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Akula N.,University of Florida | Trivedi P.,University of Florida | Han F.Q.,Structure Based Design Inc. | Wang N.,University of Florida
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

Huanglongbing is the most devastating disease of citrus caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las). In the present study, we report the discovery of novel small molecule inhibitors against SecA ATPase of Las by using structure based design methods. We built the homology model of SecA protein structure of Las based on the SecA of Escherichia coli. The model was used for in-silico screening of commercially available compounds from ZINC database. Using the glide flexible molecular docking method, twenty structures were chosen for in vitro studies. Five compounds were found to inhibit the ATPase activity of SecA of Las at nano molar concentrations and showed antimicrobial activities against Agrobacterium tumefaciens with MBC ranging from 128 to 256 μg/mL. These compounds appear to be suitable as lead compounds for further development of antimicrobial compounds against Las. © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Jankun J.,University of Toledo | Jankun J.,Medical University of Gdansk | Jankun J.,King Saud University | Yang J.,Structure Based Design Inc. | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Medicine | Year: 2012

Plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) is a serpin protein, a natural inhibitor of urokinase (uPA) and tissue plasminogen activators (tPA). By inhibiting uPA it can block growth of the cancer tumors by suppressing angiogenesis, while when acting on tPA in the blood it can avert conversion of plasminogen to plasmin preventing lysis of the clot. Furthermore, blocking PAI-1 activity can protect against thrombosis. Thus PAI-1 makes great impact on human homeostasis and is desirable for clinical application. Wild-type PAI-1 (wt-PAI-1) has a short span of activity with a t1/2 of ∼2 h, being spontaneously converted into a latent form. An enormous effort has been made to create a more stable molecule with >600 PAI-1 variants constructed to study its structure-function relationship. In the present study, we evaluate the structure of the active recombinant VLHL-PAI-1 (very long half life, active >700 h) which is glycosylated similarly to wt-PAI-1 at N232 and N288, with the extended reactive center loop, intact engineered -S-S-bridge (Q174C, G323C) that precludes latency without affecting structure, and can be controlled by a reducing agent to terminate activity at will. We have already proven its usefulness to control cancer in human cancer cells, as well as preventing clot lysis in human whole blood and plasma and in a mouse model. Our results demonstrate the potential therapeutic applications (topical or systemic) of this protein in the treatment of cancer, for the trauma patients to ward off an excessive blood loss, or for people with the PAI-1 deficiency, especially during surgery.


Akula N.,University of Florida | Zheng H.,Structure Based Design Inc. | Han F.Q.,Structure Based Design Inc. | Wang N.,University of Florida
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2011

Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus is the causal agent of Huanglongbing (HLB) disease of citrus. Current management practices have not been able to control HLB and stop the spread of HLB. The current study is focused on screening small molecule inhibitors against SecA protein of Ca. L. asiaticus. Homology modeling, structure based virtual screening and molecular docking methods have been used to find the novel inhibitory compounds against SecA activity at ATP binding region. At 20 μm 17 compounds showed >50% inhibition and four compounds had more than 65% inhibition. The most active compound has IC 50 value of 2.5 μM. The differences between the activities of the compounds are explained by their inter-molecular interactions at ATP binding site. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Lack N.A.,University of British Columbia | Axerio-Cilies P.,University of British Columbia | Tavassoli P.,University of British Columbia | Han F.Q.,Structure Based Design Inc. | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2011

The androgen receptor (AR) is the best studied drug target for the treatment of prostate cancer. While there are a number of drugs that target the AR, they all work through the same mechanism of action and are prone to the development of drug resistance. There is a large unmet need for novel AR inhibitors which work through alternative mechanism(s). Recent studies have identified a novel site on the AR called binding function 3 (BF3) that is involved into AR transcriptional activity. In order to identify inhibitors that target the BF3 site, we have conducted a large-scale in silico screen followed by experimental evaluation. A number of compounds were identified that effectively inhibited the AR transcriptional activity with no obvious cytotoxicity. The mechanism of action of these compounds was validated by biochemical assays and X-ray crystallography. These findings lay a foundation for the development of alternative or supplementary therapies capable of combating prostate cancer even in its antiandrogen resistant forms. (Figure presented) © 2011 American Chemical Society.

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