Current Medicinal Chemistry

Published by Bentham Science

Online ISSN: 1875-533X


Print ISSN: 0929-8673


Fig. (2). The effects of MK-0626 treatment on blood flow recovery after hind limb ischemia in C57CL/B6 mice. (A) Representative results of laser Doppler measurements before operation (control) and 1 day after hind limb ischemia surgery. (B) Representative results of laser Doppler measurements 3 and 5 weeks after hind limb ischemia surgery in mice treated with 0, 0.3, 3 or 30 mg/kg BW MK-0626. The color scale illustrates the blood flow variation from minimal (dark blue) to maximal (red) values. The arrows indicate ischemic (right) limb after hind limb ischemia surgery. (C) Doppler perfusion ratios (ischemic:non-ischemic hind limb) over time in the different groups. Administration of 30 mg/kg BW MK-0626 () and 3 mg/kg BW MK-0626 () for 5 weeks enhanced beneficial blood flow recovery compared with the nonadministered group () at 5 weeks after hind limb ischemia surgery. There was no significant difference in blood flow in the limb in the 0.3 mg/kg BW MK-0626-treated group (compared with the untreated group. (D) Five weeks after ischemia surgery, the ischemia:normal perfusion ratios in the 3 and 30 mg/kg BW MK-0626-treated groups were higher than those in the untreated group. The results are expressed as the mean ± SEM (n=6; *p < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant). 
Figure 2 of 2
MK-0626, A Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Inhibitor, Improves Neovascularization by Increasing Both the Number of Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthetase Expression
  • Article
  • Full-text available

September 2013


392 Reads



Wen-Lin Yi




Current treatment modalities for critical limb ischemia (CLI) are of limited benefit; therefore, advances in therapeutic vasculogenesis may open an important new avenue for the treatment of CLI. This study examines the therapeutic potential of the DPP-4 inhibitor MK-0626 as a regulator of vasculogenesis in vivo. MK-0626 was administered daily to C57CL/B6 mice and eGFP-labeled bone marrow-transplanted ICR mice that had undergone hind limb ischemia surgery. Laser Doppler imaging and flow cytometry were used to evaluate the degree of neo-vasculogenesis and the number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), respectively. Cell surface markers of EPCs and the level of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were studied in the vessels. Mice that received MK-0626 had an elevated level of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and a decreased level of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) in their plasma, in addition to an ischemia-induced increase in the level of stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1). In C57CL/B6 mice, blood flow in the ischemic limb was significantly improved by treatment with MK-0626. The number of circulating EPCs and both the synthesis and phosphorylation of eNOS were also increased in ischemic thigh muscle after MK-0626 treatment. In contrast, similar effects of MK-0626 were not observed in B6.129P2-Nos3tm1Unc/J mice (an eNOS knockout mouse). Additionally, MK-0626 treatment promoted the mobilization and homing of EPCs to ischemic tissue in eGFP transgenic mouse bone marrow-transplanted ICR mice. We conclude that both the number of circulating EPCs and neo-vasculogenesis are increased in response to DPP-4 inhibitor treatment and that this occurs via an eNOS-dependent mechanism. The results highlight the therapeutic vasculogenesis potential of the DPP-4 inhibitor MK-0626 using a hind limb ischemia mouse model.

2-Hydroxy-1-oxo-1,2-dihydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic Acid with Inbuilt β-N-Hydroxy-γ-keto-acid Pharmacophore as HCV NS5B Polymerase Inhibitors

December 2011


117 Reads

The inbuilt 2-N-hydroxy-1-oxo-3-carboxylic acid of isoquinolone was designed as pyrophosphate mimic for hepatitis C NS5B polymerase. Various 2-hydroxy-1-oxo-1,2-dihydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid derivatives 11a-p were synthesized and evaluated as HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitors. Compound 11c exhibited moderate inhibitory potency based on the inorganic pyrophosphate generation (IC₅₀ = 9.5 μM) and based on NTP incorporation by NS5B enzyme (IC₅₀ = 5.9 μM). Compound 11c demonstrated antiviral activity (EC₅₀ = 15.7 μM) and good selectivity in HCV genotype 1b replicon Ava.5 cells. Compound 11c reduced the interaction of NTP to NS5B polymerase. Docking model showed that 11c situated in similar orientation to the bound uridine triphosphate in the active site of NS5B polymerase. As a result, 2-hydroxy-1-oxo-1,2-dihydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid was disclosed as a novel inbuilt β-N-Hydroxy-γ-keto-acid pharmacophore for HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitors.

Recent Trends in 1,2,3-Triazolo-Nucleosides as Promising Anti-Infective and Anticancer Agents

February 2015


578 Reads

The concept of click chemistry represented by the formation of the 1,2,3-triazole core has found wide application in drug discovery, particularly in the early discovery phases and the lead optimization process. 1,2,3-Triazoles have attracted considerable attention in recent years because of their wide range of biological activities against various viruses, malignant cells, microorganisms and their inhibitory activities against several enzymes. This review emphasizes the recent advances on diverse and potent biological profiles of 1,2,3-triazolo-nucleosides, along with emerging application of click chemistry in their synthesis, and their perspective in the development of new bioactive chemical entities in the future. The work is primarily addressed to antiviral, antimicrobial and anticancer potency of this important structural motifs in which the 1,2,3-triazole ring acts as a nucleobase surrogate or is linked to a nucleobase or a sugar/sugar mimic moiety.

Rational Drug Design and the Discovery of the Δ2-1,2,3-Triazolines, A Unique Class of Anticonvulsant and Antiischemic Agents

November 2003


42 Reads

The delta(2)- 1,2,3- triazoline anticonvulsants (TRs) may be considered as representing a unique class of "built-in" heterocyclic prodrugs where the active "structure element" is an integral part of the ring system and can be identified only by a knowledge of their chemical reactivity and metabolism. Investigations on the metabolism and pharmacology of a lead triazoline, ADD17014 suggest that the triazolines function as "prodrugs" and exert their anticonvulsant activity by impairing excitatory amino acid (EAA) L-Glutamate (L-Glu) neurotransmission via a unique "dual-action" mechanism. While an active primary beta-amino alcohol metabolite from the parent prodrug acts as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)/MK -801 receptor antagonist, the parent triazoline impairs the presynaptic release of L-Glu. Various pieces of theoretical reasoning and experimental evidence have led to the clucidation of the dual-action mechanism. Based on the unique chemistry of the triazolines, and their metabolic pathways, biotransformation products of TRs were predicted to be the beta-amino alcohols V and VA, the alpha-amino acid VI, the triazole VII, the aziridine VIII and the ketimine IX. In vivo and in vitro pharmacological studies of the TR and potential metabolites, along with a full quantitative urinary metabolic profiling of TR indicated the primary beta-amino alcohol V as the active species. It was the only compound that inhibited the specific binding of [3H]MK-801 to the MK-801 site, 56% at 10 micro M drug concentration, but itself had no anticonvulsant activity, suggesting TR acted as a prodrug. Three metabolites were identified; V was the most predominant (45.7 +/- 7.6) % of administered drug, with lesser amounts of VA, (17.3 +/- 5.1) % and very minor amounts of aziridine VIII (4.0 +/- 0.02)%. Since only VIII can yield VA, its formation indicated that the biotransformation of TR occurred, at least in part, through aziridine. No amino acid metabolite was detected, which implied that no in vivo oxidation of V or oxidative biotransformation of TR or aziridine by hydroxylation at the methylene group occurred. While triazoline significantly decreased Ca(2+) -dependent, k(+)-evoked L-Glu release (83% at 100 micro M drug concentration ), some triazolines showed an augmentation of 50-63%, in the Cl(-) channel activity, a useful membrane action that reduces the excessive L-Glu release that occurs during epileptic seizures. The high anticonvulsant activity of TRs in a variety of seizure models including their effectiveness in the kindling model of complex partial seizures may be due to their unique dual-action mechanism whereby the TR and V together effectively impair both pre- and postsynaptic aspects of EAA neurotransmission; thus the TRs have clinical potential in the treatment of complex partial epilepsy which is refractory to currently available drugs. Since there is strong evidence that L-Glu plays an important role in human epilepsy as well as in brain ischemia/stroke, and since the TRs act by inhibiting EAA neurotransmission, it was logical to expect that the anticonvulsant TRs may evince beneficial therapeutic potential in cerebral ischemia resulting from stroke as well. And indeed, several TRs, when tested in the standard gerbil model of global ischemia did evince remarkable ability to prevent neuronal death.

Conformational Analysis and Molecular Properties of N-(Substituted Phenylcarbonylamino)- 4-(1-Hydroxymethylphenyl)-1,2,3,6-Tetrahydropyridines

March 2003


27 Reads

The three-dimensional structures of active derivatives of N-(substitutedphenylcarbonylamino)-4-(1-hydroxymethylphenyl)-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyri-dines, which have previously been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activities, were built using BIOMEDCAche 5.0 software program. In addition, the three dimensional structures of some of the inactive ones were similarly generated. The conformational analysis, molecular and electronic structures were examined by molecular mechanics and quantum mechanics calculations. The primary objective was to clarify the effects of physicochemical properties of substituents on activity, since the exact role of the substitution pattern on the phenyl ring is uncertain. In addition, the experimental log P values did not appear to have any influence on the anti-inflammatory potencies of these compounds, since compounds having differing lipid solubilities are equiactive. We found that strongly electron-donating group, such as the para-substituted methoxy group, detracts from activity. The conformational analysis indicated that the 4-ethyl derivative had the lowest energy conformation. Except for compound 1, which showed the lowest surface volume, compounds 2-9 had nearly similar surface volumes.

1,2,4-Oxadiazoles Identified by Virtual Screening and their Non-Covalent Inhibition of the Human 20S Proteasome

March 2013


158 Reads

Although several constitutive proteasome inhibitors have been reported these recent years, potent organic, non-covalent and readily available inhibitors are still poorly documented. Here we used a structure- and ligand-based in silico approach to identify commercially available 1,2,4-oxadiazole derivatives as non-covalent human 20S proteasome inhibitors. Their optimization led to the newly synthesized compound 4h that is a mixed proteasomal inhibitor of the chymotrypsin-like activity (Ki of 26,1 nM and K'i of 7.5 nM) which is in addition selective versus the challenging cathepsin B and calpain proteases. Molecular modeling studies corroborated the mechanism of inhibition and suggest an unusual binding of the inhibitor within the S5 binding pocket (β6 subunit). The cellular effects of our compounds validate their utility as potential pharmacological agents for anti-cancer pre-clinical studies.

Pyrazolo[4,3-e]1,2,4-Triazolo[1,5-c]Pyrimidine Ligands, New Tools to Characterize A3 Adenosine Receptors in Human Tumor Cell Lines

February 2005


26 Reads

Increased concentrations of extracellular adenosine are reached in ischemic or inflamed tissues but have also been detected inside tumoral masses. If this finding may account for an important role of adenosine in the pathogenesis of tumors remains to be determined in view of its contradictory effects on cell survival and proliferation. In particular, adenosine was found to exert its effects on proliferation and on cell death mainly through the A(3) adenosine receptor. Therefore, a complete pharmacological characterization of the subtype and number of the expressed A(3) adenosine receptors is necessary for the elucidation of the role of adenosine via A(3) receptors in a specific cell subtype. The lack of potent and selective radiolabelled A(3) receptor antagonists has been, in the past, the major obstacle in the characterization of structure, function and regulation of this adenosine receptor subtype. Recently, our group has identified a series of substituted pyrazolotriazo-lopyrimidine derivatives as potent and selective antagonists to human A(3) adenosine receptors. The most recent results obtained in this field will be summarized in the present review. Furthermore, the review will report the results of the biochemical and pharmacological characterization of A(3) receptors in different human tumor cell lines and the multiple A(3) receptor-sustained ways that could prime tumor development.

Pharmacophore Design of p38α MAP Kinase Inhibitors with Either 2,4,5-Trisubstituted or 1,2,4,5-Tetrasubstituted Imidazole Scaffold

March 2011


91 Reads

Synthetic compounds with a tri- and tetra-substituted imidazole scaffold are known as selective inhibitors of the p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase responsible for proinflammatory cytokine release. The scope is to review the literature describing their design, synthesis and activity studies. To date a great plethora of crystal structures of p38 in complex with small organic ligands have been published. Cocrystallized ligand information is of particular interest to our review study, i.e. ATP itself, the reference inhibitor SB203580 with its aryl-pyridinyl-imidazoles and related imidazole and pyrimidine-based derivatives. The selective inhibitors bind to the pocket of adenosine 5'-triphoshate (ATP) replacing the latter. The hydrophobic region II, however, is not occupied by the natural binder ATP, but accommodates the pyridine substituents preserving the 4-fluorophenyl ring occupation in pocket I as a prerequisite to gain higher binding selectivity and potency than the reference compound SB203580 (4-[5-(4-fluoro-phenyl)-2-(4-methanesulfinyl-phenyl)-3himidazol-4-yl]-pyridine). Experimental and computed work is reviewed which evidence that the 2 position of the pyrimidine ring is amenable to the introduction of a side chain and the replacement of pyridine in SB203580 by a pyrimidine ring improves both inhibitory activity and selectivity for p38 over other kinases. All ligands with a pyridyl C2 side chain occupy the hydrophobic pocket II and in some cases a double hydrogen bond is reported between methionine 109 and glycine 110 of the hinge region, following an observed backbone shift. The substituted pyridine ring binds stronger than the two other side chains on the imidazole scaffold.

Recent Developments of 2-Substituted Analogs of 1,25(OH)2D3
The plethora of biological activities of 1,25(OH)2D3 and its analogs suggests an enormous potential for vitamin D therapy in the treatment of hyperproliferative diseases (cancer, psoriasis), endocrine dysfunction (hyperparathyroidism), immune disorders (autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection), bone disorders (osteoporosis, Paget's bone disease). However, the therapeutic limitation of 1,25(OH)2D3 is its calcemic and phosphatemic activities, since it can cause serious side effects such as hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia at super physiological levels. Therefore, numerous efforts have been made to find the new vitamin D analogs, that retain the therapeutically important properties of 1,25(OH)2D3, but with greater selectivity, which allows more effective intervention with fewer toxic side effects. This review will focus on the biological activities of the 2-substituted analogs of 1,25(OH)2D3. They were classified as 2α-, 2β-, 2,2-disubstituted analogs, and those with modifications in both the A-ring at the 2-position and the side chains. Their structure-activity relationships and binding features with the vitamin D receptor (VDR) were discussed.

Fig. (1). Linear structure of ERp57/GRp58/1,25D3-MARRS showing different sites.  
Fig. (3). Relative competition of vitamin D metabolites and analogs with [ 3 H]1,25(OH) 2 D 3 for binding to the 1,25D 3 -MARRS recep- tor/ERp57/GRp58. Structures are provided in Fig. 2.  
The ERp57/GRp58/1,25D(3)-MARRS receptor: Multiple functional roles in diverse cell systems

February 2007


446 Reads

ERp57/GRp58 is a thiol-protein disulphide oxidoreductase and has been studied in many clinically relevant systems, both as a chaperone protein and as a membrane receptor for the steroid hormone, 1,25(OH)2D3. Our laboratory investigates phenomena associated with rapid, membrane-initiated signaling by steroid hormones synthesized from vitamin D (cholecalciferol). We have recently reported that the cell surface receptor for the metabolite 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], which we have termed the 1,25D3-MARRS (Membrane Associated, Rapid Response Steroid binding) receptor, is in fact identical to ERp57/GRp58. Here we review the dynamic role ERp57/GRp58/1,25D3-MARRS receptor plays in a variety of cellular processes. Starting with its structure at the DNA and protein levels, we review the available literature about its role as a chaperone protein, in immune function through the assembly of MHC class I molecules, DNA binding, and its function as the 1,25D3-MARRS receptor. Finally, we present the role it may play in relation to important disease states. While ERp57/GR58/1,25D3-MARRS receptor is a pivotal protein in many cell functions, it has yet to be determined whether-and to what extent-these phenomena are regulated by the vitamin D endocrine system. However, 1,25(OH)2D3 is involved in differentiation of certain cancer cells and in muscle function, and ERp57/1,25D3-MARRS protein has been reported to be involved in such processes. Thus, medicinal chemistry aimed at the 1,25D3-MARRS receptor in lymphocytes, cancer cells, bone, intestinal epithelia, and kidney may add to the current therapeutic regimens for various disease states.

Recent Advances in the Research of 2,3-Diaryl-1,3-thiazolidin-4-one Derivatives as Potent HIV-1 Non-nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Derived from the structure of 1H,3H-thiazolo[3,4-a]benzimidazoles (TBZs), 2,3-diaryl-1,3-thiazolidin-4-one derivatives became a novel class of HIV-1 non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Under the guidance of continuous structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis and molecular modeling, various structural modifications were carried out on nearly all the positions of the thiazolidin-4-one nucleus. Some of the derivatives proved to be highly effective against HIV-1 replication at 10-40 nanomolar concentration ranges with minimal cytotoxicities. In this article, the whole development of 2,3-diaryl-1,3-thiazolidin-4-one series from the discoveries to recent advances, their panoramic SAR studies and binding modes based on molecular modeling were reviewed, and also some enlightenments for further investigation were presented.

Recent Progress in the Chemotherapy of Human Fungal Diseases. Emphasis on 1,3-β-Glucan Synthase and Chitin Synthase Inhibitors

December 2013


1,180 Reads

Systemic fungal infections of humans and economically important animals are increasingly common throughout the world. These infections are severe and often hard to treat with existing safe, oral medications. Thus there has been increasing research on alternatives resulting in study of natural and synthetic inhibitors of 1,3-β-Glucan synthase (GS) and chitin synthase (CS)-enzymes important in the biosynthesis of fungal cell walls that are not utilized in human biochemistry. Some such agents have recently been introduced into parenteral clinical use. There is hope that safe agents of this type with oral activity may yet emerge. This active area of research and its historic context with alternative agents is reviewed herein.

Synthesis and Antiproliferative Activity of Substituted 3[2-(1H-indol-3-yl)-1,3-Thiazol-4-yl]-1H-Pyrrolo[3,2-b]Pyridines, Marine Alkaloid Nortopsentin Analogues.

October 2013


125 Reads

A large number of indolyl-4-azaindolyl thiazoles, nortopsentin analogues, were conveniently synthesized. The antiproliferative activity of the new derivatives was examined against four human tumor cell lines with different histologic origin. Seven derivatives consistently reduced the growth of the experimental models independently of TP53 gene status and exhibited the highest activity against the malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (STO) cell line. The most active compound of this series acts as a CDK1 inhibitor, and was found to cause cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase, to induce apoptosis by preventing the phosphorylation of survivin in Thr34 and to increase the cytotoxic activity of paclitaxel in STO cells.

Synthesis, Biological Evaluation and 3D-QSAR of 1,3,5-Trisubstituted-4,5- Dihydro-(1H)-Pyrazole Derivatives as Potent and Highly Selective Monoamine Oxidase A Inhibitors

May 2006


70 Reads

The present report provides a extended study of the chemistry, the inhibitory activity against monoamino oxidases (MAO), and molecular modeling including the 3D-QSAR hypothesis of 1,3,5-trisubstituted-4,5-dihydro-(1H)-pyrazole derivatives. Four series of about eighty novel pyrazoline derivatives were prepared and investigated for their ability to inhibit the activity of the A and B isoforms of MAO selectively. Most of the new synthesized compounds proved more reversible, potent, and selective inhibitors of MAO-A than of MAO-B, and could be taken into account to develop the search further in this field, knowing that reversible and selective MAO-A inhibitors are used as antidepressant and antianxiety drug. The 30 most active compounds show inhibitory activity on MAO-A in the 8.6 x 10(-8) - 9.0 x 10(-9)M range. Moreover, it should be pointed out that for most of them a high IC(50) > or = 10(-9)M value is associated with a high A-selectivity (Selectivity Index MAO-B/MAO-A in the 10,000-16,250 range). Furthermore, due to the presence of a chiral centre at the C5 position of the pyrazole moiety, we performed the semi-preparative chromatographic enantioseparation of the most potent, selective, and chiral compounds. The separated enantiomers were then submitted to in vitro biological evaluation, and from the results of these experiments it has been possible to point out a difference in inhibiting the two isoforms selectively between the racemic mixture and the single enantiomers. The molecular modeling work was carried out combining the Glide docking approach with CoMFA with the aim to rationalize the structure-activity relationships of each pyrazoline inhibitor toward MAO-A and MAO-B isoforms and to derive a suitable selectivity model.

1,4-Dihydropyridine Scaffold in Medicinal Chemistry, The Story So Far And Perspectives (Part 2): Action in Other Targets and Antitargets

June 2012


200 Reads

1,4-Dihydropyridines were introduced in the last century for the treatment of coronary diseases. Then medicinal chemists decorated the 1,4-DHP nucleus, the most studied scaffold among L-type calcium channel blockers, achieving diverse activities at several receptors, channels and enzymes. We already described (Ioan et al. Curr. Med. Chem. 2011, 18, 4901-4922) the effects of 1,4-DHPs at ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors. In this paper we continue the analysis of the wide range of biological effects exerted by compounds belonging to this chemical class. In particular, focus is given to the ability of 1,4-DHPs to revert multi drug resistance that, after over 20 years of research, continues to be of great interest. We also describe activities on other targets and the action of 1,4-DHPs against several diseases. Finally, we report and review the interaction of 1,4-DHPs with the hERG channel, transporters and phase I metabolizing enzymes. This work is a starting point for further exploration of the 1,4-DHP core activities on targets, off-targets and antitargets.

Quinoxaline 1,4-dioxide: a versatile scaffold endowed with manifold activities

February 2005


63 Reads

Since 1940s, Quinoxaline 1,4-dioxides (QdNO's) are known as potent antibacterial agents, and subtherapeutic levels have been used to promote growth and improve efficiency of feed conversion in animal feed. They have also shown a selective cytotoxicity against hypoxic cells present in solid tumours. Furthermore, recent studies have put in evidence that QdNO's are endowed with antitubercular, antiprotozoal and anticandida activities. On the other hand, several authors have reported about photoallergic and mutagenic effects of some derivatives. QdNO's may also cause the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and influence the horizontal transfer of virulence genes between bacteria. In this review article we report the biological properties, the mode of action and Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) studies of the QdNO derivatives. Furthermore, some cytogenetic and genotoxic effects, classical and more recent method of synthesis, the quinoxaline 1,4-dioxides, and some of their most important reactions, were also reported.

Dihydrobenzo[1,4]oxathiine: A Multi-Potent Pharmacophoric Heterocyclic Nucleus

February 2010


24 Reads

2,3-dihydrobenzo[b][1,4]oxathiine represents a valuable pharmacophoric heterocyclic nucleus known since very long time. Initially, together with some patents reporting the use of these compounds as herbicides or lipogenesis inhibitors, several papers reported their ability as melatonin, histamine and serotonin receptor ligands, alpha-adrenoreceptor blockers as well as non-glycoside sweeteners. This wide range of biological activities has been recently further improved by studies stating their activity as antimycotics, multi-defense antioxidants and estrogen receptor ligands. The last insights regarding the preparation, the biological activity and the structure activity relationship (SAR) of derivatives containing the dihydrobenzoxathiine skeleton will be discussed in this review.

1,5-Diaryl-3-oxo-1,4-pentadienes: A Case for Antineoplastics with Multiple Targets

February 2009


47 Reads

A number of organic molecules which contain the 1,5-diaryl-3-oxo-1,4-pentadienyl group, referred to hereafter as the dienone moiety, have antineoplastic properties. Emphasis is made on the attachment of this structural moiety to several molecular scaffolds, namely piperidines, N-acylpiperidines, cycloalkanes and 3,4-dihydro-1H-napthalenes. Many of these compounds are potent cytotoxins having micromolar and nanomolar IC(50) values towards a wide range of neoplastic and transformed cells. On occasions, greater toxicity towards neoplasms than normal cells has been demonstrated. A number of these compounds have in vivo anticancer properties and in general excellent tolerability in rodents is demonstrated. The way in which a number of physicochemical properties such as redox potentials, torsion angles, atomic charges and logP values govern cytotoxic potencies are presented. The importance of the shapes of different compounds as determined by molecular modeling in contributing to antineoplastic properties is outlined. Arguments are presented in favour of designing antineoplastics which have multiple sites of action in contrast to those bioactive molecules which have only one molecular target. A number of compounds which possess the dienone group have different modes of action some of which are chronicled in this review, such as inducing apoptosis, affecting respiration in mitochondria, inhibiting macromolecular biosynthesis and both inhibiting and stimulating certain enzymes. Other important properties of these compounds are discussed including their anti-angiogenic, MDR-revertant and antioxidant properties. It is hoped that this eulogy of the importance of the dienone group will encourage researchers to consider incorporating this structural unit into candidate cytotoxins in the future.

1,4-Dihydropyridine Scaffold in Medicinal Chemistry, The Story so Far And Perspectives (Part 1): Action in Ion Channels and GPCRs

October 2011


205 Reads

Since the pioneering studies of Fleckenstein and co-workers, L-Type Calcium Channel (LTCC) blockers have attracted large interest due to their effectiveness in treating several cardiovascular diseases. Medicinal chemists achieved high potency and tissue selectivity by decorating the 1-4-DHP nucleus, the most studied scaffold among LTCC blockers. Nowadays it is clear that the 1,4-DHP nucleus is a privileged scaffold since, when appropriately substituted, it can selectively modulate diverse receptors, channels and enzymes. Therefore, the 1,4-DHP scaffold could be used to treat various diseases by a single-ligand multi-target approach. In this review, we describe the structure-activity relationships of 1,4-DHPs at ion channels, G-protein coupled receptors, and outline the potential for future therapeutic applications.

Table 4. Antiproliferative Activities Against the MCF-7 Cell Line for the N-9' (23-31) and N-7' (32-41) Purine Compounds 
Table 5. Conditions Studied for the Reaction Between 22 and Several Pyrimidine Bases 
Table 6. Comparison of the Products Obtained in the Condensation Reaction Between 22 and 49 with 6-Chloropurine 
Table 8. Antiproliferative Activities Against Several Cancerous and Normal Cell Lines for 5-FU, 50, 52 and 53 
Fig. (14). Reagents and conditions: a) 6-Chloropurine, Ph 3 P, DIAD, anhydrous THF, 45 ºC.  
Design, Synthesis and Anticancer Activity Against the MCF-7 Cell Line of Benzo-Fused 1,4-Dihetero Seven- and Six-Membered Tethered Pyrimidines and Purines

February 2008


209 Reads

Having previously reported the synthesis and anticancer activities of cyclic 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) O,N-acetalic compounds, the decision was made to change 5-FU for uracil (U), with the prospect of finding an antiproliferative agent endowed with a new mechanism of action. The use of a reverse transcription-PCR-based assay decreased cyclin D1 mRNA, suggesting that this cyclic U O,N-acetalic compound exerts its regulatory action on cyclin D1 at the level of transcription. Following the ongoing Anticancer Drug Programme we planned the synthesis of compounds bearing a natural pyrimidine base and also, the oxygen atom at position 1 of the seven-membered cycle was replaced by its isosteric sulfur atom, and its oxidized states. Next, the pyrimidine base was substituted for the purine one, with the objective of increasing both the lipophilicity and the structural diversity of the target molecules. If the previously described compounds were not prodrugs, it would not be necessary to maintain the O,N-acetalic characteristic. Therefore, molecules were designed in which both structural entities (such as the benzoheterocyclic ring and the purine base) were linked by a heteroatom-C-C-N bond. A series of (RS)-9-(2,3-dihydro-1,4-benzoxathiin-3-ylmethyl)-9H-purine derivatives was obtained and the anticancer activity for the most active compounds was correlated with their capability to induce apoptosis. Finally, completing a SAR study, a series of (RS)-6-substituted-7- or 9-(1,2,3,5-tetrahydro-4,1-benzoxazepine-3-yl)-7H- or 9H-purines was prepared. The studies by microarray technology showed that the main molecular targets of some of these compounds are pro-apoptotic genes with protein kinase activity such as GP132, ERN1 or RAC1, which prevent the metastatic progression.

Chromogranins and Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate-Dependent Ca2+-Signaling in Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure

July 2012


34 Reads

Cardiomyocytes contain secretory granules in which chromogranins and several types of natriuretic peptides and growth factors are stored in addition to high Ca2+ concentrations. Yet the expression and serum levels of chromogranins and natriuretic peptides have been closely correlated with pathological cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Moreover, in distinction from the physiological cardiac hypertrophy that appears not to involve inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) production as the primary signaling step, accumulating evidence underscores the central role of IP3-induced intracellular Ca2+ releases in cardiomyocytes in the development of pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Consistent with this observation, chronic treatment of cardiomyocytes with G-protein coupled receptor agonists endothelin-1, angiotensin II, or phenylephrine, agents that are known to produce intracellular IP3, leads to cardiomyopathy and heart failure. In particular, the IP3-induced Ca2+ release inside the nucleus has been suggested to initiate a series of nuclear activities, including 1) Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM) mediated protein kinase II (CaMKII) activation, 2) activation of transcription factors such as myocyte enhancer factor-2 (MEF-2) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), and 3) increased production of chromogranins, natriuretic peptides, and growth factors, which eventually lead to pathological hypertrophy. Although secretory granules function as the major IP3-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ store and the IP3-mediated Ca2+ release from secretory granules in cardiomyocytes contributes to secretion of chromogranins and natriuretic peptides, the direct cause of pathological hypertrophy appears to be due to the IP3-induced Ca2+ release from the small nucleoplasmic IP3-sensitive Ca2+ store vesicles, thereby initiating the Ca2+-activated nuclear activities that lead to formation of more secretory granules, pathologic enlargement of cardiomyocytes, and heart failure.

Enlarging the NSAIDs Family: Ether, Ester and Acid Derivatives of the 1,5-Diarylpyrrole Scaffold as Novel Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Agents

March 2011


23 Reads

The development of the coxib family has represented a stimulating approach in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, and for the management of acute pains, in relation to the well-known traditional Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (t-NSAIDs). Prompted by the pursuit for new cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, endowed with fine tuned selectivity and high potency, in the past years we have identified novel classes of ether, ester and acid molecules characterized by the 1,5-diarylpyrrole scaffold as potentially powerful anti-inflammatory molecules (12-66). All compounds proved to exert an in vitro inhibition profile as good as that shown by reference compounds. Compounds bearing a p-methylsulfonylphenyl substituent at C5 displayed the best issues. In particular, ester derivatives proved to perform the best in vitro profile in terms of selectivity and activity toward COX-2. The cell-based assay data showed that an increase of hindrance at the C3 side chain of compounds could translate to activity enhancement. The human whole blood (HWB) test let to highlight that submitted compounds displayed 5-10 fold higher selectivity for COX-2 vs COX-1 which should translate clinically to an acceptable gastrointestinal safety and mitigate the cardiovascular effects highlighted by highly selective COX-2 inhibitors. Finally, to assess in vivo anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity three different tests (rat paw pressure, rat paw oedema and abdominal constriction) were performed. Results showed good in vivo anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. The issues gained with these classes of compounds represent, nowadays, a potent stimulus for a further enlargement of the NSAIDs family. In this review we describe the results obtained by our research group on this topic.

Approaches Targeting K(V)10.1 Open a Novel Window for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

December 2011


46 Reads

K(V)10.1 has recently become generally accepted as a promising cancer target, as it is ectopically expressed in the majority of solid tumors. Due to its cell-surface accessibility, K(V)10.1 has a strong potential for tumor treatment and diagnosis. Given that its mode of action is likely independent of conventional cancer pathways such as tyrosine kinases, K(V)10.1 opens a novel window for treating cancer. In this review we will give an overview of the current status of data linking K(V)10.1 to cancer, and propose techniques that could exploit K(V)10.1's properties for the management of cancer.

Serum S-100B Protein as A Biochemical Marker of Brain Injury: A Review of Current Concepts

February 2006


132 Reads

S-100 protein, described initially by Moore, constitutes a large family of at least 20 proteins with calcium binding ability. It is found as homo- or hetero-dimers of two different subunits (A and B). Types S-100AB and S-100BB are described as S-100B protein and are shown to be highly specific for nervous tissue. It is present in the cytosol of glial and Schwann cells, and also in adipocytes and chondrocytes, although in very low concentrations in the latter two. The role of protein S-100B is not yet fully understood. It is suggested that it has intracellular and extracellular neurotropic as well as neurotoxic function. At nanomolar levels, S-100B stimulates neurite outgrowth and enhances survival of neurons. However, at micromolar levels it stimulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines and induces apoptosis. Recently, serum S-100B protein has been proved to be an attractive surrogate marker of primary severe brain injury and secondary insults. It can be measured in the arterial and venous serum; it is not affected by haemolysis and remains stable for several hours without the need for immediate analysis. Its short half-life makes measurements crucial in the emergency and intensive care settings. This review summarises published findings on S-100B regarding its role as a serum biochemical marker of brain injury, i.e., after severe, moderate or mild neuro-trauma, subarachnoid haemorrhage, thrombo-embolic stroke, cerebral ischaemia and brain tumours, as well as extracranial trauma, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Protein S-100B - A prognostic marker for cerebral damage

February 2006


42 Reads

The assessment of S-100B in acute neurological disorders such as global hypoxia, ischaemic or haemorrhagic stroke and traumatic brain injury reflects severity of symptoms and outcome. However, the temporal profile of S-100B release depends on topography, intensity and pathophysiology of the damage e.g. immediate release after traumatic brain injury following the acute destruction of neuronal tissue or delayed release after ischaemic stroke in which gradual breakdown of the blood-brain barrier plays a crucial role. In chronic brain diseases, knowledge about the clinical value of quantification of S-100B is scarce and further evaluations are needed. This review considers both conditions for S-100B measurement and illustrates advantages and limitations in comparison with clinical and neuroimaging data.

Top-cited authors