Stanislav Gobec

University of Ljubljana, Lubliano, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Are you Stanislav Gobec?

Claim your profile

Publications (169)461.86 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tetrahydropyran derivative 1 was discovered in a high-throughput screening campaign to find new inhibitors of mycobacterial InhA. Following initial in-vitro profiling, a structure-activity relationship study was initiated and a focused library of analogs was synthesized and evaluated. This yielded compound 42 with improved antimycobacterial activity and low cytotoxicity. Additionally, the crystal structure of InhA in complex with inhibitor 1 was resolved, to reveal the binding mode and provide hints for further optimization.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Given the complex nature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), compounds that are able to simultaneously address two or more AD-associated targets show greater promise for development into drugs for AD therapy. Herein we report an efficient two-step synthesis and biological evaluation of new racemic benzochromene derivatives as antioxidants, inhibitors of cholinesterase and β-amyloid (Aβ1-42 ) aggregation. Based on the results of the primary screening, we identified 15-(3-methoxyphenyl)-9,11,12,15-tetrahydro-10H,14H-benzo[5,6]chromeno[2,3-d]pyrido[1,2-a]pyrimidin-14-imine (3 e) and 16-(3-methoxyphenyl)-9,10,11,12,13,16-hexahydro-15H-benzo[5',6']chromeno[2',3':4,5]pyrimido[1,2-a]azepin-15-imine (3 f) as new potential multitarget-directed ligands for AD therapy. Further in-depth biological analysis showed that compound 3 f is a good human acetylcholinesterase inhibitor [IC50 =(0.36±0.02) μm], has strong antioxidant activity (3.61 μmol Trolox equivalents), and moderate Aβ1-42 antiaggregating power (40.3 %).
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · ChemMedChem
  • Marko Jukič · Kaja Rožman · Stanislav Gobec
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Expanding antibiotic use in clinical practice and emergence of bacterial resistance are fueling research efforts for the development of novel antibacterials. Underexploited or completely novel mechanistic approaches and biological targets are of especial interest. Undecaprenyl pyrophosphate synthase (UppS) is an essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall. Although UppS is a validated target, no selective inhibitors are indicated in materia medica. Nevertheless, several native substrate analogues have been reported and used in enzyme kinetics studies or as pharmacological probes. The majority of small-molecule UppS inhibitors belong to the well-known class of bisphosphonates that are primarily used for treatment of bone resorption disorders. The most potent compound of this class has an IC50 of 0.59 µM. Inherently, the selectivity and suitability of such compounds for antimicrobial drug design can be questioned. Therefore, high-throughput and virtual screening for non-bisphosphonate inhibitors were performed, and nanomolar inhibitors of UppS were identified, some with antimicrobial activities towards clinically relevant strains. The reported scaffolds belong to tetramic and tetronic acids with IC50 in the 100-nM range, and to dihydropyridines with IC50 down to 40 nM, all with antibacterial activity. Aryl-diketo acids are also potent inhibitors with MRSA antimicrobial activity, with the allosteric inhibitor methylisoxazole-4-carboxamide (IC50, 50 nM) active on several pathogenic Streptococcus pneumoniae strains. Clomiphene is a well-known oestrogen receptor modulator, and it has been reported to inhibit UppS. Although conclusions on the structure activity relationships cannot be drawn from all these data, this compound series represent an important contribution to the field of antibiotics.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Current Medicinal Chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is a Gram-positive bacterium pathogenic to many species of birds and mammals, including humans. The main feature of its peptidoglycan is the presence of l-alanine at position 3 of the peptide stem. In the present work, we cloned the murE gene from E. rhusiopathiae and purified the corresponding protein as His6-tagged form. Enzymatic assays showed that E. rhusiopathiae MurE was indeed an l-alanine-adding enzyme. Surprisingly, it was also able, although to a lesser extent, to add meso-diaminopimelic acid, the amino acid found at position 3 in many Gram-negative bacteria, Bacilli and Mycobacteria. Sequence alignment of MurE enzymes from E. rhusiopathiae and Escherichia coli revealed that the DNPR motif that is characteristic of meso-diaminopimelate-adding enzymes was replaced by HDNR. The role of the latter motif in the interaction with l-alanine and meso-diaminopimelic acid was demonstrated by site-directed mutagenesis experiments and the construction of a homology model. The overexpression of the E. rhusiopathiae murE gene in E. coli resulted in the incorporation of l-alanine at position 3 of the peptide part of peptidoglycan.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Biochimie
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Penicillin-binding proteins represent well-established, validated and still very promising targets for the design and development of new antibacterial agents. The transglycosylase domain of penicillin-binding proteins is especially important, as it catalyzes polymerization of glycan chains, using the peptidoglycan precursor lipid II as a substrate. Based on the previous discovery of a non-covalent small-molecule inhibitor of transglycosylase activity, we systematically explored the structure-activity relationships of these tryptamine-based inhibitors. The main aim was to reduce the non-specific cytotoxic properties of the initial hit compound, and concurrently to retain the mode of its inhibition. A focused library of tryptamine-based compounds was synthesized, characterized, and evaluated biochemically. The results presented here show the successful reduction of the non-specific cytotoxicity, and the retention of the inhibition of transglycosylase enzymatic activity, as well as the ability of these compounds to bind to lipid II and to have antibacterial actions.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cathepsin B is a lysosomal cysteine protease that is implicated in a number of physiological processes, including protein turnover in lysosomes. Changes in its expression are associated with a variety of pathological processes, including cancer. Due to the structural feature, termed the occluding loop, cathepsin B differs from other cysteine proteases in possessing both, endopeptidase and exopeptidase activity. Here we investigated the impact of both cathepsin B activities on intracellular and extracellular collagen IV degradation and tumour cell invasion using new selective synthetic inhibitors, 2-{[(8-hydroxy-5-nitroquinoline-7- yl)methyl]amino}-acetonitrile (1), 8-(4-methylpiperidin-1-yl)-5-nitroquinoline (2) and 7-[(4-methylpiperidin-1yl)methyl]-5-nitroquinolin-8-ol (3). All three compounds (5 μᴍ) reduced extracellular degradation of collagen IV by MCF-10A neoT cells by 45-70% as determined by spectrofluorimetry and they (50 μᴍ) attenuated intracellular collagen IV degradation by 40-60% as measured with flow cytometry. Furthermore, all three compounds (5 μᴍ) impaired MCF-10A neoT cell invasion by 40-80% as assessed by measuring electrical impedance in real time. Compounds 1 and 3 (5 μᴍ), but not compound 2, significantly reduced the growth of MMTV-PyMT multicellular tumour spheroids. Collectively, these data suggest that the efficient strategy to impair harmful cathepsin B activity in tumour progression may include simultaneous and potent inhibition of cathepsin B endopeptidase and exopeptidase activities.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Biological Chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previously, we identified CYP53 as a fungal-specific target of natural phenolic antifungal compounds and discovered several inhibitors with antifungal properties. In this study, we performed similarity-based virtual screening and synthesis to obtain benzoic acid-derived compounds and assessed their antifungal activity against Cochliobolus lunatus, Aspergillus niger and Pleurotus ostreatus. In addition, we generated structural models of CYP53 enzyme and used them in docking trials with 40 selected compounds. Finally, we explored CYP53–ligand interactions and identified structural elements conferring increased antifungal activity to facilitate the development of potential new antifungal agents that specifically target CYP53 enzymes of animal and plant pathogenic fungi.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We developed LiSiCA (Ligand Similarity using Clique Algorithm) - ligand-based virtual screening software that uses a fast maximum clique algorithm to find two- and three-dimensional similarities between pairs of molecules and applied it to the discovery of novel potent butyrylcholinesterase inhibitors. LiSiCA, which runs in parallel on multiple processor cores, was successfully tested on the Database of Useful Decoys - Enhanced, to evaluate its ability to discriminate active molecules from decoys. We then applied LiSiCA for the discovery of novel inhibitors of human butyrylcholinesterase, a promising anti-Alzheimer target, using a known inhibitor as the reference compound. We demonstrated that LiSiCA is capable of finding potent nanomolar inhibitors, whose scaffolds differed from the reference compound, thus proving its ability for scaffold hopping and usefulness in drug discovery.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling
  • Rok Frlan · Matej Sova · Stanislav Gobec · Gaj Stavber · Zdenko Casar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sarcosine was discovered as an excellent ligand for cobalt-catalyzed carbon-carbon cross-coupling of Grignard reagents with allylic and vinylic bromides. The Co(II)/sarcosine catalytic system is shown to perform efficiently when phenyl and benzyl Grignards are coupled with alkenyl bromides. Notably, previously unachievable Co-catalyzed coupling of allylic bromides with Grignards to linearly coupled alpha-products was also realized with Co(II)/sarcosine catalyst. This method was used for efficient preparation of the key intermediate in an alternative synthesis of the antihyperglycemic drug sitagliptin.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · The Journal of Organic Chemistry
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human DNA topoisomerase IIα (htIIα) is a validated target for the development of novel anticancer agents. Starting from our discovered 4-amino-1,3,5-triazine inhibitors of htIIα, we investigated a library of 2,4,6-trisubstituted-1,3,5-triazines for novel inhibitors that bind to the htIIα ATP binding site using a combination of structure-based and ligand-based pharmacophore models and molecular docking. 4,6-substituted-1,3,5-triazin-2(1H)-ones 8, 9 and 14 were identified as novel inhibitors with activity comparable to the established drug etoposide (1). Compound 8 inhibits the htIIα decatenation in a superior fashion to etoposide. Cleavage assays demonstrated that selected compounds 8 and 14 do not act as poisons and antagonize the poison effect of etoposide. Microscale thermophoresis (MST) confirmed binding of compound 8 to the htIIα ATPase domain and compound 14 effectively inhibits the htIIα mediated ATP hydrolysis. The molecular dynamics simulation study provides further insight into the molecular recognition. The 4,6-disubstituted-1,3,5-triazin-2(1H)-ones represent the first validated monocyclic class of catalytic inhibitors that bind to the to the htIIα ATPase domain. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tremendous efforts have been dedicated to the development of effective therapeutics against Alzheimer's disease, which represents the most common debilitating neurodegenerative disease. Multifunctional agents are molecules designed to have simultaneous effects on different pathological processes. Such compounds represent an emerging strategy for the development of effective treatments against Alzheimer's disease. Here, we report on the synthesis and biological evaluation of a series of nitroxoline-based analogs that were designed by merging the scaffold of 8-hydroxyquinoline with that of a known selective butyrylcholinesterase inhibitor that has promising anti-Alzheimer properties. Most strikingly, compound 8g inhibits self-induced aggregation of the amyloid beta peptide (Aβ1-42), inhibits with sub-micromolar potency butyrylcholinesterase (IC50=215nM), and also selectively complexes Cu(2+). Our study thus designates this compound as a promising multifunctional agent for therapeutic treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The crystal structure of human butyrylcholinesterase in complex with compound 8g is also solved, which suggests ways to further optimize compounds featuring the 8-hydroxyquinoline scaffold. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previously, we identified CYP53 as a fungal-specific target of natural phenolic antifungal compounds and discovered several inhibitors with antifungal properties. In this study, we performed similarity-based virtual screening and synthesis to obtain benzoic acid-derived compounds and assessed their antifungal activity against Cochliobolus lunatus, Aspergillus niger and Pleurotus ostreatus. In addition, we generated structural models of CYP53 enzyme and used them in docking trials with 40 selected compounds. Finally, we explored CYP53-ligand interactions and identified structural elements conferring increased antifungal activity to facilitate the development of potential new antifungal agents that specifically target CYP53 enzymes of animal and plant pathogenic fungi. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Molecular dynamics (MD) and molecular docking are commonly used to study molecular interactions in drug discovery. Most docking approaches consider proteins as rigid, which can decrease the accuracy of predicted docked poses. Therefore MD simulations can be used prior to docking to add flexibility to proteins. We evaluated the contribution of using MD together with docking in a docking study on human cathepsin B, a well-studied protein involved in numerous pathological processes. Using CHARMM biomolecular simulation program and AutoDock Vina molecular docking program, we found, that short MD simulations significantly improved molecular docking. Our results, expressed with the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves, show an increase in discriminatory power i.e. the ability to discriminate active from inactive compounds of molecular docking, when docking is performed to selected snapshots from MD simulations.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a fatal and complex neurodegenerative disorder for which effective treatment remains the unmet challenge. Using donepezil as a starting point, we aimed to develop novel potential anti-AD agents with a multidirectional biological profile. We designed the target compounds as dual binding site acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, where the N-benzylamine pharmacophore is responsible for interactions with the catalytic anionic site of the enzyme. The heteroaromatic fragment responsible for interactions with the peripheral anionic site was modified and three different heterocycles were introduced: isoindoline, isoindolin-1-one, and saccharine. Based on the results of the pharmacological evaluation, we identified compound 8b with a saccharine moiety as the most potent and selective human acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (IC50 = 33 nM) and beta amyloid aggregation inhibitor. It acts as a non-competitive acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier in vitro. We believe that compound 8b represents an important lead compound for further development as potential anti-AD agent. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Archiv der Pharmazie
  • Matej Sova · Rok Frlan · Stanislav Gobec · Gaj Stavber · Zdenko Časar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A sustainable D-glucosamine ligand is successfully introduced into iron-catalysed CC cross-coupling reactions for the first time. The Fe(acac)2/D-glucosamine·HCl/Et3N catalytic system was effective at 5 mol% loading in coupling reactions of Grignard reagents with organic bromides. Moderate to high efficiency was achieved with preserved stereochemistry when allyl (Csp3) or alkenyl (Csp2) bromides were coupled with phenylmagnesium (Csp2) or benzylmagnesium (Csp3) bromides. The catalytic system developed was also successfully applied for the novel and economic preparation of a Michael-acceptor-like starting material used in an alternative synthesis of the drug sitagliptin, a known blockbuster for the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Applied Organometallic Chemistry
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bacterial resistance to the available antibiotic agents underlines an urgent need for the discovery of novel antibacterial agents. Members of the bacterial Mur ligase family MurC-MurF involved in the intracellular stages of the bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis have recently emerged as a collection of attractive targets for novel antibacterial drug design. In this study, we have first extended the knowledge of the class of furan-based benzene-1,3-dicarboxylic acid derivatives by first showing a multiple MurC-MurF ligase inhibition for representatives of the extended series of this class. Steady-state kinetics studies on the MurD enzyme were performed for compound 1, suggesting a competitive inhibition with respect to ATP. To the best of our knowledge, compound 1 represents the first ATP-competitive MurD inhibitor reported to date with concurrent multiple inhibition of all four Mur ligases (MurC-MurF). Subsequent molecular dynamic (MD) simulations coupled with interaction energy calculations were performed for two alternative in silico models of compound 1 in the UMA/D-Glu- and ATP-binding sites of MurD, identifying binding in the ATP-binding site as energetically more favorable in comparison to the UMA/D-Glu-binding site, which was in agreement with steady-state kinetic data. In the final stage, based on the obtained MD data novel furan-based benzene monocarboxylic acid derivatives 8-11, exhibiting multiple Mur ligase (MurC-MurF) inhibition with predominantly superior ligase inhibition over the original series, were discovered and for compound 10 it was shown to possess promising antibacterial activity against S. aureus. These compounds represent novel leads that could by further optimization pave the way to novel antibacterial agents.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cathepsin B is a ubiquitously expressed lysosomal cysteine protease that participates in protein turnover within lysosomes. However, its protein and activity levels have been shown to be increased in cancer. Cathepsin B endopeptidase activity is involved in the degradation of extracellular matrix, a process that promotes tumor invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. Previously, we reported an established antibiotic nitroxoline as a potent and selective inhibitor of cathepsin B. In the present study, we elucidated its anti-tumor properties in in vitro and in vivo tumor models. Tumor and endothelial cell lines with high levels of active cathepsin B were selected for functional analysis of nitroxoline in vitro. Nitroxoline significantly reduced extracellular DQ-collagen IV degradation by all evaluated cancer cell lines using spectrofluorimetry. Nitroxoline also markedly decreased tumor cell invasion monitored in real time and reduced the invasive growth of multicellular tumor spheroids, used as a 3D in vitro model of tumor invasion. Additionally, endothelial tube formation was significantly reduced by nitroxoline in an in vitro angiogenesis assay. Finally, nitroxoline significantly abrogated tumor growth, angiogenesis and metastasis in vivo in LPB fibrosarcoma and MMTV-PyMT breast cancer mouse models. Overall, our results designate nitroxoline as a promising drug candidate for anti-cancer treatment.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Oncotarget
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Due to the complex nature of Alzheimer's disease, multi-target-directed ligand approaches are one of the most promising strategies in the search for effective treatments. Acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase and β-amyloid are the predominant biological targets in the search for new anti-Alzheimer's agents. Our aim was to combine both anticholinesterase and β-amyloid anti-aggregation activities in one molecule, and to determine the therapeutic potential in vivo. We designed and synthesized 28 new compounds as derivatives of donepezil that contain the N-benzylpiperidine moiety combined with the phthalimide or indole moieties. Most of these test compounds showed micromolar activities against cholinesterases and aggregation of β-amyloid, combined with positive results in blood-brain barrier permeability assays. The most promising compound 23 (2-(8-(1-(3-chlorobenzyl)piperidin-4-ylamino)octyl)isoindoline-1,3-dione) is an inhibitor of butyrylcholinesterase (IC50=0.72μM) that has β-amyloid anti-aggregation activity (72.5% inhibition at 10μM) and can cross the blood-brain barrier. Moreover, in an animal model of memory impairment induced by scopolamine, the activity of 23 was comparable to that of donepezil. The selected compound 23 is an excellent lead structure in the further search for new anti-Alzheimer's agents. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Progesterone has a number of important functions throughout the human body. While the roles of progesterone are well known, the possible actions and implications of progesterone metabolites in different tissues remain to be determined. There is a growing body of evidence that these metabolites are not inactive, but can have significant biological effects, as anesthetics, anxiolytics and anticonvulsants. Furthermore, they can facilitate synthesis of myelin components in the peripheral nervous system, have effects on human pregnancy and onset of labour, and have a neuroprotective role. For a better understanding of the functions of progesterone metabolites, improved analytical methods are essential. We have developed a combined liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for detection and quantification of progesterone and 16 progesterone metabolites that has femtomolar sensitivity and good reproducibility in a single chromatographic run. MS/MS analyses were performed in positive mode and under constant electrospray ionization conditions. To increase the sensitivity, all of the transitions were recorded using the Scheduled MRM algorithm. This LC-MS/MS method requires small sample volumes and minimal sample preparation, and there is no need for derivatization. Here, we show the application of this method for evaluation of progesterone metabolism in the HES endometrial cell line. In HES cells, the metabolism of progesterone proceeds mainly to (20S)-20-hydroxy-pregn-4-ene-3-one, (20S)-20-hydroxy-5α-pregnane-3-one and (20S)-5α-pregnane-3α,20-diol. The investigation of possible biological effects of these metabolites on the endometrium is currently undergoing.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · PLoS ONE
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder with a complex etiology. Because the available therapy brings limited benefits, the effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease remains the unmet challenge. Our aim was to develop a new series of donepezil-based compounds endowed with inhibitory properties against cholinesterases and β-amyloid aggregation. We designed the target compounds as dual binding site acetylcholinesterase inhibitors with N-benzylamine moiety interacting with the catalytic site of the enzyme and an isoindoline-1,3-dione fragment interacting with the peripheral anionic site of the enzyme. The results of pharmacological evaluation lead us to identify a compound 3b as the most potent and selective human acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (hAChE IC50=0.361μM). Kinetic studies revealed that 3b inhibited acetylcholinesterase in non-competitive mode. The result of the parallel artificial membrane permeability assay for the blood-brain barrier indicated that the compound 3b would be able to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach its biological targets in the central nervous system. The selected compound 3b represents a potential lead structure for further development of anti-Alzheimer's agents. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry