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Publications (4)16.69 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The genus Mycobacterium includes non-pathogenic species such as M. smegmatis, and pathogenic species such as M. tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB). Treatment of TB requires a lengthy regimen of several antibiotics, whose effectiveness has been compromised by the emergence of resistant strains. New antibiotics that can shorten the treatment course and those that have not been compromised by bacterial resistance are needed. In this study, we report that thiadiazolidinones, a relatively little-studied heterocyclic class, inhibit the activity of mycobacterial alanine racemase, an essential enzyme that converts L-alanine to D-alanine for peptidoglycan synthesis. Twelve members of the thiadiazolidinone family were evaluated for inhibition of M. tuberculosis and M. smegmatis alanine racemase activity and bacterial growth. Thiadiazolidinones inhibited M. tuberculosis and M. smegmatis alanine racemases to different extents with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) ranging from <0.03 to 28μM and 23 to >150μM, respectively. The compounds also inhibited the growth of these bacteria, including multidrug resistant strains of M. tuberculosis. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) for drug-susceptible M. tuberculosis and M. smegmatis ranged from 6.25μg/ml to 100μg/ml, and from 1.56 to 6.25μg/ml for drug-resistant M. tuberculosis. The in vitro activities of thiadiazolidinones suggest that this family of compounds might represent starting points for medicinal chemistry efforts aimed at developing novel antimycobacterial agents.
    Biochemical pharmacology 05/2013; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a catalytic cytokine and an upstream mediator of the inflammatory pathway. MIF has broad regulatory properties, dysregulation of which has been implicated in the pathology of multiple immunological diseases. Inhibition of MIF activity with small molecules has proven beneficial in a number of disease models. Known small molecule MIF inhibitors typically bind in the tautomerase site of the MIF trimer, often covalently modifying the catalytic proline. Allosteric MIF inhibitors, particularly those that associate with the protein by noncovalent interactions, could reveal novel ways to block MIF activity for therapeutic benefit and serve as chemical probes to elucidate the structural basis for the diverse regulatory properties of MIF. In this study, we report the identification and functional characterization of a novel allosteric MIF inhibitor. Identified from a high throughput screening effort, this sulfonated azo compound termed p425 strongly inhibited the ability of MIF to tautomerize 4-hydroxyphenyl pyruvate. Furthermore, p425 blocked the interaction of MIF with its receptor, CD74, and interfered with the pro-inflammatory activities of the cytokine. Structural studies revealed a unique mode of binding for p425, with a single molecule of the inhibitor occupying the interface of two MIF trimers. The inhibitor binds MIF mainly on the protein surface through hydrophobic interactions that are stabilized by hydrogen bonding with four highly specific residues from three different monomers. The mode of p425 binding reveals a unique way to block the activity of the cytokine for potential therapeutic benefit in MIF-associated diseases.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2012; 287(36):30653-63. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a human pathogen and a major cause of hospital-acquired infections. New antibacterial agents that have not been compromised by bacterial resistance are needed to treat MRSA-related infections. We chose the S. aureus cell wall synthesis enzyme, alanine racemase (Alr) as the target for a high-throughput screening effort to obtain novel enzyme inhibitors, which inhibit bacterial growth. Among the 'hits' identified was a thiadiazolidinone with chemical properties attractive for lead development. This study evaluated the mode of action, antimicrobial activities, and mammalian cell cytotoxicity of the thiadiazolidinone family in order to assess its potential for development as a therapeutic agent against MRSA. The thiadiazolidones inhibited Alr activity with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC₅₀) ranging from 0.36 to 6.4 μM, and they appear to inhibit the enzyme irreversibly. The series inhibited the growth of S. aureus, including MRSA strains, with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranging from 6.25 to 100 μg/ml. The antimicrobial activity showed selectivity against Gram-positive bacteria and fungi, but not Gram-negative bacteria. The series inhibited human HeLa cell proliferation. Lead development centering on the thiadiazolidinone series would require additional medicinal chemistry efforts to enhance the antibacterial activity and minimize mammalian cell toxicity.
    Biochemical pharmacology 11/2011; 83(3):368-77. · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to discover new drugs to treat tuberculosis (TB) we chose alanine racemase as the target of our drug discovery efforts. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB, alanine racemase plays an essential role in cell wall synthesis as it racemizes L-alanine into D-alanine, a key building block in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan. Good antimicrobial effects have been achieved by inhibition of this enzyme with suicide substrates, but the clinical utility of this class of inhibitors is limited due to their lack of target specificity and toxicity. Therefore, inhibitors that are not substrate analogs and that act through different mechanisms of enzyme inhibition are necessary for therapeutic development for this drug target. To obtain non-substrate alanine racemase inhibitors, we developed a high-throughput screening platform and screened 53,000 small molecule compounds for enzyme-specific inhibitors. We examined the 'hits' for structural novelty, antimicrobial activity against M. tuberculosis, general cellular cytotoxicity, and mechanism of enzyme inhibition. We identified seventeen novel non-substrate alanine racemase inhibitors that are structurally different than any currently known enzyme inhibitors. Seven of these are active against M. tuberculosis and minimally cytotoxic against mammalian cells. This study highlights the feasibility of obtaining novel alanine racemase inhibitor lead compounds by high-throughput screening for development of new anti-TB agents.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(5):e20374. · 3.53 Impact Factor