Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
J Biomol Screen [journal]
- Discovery of Therapeutic Deubiquitylase Effector Molecules: Current Perspectives. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 14.
The approval of proteasome inhibitors bortezomib and carfilzomib and the E3 ligase antagonist thalidomide and its analogs, lenalidomide and pomalidomide, validates the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway as a source of novel drugs for treating cancer and, potentially, a variety of devastating illnesses, including inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease. All elements of this critical regulatory pathway-the proteasome itself, E3 ligases (which conjugate ubiquitin to target proteins), and deubiquitylating enzymes (which deconjugate ubiquitin, reversing ligase action)-are potential therapeutic targets, and all have been worked on extensively during the past decade. No deubiquitylase inhibitors or activators have yet progressed to clinical trial, however, despite compelling target validation and several years of high-throughput screening and preclinical development of hits by numerous pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology organizations, and academic groups. The appropriateness of deubiquitylases as therapeutic targets in many disease areas is reviewed, followed by evidence that selective inhibitors of these cysteine proteases can be discovered. Because the lack of progress in drug-discovery efforts with deubiquitylases suggests a need for improved discovery methodologies, currently available platforms and strategies are analyzed, and improved or completely novel, unrelated approaches are considered in terms of their likelihood of producing clinically viable effectors of deubiquitylases.
- CXCR4 Antagonists: A Screening Strategy for Identification of Functionally Selective Ligands. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 14.
The CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is a widely expressed G protein-coupled receptor implicated in several diseases. In cancer, an increased number of surface CXCR4 receptors, in parallel with aberrant signaling, have been reported to influence several aspects of malignancy progression. CXCR4 activation by the specific ligand C-X-C motif chemokine 12 (CXCL12) induces several intracellular signaling pathways that have been selectively related to malignancy depending on the tissue or cell type. We developed a panel of CXCR4 screening assays investigating Gαi-mediated cyclic adenosine monophosphate modulation, β-arrestin recruitment, and receptor internalization. All of the assays were set up in recombinant cells and were used to test four reported CXCR4 antagonists. Consequently, a set of hit compounds, deriving from a screening campaign of a 30,000-small-molecule internal library, was profiled with the different assays. We identified several compounds showing a pathway-selective activity: antagonists on a Gαi-dependent pathway; antagonists on both the β-arrestin and Gαi-dependent pathways, some of which induce receptor internalization; and compounds with an antagonist behavior in all of the readouts. The identified biased antagonists induce different functional states on CXCR4 and preferentially affect specific downstream responses from the activated receptor, thus providing an improved therapeutic profile for correction of CXCR4 abnormal signaling.
- Identification of Novel Polyphenolic Inhibitors of Shikimate Dehydrogenase (AroE). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 14.
Shikimate dehydrogenase (AroE) is an attractive target for herbicides and antimicrobial agents due to its conserved and essential nature in plants, fungi, and bacteria. Here, we have performed an in vitro screen using a collection of more than 5500 compounds and identified 24 novel inhibitors of AroE from Pseudomonas putida. The IC50 values for the two most potent inhibitors we identified, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG), were 3.0 ± 0.2 µM and 3.7 ± 0.5 µM, respectively. Based on the high level of structural conservation between AroE orthologs, we predicted that the identified compounds would also inhibit AroE enzymes from other organisms. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that EGCG and ECG inhibit the AroE domain of the bifunctional dehydroquinate dehydratase-shikimate dehydrogenase (DHQ-SDH) from Arabidopsis thaliana with IC50 values of 2.1 ± 0.3 µM and 2.0 ± 0.2 µM, respectively.
- Identification of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum M18 Aspartyl Aminopeptidase (PfM18AAP) of Human Malaria via High-Throughput Screening. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 11.
The target of this study, the PfM18 aspartyl aminopeptidase (PfM18AAP), is the only AAP present in the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. PfM18AAP is a metallo-exopeptidase that exclusively cleaves N-terminal acidic amino acids glutamate and aspartate. It is expressed in parasite cytoplasm and may function in concert with other aminopeptidases in protein degradation, of, for example, hemoglobin. Previous antisense knockdown experiments identified a lethal phenotype associated with PfM18AAP, suggesting that it is a valid target for new antimalaria therapies. To identify inhibitors of PfM18AAP function, a fluorescence enzymatic assay was developed using recombinant PfM18AAP enzyme and a fluorogenic peptide substrate (H-Glu-NHMec). This was screened against the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network collection of ~292,000 compounds (the Molecular Libraries Small Molecule Repository). A cathepsin L1 (CTSL1) enzyme-based assay was developed and used as a counterscreen to identify compounds with nonspecific activity. Enzymology and phenotypic assays were used to determine mechanism of action and efficacy of selective and potent compounds identified from high-throughput screening. Two structurally related compounds, CID 6852389 and CID 23724194, yielded micromolar potency and were inactive in CTSL1 titration experiments (IC50 >59.6 µM). As measured by the Ki assay, both compounds demonstrated micromolar noncompetitive inhibition in the PfM18AAP enzyme assay. Both CID 6852389 and CID 23724194 demonstrated potency in malaria growth assays (IC50 4 µM and 1.3 µM, respectively).
- Development of the First Fluorescence Screening Assay for the SLC39A2 Zinc Transporter. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 20.
Zinc is an essential micronutrient that is crucial for many vital cellular functions such as DNA and protein synthesis, metabolism, and intracellular signaling. Therefore, the intracellular zinc concentration is tightly regulated by zinc transporters and zinc-binding proteins. The members of the SCL39 transporter family transport zinc into the cytosol. The SLC39A2 (hZIP2) protein is highly expressed in prostate epithelial cells and was found to be involved in prostate cancer development. Thus far, there is no specific modulator available for the SLC39 transporters. The aim of this study was to develop a screening assay for compound screening targeting hZIP2. Employing the pIRES2-DsRed Express 2 bicistronic vector, we detected human ZIP2 expression at the plasma membrane in transiently transfected HEK293 cells. Using the FLIPR Tetra fluorescence plate reader, we demonstrated that ZIP2 transports Cd(2+) with an apparent Km value of 53.96 nM at an extracellular pH of 6.5. The cadmium influx via hZIP2 was inhibited by zinc in a competitive manner. We found that hZIP2 activity can be measured using cadmium in the range of 0.1 to 10 µM with our assay. In summary, for the first time we developed an assay for human ZIP2 that can be adapted to other zinc transporters.
- Time-Resolved Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Assay for Discovery of Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Methyl-CpG Binding Domain Protein 2. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 7.
Methylated DNA binding proteins such as Methyl-CpG Binding Domain Protein 2 (MBD2) can transduce DNA methylation alterations into a repressive signal by recruiting transcriptional co-repressor complexes. Interfering with MBD2 could lead to reactivation of tumor suppressor genes and therefore represents an attractive strategy for epigenetic therapy. We developed and compared fluorescence polarization (FP) and time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET)-based high-throughput screening (HTS) assays to identify small-molecule inhibitors of the interaction between the methyl binding domain of MBD2 (MBD2-MBD) and methylated DNA. Although both assays performed well in 96-well format, the TR-FRET assay (Z' factor = 0.58) emerged as a superior screening strategy compared with FP (Z' factor = 0.08) when evaluated in an HTS 384-well plate format. Using TR-FRET, we screened the Sigma LOPAC library for MBD2-MBD inhibitors and identified four compounds that also validated in a dose-response series. This included two known DNA intercalators (mitoxantrone and idarubicin) among two other inhibitory compounds (NF449 and aurintricarboxylic acid). All four compounds also inhibited the binding of SP-1, a transcription factor with a GC-rich binding sequence, to a methylated oligonucleotide, demonstrating that the activity was nonspecific. Our results provide proof of principle for using TR-FRET-based HTS to identify small-molecule inhibitors of MBD2 and other DNA-protein interactions.
- Multiparametric Analysis of Screening Data: Growing Beyond the Single Dimension to Infinity and Beyond. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 5.
Advances in instrumentation now allow the development of screening assays that are capable of monitoring multiple readouts such as transcript or protein levels, or even multiple parameters derived from images. Such advances in assay technologies highlight the complex nature of biology and disease. Harnessing this complexity requires integration of all the different parameters that can be measured rather than just monitoring a single dimension as is commonly used. Although some of the methods used to combine multiple measurements, such as principal component analysis, are commonly used for microarray analysis, biologists are not yet using many of the tools that have been developed in other fields to address such issues. Visualization of multiparametric data sets is one of the major challenges in this field, and a depiction of the results in a manner that can be readily interpreted is essential. This article describes a number of assay systems being used to generate such data sets en masse, and the methods being applied to their visualization and analysis. We also discuss some of the challenges of applying methods developed in other fields to biology.
- Enzymatic Characterization of ER Stress-Dependent Kinase, PERK, and Development of a High-Throughput Assay for Identification of PERK Inhibitors. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 5.
PERK is serine/threonine kinase localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. PERK is activated and contributes to cell survival in response to a variety of physiological stresses that affect protein quality control in the ER, such as hypoxia, glucose depravation, increased lipid biosynthesis, and increased protein translation. Pro-survival functions of PERK are triggered by such stresses, suggesting that development of small-molecule inhibitors of PERK may be efficacious in a variety of disease scenarios. Hence, we have conducted a detailed enzymatic characterization of the PERK kinase to develop a high-throughput-screening assay (HTS) that will permit the identification of small-molecule PERK inhibitors. In addition to establishing the Km of PERK for both its primary substrate, eIF2α, and for adenosine triphosphate, further mechanistic studies revealed that PERK targets its substrate via either a random/steady-state ordered mechanism. For HTS, we developed a time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based assay that yielded a robust Z' factor and percent coefficient of variation value, enabling the successful screening of 79,552 compounds. This approach yielded one compound that exhibited good in vitro and cellular activity. These results demonstrate the validity of this screen and represent starting points for drug discovery efforts.
- A Basic Post-SET Extension of NSDs Is Essential for Nucleosome Binding In Vitro. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Mar 4.
The nuclear receptor SET domain-containing family of proteins (NSD1, NSD2, and NSD3) is known to mono- and dimethylate lysine 36 of histone H3 (H3K36). Overexpression and translocation of NSDs have been widely implicated in a variety of diseases including cancers. Although the substrate specificity of NSDs has been a subject of many valuable studies, the activity of these proteins has never been fully characterized in vitro. In this study, we present full kinetic characterization of NSD1, NSD2, and NSD3 and provide robust in vitro assays suitable for screening these proteins in a 384-well format using nucleosome as a substrate. Through monitoring the changes in substrate specificity of a series of NSD constructs and using molecular modeling, we show that a basic post-SET extension common to all three NSDs (corresponding to residues 1209 to 1226 of NSD2) is essential for proper positioning on nucleosome substrates.
- Combined Analysis of Phenotypic and Target-Based Screening in Assay Networks. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Biomol Screen 2014 Feb 21.
Small-molecule screens are an integral part of drug discovery. Public domain data in PubChem alone represent more than 158 million measurements, 1.2 million molecules, and 4300 assays. We conducted a global analysis of these data, building a network of assays and connecting the assays if they shared nonpromiscuous active molecules. This network spans both phenotypic and target-based screens, recapitulates known biology, and identifies new polypharmacology. Phenotypic screens are extremely important for drug discovery, contributing to the discovery of a large proportion of new drugs. Connections between phenotypic and biochemical, target-based screens can suggest strategies for repurposing both small-molecule and biologic drugs. For example, a screen for molecules that prevent cell death from a mutated version of superoxide-dismutase is linked with ALOX15. This connection suggests a therapeutic role for ALOX15 inhibitors in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. An interactive version of the network is available online (http://swami.wustl.edu/flow/assay_network.html).