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Zeng X.,Shanghai University | Lin Y.,Shanghai University | Yin C.,Shanghai University | Zhang X.,Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai | And 7 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2011

Hepatocyte nuclear factor-1alpha (HNF1α) is one of the key transcription factors of the HNF family, which plays a critical role in hepatocyte differentiation. Substantial evidence has suggested that down-regulation of HNF1α may contribute to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Herein, human cancer cells and tumor-associated fibroblasts (TAFs) were isolated from human HCC tissues, respectively. A recombinant adenovirus carrying the HNF1α gene (AdHNF1α) was constructed to determine its effect on HCC in vitro and in vivo. Our results demonstrated that HCC cells and HCC tissues revealed reduced expression of HNF1α. Forced reexpression of HNF1α significantly suppressed the proliferation of HCC cells and TAFs and inhibited the clonogenic growth of hepatoma cells in vitro. In parallel, HNF1α overexpression reestablished the expression of certain liver-specific genes and microRNA 192 and 194 levels, with a resultant increase in p21 levels and induction of G 2/M arrest. Additionally, AdHNF1α inhibited the expression of cluster of differentiation 133 and epithelial cell adhesion molecule and the signal pathways of the mammalian target of rapamycin and transforming growth factor beta/Smads. Furthermore, HNF1α abolished the tumorigenicity of hepatoma cells in vivo. Most interestingly, intratumoral injection of AdHNF1α significantly inhibited the growth of subcutaneous HCC xenografts in nude mice. Systemic delivery of AdHNF1α could eradicate the orthotopic liver HCC nodules in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Conclusion: These results suggest that the potent inhibitive effect of HNF1α on HCC is attained by inducing the differentiation of hepatoma cells into mature hepatocytes and G 2/M arrest. HNF1α might represent a novel, promising therapeutic agent for human HCC treatment. Our findings also encourage the evaluation of differentiation therapy for tumors of organs other than liver using their corresponding differentiation-determining transcription factor. (HEPATOLOGY 2011) © 2011 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Circle Pharma, Inc. today announced a Series A financing round in which it has issued over $4.5M of shares of Series A Preferred Stock. The financing was led by Mission Bay Capital, with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), ShangPharma Investment Group, Ltd. and a syndicated group of individual investors joining the round. In connection with the financing, Walter H. Moos, Ph.D., representing ShangPharma, has joined the Circle Board of Directors. “We are delighted with the participation of such high caliber investors in our first equity round,” said David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D., Circle’s president and CEO. “With our seed funding, we established Circle’s computational design platform, advanced our synthetic chemistry capabilities in collaboration with ChemPartner, and engaged in a target-based collaboration with Pfizer. The Series A funds will be used to support Circle’s therapeutic pipeline, which is focused on intracellular protein-protein interactions that are key drivers in oncogenic pathways. We are also now building a physical library of cell-permeable macrocycles to augment our computational design tools, and this library will later be available to our collaboration partners. We are particularly excited to welcome Walter Moos to our Board of Directors. Dr. Moos brings a wealth of life sciences R&D experience, having served most recently as the president of SRI Biosciences and previously in senior executive roles at MitoKor, Chiron and Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis. His teams have advanced numerous pharmaceutical products from discovery to commercialization, and we are fortunate to have him join Circle.” “I am very much looking forward to taking an active role on Circle’s board,” said Walter Moos. “The combination of innovative technology and the great team at Circle could help unlock high value targets that have long been considered out of reach of drug developers.” Dr. Moos has served on about 20 business and scientific boards, including Amunix, Oncologic (Aduro), Onyx (Amgen), Rigel and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Macrocyclic peptides have the potential to allow drug developers to address the large proportion of known therapeutic targets (estimated at up to 80%) that are considered undruggable with conventional small molecule or biologic modalities. In particular, there is great interest in developing macrocycles to modulate protein-protein interactions, which play a role in almost all disease conditions, including cancer, fibrosis, inflammation and infection. However, the development of macrocyclic therapeutics has been limited by the need for a greater understanding of how to develop macrocycles with appropriate pharmacokinetics, cell permeability and oral bioavailability. Circle’s ability to design potent macrocycles with intrinsic cell permeability could unlock access to challenging, high value therapeutic targets that have been out of reach to other approaches. Circle is developing a new paradigm for macrocycle drug discovery based on rational design and synthetic chemistry. Circle’s technology facilitates the design and synthesis of intrinsically cell-permeable macrocycles that can address both intra- and extra-cellular therapeutic targets, and can be delivered by oral administration. Circle’s macrocycle development platform is applicable across a wide range of serious diseases; the company is initially focusing its internal development efforts on intracellular protein-protein interactions that are key drivers in cancer. Circle’s founders are Prof. Matthew P. Jacobson (Chair of the Dept. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UC San Francisco and co-founder of Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ: GBT) and Relay Therapeutics) and Prof. R. Scott Lokey (Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UC Santa Cruz and director of the UCSC Chemical Screening Center).


Fauber B.P.,Genentech | Gobbi A.,Genentech | Robarge K.,Genentech | Zhou A.,Genentech | And 15 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2015

The nuclear receptor (NR) retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor gamma (RORγ, RORc, or NR1F3) is a promising target for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. RORc is a critical regulator in the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-17. We discovered a series of potent and selective imidazo[1,5-a]pyridine and -pyrimidine RORc inverse agonists. The most potent compounds displayed >300-fold selectivity for RORc over the other ROR family members, PPARγ, and NRs in our cellular selectivity panel. The favorable potency, selectivity, and physiochemical properties of GNE-0946 (9) and GNE-6468 (28), in addition to their potent suppression of IL-17 production in human primary cells, support their use as chemical biology tools to further explore the role of RORc in human biology. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Hirata M.,Hospital for Sick Children | Sasaki M.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Cairns R.A.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Inoue S.,Ontario Cancer Institute | And 20 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Enchondromas are benign cartilage tumors and precursors to malignant chondrosarcomas. Somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase genes (IDH1 and IDH2) are present in the majority of these tumor types. How these mutations cause enchondromas is unclear. Here, we identified the spectrum of IDH mutations in human enchondromas and chondrosarcomas and studied their effects in mice. A broad range of mutations was identified, including the previously unreported IDH1-R132Q mutation. These mutations harbored enzymatic activity to catalyze α-ketoglutarate to D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG). Mice expressing Idh1-R132Q in one allele in cells expressing type 2 collagen showed a disordered growth plate, with persistence of type X-expressing chondrocytes. Chondrocyte cell cultures from these animals or controls showed that there was an increase in proliferation and expression of genes characteristic of hypertrophic chondrocytes with expression of Idh1-R132Q or 2HG treatment. Col2a1-Cre;Idh1-R132Q mutant knock-in mice (mutant allele expressed in chondrocytes) did not survive after the neonatal stage. Col2a1-Cre/ERT2;Idh1-R132 mutant conditional knock-in mice, in which Cre was induced by tamoxifen after weaning, developed multiple enchondroma-like lesions. Taken together, these data show that mutant IDH or D-2HG causes persistence of chondrocytes, giving rise to rests of growth-plate cells that persist in the bone as enchondromas.


Delabarre B.,Agios Pharmaceuticals | Gross S.,Agios Pharmaceuticals | Fang C.,ChemPartner | Gao Y.,ChemPartner | And 5 more authors.
Biochemistry | Year: 2011

Glutaminase (GLS1/2) catalyzes the conversion of l-glutamine to l-glutamate and ammonia. The level of a splice variant of GLS1 (GAC) is elevated in certain cancers, and GAC is specifically inhibited by bis-2-(5-phenylacetimido-1,2,4, thiadiazol-2-yl)ethyl sulfide (BPTES). We report here the first full-length crystal structure of GAC in the presence and absence of BPTES molecules. Two BPTES molecules bind at an interface region of the GAC tetramer in a manner that appears to lock the GAC tetramer into a nonproductive conformation. The importance of these loops with regard to overall enzymatic activity of the tetramer was revealed by a series of GAC point mutants designed to create a BPTES resistant GAC. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


PubMed | ChemPartner, Units 7 9 Spire Green Center and Genentech
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters | Year: 2015

The nuclear receptor (NR) retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor gamma (ROR, RORc, or NR1F3) is a promising target for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. RORc is a critical regulator in the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-17. We discovered a series of potent and selective imidazo[1,5-a]pyridine and -pyrimidine RORc inverse agonists. The most potent compounds displayed >300-fold selectivity for RORc over the other ROR family members, PPAR, and NRs in our cellular selectivity panel. The favorable potency, selectivity, and physiochemical properties of GNE-0946 (9) and GNE-6468 (28), in addition to their potent suppression of IL-17 production in human primary cells, support their use as chemical biology tools to further explore the role of RORc in human biology.


PubMed | Agios Pharmaceuticals, Chempartner, Ontario Cancer Institute, Hospital for Sick Children and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Enchondromas are benign cartilage tumors and precursors to malignant chondrosarcomas. Somatic mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase genes (IDH1 and IDH2) are present in the majority of these tumor types. How these mutations cause enchondromas is unclear. Here, we identified the spectrum of IDH mutations in human enchondromas and chondrosarcomas and studied their effects in mice. A broad range of mutations was identified, including the previously unreported IDH1-R132Q mutation. These mutations harbored enzymatic activity to catalyze -ketoglutarate to d-2-hydroxyglutarate (d-2HG). Mice expressing Idh1-R132Q in one allele in cells expressing type 2 collagen showed a disordered growth plate, with persistence of type X-expressing chondrocytes. Chondrocyte cell cultures from these animals or controls showed that there was an increase in proliferation and expression of genes characteristic of hypertrophic chondrocytes with expression of Idh1-R132Q or 2HG treatment. Col2a1-Cre;Idh1-R132Q mutant knock-in mice (mutant allele expressed in chondrocytes) did not survive after the neonatal stage. Col2a1-Cre/ERT2;Idh1-R132 mutant conditional knock-in mice, in which Cre was induced by tamoxifen after weaning, developed multiple enchondroma-like lesions. Taken together, these data show that mutant IDH or d-2HG causes persistence of chondrocytes, giving rise to rests of growth-plate cells that persist in the bone as enchondromas.


Cheng Y.,Georgia State University | Ni N.,Georgia State University | Yang W.,ChemPartner | Wang B.,Georgia State University
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2010

The boronic acid group is an important recognition moiety for sensor design. Herein, we report a series of isoquinolinylboronic acids that have extraordinarily high affinities for diol-containing compounds at physiological pH. In addition, 5- and 8-isoquinolinylboronic acids also showed fairly high binding affinities towards D-glucose (Ka=42 and 46M-1, respectively). For the first time, weak but encouraging binding of cis-cyclohexanediol was found for these boronic acids. Such binding was coupled with significant fluorescence changes. Furthermore, 4- and 6- isoquinolinylboronic acids also showed the ability to complex methyl α-D-glucopyranose (Ka=3 and 2M-1, respectively). Be the first! The diol-binding behavior of a series of isoquinolinylboronic acids was investigated by monitoring the changes of their fluorescence intensity (see figure for an example, 6-IQBA=6-isoquinolinylboronic acid). For the first time, a boronic acid derivative that binds cis-cyclohexanediol was identified. Copyright © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Auberson Y.P.,Novartis | Troxler T.,Novartis | Zhang X.,ChemPartner | Yang C.R.,ChemPartner | And 11 more authors.
ChemMedChem | Year: 2015

Ergolines were recently identified as a novel class of H3 receptor (H3R) inverse agonists. Although their optimization led to drug candidates with encouraging properties for the treatment of narcolepsy, brain penetration remained low. To overcome this issue, ergoline 1 ((6aR,9R,10aR)-4-(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl)-N-phenyl-9-(pyrrolidine-1-carbonyl)-6,6a,8,9,10,10a-hexahydroindolo[4,3-fg]quinoline-7(4H)-carboxamide)) was transformed into a series of indole derivatives with high H3R affinity. These new molecules were profiled by simultaneous determination of their brain receptor occupancy (RO) levels and pharmacodynamic (PD) effects in mice. These efforts culminated in the discovery of 15m ((R)-1-isopropyl-5-(1-(2-(2-methylpyrrolidin-1-yl)ethyl)-1H-indol-4-yl)pyridin-2(1H)-one), which has an ideal profile showing a strong correlation of PD effects with RO, and no measurable safety liabilities. Its desirably short duration of action was confirmed by electroencephalography (EEG) measurements in rats. © 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

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