[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic cell kinase (Hck) is a member of the Src family of non-receptor protein tyrosine kinases. High levels of Hck are associated with drug resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia. Furthermore, Hck activity has been connected with HIV-1. Herein, structure-based drug design efforts were aimed at identifying novel Hck inhibitors. First, an in-house library of pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine derivatives, which were previously shown to be dual Abl and c-Src inhibitors, was analyzed by docking studies within the ATP binding site of Hck to select the best candidates to be tested in a cell-free assay. Next, the same computational protocol was applied to screen a database of commercially available compounds. As a result, most of the selected compounds were found active against Hck, with Ki values ranging from 0.14 to 18.4 μM, confirming the suitability of the computational approach adopted. Furthermore, selected compounds showed an interesting antiproliferative activity profile against the human leukemia cell line KU-812, and one compound was found to block HIV-1 replication at sub-toxic concentrations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A combined targeted/phenotypic approach for the rapid identification of novel antiangiogenics with in vivo efficacy is herein reported. Considering the important role played by the tyrosine kinase c-Src in the regulation of tumour angiogenesis, we submitted our in-house library of c-Src inhibitors to a sequential screening approach: in silico screening on VEGFR2, in vitro screening on HUVEC cells, ADME profiling, formulation and in vivo testing on a zebrafish model. A promising antiangiogenic candidate able to interfere with the vascular growth of a zebrafish model at low micromolar concentration was thus identified.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Efficacy of currently approved anti-HIV drugs is hampered by mutations of the viral enzymes, leading invariably to drug resistance and chemotherapy failure. Recent data suggest that cellular co-factors also represent useful targets for anti-HIV therapy. Here we describe the identification of the first small molecules specifically designed to inhibit the HIV-1 replication by targeting the RNA binding site of the human DEAD-Box RNA helicase DDX3. Optimization of a easily synthetically accessible hit (1) identified by application of a high-throughput docking approach afforded the promising compounds 6 and 8 which proved to inhibit both the helicase and ATPase activity of DDX3 and to reduce the viral load of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) infected with HIV-1.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: N-[2-Methyl-5-(triazol-1-yl)phenyl]pyrimidin-2-amine derivatives were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for their potential use as inhibitors of Bcr-Abl. The design is based on the bioisosterism between the 1,2,3-triazole ring and the amide group. The synthesis involves a copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) as the key step, with the exclusive production of anti-(1,4)-triazole derivatives. One of the compounds obtained shows general activity similar to that of imatinib; in particular, it was observed to be more effective in decreasing the fundamental function of cdc25A phosphatases in the K-562 cell line.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Targeting the binding site of 14-3-3 proteins lets the release of partner proteins involved in cell cycle progression, apoptosis, cytoskeletal rearrangement and transcriptional regulation and may therefore be regarded as an alternative strategy to integrate conventional therapeutic approaches against cancer. In the present work, we report the identification of two new small molecule inhibitors of 14-3-3σ/c-Abl protein-protein interaction (BV01 and BV101) discovered by means of computational methods. The most interesting compound (BV01) showed a lethal dose (LD(50)) in the low micromolar range against Ba/F3 murine cell lines expressing the Imatinib (IM)-sensitive wild type Bcr-Abl construct and the IM-resistant Bcr-Abl mutation T315I. BV01 interaction with 14-3-3σ was demonstrated by NMR studies and elucidated by docking. It blocked the binding domain of 14-3-3σ, hence promoting the release of the partner protein c-Abl (the one not involved in Bcr rearrangement), and its translocation to both the nuclear compartment and mitochondrial membranes to induce a pro-apoptotic response. Our results advance BV01 as a confirmed hit compound capable of eliciting apoptotic death of Bcr-Abl-expressing cells by interfering with 14-3-3σ/c-Abl protein-protein interaction.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A hit optimization protocol applied to the first nonnucleoside inhibitor of the ATPase activity of human DEAD-box RNA helicase DDX3 led to the design and synthesis of second-generation rhodanine derivatives with better inhibitory activity toward cellular DDX3 and HIV-1 replication. Additional DDX3 inhibitors were identified among triazine compounds. Biological data were rationalized in terms of structure-activity relationships and docking simulations. Antiviral activity and cytotoxicity of selected DDX3 inhibitors are reported and discussed. A thorough analysis confirmed human DDX3 as a valid anti-HIV target. The compounds described herein represent a significant advance in the pursuit of novel drugs that target HIV-1 host cofactors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Compounds currently used for the treatment of HIV-1 Infections are targeted to viral proteins. However, the high intrinsic mutation and replication rates of HIV-1 often lead to the emergence of drug resistant strains and consequent therapeutic failure. On this basis, cellular cofactors represent attractive new targets for HIV-1 chemotherapy, since targeting a cellular factor that is required for viral replication should help to overcome the problem of viral resistance. We and others have recently reported the identification of compounds suppressing HIV-1 replication by targeting the cellular DEAD-box helicase DDX3. These results provide a proof-of-principle for the feasibility of blocking HIV-1 infection by rendering the host cell environment less favorable for the virus. The rationale for such an approach and its implications in potentially overcoming the problem of drug resistance related to drugs targeting viral proteins will be discussed in the context of the known cellular functions of the DEAD-box helicase DDX3.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 06/2011; 18(20):3015-27. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fyn is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase belonging to the Src family kinases. It has been shown to play important roles in neuronal functions, including myelination and oligodendrocytes formation, and in inflammatory processes. It has also demonstrated its involvement in signaling pathways that lead to severe brain pathologies, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Moreover, Fyn is upregulated in some malignancies. Experimental studies demonstrated that Fyn inhibition could be useful in the disruption of metabolic processes involved in cancer neurodegenerative diseases. Unfortunately, no specific Fyn inhibitor has been discovered till today, active compounds on other members of Src family or on different tyrosine kinases have also been reported. However, multitargeted inhibitors might be endowed with therapeutic potential. Indeed, as increasingly reported, also a not completely selective inhibitor of a specific protein could be therapeutically useful, affecting a number of cell pathways involved especially in cancer development. In this review, we report some examples of small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors for which data on Fyn inhibition, both in enzymatic and in cell assays, have been reported, with the aim of giving information as starting point for the researchers working in this field.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 06/2011; 18(19):2921-42. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A library of 23 pyrazolo-pyrimidine compounds Src tyrosine kinase (TK) inhibitors, that reduced proliferation of a human osteogenic sarcoma cell line, was taken to investigate lack of correlation between inhibition of cellular viability (CV%) and enzymatic inhibition constants (K(i) Src). With the aim of understanding this behaviour, we focused on physico-chemical parameters which characterize partition coefficient and diffusion through membrane. Parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) has been frequently used for the evaluation of in vitro permeability of new chemical entities and, in this paper, a new approach for determining permeability of low soluble compounds was obtained. Goodness of PAMPA methodology was confirmed by logK(w) and computational approaches, by VolSurf, Cerius(2) and QikProp software programs. The results suggest that the lipophilicity and passive diffusion across the membranes do not significantly influence the activity of the compounds. This trend can be explained by a different target for some of the compounds in our set. In fact some compounds resulted also to be active toward Abl enzyme, another cytoplasmatic TK.
European journal of medicinal chemistry 05/2009; 44(9):3712-7. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quality QSAR: A combination of docking calculations and a statistical approach toward Abl inhibitors resulted in a 3D QSAR model, the analysis of which led to the identification of ligand portions important for affinity. New compounds designed on the basis of the model were found to have very good affinity for the target, providing further validation of the model itself.The X-ray crystallographic coordinates of the Abl tyrosine kinase domain in its active, inactive, and Src-like inactive conformations were used as targets to simulate the binding mode of a large series of pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidines (known Abl inhibitors) by means of GOLD software. Receptor-based alignments provided by molecular docking calculations were submitted to a GRID-GOLPE protocol to generate 3D QSAR models. Analysis of the results showed that the models based on the inactive and Src-like inactive conformations had very poor statistical parameters, whereas the sole model based on the active conformation of Abl was characterized by significant internal and external predictive ability. Subsequent analysis of GOLPE PLS pseudo-coefficient contour plots of this model gave us a better understanding of the relationships between structure and affinity, providing suggestions for the next optimization process. On the basis of these results, new compounds were designed according to the hydrophobic and hydrogen bond donor and acceptor contours, and were found to have improved enzymatic and cellular activity with respect to parent compounds. Additional biological assays confirmed the important role of the selected compounds as inhibitors of cell proliferation in leukemia cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV-1 replication has been inhibited by using a compound able to target the human cellular cofactor DEAD-box ATPase DDX3, essential for HIV-1 RNA nuclear export. This compound, identified by means of a computational protocol based on pharmacophoric modeling and molecular docking calculations, represents the first small molecule with such a mechanism of action and could lay the foundations for a pioneering approach for the treatment of HIV-1 infections.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 11/2008; 51(21):6635-8. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Suggestions derived from a previous ligand-based ligand design approach and docking calculations aimed at finding compound with affinity toward Abl and molecular scaffolds previously untested as Abl inhibitors, led to the identification of commercially available N-(thiazol-2-yl)-2-thiophene carboxamide derivatives with affinity in a cell-free assay up to low nanomolar concentrations, significantly enhanced with respect to that of their parent compounds previously reported. In particular, among compounds of the Asinex database, molecular docking simulations guided the choice of high-affinity ligands, predicting their binding mode and their interaction pattern with the Abl catalytic binding site. Moreover, affinity of the new compounds was also rationalized in terms of their interactions with the enzyme.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of substituted benzoylamino-2-[(4-benzyl)thio]-1,3,4-thiadiazoles has been discovered as potent Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Molecular docking simulations on the Abl tyrosine kinase were conducted in order to rationalize the SAR of the synthesized inhibitors. The most active compound identified from the enzymatic screening (6a) showed interesting inhibitory activity on Imatinib-sensitive murine myeloid 3B clone and Bcr-Abl-independent Imatinib-resistant leukemia cells. Surprisingly, 6a was also proved to act as differentiating inducers in human promyelocytic leukemia cells (HL-60).