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Tintori C.,University of Siena | Laurenzana I.,Irccs Centro Of Riferimento Oncologico Basilicata Crob | Fallacara A.L.,University of Siena | Fallacara A.L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 5 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2014

A high-throughput molecular docking approach was successfully applied for the selection of potential inhibitors of the Influenza RNA-polymerase which act by targeting the PA-PB1 protein-protein interaction. Commercially available compounds were purchased and biologically evaluated in vitro using an ELISA-based assay. As a result, some compounds possessing a 3-cyano-4,6- diphenyl-pyridine nucleus emerged as effective inhibitors with the best ones showing IC50 values in the micromolar range. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Pagano M.,University of Siena | Castagnolo D.,University of Siena | Bernardini M.,University of Siena | Fallacara A.L.,University of Siena | And 10 more authors.
ChemMedChem | Year: 2014

The influenza RNA polymerase complex, which consists of the three subunits PA, PB1, and PB2, is a promising target for the development of new antiviral drugs. A large library of benzofurazan compounds was synthesized and assayed against influenza virus A/WSN/33 (H1N1). Most of the new derivatives were found to act by inhibiting the viral RNA polymerase complex through disruption of the complex formed between subunits PA and PB1. Docking studies were also performed to elucidate the binding mode of benzofurazans within the PB1 binding site in PA and to identify amino acids involved in their mechanism of action. The predicted binding pose is fully consistent with the biological data and lays the foundation for the rational development of more effective PA-PB1 inhibitors. In the fight against influenza virus A/WSN/33 (H1N1), the PA-PB1 protein-protein interaction is emerging as a new drug target. To identify small molecules able to inhibit the viral RNA polymerase complex, the benzofurazan scaffold was explored by synthesizing a large library of derivatives. Some compounds showed high anti-H1N1 activity and emerged as effective inhibitors of the PA-PB1 interaction, with IC50 values in the micromolar range. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

De Luca L.,Laboratory of Preclinical and Translational Research | Trino S.,Laboratory of Preclinical and Translational Research | Laurenzana I.,Laboratory of Preclinical and Translational Research | Simeon V.,Laboratory of Preclinical and Translational Research | And 13 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), including umbilical cord blood CD34+ stem cells (UCB-CD34+), are used for the treatment of several diseases. Although different studies suggest that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC) support hematopoiesis, the exact mechanism remains unclear. Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been described as a novel avenue of cell communication, which may mediate BM-MSC effect on HSC. In this work, we studied the interaction between UCB-CD34+ cells and BM-MSC derived EVs. First, by sequencing EV derived miRNAs and piRNAs we found that EVs contain RNAs able to influence UCB-CD34+ cell fate. Accordingly, a gene expression profile of UCB-CD34+ cells treated with EVs, identified about 100 down-regulated genes among those targeted by EV-derived miRNAs and piRNAs (e.g. miR-27b/MPL, miR-21/ANXA1, miR-181/EGR2), indicating that EV content was able to modify gene expression profile of receiving cells. Moreover, we demonstrated that UCB-CD34+ cells, exposed to EVs, significantly changed different biological functions, becoming more viable and less differentiated. UCB-CD34+ gene expression profile also identified 103 up-regulated genes, most of them codifying for chemokines, cytokines and their receptors, involved in chemotaxis of different BM cells, an essential function of hematopoietic reconstitution. Finally, the exposure of UCB-CD34+ cells to EVs caused an increased expression CXCR4, paralleled by an in vivo augmented migration from peripheral blood to BM niche in NSG mice. This study demonstrates the existence of a powerful cross talk between BM-MSC and UCB-CD34+ cells, mediated by EVs, providing new insight in the biology of cord blood transplantation.

Tintori C.,University of Siena | Laurenzana I.,Irccs Centro Of Riferimento Oncologico Basilicata Crob | LaRocca F.,Irccs Centro Of Riferimento Oncologico Basilicata Crob | Falchi F.,University of Siena | And 12 more authors.
ChemMedChem | Year: 2013

Hematopoietic cell kinase (Hck) is a member of the Src family of non-receptor protein tyrosine kinases. High levels of Hck are associated with drug resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia. Furthermore, Hck activity has been connected with HIV-1. Herein, structure-based drug design efforts were aimed at identifying novel Hck inhibitors. First, an in-house library of pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine derivatives, which were previously shown to be dual Abl and c-Src inhibitors, was analyzed by docking studies within the ATP binding site of Hck to select the best candidates to be tested in a cell-free assay. Next, the same computational protocol was applied to screen a database of commercially available compounds. As a result, most of the selected compounds were found active against Hck, with Ki values ranging from 0.14 to 18.4μM, confirming the suitability of the computational approach adopted. Furthermore, selected compounds showed an interesting antiproliferative activity profile against the human leukemia cell line KU-812, and one compound was found to block HIV-1 replication at sub-toxic concentrations. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Mori M.,University of Siena | Mori M.,Italian Institute of Technology | Cau Y.,University of Siena | Vignaroli G.,University of Siena | And 6 more authors.
ACS Chemical Biology | Year: 2015

In silico target fishing is an emerging tool in drug discovery, which is mostly used for primary target or off-target prediction and drug repositioning. In this work, we developed an in silico target fishing protocol to identify the primary target of GV2-20, a false-positive hit highlighted in a cell-based screen for 14-3-3 modulators. Although GV2-20 does not bind to 14-3-3 proteins, it showed remarkable antiproliferative effects in CML cells, thus raising interest toward the identification of its primary target. Six potential targets of GV2-20 were prioritized in silico and tested in vitro. Our results show that the molecule is a potent inhibitor of carbonic anhydrase 2 (CA2), thus confirming the predictive capability of our protocol. Most notably, GV2-20 experienced a remarkable selectivity for CA2, CA7, CA9, and CA12, and its scaffold was never explored before as a chemotype for CA inhibition, thus becoming an interesting lead candidate for further development. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

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