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1.  Development of a New Radiofluorinated Quinoline Analog for PET Imaging of Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) in Brain 
Pharmaceuticals  2016;9(2):22.
Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are enzymes that play a major role in cell signalling by hydrolysing the secondary messengers cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and/or cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) throughout the body and brain. Altered cyclic nucleotide-mediated signalling has been associated with a wide array of disorders, including neurodegenerative disorders. Recently, PDE5 has been shown to be involved in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, but its precise role has not been elucidated yet. To visualize and quantify the expression of this enzyme in brain, we developed a radiotracer for specific PET imaging of PDE5. A quinoline-based lead compound has been structurally modified resulting in the fluoroethoxymethyl derivative ICF24027 with high inhibitory activity towards PDE5 (IC50 = 1.86 nM). Radiolabelling with fluorine-18 was performed by a one-step nucleophilic substitution reaction using a tosylate precursor (RCY(EOB) = 12.9% ± 1.8%; RCP > 99%; SA(EOS) = 70–126 GBq/μmol). In vitro autoradiographic studies of [18F]ICF24027 on different mouse tissue as well as on porcine brain slices demonstrated a moderate specific binding to PDE5. In vivo studies in mice revealed that [18F]ICF24027 was metabolized under formation of brain penetrable radiometabolites making the radiotracer unsuitable for PET imaging of PDE5 in brain.
PMCID: PMC4932540  PMID: 27110797
PDE5; PET imaging; fluorine-18; quinoline; micellar chromatography
2.  Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of New Quinoxaline Derivatives of ICF01012 as Melanoma-Targeting Probes 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2014;5(5):468-473.
The aim of this study was the synthesis and pharmacokinetic selection of a best melanin-targeting ligand for addressing anticancer agents to pigmented melanoma. Seven quinoxaline carboxamide derivatives were synthesized and radiolabeled with iodine-125. Biodistribution studies of compounds [125I]1a–g performed in melanoma-bearing mice tumor showed significant tumor uptake (range 2.43–5.68%ID/g) within 1 h after i.v. injection. Fast clearance of the radioactivity from the nontarget organs mainly via the urinary system gave high tumor-to-blood and tumor-to-muscle ratios. Given its favorable clearance and high tumor-melanoma uptake at 72 h, amide 1d was the most promising melanoma-targeting ligand in this series. Compound 1d will be used as building block for the design of new melanoma-selective drug delivery systems.
PMCID: PMC4027609  PMID: 24900863
Melanoma; melanin-targeting ligand; radiolabeling; iodine-125
3.  Quick and Simple Detection Technique to Assess the Binding of Antimicrotubule Agents to the Colchicine-Binding Site 
Biological Procedures Online  2010;12:113-117.
Development of antimitotic binding to the colchicine-binding site for the treatment of cancer is rapidly expanding. Numerous antimicrotubule agents are prepared every year, and the determination of their binding affinity to tubulin requires the use of purified tubulins and radiolabeled ligands. Such a procedure is costly and time-consuming and therefore is limited to the most promising candidates. Here, we report a quick and inexpensive method that requires only usual laboratory resources to assess the binding of antimicrotubules to colchicine-binding site. The method is based on the ability of N,N'-ethylene-bis(iodoacetamide) (EBI) to crosslink in living cells the cysteine residues at position 239 and 354 of β-tubulin, residues which are involved in the colchicine-binding site. The β-tubulin adduct formed by EBI is easily detectable by Western blot as a second immunoreacting band of β-tubulin that migrates faster than β-tubulin. The occupancy of colchicine-binding site by pertinent antimitotics inhibits the formation of the EBI: β-tubulin adduct, resulting in an assay that allows the screening of new molecules targeting this binding site.
PMCID: PMC3055821  PMID: 21406120
colchicine-binding site inhibitor; taxol-binding site inhibitor; N,N'-ethylene-bis(iodoacetamide); EBI; tubulin affinity assay; antimicrotubule agent
4.  Generation and Characterization of Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibodies against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Tat Antigen 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(7):3792-3796.
The human immunodeficiency virus Tat regulatory protein is essential for virus replication and pathogenesis. From human peripheral blood mononuclear cells of three Tat toxoid-immunized volunteers, we isolated five Tat-specific human monoclonal antibodies (HMAbs): two full-length immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and three single-chain fragment-variable (scFv) antibodies. The two IgGs were mapped to distinct epitopes within the basic region of Tat, and the three scFvs were mapped to the N-terminal domain of Tat. The three scFvs were highly reactive with recombinant Tat in Western blotting or immunoprecipitation, but results were in contrast to those for the two IgGs, which are sensitive to a particular folding of the protein. In transactivation assays, scFvs were able to inhibit both active recombinant Tat and native Tat secreted by a transfected CEM cell line while IgGs neutralized only native Tat. These HMAbs were able to reduce viral p24 production in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 strain IIIB chronically infected cell lines in a dose-dependent manner.
PMCID: PMC371091  PMID: 15016898
5.  Design, Synthesis, Biological Evaluation, and Structure–Activity Relationships of Substituted Phenyl 4-(2-Oxoimidazolidin-1-yl)benzenesulfonates as New Tubulin Inhibitors Mimicking Combretastatin A-4 
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry  2011;54(13):4559-4580.
Sixty-one phenyl 4-(2-oxoimidazolidin-1-yl)benzenesulfonates (PIB-SOs) and 13 of their tetrahydro-2-oxopyrimidin-1(2H)-yl analogues (PPB-SOs) were prepared and biologically evaluated. The antiproliferative activities of PIB-SOs on 16 cancer cell lines are in the nanomolar range and unaffected in cancer cells resistant to colchicine, paclitaxel, and vinblastine or overexpressing the P-glycoprotein. None of the PPB-SOs exhibit significant antiproliferative activity. PIB-SOs block the cell cycle progression in the G2/M phase and bind to the colchicine-binding site on β-tubulin leading to cytoskeleton disruption and cell death. Chick chorioallantoic membrane tumor assays show that compounds 36, 44, and 45 efficiently block angiogenesis and tumor growth at least at similar levels as combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) and exhibit low to very low toxicity on the chick embryos. PIB-SOs were subjected to CoMFA and CoMSIA analyses to establish quantitative structure–activity relationships.
PMCID: PMC3131785  PMID: 21604746

Results 1-5 (5)