Antonio Lavecchia

Antonio Lavecchia
University of Naples Federico II | UNINA · Department of Pharmacy

Prof. Dr.

About

177
Publications
33,336
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Introduction
Dr. Antonio Lavecchia is a medicinal chemistry expert with huge background into the development and application of computational approaches to drug discovery. He has several years experience in supporting medicinal chemistry programs through molecular modeling approaches to achieve the most successful results in the fastest possible ways in the Drug Discovery Process. He is mainly involved in the basic science leading to drug discovery for new treatments for cancer, diabetes, inflammation, infectious diseases, and other human conditions.
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - present
Italian National Research Council
Position
  • CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
January 2009 - present
Università degli Studi di Padova
January 2007 - December 2011
Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"

Publications

Publications (177)
Article
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The microaerophile Streptococcus mutans, the main microaerophile responsible for the development of dental plaque, has a single cambialistic superoxide dismutase (SmSOD) for its protection against reactive oxygen species. In order to discover novel inhibitors of SmSOD, possibly interfering with the biofilm formation by this pathogen, a virtual scre...
Article
The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of the metabolic homeostasis and therefore represent valuable therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The development of more balanced drugs interacting with PPARs, devoid of the side-effects showed by the currently marketed...
Article
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To fight neurodegenerative diseases, several therapeutic strategies have been proposed that, to date, are either ineffective or at the early preclinical stages. Intracellular protein aggregates represent the cause of about 70% of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, autophagy, i.e., lysosomal degradation of macromolecules...
Cover Page
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Life sciences heavily rely on data collected in different ways, for example, through experimental work, medical observations, or computer simulations, to name a few. Advances in novel technologies, such as high-throughput screening and readout, next-generation sequencing, and “-omics” approaches, represent the main drivers of the exponentially incr...
Article
Thiazolidinedione (TZD) containing derivatives have been proved to be promising anticancer agents in preclinical and clinical evaluation phases. Hybrid molecules not just offer the benefits such as enhanced therapeutic effects and improved specificity, but in addition could beat drug resistance, so hybridization of thiazolidinedione scaffold with o...
Article
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S1P is the final product of sphingolipid metabolism, which interacts with five widely expressed GPCRs (S1P1-5). Increasing numbers of studies have indicated the importance of S1P3 in various pathophysiological processes. Recently, we have identified a pepducin (compound KRX-725-II) acting as an S1P3 receptor antagonist. Here, aiming to optimize the...
Article
Recent evidences highlight the usefulness of small molecule (Histone deacetylase 4) HDAC4 inhibitors in the several preclinical paradigms. Major toxicity and mutagenicity issues associated with hydroxamate HDAC inhibitors, stimulated us to develop potent non‐hydroxamate inhibitors. In the present work a novel series of thiazolidinedione (TZD) deriv...
Article
Purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) belongs to the human purine salvage pathway. Genetic deficiency of this enzyme triggers apoptosis of activated T‐cells due to the accumulation of deoxyguanosine triphosphate (dGTP). Therefore, potential chemotherapeutic applications of human PNP inhibitors includes the treatment of T‐cell leukemia, autoimmune d...
Article
In search for new and safer anti-cancer agents, a structurally guided pharmacophore hybridization strategy of two privileged scaffolds, namely diaryl pyrazolines and imidazolidine-2,4-dione (hydantoin), was adopted resulting in a newfangled series of compounds (H1-H22). Herein, a bio-isosteric replacement of “pyrrolidine-2,5-dione” moiety of our re...
Article
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The dual phosphatases CDC25 are involved in cell cycle regulation and overexpressed in many tumours, including melanoma. CDC25 is a promising target for discovering anticancer drugs, and several studies focussed on characterisation of quinonoid CDC25 inhibitors, frequently causing undesired side toxic effects. Previous work described an optimisatio...
Article
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Insulin resistance is a major pathophysiological feature in the development of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Ferulic acid is known for attenuating the insulin resistance and reducing the blood glucose in T2DM rats. In this work, we designed and synthesized a library of new ferulic acid amides (FAA), which could be considered as ring opening derivatives o...
Article
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by protein misfolding and aggregation, affecting brain function and causing dementia. Amyloid beta (Aβ), a peptide deriving from amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleavage by-and -secretases, is considered a pathological hallmark of AD. Our previous study, together with several lin...
Article
In search of Novel and effective antitumor agents, pyrazoline‐substituted pyrrolidine‐2,5‐dione hybrids were designed, synthesized and evaluated in silico, in vitro and in vivo for anticancer efficacy. All the compounds exhibited remarkable cytotoxic effects in MCF7 and HT29 cells. The excellent antiproliferative activity towards MCF‐7 (IC 50 = 0.7...
Article
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Amyloid precursor protein (APP) is processed along both the nonamyloidogenic pathway preventing amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) production and the amyloidogenic pathway, generating Aβ, whose accumulation characterizes Alzheimer’s disease. Items of evidence report that the intracellular trafficking plays a key role in the generation of Aβ and that the 37/...
Article
An agonist-antagonist switching strategy was performed to discover novel PPARα antagonists. Phenyldiazenyl derivatives of fibrates were developed, bearing sulfonimide or amide functional groups. A second series of compounds was synthesized, replacing the phenyldiazenyl moiety with amide or urea portions. Final compounds were screened by transactiva...
Article
A series of l-lysine-conjugated pyridophenoxazinones 2-5 and 2'-5' were designed and synthesized for developing compounds with multimodal anticancer potentialities. All compounds inhibited the proliferation of a panel of human liquid and solid neoplastic cell lines. 2 and 5 were the most active compounds with IC50 values in the submicromolar range....
Article
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that simulates the structures and operating principles of the human brain. Machine learning (ML) belongs to the area of AI and endeavors to develop models from exposure to training data. Deep Learning (DL) is another subset of AI, where models represent geometric transformations over many...
Article
CDC25 phosphatases play a critical role in the regulation of the cell cycle and thus represent attractive cancer therapeutic targets. We previously discovered the 4-(2-carboxybenzoyl)phthalic acid (NSC28620) as a new CDC25 inhibitor endowed with promising anticancer activity in breast, prostate and leukemia cells. Herein, we report a structure-base...
Article
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Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ (PPARγ) is an important sensor at the crossroad of diabetes, obesity, immunity and cancer as it regulates adipogenesis, metabolism, inflammation and proliferation. PPARγ exerts its pleiotropic functions upon binding of natural or synthetic ligands. The molecular mechanisms through which PPARγ controls ca...
Article
Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death globally,with hypercholesterolemia being an important risk factor. The PCSK9 represents an attractive therapeutic target for hypercholesterolemia treatment and is currently in the spotlight of the scientific community. After autocatalytic activation in the hepatocyte endoplasmic reticulum, this con...
Article
The development of immunoproteasome‐selective inhibitors is currently a promising strategy to treat hematologic malignancies, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases; in this context we now report the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of a new series of amide derivatives as immunoproteasome inhibitors. Noteworthy, the designed compounds act...
Article
The development of PPARα/γ dual or PPARα/γ/δ pan-agonists could represent an efficacious approach for a simultaneous pharmacological intervention on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Two series of new phenyldiazenyl fibrate derivatives of GL479, a previously reported PPARα/γ dual agonist, were synthesized and tested. Compound 12a was identified as...
Article
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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by fibrosis, alteration in the microvasculature and immunologic abnormalities. It has been hypothesized that an abnormal redox state could regulate the persistent fibrotic phenotype in SSc patients. N-Formyl peptide receptors (FPRs) are chemotactic receptors overexpressed in fib...
Article
Our previous work discovered that combining the appropriate 5- and N6-substitution in adenosine derivatives leads to highly selective human A1 adenosine receptor (hA1AR) agonists or highly potent dual hA1AR agonists and hA3AR antagonists. In order to explore novel dual adenosine receptor ligands, a series of N6-substituted-5-pyrazolyl-adenosine a...
Article
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The urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) is a GPI-anchored cell membrane receptor that focuses urokinase (uPA) proteolytic activity on the cell surface. Its expression is increased in many human cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and colorectal cancer (CRC), and correlates with a poor prognosis and early invasion...
Article
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Analog series were systematically extracted from more than 650 000 bioactive compounds originating from medicinal chemistry and screening sources and more than 3.6 million commercial compounds that were not biologically annotated. Then, analog series-based (ASB) scaffolds were generated. For each scaffold from a bioactive series, a target profile w...
Article
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Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) has received significant attention as a key regulator of glucose and lipid homeostasis. In this study, we synthesized and tested a library of novel 5-benzylidene-thiazolidin-2,4-dione (BTZD) derivatives bearing a substituent on nitrogen of TZD nucleus (compounds 1a-1k, 2i-10i, 3a, 6a, and 8a-10a)...
Article
Structural determinants of affinity of N(6)-substituted-5'-C-(ethyl-tetrazol-2-yl)-adenosine and 2-chloro-adenosine derivatives at adenosine receptor (AR) subtypes were studied with binding and molecular modeling. Small N(6)-cycloalkyl and 3-halo-benzyl groups furnished potent dual acting A1AR agonists and A3AR antagonists. 4 was the most potent du...
Article
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Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive and life-threatening skin cancer. Melanoma develops in melanocytes and is characterized by a very high tendency to spread to other parts of the body. Its pathogenesis depends on DNA mutations leading to the activation of oncogenes or to the inactivation of suppressor genes. The identification of misregulati...
Article
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Cell division cycle 25 (CDC25) protein phosphatases regulate cell cycle progression through the activation of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), but they are also involved in chromatin modulation and transcriptional regulation. CDC25 inhibition is regarded as a possible therapeutic strategy for the treatment of human malignancies, including acute mye...
Article
We screened a short series of new chiral diphenylmethane derivatives and identified potent dual PPARα/γ partial agonists. As both enantiomers of the most active compound 1 displayed an unexpected similar transactivation activity, we performed docking experiments to provide a molecular understanding of their similar partial agonism. We also evaluate...
Article
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Proteomics based approaches are emerging as useful tools to identify the targets of bioactive compounds and elucidate their molecular mechanisms of action. Here, we applied a chemical proteomic strategy to identify the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) as a molecular target of the pro-apoptotic agent 15-ketoatractyligenin methyl...
Article
Full-text available
The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of the metabolic homeostasis and therefore represent valuable therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The development of more balanced drugs interacting with PPARs, devoid of the side-effects showed by the currently marketed...
Article
Introduction: Cell cycle and gene transcription are under the control of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), whose activity depends on the binding with cyclins. Deregulated CDK activities have been reported in a majority of human cancers, representing potential therapeutic targets. Areas covered: This review provides preclinical and clinical (phase...
Article
A new set of cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors endowed with an additional functionality was explored. These new compounds also contained either rhodamine 6G or 6,7-dimethoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline, two moieties typical of efflux pump substrates and inhibitors, respectively. Among all the synthesized compounds, two new COX inhibitors with oppo...
Article
Extracellular adenosine formation from ATP is controlled by ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (E-NTPDase/CD39) and ecto-5’-nucleotidase (e-5NT/CD73); the latter converts AMP to adenosine and inorganic phosphate, representing the rate limiting step controlling the ratio between extracellular ATP and adenosine. Evidence that cellular ex...
Article
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The 37/67 kDa laminin receptor (LR) is a non-integrin protein, which binds both laminin-1 of the extracellular matrix and prion proteins, that hold a central role in prion diseases. The 37/67 kDa LR has been identified as interactor for the prion protein (PrPC) and to be required for pathological PrP (PrPSc) propagation in scrapie-infected neuronal...
Article
Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB) is a transcription factor regulating several genes involved in important physiological and pathological processes. NF-κB has been found constitutively activated in many inflammatory/immune diseases. In addition, a positive correlation between persistent activation of NF-κB and tumor promotion has been demonstrated. Since t...
Article
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Introduction: PPARγ is an essential regulator of lipid, glucose, and insulin metabolism. PPARγ full agonists, such as thiazolidinediones, are the mainstay drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes; however, undesirable clinical side effects have contributed to poor compliance with therapy and limited their full therapeutic potential. In the last...
Article
Full-text available
CDC25 phosphatases are important regulators of the cell cycle and represent promising targets for anticancer drug discovery. We recently identified NSC 119915 as a new quinonoid CDC25 inhibitor with potent anticancer activity. In order to discover more active analogs of NSC 119915, we performed a range of ligand-based chemoinformatic methods agains...
Article
Full-text available
The 67 kDa laminin receptor (67LR) is a non-integrin receptor for laminin (LM) that derives from a 37 kDa precursor (37LRP). 67LR expression is increased in neoplastic cells and correlates with an enhanced invasive and metastatic potential. We used structure-based virtual screening (SB-VS) to search for 67LR inhibitory small molecules, by focusing...
Article
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A series of N(6)-substituted-5'-C-(2-ethyl-2H-tetrazol-5-yl)-adenosine and 2-chloro-adenosine derivatives was synthesized as novel, highly potent dual acting hA1AR agonists and hA3AR antagonists, potentially useful in the treatment of glaucoma and other diseases. The best affinity and selectivity profiles were achieved by N(6)-substitution with a 2...
Article
Metaglidasen is a fibrate-like drug reported as a selective modulator of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), able to lower plasma glucose levels in the absence of the side effects typically observed with thiazolidinedione antidiabetic agents in current use. Herein we report an improved synthesis of metaglidasen′s metabolically act...
Article
Full-text available
The cell division cycle 25 (CDC25) phosphatases include CDC25A, CDC25B and CDC25C. These three molecules are important regulators of several steps in the cell cycle, including the activation of various cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). CDC25s seem to have a role in the development of several human malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML)...
Article
Full-text available
Multiple lines of evidence indicate that Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays a fundamental role in colorectal cancer (CRC) initiation and progression. Recent genome-wide data have confirmed that in CRC this pathway is one of the most frequently modified by genetic or epigenetic alterations affecting almost 90% of Wnt/β-catenin gene members. A major chall...