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26.  Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors Based on the 3-Mercaptopyrrolidine Core 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(11):4357-4373.
New series of pyrrolidine mercaptosulfide, 2-mercaptocyclopentane arylsulfonamide, and 3-mercapto-4-arylsulfonamido pyrrolidine matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors (MMPIs) were designed, synthesized, and evaluated. Exhibiting unique properties over other MMPIs (e.g., hydroxamates), these newly reported compounds are capable of modulating activities of several MMPs in the low nanomolar range, including MMP-2 (~2 to 50 nM), MMP-13 (~2 to 50 nM), and MMP-14 (~4 to 60 nM). Additionally these compounds are selective to intermediate- and deep-pocket MMPs but not shallow-pocketed MMPs (e.g., MMP-1, ~850 to >50,000 nM; MMP-7, ~4,000 to >25,000 nM). Our previous work with the mercaptosulfide functionality attached to both cyclopentane and pyrrolidine frameworks demonstrated that the cis-(3S,4R)-stereochemistry was optimal for all of the MMPs tested. However, in our newest compounds an interesting shift of preference to the trans-form of the mercaptosulfonamides was observed with increased oxidative stability and biological compatibility. We also report several kinetic and biological characteristics showing that these compounds may be used to probe the mechanistic activities of MMPs in disease.
doi:10.1021/jm400529f
PMCID: PMC3715384  PMID: 23631440
27.  Structural Optimization, Biological Evaluation and Application of Peptidomimetic Prostate Specific Antigen Inhibitors 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(11):4224-4235.
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is a serine protease produced at high levels by normal and malignant prostate epithelial cells that is used extensively as a biomarker in the clinical management of prostate cancer. To better understand PSA’s role in prostate cancer progression we prepared a library of peptidyl boronic acid based inhibitors. To enhance selectivity for PSA vs. other serine proteases, we modified the P1 site of the inhibitors to incorporate a bromopropylglycine group. This allowed the inhibitors to participate in halogen bond formation with the serine found at the bottom of the specificity pocket. The best of these Ahx-FSQn(boro)Bpg had PSA Ki of 72 nM and chymotrypsin Ki of 580 nM. In vivo studies using PSA-producing xenografts demonstrated that candidate inhibitors had minimal effect on growth but significantly altered serum levels of PSA. Biodistribution of 125I labeled peptides showed low levels of uptake into tumors compared to other normal tissues.
doi:10.1021/jm301718c
PMCID: PMC3740768  PMID: 23692593
Prostate cancer; PSA inhibitors; boronic acids; peptidyl-boronic acid; peptidomimetics; serine protease inhibition; chymotrypsin inhibition
28.  Design, synthesis and molecular modeling of novel pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine analogs as antifolates: Application of Buchwald-Hartwig aminations of heterocycles 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(11):4422-4441.
Opportunistic infections caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii (P. jirovecii, pj), Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii, tg) and Mycobacterium avium (M. avium, ma) are the principal causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The absence of any animal models for human Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia and the lack of crystal structures of pjDHFR and tgDHFR make the design of inhibitors challenging. A novel series of pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines as selective and potent DHFR inhibitors against these opportunistic infections are presented. Buchwald-Hartwig coupling reaction of substituted anilines with pivaloyl protected 2,4-diamino-6-bromo-pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine was successfully explored to synthesize these analogs. Compound 26 was the most selective inhibitor with excellent potency against pjDHFR. Molecular modeling studies with a pjDHFR homology model explained the potency and selectivity of 26. Structural data are also reported for 26 with pcDHFR and 16 and 22 with variants of pcDHFR.
doi:10.1021/jm400086g
PMCID: PMC3723128  PMID: 23627352
29.  Synthesis of Mixed (E,Z)-, (E)-, and (Z)-Norendoxifen with Dual Aromatase Inhibitory and Estrogen Receptor Modulatory Activities 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(11):4611-4618.
The first synthesis of the tamoxifen metabolite norendoxifen is reported. This included syntheses of (E)-norendoxifen, (Z)-norendoxifen, and (E,Z)-norendoxifen isomers. (Z)-Norendoxifen displayed affinity for aromatase (Ki 442 nM), estrogen receptor-α (EC50 17 nM), and estrogen receptor-β (EC50 27.5 nM), while the corresponding values for (E)-norendoxifen were aromatase (Ki 48 nM), estrogen receptor-α (EC50 58.7 nM), and estrogen receptor-β (EC50 78.5 nM). Docking and energy minimization studies were performed with (E)-norendoxifen on aromatase, and the results provide a foundation for structure-based drug design. The oral pharmacokinetic parameters for (E,Z)-norendoxifen were determined in mice, and (Z)-norendoxifen was found to result in significantly higher plasma concentrations and exposures (AUC values) than (E)-norendoxifen. The affinities of both isomers for aromatase and the estrogen receptors, as well as the pharmacokinetic results, support the further development of norendoxifen and its analogues for breast cancer treatment.
doi:10.1021/jm400364h
PMCID: PMC4043309  PMID: 23731360
30.  Discovery of Novel Dual Inhibitors of the Wild-Type and the Most Prevalent Drug-Resistant Mutant, S31N, of the M2 Proton Channel from Influenza A Virus 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(7):2804-2812.
Anti-influenza drugs, amantadine and rimantadine, targeting the M2 channel from influenza A virus are no longer effective because of widespread drug resistance. S31N is the predominant and amantadine-resistant M2 mutant, present in almost all of the circulating influenza A strains as well as in the pandemic 2009 H1N1 and the highly pathogenic H5N1 flu strains. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop second-generation M2 inhibitors targeting the S31N mutant. However, the S31N mutant presents a huge challenge to drug discovery, and it has been considered undruggable for several decades. Using structural information, classical medicinal chemistry approaches, and M2-specific biological testing, we discovered benzyl-substituted amantadine derivatives with activity against both S31N and WT, among which 4-(adamantan-1-ylaminomethyl)-benzene-1,3-diol (44) is the most potent dual inhibitor. These inhibitors demonstrate that S31N is a druggable target and provide a new starting point to design novel M2 inhibitors that address the problem of drug-resistant influenza A infections.
doi:10.1021/jm301538e
PMCID: PMC4036227  PMID: 23437766
31.  Kinase scaffold repurposing for neglected disease drug discovery: Discovery of an efficacious, lapatanib-derived lead compound for trypanosomiasis 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3820-3832.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a neglected tropical disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Since drugs in use against HAT are toxic and require intravenous dosing, new drugs are needed. Initiating lead discovery campaigns by using chemical scaffolds from drugs approved for other indications can speed up drug discovery for neglected diseases. We demonstrated recently that the 4-anilinoquinazolines lapatinib (GW572016, 1) and canertinib (CI-1033) kill T. brucei with low micromolar EC50 values. We now report promising activity of analogs of 1, which provided an excellent starting point for optimization of the chemotype. We report our compound optimization that has led to synthesis of several potent 4-anilinoquinazolines, including NEU621, 23a, a highly potent, orally bioavailable inhibitor of trypanosome replication. At the cellular level, 23a blocks duplication of the kinetoplast and arrests cytokinesis, making it a new tool for studying regulation of the trypanosome cell cycle.
doi:10.1021/jm400349k
PMCID: PMC3663906  PMID: 23597080
32.  Probing the Role of the Vancomycin E-Ring Aryl Chloride: Selective Divergent Synthesis and Evaluation of Alternatively Substituted E-Ring Analogues 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):4116-4124.
The selective functionalization of vancomycin aglycon derivatives through conversion of the E-ring aryl chloride to a reactive boronic acid, and its use in the synthesis of a systematic series of vancomycin E-ring analogues are described. The series was used to examine the E-ring chloride impact in binding d-Ala-d-Ala and on antimicrobial activity. In contrast to the reduced activity of the unsubstituted E-ring derivatives, hydrophobic and relatively non-polar substituents approach or match the chloro substituted vancomycin and was insensitive to the electronic character of the substituent (e.g. Cl vs CN/OMe), whereas highly polar substituents fail to provide the enhancements. Moreover, the active permethylated vancomycin aglycon derivatives exhibit VanB VRE antimicrobial activity at levels that approach (typically within 2-fold) their activity against sensitive bacteria. The robust borylation reaction also enabled the functionalization of a minimally protected vancomycin aglycon (N-Boc-vancomycin aglycon), and provides a direct method for the preparation of previously inaccessible analogues.
doi:10.1021/jm4004494
PMCID: PMC3667592  PMID: 23617725
33.  Pyranoflavones: A Group of Small-molecule Probes for Exploring the Active Site Cavities of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes 1A1, 1A2, and 1B1 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):4082-4092.
Selective inhibition of P450 enzymes is the key to block the conversion of environmental procarcinogens to their carcinogenic metabolites in both animals and humans. To discover highly potent and selective inhibitors of P450s 1A1, 1A2, and 1B1, as well as to investigate active site cavities of these enzymes, 14 novel flavone derivatives were prepared as chemical probes. Fluorimetric enzyme inhibition assays were used to determine the inhibitory activities of these probes towards P450s 1A1, 1A2, 1B1, 2A6, and 2B1. A highly selective P450 1B1 inhibitor, 5-hydroxy-4′-propargyloxyflavone (5H4′FPE) was discovered. Some tested compounds also showed selectivity between P450s 1A1 and 1A2. Alpha-naphthoflavone-like and 5-hydroxyflavone derivatives preferentially inhibited P450 1A2, while beta-naphthoflavone-like flavone derivatives showed selective inhibition of P450 1A1. On the basis of structural analysis, the active site cavity models of P450 enzymes 1A1 and 1A2 were generated, demonstrating a planar long strip cavity and a planar triangular cavity, respectively.
doi:10.1021/jm4003654
PMCID: PMC3685175  PMID: 23600958
34.  Efficacious Cyclic N-Acyl O-Amino Phenol Duocarmycin Prodrugs 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):4104-4115.
Two novel cyclic N-acyl O-amino phenol prodrugs are reported as new members of a unique class of reductively cleaved prodrugs of the duocarmycin family of natural products. These prodrugs were explored with the expectation that they may be cleaved selectively within hypoxic tumor environments that have intrinsically higher concentrations of reducing nucleophiles and were designed to liberate the free drug without the release of an extraneous group. In vivo evaluation of the prodrug 6 showed that it exhibits extraordinary efficacy (T/C > 1500, L1210; 6/10 one year survivors) substantially exceeding that of the free drug, that its therapeutic window of activity is much larger permitting a dosing ≥ 40-fold higher than the free drug, and yet that it displays a potency in vivo that approaches the free drug (within 3-fold). Clearly, the prodrug 6 benefits from either its controlled slow release of the free drug or its preferential intracellular reductive cleavage.
doi:10.1021/jm400413r
PMCID: PMC3687800  PMID: 23627265
35.  Development of 2′-substituted (2S,1′R,2′S)-2-(carboxycyclopropyl)glycine analogues as potent N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor agonists 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):4071-4081.
A series of 2′-substituted analogues of the selective NMDA receptor ligand (2S,1′R,2′S)-2-(carboxycyclopropyl)glycine ((S)-CCG-IV) have been designed, synthesized and pharmacologically characterized. The design was based on a docking study hypothesizing that substituents in the 2′-position would protrude into a region where differences among the NMDA receptor GluN2 subunits exist. Various synthetic routes were explored, and two different routes provided a series of alkyl-substituted analogues. Pharmacological characterization revealed that these compounds are NMDA receptor agonists and that potency decreases with increasing size of the alkyl groups. Variations in agonist activity are observed at the different recombinant NMDA receptor subtypes. This study demonstrates that it is possible to introduce substituents in the 2′-position of (S)-CCG-IV while maintaining agonist activity and that variation among NMDA receptor subtypes may be achieved by probing this region of the receptor.
doi:10.1021/jm400346a
PMCID: PMC3689883  PMID: 23614571
NMDA receptor; CCG; glutamate; molecular modeling; subtype selectivity; electrophysiology
36.  Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Cytokine-Mediated STAT1 Signal Transduction In β-Cells With Improved Aqueous Solubility 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):4125-4129.
We previously reported the discovery of BRD0476 (1), a small molecule generated by diversity-oriented synthesis that suppresses cytokine-induced β-cell apoptosis. Herein, we report the synthesis and biological evaluation of 1 and analogs with improved aqueous solubility. By replacing naphthyl with quinoline moieties, we prepared active analogs with up to a 1400-fold increase in solubility from 1. In addition, we demonstrated that compound 1 and analogs inhibit STAT1 signal transduction induced by IFN-γ.
doi:10.1021/jm400397x
PMCID: PMC3690275  PMID: 23617753
37.  Biscatecholate-Monohydroxamate Mixed Ligand Siderophore-Carbacephalosporin Conjugates are Selective Sideromycin Antibiotics that Target Acinetobacter baumannii 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):4044-4052.
Chemical syntheses and biological evaluation of biscatecholate-monohydroxamate mixed ligand sideromycins utilizing the carbacephalosporin β-lactam antibiotic loracarbef and the fluo-roquinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin are described. The mixed ligand β-lactam sideromycin (1b) had remarkably selective and extremely potent antibacterial activity against the Gram negative pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC 17961 (MIC = 0.0078 μM). The antibacterial activity of the β-lactam sideromycin was inversely related to the iron(III) concentration in the testing media and was antagonized by the presence of the competing parent siderophore. These data suggested that active transport of the mixed ligand β-lactam sideromycin across the outer cell membrane of A. baumannii via siderophore uptake pathways was responsible for the selective and potent antibacterial activity.
doi:10.1021/jm400265k
PMCID: PMC3690592  PMID: 23614627
drug delivery; β-lactam; sideromycin; siderophore-conjugate; antibiotic; Acinetobacter baumannii
38.  2012 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship: Structure-Based Approaches to Ligands for G Protein-Coupled Adenosine and P2Y Receptors, From Small Molecules to Nanoconjugates +  
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3749-3767.
Adenosine receptor (ARs) and P2Y receptors (P2YRs) that respond to extracellular nucleosides/tides are associated with new directions for therapeutics. The X-ray structures of the A 2A AR complexes with agonists and antagonists are examined in relationship to the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily and applied to drug discovery. Much of the data on AR ligand structure from early SAR studies, now is explainable from the A 2A AR X-ray crystallography. The ligand-receptor interactions in related GPCR complexes can be identified by means of modeling approaches, e.g. molecular docking. Thus, molecular recognition in binding and activation processes has been studied effectively using homology modeling and applied to ligand design. Virtual screening has yielded new nonnucleoside AR antagonists, and existing ligands have been improved with knowledge of the receptor interactions. New agonists are being explored for CNS and peripheral therapeutics based on in vivo activity, such as chronic neuropathic pain. Ligands for receptors more distantly related to the X-ray template, i.e. P2YRs, have been introduced and are mainly used as pharmacological tools for elucidating the physiological role of extracellular nucleotides. Other ligand tools for drug discovery include fluorescent probes, radioactive probes, multivalent probes, and functionalized nanoparticles.
doi:10.1021/jm400422s
PMCID: PMC3701956  PMID: 23597047
G protein-coupled receptor ;  purines ;  molecular modeling ;  adenosine receptor ;  P2Y receptor
39.  Novel Adamantyl Cannabinoids as CB1 Receptor Probes 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3904-3921.
In previous studies compound 1 (AM411), a 3-(1-adamantyl) analog of the phytocannabinoid (−)-Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8-THC) was shown to have improved affinity and selectivity for the CB1 receptor. In this work, we further explored the role of the 1-adamantyl group at the C-3 position in a series of tricyclic cannabinoid analogs modified at the 9-northern aliphatic hydroxyl (NAH) position. Of these, 9-hydroxymethyl hexahydrocannabinol 11 (AM4054) exhibited high CB1 affinity and full agonist profile. In the cAMP assay, the 11-hydroxymethyl cannabinol analog 24 (AM4089) had a partial agonist profile, with high affinity and moderate selectivity for rCB1 over hCB2. In vivo results in rat models of hypothermia and analgesia were congruent with in vitro data. Our in vivo data indicates that 3-(1-adamantyl) substitution, within NAH cannabinergics, imparts improved pharmacological profiles when compared to the corresponding, traditionally used, 3-dimethylheptyl analogs and identifies 11 and 24 as a potential useful in vivo CB1 cannabinergic probes.
doi:10.1021/jm4000775
PMCID: PMC3706088  PMID: 23621789
40.  Pyridinylquinazolines Selectively Inhibit Human Methionine Aminopeptidase-1 in Cells 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3996-4016.
Methionine aminopeptidases (MetAPs) which remove the initiator methionine from nascent peptides are essential in all organisms. While MetAP2 has been demonstrated to be a therapeutic target for inhibiting angiogenesis in mammals, MetAP1 seems to be vital for cell proliferation. Our earlier efforts identified two structural classes of human MetAP1 (HsMetAP1)-selective inhibitors (1–4). But all of them failed to inhibit cellular HsMetAP1. Using Mn(II) or Zn(II) to activate HsMetAP1, we found that 1–4 could only effectively inhibit purified HsMetAP1 in the presence of physiologically unachievable concentrations of Co(II). In an effort to seek Co(II)-independent inhibitors, a novel structural class containing a 2-(pyridin-2-yl)quinazoline core has been discovered. Many compounds in this class potently and selectively inhibited HsMetAP1 without Co(II). Subsequently, we demonstrated that 11j, an auxiliary metal-dependent inhibitor, effectively inhibited HsMetAP1 in primary cells. This is the first report that an HsMetAP1-selective inhibitor is effective against its target in cells.
doi:10.1021/jm400227z
PMCID: PMC3714011  PMID: 23634668
41.  Development of highly potent and selective diaminothiazole inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3768-3782.
Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are serine/threonine protein kinases that act as key regulatory elements in cell cycle progression. We describe the development of highly potent diaminothiazole inhibitors of CDK2 (IC50 = 0.0009 – 0.0015 µM) from a single hit compound with weak inhibitory activity (IC50 = 15 µM), discovered by high-throughput screening. Structure-based design was performed using 35 co-crystal structures of CDK2 liganded with distinct analogues of the parent compound. The profiling of compound 51 against a panel of 339 kinases revealed high selectivity for CDKs, with preference for CDK2 and CDK5 over CDK9, CDK1, CDK4 and CDK6. Compound 51 inhibited the proliferation of 13 out of 15 cancer cell lines with IC50 values between 0.27 and 6.9 µM, which correlated with the complete suppression of retinoblastoma phosphorylation and the onset of apoptosis. Combined, the results demonstrate the potential of this new inhibitors series for further development into CDK-specific chemical probes or therapeutics.
doi:10.1021/jm301234k
PMCID: PMC3714109  PMID: 23600925
42.  Extreme multidrug resistant HIV-1 protease with 20 mutations is resistant to novel protease inhibitors with P1′-pyrrolidinone or P2-tris-tetrahydrofuran 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):4017-4027.
Extreme drug resistant mutant of HIV-1 protease (PR) bearing 20 mutations (PR20) has been studied with the clinical inhibitor amprenavir (1) and two potent antiviral investigational inhibitors GRL-02031 (2) and GRL-0519 (3). Clinical inhibitors are >1000-fold less active on PR20 than on wild type enzyme, which is consistent with dissociation constants (KL) from isothermal titration calorimetry of 40 nM for 3, 178 nM for amprenavir, and 960 nM for 2. High resolution crystal structures of PR20-inhibitor complexes revealed altered interactions compared with the corresponding wild-type PR complexes in agreement with relative inhibition. Amprenavir lacks interactions due to PR20 mutations in the S2/S2′ subsites relative to PR. Inhibitors 2 and 3 lose interactions with Arg8′ in PR20 relative to the wild type enzyme since Arg8′ shifts to interact with mutated L10F side chain. Overall, inhibitor 3 compares favorably with darunavir in affinity for PR20 and shows promise for further development.
doi:10.1021/jm400231v
PMCID: PMC3719844  PMID: 23590295
HIV/AIDS; aspartic protease; X-ray crystallography; drug resistance
43.  Bifunctional Inhibition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Reverse Transcriptase: Mechanism and Proof-of-Concept as a Novel Therapeutic Design Strategy 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3959-3968.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase (HIV-1 RT) is a major target for currently approved anti-HIV drugs. These drugs are divided into two classes: nucleoside and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs and NNRTIs). This study illustrates the synthesis and biochemical evaluation of a novel bifunctional RT inhibitor utilizing d4T (NRTI) and a TMC-derivative (a diarylpyrimidine NNRTI) linked via a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) linker. HIV-1 RT successfully incorporates the triphosphate of d4T-4PEG-TMC bifunctional inhibitor in a base-specific manner. Moreover, this inhibitor demonstrates low nanomolar potency that has 4.3-fold and 4300-fold enhancement of polymerization inhibition in vitro relative to the parent TMC-derivative and d4T, respectively. This study serves as a proof-of-concept for the development and optimization of bifunctional RT inhibitors as potent inhibitors of HIV-1 viral replication.
doi:10.1021/jm400160s
PMCID: PMC3733247  PMID: 23659183
44.  Synthesis of New Quinolinequinone Derivatives and Preliminary Exploration of their Cytotoxic Properties 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3806-3819.
A series of 7-amino- and 7-acetamidoquinoline-5,8-diones with aryl substituents at the 2-position were synthesized, characterized and evaluated as potential NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1)-directed antitumor agents. The synthesis of lavendamycin analogs is illustrated. Metabolism studies demonstrated that 7-amino-analogues were generally better substrates for NQO1 than 7-amido-analogues as were compounds with smaller heteroaromatic substituents at the C-2 position. Surprisingly, only two compounds, 7-acetamido-2-(8’-quinolinyl)quinoline-5,8-dione (11) and 7-amino-2-(2-pyridinyl)quinoline-5,8-dione (23) showed selective cytotoxicity toward the NQO1-expressing MDA468-NQ16 breast cancer cells versus the NQO1-null MDA468-WT cells. For all other compounds, NQO1 protected against quinoline-5,8-dione cytotoxicity. Compound 22 showed a potent activity against human breast cancer cells expressing or not expressing NQO1 with IC50 values of respectively 190 nM and 140 nM and a low NQO1 mediated reduction rate, which suggests that the mode of action of 22 differs from lavendamycin and involves an unidentified target(s).
doi:10.1021/jm301689x
PMCID: PMC3752426  PMID: 23574193
Lavendamycin; Suzuki coupling; microwave irradiation; palladium (0) catalysis; quinolinequinones; NQO1; antitumor; cytotoxicity
45.  Optimization of benzoxazole-based inhibitors of Cryptosporidium parvum inosine 5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):4028-4043.
Cryptosporidium parvum is an enteric protozoan parasite that has emerged as a major cause of diarrhea, malnutrition and gastroenteritis as well as posing a potential bioterrorism threat. C. parvum synthesizes guanine nucleotides from host adenosine in a streamlined pathway that relies on inosine 5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH). We have previously identified several parasite-selective C. parvum IMPDH (CpIMPDH) inhibitors by high-throughput screening. In this paper, we report the structure-activity relationship (SAR) for a series of benzoxazole derivatives with many compounds demonstrating CpIMPDH IC50 values in the nanomolar range and > 500-fold selectivity over human IMPDH (hIMPDH). Unlike previously reported CpIMPDH inhibitors, these compounds are competitive inhibitors versus NAD+. The SAR study reveals that pyridine and other small heteroaromatic substituents are required at the 2-position of the benzoxazole for potent inhibitory activity. In addition, several other SAR conclusions are highlighted with regard to the benzoxazole and the amide portion of the inhibitor, including preferred stereochemistry. An x-ray crystal structure of a representative E•IMP•inhibitor complex is also presented. Overall, the secondary amine derivative 15a (Q67) demonstrated excellent CpIMPDH inhibitory activity (IC50 = 0.5 ± 0.1 nM) and moderate stability (t1/2 = 44 min) in mouse liver microsomes. Compound 73, the racemic version of 15a, also displayed superb antiparasitic activity in a Toxoplasma gondii strain that relies on CpIMPDH (EC50 = 20 ± 20 nM), and selectivity versus a wild-type T. gondii strain (200-fold). No toxicity was observed (LD50 > 50 μM) against a panel of four mammalian cells lines.
doi:10.1021/jm400241j
PMCID: PMC3756936  PMID: 23668331
46.  Oxadiazole-isopropylamides as Potent and Non-covalent Proteasome Inhibitors 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3783-3805.
Screening of the 50,000 ChemBridge compound library led to the identification of the oxadiazole-isopropylamide 1 (PI-1833) which inhibited CT-L activity (IC50 0.60 μM) with little effects on the other 2 major proteasome proteolytic activities, T-L and PGPH-L. LC/MS-MS and dialysis show that 1 is a non-covalent and rapidly reversible CT-L inhibitor. Focused library synthesis provided 11ad (PI-1840) with CT-L activity (IC50 27 nM). Detailed SAR studies indicate that the amide moiety and the 2 phenyl rings are sensitive toward modifications. Hydrophobic residues, such as propyl or butyl, in the para-position (not ortho or meta) of the A-ring and a meta-pyridyl group as B-ring significantly improve activity. Compound 11ad (IC50 0.37 μM) is more potent than 1 (IC50 3.5 μM) at inhibiting CT-L activity in intact MDA-MB-468 human breast cancer cells and inhibiting their survival. The activity of 11ad warrants further pre-clinical investigation of this class as non-covalent proteasome inhibitors.
doi:10.1021/jm400221d
PMCID: PMC3774303  PMID: 23547706
47.  A Potent Bivalent Smac Mimetic (SM-1200) Achieving Rapid, Complete and Durable Tumor Regression in Mice 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(10):3969-3979.
We have designed, synthesized and evaluated a series of new compounds based upon our previously reported bivalent Smac mimetics. This led to the identification of compound 12 (SM-1200), which binds to XIAP, cIAP1 and cIAP2 with Ki values of 0.5 nM, 3.7 nM and 5.4 nM, respectively, inhibits cell growth in the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer and SK-OV-3 ovarian cancer cell lines with IC50 values of 11.0 nM and 28.2 nM, respectively. Compound 12 has a much improved pharmacokinetic profile over our previously reported bivalent Smac mimetics and is highly effective in induction of rapid and durable tumor regression in the MDA-MB-231 xenograft model. These data indicate that compound 12 is a promising Smac mimetic and warrants extensive evaluation as a potential candidate for clinical development.
doi:10.1021/jm400216d
PMCID: PMC3806058  PMID: 23651223
48.  A Synthetic Chalcone as a Potent Inducer of Glutathione Biosynthesis 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2012;55(3):1382-1388.
Chalcones continue to attract considerable interest due to their anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties. We recently reported the ability of 2′,5′-dihydroxychalcone (2′,5′-DHC) to induce both breast cancer resistance protein-mediated export of glutathione (GSH) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase-mediated increased intracellular GSH levels. Herein, we report a structure–activity relationship study of a series of 30 synthetic chalcone derivatives with hydroxyl, methoxyl, and halogen (F and Cl) substituents and their ability to increase intracellular GSH levels. This effect was drastically improved with one or two electrowithdrawing groups on phenyl ring B and up to three methoxyl and/or hydroxyl groups on phenyl ring A. The optimal structure, 2-chloro-4′,6′-dimethoxy-2′-hydroxychalcone, induced both a potent NF-E2-related factor 2-mediated transcriptional response and an increased formation of glutamate cysteine ligase holoenzyme, as shown using a human breast cancer cell line stably expressing a luciferase reporter gene driven by antioxidant response elements.
doi:10.1021/jm2016073
PMCID: PMC4026013  PMID: 22239485
49.  Unsymmetric Mono- and Dinuclear Platinum(IV) Complexes Featuring an Ethylene Glycol Moiety: Synthesis, Characterization, and Biological Activity 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2012;55(24):11052-11061.
Eight novel mononuclear and two dinuclear platinum(IV) complexes were synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and reversed-phase HPLC (log kw) and in one case by X-ray diffraction. Cytotoxicity of the compounds was studied in three human cancer cell lines (CH1, SW480, and A549) by means of the MTT assay, featuring IC50 values to the low micromolar range. Furthermore a selected set of compounds was investigated in additional cancer cell lines (P31 and P31/cis, A2780 and A2780/cis, SW1573, 2R120, and 2R160) with regard to their resistance patterns, offering a distinctly different scheme compared to cisplatin. To gain further insights into the mode of action, drug uptake, DNA synthesis inhibition, cell cycle effects, and induction of apoptosis were determined for two characteristic substances.
doi:10.1021/jm301645g
PMCID: PMC4021451  PMID: 23194425
50.  3-Hydroxypyridin-2-thione as Novel Zinc Binding Group for Selective Histone Deacetylase Inhibition 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(9):3492-3506.
Small molecules bearing hydroxamic acid as the zinc binding group (ZBG) have been the most effective histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) to date. However, concerns about the pharmacokinetic liabilities of the hydroxamic acid moiety have stimulated research efforts aimed at finding alternative non-hydroxamate ZBGs. We have identified 3-hydroxypyridin-2-thione (3-HPT) as a novel ZBG that is compatible with HDAC inhibition. 3-HPT inhibits HDAC 6 and HDAC 8 with an IC50 of 681 nM and 3675 nM respectively. Remarkably, 3-HPT gives no inhibition of HDAC 1. Subsequent optimization led to several novel 3HPT-based HDACi that are selective for HDAC 6 and HDAC 8. Furthermore, a subset of these inhibitors induces apoptosis in various cancer cell lines.
doi:10.1021/jm301769u
PMCID: PMC3657749  PMID: 23547652

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