Huchen Zhou

Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China

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Publications (26)120.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Several aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases have been reported to be overexpressed for charging essential aminoacyl-tRNAs in many cancer types. In this study, we aimed to explore the potential role of leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LARS) as an anticancer target. MTT assay was performed to screen inhibitors to human LARS (hsLARS) from compounds AN2690 and its derivatives, compounds 1-6, in U2OS and SKOV3 cells. The compound with the strongest inhibitory ability was further investigated for its inhibitory effect in cancer cell lines and in an animal tumor model. Additionally, a LARS-rescue experiment was performed to explore the potential target in U2OS using Western blot and flow cytometry. Luciferase reporter assay was designed to analyze the effect of of hsLARS inhibitor on p21 activation. We identified an hsLARS inhibitor (compound 2) that suppressed the proliferation of U2OS and SKOV3 cells in vitro. A LARS-rescue experiment demonstrated that the proliferation inhibition was induced by targeting intracellular LARS. In addition, the hsLARS inhibition was shown to activate the p21 early transcription and promote cell apoptosis, as well as reduce implanted EMT6 tumor progression in mice. Our results suggest that LARS might serve as a potential anticancer target through the p21 signaling pathway and that the nutritional signaling pathway may provide a valuable anticancer strategy for further investigation.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · OncoTargets and Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: A wide variety of prokaryotes possess DNA modifications consisting of sequence-specific phosphorothioates (PT) inserted by members of a five-gene cluster. Recent genome mapping studies revealed two unusual features of PT modifications: short consensus sequences and partial modification of a specific genomic site in a population of bacteria. To better understand the mechanism of target selection of PT modifications that underlies these features, we characterized the substrate recognition of the PT-modifying enzymes termed DptC, D and E in a cell extract system from Salmonella. The results revealed that double-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides underwent de novo PT modification in vitro, with the same modification pattern as in vivo, i. e., GpsAAC/GpsTTC motif. Unexpectedly, in these in vitro analyses we observed no significant effect on PT modification by sequences flanking GAAC/GTTC motif, while PT also occurred in the GAAC/GTTC motif that could not be modified in vivo. Hemi-PT DNA also served as substrate of the PT-modifying enzymes, but not single-stranded DNA. The PT-modifying enzymes were then found to function as a large protein complex, with all of three subunits in tetrameric conformations. This study provided the first demonstration of in vitro DNA PT modification by PT-modifying enzymes that function as a large protein complex.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Scientific Reports

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Molecular Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Human African trypanosomiasis is a fatal parasitic infection caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma brucei. The development of novel antitrypanosomal agents is urgently needed. Here we report the synthesis and structure-activity relationship of a new class of benzoxaboroles as antitrypanosomal agents. These compounds showed antiparasitic IC50 values ranging from 4.02 to 0.03 μg/mL and satisfactory cytotoxicity profile. Three of the lead compounds were demonstrated to cure the parasitic infection in a murine acute infection model. The structure-activity relationship of the pyrrolobenzoxaboroles are also discussed.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
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    Yaxue Zhao · Qingqing Meng · Linquan Bai · Huchen Zhou
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    ABSTRACT: Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are enzymes that catalyze the transfer of amino acids to their cognate tRNA. They play a pivotal role in protein synthesis and are essential for cell growth and survival. The aaRSs are one of the leading targets for development of antibiotic agents. In this review, we mainly focused on aaRS inhibitor discovery and development using in silico methods including virtual screening and structure-based drug design. These computational methods are relatively fast and cheap, and are proving to be of great benefit for the rational development of more potent aaRS inhibitors and other pharmaceutical agents that may usher in a much needed generation of new antibiotics.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: A new class of benzoxaboroles were synthesized as antitrypanosomal agents and showed IC50 as low as 0.03 μg/mL. Three of the lead compounds eliminated parasitic infection in a murine model.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014
  • Jiong Zhang · MingYan Zhu · YiNan Lin · HuChen Zhou
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    ABSTRACT: Benzoxaborole, as a versatile scaffold, plays important roles in organic synthesis, molecular recognition and supramolecular chemistry. It is also a privileged structure in medicinal chemistry due to its desirable physicochemical and drug-like properties. Recently, benzoxaboroles were widely applied as antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasite, and anti-inflammatory agents. This review covers the properties, synthetic methods and applications of benzoxaboroles in medicinal chemistry. © 2013 Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Science China-Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is one of the most neglected diseases in the tropic regions, which is fatal if not treated in time. There is an urgent need for new therapeutics, especially those in new chemical classes. Leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS) has been paid much attention as a recently clinically validated antimicrobial target. Our group has previously reported T. brucei LeuRS (TbLeuRS) inhibitors, including benzoxaboroles targeting the editing site and pyrrolinones targeting the synthetic site. Here we report the discovery of N-(4-sulfamoylphenyl)thioureas as a new class of TbLeuRS inhibitors. The R(1) and R(2) groups, reminiscent of the leucyl and adenyl regions of aa-AMP and aa-AMS, were optimized to result in a significant 13-fold increase of inhibitory activity (compound , IC50 = 13.7 μM). Aided by ligand-protein docking, the 1,3-substitution at the central phenyl ring was predicted and proved to give significantly improved activity (, IC50 = 1.1 μM). This work provided a new scaffold for the exploration of novel inhibitors against TbLeuRS, which may become potential therapeutics for the treatment of HAT.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
  • Amy Friesland · Yaxue Zhao · Yan-Hua Chen · Lie Wang · Huchen Zhou · Qun Lu
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    ABSTRACT: Signaling through the Rho family of small GTPases has been intensely investigated for its crucial roles in a wide variety of human diseases. Although RhoA and Rac1 signaling pathways are frequently exploited with the aid of effective small molecule modulators, studies of the Cdc42 subclass have lagged because of a lack of such means. We have applied high-throughput in silico screening and identified compounds that are able to fit into the surface groove of Cdc42, which is critical for guanine nucleotide exchange factor binding. Based on the interaction between Cdc42 and intersectin (ITSN), a specific Cdc42 guanine nucleotide exchange factor, we discovered compounds that rendered ITSN-like interactions in the binding pocket. By using in vitro binding and imaging as well as biochemical and cell-based assays, we demonstrated that ZCL278 has emerged as a selective Cdc42 small molecule modulator that directly binds to Cdc42 and inhibits its functions. In Swiss 3T3 fibroblast cultures, ZCL278 abolished microspike formation and disrupted GM130-docked Golgi structures, two of the most prominent Cdc42-mediated subcellular events. ZCL278 reduces the perinuclear accumulation of active Cdc42 in contrast to NSC23766, a selective Rac inhibitor. ZCL278 suppresses Cdc42-mediated neuronal branching and growth cone dynamics as well as actin-based motility and migration in a metastatic prostate cancer cell line (i.e., PC-3) without disrupting cell viability. Thus, ZCL278 is a small molecule that specifically targets Cdc42-ITSN interaction and inhibits Cdc42-mediated cellular processes, thus providing a powerful tool for research of Cdc42 subclass of Rho GTPases in human pathogenesis, such as those of cancer and neurological disorders.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    Yaxue Zhao · Feng Zhou · Huchen Zhou · Haibin Su
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    ABSTRACT: The bonding characteristics in cysteine-gold cluster complexes represented by thiolate (Au(n)·Cys(S) (n = 1, 3, 5, 7)) and thiol (Au(n)·Cys(SH) (n = 2, 4, 6, 8)) is investigated by density functional theory with 6-31G(d,p) and Lanl2DZ hybrid basis sets. The complexes exhibit very different bonding characteristic between these two forms. In the Au(n)·Cys(S) complexes, the charge transfers from gold clusters to sulfur atoms. The number of S-Au bonds in the Au(n)·Cys(S) complexes evolves from one to two when n is greater than three. For n equals three, i.e. Au(3)·Cys(S), its ground state only has one S-Au bond. While the only S-Au bond in Au(1)·Cys(S) is mainly covalent, the nature of the S-Au bond in other thiolates is featured with the combination of covalent and donor-acceptor interactions. In particular, one stable isomer of Au(3)·Cys(S) with two S-Au bonds, which is 2 kcal mol(-1) higher in energy than the corresponding ground state, consists of one covalent and one donor-acceptor S-Au bond explicitly. Moreover, the localized three center two electron bonds are formed within the Au clusters, which facilitates the formation of the two S-Au bonds in Au(5)·Cys(S) and Au(7)·Cys(S) complexes. In the Au(n)·Cys(SH) complexes, the donor-acceptor interaction prevails in the Au-SH bond by transferring lone pair electrons from the sulfur atom to the adjacent gold atom. Interestingly, the orbital with much more 6s-component in Au(4)·Cys(SH) enhances the donor-acceptor bonding character, thus yields the strongest bonding among all the Au(n)·Cys(SH) complexes studied in this paper. In general, the bonding strength between gold clusters and cysteine is positively correlated with the S-Au overlap-weighted bond order, but negatively correlated with the S-Au bond length. Lastly, the covalent and donor-acceptor S-Au bond strength is computed to be 48 and 18 kcal mol(-1), respectively.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
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    ABSTRACT: Among the regulation mechanisms of cellular function, allosteric regulation is the most direct, rapid and efficient. Due to the wider receptor selectivity and lower target-based toxicity, compared with orthosteric ligands, allosteric modulators are expected to play a larger role in pharmaceutical research and development. However, current difficulties, such as a low affinity and unknown structural features of potential allosteric small-molecules, usually obstruct the discovery of allosteric modulators. In this study, we compared known allosteric modulators with various compounds from different databases to unveil the structural and qualitative characteristics of allosteric modulators. The results show that allosteric modulators generally contain more hydrophobic scaffolds and have a higher structural rigidity, i.e., less rotatable bonds and more rings. Based on this analysis, an empirical rule was defined to determine the structural requirements for an allosteric modulator. It was found that a large proportion of allosteric modulators (80%) can be successfully retrieved by this "allosteric-like" filter, which shows good discriminatory power in identifying allosteric modulators. Therefore, the study provides deeper insight into the chemical properties of allosteric modulators and has a good potential for the design or optimization of allosteric compounds.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of molecular graphics & modelling
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    ABSTRACT: We report the novel chalcone-benzoxaborole hybrids and their structure-activity relationship against Trypanosoma brucei parasites. The 4-NH(2) derivative 29 and 3-OMe derivative 43 were found to have excellent potency. The synergistic 4-NH(2)-3-OMe compound 49 showed an IC(50) of 0.010 μg/mL and resulted in 100% survival and zero parasitemia in a murine infection model, which represents one of the most potent compounds discovered to date from the benzoxaborole class that inhibit T. brucei growth.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: A series of new boron-containing benzoxaborole compounds was designed and synthesized for a continuing structure-activity relationship (SAR) investigation to assess the antimalarial activity changes derived from side-chain structural variation, substituent modification on the benzene ring and removal of boron from five-membered oxaborole ring. This SAR study demonstrated that boron is required for the antimalarial activity, and discovered that three fluoro-substituted 7-(2-carboxyethyl)-1,3-dihydro-1-hydroxy-2,1-benzoxaboroles (9, 14 and 20) have excellent potencies (IC(50) 0.026-0.209 μM) against Plasmodium falciparum.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
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    ABSTRACT: Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, is a neglected fatal disease. Leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS), which has been successfully applied in the development of antifungal agent, represents a potential antiprotozoal drug target. In this study, a 3D model of T. brucei LeuRS (TbLeuRS) synthetic active site was constructed and subjected to virtual screening using a combination of pharmacophore- and docking-based methods. A new 2-pyrrolinone scaffold was discovered and the structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies aided by the docking model and organic synthesis were carried out. Compounds with various substituents on R(1), R(2) and R(3) were synthesized and their SAR was discussed.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
  • Mingxuan Wu · Qingqing Meng · Min Ge · Linquan Bai · Huchen Zhou
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    ABSTRACT: The synthesis and characterization of highly challenging 2,3,6-trideoxy sugar nucleotides were described for the first time. The study of their hydrolysis kinetics in aqueous buffers provided insight into their application as glycosyl donors.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Tetrahedron Letters
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    ABSTRACT: As the best-characterized ubiquitin-like protein (UBL), small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) was found to conjugate with a number of proteins to regulate cellular functions including transcription, signal transduction, and cell cycle. While E1, E2 and E3 ligases are responsible for the forward SUMOylation reaction, SUMO-specific proteases (SENPs) reversibly remove SUMO from the SUMOylated proteins. Recently, SENP1 was found to be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of prostate cancers, but the design and synthesis of its inhibitors have not been reported. We designed and synthesized a series of benzodiazepine-based SENP1 inhibitors, and they showed inhibitory activity as good as IC(50)=9.2μM (compound 38). The structure-activity relationship was also discussed.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
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    ABSTRACT: African trypanosomiasis, caused by the proto zoal pathogen Trypanosoma brucei (T. brucei), is one of the most neglected tropical diseases that are in great need of new drugs. We report the design and synthesis of T. brucei leucyl-tRNA synthetase (TbLeuRS) inhibitors and their structure--activity relationship. Benzoxaborole was used as the core structure and C(6) was modified to achieve improved affinity based on docking results that showed further binding space at this position. Indeed, compounds with C(7) substitutions showed diminished activity due to clash with the eukaryote specific I4ae helix while substitutions at C(6) gave enhanced affinity. TbLeuRS inhibitors with IC(50) as low as 1.6 μM were discovered, and the structure-activity relationship was discussed. The most potent enzyme inhibitors also showed excellent T. brucei parasite growth inhibition activity. This is the first time that TbLeuRS inhibitors are reported, and this study suggests that leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS) could be a potential target for antiparasitic drug development.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of benzoxaborole antitrypanosomal agents and their structure−activity relationships on central linkage groups and different substitution patterns in the sulfur-linked series. The compounds showed in vitro growth inhibition IC50 values as low as 0.02 μg/mL and in vivo efficacy in acute murine infection models against Tryapnosoma brucei.Keywords (keywords): Tryapnosoma brucei; African trypanosomiasis; benzoxaborole
    Preview · Article · Apr 2010 · ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Despite of the medicinal significance of benzoxaboroles, with the newly discovered clinical compound AN2690 as an example, the synthetic method for rapid diversification of this novel scaffold is lacking. To this end, a versatile and scalable synthesis of formyl-substituted benzoxaboroles is described here. A key step is the mono-oxidation of the two hydroxyls in compound 4 by taking advantage of the stable oxaborole ring in non-coordinating solvents, which was devised based on the study of the intramolecular coordination and exchange properties.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2009 · Tetrahedron
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    ABSTRACT: ChemInform is a weekly Abstracting Service, delivering concise information at a glance that was extracted from about 200 leading journals. To access a ChemInform Abstract of an article which was published elsewhere, please select a “Full Text” option. The original article is trackable via the “References” option.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · ChemInform

Publication Stats

734 Citations
120.71 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007-2015
    • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
      • • State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism
      • • School of Pharmacy
      • • Department of Pharmacy (Sixth People's Hospital)
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China