the computational results with R(2) = 0.96. In general, the results support the hypothesis, already well established in the literature, that the ability to form internal hydrogen bonds is critical for passive membrane permeability and can be the distinguishing factor among closely related compounds, such as those studied here. However, we have found that the number of internal hydrogen bonds that can form in the membrane and the solvent-exposed polar surface area correlate more poorly with PAMPA permeability than our model, which quantitatively estimates the solvation free energy losses upon moving from high-dielectric water to the low-dielectric interior of a membrane.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 12/2006; 128(43):14073-80. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclic peptides offer the possibility of varying both scaffold geometry and R-group functionality. For example, parameters such as ring size and the placement of D-amino acid and proline residues can have a dramatic effect on the conformations of cyclic peptides, allowing access to structurally diverse species based on simple modifications in their linear sequences. We synthesized a cyclic peptide library in which ring size, alpha-carbon stereochemistry, and proline placement were varied. Analysis of the products showed that heptapeptides in general cyclized more readily than hexapeptides, and within these groups the scaffolds with a greater number of pralines cyclized with markedly lower yields than scaffolds with fewer pralines. Split-pool libraries based on a sample set of these scaffolds showed that, in general, scaffold geometry outweighed side chains variation in determining cyclization efficiency. These concepts were applied to the synthesis of cyclodimeric variants of an inhibitor of actin assembly in Xenopus egg extracts, yielding side chain variants with improved potency over the original scaffold.