[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhibition of protein kinases has validated therapeutic utility for cancer, with at least seven kinase inhibitor drugs on the market. Protein kinase inhibition also has significant potential for a variety of other diseases, including diabetes, pain, cognition, and chronic inflammatory and immunologic diseases. However, as the vast majority of current approaches to kinase inhibition target the highly conserved ATP-binding site, the use of kinase inhibitors in treating nononcology diseases may require great selectivity for the target kinase. As protein kinases are signal transducers that are involved in binding to a variety of other proteins, targeting alternative, less conserved sites on the protein may provide an avenue for greater selectivity. Here we report an affinity-based, high-throughput screening technique that allows nonbiased interrogation of small molecule libraries for binding to all exposed sites on a protein surface. This approach was used to screen both the c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase Jnk-1 (involved in insulin signaling) and p38α (involved in the formation of TNFα and other cytokines). In addition to canonical ATP-site ligands, compounds were identified that bind to novel allosteric sites. The nature, biological relevance, and mode of binding of these ligands were extensively characterized using two-dimensional (1)H/(13)C NMR spectroscopy, protein X-ray crystallography, surface plasmon resonance, and direct enzymatic activity and activation cascade assays. Jnk-1 and p38α both belong to the MAP kinase family, and the allosteric ligands for both targets bind similarly on a ledge of the protein surface exposed by the MAP insertion present in the CMGC family of protein kinases and distant from the active site. Medicinal chemistry studies resulted in an improved Jnk-1 ligand able to increase adiponectin secretion in human adipocytes and increase insulin-induced protein kinase PKB phosphorylation in human hepatocytes, in similar fashion to Jnk-1 siRNA and to rosiglitazone treatment. Together, the data suggest that these new ligand series bind to a novel, allosteric, and physiologically relevant site and therefore represent a unique approach to identify kinase inhibitors.
ACS Chemical Biology 01/2011; 6(3):234-44. · 5.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Ghrelin is an endogenous ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) that functions as a short-term meal initiator and a long-term energy balance regulator. Antagonizing GHS-R could be a method to treat obesity. Objective: To review the published in vivo characterization of GHS-R antagonists between 2005 and 2008 and evaluate the validity of antagonizing GHS-R as a therapeutic strategy for obesity. Methods: Primary literature was searched using SciFinder and Google Scholar. Patents were searched using the European Patent Office and SciFinder. Results/conclusion: Several classes of small molecule GHS-R antagonists have been reported to be efficacious in rodent models for weight loss but none has advanced to human clinical trials. Antagonizing GHS-R as a therapy targeting the general obese population is a challenging strategy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of structurally novel stearoyl-CoA desaturase1 (SCD1) inhibitors has been identified via molecular scaffold manipulation. Preliminary structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies led to the discovery of potent, and orally bioavailable piperidine-aryl urea-based SCD1 inhibitors. 4-(2-Chlorophenoxy)-N-[3-(methyl carbamoyl)phenyl]piperidine-1-carboxamide 4c exhibited robust in vivo activity with dose-dependent desaturation index lowering effects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) catalyzes the committed step in the biosynthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids from saturated, long-chain fatty acids. Studies with SCD1 knockout mice have established that these animals are lean and protected from leptin deficiency-induced and diet-induced obesity, with greater whole body insulin sensitivity than wild-type animals. In this work, we have discovered a series of potent, selective, orally bioavailable SCD1 inhibitors based on a known pyridazine carboxamide template. The representative lead inhibitor 28c also demonstrates excellent cellular activity in blocking the conversion of saturated long-chain fatty acid-CoAs (LCFA-CoAs) to monounsaturated LCFA-CoAs in HepG2 cells.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 07/2007; 50(13):3086-100. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hemodynamic effects of a series of potent and selective 4-aminopyridine carboxamide-based pan-JNK inhibitors were assessed in an anesthetized rat model. The effects of these agents on mean arterial pressure, heart rate, cardiac contractility, and peripheral vascular resistance are described, and the implication for targeting protein kinases in metabolic diseases is discussed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structure-activity relationships of 5,6-positions of aminopyridine carboxamide-based c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) inhibitors were explored to expand interaction with the kinase specificity and ribose-binding pockets. The syntheses of analogues and the impact of structural modification on in vitro potency and cellular activity are described.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: C-Jun NH2 terminal kinases (JNKs) are important cell signaling enzymes. JNK1 plays a central role in linking obesity and insulin resistance. JNK2 and JNK3 may be involved in inflammatory and neurological disorders, respectively. Small-molecule JNK inhibitors could be valuable tools to study the therapeutic benefits of inhibiting these enzymes and as leads for potential drugs targeting JNKs. In this report, we disclose a series of potent and highly selective JNK inhibitors with good pharmacokinetic profiles.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 08/2006; 49(15):4455-8. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The discovery and pharmacological evaluation of potent, selective, and orally bioavailable growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) antagonists are reported. Previously, 2,4-diaminopyrimidine-based GHS-R antagonists reported from our laboratories have been shown to be dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors. By comparing the X-ray crystal structure of DHFR docked with our GHS-R antagonists and GHS-R modeling, we designed and synthesized a series of potent and DHFR selective GHS-R antagonists with good pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles. An amide derivative 13d (Ca2+ flux IC50 = 188 nM, [brain]/[plasma] = 0.97 @ 8 h in rat) showed a 10% decrease in 24 h food intake in rats, and over 5% body weight reduction after 14-day oral treatment in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. In comparison, a urea derivative 14c (Ca2+ flux IC50 = 7 nM, [brain]/[plasma] = 0.0 in DIO) failed to show significant effect on food intake in the acute feeding DIO model. These observations demonstrated for the first time that peripheral GHS-R blockage with small molecule GHS-R antagonists might not be sufficient for suppressing appetite and inducing body weight reduction.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 08/2006; 49(15):4459-69. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK-1, -2, and -3) are members of the mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase family of enzymes. They are activated in response to certain cytokines, as well as by cellular stresses including chemotoxins, peroxides, and irradiation. They have been implicated in the pathology of a variety of different diseases with an inflammatory component including asthma, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In this work, high-throughput screening identified a JNK inhibitor with an excellent kinase selectivity profile. Using X-ray crystallography and biochemical screening to guide our lead optimization, we prepared compounds with inhibitory potencies in the low-double-digit nanomolar range, activity in whole cells, and pharmacokinetics suitable for in vivo use. The new compounds were over 1,000-fold selective for JNK-1 and -2 over other MAP kinases including ERK2, p38alpha, and p38delta and showed little inhibitory activity against a panel of 74 kinases.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 07/2006; 49(12):3563-80. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ghrelin, a gut-derived orexigenic hormone, is an endogenous ligand of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R). Centrally administered ghrelin has been shown to cause hunger and increase food intake in rodents. Inhibition of ghrelin actions with ghrelin antibody, peptidyl GHS-R antagonists, and antisense oligonucleosides resulted in weight loss and food intake decrease in rodents. Here we report the effects of GHS-R antagonists, some of which were potent, selective, and orally bioavailable. A structure-activity relationship study led to the discovery of 8a, which was effective in decreasing food intake and body weight in several acute rat studies.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 05/2006; 49(8):2568-78. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The synthesis and structure-activity relationships of the 4- and 6-substituents of 2,4-diaminopyrimidine-based growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) antagonists are described. Diaminopyrimidines with 6-norbornenyl (4n) and 6-tetrahydrofuranyl (4p) substitutents were found to exhibit potent GHS-R antagonism and good selectivity (approximately 1000-fold) against dihydrofolate reductase.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structure-activity relationship studies on a series of tetralin carboxamide growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) antagonists are discussed. It was found that certain 2-alkoxycarbonylamino substituted tetralin carboxamides are potent, selective, and orally bioavailable GHS-R antagonists.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of isoxazole carboxamide derivatives has been developed as potent ghrelin receptor antagonists. The synthesis and structure-activity relationship (SAR) are described.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Novel isoxazole carboxamides have been identified as growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) antagonists. Substituent modification off the 5-position of the isoxazole ring led to analogues with potent binding affinity and functional antagonism of GHS-R. A potent analogue (32) with high aqueous solubility and good GPCR selectivity was also identified as a potential pharmacological tool for in vivo studies.