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Stucchi M.,University of Milan | Cairati S.,University of Milan | Cetin-Atalay R.,Cancer Systems Biology Laboratory | Christodoulou M.S.,University of Milan | And 5 more authors.
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry | Year: 2015

The concurrent employment of α-amino acid-derived chiral components such as aldehydes and α-isocyanoacetates, in a sequential Ugi reaction/cyclization two-step strategy, opens the door to the synthesis of three structurally distinct piperazine-based scaffolds, characterized by the presence of l-Ala and/or l-Phe-derived side chains and bearing appropriate functionalities to be easily applied in peptide chemistry. By means of computational studies, these scaffolds have been demonstrated to act as minimalist peptidomimetics, able to mimic a well defined range of peptide secondary structures and therefore potentially useful for the synthesis of small-molecule PPI modulators. Preliminary biological evaluation of two different resistant hepatocellular carcinoma cellular lines, for which differentiation versus resistance ability seem to be strongly correlated with well defined types of PPIs, has revealed a promising antiproliferative activity for selected compounds. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.

Vojtickova M.,CNRS Chemistry Laboratory | Vojtickova M.,Comenius University | Dobias J.,Comenius University | Hanquet G.,CNRS Chemistry Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2015

Structure novelty, chemical stability and synthetic feasibility attracted us to design 1,2,3-triazole compounds as potential inhibitors of VEGFR2 tyrosine kinase. Novel triazoles T1-T7 were proposed by oxazole (AAZ from PDB: 1Y6A)/1,2,3-triazole isosteric replacement, molecular modelling and docking. In order to enable synthesis of T1-T7 we developed a methodology for preparation of ynamide 22. Compound 22 was used for all Click chemistry reactions leading to triazoles T1-T3 and T6-T7. Among the obtained products, T1, T3 and T7 specifically bind VEGFR2 TK and modulate its activity by concentration dependent manner. Moreover predicted binding poses of T1-T7 in VEGFR2 TK were similar to the one known for the oxazole inhibitor AAZ (PDB: 1Y6A). Unfortunately the VEGFR2 inhibition by triazoles e.g. T3 and T7 is lower than that determined for their oxazole bioisosters T3-ox and AAZ, resp. Different electronic properties of 1,2,3-triazole/oxazole heterocyclic rings were proposed to be the main reason for the diminished affinity of T1-T3, T6 and T7 to an oxazole AAZ inhibitor binding site in VEGFR2 TK (PDB: 1Y6A or 1Y6B). Moreover T1-T3 and T6 were screened on cytotoxic activity against two human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. Selective cytotoxic activity of T2 against aggressive Mahlavu cells has been discovered indicating possible affinity of T2 to Mahlavu constitutionally active PI3K/Akt pathway. © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Aytac P.S.,Hacettepe University | Durmaz I.,Bilkent University | Houston D.R.,University of Edinburgh | Cetin-Atalay R.,Cancer Systems Biology Laboratory | Tozkoparan B.,Hacettepe University
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2016

Newly designed triazolothiadiazines incorporating with structural motifs of nonsteroidal analgesic anti-inflammatory drugs were synthesized and screened for their bioactivity against epithelial cancer cells. Compounds with bioactivities less then ∼5μM (IC50) were further analyzed and showed to induce apoptotic cell death and SubG1 cell cycle arrest in liver cancer cells. Among this group, two compounds (1g and 1h) were then studied to identify the mechanism of action. These molecules triggered oxidative stress induced apoptosis through ASK-1 protein activation and Akt protein inhibition as demonstrated by downstream targets such as GSK3β, β-catenin and cyclin D1. QSAR and molecular docking models provide insight into the mechanism of inhibition and indicate the optimal direction of future synthetic efforts. Furthermore, molecular docking results were confirmed with in vitro COX bioactivity studies. This study demonstrates that the novel triazolothiadiazine derivatives are promising drug candidates for epithelial cancers, especially liver cancer. © 2016.

Durmaz I.,Bilkent University | Guven E.B.,Bilkent University | Ersahin T.,Cancer Systems Biology Laboratory | Ozturk M.,Dokuz Eylul University | And 3 more authors.
Phytomedicine | Year: 2016

Background Hepatocellular carcinoma is the second deadliest cancer with limited treatment options. Loss of PTEN causes the P13K/Akt pathway to be hyperactive which contributes to cell survival and resistance to therapeutics in various cancers, including the liver cancer. Hence molecules targeting this pathway present good therapeutic strategies for liver cancer. Hypothesis It was previously reported that Cardiac glycosides possessed antitumor activity by inducing apoptosis of multiple cancer cells through oxidative stress. However, whether Cardiac glycoside Lanatoside C can induce oxidative stress in liver cancer cells and induce cell death both in vitro and in vivo remains unknown. Methods Cell viability was measured by SRB assay. Cell death analysis was investigated by propidium iodide staining with flow cytometry and PARP cleavage. DCFH-DA staining and cytometry were used for intracellular ROS measurement. Protein levels were analyzed by western blot analysis. Antitumor activity was investigated on mice xenografts in vivo. Results In this study, we found that Cardiac glycosides, particularly Lanatoside C from Digitalis ferruginea could significantly inhibit PTEN protein adequate Huh7 and PTEN deficient Mahlavu human liver cancer cell proliferation by the induction of apoptosis and G2/M arrest in the cells. Lanatoside C was further shown to induce oxidative stress and alter ERK and Akt pathways. Consequently, JNK1 activation resulted in extrinsic apoptotic pathway stimulation in both cells while JNK2 activation involved in the inhibition of cell survival only in PTEN deficient cells. Furthermore, nude mice xenografts followed by MRI showed that Lanatoside C caused a significant decrease in the tumor size. In this study apoptosis induction by Lanatoside C was characterized through ROS altered ERK and Akt pathways in both PTEN adequate epithelial and deficient mesenchymal liver cancer cells. Conclusion The results indicated that Lanatoside C could be contemplated in liver cancer therapeutics, particularly in PTEN deficient tumors. This is due to Lanatoside C's stress inducing action on ERK and Akt pathways through differential activation of JNK1 and JNK2 by GSK3β. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Ersahin T.,Cancer Systems Biology Laboratory | Tuncbag N.,Cancer Systems Biology Laboratory | Cetin-Atalay R.,Cancer Systems Biology Laboratory
Molecular BioSystems | Year: 2015

The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway is hyperactivated or altered in many cancer types and regulates a broad range of cellular processes including survival, proliferation, growth, metabolism, angiogenesis and metastasis. The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is regulated by a wide-range of upstream signalling proteins and it regulates many downstream effectors by collaborating with various compensatory signalling pathways, primarily with RAF/MEK/ERK pathway. Limited clinical success of the available targeted therapeutic agents and challenges mediated by tumour heterogeneity across different cancer types emphasize the importance of alterations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in the design of effective personalized treatment strategies. Here we report a comprehensive PI3K/AKT/mTOR network that represents the intricate crosstalk between compensatory pathways, which can be utilized to study the AKT signalling mechanism in detail and improve the personalized combinatorial therapeutic strategies. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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