The chemokine CXCL12 and its G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) CXCR4 are high-priority clinical targets because of their involvement in metastatic cancers (also implicated in autoimmune disease and cardiovascular disease). Because chemokines interact with two distinct sites to bind and activate their receptors, both the GPCRs and chemokines are potential targets for small molecule inhibition. A number of chemokines have been validated as targets for drug development, but virtually all drug discovery efforts focus on the GPCRs. However, all CXCR4 receptor antagonists with the exception of MSX-122 have failed in clinical trials due to unmanageable toxicities, emphasizing the need for alternative strategies to interfere with CXCL12/CXCR4-guided metastatic homing. Although targeting the relatively featureless surface of CXCL12 was presumed to be challenging, focusing efforts at the sulfotyrosine (sY) binding pockets proved successful for procuring initial hits. Using a hybrid structure-based in silico/NMR screening strategy, we recently identified a ligand that occludes the receptor recognition site. From this initial hit, we designed a small fragment library containing only nine tetrazole derivatives using a fragment-based and bioisostere approach to target the sY binding sites of CXCL12. Compound binding modes and affinities were studied by 2D NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, molecular docking and cell-based functional assays. Our results demonstrate that the sY binding sites are conducive to the development of high affinity inhibitors with better ligand efficiency (LE) than typical protein-protein interaction inhibitors (LE ≤ 0.24). Our novel tetrazole-based fragment 18 was identified to bind the sY21 site with a Kd of 24 μM (LE = 0.30). Optimization of 18 yielded compound 25 which specifically inhibits CXCL12-induced migration with an improvement in potency over the initial hit 9. The fragment from this library that exhibited the highest affinity and ligand efficiency (11: Kd = 13 μM, LE = 0.33) may serve as a starting point for development of inhibitors targeting the sY12 site.
Chemokines; CXCL12/CXCR4 inhibitors; protein-protein interaction; metastasis; fragment-based and structure-guided drug design
Adenylation or adenylate-forming enzymes (AEs) are widely found in nature and are responsible for the activation of carboxylic acids to intermediate acyladenylates, which are mixed anhydrides of AMP. In a second reaction, AEs catalyze the transfer of the acyl group of the acyladenylate onto a nucleophilic amino, alcohol, or thiol group of an acceptor molecule leading to amide, ester, and thioester products, respectively. Mycobacterium tuberculosis encodes for more than 60 adenylating enzymes, many of which represent potential drug targets due to their confirmed essentiality or requirement for virulence. Several strategies have been used to develop potent and selective AE inhibitors including high-throughput screening, fragment-based screening, and the rationale design of bisubstrate inhibitors that mimic the acyladenylate. In this review, a comprehensive analysis of the mycobacterial adenylating enzymes will be presented with a focus on the identification of small molecule inhibitors. Specifically, this review will cover the aminoacyl tRNA-synthetases (aaRSs), MenE required for menaquinone synthesis, the FadD family of enzymes including the fatty acyl-AMP ligases (FAAL) and the fatty acyl-CoA ligases (FACLs) involved in lipid metabolism, and the nonribosomal peptide synthetase adenylation enzyme MbtA that is necessary for mycobactin synthesis. Additionally, the enzymes NadE, GuaA, PanC, and MshC involved in the respective synthesis of NAD, guanine, pantothenate, and mycothiol will be discussed as well as BirA that is responsible for biotinylation of the acyl CoA-carboxylases.
Adenylation; adenylate-forming; tuberculosis; bisubstrate inhibitor
Numerical characterization of molecular structure is a first step in many computational analysis of chemical structure data. These numerical representations, termed descriptors, come in many forms, ranging from simple atom counts and invariants of the molecular graph to distribution of properties, such as charge, across a molecular surface. In this article we first present a broad categorization of descriptors and then describe applications and toolkits that can be employed to evaluate them. We highlight a number of issues surrounding molecular descriptor calculations such as versioning and reproducibility and describe how some toolkits have attempted to address these problems.
Schizophrenia is a highly debilitating mental disorder which afflicts approximately 1% of the global population. Cognitive and negative deficits account for the lifelong disability associated with schizophrenia, whose symptoms are not effectively addressed by current treatments. New medicines are needed to treat these aspects of the disease. Neurodevelopmental, neuropathological, genetic, and behavioral pharmacological data indicate that schizophrenia stems from a dysfunction of glutamate synaptic transmission, particularly in frontal cortical networks. A number of novel pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms affecting glutamatergic synaptic transmission have emerged as viable targets for schizophrenia. While developing orthosteric glutamatergic agents for these targets has proven extremely difficult, targeting allosteric sites of these targets has emerged as a promising alternative. From a medicinal chemistry perspective, allosteric sites provide an opportunity of finding agents with better drug-like properties and greater target specificity. Furthermore, allosteric modulators are better suited to maintaining the highly precise temporal and spatial aspects of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Herein, we review neuropathological and genomic/genetic evidence underscoring the importance of glutamate synaptic dysfunction in the etiology of schizophrenia and make a case for allosteric targets for therapeutic intervention. We review progress in identifying allosteric modulators of AMPA receptors, NMDA receptors, and metabotropic glutamate receptors, all with the aim of restoring physiological glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Challenges remain given the complexity of schizophrenia and the difficulty in studying cognition in animals and humans. Nonetheless, important compounds have emerged from these efforts and promising preclinical and variable clinical validation has been achieved.
Allosterism; AMPA; glycine; glutamate; NAMS; NMDA; PAMS; schizophrenia
As we move towards an era of personalized medicine, molecular imaging contrast agents are likely to see an increasing presence in routine clinical practice. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has garnered particular interest as a platform for molecular imaging applications due its ability to monitor anatomical changes concomitant with physiologic and molecular changes. One promising new direction in the development of MR contrast agents involves the labeling and/or loading of nanoparticles with gadolinium (Gd). These nanoplatforms are capable of carrying large payloads of Gd, thus providing the requisite sensitivity to detect molecular signatures within disease pathologies. In this review, we discuss some of the progress that has recently been made in the development of Gd-based macromolecules and nanoparticles and outline some of the physical and chemical properties that will be important to incorporate into the next generation of contrast agents, including high Gd chelate stability, high “relaxivity per particle” and “relaxivity density”, and biodegradability.
contrast agent; gadolinium; macromolecule; magnetic resonance; molecular imaging; nanoparticle
The evolution of bio- and cheminformatics associated with the development of specialized software and increasing computer power has produced a great interest in theoretical in silico methods applied in drug rational design. These techniques apply the concept that “similar molecules have similar biological properties” that has been exploited in Medicinal Chemistry for years to design new molecules with desirable pharmacological profiles. Ligand-based methods are not dependent on receptor structural data and take into account two and three-dimensional molecular properties to assess similarity of new compounds in regards to the set of molecules with the biological property under study. Depending on the complexity of the calculation, there are different types of ligand-based methods, such as QSAR (Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship) with 2D and 3D descriptors, CoMFA (Comparative Molecular Field Analysis) or pharmacophoric approaches. This work provides a description of a series of ligand-based models applied in the prediction of the inhibitory activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzymes. The controlled regulation of the enzymes’ function through the use of MAO inhibitors is used as a treatment in many psychiatric and neurological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. For this reason, multiple scaffolds, such as substituted coumarins, indolylmethylamine or pyridazine derivatives were synthesized and assayed toward MAO-A and MAO-B inhibition. Our intention is to focus on the description of ligand-based models to provide new insights in the relationship between the MAO inhibitory activity and the molecular structure of the different inhibitors, and further study enzyme selectivity and possible mechanisms of action.
Alzheimer’s; CoMFA; Ligand-based models; MAO; Molecular Descriptors; Parkinson’s; Pharmacophore; QSAR
Correcting aberrant folds that develop during protein folding disease states is now an active research endeavor that is attracting increasing attention from both academic and industrial circles. One particular approach focuses on developing or identifying small molecule correctors or pharmacological chaperones that specifically stabilize the native fold. Unfortunately, the limited screening platforms available to rapidly identify or validate potential drug candidates are usually inadequate or slow because the folding disease proteins in question are often transiently folded and/or aggregation-prone, complicating and/or interfering with the assay outcomes. In this review, we outline and discuss the numerous platform options currently being employed to identify small molecule therapeutics for folding diseases. Finally, we describe a new stability screening approach that is broad based and is easily applicable toward a very large number of both common and rare protein folding diseases. The label free screening method described herein couples the promiscuity of the GroEL binding to transient aggregation-prone hydrophobic folds with surface plasmon resonance enabling one to rapidly identify potential small molecule pharmacological chaperones.
Protein misfolding; missense mutations; pharmacological chaperones; GroEL chaperonin; Surface Plasmon Resonance
The vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2) is considered as a new target for the development of novel therapeutics to treat psychostimulant abuse. Current information on the structure, function and role of VMAT2 in psychostimulant abuse are presented. Lobeline, the major alkaloidal constituent of Lobelia inflata, interacts with nicotinic receptors and with VMAT2. Numerous studies have shown that lobeline inhibits both the neurochemical and behavioral effects of amphetamine in rodents, and behavioral studies demonstrate that lobeline has potential as a pharmacotherapy for psychostimulant abuse. Systematic structural modification of the lobeline molecule is described with the aim of improving selectivity and affinity for VMAT2 over neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and other neurotransmitter transporters. This has led to the discovery of more potent and selective ligands for VMAT2. In addition, a computational neural network analysis of the affinity of these lobeline analogs for VMAT2 has been carried out, which provides computational models that have predictive value in the rational design of VMAT2 ligands and is also useful in identifying drug candidates from virtual libraries for subsequent synthesis and evaluation.
Vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2); psychostimulant abuse; lobeline; lobeline analogs; computational modeling
The degree of applicability of chemogenomic approaches to protein families depends on the accuracy and completeness of pharmacological data and the corresponding level of pharmacological similarity observed among their protein members. The recent public domain availability of pharmacological data for thousands of small molecules on 204 G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) provides a firm basis for an in-depth cross-pharmacology analysis of this superfamily. The number of protein targets included in the cross-pharmacology profile of the different GPCRs changes significantly upon varying the ligand similarity and binding affinity criteria. However, with the exception of muscarinic receptors, aminergic GPCRs distinguish themselves from the rest of the members in the family by their remarkably high levels of pharmacological similarity among them. Clusters of non-GPCR targets related by cross-pharmacology with particular GPCRs are identified and the implications for unwanted side-effects, as well as for repurposing opportunities, discussed.
GPCR network; ligand similarity; target profile; adverse effects; drug repositioning
The issue of pharmacoresistance in epilepsy has received considerable attention in recent years, and a number of plausible hypotheses have been proposed. Of these, the so-called transporter hypothesis is the most extensively researched and documented. This hypothesis assumes that refractory epilepsy is associated with a localised over-expression of drug transporter proteins such as P-glycoprotein (Pgp) in the region of the epileptic focus, which actively extrudes antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) from their intended site of action. However, although this hypothesis has biological plausibility, there is no clinical evidence to support the assertion that AEDs are sufficiently strong substrates for transporter-mediated extrusion from the brain. The use of modern brain imaging techniques to determine Pgp function in patients with refractory epilepsy has started only recently, and may ultimately determine whether increased expression and function of Pgp or other efflux transporters are involved in AED resistance.
Molecular imaging, the visualization, characterization and measurement of biological processes at the cellular, subcellular level, or even molecular level in living subjects, has rapidly gained importance in the dawning era of personalized medicine. Molecular imaging takes advantage of the traditional diagnostic imaging techniques and introduces molecular imaging probes to determine the expression of indicative molecular markers at different stages of diseases and disorders. As a key component of molecular imaging, molecular imaging probe must be able to specifically reach the target of interest in vivo while retaining long enough to be detected. A desirable molecular imaging probe with clinical translation potential is expected to have unique characteristics. Therefore, design and development of molecular imaging probe is frequently a challenging endeavor for medicinal chemists. This review summarizes the general principles of molecular imaging probe design and some fundamental strategies of molecular imaging probe development with a number of illustrative examples.
Molecular imaging; imaging probe design; imaging probe development strategies
Molecular imaging plays a key role in personalized medicine, which is the goal and future of patient management. Among the various molecular imaging modalities, optical imaging may be the fastest growing area for bioanalysis, and the major reason is the research on fluorescence semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and dyes have evolved over the past two decades. The great efforts on the synthesis of QDs with fluorescence emission from UV to near-infrared (NIR) regions speed up the studies of QDs as optical probes for in vitro and in vivo molecular imaging. For in vivo applications, the fluorescent emission wavelength ideally should be in a region of the spectrum where blood and tissue absorb minimally and tissue penetration reach maximally, which is NIR region (typically 700–1000 nm). The goal of this review is to provide readers the basics of NIR-emitting QDs, the bioconjugate chemistry of QDs, and their applications for diagnostic tumor imaging. We will also discuss the benefits, challenges, limitations, perspective, and the future scope of NIR-emitting QDs for tumor imaging applications.
Quantum dots; near-infrared; tumor imaging; fluorescence imaging; perspective
The development of highly sensitive and specific molecular probes for cancer imaging still remains a daunting challenge. Recently, interdisciplinary research at the interface of imaging sciences and bionanoconjugation chemistry has generated novel activatable imaging probes that can provide high-resolution imaging with ultra-low background signals. Activatable imaging probes are designed to amplify output imaging signals in response to specific biomolecular recognition or environmental changes in real time. This review introduces and highlights the unique design strategies and applications of various activatable imaging probes in cancer imaging.
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technology which allows for four-dimensional, quantitative determination of the distribution of labeled biological compounds within the human body. PET is becoming an increasingly important tool for the measurement of physiological, biochemical and pharmacological functions at the molecular level in healthy and pathological conditions. This review will focus on Flouride-18, one of the common isotopes used for PET imaging, which has a half life of 109.8 minutes. This isotope can be produced with an efficient yield in a cyclotron as a nucleophile or as an electrophile. Flouride-18 can be thereafter introduced into small molecules or biomolecules using various chemical synthetic routes, to give the desired imaging agent.
Light chain amyloidosis is one of the unique examples within amyloid diseases where the amyloidogenic precursor is a protein that escapes the quality control machinery and is secreted from the cells to be circulated in the bloodstream. The immunoglobulin light chains are produced by an abnormally proliferative monoclonal population of plasma cells that under normal conditions produce immunoglobulin molecules such as IgG, IgM or IgA. Once the light chains are in circulation, the proteins misfold and deposit as amyloid fibrils in numerous tissues and organs, causing organ failure and death. While there is a correlation between the thermodynamic stability of the protein and the kinetics of amyloid formation, we have recently found that this correlation applies within a thermodynamic range, and it is only a helpful correlation when comparing mutants from the same protein. Light chain amyloidosis poses unique challenges because each patient has a unique protein sequence as a result of the selection of a germline gene and the incorporation of somatic mutations. The exact location of the misfolding process is unknown as well as the full characterization of all of the toxic species populated during the amyloid formation process in light chain amyloidosis.
light chain amyloidosis; immunoglobulin light chain; somatic mutations; amyloid formation; dimer
Over the last 50 years, sequencing, structural biology and bioinformatics have completely revolutionised biomolecular science, with millions of sequences and tens of thousands of three dimensional structures becoming available. The bioinformatics of enzymes is well served by, mostly free, online databases. BRENDA describes the chemistry, substrate specificity, kinetics, preparation and biological sources of enzymes, while KEGG is valuable for understanding enzymes and metabolic pathways. EzCatDB, SFLD and MACiE are key repositories for data on the chemical mechanisms by which enzymes operate. At the current rate of genome sequencing and manual annotation, human curation will never finish the functional annotation of the ever-expanding list of known enzymes. Hence there is an increasing need for automated annotation, though it is not yet widespread for enzyme data. In contrast, functional ontologies such as the Gene Ontology already profit from automation. Despite our growing understanding of enzyme structure and dynamics, we are only beginning to be able to design novel enzymes. One can now begin to trace the functional evolution of enzymes using phylogenetics. The ability of enzymes to perform secondary functions, albeit relatively inefficiently, gives clues as to how enzyme function evolves. Substrate promiscuity in enzymes is one example of imperfect specificity in protein-ligand interactions. Similarly, most drugs bind to more than one protein target. This may sometimes result in helpful polypharmacology as a drug modulates plural targets, but also often leads to adverse side-effects. Many cheminformatics approaches can be used to model the interactions between druglike molecules and proteins in silico. We can even use quantum chemical techniques like DFT and QM/MM to compute the structural and energetic course of enzyme catalysed chemical reaction mechanisms, including a full description of bond making and breaking.
Small molecule inhibition of HIV fusion has been an elusive goal, despite years of effort by both pharmaceutical and academic laboratories. In this review, we will discuss the amphipathic properties of both peptide and small molecule inhibitors of gp41-mediated fusion. Many of the peptides and small molecules that have been developed target a large hydrophobic pocket situated within the grooves of the coiled coil, a potential hotspot for inhibiting the trimer of hairpin formation that accompanies fusion. Peptide studies reveal molecular properties required for effective inhibition, including elongated structure and lipophilic or amphiphilic nature. The characteristics of peptides that bind in this pocket provide features that should be considered in small molecule development. Additionally, a novel site for small molecule inhibition of fusion has recently been suggested, involving residues of the loop and fusion peptide. We will review the small molecule structures that have been developed, evidence pointing to their mechanism of action and strategies towards improving their affinity. The data points to the need for a strongly amphiphilic character of the inhibitors, possibly as a means to mediate the membrane - protein interaction that occurs in gp41 in addition to the protein – protein interaction that accompanies the fusion-activating conformational transition.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the pathogen of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), causes ~2 millions death every year and still defies an effective vaccine. HIV-1 infects host cells through envelope protein – mediated virus-cell fusion. The transmembrane subunit of envelope protein, gp41, is the molecular machinery which facilitates fusion. Its ectodomain contains several distinguishing functional domains, fusion peptide (FP), N-terminal heptad repeat (NHR), C-terminal heptad repeat (CHR) and membrane proximal extracellular region (MPER). During the fusion process, FP inserts into the host cell membrane, and an extended gp41 prehairpin conformation bridges the viral and cell membranes through MPER and FP respectively. Subsequent conformational change of the unstable prehairpin results in a coiled-coil 6-helix bundle (6HB) structure formed between NHR and CHR. The energetics of 6HB formation drives membrane apposition and fusion. Drugs targeting gp41 functional domains to prevent 6HB formation inhibit HIV-1 infection. T20 (enfuvirtide, Fuzeon) was approved by the US FDA in 2003 as the first fusion inhibitor. It is a 36-residue peptide from the gp41 CHR, and it inhibits 6HB formation by targeting NHR and lipids. Development of new fusion inhibitors, especially small molecule drugs, is encouraged to overcome the shortcomings of T20 as a peptide drug. Hydrophobic characteristics and membrane association are critical for gp41 function and mechanism of action. Research in gp41-membrane interactions, using peptides corresponding to specific functional domains, or constructs including several interactive domains, are reviewed here to get a better understanding of gp41 mediated virus-cell fusion that can inform or guide the design of new HIV-1 fusion inhibitors.
HIV gp41 is a metastable protein whose native conformation is maintained in the form of a heterodimer with gp120. The non-covalently associated gp41/gp120 complex forms a trimer on the virus surface. As gp120 engages with HIV’s receptor, CD4, and coreceptor, CXCR4 or CCR5, gp41 undergoes several conformational changes resulting in fusion between the viral and cellular membranes. Several lipophilic and amphiphilic domains have been shown to be critical in that process. While the obvious function of gp41 in viral entry is well-established its role in cellular membrane fusion and the link with pathogenesis are only now beginning to appear. Recent targeting of gp41 via fusion inhibitors has revealed an important role of this protein not only in viral entry but also in bystander apoptosis and HIV pathogenesis. Studies by our group and others have shown that the phenomenon of gp41-mediated hemifusion initiates apoptosis in bystander cells and correlates with virus pathogenesis. More interestingly, recent clinical evidence suggests that gp41 mutants arising after Enfuvirtide therapy are associated with CD4 cell increase and immunological benefits. This has in turn been correlated to a decrease in bystander apoptosis in our in vitro as well as in vivo assays. Although a great deal of work has been done to unravel HIV-1 gp41-mediated fusion mechanisms, the factors that regulate gp41-mediated fusion versus hemifusion and the mechanism by which hemifusion initiates bystander apoptosis are not fully understood. Further insight into these issues will open new avenues for drug development making gp41 a critical anti-HIV target both for neutralization and virus attenuation.
Two, simple, C5 compounds, dimethylally diphosphate and isopentenyl diphosphate, are the universal precursors of isoprenoids, a large family of natural products involved in numerous important biological processes. Two distinct biosynthetic pathways have evolved to supply these precursors. Humans use the mevalonate route whilst many species of bacteria including important pathogens, plant chloroplasts and apicomplexan parasites exploit the non-mevalonate pathway. The absence from humans, combined with genetic and chemical validation suggests that the non-mevalonate pathway holds the potential to support new drug discovery programmes targeting Gram-negative bacteria and the apicomplexan parasites responsible for causing serious human diseases, and also infections of veterinary importance. The non-mevalonate pathway relies on eight enzyme-catalyzed stages exploiting a range of cofactors and metal ions. A wealth of structural and mechanistic data, mainly derived from studies of bacterial enzymes, now exists for most components of the pathway and these will be described. Particular attention will be paid to how these data inform on the apicomplexan orthologues concentrating on the enzymes from Plasmodium spp.; these cause malaria, one the most important parasitic diseases in the world today.
Antimicrobial drug discovery; isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis; malaria; structure-based inhibitor discovery; toxoplasmosis
Postmenopausal women make up one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Women typically have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease following menopause. One of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease is hypertension, and after menopause, blood pressure (BP) increases progressively in women. Also after menopause, the progression of renal disease increases in women compared with aged matched men. However, the mechanism(s) responsible for the postmenopausal increase in BP and renal injury are yet to be elucidated. Moreover the best therapeutic options to treat postmenopausal hypertension in women are not clear. Hypertension in postmenopausal women are usually associated with other cardiovascular risk factors, such as dyslipidemias, visceral obesity and endothelial dysfunction. Recently it became apparent that in a large number of hypertensive postmenopausal women, their BP is not well controlled with conventional antihypertensive medications. A clear understanding of the complex pathogenesis of postmenopausal hypertension is needed in order to offer the best therapeutic options for these women.
Aldosterone; angiotensin II; blood pressure; endothelin; menopause; sex steroids sympathetic; visceral obesity
The extensive adaptability of dendrimer-based contrast agents is ideal for the molecular imaging of organs and other target-specific locations. The ability of literally atom-by-atom modification on cores, interiors, and surface groups, permits the rational manipulation of dendrimer-based agents in order to optimize their physical characteristics, biodistribution, receptor-mediated targeting, and controlled release of the payload. Such modifications enable agents to localize preferentially to areas or organs of interest for facilitating target-specific imaging as well as assume excretion pathways that do not interfere with desired applications. Recent innovations in dendrimer research have increased agent directibility and new synthetic chemistry approaches have increased efficiency of production as well as led to the creation of novel dendrimer-based contrast agents. In addition, by taking advantage of the numerous attachment sites available on the surface of a single dendrimer molecule, new synthetic chemistry techniques have led to the development of multimodality magnetic resonance, radionuclide, and fluorescence imaging agents for molecular imaging. Herein we discuss advances in dendrimer-based contrast agents for molecular imaging focusing mainly on the chemical design as applied to optical, magnetic resonance, computer tomography, radionuclide, and multi-modality imaging.
Dendrimer; contrast agent; molecular imaging; nanomedicine; magnetic resonance imaging; optical imaging; radionuclide imaging; multiple modalities
In a recent series of experiments, we demonstrated that a visuomotor adaptation task, 12 hours of left arm immobilization, and rapid transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) during waking can each induce local changes in the topography of electroencephalographic (EEG) slow wave activity (SWA) during subsequent non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. However, the poor spatial resolution of EEG and the difficulty of relating scalp potentials to the activity of the underlying cortex limited the interpretation of these results. In order to better understand local cortical regulation of sleep, we used source modeling to show that plastic changes in specific cortical areas during waking produce correlated changes in SWA during sleep in those same areas. We found that implicit learning of a visuomotor adaptation task induced an increase in SWA in right premotor and sensorimotor cortices when compared to a motor control. These same areas have previously been shown to be selectively involved in the performance of this task. We also found that arm immobilization resulted in a decrease in SWA in sensorimotor cortex. Inducing cortical potentiation with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) caused an increase in SWA in the targeted area and a decrease in SWA in the contralateral cortex. Finally, we report the first evidence that these modulations in SWA may be related to the dynamics of individual slow waves. We conclude that there is a local, plasticity dependent component to sleep regulation and confirm previous inferences made from the scalp data.
Waking neurobehavioral performance is temporally regulated by a sleep/wake homeostatic process and a circadian process in interaction with a time-on-task effect. Neurobehavioral impairment resulting from these factors is task-specific, and characterized by performance variability. Several aspects of these phenomena are not well understood, and cannot be explained solely by a top-down (subcortically driven) view of sleep/wake and performance regulation. We present a bottom-up theory, where we postulate that task performance is degraded by local, use-dependent sleep in neuronal groups subserving cognitive processes associated with the task at hand. The theory offers explanations for the temporal dependence of neurobehavioral performance on time awake, time on task, and their interaction; for the effectiveness of task switching and rest breaks to overcome the time-on-task effect (but not the effects of sleep deprivation); for the task-specific nature of neurobehavioral impairment; and for the stochastic property of performance variability.
Use-dependence; cognition; time on task; state instability; sleep homeostasis; near-infrared optical imaging; theory development