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1.  Discovery and optimization of novel small-molecule HIV-1 entry inhibitors using field-based virtual screening and bioisosteric replacement 
With the emergence of drug-resistant strains and the cumulative toxicities associated with current therapies, demand remains for new inhibitors of HIV-1 replication. The inhibition of HIV-1 entry is an attractive, yet underexploited therapeutic approach with implications for salvage and preexposure prophylactic regimens, as well as topical microbicides. Using the combination of a field-derived bioactive conformation template to perform virtual screening and iterative bioisosteric replacements, coupled with in silico predictions of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, we have identified new leads for HIV-1 entry inhibitors.
doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2014.10.027
PMCID: PMC4355043  PMID: 25454268
Field-based virtual screening; Three-dimensional virtual screening; HIV-1 Env; Antiviral; Bioisostere; Entry inhibitor; Field-based scaffold hopping
2.  Tetracyclines That Promote SMN2 Exon 7 Splicing as Therapeutics for Spinal Muscular Atrophy 
There is at present no cure or effective therapy for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neurodegenerative disease that is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA usually results from loss of the SMN1 (survival of motor neuron 1) gene, which leads to selective motor neuron degeneration. SMN2 is nearly identical to SMN1 but has a nucleotide replacement that causes exon 7 skipping, resulting in a truncated, unstable version of the SMA protein. SMN2 is present in all SMA patients, and correcting SMN2 splicing is a promising approach for SMA therapy. We identified a tetracycline-like compound, PTK-SMA1, which stimulates exon 7 splicing and increases SMN protein levels in vitro and in vivo in mice. Unlike previously identified molecules that stimulate SMN production via SMN2 promoter activation or undefined mechanisms, PTK-SMA1 is a unique therapeutic candidate in that it acts by directly stimulating splicing of exon 7. Synthetic small-molecule compounds such as PTK-SMA1 offer an alternative to antisense oligonucleotide therapies that are being developed as therapeutics for a number of disease-associated splicing defects.
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3000208
PMCID: PMC2818805  PMID: 20161659

Results 1-2 (2)