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Zhang Y.,Northwestern University | Zhang Y.,University of Kentucky | Zhao K.T.,Northwestern University | Fox S.G.,Northwestern University | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2015

Pyrazolone derivatives have previously been found to be inhibitors of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1)-dependent protein aggregation, which extended survival of an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mouse model. On the basis of ADME analysis, we describe herein a new series of tertiary amine-containing pyrazolones and their structure-activity relationships. Further conversion to the conjugate salts greatly improved their solubility. Phosphate compound 17 exhibited numerous benefits both to cellular activity and to CNS-related drug-like properties in vitro and in vivo, including microsomal stability, tolerated toxicity, and blood-brain barrier permeation. These results indicate that tertiary amine pyrazolones comprise a valuable class of ALS drug candidates. © 2015 American Chemical Society. Source

Zhang W.,Northwestern University | Zhang W.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry | Benmohamed R.,Cambria Pharmaceuticals | Arvanites A.C.,Cambria Pharmaceuticals | And 6 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. Currently, there is only one FDA-approved treatment for ALS (riluzole), and that drug only extends life, on average, by 2-3 months. Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) are found in familial forms of the disease and have played an important role in the study of ALS pathophysiology. On the basis of their activity in a PC12-G93A-YFP high-throughput screening assay, several bioactive compounds have been identified and classified as cyclohexane-1,3-dione (CHD) derivatives. A concise and efficient synthetic route has been developed to provide diverse CHD analogs. The structural modification of the CHD scaffold led to the discovery of a more potent analog (26) with an EC 50 of 700 nM having good pharmacokinetic properties, such as high solubility, low human and mouse metabolic potential, and relatively good plasma stability. It was also found to efficiently penetrate the blood-brain barrier. However, compound 26 did not exhibit any significant life span extension in the ALS mouse model. It was found that, although 26 was active in PC12 cells, it had poor activity in other cell types, including primary cortical neurons, indicating that it can penetrate into the brain, but is not active in neuronal cells, potentially due to poor selective cell penetration. Further structural modification of the CHD scaffold was aimed at improving global cell activity as well as maintaining potency. Two new analogs (71 and 73) were synthesized, which had significantly enhanced cortical neuronal cell permeability, as well as similar potency to that of 26 in the PC12-G93A assay. These CHD analogs are being investigated further as novel therapeutic candidates for ALS. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Wright P.D.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Wightman N.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Huang M.,Harvard University | Weiss A.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | And 11 more authors.
Frontiers in Bioscience - Elite | Year: 2012

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal degenerative motor neuron disease. Approximately 20% of familial ALS cases are caused by mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene. Rodents expressing mutant SOD1 transgenes develop progressive, fatal motor neuron disease and disease onset and progression is dependent on the level of SOD1. We investigated the possibility that a reduction in SOD1 protein may be of therapeutic benefit in ALS and screened 30,000 compounds for inhibition of SOD1 transcription. The most effective inhibitor identified was N-{4-[4-(4-methylbenzoyl)-1- piperazinyl]phenyl}-2-thiophenecarboxamide (Compound ID 7687685), which in PC12 cells showed an EC50 of 10.6 microM for inhibition of SOD1 expression and an LD50 >30 microM. This compound was subsequently shown to reduce endogenous SOD1 levels in HeLa cells and to exhibit a modest reduction of SOD1 protein levels in mouse spinal cord tissue. These data suggest that the efficacy of compound 7687685 as an inhibitor of SOD1 gene expression is not likely to be clinically useful, although the strategy reported could be applied broadly to screening for small molecule inhibitors of gene expression. Source

Zhang Y.,Northwestern University | Benmohamed R.,Cambria Pharmaceuticals | Zhang W.,Northwestern University | Kim J.,University of Pittsburgh | And 9 more authors.
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2012

Cyclohexane 1,3-diones were identified as a class of molecules exhibiting a protective effect against mutant SOD1 induced toxicity in PC-12 cells, but an optimized analogue had little or no effect on life extension in the G93A SOD1 mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Additional testing showed that these compounds were inactive in neurons, and further analogue synthesis was carried out to identify compounds with neuronal activity. Starting from two racemic derivatives that were active in cortical neurons, two potent analogues (1b and 2b) were resolved, which were protective against mutant SOD1 induced toxicity in PC-12 cells. Both compounds were found to be active in cortical neurons and presented good ADME profiles in vitro. On the basis of these results, an ALS mouse trial with 1b was carried out, which showed slightly greater life extension than the FDA-approved ALS drug riluzole, thereby validating cyclohexane 1,3-diones as a novel therapeutic class for the treatment of ALS. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source

Chopra V.,Harvard University | Quinti L.,Harvard University | Kim J.,University of Pittsburgh | Kim J.,Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center 00 H | And 14 more authors.
Cell Reports | Year: 2012

Inhibition of sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) deacetylase mediates protective effects in cell and invertebrate models of Parkinson@s disease and Huntington@s disease (HD). Here we report the in vivo efficacy of a brain-permeable SIRT2 inhibitor in two genetic mouse models of HD. Compound treatment resulted in improved motor function, extended survival, and reduced brain atrophy and is associated with marked reduction of aggregated mutant huntingtin, a hallmark of HD pathology. Our results provide preclinical validation of SIRT2 inhibition as a potential therapeutic target for HD and support the further development of SIRT2 inhibitors for testing in humans. Source

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