Gerhard Wolber

Gerhard Wolber
Freie Universität Berlin | FUB · Institute of Pharmacy

Prof. Dr.

About

250
Publications
43,168
Reads
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7,741
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2010 - present
Freie Universität Berlin
Position
  • Professor
April 2008 - April 2010
Universität Innsbruck
Position
  • Group Leader
June 2003 - March 2008
Inte:Ligand GmbH
Position
  • Managing Director
Education
June 2000 - June 2003
University of Innsbruck
Field of study
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Publications

Publications (250)
Preprint
Pneumolysin (PLY) is a pore-forming, cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) from Streptococcus pneumoniae, the main bacterial cause for community-acquired pneumonia. Liberation of PLY during host infection leads to strong immune activation and cytolytic cell death. Thus, inhibition of PLY could be a valuable approach to attenuate detrimental effects...
Article
Full-text available
Kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) antagonists are promising innovative therapeutics for the treatment of the central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The new scaffold opioid ligand, Compound A, was originally found as a mu-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonist but its binding/selectivity and activation profile at the KOR and delta-opioid receptor (DOR) remain...
Article
1. Olanzapine is an atypical antipsychotic primarily used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. An intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that highly significantly predicts increased olanzapine clearance (rs472660) was previously identified in the CYP3A43 gene, which encodes a cytochrome P450 enzyme. But until now there was no experim...
Article
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Accumulated preclinical and clinical data show that peripheral restricted opioids provide pain relief with reduced side effects. The peripherally acting opioid analgesic HS-731 is a potent dual μ-/δ-opioid receptor (MOR/DOR) full agonist, and a weak, partial agonist at the κ-opioid receptor (KOR). However, its binding mode at the opioid receptors r...
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A capillary zone electrophoresis method was developed for the determination of NiII(3-OMe-salophene), a substance with anticancer activity in vitro. A fused silica capillary (56 cm × 100 µm) was used for this purpose. The method was optimized in terms of parameters affecting the electrophoretic conditions in order to optimize separation efficiency...
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In this study, we utilized human DNA topoisomerase IIα as a model target to outline a dynophore-based approach to catalytic inhibitor design. Based on MD simulations of a known catalytic inhibitor and the native ATP ligand analog, AMP-PNP, we derived a joint dynophore model that supplements the static structure-based-pharmacophore information with...
Article
Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) is an endosomal TLR that has an important role in the innate human immune system, which is involved in numerous pathological conditions. Excessive activation of TLR8 can lead to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, which highlights the need for development of TLR8 modulators. However, only a few small-molecule modulator...
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Full-text available
Purpose: Polymorphisms in the gene that codes for the human cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP4V2 are a cause of Bietti crystalline dystrophy (BCD). Therefore, inhibition of CYP4V2 activity may well be a cause of visual disability. However, monitoring the fatty acid hydroxylation reactions catalyzed by this enzyme is tedious and not well suited for inhibit...
Article
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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) continues to be a global threat, causing millions of deaths worldwide. SARS‐CoV‐2 is an enveloped virus with spike (S) glycoproteins conferring binding to the host cell‘s angiotensin‐converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is critical for cellular entry. The host range of the virus extends well...
Article
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Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) are an essential family of enzymes in the human body. They play a crucial role in metabolism, especially in human steroid biosynthesis. Reactions catalyzed by these enzymes are highly stereo-and regio-specific. Lack or severe malfunctions of CYPs can cause severe diseases and even shorten life. Hence, investigations on metab...
Article
Human cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes are widely known for their pivotal role in the metabolism of drugs and other xenobiotics as well as of endogenous chemicals. In addition, CYPs are involved in numerous pathophysiological pathways and, hence, are therapeutically relevant. Remarkably, a portion of promising CYP targets is still understudied and, as...
Article
Full-text available
Opioids are the most effective analgesics, with most clinically available opioids being agonists to the µ-opioid receptor (MOR). The MOR is also responsible for their unwanted effects, including reward and opioid misuse leading to the current public health crisis. The imperative need for safer, non-addictive pain therapies drives the search for nov...
Article
Sulfonamides represent the oldest synthetic antibacterial agents; however, their central position in controlling bacterial diseases has been seriously damaged by the development of widespread resistance. Hereby, we revisited sulfathiazole, a commercial member of antibacterial sulfa drugs, intending to overcome sulfonamide resistance and identify ne...
Chapter
Three-dimensional pharmacophore models have been proven extremely valuable in exploring novel chemical space through virtual screening. However, traditional pharmacophore-based approaches need ligand information and rely on static snapshots of highly dynamic systems. In this chapter, we describe PyRod, a novel tool to generate three-dimensional pha...
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Full-text available
Selbstorganisierte Virustötung: Antivirale Wirkstoffe werden durch Aldolkondensationen gebildet, die von der 3C-Protease des Enterovirus D68 katalysiert werden und die Virusproliferation in infizierten menschlichen Zellen blockieren. Die besten Inhibitoren binden langsam und klebrig. Der gefundene Prozess demonstriert einen potenziell nativen Mecha...
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The generation of bioactive molecules from inactive precursors is a crucial step in the chemical evolution of life, however, mechanistic insights into this aspect of abiogenesis are scarce. Here, we investigate the protein‐catalyzed formation of antivirals by the 3C‐protease of enterovirus D68. The enzyme induces aldol condensations yielding inhibi...
Article
Human cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP4Z1 represents a promising target for the treatment of a multitude of malignancies including breast cancer. The most active known non-covalent inhibitor (1-benzylimidazole) only shows low micromolar affinity to CYP4Z1. We report a new, highly active inhibitor for CYP4Z1 showing confirmed binding in an enzymatic assay...
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Full-text available
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a complex disease which currently affects more than 460 million people and is one of the leading cause of death worldwide. Its development implies numerous metabolic dysfunctions and the onset of hyperglycaemia-induced chronic complications. Multiple ligands can be rationally designed for the treatment of multifactorial di...
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We report the synthesis of seven new proluciferins for convenient activity determination of enzymes belonging to the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 4 family. Biotransformation of these probe substrates was monitored using each of the twelve human CYP4 family members, and eight were found to act at least on one of them. For all substrates, activity of CYP4Z1...
Article
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G protein-coupled receptors are linked to various intracellular transducers, each pathway associated with different physiological effects. Biased ligands, capable of activating one pathway over another, are gaining attention for their therapeutic potential, as they could selectively activate beneficial pathways whilst avoiding those responsible for...
Article
Full-text available
The muscarinic M1 acetylcholine receptor is an important drug target for the treatment of various neurological disorders. Designing M1 receptor-selective drugs has proven challenging, mainly due to the high conservation of the acetylcholine binding site among muscarinic receptor subtypes. Therefore, less conserved and topographically distinct allos...
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Skin permeation is an essential biological property of small organic compounds our body is exposed to, such as drugs in topic formulations, cosmetics, and environmental toxins. Despite the limited availability of experimental data, there is a lack of systematic analysis and structure. We present a novel resource on skin permeation data that collect...
Article
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Cytosolic sulfotransferases (SULTs) catalyze phase II (conjugation) reactions of drugs and endogenous compounds. A complete set of recombinant fission yeast strains each expressing one of the 14 human SULTs was generated, including SULT4A1 and SULT6B1. Sulfation of test substrates by whole-cell biotransformation was successfully demonstrated for al...
Article
Allosteric coupling describes a reciprocal process whereby G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) relay ligand-induced conformational changes from the extracellular binding pocket to the intracellular signaling surface. Therefore, GPCR activation is sensitive to both the type of extracellular ligand and intracellular signaling protein. We hypothesized...
Article
Metabolic pathways mediated by human gut bacteria have emerged as potential therapeutic targets because of their association with the pathophysiology of various human diseases. The anaerobic transformation of choline into trimethylamine (TMA) by gut microbiota is directly linked to type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular diseases....
Preprint
Full-text available
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in late 2019 and since evolved into a global threat with nearly 4.4 million infected people and over 290,000 confirmed deaths worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus presenting spike (S) glycoproteins on its outer surface. Binding of S to host cell angiotensin converting enzym...
Article
Full-text available
The mu opioid receptor (MOR) is the primary target for analgesia of endogenous opioid peptides, alkaloids, synthetic small molecules with diverse scaffolds, and peptidomimetics. Peptide-based opioids are viewed as potential analgesics with reduced side effects and have received constant scientific interest over the years. This study focuses on thre...
Article
Full-text available
Toll‐like receptors (TLRs) build the first barrier in the innate immune response and therefore represent promising targets for the modulation of inflammatory processes. Recently, the pyrogallol‐containing TLR2 antagonists CU‐CPT22 and MMG‐11 have been reported, however, their 1,2,3‐tri‐phenol motif renders them highly susceptible to oxidation and e...
Article
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Several encouraging pre‐clinal results highlight the melanin‐concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) as promising target for anti‐obesity drug development. Currently however, experimentally resolved structures of MCHR1 are not available, which complicates rational drug design campaigns. In this study, we aimed at developing accurate, homology‐mode...
Article
Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR8 are involved in the recognition of bacterial and viral components and are linked not only to protective antimicrobial immunity but also to inflammatory diseases. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to the receptor crosstalk between TLR2 and TLR8 to fine-tune innate immune responses. In this study, we re...
Article
Cancer constitutes a group of diseases linked to abnormal cell growth that can potentially spread to other parts of the body and is one of the most common causes of death. The molecular motors - DNA topoisomerases - that enable topological changes of the DNA molecule are one of the most established targets of cancer therapies. Due to known limitati...
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Morphine and structurally-derived compounds are µ opioid receptor (µOR) agonists, and the most effective analgesic drugs. However, their usefulness is limited by serious side effects, including dependence and abuse potential. The N-substituent in morphinans plays an important role in opioid activities in vitro and in vivo. This study presents the s...
Article
The pivotal role of viral proteases in virus replication has already been successfully exploited in several antiviral drug design campaigns. However, no efficient virostatics antivirals are currently available against flaviviral infections including those of Zika virus (ZIKV) or West Nile Virus infections. In this study, we present lead-like small...
Article
Full-text available
3D pharmacophore models are three-dimensional ensembles of chemically defined interactions of a ligand in its bioactive conformation. They represent an elegant way to decipher chemically encoded ligand information and have therefore become a valuable tool in drug design. In this review, we provide an overview on the basic concept of this method and...
Article
The human cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP4Z1 remains an understudied enzyme despite its association with poor prognosis and overexpression in breast cancer. Hence, CYP4Z1 has previously been suggested as an anti-breast cancer target. In the present study we employed extended mutation analysis to increase our understanding of the substrate binding mode o...
Article
Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) forms heterodimers with either TLR1 or TLR6 to induce protective early inflammatory responses to pathogen- and damage-associated molecular patterns. However, excessive activation is associated with inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Several TLR2 antagonists have been described but pharmacological characterization is st...
Article
The endosomal Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) recognizes single-stranded RNA and initiates early inflammatory responses. Despite the importance of endosomal TLRs for human host defense against microbial pathogens, extensive activation may contribute to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In contrast to the recent progress made in the development of m...
Preprint
Full-text available
G protein-coupled receptors transmit signals across membranes via interaction with intracellular binding partners. While there is an imprinted signaling profile for each receptor, biased ligands are able to shift intracellular pathways resulting in different recruitment profiles. We present the first comprehensive database of all literature-known b...
Article
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1,4-Dihydropyridines (DHPs) are an important class of blockers targeting different calcium channel subtypes and have great therapeutic value against cardiovascular and neurophysiologic conditions. Here, we present the design of DHP-based hexahydroquinoline derivatives as either selective or covalent inhibitors of calcium channels. These compounds w...
Article
Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) are capable of catalyzing regio- and stereo-specific oxy functionalization reactions, which otherwise are major challenges in organic chemistry. In order to make the best possible use of these biocatalysts it is imperative to understand their specificities. Human CYP21A2 (steroid 21-hydroxylase) acts on the side-chain...
Article
Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) acts as a negative regulator of insulin and leptin signalling and is crucially involved in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Pursuing our efforts to identify PTP1B inhibitors endowed with drug-like properties, we designed and evaluated 3-aryl-5-arylid...
Article
Aim: Fragment-based drug design or bioisosteric replacement is used to find new actives with low (or no) similarity to existing ones but requires the synthesis of nonexisting compounds to prove their predicted bioactivity. Protein-ligand docking or pharmacophore screening are alternatives but they can become computationally expensive when applied t...
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Full-text available
In this study, we report a ligand-guided homology modeling approach allowing the analysis of relevant binding site residue conformations and the identification of two novel histamine H 3 receptor ligands with binding affinity in the nanomolar range. The newly developed method is based on exploiting an essential charge interaction characteristic for...
Article
The human cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme CYP4A22 is an orphan CYP with unknown function. Here, through functional expression in fission yeast, we show that CYP4A22 catalyzes fatty acid hydroxylation as well as aliphatic or aromatic hydroxylations of luciferin‐based probe substrates. Mechanistic molecular modeling of CYP4A22 suggests that its ω‐hydrox...
Article
Recently, investigations of the complex mechanisms of allostery have led to a deeper understanding of G protein‐coupled receptor (GPCR) activation and signaling processes. In this context, muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are highly relevant according to their exemplary role for the study of allosteric modulation. In this work, we compar...
Article
Ligands entering a protein binding pocket essentially compete with water molecules for binding to the protein. Hence, the location and thermodynamic properties of water molecules in protein structures have gained increased attention in the drug design community. Including corresponding data into 3D pharmacophore modeling is essential for efficient...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ligands entering a protein binding pocket essentially compete with water molecules for binding to the protein. Hence, the location and thermodynamic properties of water molecules in protein structures have gained increased attention in the drug design community. Including corresponding data into 3D pharmacophore modeling is essential for efficient...
Article
Red-shifted azobenzene scaffolds have emerged as useful molecular photoswitches to expand potential applications of photopharmacological tool compounds. As one of them, tetra-ortho-fluoro azobenzene is well compatible for the design of visible light responsive systems, providing stable and bidirectional photoconversions and tissue-compatible charac...
Article
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent important drug targets with complex pharmacological characteristics. Biased signaling represents one important dimension, describing ligand-dependent shifts of naturally imprinted signaling profiles. Because biased GPCR modulators provide potential therapeutic benefits including higher efficiencies and...
Article
Full-text available
Anti‐N‐methyl‐D‐aspartate‐receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is the most common autoimmune encephalitis related to autoantibody‐mediated synaptic dysfunction. Cerebrospinal fluid‐derived human monoclonal NR1 autoantibodies showed low numbers of somatic hypermutations or were unmutated. These unexpected germline‐configured antibodies showed weaker bindin...
Article
For drug design projects it is essential to rationally induce and explain selectivity. In this context shape complementarity as well as protein and ligand flexibility represent important factors. Currently available tools for the analysis of protein‐ligand interactions focus mainly on electrostatic complementarity and/or static structures. Here we...
Article
Selective androgen receptor modulators comprise compounds that bind as ligands to the androgen receptor and possess tissue-selective activities. Ideally, they show agonistic properties in anabolic target tissues, while inducing antagonistic or only weak agonistic effects in reproductive organs. Due to their myoanabolic effects, selective androgen r...
Article
Designed multiple ligands (DMLs), developed to modulate simultaneously a number of selected targets involved in etiopathogenetic mechanisms of a multifactorial disease, such as diabetes mellitus (DM), are considered a promising alternative to combinations of drugs, when monotherapy results to be unsatisfactory. In this work, compounds 1–17 were syn...
Article
Nifedipine and isradipine are prominent examples of calcium channel blockers with a 1,4-dihydropyridine (DHP) scaffold. Although successfully used in clinics since decades for the treatment of hypertension, the binding mechanism to their target, the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel Cav1.2, is still incompletely understood. Recently, novel DHP d...
Chapter
In the field of medicinal chemistry, the concept of pharmacophores has become increasingly popular in recent years and matured into a valuable and efficient basis for computer‐aided drug design techniques. Pharmacophore models can be created by a variety of methods such as manual construction, automated perception from the structure of one or more...
Article
Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) induces early inflammatory responses to pathogen and damage-associated molecular patterns trough heterodimerization with either TLR1 or TLR6. Since overstimulation of TLR2 signaling is linked to several inflammatory and metabolic diseases, TLR2 antagonists may provide therapeutic benefits for the control of inflammatory...
Article
4-Hydroxyandrost-4-ene-3,17-dione, also named formestane, is an irreversible aromatase inhibitor and therapeutically used as anti-breast cancer medication in post-menopausal women. Currently, no therapeutical indication led to approval of its 17-hydroxylated analog 4-hydroxytestosterone, an anabolic steroid. However, it is currently investigated in...
Article
Uridine diphosphate‐glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) are the most important phase II enzymes in human drug metabolism. Using permeabilized recombinant fission yeast cells (enzyme bags) we demonstrate that UGT1A5 can catalyze an N‐glucuronidation reaction. We characterized two new polymorphic UGT1A5 variants: a common nine‐fold mutant (UGT1A5*8) with...
Article
Full-text available
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor involved in the metabolism of physiological substances and xenobiotics, representing an interesting target in both toxicology and pharmacology. In this study, we investigated the ligand-dependent conjunction of nuclear import of the human AHR in living cells and target g...
Article
Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are misused very frequently in sport competitions as performance enhancing agents. One of the doping compounds that has been detected with increased frequency in the last few years is dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT, 4-chloro-17β-hydroxy-17α-methylandrosta-1,4-dien-3-one; brand name Oral Turinabol). The lon...
Article
Full-text available
Lead structure discovery mainly focuses on the identification of noncovalently binding ligands. Covalent linkage, however, is an essential binding mechanism for a multitude of successfully marketed drugs although discovered by serendipity in most cases. We present a concept for the design of fragments covalently binding to proteases. Covalent linka...
Article
This paper describes the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of 2-thioxoimidazolidin-4-one derivatives as inhibitors of proteasome and immunoproteasome, potential targets for the treatment of hematological malignancies. In particular, we focused our efforts on the design of noncovalent inhibitors, which might be a promising therapeutic opt...