[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aromatase (an enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens) in the brain is involved in neuroprotection, synaptic plasticity, and regulation of sexual and emotional behaviors. To investigate the physiologic and pathologic importance of aromatase in the brain, including in humans, we here report the development of a novel PET probe for aromatase, (11)C-cetrozole, which allows noninvasive quantification of aromatase expression.
(11)C-cetrozole was synthesized by the C-(11)C-methylation method developed by our group. In vitro autoradiography of frozen sections and a binding study with rat brain homogenates were conducted to demonstrate the specific binding and the dissociation constant. PET studies with anesthetized rhesus monkeys were performed to analyze the dynamics in the brain.
In vitro and in vivo studies using (11)C-cetrozole showed its superiority in brain aromatase imaging in terms of specificity and selectivity, compared with previously developed (11)C-vorozole. PET studies showed that (11)C-cetrozole had a higher signal-to-noise ratio, providing a sharper image than (11)C-vorozole, because the radioactive metabolite of (11)C-vorozole was taken up into the brain. High specific binding of (11)C-cetrozole was observed in the amygdala and hypothalamus, and we also noted binding in the nucleus accumbens of rhesus monkeys for the first time.
These results suggest that PET imaging with newly developed (11)C-cetrozole is suitable for quantifying the expression of brain aromatase in vivo, possibly providing critical information regarding the functional roles of aromatase in human neurologic and emotional disorders.
Preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Nuclear Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue virus (DENV) is the etiologic agent for dengue fever, for which there is no approved vaccine or specific anti-viral drug. As a remedy for this, we explored the use of compounds that interfere with the action of required host factors and describe here the characterization of a kinase inhibitor (SFV785), which has selective effects on NTRK1 and MAPKAPK5 kinase activity, and anti-viral activity on Hepatitis C, DENV and yellow fever viruses. SFV785 inhibited DENV propagation without inhibiting DENV RNA synthesis or translation. The compound did not cause any changes in the cellular distribution of non-structural 3, a protein critical for DENV RNA synthesis, but altered the distribution of the structural envelope protein from a reticulate network to enlarged discrete vesicles, which altered the co-localization with the DENV replication complex. Ultrastructural electron microscopy analyses of DENV-infected SFV785-treated cells showed the presence of viral particles that were distinctly different from viable enveloped virions within enlarged ER cisternae. These viral particles were devoid of the dense nucleocapsid. The secretion of the viral particles was not inhibited by SFV785, however a reduction in the amount of secreted infectious virions, DENV RNA and capsid were observed. Collectively, these observations suggest that SFV785 inhibited the recruitment and assembly of the nucleocapsid in specific ER compartments during the DENV assembly process and hence the production of infectious DENV. SFV785 and derivative compounds could be useful biochemical probes to explore the DENV lifecycle and could also represent a new class of anti-virals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A practical method to prepare precursor of [N-methyl-(11)C]vorozole ([(11)C]vorozole), an efficient positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for imaging aromatase in the living body, was established. Sufficient amount of the racemate including norvorozole, a demethylated vorozole derivative used as a precursor of [(11)C]vorozole, became available by means of high-yield eight-step synthesis. The enantiomers were separated by preparative HPLC using a chiral stationary phase column to give optically pure norvorozole and its enantiomer. From the latter, ent-[(11)C]vorozole, an enantiomer of [(11)C]vorozole, was prepared and used in the PET study for the first time, which was shown to bind very weakly to aromatase in rhesus monkey brain supporting the previous pharmacological results. The stable supply of norvorozole will facilitate further researches on aromatase in the living body including brain by the PET technique.
No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dyrk1A (dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A) is a serine/threonine kinase essential for brain development and function, and its excessive activity is considered a pathogenic factor in Down syndrome. The development of potent, selective inhibitors of Dyrk1A would help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of normal and diseased brains, and may provide a new lead compound for molecular-targeted drug discovery. Here, we report a novel Dyrk1A inhibitor, INDY, a benzothiazole derivative showing a potent ATP-competitive inhibitory effect with IC(50) and K(i) values of 0.24 and 0.18 μM, respectively. X-ray crystallography of the Dyrk1A/INDY complex revealed the binding of INDY in the ATP pocket of the enzyme. INDY effectively reversed the aberrant tau-phosphorylation and rescued the repressed NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cell) signalling induced by Dyrk1A overexpression. Importantly, proINDY, a prodrug of INDY, effectively recovered Xenopus embryos from head malformation induced by Dyrk1A overexpression, resulting in normally developed embryos and demonstrating the utility of proINDY in vivo.
No preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The strain-promoted "double-click" (SPDC) reaction using Sondheimer diyne, a novel convergent method conjugating three molecules spontaneously, has enabled us to readily modify an azido-biomolecule with a small reporter azido-molecule.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Substances that mimic the actions of causative gene products of familial Parkinson's disease (PD) are candidate as causative agents of idiopathic PD. 1-Benzyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (1BnTIQ), an endogenous neurotoxin, is present at three times higher levels in CSF of PD patients than in CSF of control subjects. However, the mechanism of 1BnTIQ's neurotoxicity is unclear. In this study, we tried to identify 1BnTIQ-binding proteins by using a diazido-functionalized 1BnTIQ analog, 1-(3-azido-5-azidomethylbenzyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline, designed and synthesized as a probe for radioisotope-free photoaffinity labeling. One major photolabeled protein identified using this probe was tubulin beta, which has been reported to be a substrate of parkin, a ubiquitin E3 ligase and a causative gene product of familial PD. Loss of function mutation of parkin is reported to result in loss of tubulin beta ubiquitination. Therefore, we examined the effect of 1BnTIQ on ubiquitination of tubulin beta. The polyubiquitinated tubulin beta level in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells was reduced in the presence of 1BnTIQ, even at concentrations as low as those detected in parkinsonian CSF. In vitro ubiquitination assay gave similar results. It is suggested that 1BnTIQ has the same effect on tubulin ubiquitination as does mutant parkin in familial PD. Taken together, substances which reduce polyubiquitination of tubulin such as 1BnTIQ are supposed to be candidates of etiological factors of PD.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of Neurochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some of the pharmacological properties of phytosteryl ferulates may be linked to their antioxidant potential. In this study, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), electron spin resonance (ESR), and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) assays demonstrated that phytosteryl ferulates such as cycloartenyl ferulate (CAF), 24-methylenecycloartanyl ferulate (24-mCAF), and beta-sitosteryl ferulate (beta-SF) and ferulic acid (FA) each exerted strong free radical scavenging and antioxidation of lipid membrane, which were comparable to alpha-tocopherol. However, the sterol moiety alone, such as cycloartenol (CA), had neither activity. Since, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the cell complex defense mechanism cannot be ruled out with the cell free system, we measured ROS production in NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells induced by H(2)O(2). CAF and ethyl ferulate (eFA) greatly decreased the ROS level in this system. CA also significantly inhibited the ROS level, suggesting that CA could inhibit ROS production in living cells. Besides these, CAF, 24-mCAF, beta-SF, as well as eFA and CA, all these chemicals significantly inhibited the NF-kappaB activity as analyzed by measuring translocation of NF-kappaB p65 in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. These observations revealed that phytosteryl ferulates are responsible for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity via ROS scavenging and inhibition of ROS production.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Journal of Pharmacological Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In skeletal muscles, dantrolene inhibits the exercise-induced membrane translocation of GLUT4. It has been postulated that the inhibitory action of dantrolene on Ca(2+) release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) causes inhibition of exercise-induced glucose uptake; however, the precise mechanism has not been adequately studied.
We discovered that dantrolene can bind to skeletal-type neuroendocrine-specific protein-like 1 (sk-NSPl1) with photoreactive dantrolene derivatives. In sk-NSPl1-deficient muscles, we examined the change in glucose uptake and the membrane translocation of GLUT4. In addition, we examined the change in blood glucose and also measured the glycogen level in both isolated and in situ skeletal muscles after electrical stimulation using our mutant mouse.
In sk-NSPl1-deficient muscles, exercise-induced glucose uptake was totally abolished with no change in insulin-induced glucose uptake. The Ca(2+) release mechanism and its inhibition by dantrolene were completely preserved in these muscles. The expression of GLUT4 in the mutant muscles also appeared unchanged. Confocal imaging and results using the membrane isolation method showed that exercise/contraction did not enhance GLUT4 translocation in these sk-NSPl1-deficient muscles under conditions of adequate muscle glycogen consumption. The blood glucose level in normal mice was reduced by electrical stimulation of the hind limbs, but that in mutant mice was unchanged.
sk-NSPl1 is a novel dantrolene receptor that plays an important role in membrane translocation of GLUT4 induced by contraction/exercise. The 23-kDa sk-NSPl1 may also be involved in the regulation of glucose levels in the whole body.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Suzuki-Miyaura coupling of 3-azido-5-(azidomethyl)phenylboronic acid pinacol ester with various aryl bromides affords corresponding diazido-functionalized biaryl compounds in good yields. This approach provides an easy access to radioisotope-free photoaffinity probes possessing biaryl structure. By using this method, we prepared a novel diazido-functionalized dantrolene analog, which showed selective inhibitory effect on physiological Ca(2+) release (PCR) from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) in mouse skeletal muscle without affecting Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR).
No preview · Article · Mar 2009 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cell-free protein synthesis system is a powerful tool with which unnatural amino acids can be introduced into polypeptide chains. Here, the authors describe unnatural amino acid probing in a wheat germ cell-free translation system as a method for detecting the structural changes that occur in a cofactor binding protein on a conversion of the protein from an apo-form to a holo-form. The authors selected the FMN-binding protein from Desulfovibrio vulgaris as a model protein. The apo-form of the protein was synthesized efficiently in the absence of FMN. The purified apo-form could be correctly converted to the holo-form. Thus, the system could synthesize the active apo-form. Gel filtration chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation, and circular dichroism-spectra studies suggested that the FMN-binding site of the apo-form is open as compared with the holo-form. To confirm this idea, the unnatural amino acid probing was performed by incorporating 3-azido-L-tyrosine at the Tyr35 residue in the FMN-binding site. The authors optimized three steps in their system. The introduced 3-azido-L-tyrosine residue was subjected to specific chemical modification by a fluorescein-triarylphosphine derivative. The initial velocity of the apo-form reaction was 20 fold faster than that of the holo-form, demonstrating that the Tyr35 residue in the apo-form is open to solvent.
Full-text · Article · May 2007 · Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An efficient method for site-selective modification of proteins using an unnatural amino acid, 3-azidotyrosine has been developed. This method utilizes the yeast amber suppressor tRNA(Tyr)/mutated tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase pair as a carrier of 3-azidotyrosine in an Escherichia coli cell-free translation system, and triarylphosphine derivatives for specific modification of the azido group. Using rat calmodulin (CaM) as a model protein, we prepared several unnatural CaM molecules, each carrying an azidotyrosine at predetermined positions 72, 78, 80 or 100, respectively. Post-translational modification of these proteins with a conjugate compound of triarylphosphine and biotin produced site-selectively biotinylated CaM molecules. Reaction efficiency was similar among these proteins irrespective of the position of introduction, and site-specificity of biotinylation was confirmed using mass spectrometry. In addition, CBP-binding activity of the biotinylated CaMs was confirmed to be similar to that of wild-type CaM. This method is intrinsically versatile in that it should be easily applicable to introducing any other desirable compounds (e.g., probes and cross-linkers) into selected sites of proteins as far as appropriate derivative compounds of triarylphosphine could be chemically synthesized. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms of protein functions and protein-to-protein networks will be greatly facilitated by making use of these site-selectively modified proteins.
No preview · Article · Apr 2007 · Journal of Biochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bifunctional dantrolene derivatives have been synthesized as probes for radioisotope-free photoaffinity labeling with the aim of elucidating the molecular mechanism of skeletal muscle contraction. GIF-0430 and GIF-0665 are aromatic azido-functionalized derivatives that were designed to selectively inhibit physiological Ca2+ release (PCR) from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) in mouse skeletal muscle without a strong effect on Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR). These photoaffinity probes consist of either an azidomethyl or an ethynyl group, respectively, which could function as a tag for introduction of an optional detectable marker unit by an appropriate chemoselective ligation method after the photo-cross-linking operation. Actually, the former probe worked to photolabel its target proteins specifically as confirmed by subsequent fluorescent visualization.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel method for radioisotope-free photoaffinity labeling was developed, in which a bifunctional ligand is connected to a target protein by activation of a photoreactive group, such as an aromatic azido or 3-trifluoromethyl-3H-diazirin-3-yl group, and identification of the ligated product is achieved by anchoring of a detectable tag through the Staudinger-Bertozzi reaction with an alkyl azido moiety that survives photolysis. The chemical ground of this method was confirmed using model compounds with the bifunctional group under photoirradiation in the presence of trapping agents for reactive intermediates. The utility of the method has been demonstrated by specific labeling of the catalytic portion of human HMG-CoA reductase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The general synthesis of dantrolene analogues with various substituents on its phenyl ring has been developed via palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions, the Stille or Suzuki reaction, as the key step. The effects of synthesized analogues have been evaluated by two kinds of Ca(2+) release modes from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of mouse skeletal muscle fibers based on: (1) the measurement of twitch contraction caused by the physiological Ca(2+) release (PCR) of intact skeletal muscle and (2) the rate of Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) in saponin-treated skinned muscle fibers. Although dantrolene, a lead compound, inhibits both twitch contraction and CICR, some structurally modified analogues exhibit one or the other of these effects. The methoxy congener, GIF-0185, potently inhibits the twitch contraction without affecting the CICR, while GIF-0166 and GIF-0248, the ortho-nitro regioisomer and ortho, ortho-dinitro substituted analogues, respectively, doubly potentiate the CICR exclusively.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to capture and identify key molecules that regulate the release of Ca(2+) from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of skeletal muscle, we designed specific photoaffinity probes based on the structural modification of dantrolene. Thus, GIF-0082 and GIF-0276 possessing azido- and trifluoromethyldiazirinyl-benzyl groups, respectively, at the hydantoin moiety were found to have a highly selective inhibitory effect on physiological Ca(2+) release (PCR) without affecting Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR). Successful realization of the sharp discrimination between PCR and CICR has led to the creation of [(125)I]GIF-0082 and [(125)I]GIF-0276, which were synthesized by substituting a stannyl group with (125)I in the corresponding phenylstannane precursors.
No preview · Article · Dec 2002 · Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters