Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (36)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
more »
Document Types
1.  Small Molecule Inhibitors of Anthrax Lethal Factor Toxin 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2013;22(1):419-434.
This manuscript describes the preparation of new small molecule inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis lethal factor. Our starting point was the symmetrical, bis-quinolinyl compound 1 (NSC 12155). Optimization of one half of this molecule led to new LF inhibitors that were desymmetrized to afford more drug-like compounds.
PMCID: PMC3925373  PMID: 24290062
Bacillus anthracis; anthrax; lethal factor; botulinum neurotoxin A; light chain; zinc metalloprotease; matrix metalloprotease; quinoline; hybrid compound; desymmetrized
2.  Potent and broad-spectrum antibacterial activity of indole-based bisamidine antibiotics: synthesis and SAR of novel analogs of MBX 1066 and MBX 1090 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2013;21(24):7790-7806.
The prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria in the clinic has propelled a concerted effort to find new classes of antibiotics that will circumvent current modes of resistance. We have previously described a set of bisamidine antibiotics that contains a core composed of two indoles and a central linker. The first compounds of the series, MBX 1066 and MBX 1090, have potent antibacterial properties against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. We have conducted a systematic exploration of the amidine functionalities, the central linker, and substituents at the indole 3-position to determine the factors involved in potent antibacterial activity. Some of the newly synthesized compounds have even more potent and broad-spectrum activity than MBX 1066 and MBX 1090.
PMCID: PMC3906850  PMID: 24239389
antibiotic; antibacterial; broad-spectrum; indole; Cadogan-Sundberg reaction; Reissert indole synthesis; McMurry reductive homocoupling reaction; amidine; imidazoline; tetrahydropyrimidine
3.  Mutations in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Needle Protein Gene pscF Confer Resistance to Phenoxyacetamide Inhibitors of the Type III Secretion System 
The type III secretion system (T3SS) is a clinically important virulence mechanism in Pseudomonas aeruginosa that secretes and translocates effector toxins into host cells, impeding the host's rapid innate immune response to infection. Inhibitors of T3SS may be useful as prophylactic or adjunctive therapeutic agents to augment the activity of antibiotics in P. aeruginosa infections, such as pneumonia and bacteremia. One such inhibitor, the phenoxyacetamide MBX 1641, exhibits very responsive structure-activity relationships, including striking stereoselectivity, in its inhibition of P. aeruginosa T3SS. These features suggest interaction with a specific, but unknown, protein target. Here, we identify the apparent molecular target by isolating inhibitor-resistant mutants and mapping the mutation sites by deep sequencing. Selection and sequencing of four independent mutants resistant to the phenoxyacetamide inhibitor MBX 2359 identified the T3SS gene pscF, encoding the needle apparatus, as the only locus of mutations common to all four strains. Transfer of the wild-type and mutated alleles of pscF, together with its chaperone and cochaperone genes pscE and pscG, to a ΔpscF P. aeruginosa strain demonstrated that each of the single-codon mutations in pscF is necessary and sufficient to provide secretion and translocation that is resistant to a variety of phenoxyacetamide inhibitor analogs but not to T3SS inhibitors with different chemical scaffolds. These results implicate the PscF needle protein as an apparent new molecular target for T3SS inhibitor discovery and suggest that three other chemically distinct T3SS inhibitors interact with one or more different targets or a different region of PscF.
PMCID: PMC4023729  PMID: 24468789
4.  Cytomegalovirus Mutants Resistant to Ganciclovir and Cidofovir Differ in Susceptibilities to Synguanol and Its 6-Ether and 6-Thioether Derivatives 
The methylenecyclopropane nucleoside (MCPN) analogs synguanol and its 6-alkoxy (MBX2168) and 6-alkylthio (MBX1616) derivatives retained good in vitro activities against several common ganciclovir-resistant UL97 kinase variants of human cytomegalovirus. Foscarnet-MCPN cross-resistance was observed among UL54 polymerase variants. UL54 exonuclease domain ganciclovir-cidofovir dual-resistant variants were remarkably more hypersensitive to these MCPNs than to cyclopropavir, with some 50% effective concentration ratios that were <0.1× the wild type. Different categories of MCPNs may have therapeutically exploitable mechanistic differences in viral DNA polymerase inhibition.
PMCID: PMC3957852  PMID: 24379208
5.  New Small Molecule Entry Inhibitors Targeting Hemagglutinin-Mediated Influenza A Virus Fusion 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(3):1447-1460.
Influenza viruses are a major public health threat worldwide, and options for antiviral therapy are limited by the emergence of drug-resistant virus strains. The influenza virus glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) plays critical roles in the early stage of virus infection, including receptor binding and membrane fusion, making it a potential target for the development of anti-influenza drugs. Using pseudotype virus-based high-throughput screens, we have identified several new small molecules capable of inhibiting influenza virus entry. We prioritized two novel inhibitors, MBX2329 and MBX2546, with aminoalkyl phenol ether and sulfonamide scaffolds, respectively, that specifically inhibit HA-mediated viral entry. The two compounds (i) are potent (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] of 0.3 to 5.9 μM); (ii) are selective (50% cytotoxicity concentration [CC50] of >100 μM), with selectivity index (SI) values of >20 to 200 for different influenza virus strains; (iii) inhibit a wide spectrum of influenza A viruses, which includes the 2009 pandemic influenza virus A/H1N1/2009, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus A/H5N1, and oseltamivir-resistant A/H1N1 strains; (iv) exhibit large volumes of synergy with oseltamivir (36 and 331 μM2 % at 95% confidence); and (v) have chemically tractable structures. Mechanism-of-action studies suggest that both MBX2329 and MBX2546 bind to HA in a nonoverlapping manner. Additional results from HA-mediated hemolysis of chicken red blood cells (cRBCs), competition assays with monoclonal antibody (MAb) C179, and mutational analysis suggest that the compounds bind in the stem region of the HA trimer and inhibit HA-mediated fusion. Therefore, MBX2329 and MBX2546 represent new starting points for chemical optimization and have the potential to provide valuable future therapeutic options and research tools to study the HA-mediated entry process.
PMCID: PMC3911584  PMID: 24198411
6.  Characterization of a Novel Pyranopyridine Inhibitor of the AcrAB Efflux Pump of Escherichia coli 
Members of the resistance-nodulation-division (RND) family of efflux pumps, such as AcrAB-TolC of Escherichia coli, play major roles in multidrug resistance (MDR) in Gram-negative bacteria. A strategy for combating MDR is to develop efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) for use in combination with an antibacterial agent. Here, we describe MBX2319, a novel pyranopyridine EPI with potent activity against RND efflux pumps of the Enterobacteriaceae. MBX2319 decreased the MICs of ciprofloxacin (CIP), levofloxacin, and piperacillin versus E. coli AB1157 by 2-, 4-, and 8-fold, respectively, but did not exhibit antibacterial activity alone and was not active against AcrAB-TolC-deficient strains. MBX2319 (3.13 μM) in combination with 0.016 μg/ml CIP (minimally bactericidal) decreased the viability (CFU/ml) of E. coli AB1157 by 10,000-fold after 4 h of exposure, in comparison with 0.016 μg/ml CIP alone. In contrast, phenyl-arginine-β-naphthylamide (PAβN), a known EPI, did not increase the bactericidal activity of 0.016 μg/ml CIP at concentrations as high as 100 μM. MBX2319 increased intracellular accumulation of the fluorescent dye Hoechst 33342 in wild-type but not AcrAB-TolC-deficient strains and did not perturb the transmembrane proton gradient. MBX2319 was broadly active against Enterobacteriaceae species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. MBX2319 is a potent EPI with possible utility as an adjunctive therapeutic agent for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative pathogens.
PMCID: PMC3910843  PMID: 24247144
7.  Human Cytomegalovirus UL97 Kinase Is Involved in the Mechanism of Action of Methylenecyclopropane Analogs with 6-Ether and -Thioether Substitutions 
Methylenecyclopropane nucleoside (MCPN) analogs are being investigated for treatment of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection because of favorable preclinical data and limited ganciclovir cross-resistance. Monohydroxymethyl MCPNs bearing ether and thioether functionalities at the purine 6 position have antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) in addition to HCMV. The role of the HCMV UL97 kinase in the mechanism of action of these derivatives was examined. When tested against a kinase-inactive UL97 K355M virus, a moderate 5- to 7-fold increase in 50% effective concentration (EC50) was observed, in comparison to a 13- to 25-fold increase for either cyclopropavir or ganciclovir. Serial propagation of HCMV under two of these compounds selected for three novel UL97 mutations encoding amino acid substitutions D456N, C480R,and Y617del. When transferred to baseline laboratory HCMV strains, these mutations individually conferred resistance to all of the tested MCPNs, ganciclovir, and maribavir. However, the engineered strains also demonstrated severe growth defects and abnormal cytopathic effects similar to the kinase-inactive mutant. Expressed and purified UL97 kinase showed in vitro phosphorylation of the newly tested MCPNs. Thus, HCMV UL97 kinase is involved in the antiviral action of these MCPNs, but the in vitro selection of UL97-defective viruses suggests that their activity against more typical ganciclovir-resistant growth-competent UL97 mutants may be relatively preserved.
PMCID: PMC3910744  PMID: 24145545
8.  Optimization of a novel potent and selective bacterial DNA helicase inhibitor scaffold from a high throughput screening hit 
Benzobisthiazole derivatives were identified as novel helicase inhibitors through high throughput screening against purified S. aureus (Sa) and B. anthracis (Ba) replicative helicases. Chemical optimization has produced compound 59 with nanomolar potency against the DNA duplex strand unwinding activities of both B. anthracis and S. aureus helicases. Selectivity index (SI = CC50/IC50) values for 59 were greater than 500. Kinetic studies demonstrated that the benzobisthiazole-based bacterial helicase inhibitors act competitively with the DNA substrate. Therefore, benzobisthiazole helicase inhibitors represent a promising new scaffold for evaluation as antibacterial agents.
PMCID: PMC3691018  PMID: 23664213
Optimization; DNA helicase; DNA replication; Inhibitor
9.  Human Herpesvirus 6 U69 Kinase Phosphorylates the Methylenecyclopropane Nucleosides Cyclopropavir, MBX 2168, and MBX 1616 to Their Monophosphates 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2013;57(11):5760-5762.
Dihydroxymethyl and monohydroxymethyl methylenecyclopropane nucleosides are effective inhibitors of both variants of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). We investigated involvement of HHV-6 U69 protein kinase in their mechanism of action. Phosphorylation of the dihydroxymethyl analogue cyclopropavir and monohydroxymethyl nucleosides with either a 6-ether moiety (MBX 2168) or a 6-thioether moiety (MBX 1616) with purified U69 was examined. All three compounds were substrates of this viral kinase and had similar Michaelis-Menten kinetic parameters.
PMCID: PMC3811273  PMID: 23979753
10.  Characterization of the Burkholderia thailandensis SOS Response by Using Whole-Transcriptome Shotgun Sequencing 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2013;79(19):5830-5843.
The bacterial SOS response is a well-characterized regulatory network encoded by most prokaryotic bacterial species and is involved in DNA repair. In addition to nucleic acid repair, the SOS response is involved in pathogenicity, stress-induced mutagenesis, and the emergence and dissemination of antibiotic resistance. Using high-throughput sequencing technology (SOLiD RNA-Seq), we analyzed the Burkholderia thailandensis global SOS response to the fluoroquinolone antibiotic, ciprofloxacin (CIP), and the DNA-damaging chemical, mitomycin C (MMC). We demonstrate that a B. thailandensis recA mutant (RU0643) is ∼4-fold more sensitive to CIP in contrast to the parental strain B. thailandensis DW503. Our RNA-Seq results show that CIP and MMC treatment (P < 0.01) resulted in the differential expression of 344 genes in B. thailandensis and 210 genes in RU0643. Several genes associated with the SOS response were induced and include lexA, uvrA, dnaE, dinB, recX, and recA. At the genome-wide level, we found an overall decrease in gene expression, especially for genes involved in amino acid and carbohydrate transport and metabolism, following both CIP and MMC exposure. Interestingly, we observed the upregulation of several genes involved in bacterial motility and enhanced transcription of a B. thailandensis genomic island encoding a Siphoviridae bacteriophage designated ϕE264. Using B. thailandensis plaque assays and PCR with B. mallei ATCC 23344 as the host, we demonstrate that CIP and MMC exposure in B. thailandensis DW503 induces the transcription and translation of viable bacteriophage in a RecA-dependent manner. This is the first report of the SOS response in Burkholderia spp. to DNA-damaging agents. We have identified both common and unique adaptive responses of B. thailandensis to chemical stress and DNA damage.
PMCID: PMC3811356  PMID: 23872555
11.  Synthesis and Antiviral Activities of Methylenecyclopropane Analogs with 6-Alkoxy and 6-Alkylthio Substitutions That Exhibit Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Activity against Human Herpesviruses 
Methylenecyclopropane nucleosides have been reported to be active against many of the human herpesviruses. The most active compound of this class is cyclopropavir (CPV), which exhibits good antiviral activity against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), Epstein-Barr virus, both variants of human herpesvirus 6, and human herpesvirus 8. CPV has two hydroxymethyl groups on the methylenecyclopropane ring, but analogs with a single hydroxymethyl group, such as the prototypical (S)-synguanol, are also active and exhibit a broader spectrum of antiviral activity that also includes hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus. Here, a large set of monohydroxymethyl compounds with ether and thioether substituents at the 6 position of the purine was synthesized and evaluated for antiviral activity against a range of human herpesviruses. Some of these analogs had a broader spectrum of antiviral activity than CPV, in that they also inhibited the replication of herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 and varicella-zoster virus. Interestingly, the antiviral activity of these compounds appeared to be dependent on the activity of the HCMV UL97 kinase but was relatively unaffected by the absence of thymidine kinase activity in HSV. These data taken together indicate that the mechanism of action of these analogs is distinct from that of CPV. They also suggest that they might be useful as broad-spectrum antiherpesvirus agents and may be effective in the treatment of resistant virus infections.
PMCID: PMC3719742  PMID: 23669381
12.  Cytomegalovirus UL97 Kinase Catalytic Domain Mutations That Confer Multidrug Resistance 
Human cytomegalovirus UL97 kinase mutations that commonly confer ganciclovir resistance cluster in different parts of the gene than those conferring resistance to maribavir, an experimental UL97 kinase inhibitor. The drug resistance, growth, and autophosphorylation phenotypes of several unusual UL97 mutations in the kinase catalytic domain were characterized. Mutations V466G and P521L, described in clinical specimens from ganciclovir-treated subjects, conferred a UL97 kinase knockout phenotype with no autophosphorylation, a severe growth defect, and high-level ganciclovir, cyclopropavir, and maribavir resistance, similar to mutations at the catalytic lysine residue K355. Mutations F342S and V356G, observed after propagation under cyclopropavir in vitro, showed much less growth attenuation and moderate- to high-level resistance to all three drugs while maintaining UL97 autophosphorylation competence and normal cytopathic effect in cell culture, a novel phenotype. F342S is located in the ATP-binding P-loop and is homologous to a c-Abl kinase mutation conferring resistance to imatinib. UL97 mutants with relatively preserved growth fitness and multidrug resistance are of greater concern in antiviral therapy than the severely growth-impaired UL97 knockout mutants. Current diagnostic genotyping assays are unlikely to detect F342S and V356G, and the frequency of their appearance in clinical specimens remains undefined.
PMCID: PMC3697320  PMID: 23650173
13.  Coumarin-based Inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis and Staphylococcus aureus Replicative DNA Helicase: Chemical Optimization, Biological Evaluation, and Antibacterial Activities 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2012;55(24):10896-10908.
The increasing prevalence of drug-resistant bacterial infections demands the development of new antibacterials that are not subject to existing mechanisms of resistance. Previously, we described coumarin-based inhibitors of an underexploited bacterial target, namely, the replicative helicase. Here we report the synthesis and evaluation of optimized coumarin-based inhibitors with 9–18-fold increased potency against S. aureus (Sa) and B. anthracis (Ba) helicases. Compounds 20 and 22 provided the best potency, with IC50 values of 3 and 1 µM, respectively, against the DNA duplex strand-unwinding activities of both B. anthracis and S. aureus helicases without affecting the single strand DNA-stimulated ATPase activity. Selectivity index (SI = CC50/MIC) values against S. aureus and B. anthracis for compound 20 were 33 and 66 and for compound 22 were 20 and 40, respectively. In addition, compounds 20 and 22 demonstrated potent antibacterial activity against multiple ciprofloxacin-resistant MRSA strains with MIC values ranging between 0.5–4.2 µg/mL.
PMCID: PMC3531573  PMID: 23231076
14.  Novel Bis-Indole Agents Active Against Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii 
The in vitro activity of five novel Microbiotix bis-indole agents (MBXs) against 30 multidrug-resistant (MDR) A. baumannii (including 18 resistant to carbapenems) was evaluated. Overall, MIC90s ranged from 1-8 μg/ml, whereas those for imipenem were > 64 μg/ml. MBX 1196 was the most potent (MIC90 1 μg/ml). MBXs are compounds that are highly effective against MDR A. baumannii.
PMCID: PMC3725720  PMID: 21146724
bis-indole; multidrug-resistant; MBX; susceptibility; in vitro
15.  Synthesis and antiviral activity of certain second generation methylenecyclopropane nucleosides 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2012;20(12):3710-3718.
A second-generation series of substituted methylenecyclopropane nucleosides (MCPNs) has been synthesized and evaluated for antiviral activity against a panel of human herpesviruses, and for cytotoxicity. Although alkylated 2,6-diaminopurine analogs showed little antiviral activity, the compounds containing ether and thioether substituents at the 6-position of the purine did demonstrate potent and selective antiviral activity against several different human herpesviruses. In the 6-alkoxy series, antiviral activity depended on the length of the ether carbon chain, with the optimum chain length being about four carbon units long. For the corresponding thioethers, compounds containing secondary thioethers were more potent than those with primary thioethers.
PMCID: PMC3509806  PMID: 22607883
16.  MBX-500, a Hybrid Antibiotic with In Vitro and In Vivo Efficacy against Toxigenic Clostridium difficile 
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) causes moderate to severe disease, resulting in diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis. CDI is difficult to treat due to production of inflammation-inducing toxins, resistance development, and high probability of recurrence. Only two antibiotics are approved for the treatment of CDI, and the pipeline for therapeutic agents contains few new drugs. MBX-500 is a hybrid antibacterial, composed of an anilinouracil DNA polymerase inhibitor linked to a fluoroquinolone DNA gyrase/topoisomerase inhibitor, with potential as a new therapeutic for CDI treatment. Since MBX-500 inhibits three bacterial targets, it has been previously shown to be minimally susceptible to resistance development. In the present study, the in vitro and in vivo efficacies of MBX-500 were explored against the Gram-positive anaerobe, C. difficile. MBX-500 displayed potency across nearly 50 isolates, including those of the fluoroquinolone-resistant, toxin-overproducing NAP1/027 ribotype, performing as well as comparator antibiotics vancomycin and metronidazole. Furthermore, MBX-500 was a narrow-spectrum agent, displaying poor activity against many other gut anaerobes. MBX-500 was active in acute and recurrent infections in a toxigenic hamster model of CDI, exhibiting full protection against acute infections and prevention of recurrence in 70% of the animals. Hamsters treated with MBX-500 displayed significantly greater weight gain than did those treated with vancomycin. Finally, MBX-500 was efficacious in a murine model of CDI, again demonstrating a fully protective effect and permitting near-normal weight gain in the treated animals. These selective anti-CDI features support the further development of MBX 500 for the treatment of CDI.
PMCID: PMC3421853  PMID: 22733075
17.  Time-dependent botulinum neurotoxin serotype A metalloprotease inhibitors 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2011;19(24):7338-7348.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most lethal of biological substances, and are categorized as class A biothreat agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are currently no drugs to treat the deadly flaccid paralysis resulting from BoNT intoxication. Among the seven BoNT serotypes, the development of therapeutics to counter BoNT/A is a priority (due to its long half-life in the neuronal cytosol and its ease of production). In this regard, the BoNT/A enzyme light chain (LC) component, a zinc metalloprotease responsible for the intracellular cleavage of synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa, is a desirable target for developing post-BoNT/A intoxication rescue therapeutics. In an earlier study, we reported the high throughput screening of a library containing 70,000 compounds, and uncovered a novel class of benzimidazole acrylonitrile-based BoNT/A LC inhibitors. Herein, we present both structure-activity relationships and a proposed mechanism of action for this novel inhibitor chemotype.
PMCID: PMC3230330  PMID: 22082667
Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A; Benzimidazole acrylonitrile; Structure-activity relationships; Molecular modeling; Time-dependent inhibition
18.  Novel Benzimidazole Inhibitors of Botulinum Neurotoxin/A Display Enzyme and Cell-Based Potency 
The botulinum journal  2011;2(1):16-29.
Botulinum Neurotoxins (BoNTs) are used therapeutically and in cosmetics, providing potential for bioterrorist activity, thus driving the search for small-molecule BoNT inhibitors. This report describes a 70,000-compound screen for inhibition of BoNT/A using a FRET assay to detect proteolysis of a peptide substrate. Hits were confirmed, followed by evaluation to determine compound specificity. Inhibitors fell into three main chemical classes, and on the basis of potency and specificity of inhibition, the activities of two chemotypes were examined further. Compounds exhibited specificity for BoNT/A LC inhibition with respect to other metalloproteases and displayed activity in a neuronal assay for botulinum intoxication.
PMCID: PMC3509773  PMID: 23205055
botulinum; neurotoxins; serotype A; bioterrorism; SNAP-25; high-throughput screening; benzimidazole acrylonitrile; hydroxyquinoline; small molecule inhibitors; drug discovery; metalloprotease
19.  Development and Application of a Cellular, Gain-of-Signal, Bioluminescent Reporter Screen for Inhibitors of Type II Secretion in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia pseudomallei 
Journal of biomolecular screening  2011;16(7):694-705.
The type II secretion (T2S) system in Gram-negative bacteria is comprised of the Sec and Tat pathways for translocating proteins into the periplasm and an outer membrane secretin for transporting proteins into the extracellular space. To discover Sec/Tat/T2S pathway inhibitors as potential new therapeutics, we used a Pseudomonas aeruginosa bioluminescent reporter strain responsive to SecA depletion and inhibition to screen compound libraries and characterize the hits. The reporter strain placed a luxCDABE operon under regulation of a SecA depletion-responsive up-regulated promoter in a secA deletion background complemented with an ectopic lac-regulated secA copy. Bioluminescence was indirectly proportional to the IPTG concentration and stimulated by azide, a known SecA ATPase inhibitor. A total of 96 compounds (0.1% of 73,000) were detected as primary hits due to stimulation of luminescence with a z-score ≥5. Direct secretion assays of the 9 most potent hits, representing 5 chemical scaffolds, revealed that they do not inhibit SecA-mediated secretion of β-lactamase into the periplasm, but do inhibit T2S-mediated extracellular secretion of elastase with IC50 values from 5 – 25 μM. In addition, 7 of the 9 compounds also inhibited the T2S-mediated extracellular secretion of phospholipases C by P. aeruginosa and of protease activity by Burkholderia pseudomallei.
PMCID: PMC3195541  PMID: 21602485
P. aeruginosa; type II secretion; high throughput screening; inhibitors
20.  Cyclopropavir Susceptibility of Cytomegalovirus DNA Polymerase Mutants Selected after Antiviral Drug Exposure 
Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) UL54 DNA polymerase (pol) mutants with known patterns of resistance to current antivirals ganciclovir (GCV), foscarnet (FOS), and cidofovir (CDV) were tested for cyclopropavir (CPV) susceptibility by a standardized reporter-based yield reduction assay. Exonuclease and A987G (region V) mutations at codons commonly associated with dual GCV-CDV resistance in clinical isolates paradoxically conferred increased CPV susceptibility. Various polymerase catalytic region mutations conferring FOS resistance with variable low-grade GCV and CDV cross-resistance also conferred CPV resistance, with 50% effective concentration (EC50) increases of 3- to 13-fold. CPV EC50 values against several pol mutants were increased about 2-fold by adding UL97 mutation C592G. Propagation of a CMV exonuclease mutant under CPV selected for pol mutations less often than UL97 mutations. In 21 experiments, one instance each of mutations E756D and M844V, which were shown individually to confer 3- to 4-fold increases in CPV EC50, was detected. Unlike GCV and CDV, exonuclease mutations are not a preferred mechanism of CPV resistance, but mutations in and near pol region III may confer CPV resistance by affecting its recognition as an incoming base for DNA polymerization.
PMCID: PMC3256009  PMID: 21968367
21.  Cyclopropavir Inhibits the Normal Function of the Human Cytomegalovirus UL97 Kinase▿ 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2011;55(10):4682-4691.
Cyclopropavir (CPV) is active against human cytomegalovirus (CMV), as well as both variants of human herpesvirus 6 and human herpesvirus 8. The mechanism of action of CPV against CMV is similar to that of ganciclovir (GCV) in that it is phosphorylated initially by the CMV UL97 kinase, resulting in inhibition of viral DNA synthesis. Resistance to CPV maps to the UL97 kinase but is associated primarily with H520Q mutations and thus retains good antiviral activity against most GCV-resistant isolates. An examination of CMV-infected cultures treated with CPV revealed unusual cell morphology typically associated with the absence of UL97 kinase activity. A surrogate assay for UL97 kinase activity confirmed that CPV inhibited the activity of this enzyme and that its action was similar to the inhibition seen with maribavir (MBV) in this assay. Combination studies using real-time PCR indicated that, like MBV, CPV also antagonized the efficacy of GCV and were consistent with the observed inhibition of the UL97 kinase. Deep sequencing of CPV-resistant laboratory isolates identified a frameshift mutation in UL27, presumably to compensate for a loss of UL97 enzymatic activity. We conclude that the mechanism of action of CPV against CMV is complex and involves both the inhibition of DNA synthesis and the inhibition of the normal activity of the UL97 kinase.
PMCID: PMC3186952  PMID: 21788463
22.  Identification of a Small-Molecule Entry Inhibitor for Filoviruses▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(7):3106-3119.
Ebola virus (EBOV) causes severe hemorrhagic fever, for which therapeutic options are not available. Preventing the entry of EBOV into host cells is an attractive antiviral strategy, which has been validated for HIV by the FDA approval of the anti-HIV drug enfuvirtide. To identify inhibitors of EBOV entry, the EBOV envelope glycoprotein (EBOV-GP) gene was used to generate pseudotype viruses for screening of chemical libraries. A benzodiazepine derivative (compound 7) was identified from a high-throughput screen (HTS) of small-molecule compound libraries utilizing the pseudotype virus. Compound 7 was validated as an inhibitor of infectious EBOV and Marburg virus (MARV) in cell-based assays, with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of 10 μM and 12 μM, respectively. Time-of-addition and binding studies suggested that compound 7 binds to EBOV-GP at an early stage during EBOV infection. Preliminary Schrödinger SiteMap calculations, using a published EBOV-GP crystal structure in its prefusion conformation, suggested a hydrophobic pocket at or near the GP1 and GP2 interface as a suitable site for compound 7 binding. This prediction was supported by mutational analysis implying that residues Asn69, Leu70, Leu184, Ile185, Leu186, Lys190, and Lys191 are critical for the binding of compound 7 and its analogs with EBOV-GP. We hypothesize that compound 7 binds to this hydrophobic pocket and as a consequence inhibits EBOV infection of cells, but the details of the mechanism remain to be determined. In summary, we have identified a novel series of benzodiazepine compounds that are suitable for optimization as potential inhibitors of filoviral infection.
PMCID: PMC3067866  PMID: 21270170
23.  Cytomegalovirus UL97 Mutations Affecting Cyclopropavir and Ganciclovir Susceptibility▿  
Among the 7 most common UL97 mutations encountered in ganciclovir-resistant clinical cytomegalovirus isolates, the associated cyclopropavir cross-resistance varies from insignificant (L595S) to substantial (M460I and H520Q) as determined by recombinant phenotyping. Mutations M460I and H520Q were preferentially selected in vitro under cyclopropavir and conferred 12- to 20-fold increases in 50% effective concentration (EC50) values, while M460V, C592G, A594V, and C603W conferred 3- to 5-fold increases. Uncommon mutations M460T and C603R increased cyclopropavir EC50s by 8- to 10-fold.
PMCID: PMC3019618  PMID: 21041510
24.  Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Botulinum Neurotoxin A Protease Inhibitors 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(5):2264-2276.
NSC 240898 was previously identified as a botulinum neurotoxin A light chain (BoNT/A LC) endopeptidase inhibitor by screening the National Cancer Institute Open Repository diversity set. Two types of analogs have been synthesized and shown to inhibit BoNT/A LC in a FRET-based enzyme assay, with confirmation in an HPLC-based assay. These two series of compounds have also been evaluated for inhibition of anthrax lethal factor (LF), an unrelated metalloprotease, to examine enzyme specificity of the BoNT/A LC inhibition. The most potent inhibitor against BoNT/A LC in these two series is compound 12 (IC50 = 2.5 µM, FRET assay), which is 4.4-fold more potent than the lead structure, and 11.2-fold more selective for BoNT/A LC versus the anthrax LF metalloproteinase. Structure-activity relationship studies have revealed structural features important to potency and enzyme specificity.
PMCID: PMC2841792  PMID: 20155918
Botulinum neurotoxin A; small molecule inhibitor; metalloprotease; lethal factor; indole; benzothiophene
25.  Comparative In Vitro Activity Profiles of Novel Bis-Indole Antibacterials against Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Clinical Isolates▿  
Antimicrobial susceptibilities of 233 Gram-positive and 180 Gram-negative strains to two novel bis-indoles were evaluated. Both compounds were potent inhibitors of Gram-positive bacteria, with MIC90 values of 0.004 to 0.5 μg/ml. One bis-indole, MBX 1162, exhibited potent activity against all Gram-negative strains, with MIC90 values of 0.12 to 4 μg/ml, even against high-level-resistant pathogens, and compared favorably to all comparator antibiotics. The bis-indole compounds show promise for the treatment of multidrug-resistant clinical pathogens.
PMCID: PMC2934966  PMID: 20625154

Results 1-25 (36)