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1.  Anti-cancer activity of novel dibenzo[b,f]azepine tethered isoxazoline derivatives 
BMC Chemical Biology  2012;12:5.
Background
Dibenzoazepine (DB) derivatives are important and valuable compounds in medicinal chemistry. The synthesis and chemotherapeutic properties of naturally occurring DBs and different heterocyclic moiety tethered DBs are reported. Herein, we report the DB-fused hybrid structure that containing isoxazolines (DBIs) and their anti-cancer activity, which could throw light on the structural and functional features of new molecules.
Results and Conclusion
The synthesis and characterization of novel ring DB tethered isoxazoline derivatives (DBIs) were carried out. After the detailed structural characterization using 2D-NMR experiments, the compounds were identified as 5-substituted isoxazolines. The effect of newly synthesized DBIs against the invasion of murine osteosarcoma (LM8G7) cells was studied. Among the tested molecules, compound 4g (5-[−3-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,5-dihydroisoxazol-5-yl-methyl]-5 H-dibenzo[b,f]azepine), was found to inhibit the invasion of LM8G7 cells strongly, when compared to other structurally related compounds. Cumulatively, the compound 4g inhibited the invasion MDA-MB-231 cells completely at 10 μM. In addition to anti-invasion property the compound 4g also inhibited the migration of LM8G7 and human ovarian cancer cells (OVSAHO) dose-dependently. Compound 4g inhibited the proliferation of LM8G7, OVSAHO, human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and human melphalan-resistant multiple myeloma (RPMI8226-LR5) cells that are comparable to cisplatin and suramin.
doi:10.1186/1472-6769-12-5
PMCID: PMC3554437  PMID: 23033888
Dibenzoazepine; Cycloaddition; Isoxazolines; Anticancer agents; ADMET
2.  High toxicity and specificity of the saponin 3-GlcA-28-AraRhaxyl-medicagenate, from Medicago truncatula seeds, for Sitophilus oryzae 
BMC Chemical Biology  2012;12:3.
Background
Because of the increasingly concern of consumers and public policy about problems for environment and for public health due to chemical pesticides, the search for molecules more safe is currently of great importance. Particularly, plants are able to fight the pathogens as insects, bacteria or fungi; so that plants could represent a valuable source of new molecules.
Results
It was observed that Medicago truncatula seed flour displayed a strong toxic activity towards the adults of the rice weevil Sitophilus oryzae (Coleoptera), a major pest of stored cereals. The molecule responsible for toxicity was purified, by solvent extraction and HPLC, and identified as a saponin, namely 3-GlcA-28-AraRhaxyl-medicagenate. Saponins are detergents, and the CMC of this molecule was found to be 0.65 mg per mL. Neither the worm Caenorhabditis elegans nor the bacteria E. coli were found to be sensitive to this saponin, but growth of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was inhibited at concentrations higher than 100 μg per mL. The purified molecule is toxic for the adults of the rice weevils at concentrations down to 100 μg per g of food, but this does not apply to the others insects tested, including the coleopteran Tribolium castaneum and the Sf9 insect cultured cells.
Conclusions
This specificity for the weevil led us to investigate this saponin potential for pest control and to propose the hypothesis that this saponin has a specific mode of action, rather than acting via its non-specific detergent properties.
doi:10.1186/1472-6769-12-3
PMCID: PMC3388004  PMID: 22536832
Saponin; Insect; Medicago truncatula; Sitophilus oryzae
3.  Identification Of Small Molecule TRABID Deubiquitinase Inhibitors By Computation-Based Virtual Screen 
BMC Chemical Biology  2012;12:4.
Background
Wnt/β-catenin-mediated gene transcription plays important roles in a wide range of biological and pathophysiological processes including tumorigenesis where β-catenin-mediated transcription activity frequently elevates. TRABID, a deubiquitinase, was shown to have a positive Wnt/β-catenin-mediated gene transcription and hence holds a promise as a putative anti-cancer target.
Results
In this study, we used a combination of structure based virtual screening and an in vitro deubiquitinase (DUB) assay to identify several small molecules that inhibit TRABID DUB activity. However, these inhibitors failed to show inhibitory effects on β-catenin-mediated gene transcription. In addition, expression of TRABID shRNAs, wildtype TRABID, or the DUB activity-deficient mutant showed little effects on β-catenin-mediated gene transcription.
Conclusions
TRABID may not be a critical component in canonical Wnt/β-catenin signal transduction or that a minute amount of this protein is sufficient for its role in regulating Wnt activity.
doi:10.1186/1472-6769-12-4
PMCID: PMC3475094  PMID: 22584113
4.  Comprehensive predictions of target proteins based on protein-chemical interaction using virtual screening and experimental verifications 
BMC Chemical Biology  2012;12:2.
Background
Identification of the target proteins of bioactive compounds is critical for elucidating the mode of action; however, target identification has been difficult in general, mostly due to the low sensitivity of detection using affinity chromatography followed by CBB staining and MS/MS analysis.
Results
We applied our protocol of predicting target proteins combining in silico screening and experimental verification for incednine, which inhibits the anti-apoptotic function of Bcl-xL by an unknown mechanism. One hundred eighty-two target protein candidates were computationally predicted to bind to incednine by the statistical prediction method, and the predictions were verified by in vitro binding of incednine to seven proteins, whose expression can be confirmed in our cell system.
As a result, 40% accuracy of the computational predictions was achieved successfully, and we newly found 3 incednine-binding proteins.
Conclusions
This study revealed that our proposed protocol of predicting target protein combining in silico screening and experimental verification is useful, and provides new insight into a strategy for identifying target proteins of small molecules.
doi:10.1186/1472-6769-12-2
PMCID: PMC3471015  PMID: 22480302
5.  HIV-1 Nef interaction influences the ATP-binding site of the Src-family kinase, Hck 
BMC Chemical Biology  2012;12:1.
Background
Nef is an HIV-1 accessory protein essential for viral replication and AIDS progression. Nef interacts with a multitude of host cell signaling partners, including members of the Src kinase family. Nef preferentially activates Hck, a Src-family kinase (SFK) strongly expressed in macrophages and other HIV target cells, by binding to its regulatory SH3 domain. Recently, we identified a series of kinase inhibitors that preferentially inhibit Hck in the presence of Nef. These compounds also block Nef-dependent HIV replication, validating the Nef-SFK signaling pathway as an antiretroviral drug target. Our findings also suggested that by binding to the Hck SH3 domain, Nef indirectly affects the conformation of the kinase active site to favor inhibitor association.
Results
To test this hypothesis, we engineered a "gatekeeper" mutant of Hck with enhanced sensitivity to the pyrazolopyrimidine tyrosine kinase inhibitor, NaPP1. We also modified the RT loop of the Hck SH3 domain to enhance interaction of the kinase with Nef. This modification stabilized Nef:Hck interaction in solution-based kinase assays, as a way to mimic the more stable association that likely occurs at cellular membranes. Introduction of the modified RT loop rendered Hck remarkably more sensitive to activation by Nef, and led to a significant decrease in the Km for ATP as well as enhanced inhibitor potency.
Conclusions
These observations suggest that stable interaction with Nef may induce Src-family kinase active site conformations amenable to selective inhibitor targeting.
doi:10.1186/1472-6769-12-1
PMCID: PMC3328272  PMID: 22420777

Results 1-5 (5)