[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of cruzain inhibitors has been driven by the urgent need to develop novel and more effective drugs for the treatment of Chagasꞌ disease. Herein, we report the lead optimization of a class of noncovalent cruzain inhibitors, starting from an inhibitor previously co-crystallized with the enzyme (Ki = 0.8 µM). With the goal of achieving a better understanding of the structure-activity relationships (SARs), we have synthesized and evaluated a series of over 40 analogues, leading to the development of a very promising competitive inhibitor (8r, IC50 = 200 nM, Ki = 82 nM). Investigation of the in vitro trypanocidal activity and preliminary cytotoxicity revealed the potential of the most potent cruzain inhibitors in guiding further medicinal chemistry efforts to develop drug candidates for Chagasꞌ disease.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 02/2014; · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemometric pattern recognition techniques were employed in order to obtain Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) models relating the structures of a series of adenosine compounds to the affinity for glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase of Leishmania mexicana (LmGAPDH). A training set of 49 compounds was used to build the models and the best ones were obtained with one geometrical and four electronic descriptors. Classification models were externally validated by predictions for a test set of 14 compounds not used in the model building process. Results of good quality were obtained, as verified by the correct classifications achieved. Moreover, the results are in good agreement with previous SAR studies on these molecules, to such an extent that we can suggest that these findings may help in further investigations on ligands of LmGAPDH capable of improving treatment of leishmaniasis.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2014; 15(2):3186-203. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Chagas disease is a major cause of morbidity and death for millions of people in Latin America. The drugs currently available exhibit poor efficacy and severe side effects. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new, safe and effective drugs against Chagas disease. The vital dependence on glycolysis as energy source makes the glycolytic enzymes of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, attractive targets for drug design. In this work, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase from T. cruzi (TcGAPDH) was employed as molecular target for the discovery of new inhibitors as hits. Results: Integrated protein-based pharmacophore and structure-based virtual screening approaches resulted in the identification of three hits from three chemical classes with moderate inhibitory activity against TcGAPDH. The inhibitors showed IC50 values in the high micromolar range. Conclusion: The new chemotypes are attractive molecules for future medicinal chemistry efforts aimed at developing new lead compounds for Chagas disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Sleeping sickness is a major cause of death in Africa. Since no secure treatment is available, the development of novel therapeutic agents is urgent. In this context, the enzyme trypanothione reductase (TR) is a prominent molecular target that has been investigated in drug design for sleeping sickness. Results: In this study, comparative molecular field analysis models were generated for a series of Trypanosoma brucei TR inhibitors. Statistically significant results were obtained and the models were applied to predict the activity of external test sets, with good correlation between predicted and experimental results. We have also investigated the structural requirements for the selective inhibition of the parasite's enzyme over the human glutathione reductase. Conclusion: The quantitative structure-activity relationship models provided valuable information regarding the essential molecular requirements for the inhibitory activity upon the target protein, providing important insights into the design of more potent and selective TR inhibitors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis InhA (MtInhA) is an attractive enzyme to drug discovery efforts due to its validation as an effective biological target for tuberculosis therapy. In this work, two different virtual-ligand-screening approaches were applied in order to identify new InhA inhibitors' candidates from a library of ligands selected from the ZINC database. First, a 3-D pharmacophore model was built based on 36 available MtInhA crystal structures. By combining structure-based and ligand-based information, four pharmacophoric points were designed to select molecules able to satisfy the binding features of MtInhA substrate-binding cavity. The second approach consisted in using four well established docking programs, with different search algorithms, to compare the binding mode and score of the selected molecules from the aforementioned library. After detailed analyses of the results, six ligands were selected for in vitro analysis. Three of these molecules presented a satisfactory inhibitory activity with IC50 values ranging from 24 (± 2) μM to 83 (± 5) μM. The best compound presented an uncompetitive inhibition mode to NADH and 2-trans-dodecenoyl-CoA substrates, with Ki values of 24 (± 3) μM and 20 (± 2) μM, respectively. These molecules were not yet described as antituberculars or as InhA inhibitors, making its novelty interesting to start efforts on ligand optimization in order to identify new effective drugs against Tuberculosis having InhA as a target. More studies are underway to dissect the discovered uncompetitive inhibitor interactions with MtInhA.
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling 07/2013; · 4.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug resistance is a common concern for the development of novel antiviral, antimicrobial and anticancer therapies. To overcome this problem, several strategies have been developed, many of which involving the theme of this review, the use of structure-based drug design (SBDD) approaches. These include the successful design of new compounds that target resistant mutant proteins, as well as the development of drugs that target multiple proteins involved in specific biochemical pathways. Finally, drug resistance can also be considered in the early stages of drug discovery, through the use of strategies to delay the development of resistance. The purpose of this brief review is to underline the usefulness of SBDD approaches based on case studies, highlighting present challenges and opportunities in drug design.
Current pharmaceutical design 05/2013; · 4.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: YopH plays a relevant role in three pathogenic species of Yersinia. Due to its importance in the prevention of the inflammatory response of the host, this enzyme has become a valid target for the identification and development of new inhibitors. In this work, an in-house library of 283 synthetic compounds was assayed against recombinant YopH from Yersinia enterocolitica. From these, four chalcone derivatives and one sulfonamide were identified for the first time as competitive inhibitors of YopH with binding affinity in the low micromolar range. Molecular modeling investigations indicated that the new inhibitors showed similar binding modes, establishing polar and hydrophobic contacts with key residues of the YopH binding site.
European journal of medicinal chemistry 04/2013; 64C:35-41. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on classical colchicine site ligands and a computational model of the colchicine binding site on beta tubulin, two classes of chalcone derivatives were designed, synthesized and evaluated for inhibition of tubulin assembly and toxicity in human cancer cell lines. Docking studies suggested that the chalcone scaffold could fit the colchicine site on tubulin in an orientation similar to that of the natural product. In particular, a 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl ring adjacent to the carbonyl group appeared to benefit the ligand-tubulin interaction, occupying the same subcavity as the corresponding moiety in colchicine. Consistent with modeling predictions, several 3,4,5-trimethoxychalcones showed improved cytotoxicity to murine acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells compared with a previously described parent compound, and inhibited tubulin assembly in vitro as potently as colchicine. The most potent chalcones inhibited the growth of human leukemia cell lines at nanomolar concentrations, caused microtubule destabilization and mitotic arrest in human cervical cancer cells, and inhibited human breast cancer cell migration in scratch wound and Boyden chamber assays.
European journal of medicinal chemistry 03/2013; 63C:501-510. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complexes [Ga(2Ac4pFPh)(2)]NO(3) (1), [Ga(2Ac4pClPh)(2)]NO(3) (2), [Ga(2Ac4pIPh)(2)]NO(3) (3), [Ga(2Ac4pNO(2)Ph)(2)]NO(3)·3H(2)O (4) and [Ga(2Ac4pT)(2)]NO(3) (5) were obtained with 2-acetylpyridine N(4)-para-fluorophenyl-(H2Ac4pFPh), 2-acetylpyridine N(4)-para-chlorophenyl-(H2Ac4pClPh), 2-acetylpyridine N(4)-para-iodophenyl-(H2Ac4pIPh), 2-acetylpyridine N(4)-para-nitrophenyl-(H2Ac4pNO(2)Ph) and 2-acetylpyridine N(4)-para-tolyl-(H2Ac4pT) thiosemicarbazone. 1-5 presented antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties. Coordination to gallium(III) proved to be an effective strategy for activity improvement against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. The complexes were highly cytotoxic against malignant glioblastoma and breast cancer cells at nanomolar concentrations. The compounds induced morphological changes characteristic of apoptotic death in tumor cells and showed no toxicity against erythrocytes. 2 partially inhibited tubulin assembly at high concentrations and induced cellular microtubule disorganization, but this does not appear to be the main mechanism of cytotoxic activity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) studies were performed in order to identify molecular features responsible for the antileishmanial activity of 61 adenosine analogues acting as inhibitors of the enzyme glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase of Leishmania mexicana (LmGAPDH). Density functional theory (DFT) was employed to calculate quantum-chemical descriptors, while several structural descriptors were generated with Dragon 5.4. Variable selection was undertaken with the ordered predictor selection (OPS) algorithm, which provided a set with the most relevant descriptors to perform PLS, PCR and MLR regressions. Reliable and predictive models were obtained, as attested by their high correlation coefficients, as well as the agreement between predicted and experimental values for an external test set. Additional validation procedures were carried out, demonstrating that robust models were developed, providing helpful tools for the optimization of the antileishmanial activity of adenosine compounds.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The discovery and development of a new drug is time-consuming, difficult and expensive. This complex process has evolved from classical methods into an integration of modern technologies and innovative strategies addressed to the design of new chemical entities to treat a variety of diseases. The development of new drug candidates is often limited by initial compounds lacking reasonable chemical and biological properties for further lead optimization. Huge libraries of compounds are frequently selected for biological screening using a variety of techniques and standard models to assess potency, affinity and selectivity. In this context, it is very important to study the pharmacokinetic profile of the compounds under investigation. Recent advances have been made in the collection of data and the development of models to assess and predict pharmacokinetic properties (ADME - absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) of bioactive compounds in the early stages of drug discovery projects. This paper provides a brief perspective on the evolution of in silico ADME tools, addressing challenges, limitations, and opportunities in medicinal chemistry.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MCH1R antagonists have been used to treat several diseases, such as obesity, depression and anxiety. In this study, we have performed several pharmacophore-based CoMFA studies for a series of 2,4,6 substituted quinolines as potent antagonists of MCH1R. Significant statistical results were obtained (q2 = 0.78, r2 = 0.99), indicating the high internal consistency of the 3D model generated, as well as its predictive power for untested compounds. The 3D model was externally validated employing a test set and the predicted biological values showed good agreement with experimental results. Important insights on the molecular interactions between the studied ligands and the MCHR1 receptor, inferred from the 3D contour maps, were obtained and can be useful for the design of new structurally related analogs with improved binding affinity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proton nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H NMR) spectroscopy for detection of biochemical changes in biological samples is a successful technique. However, the achieved NMR resolution is not sufficiently high when the analysis is performed with intact cells. To improve spectral resolution, high resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) is used and the broad signals are separated by a T(2) filter based on the CPMG pulse sequence. Additionally, HR-MAS experiments with a T(2) filter are preceded by a water suppression procedure. The goal of this work is to demonstrate that the experimental procedures of water suppression and T(2) or diffusing filters are unnecessary steps when the filter diagonalization method (FDM) is used to process the time domain HR-MAS signals. Manipulation of the FDM results, represented as a tabular list of peak positions, widths, amplitudes and phases, allows the removal of water signals without the disturbing overlapping or nearby signals. Additionally, the FDM can also be used for phase correction and noise suppression, and to discriminate between sharp and broad lines. Results demonstrate the applicability of the FDM post-acquisition processing to obtain high quality HR-MAS spectra of heterogeneous biological materials.
The Analyst 08/2012; 137(19):4546-51. · 4.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A quantitative structure-activity relationship analysis was employed to explore the relationship between the molecular structure of thiosemicarbazone analogues and the inhibition of the cysteine protease cruzain, a validated target for Chagas' disease treatment. A data set containing 53 thiosemicarbazone derivatives was used to produce a quantitative model for activity prediction of unknown compounds. Several electronic descriptors were obtained through DFT calculations, along with a large amount of Dragon descriptors. The ordered predictor selection (OPS) algorithm was employed to select the most relevant descriptors to perform PLS regressions. With this procedure, significant correlation coefficients (r 2 = 0.85, q 2 = 0.78) were achieved. Furthermore, predicted values for an external test set are in good agreement with the experimental results, indicating the potential of the model for untested compounds. Additional validation tests were carried out, indicating that a robust and reliable model was obtained to be used in the design of new thiosemicarbazones with improved cruzain inhibition potential.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aldolase has emerged as a promising molecular target for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis. Over the last years, due to the increasing number of patients infected with Trypanosoma brucei, there is an urgent need for new drugs to treat this neglected disease. In the present study, two-dimensional fragment-based quantitative-structure activity relationship (QSAR) models were generated for a series of inhibitors of aldolase. Through the application of leave-one-out and leave-many-out cross-validation procedures, significant correlation coefficients were obtained (r2 = 0.98 and q2 = 0.77) as an indication of the statistical internal and external consistency of the models. The best model was employed to predict pKi values for a series of test set compounds, and the predicted values were in good agreement with the experimental results, showing the power of the model for untested compounds. Moreover, structure-based molecular modeling studies were performed to investigate the binding mode of the inhibitors in the active site of the parasitic target enzyme. The structural and QSAR results provided useful molecular information for the design of new aldolase inhibitors within this structural class.
Current Computer - Aided Drug Design 06/2012; · 1.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report herein the synthesis and trypanocidal profile of new (E)-cinnamic N-acylhydrazones (NAHs) designed by exploiting molecular hybridization between the potent cruzain inhibitors (E)-1-(benzo[d][1,3]dioxol-5-yl)-3-(4-bromophenyl)prop-2-en-1-one and (E)-3-hydroxy-N'-((2-hydroxynaphthalen-1-yl)methylene)-7-methoxy-2-naphthohydrazide. These derivatives were evaluated against both amastigote and trypomastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi and lead us to identify two compounds that were approximately two times more active than the reference drug, benznidazole, and with good cytotoxic index. Although designed as cruzain inhibitors, the weak potency displayed by the best cinnamyl NAH derivatives indicated that another mechanism of action was likely responsible for their trypanocide action.
European journal of medicinal chemistry 06/2012; 54:512-21. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: N(4)-Phenyl 2-acetylpyridine thiosemicarbazone (H2Ac4Ph; N-(phenyl)-2-(1-(pyridin-2-yl)ethylidene)hydrazinecarbothioamide) and its N(4)-ortho-, -meta- and -para-fluorophenyl (H2Ac4oFPh, H2Ac4mFPh, H2Ac4pFPh), N(4)-ortho-, -meta- and -para-chlorophenyl (H2Ac4oClPh, H2Ac4mClPh, H2Ac4pClPh), N(4)-ortho-, -meta- and -para-iodophenyl (H2Ac4oIPh, H2Ac4mIPh, H2Ac4pIPh) and N(4)-ortho-, -meta- and -para-nitrophenyl (H2Ac4oNO(2)Ph, H2Ac4mNO(2)Ph, H2Ac4pNO(2)Ph) derivatives were assayed for their cytotoxicity against human malignant breast (MCF-7) and glioma (T98G and U87) cells. The compounds were highly cytotoxic against the three cell lineages (IC(50): MCF-7, 52-0.16 nM; T98G, 140-1.0 nM; U87, 160-1.4 nM). All tested thiosemicarbazones were more cytotoxic than etoposide and did not present any haemolytic activity at up to 10(-5)M. The compounds were able to induce programmed cell death. H2Ac4pClPh partially inhibited tubulin assembly at high concentrations and induced cellular microtubule disorganization.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Consistent in silico models for ADME properties are useful tools in early drug discovery. Here, we report the hologram QSAR modeling of human intestinal absorption using a dataset of 638 compounds with experimental data associated. The final validated models are consistent and robust for the consensus prediction of this important pharmacokinetic property and are suitable for virtual screening applications.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selective modulation of liver X receptor beta (LXRβ) has been recognized as an important approach to prevent or reverse the atherosclerotic process. In the present work, we have developed robust conformation-independent fragment-based quantitative structure-activity and structure-selectivity relationship models for a series of quinolines and cinnolines as potent modulators of the two LXR subtypes. The generated models were then used to predict the potency of an external test set and the predicted values were in good agreement with the experimental results, indicating the potential of the models for untested compounds. The final 2D molecular recognition patterns obtained were integrated to 3D structure-based molecular modeling studies to provide useful insights into the chemical and structural determinants for increased LXRβ binding affinity and selectivity.