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Bainbridge Island, WA, United States

Terry-Lorenzo R.T.,Sunovion Pharmaceuticals | Chun L.E.,Emerald Bio | Brown S.P.,Sunovion Pharmaceuticals | Heffernan M.L.R.,Sunovion Pharmaceuticals | And 7 more authors.
Bioscience Reports | Year: 2014

The NMDAR (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor) is a central regulator of synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. hDAAO (human D-amino acid oxidase) indirectly reduces NMDAR activity by degrading the NMDAR co-agonist D-serine. Since NMDAR hypofunction is thought to be a foundational defect in schizophrenia, hDAAO inhibitors have potential as treatments for schizophrenia and other nervous system disorders. Here, we sought to identify novel chemicals that inhibit hDAAO activity. We used computational tools to design a focused, purchasable library of compounds. After screening this library for hDAAO inhibition, we identified the structurally novel compound, 'compound 2' [3-(7-hydroxy-2-oxo-4-phenyl-2H-chromen-6-yl)propanoic acid], which displayed low nM hDAAO inhibitory potency (Ki = 7 nM). Although the library was expected to enrich for compounds that were competitive for both D-serine and FAD, compound 2 actually was FAD uncompetitive, much like canonical hDAAO inhibitors such as benzoic acid. Compound 2 and an analog were independently co-crystalized with hDAAO. These compounds stabilized a novel conformation of hDAAO in which the active-site lid was in an open position. These results confirm previous hypotheses regarding active-site lid flexibility of mammalian D-amino acid oxidases and could assist in the design of the next generation of hDAAO inhibitors. © 2014 The Author(s).


Zhang Z.,Northern Illinois University | Jakkaraju S.,Northern Illinois University | Blain J.,Northern Illinois University | Gogol K.,Northern Illinois University | And 13 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2013

Published biological data suggest that the methyl erythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway, a non-mevalonate isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway, is essential for certain bacteria and other infectious disease organisms. One highly conserved enzyme in the MEP pathway is 2C-methyl-d-erythritol 2,4-cyclodiphosphate synthase (IspF). Fragment-bound complexes of IspF from Burkholderia pseudomallei were used to design and synthesize a series of molecules linking the cytidine moiety to different zinc pocket fragment binders. Testing by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) found one molecule in the series to possess binding affinity equal to that of cytidine diphosphate, despite lacking any metal-coordinating phosphate groups. Close inspection of the SPR data suggest different binding stoichiometries between IspF and test compounds. Crystallographic analysis shows important variations between the binding mode of one synthesized compound and the pose of the bound fragment from which it was designed. The binding modes of these molecules add to our structural knowledge base for IspF and suggest future refinements in this compound series. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Elliman S.J.,Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd. | Howley B.V.,National University of Ireland | Mehta D.S.,Biogen Idec | Fearnhead H.O.,National University of Ireland | And 2 more authors.
Oncogenesis | Year: 2014

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are deregulated in cancer and have been shown to exhibit both oncogenic and tumor suppressive functions. Although the functional effects of several miRNAs have been elucidated, those of many remain to be discovered. In silico analysis identified microRNA-206 (miR-206) binding sites in the 3′-untranslated regions (3′-UTR) of both the mouse and human CCND1 gene. Cyclin D1 is a recognized oncogene involved in direct phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein and promoting cell cycle transition from G1 to S. miR-206 specifically binds to the CCND1 3′-UTR and mediates reduction of both cyclin D1 protein and mRNA. Expression of miR-206 induced a G1 arrest and a decrease in cell proliferation in breast cancer cells. Ectopic expression of miRNA-resistant cyclin D1 was able to reverse the miR-206-induced decrease in cell proliferation. Therefore, we identified miR-206 as an activator of cell cycle arrest resulting in a decrease in cell proliferation that is dependent on the inhibition of cyclin D1. Interestingly, prostatic cancer (PCa) cells express low levels of miR-206 resulting in deregulated cyclin D1 expression compared with non-transformed primary prostatic epithelial cells (PrEC). Finally, we demonstrate that cyclin D1 is regulated by miR-206 in PrEC but not in PCa cells and this is due to the absence of a CCND1 3'-UTR in these cells. This suggests that miR-206-based anti-cyclin D1 targeted therapy would be beneficial in cancers where cyclin D1 is overexpressed and contains a 3′-UTR. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Fox D.,Emerald Bio | Burgin A.B.,Emerald Bio | Gurney M.E.,Tetra Discovery Partners, Llc | Gurney M.E.,West Virginia University
Cellular Signalling | Year: 2014

Phosphodiesterase-4B (PDE4B) regulates the pro-inflammatory Toll Receptor -Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNFα) pathway in monocytes, macrophages and microglial cells. As such, it is an important, although under-exploited molecular target for anti-inflammatory drugs. This is due in part to the difficulty of developing selective PDE4B inhibitors as the amino acid sequence of the PDE4 active site is identical in all PDE4 subtypes (PDE4A-D). We show that highly selective PDE4B inhibitors can be designed by exploiting sequence differences outside the active site. Specifically, PDE4B selectivity can be achieved by capture of a C-terminal regulatory helix, now termed CR3 (Control Region 3), across the active site in a conformation that closes access by cAMP. PDE4B selectivity is driven by a single amino acid polymorphism in CR3 (Leu674 in PDE4B1 versus Gln594 in PDE4D). The reciprocal mutations in PDE4B and PDE4D cause a 70-80 fold shift in selectivity. Our structural studies show that CR3 is flexible and can adopt multiple orientations and multiple registries in the closed conformation. The new co-crystal structure with bound ligand provides a guide map for the design of PDE4B selective anti-inflammatory drugs. © 2013 The Authors.


Kryshtafovych A.,University of California at Davis | Moult J.,University of Maryland University College | Moult J.,University of Maryland College Park | Bales P.,University of Maryland College Park | And 26 more authors.
Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics | Year: 2014

For the last two decades, CASP has assessed the state of the art in techniques for protein structure prediction and identified areas which required further development. CASP would not have been possible without the prediction targets provided by the experimental structural biology community. In the latest experiment, CASP10, more than 100 structures were suggested as prediction targets, some of which appeared to be extraordinarily difficult for modeling. In this article, authors of some of the most challenging targets discuss which specific scientific question motivated the experimental structure determination of the target protein, which structural features were especially interesting from a structural or functional perspective, and to what extent these features were correctly reproduced in the predictions submitted to CASP10. Specifically, the following targets will be presented: the acid-gated urea channel, a difficult to predict transmembrane protein from the important human pathogen Helicobacter pylori; the structure of human interleukin (IL)-34, a recently discovered helical cytokine; the structure of a functionally uncharacterized enzyme OrfY from Thermoproteus tenax formed by a gene duplication and a novel fold; an ORFan domain of mimivirus sulfhydryl oxidase R596; the fiber protein gene product 17 from bacteriophage T7; the bacteriophage CBA-120 tailspike protein; a virus coat protein from metagenomic samples of the marine environment; and finally, an unprecedented class of structure prediction targets based on engineered disulfide-rich small proteins. © 2013 The Authors. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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