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Irvine, CA, United States

Schmidt A.,Merck And Co. | Kimmel D.B.,Merck And Co. | Bai C.,Merck And Co. | Bai C.,Pharmaron Inc. | And 34 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry

Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are androgen receptor (AR) ligands that induce anabolism while having reduced effects in reproductive tissues. In various experimental contexts SARMs fully activate, partially activate, or even antagonize the AR, but how these complex activities translate into tissue selectivity is not known. Here, we probed receptor function using >1000 synthetic AR ligands. These compounds produced a spectrum of activities in each assay ranging from 0 to 100% of maximal response. By testing different classes of compounds in ovariectomized rats, we established that ligands that transactivated a model promoter 40-80% of an agonist, recruited the coactivator GRIP-1 <15%, and stabilized the N-/C-terminal interdomain interaction <7% induced bone formation with reduced effects in the uterus and in sebaceous glands. Using these criteria, multiple SARMs were synthesized including MK-0773, a 4-aza-steroid that exhibited tissue selectivity in humans. Thus, AR activated to moderate levels due to reduced cofactor recruitment, and N-/C-terminal interactions produce a fully anabolic response, whereas more complete receptor activation is required for reproductive effects. This bimodal activation provides a molecular basis for the development of SARMs. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source

Inoyama D.,Rutgers University | Chen Y.,Rutgers University | Huang X.,Rutgers University | Huang X.,Pharmaron Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Biomolecular Screening

Activation of the antioxidant response element (ARE) upregulates enzymes involved in detoxification of electrophiles and reactive oxygen species. The induction of ARE genes is regulated by the interaction between redox sensor protein Keap1 and the transcription factor Nrf2. Fluorescently labeled Nrf2 peptides containing the ETGE motif were synthesized and optimized as tracers in the development of a fluorescence polarization (FP) assay to identify small-molecule inhibitors of the Keap1-Nrf2 interaction. The tracers were optimized to increase the dynamic range of the assay and their binding affinities to the Keap1 Kelch domain. The binding affinities of Nrf2 peptide inhibitors obtained in our FP assay using FITC-9mer Nrf2 peptide amide as the probe were in good agreement with those obtained previously by a surface plasmon resonance assay. The FP assay exhibits considerable tolerance toward DMSO and produced a Z' factor greater than 0.6 in a 384-well format. Further optimization of the probe led to cyanine-labeled 9mer Nrf2 peptide amide, which can be used along with the FITC-9mer Nrf2 peptide amide in a high-throughput screening assay to discover small-molecule inhibitors of Keap1-Nrf2 interaction. © 2012 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening. Source

Opas E.E.,Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia | Cusick T.E.,Merck And Co. | Hodor P.,Merck And Co. | Hodor P.,Booz Allen Hamilton | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Prostate cancer (PCa) initially responds to inhibition of androgen receptor (AR) signaling, but inevitably progresses to hormone ablation-resistant disease. Much effort is focused on optimizing this androgen deprivation strategy by improving hormone depletion and AR antagonism. However we found that bicalutamide, a clinically used antiandrogen, actually resembles a selective AR modulator (SARM), as it partially regulates 24% of endogenously 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-responsive genes in AR(+) MDA-MB-453 breast cancer cells. These data suggested that passive blocking of all AR functions is not required for PCa therapy. Hence, we adopted an active strategy that calls for the development of novel SARMs, which induce a unique gene expression profile that is intolerable to PCa cells. Therefore, we screened 3000 SARMs for the ability to arrest the androgen-independent growth of AR(+) 22Rv1 and LNCaP PCa cells but not AR(-) PC3 or DU145 cells. We identified only one such compound; the 4-aza-steroid, MK-4541, a potent and selective SARM. MK-4541 induces caspase-3 activity and cell death in both androgen-independent, AR(+) PCa cell lines but spares AR(-) cells or AR(+) non-PCa cells. This activity correlates with its promoter context- and cell-type dependent transcriptional effects. In rats, MK-4541 inhibits the trophic effects of DHT on the prostate, but not the levator ani muscle, and triggers an anabolic response in the periosteal compartment of bone. Therefore, MK-4541 has the potential to effectively manage prostatic hypertrophic diseases owing to its antitumor SARM-like mechanism, while simultaneously maintaining the anabolic benefits of natural androgens. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Feng J.-F.,University of California at Davis | Feng J.-F.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Van K.C.,University of California at Davis | Gurkoff G.G.,University of California at Davis | And 11 more authors.
Brain Research

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to a rapid and excessive increase in glutamate concentration in the extracellular milieu, which is strongly associated with excitotoxicity and neuronal degeneration. N- acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG), a prevalent peptide neurotransmitter in the vertebrate nervous system, is released along with glutamate and suppresses glutamate release by actions at pre-synaptic metabotropic glutamate autoreceptors. Extracellular NAAG is hydrolyzed to N-acetylaspartate and glutamate by peptidase activity. In the present study PGI-02776, a newly designed di-ester prodrug of the urea-based NAAG peptidase inhibitor ZJ-43, was tested for neuroprotective potential when administered intraperitoneally 30 min after lateral fluid percussion TBI in the rat. Stereological quantification of hippocampal CA2-3 degenerating neurons at 24 h post injury revealed that 10 mg/kg PGI-02776 significantly decreased the number of degenerating neurons (p < 0.05). Both average latency analysis of Morris water maze performance and assessment of 24-hour memory retention revealed significant differences between sham-TBI and TBI-saline. In contrast, no significant difference was found between sham-TBI and PGI-02776 treated groups in either analysis indicating an improvement in cognitive performance with PGI-02776 treatment. Histological analysis on day 16 post-injury revealed significant cell death in injured animals regardless of treatment. In vitro NAAG peptidase inhibition studies demonstrated that the parent compound (ZJ-43) exhibited potent inhibitory activity while the mono-ester (PGI-02749) and di-ester (PGI-02776) prodrug compounds exhibited moderate and weak levels of inhibitory activity, respectively. Pharmacokinetic assays in uninjured animals found that the di-ester (PGI-02776) crossed the blood-brain barrier. PGI-02776 was also readily hydrolyzed to both the mono-ester (PGI-02749) and the parent compound (ZJ-43) in both blood and brain. Overall, these findings suggest that post-injury treatment with the ZJ-43 prodrug PGI-02776 reduces both acute neuronal pathology and longer term cognitive deficits associated with TBI. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Pharmaron Inc. and Pharmaron LLC | Date: 2005-07-26

Chemical compounds, namely, diagnostic chemical reagents for pharmacological research use.

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