The present research explored the main factors that can influence subjects' choices in the case of decisions. In order to elucidate the individual differences that influence the decisional processes, making their strategies more or less advantageous, we tested the effect of a reward sensitivity in the behavioral activation system (BAS-Reward) constructed on the ability to distinguish between high- and low-risk decisions. Secondly, the lateralization effect, related to increased activation of the left (BAS-related) hemisphere, was explored. Thirty-one subjects were tested using the Iowa Gambling Task, and the BAS-Reward measure was applied to distinguish between high-BAS and low-BAS groups. Behavioral responses (gain/loss options) and alpha-band modulation were considered. It was found that high-BAS group increased their tendency to opt in favor of the immediate reward (loss strategy) rather than the long-term option (win strategy). Secondly, high-BAS subjects showed an increased left-hemisphere activation in response to losing (with immediate reward) choices in comparison with low-BAS subjects. A "reward bias" effect was supposed to explain both the bad strategy and the unbalanced hemispheric activation for high-BAS and more risk-taking subjects.
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.
2-Benzo[d]thiazolyl- and 2-benzo[d]isothiazolyl-imino-5-benzylidene-4-thiazolidinone derivatives were investigated as potential metalloproteinases (MMPs) inhibitors and evaluated for their antidegenerative activity on human chondrocyte cultures stimulated by IL-1?, using an experimental model that reproduces the mechanisms involved in osteoarthritic (OA) diseases. Cell viability, the amount of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and the production of nitric oxide (NO) were measured. The most potent compound, 5-(4-methoxy-benzylidene)-2-(benzo[d]isothiazol-3-ylimino)-thiazolidin-4-one (4b), a MMP-13 inhibitor at nanomolar concentration (IC(50)=0.036 ?M), could be considered as a lead compound for the development of novel clinical agents, inhibitors of cartilage degradation, for the treatment of OA.
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