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1.  Innovative Therapy for Classic Galactosemia - Tale of Two HTS 
Classic Galactosemia is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by the deficiency of galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT), one of the key enzymes in the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism. While the neonatal morbidity and mortality of the disease are now mostly prevented by newborn screening and galactose restriction, long-term outcome for older children and adults with this disorder remains unsatisfactory. The pathophysiology of Classic Galactosemia is complex, but there is convincing evidence that galactose-1-phosphate (gal-1P) accumulation is a major, if not the sole pathogenic factor. Galactokinase (GALK) inhibition will eliminate the accumulation of gal-1P from both dietary sources and endogenous production, and efforts towards identification of therapeutic small molecule GALK inhibitors are reviewed in detail. Experimental and computational high-throughput screenings of compound libraries to identify GALK inhibitors have been conducted, and subsequent studies aimed to characterize, prioritize, as well as to optimize the identified positives have been implemented to improve the potency of promising compounds. Although none of the identified GALK inhibitors inhibit glucokinase and hexokinase, some of them cross-inhibit other related enzymes in the GHMP small molecule kinase superfamily. While this finding may render the on-going hit-to-lead process more challenging, there is growing evidence that such cross-inhibition could also lead to advances in antimicrobial and anti-cancer therapies.
PMCID: PMC3253915  PMID: 22018723
2.  Identification of Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of 4-diphosphocytidyl-2-C-methyl-D-erythritol (CDP-ME) kinase of Gram-negative bacteria 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2011;19(19):5886-5895.
The biosyntheses of isoprenoids is essential for the survival in all living organisms, and requires one of the two biochemical pathways: (a) Mevalonate (MVA) Pathway or (b) Methylerythritol Phosphate (MEP) Pathway. The latter pathway, which is used by all Gram-negative bacteria, some Gram-positive bacteria and a few apicomplexan protozoa, provides an attractive target for the development of new antimicrobials because of its absence in humans. In this report, we describe two different approaches that we used to identify novel small molecule inhibitors of Escherichia coli and Yersinia pestis 4-diphosphocytidyl-2-C-methyl D-erythritol (CDP-ME) kinases, key enzymes of the MEP pathway encoded by the E. coli ispE and Y. pestis ipk genes, respectively. In the first approach, we explored existing inhibitors of the GHMP kinases while in the second approach; we performed computational high-throughput screening of compound libraries by targeting the CDP-ME binding site of the two bacterial enzymes. From the first approach, we identified two compounds with 6-(benzylthio)-2-(2-hydroxyphenyl)-4-oxo-3,4-dihydro-2H-1,3-thiazine-5-carbonitrile and (Z)-3-methyl-4-((5-phenylfuran-2-yl)methylene)isoxazol-5(4H)-one scaffolds which inhibited Escherichia coli CDP-ME kinase in vitro. We then performed substructure search and docking experiments based on these two scaffolds and identified twenty three analogs for structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies. Three new compounds from the isoxazol-5(4H)-one series have shown inhibitory activities against E. coli and Y. pestis CDP-ME kinases with the IC50 values ranging from 7μM to 13μM. The second approach by computational high-throughput screening (HTS) of two million drug-like compounds yielded two compounds with benzenesulfonamide and acetamide moieties which, at a concentration of 20μM, inhibited 80% and 65%, respectively, of control CDP-ME kinase activity.
PMCID: PMC3188437  PMID: 21903402
3.  Structure-activity analysis and cell-based optimization of human galactokinase inhibitors 
ACS medicinal chemistry letters  2011;2(9):667-672.
Classic Galactosemia is a rare human disease associated with the accumulation of toxic level of galactose-1-phosphate (gal-1P) caused by the inherited deficiency of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT) activity. To reduce the toxic level of gal-1P in the patients, we have identified, via high-throughput screening, over 200 small molecule GALK inhibitors. We selected a 4-oxo-3,4-dihydro-2H-1,3-thiazine-5-carbonitrile scaffold for further structure-activity relationships characterization, lead optimization with regards to potency and efficacy to reduce gal-1P accumulation in patient cells.
PMCID: PMC3224021  PMID: 22125663
galactokinase; galactose-1-phosphate; dihydrothiazinone; GHMP kinases; galactosemia

Results 1-3 (3)