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1.  Methanocarba Analogues of Purine Nucleosides as Potent and Selective Adenosine Receptor Agonists 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2000;43(11):2196-2203.
Adenosine receptor agonists have cardioprotective, cerebroprotective, and antiinflammatory properties. We report that a carbocyclic modification of the ribose moiety incorporating ring constraints is a general approach for the design of A1 and A3 receptor agonists having favorable pharmacodynamic properties. While simple carbocyclic substitution of adenosine agonists greatly diminishes potency, methanocarba-adenosine analogues have now defined the role of sugar puckering in stabilizing the active adenosine receptor-bound conformation and thereby have allowed identification of a favored isomer. In such analogues a fused cyclopropane moiety constrains the pseudosugar ring of the nucleoside to either a Northern (N) or Southern (S) conformation, as defined in the pseudorotational cycle. In binding assays at A1, A2A, and A3 receptors, (N)-methanocarba-adenosine was of higher affinity than the (S)-analogue, particularly at the human A3 receptor (N/S affinity ratio of 150). (N)-Methanocarba analogues of various N6-substituted adenosine derivatives, including cyclopentyl and 3-iodobenzyl, in which the parent compounds are potent agonists at either A1 or A3 receptors, respectively, were synthesized. The N6-cyclopentyl derivatives were A1 receptor-selective and maintained high efficacy at recombinant human but not rat brain A1 receptors, as indicated by stimulation of binding of [35S]GTP-γ-S. The (N)-methanocarba-N6-(3-iodobenzyl)adenosine and its 2-chloro derivative had Ki values of 4.1 and 2.2 nM at A3 receptors, respectively, and were highly selective partial agonists. Partial agonism combined with high functional potency at A3 receptors (EC50 < 1 nM) may produce tissue selectivity. In conclusion, as for P2Y1 receptors, at least three adenosine receptors favor the ribose (N)-conformation.
PMCID: PMC3471159  PMID: 10841798
2.  IKKβ inhibitor identification: a multi-filter driven novel scaffold 
BMC Bioinformatics  2010;11(Suppl 7):S15.
Background
Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) is a chief nuclear transcription factor that controls the transcription of various genes; and its activation is tightly controlled by Inhibitor kappa B kinase (IKK). The irregular transcription of NF-κB has been linked to auto-immune disorders, cancer and other diseases. The IKK complex is composed of three units, IKKα, IKKβ, and the regulatory domain NEMO, of which IKKβ is well understood in the canonical pathway. Therefore, the inhibition of IKKβ by drugs forms the molecular basis for anti-inflammatory drug research.
Results
The ligand- and structure-based virtual screening (VS) technique has been applied to identify IKKβ inhibitors from the ChemDiv database with 0.7 million compounds. Initially, a 3D-QSAR pharmacophore model has been deployed to greatly reduce the database size. Subsequently, recursive partitioning (RP) and docking filters were used to screen the pharmacophore hits. Finally, 29 compounds were selected for IKKβ enzyme inhibition assay to identify a novel small molecule inhibitor of IKKβ protein.
Conclusions
In the present investigation, we have applied various computational models sequentially to virtually screen the ChemDiv database, and identified a small molecule that has an IC50 value of 20.3μM. This compound is novel among the known IKKβ inhibitors. Further optimization of the hit compound can reveal a more potent anti-inflammatory agent.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-S7-S15
PMCID: PMC2957683  PMID: 21106122

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