[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MntC is a metal-binding protein component of the Mn(2+)-specific mntABC transporter from the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. The protein is expressed during the early stages of infection and was proven to be effective at reducing both S. aureus and S. epidermidis infections in a murine animal model when used as a vaccine antigen. MntC is currently being tested in human clinical trials as a component of a multiantigen vaccine for the prevention of S. aureus infections. To better understand the biological function of MntC, we are providing structural and biophysical characterization of the protein in this work. The three-dimensional structure of the protein was solved by X-ray crystallography at 2.2 Å resolution and suggests two potential metal binding modes, which may lead to reversible, as well as irreversible metal binding. Precise Mn(2+)-binding affinity of the protein was determined from the isothermal titration calorimetry experiments using a competition approach. DSC experiments confirmed that divalent metals can indeed bind to MntC reversibly as well as irreversibly. Finally, Mn(2+)-induced structural and dynamics changes have been characterized using spectroscopic methods and deuterium-hydrogen exchange mass spectroscopy (DXMS). Results of the experiments show that these changes are minimal and are largely restricted to the structural elements involved in metal coordination. Therefore it is unlikely that antibody binding to this antigen will be affected by the occupancy of the metal-binding site by Mn(2+).
Journal of Molecular Biology 07/2013; · 3.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immunoglobulin new antigen receptors (IgNARs) are a class of Ig-like molecules of the shark immune system that exist as heavy chain-only homodimers and bind antigens by their single-domain variable regions (V-NARs). Following shark immunization and/or in vitro selection, V-NARs can be generated as soluble, stable and specific high-affinity monomeric binding proteins of ~12 kDa. We have previously isolated a V-NAR from an immunized spiny dogfish shark, named E06, which binds specifically and with high affinity to human, mouse and rat serum albumins. Humanization of E06 was carried out by converting over 60% of non-CDR residues to that of a human germline Vκ1 sequence, DPK9. The resulting huE06 molecules have largely retained the specificity and affinity of antigen binding of the parental V-NAR. Crystal structures of the shark E06 and its humanized variant (huE06 v1.1), in complex with HSA, were determined at 3Å and 2.3Å resolution, respectively. The huE06 v1.1 molecule retained all but one amino acid residues involved in the binding site for HSA. Structural analysis of these V-NARs has revealed an unusual variable domain-antigen interaction. E06 interacts with HSA in an atypical mode that utilizes extensive framework contacts in addition to CDRs, that has not been previously seen in V-NARs. On the basis of the structure, the roles of various elements of the molecule are described with respect to antigen binding and V-NAR stability. This information broadens the general understanding of antigen recognition and provides a framework for further design and humanization of shark IgNARs.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human IgG is a bivalent molecule that has two identical Fab domains connected by a dimeric Fc domain. For therapeutic purposes, however, the bivalency of IgG and Fc-fusion proteins could cause undesired properties. We therefore engineered the conversion of the natural dimeric Fc domain to a highly soluble monomer by introducing two Asn-linked glycans onto the hydrophobic CH3-CH3 dimer interface. The monomeric Fc (monoFc) maintained the binding affinity for neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) in a pH-dependent manner. We solved the crystal structure of monoFc, which explains how the carbohydrates can stabilize the protein surface, and provides the rationale for molecular recognition between monoFc and FcRn. The monoFc prolonged the in vivo half-life of an antibody Fab domain, and a tandem repeat of the monoFc further prolonged the half-life. This monoFc modality can be used to improve the pharmacokinetics of monomeric therapeutic proteins with an option to modulate the degree of half-life extension.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 8,8-Diphenyl-2,3,4,8-tetrahydroimidazo[1,5-a]pyrimidin-6-amine (1) was identified through HTS, as a weak (micromolar) inhibitor of BACE1. X-Ray crystallographic studies indicate the 2-aminoimidazole ring forms key H-bonding interactions with Asp32 and Asp228 in the catalytic site of BACE1. Lead optimization using structure-based focused libraries led to the identification of low nanomolar BACE1 inhibitors such as 20b with substituents which extend from the S(1) to the S(3) pocket.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cortisol and the glucocorticoid receptor signaling pathway have been implicated in the development of diabetes and obesity. The reduction of cortisone to cortisol is catalyzed by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type I (11beta-HSD1). 2,4-Disubsituted benzenesulfonamides were identified as potent inhibitors of both the human and mouse enzymes. The lead compounds displayed good pharmacokinetics and ex vivo inhibition of the target in mice. Cocrystal structures of compounds 1 and 20 bound to human 11beta-HSD1 were obtained. Compound 20 was found to achieve high concentrations in target tissues, resulting in 95% inhibition in the ex vivo assay when dosed with a food mix (0.5 mg of drug per g of food) after 4 days. Compound 20 was efficacious in a mouse diet-induced obesity model and significantly reduced fed glucose and fasted insulin levels. Our findings suggest that 11beta-HSD1 inhibition may be a valid target for the treatment of diabetes.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 09/2009; 52(17):5449-61. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a central regulator of growth, survival, and metabolism, is a validated target for cancer therapy. Rapamycin and its analogues, allosteric inhibitors of mTOR, only partially inhibit one mTOR protein complex. ATP-competitive, global inhibitors of mTOR that have the potential for enhanced anticancer efficacy are described. Structural features leading to potency and selectivity were identified and refined leading to compounds with in vivo efficacy in tumor xenograft models.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 08/2009; 52(16):5013-6. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteolytic cleavage of amyloid precursor protein by beta-secretase (BACE-1) and gamma-secretase leads to formation of beta-amyloid (A beta) a key component of amyloid plaques, which are considered the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Small molecule inhibitors of BACE-1 may reduce levels of A beta and thus have therapeutic potential for treating Alzheimer's disease. We recently reported the identification of a novel small molecule BACE-1 inhibitor N-[2-(2,5-diphenyl-pyrrol-1-yl)-acetyl]guanidine (3.a.1). We report here the initial hit-to-lead optimization of this hit and the SAR around the aryl groups occupying the S(1) and S(2') pockets leading to submicromolar BACE-1 inhibitors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aggrecanases are now believed to be the principal proteinases responsible for aggrecan degradation in osteoarthritis. Given their potential as a drug target, we solved crystal structures of the two most active human aggrecanase isoforms, ADAMTS4 and ADAMTS5, each in complex with bound inhibitor and one wherein the enzyme is in apo form. These structures show that the unliganded and inhibitor-bound enzymes exhibit two essentially different catalytic-site configurations: an autoinhibited, nonbinding, closed form and an open, binding form. On this basis, we propose that mature aggrecanases exist as an ensemble of at least two isomers, only one of which is proteolytically active.
Protein Science 02/2008; 17(1):16-21. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACE1 is an aspartyl protease responsible for cleaving amyloid precursor protein to liberate Abeta, which aggregates leading to plaque deposits implicated in Alzheimer's disease. We have identified small-molecule acylguanidine inhibitors of BACE1. Crystallographic studies show that these compounds form unique hydrogen-bonding interactions with the catalytic site aspartic acids and stabilize the protein in a flap-open conformation. Structure-based optimization led to the identification of potent analogs, such as 10d (BACE1 IC(50) = 110 nM).
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 11/2006; 49(21):6158-61. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beta-secretase 1 (BACE1) is an aspartic protease believed to play a critical role in Alzheimer's disease. Inhibitors of this enzyme have been designed by incorporating the non-cleavable hydroxyethylene and statine isosteres into peptides corresponding to BACE1 substrate sequences. We sought to develop new methods to quickly characterize and optimize inhibitors based on the statine core. Minimal sequence requirements for binding were first established using both crystallography and peptide spot synthesis. These shortened peptide inhibitors were then optimized by using spot synthesis to perform iterative cycles of substitution and deletion. The present study resulted in the identification of novel "bis-statine" inhibitors shown by crystallography to have a unique binding mode. Our results demonstrate the application of peptide spot synthesis as an effective method for enhancing peptidomimetic drug discovery.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Through high throughput screening, substituted proline sulfonamide 6 was identified as HCV NS5b RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor. Optimization of various regions of the lead molecule resulted in compounds that displayed good potency and selectivity. The crystal structure of 6 and NS5b polymerase complex confirmed the binding near the active site region. The optimization approach and SAR are discussed in detail.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 07/2006; 49(11):3052-5. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of 3,5-dioxopyrazolidines was identified as novel inhibitors of UDP-N-acetylenolpyruvylglucosamine reductase (MurB). Compounds 1 to 3, which are 1,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-3,5-dioxopyrazolidine-4-carboxamides, inhibited Escherichia coli MurB, Staphyloccocus aureus MurB, and E. coli MurA with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) in the range of 4.1 to 6.8 microM, 4.3 to 10.3 microM, and 6.8 to 29.4 microM, respectively. Compound 4, a C-4-unsubstituted 1,2-bis(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-3,5-dioxopyrazolidine, showed moderate inhibitory activity against E. coli MurB, S. aureus MurB, and E. coli MurC (IC50s, 24.5 to 35 microM). A fluorescence-binding assay indicated tight binding of compound 3 with E. coli MurB, giving a dissociation constant of 260 nM. Structural characterization of E. coli MurB was undertaken, and the crystal structure of a complex with compound 4 was obtained at 2.4 A resolution. The crystal structure indicated the binding of a compound at the active site of MurB and specific interactions with active-site residues and the bound flavin adenine dinucleotide cofactor. Peptidoglycan biosynthesis studies using a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis revealed reduced peptidoglycan biosynthesis upon incubation with 3,5-dioxopyrazolidines, with IC50s of 0.39 to 11.1 microM. Antibacterial activity was observed for compounds 1 to 3 (MICs, 0.25 to 16 microg/ml) and 4 (MICs, 4 to 8 microg/ml) against gram-positive bacteria including methicillin-resistant S. aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis, and penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 03/2006; 50(2):556-64. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tanaproget represents a potential first-in-class nonsteroidal PR agonist for contraception with improved safety and side effect profiles versus currently available steroidal oral contraceptives. Additional SAR, biological activity, and structural information from a tanaproget/hPR-LBD (hPR-LBD = human progesterone receptor ligand binding domain) cocrystal structure will also be presented.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 09/2005; 48(16):5092-5. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth of high quality crystals is often the most difficult step in the determination of protein structures by X-ray diffraction. Automation can improve the success of this process both by reducing the amount of protein required for each screen and by relieving the tedium of setting up crystallization experiments by hand. We have been using an automated system for the design and execution of hanging drop crystallization experiments for the last two years. The system includes robots for the preparation of solutions, setup of hanging drops, and automated imaging, as well as a new software package (RoCKS) for managing all phases of the crystallization process. Here, we review the fundamentals of automated protein crystallization and present results from our comparisons of various approaches to screening.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MAP KAP kinase 2 (MK2), a Ser/Thr kinase, plays a crucial role in the inflammatory process. We have determined the crystal structures of a catalytically active C-terminal deletion form of human MK2, residues 41-364, in complex with staurosporine at 2.7 A and with ADP at 3.2 A, revealing overall structural similarity with other Ser/Thr kinases. Kinetic analysis reveals that the K(m) for ATP is very similar for MK2 41-364 and p38-activated MK2 41-400. Conversely, the catalytic rate and binding for peptide substrate are dramatically reduced in MK2 41-364. However, phosphorylation of MK2 41-364 by p38 restores the V(max) and K(m) for peptide substrate to values comparable to those seen in p38-activated MK2 41-400, suggesting a mechanism for regulation of enzyme activity.