Gary Larson

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc., Montréal, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (13)58.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The RAS-RAF-mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK)-ERK pathway provides numerous opportunities for targeted oncology therapeutics. In particular, the MEK enzyme is attractive due to high selectivity for its target ERK and the central role that activated ERK plays in driving cell proliferation. The structural, pharmacologic, and pharmacokinetic properties of RDEA119/BAY 869766, an allosteric MEK inhibitor, are presented. RDEA119/BAY 869766 is selectively bound directly to an allosteric pocket in the MEK1/2 enzymes. This compound is highly efficacious at inhibiting cell proliferation in several tumor cell lines in vitro. In vivo, RDEA119/BAY 869766 exhibits potent activity in xenograft models of melanoma, colon, and epidermal carcinoma. RDEA119/BAY 869766 exhibits complete suppression of ERK phosphorylation at fully efficacious doses in mice. RDEA119/BAY 869766 shows a tissue selectivity that reduces its potential for central nervous system-related side effects. Using pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data, we show that maintaining adequate MEK inhibition throughout the dosing interval is likely more important than achieving high peak levels because greater efficacy was achieved with more frequent but lower dosing. Based on its longer half-life in humans than in mice, RDEA119/BAY 869766 has the potential for use as a once- or twice-daily oral treatment for cancer. RDEA119/BAY 869766, an exquisitely selective, orally available MEK inhibitor, has been selected for clinical development because of its potency and favorable pharmacokinetic profile.
    Cancer Research 09/2009; 69(17):6839-47. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A novel series of thiazolone-acylsulfonamides were designed as HCV NS5B polymerase allosteric inhibitors. The structure based drug designs (SBDD) were guided by docking results that revealed the potential to explore an additional pocket in the allosteric site. In particular, the designed molecules contain moieties of previously described thiazolone and a newly designed acylsulfonamide linker that is in turn connected with a substituted aromatic ring. The selected compounds were synthesized and demonstrated low muM activity. The X-ray complex structure was determined at a 2.2A resolution and converged with the SBDD principle.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 05/2007; 17(7):1991-5. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: VRX0466617 is a novel selective small-molecule inhibitor for Chk2 discovered through a protein kinase screening program. In this study, we provide a detailed biochemical and cellular characterization of VRX0466617. We show that VRX0466617 blocks the enzymatic activity of recombinant Chk2, as well as the ionizing radiation (IR)-induced activation of Chk2 from cells pretreated with the compound, at doses between 5 and 10 micromol/L. These doses of VRX0466617 inhibited, to some extent, the phosphorylation of Chk2 Ser(19) and Ser(33-35), but not of Chk2 Thr(68), which is phosphorylated by the upstream ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase. Interestingly, VRX0466617 induced the phosphorylation of Chk2 Thr(68) even in the absence of DNA damage, arising from the block of its enzymatic activity. VRX0466617 prevented the IR-induced Chk2-dependent degradation of Hdmx, concordant with the in vivo inhibition of Chk2. Analysis of ATM/ATM and Rad3-related substrates Smc1, p53, and Chk1 excluded a cross-inhibition of these kinases. VRX0466617 did not modify the cell cycle phase distribution, although it caused an increase in multinucleated cells. Whereas VRX0466617 attenuated IR-induced apoptosis, in short-term assays it did not affect the cytotoxicity by the anticancer drugs doxorubicin, Taxol, and cisplatin. These results underscore the specificity of VRX0466617 for Chk2, both in vitro and in vivo, and support the use of this compound as a biological probe to study the Chk2-dependent pathways.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 04/2007; 6(3):935-44. · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: From chemical compound library screening using an HCV NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase enzymatic assay, we identified a substituted quinoxaline hit with an IC(50) of 5.5 microM. A series of substituted quinoxaline amide derivatives were synthesized based on the hit's pharmacophore, and a good structure-activity relationship was observed. Computer modeling analysis was employed to help comprehend the SAR.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 04/2007; 17(6):1663-6. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Structure-activity relationships (SAR) of 1 against HCV NS5B polymerase were described. SAR explorations and further structure-based design led to the identifications of 2 and 3 as novel HCV NS5B inhibitors. X-ray structure of 3 in complex with NS5B polymerase was obtained at a resolution of 2.2A, and confirmed the design.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 02/2007; 17(1):63-7. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of isothiazole carboxamidine compounds were synthesized and discovered as novel and selective inhibitors for Chk2. They are not active against the related Chk1 kinase. The structure-activity relationship studies were performed on the scaffold, and enzymatic kinetic analysis showed they are simple ATP competitive inhibitors with K(i) values as low as 11 nM for Chk2. Computer modeling studies were employed to comprehend the mechanism of action and SAR of these compounds.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 02/2007; 17(1):172-5. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A structure-based approach was performed to design a novel thiazolone scaffold as HCV NS5B inhibitors. A focused library was designed and docked by GOLD. One of the top-scored molecules was synthesized and shown to have similar potency to the initial hit. The X-ray complex structure was determined and validated our design rationale.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 12/2006; 16(22):5888-91. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: From random screening of our compound libraries, we identified a hit compound with an IC50 of 27 microM against hepatitis C viral NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. By using a parallel synthetic strategy, a series of its derivatives were synthesized. From their anti-HCV activity screening, compounds with single digital 3.8 micromolar activity were obtained.
    Bioorganic Chemistry 03/2006; 34(1):26-38. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many nucleoside analog drugs, such as ribavirin and viramidine, are activated or metabolized in vivo through 5'-phosphorylation. In this report, we determined the steady-state kinetic parameters for 5'-monophosphorylation of ribavirin and viramidine by adenosine kinase. The apparent Km for ribavirin is 540 microM, and k(cat) is 1.8 min-1. Its catalytic efficiency of 3.3 x 10(-3) min-1 . microM-1 is 1,200-fold lower than that of adenosine. In contrast to the common belief that ribavirin is exclusively phosphorylated by adenosine kinase, cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase II was found to catalyze ribavirin phosphorylation in vitro. The reaction is optimally stimulated by the physiological concentration of ATP or 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate. In phosphate-buffered saline plus ATP and 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate, the apparent Km for ribavirin is 88 microM, and k(cat) is 4.0 min-1. These findings suggest that cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase II may be involved in ribavirin phosphorylation in vivo. Like ribavirin, viramidine was found to be phosphorylated by either adenosine kinase or cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase II, albeit with a much lower activity. The catalytic efficiency for viramidine phosphorylation is 10- to 330-fold lower than that of ribavirin, suggesting that other nucleoside kinase(s) may be involved in viramidine phosphorylation in vivo. Both ribavirin and viramidine are not phosphorylated by deoxycytidine kinase and uridine-cytidine kinase. The coincidence of presence of high concentrated 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate in erythrocytes suggests that cytosolic 5'-nucleotidase II could play an important role in phosphorylating ribavirin and contribute to anabolism of ribavirin triphosphate in erythrocytes. Elucidation of ribavirin and viramidine phosphorylation mechanism should shed light on their in vivo metabolism, especially the ribavirin-induced hemolytic anemia in erythrocytes.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 07/2005; 49(6):2164-71. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Uridine-cytidine nucleoside kinase 2 (UCK2) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the pyrimidine-nucleotide salvage pathway. UCK2 catalyzes the phosphorylation of the natural ribonucleosides cytidine and uridine to cytidine 5'-monophosphate (CMP) and uridine 5'-monophosphate (UMP), respectively, and activates several important frontline antimetabolite drugs. The present contribution reports the rapid crystal structure determination of human UCK2 complexed with a magnesium ion and the reaction products adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP) and CMP. Diffraction data were collected on a copper rotating-anode X-ray generator from one native UCK2 crystal and a single samarium-derivative crystal. Utilizing the relatively high anomalous signal from the samarium derivative at the Cu Kalpha wavelength, the structure was determined by single isomorphous replacement and single anomalous signal (SIRAS) phasing techniques. Two of the four major samarium sites are located in the active sites of the two UCK2 molecules that form the asymmetric unit and appear to displace the magnesium ions present in the native crystals. The crystal structures of UCK2 alone and in complex with various ligands have recently been determined using traditional multiple isomorphous replacement (MIR) phasing techniques and data from three heavy-atom derivatives. The reported structures validate our independently determined structure. Of more than 1000 kinase crystal structure entries in the Protein Data Bank, less than 1% of them have been determined by SIRAS. For the published kinase crystal structures determined by SIRAS, all data were reportedly collected at various synchrotron-radiation facilities. This study demonstrates that diffraction data collected from a single samarium derivative using Cu Kalpha radiation provides sufficient phasing power to determine a novel macromolecular crystal structure.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 04/2005; 61(Pt 3):278-84. · 14.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: From compound library screening using an HCV NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase enzymatic assay, we identified a pteridine hit compound with an IC(50) of 15 microM. Our SAR studies were focused on the different groups at the 6- and 7-positions, substitutions at the 4-position, and replacement of N(1) or N(3) with carbon in the pteridine ring. We found that NH or OH at 4-position is critical for the inhibitory activity. Furthermore, a hydrophobic substituent at the 4-position may help compounds permeate through the cell membrane.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 03/2005; 15(3):675-8. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    Jim Zhen Wu, Gary Larson, Zhi Hong
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    ABSTRACT: An investigational nucleoside analogue drug, viramidine, has recently emerged as a potentially safer alternative to ribavirin for the treatment of hepatitis C viral infection. We have reported that viramidine mainly functions as a prodrug of ribavirin that is enriched in the liver. This in vitro study further explores viramidine's activity against nucleoside phosphorylase, a host enzyme that is responsible for phosphorolysis of ribavirin in vivo. Our experiments show that viramidine inhibits ribavirin phosphorolysis with a K(i) of 2.5 microM. This result suggests that viramidine may act through a dual-action mechanism by serving as a prodrug of ribavirin and concomitantly as an inhibitor for nucleoside phosphorylase catabolism of ribavirin.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 11/2004; 48(10):4006-8. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: De novo RNA synthesis by hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 5B (NS5B) RNA-dependent RNA polymerase has been investigated using short RNA templates. Various templates including those derived from the HCV genome were evaluated by examining the early steps of de novo RNA synthesis. NS5B was shown to be able to produce an initiation dinucleotide product from templates as short as 4-mer and from the 3'-terminal sequences of both plus and minus strands of the HCV RNA genome. GMP, GDP, and guanosine were able to act as an initiating nucleotide in de novo RNA synthesis, indicating that the triphosphate moiety is not absolutely required by an initiating nucleotide. Significant amounts of the initiation product accumulated in de novo synthesis, and elongation from the dinucleotide was observed when large amounts of dinucleotide were available. This result suggests that NS5B, a template, and incoming nucleotides are able to form an initiation complex that aborts frequently by releasing the dinucleotide product before transition to an elongation complex. The transition is rate limiting. Furthermore, we discovered that the secondary structure of a template was not essential for de novo initiation and that 3'-terminal bases of a template conferred specificity in selection of an initiation site. Initiation can occur at the +1, +2, or +3 position numbered from the 3' end of a template depending on base composition. Pyrimidine bases at any of the three positions are able to serve as an initiation site, while purine bases at the +2 and +3 positions do not support initiation. This result implies that HCV possesses an intrinsic ability to ensure that de novo synthesis is initiated from the +1 position and to maintain the integrity of the 3' end of its genome. This assay system should be an important tool for investigating the detailed mechanism of de novo initiation by HCV NS5B as well as other viral RNA polymerases.
    Journal of Virology 08/2002; 76(14):7030-9. · 5.08 Impact Factor