Ding Li

Sun Yat-Sen University, Shengcheng, Guangdong, China

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Publications (87)280.69 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we found that three enzymes, MVK, MDD and FPPS, in the mevalonate pathway (MVP) of cholesterol biosynthesis, can be simultaneously inhibited by two green tea polyphenols ((-)-epicatechin-3-gallate, ECG; (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, EGCG). Molecular dynamics simulations and pharmacophore studies were carried out to elucidate the tri-targeted inhibition mechanisms. Our results indicate that similar triangular binding pockets exist in all three enzymes, which is essential for their binding with polyphenols. Two distinct binding poses for ECG and EGCG were observed in our MD simulations. These results shed light on the potential for further selective and multi-targeted inhibitor design for the treatment of hyperlipidemia.
    Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 05/2014; · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A tailor-made colorimetric and red-emitting fluorescent dual probe for G-quadruplex nucleic acids was developed by incorporating a coumarin-hemicyanine fluorophore into an isaindigotone framework. The significant and distinct changes in both the color and fluorescence of this probe enable the label-free and visual detection of G-quadruplex structures.
    Chemical communications (Cambridge, England). 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder that is characterized by dementia, cognitive impairment, and memory loss. Diverse factors are related to the development of AD, such as increased level of β-amyloid (Aβ), acetylcholine, metal ion deregulation, hyperphosphorylated tau protein, and oxidative stress. The following methods were used: organic syntheses of 1H-phenanthro[9,10-d]imidazole derivatives, inhibition of self-mediated and metal-induced Aβ1-42 aggregation, inhibition studies for acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, anti-oxidation activity studies, CD, MTT assay, transmission electron microscopy, dot plot assay, gel electrophoresis, Western blot, and molecular docking studies. We synthesized and characterized a new type of 1H-phenanthro[9,10-d]imidazole derivatives as multifunctional agents for AD treatment. Our results showed that most of these derivatives exhibited strong Aβ aggregation inhibitory activity. Compound 9g had 74% Aβ1-42 aggregation inhibitory effect at 10 μM concentration with its IC50 value of 6.5 μM for self-induced Aβ1-42 aggregation. This compound also showed good inhibition of metal-mediated (Cu(2+) and Fe(2+)) and acetylcholinesterase-induced Aβ1-42 aggregation, as indicated by using thioflavin T assay, transmission electron microscopy, gel electrophoresis, and Western blot. Besides, compound 9g exhibited cholinesterase inhibitory activity, with its IC50 values of 0.86 μM and 0.51 μM for acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, respectively. In addition, compound 9g showed good anti-oxidation effect with oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value of 2.29. Compound 9g was found to be a potent multi-target-directed agent for Alzheimer's disease. Compound 9g could become a lead compound for further development as a multi-target-directed agent for AD treatment.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2014; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular nucleic acid binding protein (CNBP) has been implicated in vertebrate craniofacial development and in myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) and sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) human diseases by controlling cell proliferation and survival to mediate neural crest expansion. CNBP has been found to bind single-stranded nucleic acid and promote rearrangements of nucleic acid secondary structure in an ATP-independent manner, acting as a nucleic acid chaperone. A variety of methods were used, including cell viability assays, wound-scratch assays, chemotaxis assays, invasion assays, circular dichroic (CD) spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, chromatin immunoprecipitation, expression and purification of recombinant human CNBP, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analyses, Luciferase reporter assay, Western blotting, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Up-regulation of CNBP induced human fibrosarcoma cell death and suppressed fibrosarcoma cells motility and invasiveness. It was found that CNBP transcriptionally down-regulated expression of heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) through its conversion of a G-rich sequence into G-quadruplex in the promoter of hnRNP K. G-Quadruplex stabilizing ligand tetra-(N-methyl-4-pyridyl) porphyrin (TMPyP4) could interact with and stabilize the G-quadruplex, resulting in downregulation of hnRNP K transcription. CNBP overexpression caused increase of cell death and suppression of cell metastasis through its induction of G-quadruplex formation in the promoter of hnRNP K resulting in hnRNP K down-regulation. The present result provided a new solution for controlling hnRNP K expression, which should shed light on new anticancer drug design and development.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects 01/2014; · 3.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Telomere is protected by its G-quadruplex, T-loop structure, telomerase, and binding protein complex. Protein POT1 (protection of telomeres 1) is one subunit of telomere binding protein complex Shelterin. POT1 acts as a regulator of telomerase-dependent telomere length, and it can help telomere to form D-loop structure to stabilize telomere. POT1 protects telomere ends from ATR-dependent DNA damage response as well. Methods Extensive methods were used, including CD, EMSA, ITC, PCR stop assay, luciferase reporter assay, quantitative real-time PCR, Western blot, chromatin immunoprecipitation (Ch-IP), cloning, expression and purification of proteins. Results We found a new G-rich 30-base-pair long sequence (P-pot1 G18) located from -165 to -136 base pairs upstream of the translation starting site of protein POT1. This sequence in the promoter region of pot1 gene formed G-quadruplex resulting in down-regulation of pot1 gene transcription. This G-rich sequence is close to a binding site “TCCC” for transcription factor hnRNP K (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K), and its conversion to G-quadruplex prevented the access of hnRNP K to this binding site. The binding of hnRNP K could up-regulate pot1 gene transcription. TMPyP4 (meso-tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphine) has been widely used as G-quadruplex binding ligand, which stabilized the G-quadruplex in vitro and in cellulo, resulting in down-regulation of pot1 gene transcription. Conclusions This G-quadruplex might become a potentially new drug target for antitumor agents. General significance Our results first demonstrated that G-quadruplex formation can affect the binding of transcription factor to its nearby binding site, and thus making additional influence to gene transcription.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects 01/2014; · 3.85 Impact Factor
  • Dyes and Pigments 01/2014; 107:97–105. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (FPPS) is a key regulatory enzyme in the biosynthesis of cholesterol and in the post-translational modification of signaling proteins. It has been reported that non-bisphosphonate FPPS inhibitors targeting its allosteric binding pocket are potentially important for the development of promising anti-cancer drugs. The following methods were used: organic syntheses of non-bisphophonate quinoline derivatives, enzyme inhibition studies, fluorescence titration assays, synergistic effect studies of quinoline derivatives with zoledronate, ITC studies for the binding of FPPS with quinoline derivatives, NMR-based HAP binding assays, molecular modeling studies, fluorescence imaging assay and MTT assays. We report our syntheses of a series of quinoline derivatives as new FPPS inhibitors possibly targeting the allosteric site of the enzyme. Compound 6b showed potent inhibition to FPPS without significant hydroxyapatite binding affinity. The compound showed synergistic inhibitory effect with active-site inhibitor zoledronate. ITC experiment confirmed the good binding effect of compound 6b to FPPS, and further indicated the binding ratio of 1:1. Molecular modeling studies showed that 6b could possibly bind to the allosteric binding pocket of the enzyme. The fluorescence microscopy indicated that these compounds could get into cancer cells. The traditional FPPS active-site inhibitors bisphosphonates show poor membrane permeability to tumor cells, due to their strong polarity. The development of new non-bisphophonate FPPS inhibitors with good cell membrane permeability is potentially important. Our results showed that quinoline derivative 6b could become a new lead compound for further optimization for cancer treatment.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 11/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of pyridophenazine derivatives were synthesized and characterized as DNA intercalating fluorophores. These pyridophenazines showed absorption maxima at ca. 450 nm, and some compounds exhibited strong fluorescence at ca. 530 nm with excellent quantum yields in ethyl acetate solution. DNA binding properties of these pyridophenazines to calf thymus DNA (CT DNA) were studied in phosphate buffered saline at pH 7.4 by means of fluorescence titration. All compounds showed high binding affinity toward CT DNA with binding constant values in the range of 106 M−1, with fluorescence enhancement upon their binding to CT DNA. The fluorescent aminoethylpiperidine substituted pyridophenazine was employed as a sensitive agent for DNA determination with a limit of detection of 65 nM over a linear range of 100–1000 nM. The fluorescence titration and Top1 mediated DNA unwinding assay showed that this derivative exhibited DNA intercalation.
    Dyes and Pigments 10/2013; 99(1):82–89. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two series of novel C-9 chloro- and bromo-substituted mansonone E derivatives with triazole moieties at the C-3 position were prepared by using copper-catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition click chemistry. These compounds were found as potent inhibitors of topoisomerase II (Topo II) and topoisomerase I (Topo I). The Topo II-mediated pBR322 DNA relaxation and cleavage assay showed that the derivatives might act as catalytic inhibitors. Their cytotoxic activities against A549, HL-60, K562 and HeLa cells were evaluated, indicating that these compounds were potent antitumour agents. Their structure activity relationships and molecular docking study revealed that the substituents of the triazole were particularly important for cytotoxicity.
    European journal of medicinal chemistry 08/2013; 68C:58-71. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: G-quadruplexes are promising therapeutic targets for small molecules. In general, the introduction of steady positive charges through the in situ alkylation of nitrogen atoms within potential G-quadruplex ligands can significantly improve their quadruplex binding and stabilization abilities. However, our previous studies on bisaryldiketene derivatives showed that the derivative M4, whose central piperidone moiety is quaternized, exhibits a poor G-quadruplex stabilization ability. To clarify this unusual finding, CD, ITC, UV and NMR analyses were performed to determine the binding behaviors of M4 and its non-quaternized analog M2 to G-quadruplex DNA [d(TGGGT)]4. Molecular modeling approaches were also employed to help illustrate ligand-quadruplex DNA interactions. The CD melting and ITC analyses revealed that M2 exhibited much stronger stabilization and binding abilities to [d(TGGGT)]4 compared to M4. Moreover, the CD and ITC analyses in combination with UV, NMR and MD simulations revealed that M2 tended to be end-stacked on the G-quartet, whereas M4 tended to be bound in the groove region. Analysis of the electrostatic potential showed that the charged surface of M4 was more positive than that of M2 and other reported ligands that bind to the G-quadruplex via end-stacking interactions. The results indicated that the different positively charged surfaces of M2 and M4 might be the key reason for their different binding modes. These different binding modes also lead to different binding affinities and stabilization abilities for [d(TGGGT)]4. These results provide new clues for the rational design of G-quadruplex-binding small molecules with steady positive charges.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 07/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: G-Quadruplex is a highly polymorphic structure, and its behavior in acidic condition has not been well studied. Circular dichroism (CD) spectra were used to study the conformational change of G-quadruplex. The thermal stabilities of the G-quadruplex were measured with CD melting. Interconversion kinetics profiles were investigated by using CD kinetics. The fluorescence of the inserted 2-Aminopurine (Ap) was monitored during pH change and acrylamide quenching, indicating the status of the loop. Proton NMR was adopted to help illustrate the change of the conformation. G-Quadruplex of specific loop was found to be able to transform upon pH variation. The transformation was resulted from the loop rearrangement. After screening of a library of diverse G-quadruplex, a sequence exhibiting the best transformation property was found. A pH-driven nanoswitch with three gears was obtained based on this transition cycle. Certain G-quadruplex was found to go through conformational change at low pH. Loop was the decisive factor controlling the interconversion upon pH variation. G-Quadruplex with TT central loop could be converted in a much milder condition than the one with TTA loop. It can be used to design pH-driven nanodevices such as a nanoswitch. These results provide more insights into G-quadruplex polymorphism, and also contribute to the design of DNA-based nanomachines and logic gates.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 06/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of disubstituted bis(vinylquinolinium)benzene derivatives were designed, which were prepared through a facile three-component one-pot reaction in good yield. FRET results showed that 1,3-disubstituted benzene derivatives had much stronger stabilization effect on G-quadruplex DNA than that of 1,4-disubstituted benzene derivatives. The introduction of substituted amine side chain at quinolinium obviously increased the binding affinity of compounds to G-quadruplex DNA. It was also found that 1,3-disubstituted benzene derivatives and 1,4-disubstituted benzene derivatives had different effects on the conformation of G-quadruplex DNA by CD spectroscopy analysis. The differences for the interactions of these two classes of compounds with G-quadruplex were further studied and elaborated through molecular modeling experiments.
    Tetrahedron. 06/2013; 69(24):4922–4932.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Guanine-rich sequence of c-myc nucleic hypersensitive element (NHE) III1 is known to fold in G-quadruplex and subsequently serves as transcriptional silencer. Cellular nucleic-acid-binding protein (CNBP), a highly conserved zinc-finger protein with multiple biological functions, could bind to c-myc NHE III1 region, specifically to the single strand G-rich sequence. METHODS: Cloning, expression and purification of protein, EMSA, CD, FRET, Ch-IP, RNA Interference, Luciferase Reporter Assay, SPR, Co-Immunoprecipitation, and Co-transfection. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: We found that human CNBP specifically bound to the G-rich sequence of c-myc NHE III1 region both in vitro and in cellulo, and subsequently promoted the formation of G-quadruplex. CNBP could induce a transient decrease followed by an increase in c-myc transcription in vivo. The interaction of CNBP with NM23-H2 was responsible for the increase of c-myc transcription. Based on above experimental results, a new mechanism, involving G-quadruplex related CNBP/NM23-H2 interaction, for the regulation of c-myc transcription was proposed. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: These findings indicated that the regulation of c-myc transcription through NHE III1 region might be governed by mechanisms involving complex protein-protein interactions, and suggested a new possibility of CNBP as a potential anti-cancer target based on CNBP's biological function in c-myc transcription.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 06/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of new isoliquiritigenin (ISL) derivatives were synthesized and evaluated as dual inhibitors for amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregation and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO). It was found that all these synthetic compounds inhibited Aβ (1-42) aggregation effectively with their IC50 values ranged from 2.2 ± 1.5 μM to 23.8 ± 2.0 μM. These derivatives also showed inhibitory activity to 5-LO with their IC50 values ranged from 6.1 ± 0.1 μM to 35.9 ± 0.3 μM. Their structure-activity relationships (SAR) and mechanisms of inhibitions were studied. This study provided potentially important information for further development of ISL derivatives as multifunctional agents for Alzheimer's disease (AD) treatment.
    European journal of medicinal chemistry 05/2013; 66C:22-31. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Topoisomerases (Topo I and Topo II) are very important players in DNA replication, repair, and transcription, and are a promising class of antitumor target. In present study, a series of benzo[a]phenazine derivatives with alkylamino side chains at C-5 were designed, synthesized, and their biological activities were evaluated. Most of derivatives showed good antiproliferative activity with a range of IC50 values of 1-10 μM on the four cancer cell lines HeLa, A549, MCF-7, and HL-60. Topoisomerase-mediated DNA relaxation assay results showed that derivatives could effectively inhibit the activity of both Topo I and Topo II, and the structure-activity relationship studies indicated the importance of introducing an alkylamino side chain. Further mechanism studies revealed that the compounds could stabilize the Topo I-DNA cleavage complexes and inhibit the ATPase activity of hTopo II, indicating that they are a rare class of dual topoisomerase inhibitors by acting as Topo I poisons and Topo II catalytic inhibitors. Moreover, flow cytometric analysis and caspase-3/7 activation assay showed that this class of compounds could induce apoptosis of HL-60 cells.
    Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 05/2013; · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of 7,8-dehydrorutaecarpine derivatives were synthesized and characterized as potential multifunctional agents for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). All of these synthetic compounds showed high acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity with IC50 values ranged from 0.60 to 196.7 nM, and good selectivity for AChE over butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) (125- to 3225-fold). A Lineweaver-Burk plot and molecular modeling study indicated these compounds could bind to both catalytic active site and the peripheral anionic site of AChE. Besides, compounds showed higher activity of inhibiting AChE-induced amyloid-beta (Aβ) aggregation than curcumin, higher anti-oxidative activity than Trolox, and could also be good metal chelators. Considering their low cytotoxicity, our results indicated that these derivatives provide good templates for developing new multifunctional agents for AD treatment.
    European journal of medicinal chemistry 02/2013; 63C:299-312. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Mevalonate pathway is an important cellular metabolic pathway present in all higher eukaryotes and many bacteria. Four enzymes in mevalonate pathway, including MVK, PMK, MDD, and FPPS, play important regulatory roles in cholesterol biosynthesis and cell proliferation. METHODS: The following methods were used: cloning, expression and purification of enzymes in mevalonate pathway, organic syntheses of multifunctional enzyme inhibitors, measurement of their IC50 values for above four enzymes, kinetic studies of enzyme inhibitions, molecular modeling studies, cell viability tests, and fluorescence microscopy. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: We report our multi-target-directed design, syntheses, and characterization of two blue fluorescent bisphosphonate derivatives compounds 15 and 16 as multifunctional enzyme inhibitors in mevalonate pathway. These two compounds had good inhibition to all these four enzymes with their IC50 values at nanomolar to micromolar range. Kinetic and molecular modeling studies showed that these two compounds could bind to the active sites of all these four enzymes. The fluorescence microscopy indicated that these two compounds could easily get into cancer cells. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Multifunctional enzyme inhibitors are generally more effective than single enzyme inhibitors, with fewer side effects. Our results showed that these multifunctional inhibitors could become lead compounds for further development for the treatment of soft-tissue tumors and hypercholesteremia.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 02/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, a series of novel azaoxoisoaporphine derivatives were reported and their inhibitory activities toward acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), and Aβ aggregation were evaluated. The new compounds remained high inhibitory potency on Aβ aggregation, with inhibitory activity from 29.42% to 89.63% at a concentration of 10μM, but had no action on AChE or BuChE, which was very different from our previously reported oxoaporphine and oxoisoaporphine derivatives. By 3D-QSAR studies, we constructed a reliable CoMFA model (q(2)=0.856 and r(2)=0.986) based on the inhibitory activities toward AChE and discovered key information on structure and anti-AChE activities among the azaoxoisoaporphine, oxoaporphine, and oxoisoaporphine derivatives. The model was further confirmed by the test-set validation (q(2)=0.873, r(2)=0.937, and slope k=0.902) and Y-randomization examination. The statistically significant and physically meaningful 3D-QSAR/CoMFA model provided better insight into understanding the inhibitory behaviors of those chemicals, which may provide useful information for the rational molecular design of azaoxoisoaporphine derivatives anti-AChE and anti-AD agents.
    Journal of molecular graphics & modelling 02/2013; 41C:61-67. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To improve the selectivity of indoloquinoline or benzofuroquinoline derivatives, we previously reported several quinazoline derivatives [17]. These compounds could mimic a tetracyclic aromatic system through intramolecular hydrogen bond. Studies showed that these quinazoline derivatives were effective and selective telomeric G-quadruplex ligands. With this encouragement, here we synthesized a series of N-(2-(quinazolin-2-yl)phenyl)benzamide (QPB) compounds as modified quinazoline derivatives. In this modification, a phenyl group was introduced to the aromatic core. The evaluation results showed that part of QPB derivatives had stronger binding ability and better selectivity for telomeric G-quadruplex DNA than LZ-11, the most potential compound of reported quinazoline derivatives. Furthermore, telomerase inhibition of QPB derivatives and their cellular effects were studied.
    European journal of medicinal chemistry 02/2013; 63C:1-13. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Short/branched chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SBCAD), isovaleryl-CoA dehydrogenase (IVD), and isobutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase (IBD) are involved in metabolism of isoleucine, leucine, and valine, respectively. These three enzymes all belong to acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (ACD) family, and catalyze the dehydrogenation of monomethyl branched-chain fatty acid (mmBCFA) thioester derivatives. In the present work, the catalytic properties of rat SBCAD, IVD, and IBD, including their substrate specificity, isomerase activity, and enzyme inhibition, were comparatively studied. Our results indicated that SBCAD has its catalytic properties relatively similar to those of straight-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenases in terms of their isomerase activity and enzyme inhibition, while IVD and IBD are different. IVD has relatively broader substrate specificity than those of the other two enzymes in accommodating various substrate analogs. The present study increased our understanding for the metabolism of monomethyl branched-chain fatty acids (mmBCFAs) and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which should also be useful for selective control of a particular reaction through the design of specific inhibitors.
    Bioorganic Chemistry 12/2012; 47C:1-8. · 1.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

300 Citations
280.69 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2014
    • Sun Yat-Sen University
      • • School of Pharmaceutical Science
      • • Department of Chemical Engineering
      Shengcheng, Guangdong, China
  • 2002–2013
    • City University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Biology and Chemistry
      Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • 2003–2011
    • The University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong