Raltegravir (RAL) is a first clinically approved integrase (IN) inhibitor for the treatment of HIV but rapid mutation of the virus has led to chemo-resistant strains. Therefore, there is a medical need to develop new IN inhibitors to overcome drug resistance. At present, several IN inhibitors are in different phases of clinical trials and few have been discontinued due to toxicity and lack of efficacy. The development of potent second-generation IN inhibitors with improved safety profiles is key for selecting new clinical candidates. In this article, we report the design and synthesis of potent 5-hydroxy-6-oxo-1,6-dihydropyrimidine-4-carboxamide analogues as second-generation IN inhibitors. These compounds satisfy two structural requirements known for potent inhibition of HIV-1 IN catalysis: a metal chelating moiety and a hydrophobic functionality necessary for selectivity against the strand transfer reaction. Most of the new compounds described herein are potent and selective for the strand transfer reaction and show antiviral activity in cell-based assays. Furthermore, this class of compounds are drug-like and suitable for further optimization and preclinical studies.
Though much progress has been made in the inhibition of HIV-1 integrase catalysis, clinical resistance mutations have limited the promise of long-term drug prescription. Consequently, allosteric inhibition of integrase activity has emerged as a promising approach to antiretroviral discovery and development. Specifically, inhibitors of the interaction between HIV-1 integrase and cellular cofactor LEDGF/p75 have been validated to diminish proviral integration in cells and deliver a potent reduction in viral replicative capacity. Here, we have contributed to the development of novel allosteric integrase inhibitors with a high-throughput AlphaScreen-based random screening approach, with which we have identified novel 5-carbonyl-1H-imidazole-4-carboxamides capable of inhibiting the HIV-1 integrase-LEDGF/p75 interaction in vitro. Following a structure-activity relationship analysis of the initial 1H-imidazole-4,5-dicarbonyl core, we optimized the compounds structure through an industrial database search, and we went further to synthesize a selective and non-cytotoxic panel of inhibitors with enhanced potency.
On the basis of an initial molecular modeling study suggesting the favorable binding of the "privileged" fragment 8-hydroxyquinoline with HIV-1 integrase (IN) at the IN-lens epithelium-derived growth factor/p75 (LEDGF/p75) interface , we developed a set of modified 8-hydroxyquinoline fragments demonstrating micromolar IC50 values for inhibition of the IN-LEDGF/p75 interaction, but significant cytotoxicity was associated with these initial compounds. Diverse modifications at the C5 and C7 carbons of the 8-hydroxyquinoline core improved potency, but reduction of diversity to only modifications at the C5 position ultimately yielded potent inhibitors with low cytotoxicity. Two of these particular compounds, 5-((p-tolylamino)methyl)quinolin-8-ol and 5-(((3,4-dimethylphenyl)amino)methyl)quinolin-8-ol, inhibited viral replication in MT-4 cells with low micromolar EC50. This is the first study providing evidence for 8-hydroxyquinolines as novel inhibitors of the IN-LEDGF/p75 interaction. Our lead compounds are druglike, have low molecular weights, and are amenable to various substitutions suitable for enhancing their potency and selectivity.
Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. Recombinant MDA-7/IL-24 has showed its selective cytotoxicity against cancer cells, and Ad-mda7 (INGN-241) is currently under clinical investigation for solid tumors. Here, we investigated the expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues from 202 patients. Compared with the adjacent mucosa, CRC tissues displayed significantly lower MDA-7/IL-24 levels. The MDA-7/IL-24 levels in CRC were significantly associated with patients survival rate in a 6-year period. These results indicate MDA-7/IL-24 level is both a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for CRC, and support the role of MDA-7/IL-24 in the treatment of CRC. To elevate MDA-7/IL-24 level for colon cancer treatment, we successfully developed a small-molecule compound SC144 with the ability to up-regulate MDA-7/IL-24 expression via direct binding and stabilizing MDA-7/IL-24 in human colon cancer cells. Among the analogs tested, SC144 exhibited the highest cytotoxicity in a panel of colon cancer cell lines in a p53-independent manner, accompanied by cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 with downregulation of Cyclin D1 levels, and apoptosis induction with upregulation of cell surface-bound Fas/CD95. These results combined with our previous studies support the anticancer role of MDA-7/IL-24 as well as the clinical development of SC144 for colon cancer treatment.
CXCR4 is a G-protein-coupled receptor involved in a number of physiological processes in the hematopoietic and immune systems. The SDF-1/CXCR4 axis is significantly associated with several diseases, such as HIV, cancer, WHIM syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, pulmonary fibrosis and lupus. For example, CXCR4 is one of the major co-receptors for HIV entry into target cells, while in cancer it plays an important role in tumor cell metastasis. Several promising CXCR4 antagonists have been developed to block SDF-1/CXCR4 interactions that are currently under different stages of development. The first in class CXCR4 antagonist, plerixafor, was approved by the FDA in 2008 for the mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells and several other drugs are currently in clinical trials for cancer, HIV, and WHIM syndrome. While the long-term safety data for the first generation CXCR4 antagonists are not yet available, several new compounds are under preclinical development in an attempt to provide safer and more efficient treatment options for HIV and cancer patients.
HIV-1 integrase (IN) is a validated therapeutic target for antiviral drug design. However, the emergence of viral strains resistant to clinically studied IN inhibitors demands the discovery of novel inhibitors that are structurally as well mechanistically different. Herein, we describe the design and discovery of novel IN inhibitors targeting the catalytic domain as well as its interaction with LEDGF/p75, which is essential for the HIV-1 integration as an IN cofactor. By merging the pharmacophores of salicylate and catechol, the 2,3-dihydroxybenzamide (5a) was identified as a new scaffold to inhibit the strand transfer reaction efficiently. Further structural modifications on the 2,3-dihydroxybenzamide scaffold revealed that the heteroaromatic functionality attached on the carboxamide portion and the piperidin-1-ylsulfonyl substituted at the phenyl ring are beneficial for the activity, resulting in a low micromolar IN inhibitor (5p, IC(50)=5 ?M) with more than 40-fold selectivity for the strand transfer over the 3-processing reaction. More significantly, this active scaffold remarkably inhibited the interaction between IN and LEDGF/p75 cofactor. The prototype example, N-(cyclohexylmethyl)-2,3-dihydroxy-5-(piperidin-1-ylsulfonyl) benzamide (5u) inhibited the IN-LEDGF/p75 interaction with an IC(50) value of 8 ?M. Using molecular modeling, the mechanism of action was hypothesized to involve the chelation of the divalent metal ions inside the IN active site. Furthermore, the inhibitor of IN-LEDGF/p75 interaction was properly bound to the LEDGF/p75 binding site on IN. This work provides a new and efficient approach to evolve novel HIV-1 IN inhibitors from rational integration and optimization of previously reported inhibitors.
The lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase LYP, encoded by the PTPN22 gene, is a critical regulator of signaling in T cells and recently emerged as a candidate target for therapy of autoimmune diseases. Here, by library screening, we identified a series of noncompetitive inhibitors of LYP that showed activity in primary T cells. Kinetic analysis confirmed that binding of the compounds to the phosphatase is nonmutually exclusive with respect to a known bidentate competitive inhibitor. The mechanism of action of the lead inhibitor compound 4e was studied by a combination of hydrogen/deuterium-exchange mass spectrometry and molecular modeling. The results suggest that the inhibitor interacts critically with a hydrophobic patch located outside the active site of the phosphatase. Targeting of secondary allosteric sites is viewed as a promising yet unexplored approach to develop pharmacological inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatases. Our novel scaffold could be a starting point to attempt development of "nonactive site" anti-LYP pharmacological agents.
For the last two decades, we have seen remarkable growth in the pharmaceutical industry. This growth has mainly been due to the approximately 100 new blockbuster drugs, such as Lipitor® (atorvastatin) and Plavix® (clopidogrel). More than half of the revenue of major pharmaceutical companies and above one-third of the total pharmaceutical revenues came from the sales of these blockbuster drugs. Questions concerning the fate of these blockbuster drugs are beginning to surface as they are approaching their patent expiration dates, and as they are expected to face significant competition from generic versions. Branded drugs with more than USD 120 billion in sales (as of 2008) are expected to lose their patent protection in the next 3 to 4 years, while the less expensive generic versions are ready to enter the market. It is plausible that a major paradigm shift in our thinking is needed to stay innovative, competitive and economically feasible in this new era of drug development. A new wave of innovations is expected to boost the blockbuster regime. Herein, we discuss the different threats facing the branded monopoly, as well as some of the hopeful expectations for the blockbuster drug.
Human lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF)/p75 plays an important role in the HIV life cycle by stimulating integrase (IN)-led viral DNA integration into cellular chromosomes. Mechanistic studies show the majority of IN inhibitors chelate magnesium ions in the catalytic active site, a region topologically distant from the LEDGF/p75 binding site. Compounds disrupting the formation of LEDGF/p75 and IN complexes serve as a novel mechanistic approach different from current antiretroviral therapies. We previously built pharmacophore models mimicking LEDGF/p75 residues and identified four classes of LEDGF/p75-IN inhibitors. Substructure and similarity searches yielded additional LEDGF/p75-IN inhibitors containing an acylhydrazone moiety. The most potent of the acylhydrazones inhibited LEDGF/p75-IN interaction with an IC(50) value of 400nM. We explored structure-activity relationships (SAR) and identified new acylhydrazones, hydrazines, and diazenes as lead molecules for further optimization. Two lead LEDGF/p75-IN inhibitors showed antiviral activity.
Among a large number of HIV-1 integrase (IN) inhibitors, the 8-hydroxy-[1,6]naphthyridines (i.e., L-870,810) were one of the promising class of antiretroviral drugs developed by Merck Laboratories. In spite of its remarkable potency and efficacy, unfortunately upon completion of phase I clinical studies, development of L-870,810 was halted. Because of its desirable pharmacological and pharmaceutical properties we were intrigued to design novel analogues of L-870,810 with goals to (1) improve upon limitations of naphthyridine-7-carboxamides as antiviral agents and (2) to reposition their use as innovative cytotoxic agents for cancer therapeutics. Herein, we report on the design and synthesis of a series of 1,6-naphthyridine-7-carboxamides with various substitutions at the 5- and 8-positions. All the new 5-substituted-8-hydroxy-[1,6]naphthyridines were potent IN inhibitors and the 5-substituted-8-amino-[1,6]naphthyridines were significantly cytotoxic. Further optimization of the 5,8-disubstituted-[1,6]naphthyridines with structural variation on 7-carboxamide delivered novel compounds with significant cytotoxicity in a panel of cancer cell lines and effective inhibition against select oncogenic kinases.
Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone protein, catalyzes disulfide bond breakage, formation, and rearrangement. The effect of PDI inhibition on ovarian cancer progression is not yet clear, and there is a need for potent, selective, and safe small-molecule inhibitors of PDI. Here, we report a class of propynoic acid carbamoyl methyl amides (PACMAs) that are active against a panel of human ovarian cancer cell lines. Using fluorescent derivatives, 2D gel electrophoresis, and MS, we established that PACMA 31, one of the most active analogs, acts as an irreversible small-molecule inhibitor of PDI, forming a covalent bond with the active site cysteines of PDI. We also showed that PDI activity is essential for the survival and proliferation of human ovarian cancer cells. In vivo, PACMA 31 showed tumor targeting ability and significantly suppressed ovarian tumor growth without causing toxicity to normal tissues. These irreversible small-molecule PDI inhibitors represent an important approach for the development of targeted anticancer agents for ovarian cancer therapy, and they can also serve as useful probes for investigating the biology of PDI-implicated pathways.
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