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El-Elimat T.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Figueroa M.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Ehrmann B.M.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Cech N.B.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Natural Products | Year: 2013

A major problem in the discovery of new biologically active compounds from natural products is the reisolation of known compounds. Such reisolations waste time and resources, distracting chemists from more promising leads. To address this problem, dereplication strategies are needed that enable crude extracts to be screened for the presence of known compounds before isolation efforts are initiated. In a project to identify anticancer drug leads from filamentous fungi, a significant dereplication challenge arises, as the taxonomy of the source materials is rarely known, and, thus, the literature cannot be probed to identify likely known compounds. An ultraperformance liquid chromatography- photodiode array-high-resolution tandem mass spectrometric (UPLC-PDA-HRMS-MS/MS) method was developed for dereplication of fungal secondary metabolites in crude culture extracts. A database was constructed by recording HRMS and MS/MS spectra of fungal metabolites, utilizing both positive- and negative-ionization modes. Additional details, such as UV-absorption maxima and retention times, were also recorded. Small-scale cultures that showed cytotoxic activities were dereplicated before engaging in the scale-up or purification processes. Using these methods, approximately 50% of the cytotoxic extracts could be eliminated from further study after the confident identification of known compounds. The specific attributes of this dereplication methodology include a focus on bioactive secondary metabolites from fungi, the use of a 10 min chromatographic method, and the inclusion of both HRMS and MS/MS data. © 2013 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy. Source

Strader C.R.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Pearce C.J.,Mycosynthetix, Inc. | Oberlies N.H.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Journal of Natural Products | Year: 2011

Fingolimod (Gilenya; FTY720), a synthetic compound based on the fungal secondary metabolite myriocin (ISP-I), is a potent immunosuppressant that was approved (September 2010) by the U.S. FDA as a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). Fingolimod was synthesized by the research group of Tetsuro Fujita at Kyoto University in 1992 while investigating structure-activity relationships of derivatives of the fungal metabolite ISP-I, isolated from Isaria sinclairii. Fingolimod becomes active in vivo following phosphorylation by sphingosine kinase 2 to form fingolimod-phosphate, which binds to extracellular G protein-coupled receptors, sphingosine 1-phosphates, and prevents the release of lymphocytes from lymphoid tissue. Fingolimod is orally active, which is unique among current first-line MS therapies, and it has the potential to be used in the treatment of organ transplants and cancer. This review highlights the discovery and development of fingolimod, from an isolated lead natural product, through synthetic analogues, to an approved drug. © 2011 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy. Source

Vandermolen K.M.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | McCulloch W.,Alba BioPharma Advisors | Pearce C.J.,Mycosynthetix, Inc. | Oberlies N.H.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Journal of Antibiotics | Year: 2011

Romidepsin (Istodax), a selective inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs), was approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in November 2009 by the US Food and Drug Administration. This unique natural product was discovered from cultures of Chromobacterium violaceum, a Gram-negative bacterium isolated from a Japanese soil sample. This bicyclic compound acts as a prodrug, its disulfide bridge being reduced by glutathione on uptake into the cell, allowing the free thiol groups to interact with Zn ions in the active site of class I and II HDAC enzymes. Due to the synthetic complexity of the compound, as well as the low yield from the producing organism, analogs are sought to create synthetically accessible alternatives. As a T-cell lymphoma drug, romidepsin offers a valuable new treatment for diseases with few effective therapies. © 2011 Japan Antibiotics Research Association All rights reserved. Source

El-Elimat T.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Zhang X.,Ohio State University | Jarjoura D.,Ohio State University | Moy F.J.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | And 4 more authors.
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2012

A collaborative project has been undertaken to explore filamentous fungi, cyanobacteria, and tropical plants for anticancer drug leads. Through principal component analysis, the chemical space covered by compounds isolated and characterized from these three sources over the last 4 years was compared to each other and to the chemical space of selected FDA-approved anticancer drugs. Using literature precedence, nine molecular descriptors were examined: molecular weight, number of chiral centers, number of rotatable bonds, number of acceptor atoms for H-bonds (N, O, F), number of donor atoms for H-bonds (N and O), topological polar surface area using N, O polar contributions, Moriguchi octanol-water partition coefficient, number of nitrogen atoms, and number of oxygen atoms. Four principal components explained 87% of the variation found among 343 bioactive natural products and 96 FDA-approved anticancer drugs. Across the four dimensions, fungal, cyanobacterial, and plant isolates occupied both similar and distinct areas of chemical space that collectively aligned well with FDA-approved anticancer agents. Thus, examining three separate resources for anticancer drug leads yields compounds that probe chemical space in a complementary fashion. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source

Ayers S.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Graf T.N.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Adcock A.F.,North Carolina Central University | Kroll D.J.,North Carolina Central University | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Natural Products | Year: 2011

As part of our ongoing investigation of filamentous fungi for anticancer leads, an active fungal extract was identified from the Mycosynthetix library (MSX 63935; related to Phoma sp.). The initial extract exhibited cytotoxic activity against the H460 (human non-small cell lung carcinoma) and SF268 (human astrocytoma) cell lines and was selected for further study. Bioactivity-directed fractionation yielded resorcylic acid lactones (RALs) 1 (a new natural product) and 3 (a new compound) and the known RALs zeaenol (2), (5E)-7-oxozeaenol (4), (5Z)-7-oxozeaenol (5), and LL-Z1640-1 (6). Reduction of (5E)-7-oxozeaenol (4) with sodium borohydride produced 3, which allowed assignment of the absolute configuration of 3. Other known resorcylic acid lactones (7-12) were purchased and assayed in parallel for cytotoxicity with isolated 1-6 to investigate structure-activity relationships in the series. Moreover, the isolated compounds (1-6) were examined for activity in a suite of biological assays, including antibacterial, mitochondria transmembrane potential, and NF-κB. In the latter assay, compounds 1 and 5 displayed sub-micromolar activities that were on par with the positive control, and as such, these compounds may serve as a lead scaffold for future medicinal chemistry studies. (Chemical Equation Presented). © 2011 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy. Source

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