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1.  4-(3-Chloro-5-(trifluoromethyl)pyridin-2-yl)-N-(4-methoxypyridin-2-yl)piperazine-1-carbothioamide (ML267), a Potent Inhibitor of Bacterial Phosphopantetheinyl Transferase That Attenuates Secondary Metabolism and Thwarts Bacterial Growth 
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry  2014;57(3):1063-1078.
4′-Phosphopantetheinyl transferases (PPTases) catalyze a post-translational modification essential to bacterial cell viability and virulence. We present the discovery and medicinal chemistry optimization of 2-pyridinyl-N-(4-aryl)piperazine-1-carbothioamides, which exhibit submicromolar inhibition of bacterial Sfp-PPTase with no activity toward the human orthologue. Moreover, compounds within this class possess antibacterial activity in the absence of a rapid cytotoxic response in human cells. An advanced analogue of this series, ML267 (55), was found to attenuate production of an Sfp-PPTase-dependent metabolite when applied to Bacillus subtilis at sublethal doses. Additional testing revealed antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and chemical genetic studies implicated efflux as a mechanism for resistance in Escherichia coli. Additionally, we highlight the in vitro absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion and in vivo pharmacokinetic profiles of compound 55 to further demonstrate the potential utility of this small-molecule inhibitor.
doi:10.1021/jm401752p
PMCID: PMC3983359  PMID: 24450337
2.  Discovery, SAR, and Biological evaluation of Non-Inhibitory Small Molecule Chaperones of Glucocerebrosidase 
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry  2012;55(12):5734-5748.
A major challenge in the field of Gaucher disease has been the development of new therapeutic strategies including molecular chaperones. All previously described chaperones of glucocerebrosidase are enzyme inhibitors, which complicates their clinical development, because their chaperone activity must be balanced against the functional inhibition of the enzyme. Using a novel high throughput screening methodology, we identified a chemical series that does not inhibit the enzyme, but can still facilitate its translocation to the lysosome as measured by immunostaining of glucocerebrosidase in patient fibroblasts. These compounds provide the basis for the development of a novel approach towards small molecule treatment for patients with Gaucher disease.
doi:10.1021/jm300063b
PMCID: PMC3400126  PMID: 22646221
Gaucher disease; glucocerebrosidase; chaperone; pyrazolopyrimidine; activator
3.  Discovery of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of Human Platelet type 12-Lipoxygenase 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2011;54(15):5485-5497.
We report the discovery of novel small molecule inhibitors of platelet type 12-human lipoxygenase, which display nanomolar activity against the purified enzyme, using a quantitative high throughput screen (qHTS) on a library of 153,607 compounds. These compounds also exhibit excellent specificity, >50-fold selectivity vs. the paralogs, 5-human lipoxygenase, reticulocyte 15-human lipoxygenase type-1, and epithelial 15-human lipoxygenase type-2, and >100-fold selectivity vs. ovine cyclooxygenase-1 and human cyclooxygenase-2. Kinetic experiments indicate this chemotype is a non-competitive inhibitor that does not reduce the active site iron. Moreover, chiral HPLC separation of two of the racemic lead molecules revealed a strong preference for the (–)-enantiomers (IC50 of 0.43 +/- 0.04 and 0.38 +/- 0.05 μM) compared to the (+)-enantiomers (IC50 of >25 μM for both), indicating a fine degree of selectivity in the active site due to chiral geometry. In addition, these compounds demonstrate efficacy in cellular models, which underscores their relevance to disease modification.
doi:10.1021/jm2005089
PMCID: PMC3150642  PMID: 21739938
Human 12-lipoxygenase; high-throughput; selective; inhibitor
4.  Evaluation of Quinazoline analogues as Glucocerebrosidase Inhibitors with Chaperone activity 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2011;54(4):1033-1058.
Gaucher disease is a Lysosomal Storage Disorder (LSD) caused by deficiency in the enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GC). Small molecule chaperones of protein folding and translocation have been proposed as a promising therapeutic approach to this LSD. Most small molecule chaperones described in the literature contain an iminosugar scaffold. Here we present the discovery and evaluation of a new series of GC inhibitors with a quinazoline core. We demonstrate that this series can improve the translocation of GC to the lysosome in patient-derived cells. To optimize this chemical series, systematic synthetic modifications were performed and the SAR was evaluated and compared using three different readouts of compound activity – enzymatic inhibition, enzyme thermostabilization, and lysosomal translocation of GC.
doi:10.1021/jm1008902
PMCID: PMC3103057  PMID: 21250698
5.  Discovery of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of Human Reticulocyte 15- Lipoxygenase-1 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(20):7392-7404.
There are a variety of lipoxygenases in the human body (hLO), each having a distinct role in cellular biology. Human reticulocyte 15-Lipoxygenase-1 (15-hLO-1), which catalyzes the dioxygenation of 1,4-cis,cis-pentadiene-containing polyunsaturated fatty acids, is implicated in a number of diseases including cancer, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative conditions. Despite the potential therapeutic relevance of this target, few inhibitors have been reported that are both potent and selective. To this end, we have employed a quantitative high-throughput (qHTS) screen against ~74,000 small molecules in search of reticulocyte 15-hLO-1 selective inhibitors. This screen led to the discovery of a novel chemotype for 15-hLO-1 inhibition, which displays nM potency and is >7,500-fold selective against the related isozymes, 5-hLO, platelet 12-hLO, epithelial 15-hLO-2, ovine cyclooxygenase-1 and human cyclooxygenase-2. In addition, kinetic experiments were performed which indicate that this class of inhibitor is tight binding, reversible, and appears not to reduce the active-site ferric ion.
doi:10.1021/jm1008852
PMCID: PMC2966298  PMID: 20866075
Human 15-lipoxygenase-1; high-throughput; inhibitor
6.  Evaluation of Substituted N,N′-Diarylsulfonamides as Activators of the Tumor Cell Specific M2 Isoform of Pyruvate Kinase 
The metabolism of cancer cells is altered to support rapid proliferation. Pharmacological activators of a tumor cell specific pyruvate kinase isozyme (PKM2) may be an approach for altering the classic Warburg effect characteristic of aberrant metabolism in cancer cells yielding a novel anti-proliferation strategy. In this manuscript we detail the discovery of a series of substituted N,N′-diarylsulfonamides as activators of PKM2. The synthesis of numerous analogues and the evaluation of structure activity relationships are presented as well as assessments of mechanism and selectivity. Several agents are found that have good potencies and appropriate solubility for use as chemical probes of PKM2 including 55 (AC50 = 43 nM, maximum response = 84%; solubility = 7.3 μg/mL), 56 (AC50 = 99 nM, maximum response = 84%; solubility = 5.7 μg/mL) and 58 (AC50 = 38 nM, maximum response = 82%; solubility = 51.2 μg/mL). The small molecules described here represent first-in-class activators of PKM2
doi:10.1021/jm901577g
PMCID: PMC2818804  PMID: 20017496
Warburg effect; pyruvate kinase; cellular metabolism; high-throughput screening; small molecule activators
7.  Identification and Optimization of Inhibitors of Trypanosomal Cysteine Proteases: Cruzain, Rhodesain, and TbCatB 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(1):52-60.
Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei are parasites that cause Chagas’ disease and African sleeping sickness, respectively. Both parasites rely on essential cysteine proteases for survival, cruzain for T. cruzi and TbCatB/rhodesain for T. brucei. A recent quantitative high-throughput screen of cruzain identified triazine nitriles, which are known inhibitors of other cysteine proteases, as reversible inhibitors of the enzyme. Structural modifications detailed herein, including core scaffold modification from triazine to purine, improved the in vitro potency against both cruzain and rhodesain by 350-fold, while also gaining activity against T. brucei parasites. Selected compounds were screened against a panel of human cysteine and serine proteases to determine selectivity, and a co-crystal was obtained of our most potent analog bound to Cruzain.
doi:10.1021/jm901069a
PMCID: PMC2804034  PMID: 19908842
8.  Structure-Mechanism Insights and the Role of Nitric Oxide Donation Guide the Development of Oxadiazole-2-Oxides as Therapeutic Agents against Schistosomiasis 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2009;52(20):6474-6483.
Schistosomiasis is a chronic parasitic disease affecting hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. Current treatment depends on a single agent, praziquantel, raising concerns of emergence of resistant parasites. Here, we continue our explorations of an oxadiazole-2-oxide class of compounds we recently identified as inhibitors of thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR), a selenocysteine-containing flavoenzyme required by the parasite to maintain proper cellular redox balance. Through systematic evaluation of the core molecular structure of this chemotype we define the essential pharmacophore, establish a link between the nitric oxide donation and TGR inhibition, determine the selectivity for this chemotype versus related reductase enzymes and present evidence that these agents can be modified to possess appropriate drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic properties. The mechanistic link between exogenous NO donation and parasite injury is expanded and better defined. The results of these studies verify the utility of oxadiazole-2-oxides as novel inhibitors of TGR and as efficacious anti-schistosomal reagents.
doi:10.1021/jm901021k
PMCID: PMC2772170  PMID: 19761212
9.  Examining the Chirality, Conformation and Selective Kinase Inhibition of 3-((3R,4R)-4-methyl-3-(methyl(7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-yl)amino)piperidin-1-yl)-3-oxopropanenitrile (CP-690,550) 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2008;51(24):8012-8018.
Here, we examine the significance that stereochemistry plays within the clinically relevant Janus Kinase 3 (Jak3) inhibitor CP-690,550. A synthesis of all four enantiopure stereoisomers of the drug was carried out and an examination of each compound revealed that only the enantiopure 3R, 4R isomer was capable of blocking Stat5 phosphorylation (Jak3 dependent). Each compound was profiled across a panel of over 350 kinases which revealed a high level of selectivity for the Jak family kinases for these related compounds. Each stereoisomer retained a degree of binding to Jak3 and Jak2 and the 3R, 4S and 3S, 4R stereoisomers were further revealed to have binding affinity for selected members of the STE7 and STE20 subfamily of kinases. Finally, an appraisal of the minimum energy conformation of each stereoisomer and molecular docking at Jak3 was performed in an effort to better understand each compounds selectivity and potency profiles.
doi:10.1021/jm801142b
PMCID: PMC2660606  PMID: 19053756
Janus Kinase 3; CP-690,550; Kinase inhibition; Chiral drugs

Results 1-9 (9)