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Publications (4)23.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Novel 2-phenylquinolones aimed at the Tat-TAR complex were synthesized and tested. Derivatives characterized by precise modifications of the quinolone nucleus and to the side chain of the 2-phenyl ring allowed a thorough structure-activity study, confirming 2-phenylquinolone as a suitable scaffold for inhibition of the Tat-TAR interaction.
    ChemMedChem 04/2009; 4(6):935-8. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tat (transactivator of transcription) is a small HIV protein rich in arginines that interacts with a viral RNA structure called TAR (trans-activation responsive region). Tat-TAR interaction is essential for viral gene expression, replication and pathogenesis. Small molecules able to interfere with TAR and to compete for Tat binding possess antiviral activity due to inhibition of viral transcription and expression, thus impairing formation of infectious virions. We report here, the synthesis and biological evaluation of a new series of quinolone derivatives, namely 2-phenylquinolones, designed with the aim of interfering with the protein/RNA complex. These new derivatives are able to efficiently interfere with Tat/TAR complex in vitro depending on precise structural requirements as demonstrated by fluorescence quenching assay analysis.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 01/2009; 19(3):714-7. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV are selective targets of fluoroquinolones. Topoisomerase IV versus gyrase and Gram-positive versus Gram-negative behavior was studied based on the different recognition of DNA sequences by topoisomerase-quinolone complexes. A careful statistical analysis of preferred bases was performed on a large number (>400) of cleavage sites. We found discrete preferred sequences that were similar when using different enzymes (i.e. gyrase and topoisomerase IV) from the same bacterial source, but in part diverse when employing enzymes from different origins (i.e. Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pneumoniae). Subsequent analysis on the wild-type and mutated consensus sequences showed that: (i) Gn/Cn-rich sequences at and around the cleavage site are hot spots for quinolone-mediated strand breaks, especially for E. coli topoisomerases: we elucidated positions required for quinolone and enzyme recognition; (ii) for S. pneumoniae enzymes only, A and T at positions -2 and +6 are discriminating cleavage determinants; (iii) symmetry of the target sequence is a key trait to promote cleavage and (iv) the consensus sequence adopts a heteronomous A/B conformation, which may trigger DNA processing by the enzyme-drug complex.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2007; 35(18):6075-85. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clerocidin (CL), a diterpenoid natural product, alkylates DNA through its epoxide moiety and exhibits both anticancer and antibacterial activities. We have examined CL action in the presence of topoisomerase IV from Streptococcus pneumoniae. CL promoted irreversible enzyme-mediated DNA cleavage leading to single- and double-stranded DNA breaks at specific sites. Reaction required the diterpenoid function: no cleavage was seen using a naphthalene-substituted analogue. Moreover, drug-induced DNA breakage was not observed using a mutant topoisomerase IV (ParC Y118F) unable to form a cleavage complex with DNA. Sequence analysis of 102 single-stranded DNA breaks and 79 double-stranded breaks revealed an overwhelming preference for G at the -1 position, i.e. immediately 5' of the enzyme DNA scission site. This specificity contrasts with that of topoisomerase IV cleavage with antibacterial quinolones. Indeed, CL stimulated DNA breakage by a quinolone-resistant topoisomerase IV (ParC S79F). Overall, the results indicate that topoisomerase IV facilitates selective irreversible CL attack at guanine and that its cleavage complex differs markedly from that of mammalian topoisomerase II which promotes both irreversible and reversible CL attack at guanine and cytosine, respectively. The unique ability to form exclusively irreversible DNA breaks suggests topoisomerase IV may be a key intracellular target of CL in bacteria.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2006; 34(7):1982-91. · 8.81 Impact Factor