[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor (TLR)-7 and -8 agonists are potential vaccine adjuvants, since directly activate APCs and enhance Th1-driven immune responses. Previous SAR investigations in several scaffolds of small molecule TLR7/8 activators pointed to the strict dependence of the selectivity for TLR7 vis-à-vis TLR8 on the electronic configurations of the heterocyclic systems, which we sought to examine quantitatively with the goal of developing 'heuristics' to define structural requisites governing activity at TLR7 and/or TLR8. We undertook a scaffold-hopping approach, entailing the syntheses and biological evaluations of thirteen different chemotypes. Crystal structures of TLR8 in complex with two most active compounds confirmed important binding interactions playing a key role in ligand occupancy and biological activity. Density functional theory-based quantum chemical calculations on these compounds, followed by linear discriminant analyses permitted the classification of inactive, TLR8-active and TLR7/8 dual-active compounds, confirming the critical role of partial charges in determining biological activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antigens in modern subunit vaccines are largely soluble and poorly immunogenic proteins inducing relatively short-lived immune responses. Appropriate adjuvants initiate early innate immune responses, amplifying subsequent adaptive immune responses. Agonists of TLR2 are devoid of significant pro-inflammatory activity in ex vivo human blood models, and yet potently adjuvantic, suggesting that this chemotype may be a safe and effective adjuvant. Our earlier work on the monoacyl lipopeptide class of TLR2 agonists led to the design of a highly potent lead, but with negligible aqueous solubility, necessitating the reintroduction of aqueous solubility. We explored several strategies of introducing ionizable groups on the lipopeptide, as well as the systematic evaluation of chemically stable bioisosteres of the ester-linked palmitoyl group. These studies have led to a fully optimized, chemically stable, and highly water-soluble, human TLR2-specific agonist, which was found to have an excellent safety profile and displayed prominent adjuvantic activities in rabbit models.
No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor (TLR)-8 agonists typified by the 2-alkylthiazolo[4,5-c]quinolin-4-amine (CL075) chemotype are uniquely potent in activating adaptive immune responses by inducing robust production of T helper 1-polarizing cytokines, suggesting that TLR8-active compounds could be promising candidate vaccine adjuvants, especially for neonatal vaccines. Alkylthiazoloquinolines with methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl groups at C2 displayed comparable TLR8-agonistic potencies; activity diminished precipitously in the C2-pentyl compound, and higher homologues were inactive. The C2-butyl compound was unique in possessing substantial TLR7-agonistic activity. Analogues with branched alkyl groups at C2 displayed poor tolerance of terminal steric bulk. Virtually all modifications at C8 led to abrogation of agonistic activity. Alkylation on the C4-amine was not tolerated, whereas N-acyl analogues with short acyl groups (other than acetyl) retained TLR8 agonistic activity, but were substantially less water-soluble. Immunization in rabbits with a model subunit antigen adjuvanted with the lead C2-butyl thiazoloquinoline showed enhancements of antigen-specific antibody titers.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Engagement of toll-like receptors (TLRs) serve to link innate immune responses with adaptive immunity and can be exploited as powerful vaccine adjuvants for eliciting both primary and anamnestic immune responses. TLR7 agonists are highly immunostimulatory without inducing dominant proinflammatory cytokine responses. We synthesized a dendrimeric molecule bearing six units of a potent TLR7/TLR8 dual-agonistic imidazoquinoline to explore if multimerization of TLR7/8 would result in altered activity profiles. A complete loss of TLR8-stimulatory activity with selective retention of the TLR7-agonistic activity was observed in the dendrimer. This was reflected by a complete absence of TLR8-driven proinflammatory cytokine and interferon (IFN)-γ induction in human PBMCs, with preservation of TLR7-driven IFN-α induction. The dendrimer was found to be superior to the imidazoquinoline monomer in inducing high titers of high-affinity antibodies to bovine α-lactalbumin. Additionally, epitope mapping experiments showed that the dendrimer induced immunoreactivity to more contiguous peptide epitopes along the amino acid sequence of the model antigen.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In our ongoing search toward identifying novel and synthetically simpler candidate vaccine adjuvants, we hypothesized that the imidazo[1,2-a]pyrazines, readily accessible via the Groebke-Blackburn-Bienaymé multicomponent reaction, would possess sufficient structural similarity with TLR7/8-agonistic imidazoquinolines. With pyridoxal as the aldehyde component, furo[2,3-c]pyridines, rather than the expected imidazo[1,2-a]pyridines, were obtained, which were characterized by NMR spectroscopy and crystallography. Several analogues were found to activate TLR8-dependent NF-κB signaling. In a focused library of furo[2,3-c]pyridines, a distinct SAR was observed with varying substituents at C2. In human PBMCs, none of the furo[2,3-c]pyridines showed any proinflammatory cytokine induction but upregulated several chemokine ligand genes. In immunization studies in rabbits, the most active compound showed prominent adjuvantic effects. The complete lack of proinflammatory cytokine induction coupled with strong adjuvantic activity of the novel furo[2,3-c]pyridines render this hitherto unknown chemotype an attractive class of compounds which are expected to be devoid of local or systemic reactogenicity.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to explore the imidazo[1,2-a]pyridin-3-amines for TLR7 (or 8)-modulatory activities. This chemotype, readily accessed via the Groebke-Blackburn-Bienaymé multi-component reaction, resulted in compounds that were TLR7/8-inactive, but exhibited bacteriostatic activity against Gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). To investigate the mechanism of antibacterial activity of this new chemotype, a resistant strain of S. aureus was generated by serially passaging the organism in escalating doses of the most active analogue. A comparison of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of known bacteriostatic agents in wild-type and resistant strains indicates a novel mechanism of action. Structure-activity relationship studies have led to the identification of positions on the scaffold for additional structural modifications that should allow for the introduction of probes designed to examine cognate binding partners and molecular targets, while not significantly compromising antibacterial potency.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present article describes the design and synthesis of new biprivileged molecular scaffolds with diverse structural features. Commercially available, simple heterocyclic building blocks such as 4-fluoro-3-nitrobenzoic acid, 2-chloro-3-nitrobenzoic acid, and indoline were utilized for the synthesis of the novel heterocycles. Pictet-Spengler-type condensation was used as a key step to construct tetracyclic indolo-benzodiazepines and indolo-quinoxalines linked with substituted benzimidazoles. Analysis of single crystals of representative compounds showed that these molecular skeletons have the potential to present various substituents with distinct three-dimensional orientations.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Chemistry - An Asian Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor 2-agonistic lipopeptides typified by S-[2,3-bis(palmitoyloxy)-(2RS)-propyl]-R-cysteinyl-S-serine (PAM(2)CS) compounds are potential vaccine adjuvants. We had previously determined that at least one acyl group of optimal length (C(16)) and an appropriately orientated ester carbonyl group is essential for TLR2-agonistic activity. We now show that these structurally simpler analogues display agonistic activities with human, but not murine, TLR2. SAR studies on the monoacyl derivatives show that the optimal acyl chain length is C(16), and aryl substituents are not tolerated. A variety of alkyl and acyl substituents on the cysteine amine were examined. All N-alkyl derivatives were inactive. In contradistinction, short-chain N-acyl analogues were found to be highly active, with a clear dependence on the chain length. A cysteine N-acetyl analogue was found to be the most potent (EC(50): 1 nM), followed by the N-butyryl analogue. The N-acetyl analogue is human TLR2-specific, with its potency comparable to that of PAM(2)CS.
Preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diversity-oriented synthesis of novel benzimidazole linked indolo-benzodiazepine/quinoxaline ring systems using poly(ethylene glycol) as soluble polymer support is described. Commercially available 4-fluoro-3-nitrobenzoic acid and indoline were utilized for the construction of these annulated biheterocyclic compound libraries having multiple privileged structures with three-point structural diversity. A reagent based diversification approach coupled with the Pictet-Spengler-type condensation was used to construct the tetracyclic indolo-benzodiazepines/quinoxalines on substituted benzimidazoles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The synthesis of indoline substituted nitrobenzene on a PEG support and its further elaboration to structurally diverse benzene-fused pyrazino/diazepino indoles is disclosed. A reagent based diversification approach coupled with Pictet-Spengler type condensation reactions furnished these fused polycyclic scaffolds. Microwave irradiation was used as a means of rate acceleration for soluble polymer-supported reactions. The efficiency of these fused heterocyclic molecules to inhibit the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3) was examined in vitro using kinase receptor activation enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (KIRA-ELISA). Based on the preliminary results obtained, a small set of potential drug candidates were identified as novel leads in this therapeutic area to be further explored as anti-metastatic agents.
No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synthesis of amino acid and indoline-substituted dinitrobenzene on a soluble polymer support (PEG) and its further reductive double-ring closure to afford structurally diverse indolo-fused pyrazino-/diazepinoquinoxalinones is described. Traceless synthesis of quinoxalinones coupled with application of the Pictet-Spengler-type condensation reaction furnished these novel scaffolds. These hitherto novel heterocycles are synthesized in shorter times under microwave irradiation conditions in comparison with that of classical reaction conditions.