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1.  Ubiquilin-2 (UBQLN2) binds with high affinity to the C-terminal region of TDP-43 and modulates TDP-43 levels in H4 cells: characterization of inhibition by nucleic acids and 4-aminoquinolines 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2013;1834(6):964-971.
Recently, it was reported that mutations in the ubiqutin-like protein ubiquilin-2 (UBQLN2) are associated with X-linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and that both wild-type and mutant UBQLN2 can co-localize with aggregates of C-terminal fragments of TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43). Here, we describe a high affinity interaction between UBQLN2 and TDP-43 and demonstrate that overexpression of both UBQLN2 and TDP-43 reduces levels of both exogenous and endogenous TDP-43 in human H4 cells. UBQLN2 bound with high affinity to both full length TDP-43 and a C-terminal TDP-43 fragment (261-414 aa) with KD values of 6.2 nM and 8.7 nM, respectively. Both DNA oligonucleotides and 4-aminoquinolines, which bind to TDP-43, also inhibited UBQLN2 binding to TDP-43 with similar rank order affinities compared to inhibition of oligonucleotide binding to TDP-43. Inhibitor characterization experiments demonstrated that the DNA oligonucleotides noncompetitively inhibited UBQLN2 binding to TDP-43, which is consistent with UBQLN2 binding to the C-terminal region of TDP-43. Interestingly, the 4-aminoquinolines were competitive inhibitors of UBQLN2 binding to TDP-43, suggesting that these compounds also bind to the C-terminal region of TDP-43. In support of the biochemical data, co-immunoprecipation experiments demonstrated that both TDP-43 and UBQLN2 interact in human neuroglioma H4 cells. Finally, overexpression of UBQLN2 in the presence of overexpressed full length TDP-43 or C-terminal TDP-43 (170-414) dramatically lowered levels of both full length TDP-43 and C-terminal TDP-43 fragments (CTFs). Consequently, these data suggest that UBQLN2 enhances the clearance of TDP-43 and TDP-43 CTFs and therefore may play a role in the development of TDP-43 associated neurotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC3960997  PMID: 23541532
TDP-43; UBQLN2; 4-aminoquinolines; protein-protein interactions
2.  Characterization of a series of 4-aminoquinolines that stimulate caspase-7 mediated cleavage of TDP-43 and inhibit its function 
Biochimie  2012;94(9):1974-1981.
Dysfunction of the heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is associated with neurodegeneration in diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Here we examine the effects of a series of 4-aminoquinolines with affinity for TDP-43 upon caspase-7-induced cleavage of TDP-43 and TDP-43 cellular function. These compounds were mixed inhibitors of biotinylated TG6 binding to TDP-43, binding to both free and occupied TDP-43. Incubation of TDP-43 and caspase-7 in the presence of these compounds stimulated caspase-7 mediated cleavage of TDP-43. This effect was antagonized by the oligonucleotide TG12, prevented by denaturing TDP-43, and exhibited a similar relation of structure to function as for the displacement of bt-TG6 binding to TDP-43. In addition, the compounds did not affect caspase-7 enzyme activity. In human neuroglioma H4 cells, these compounds lowered levels of TDP-43 and increased TDP-43 C-terminal fragments via a caspase-dependent mechanism. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that this was due to induction of caspases 3 and 7 leading to increased PARP cleavage in H4 cells with similar rank order of the potency among the compounds tests for displacement of bt-TG6 binding. Exposure to these compounds also reduced HDAC6, ATG7, and increased LC3B, consistent with the effects of TDP-43 siRNA described by other investigators. These data suggest that such compounds may be useful biochemical probes to further understand both the normal and pathological functions of TDP-43, and its cleavage and metabolism promoted by caspases.
PMCID: PMC3402613  PMID: 22659571
TDP-43; caspase activation; mixed inhibition
3.  Development of a Novel Nonradiometric Assay for Nucleic Acid Binding to TDP-43 Suitable for High-Throughput Screening Using AlphaScreen® Technology 
Journal of biomolecular screening  2010;15(9):1099-1106.
TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a nucleic acid binding protein that is associated with the pathology of cystic fibrosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar dementia. We have developed a robust, quantitative, nonradiometric high-throughput assay measuring oligonucleotide binding to TDP-43 using AlphaScreen® technology. Biotinylated single-stranded TAR DNA (bt-TAR-32) and 6 TG repeats (bt-TG6) bound with high affinity to TDP-43, with KD values of 0.75 nM and 0.63 nM, respectively. Both oligonucleotides exhibited slow dissociation rates, with half-lives of 750 min for bt-TAR-32 and 150 min for bt-TG6. The affinities of unlabeled oligonucleotides, as determined by displacement of either bt-TAR-32 or bt-TG6, were consistent with previous reports of nucleic acid interactions with TDP-43, where increasing TG or UG repeats yield greater affinity. A diversity library of 7360 compounds was screened for inhibition of TDP-43 binding to bt-TAR-32, and a series of compounds was discovered with nascent SAR and IC50 values ranging from 100 nM to 10 μM. These compounds may prove to be useful biochemical tools to elucidate the function of TDP-43 and may lead to novel therapeutics for indications where the TDP-43 nucleic acid interaction is causal to the associated pathology.
PMCID: PMC3426361  PMID: 20855563
TDP-43; AlphaScreen; TAR DNA; ALS; cystic fibrosis
4.  Design and Synthesis of Imidazopyrimidine Derivatives as Potent iNOS Dimerization Inhibitors 
A series of imidazopyrimidine derivatives with the general formula I was synthesized and identified as potent inhibitors of iNOS dimer formation, a prerequisite for proper functioning of the enzyme. Stille and Negishi coupling reactions were used as key steps to form the carbon-carbon bond connecting the imidazopyrimidine core to the central cycloalkenyl, cycloalkyl and phenyl ring templates.
PMCID: PMC2788740  PMID: 19966921

Results 1-4 (4)