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Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

Nesi Giulia, Sestito Simona, Digiacomo Maria, Rapposelli Simona
Alzheimer diseases (AD) is a multifactorial pathology characterized by a complex etiology. The hallmarks of AD, such as Aβ deposits in senile plaque and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), are strongly intertwined with reactive oxygen species (ROS)production and oxidative stress (OS),which are considered the common effectors of the cascade of degenerative events. An increasing body of evidence reveals that both mitochondrial abnormalities and metal accumulations synergistically act as major producers of ROS, thus contributing to neuronal toxicity...
June 6, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Nikhil Bhalla, Pedro Estrela
For successful drug discovery it is important to understand the fundamentals of the underlying causes and consequences of the diseases for which the drug is being developed. One such physiological process in eukaryotic cells is protein phosphorylation, which is the main post-translational modification of proteins responsible for the onset or progression of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and various cancers. Protein phosphorylation is facilitated by kinases and inhibitors of kinases act as drugs in controlling or curing these diseases by reducing protein phosphorylation...
May 30, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
David K Johnson, John Karanicolas
Protein-protein interactions play key roles in all biological processes, motivating numerous campaigns to seek small-molecule disruptors of therapeutically relevant interactions. Two decades ago, the prospect of developing small-molecule inhibitors was thought to be perhaps impossible due to the potentially undruggable nature of the protein surfaces involved; this viewpoint was reinforced by the limited successes provided from traditional high-throughput screens. To date, however, refinement of new experimental approaches has led to a multitude of inhibitors against many different targets...
May 8, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Wan Chen, Zhihuan Nong, Yaoxuan Li, Jianping Huang, Chunxia Chen, Luying Huang
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain that includes drug-induced compulsive seeking behavior and consumption of drugs. Dopamine (DA) is considered to be critical in drug addiction due to reward mechanisms in the midbrain. In this article, we review the major animal models in addictive drug experiments in vivo and in vitro. We discuss the relevance of the structure and pharmacological function of DA receptors. To improve the understanding of the role of DA receptors in reward pathways, specific brain regions, including the Ventral tegmental area, Nucleus accumbens, Prefrontal cortex, and Habenula, are highlighted...
May 3, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
N Z Xie, X R Chen, Q Y Wang, D Chen, Q S Du, R B Huang
(2R,3R)-2,3-Butanediol has many industrial applications, such as it is used as an antifreeze agent and low freezing point fuel. In addition, it is particularly important to provide chiral groups in drugs. In recent years, this valuable bio-based chemical has attracted increasing attention, and significant progress has been made in the development of microbial cell factories for (2R,3R)-2,3-butanediol production. This article reviews recent advances and challenges in microbial routes to (2R,3R)-2,3- butanediol production, and highlights the metabolic engineering and synthetic biological approaches used to improve titers, yields, productivities, and optical purities...
May 3, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Sukriti Goyal, Salma Jamal, Asheesh Shanker, Abhinav Grover
Mutations in the kinase domain encoding region of EGFR gene causes drug resistance to EGFR kinase inhibitors such as erlotinib and gefitinib. This problem can be addressed by a new lead compound effective against all mutants of EGFR. To predict positions of residues possessing the potential to render EGFR drug resistant upon mutation, residual positions known to interact with Erlotinib and Gefitinib were assessed using five parameters (conservation index, binding site RMSD, protein structure stability and change in ATP and drug binding affinity)...
April 26, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Alan P Graves, Ian D Wall, Colin M Edge, James M Woolven, Guanglei Cui, Armelle Le Gall, Xuan Hong, Kaushik Raha, Eric S Manas
Over the last decade a number of computational methods have been developed, which attempt to evaluate the thermodynamic properties of individual water molecules at the solute-solvent interface, in order to assess contributions to protein-ligand binding. In some cases these tools tell us what we already know, e.g. that hydrophobic pockets prefer lipophilic substituents, and in other cases the methods only seem to add clarity when retrospectively applied. Hence we have grappled with how to utilize such approaches to understand non-intuitive results and to generate chemistry ideas that otherwise would not have been developed...
April 26, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Gerard Martínez-Rosell, Toni Giorgino, Matt J Harvey, Gianni de Fabritiis
Bio-molecular dynamics (MD) simulations based on graphical processing units (GPUs) were first released to the public in the early 2009 with the code ACEMD. Almost 8 years after, applications now encompass a broad range of molecular studies, while throughput improvements have opened the way to millisecond sampling timescales. Based on an extrapolation of the amount of sampling in published literature, the second timescale will be reached by the year 2022, and therefore we predict that molecular dynamics is going to become one of the main tools in drug discovery in both academia and industry...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Sören Wacker, Sergei Yu Noskov, Laura L Perissinotti
The rapid delayed rectifier current IKr is one of the major K+ currents involved into repolarization of the human cardiac action potential. Various inherited or drug-induced forms of the long QT syndrome (LQTS) in humans are linked to functional and structural modifications in the IKr conducting channels. IKr is carried by the potassium channel Kv11.1 encoded by the gene KCNH2 (commonly referred to as human ether-a-go-go-related gene or hERG) [1][2]. The first necessary step for predicting emergent drug effects on the heart is determining and modeling the binding thermodynamics and kinetics of primary and major off-target drug interactions with subcellular targets...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Daniel Cappel, Woody Sherman, Thijs Beuming
The ability to accurately characterize the solvation properties (water locations and thermodynamics) of biomolecules is of great importance to drug discovery. While crystallography, NMR, and other experimental techniques can assist in determining the structure of water networks in proteins and protein-ligand complexes, most water molecules are not fully resolved and accurately placed. Furthermore, understanding the energetic effects of solvation and desolvation on binding requires an analysis of the thermodynamic properties of solvent involved in the interaction between ligands and proteins...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Robert A Pearlstein, Daniel J J McKay, Viktor Hornak, Callum Dickson, Andrei Golosov, Tyler Harrison, Camilo Velez-Vega, José Duca
Cellular drug targets exist within networked function generating systems whose constituent molecular species undergo dynamic interdependent non-equilibrium state transitions in response to specific perturbations (i.e. inputs). Cellular phenotypic behaviors are manifest through the integrated behaviors of such networks. However, in vitro data are frequently measured and/or interpreted with empirical equilibrium or steady state models (e.g. Hill, Michaelis-Menten, Briggs-Haldane) relevant to isolated target populations...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Kuo-Chen Chou
The eternal or ultimate goal of medicinal chemistry is to find most effective ways to treat various diseases and extend human beings' life as long as possible. Human being is a biological entity. To realize such an ultimate goal, the inputs or breakthroughs from the advances in biological science are no doubt most important that may even drive medicinal science into a revolution. In this review article, we are to address this from several different angles.
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Robert Abel, Lingle Wang, David L Mobley, Rich A Friesner
Protein-ligand binding is among the most fundamental phenomena underlying all molecular biology, and a greater ability to more accurately and robustly predict the binding free energy of a small molecule ligand for its cognate protein is expected to have vast consequences for improving the efficiency of pharmaceutical drug discovery. We here briefly review a number of scientific and technical advances that have enabled alchemical free energy calculations to recently emerge as a preferred approach, and critically consider proper validation and effective use of these techniques...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Ri-Bo Huang, D Cheng, Bo Lu, S M Liao, Frederic A Troy Ii, Guo-Ping Zhou
As a subset of glycosyltransferases, the family of sialyltransferases catalyze transfer of sialic acid (Sia) residues to terminal non-reducing positions on oligosaccharide chains of glycoproteins and glycolipids, utilizing CMP-Neu5Ac as the activated sugar nucleotide donor. In the four known sialyltransferase families (ST3Gal, ST6Gal, ST6GalNAc and ST8Sia), the ST8Sia family catalyzes synthesis of si,8-linked sialic/polysialic acid (polySia) chains according to their acceptor specificity. We have determined 3D structural models of the ST8Sia family members, designated ST8Sia I(1), II(2), IV(4), V(5), and VI(6) using the Phyre2 server...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Shao-Wu Zhang, Xiao-Ying Yan
System-level understanding of the relationships between drugs and targets is very important for enhancing drug research, especially for drug function repositioning. The experimental methods used to determine drug-target interactions are usually time-consuming, tedious and expensive, and sometimes lack reproducibility. Thus, it is highly desired to develop computational methods for efficiently and effectively analyzing and detecting new drug-target interaction pairs. With the explosive growth of different types of omics data, such as genome, pharmacology, phenotypic, and other kinds of molecular networks, numerous computational approaches have been developed to predict drug-target interactions (DTI)...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Cheng Li, Shan Zhang, Xiaofeng Wang
BRI1 and BAK1 are Receptor-Like Kinases (RLKs), one of the largest gene families in plants participating in various cell signal transduction from cell surface to cytoplasm with oligomerization and phosphorylation to regulate plant growth, development, immunity, and environmental responses. Based on the recent investigations on the BRI1 and BAK1 and other RLKs involving in the receptor complex formation, trans phosphorylation, phosphorylation sites identification, downstream substrates identification, and so on, it is recovered that the receptors oligomerization and phosphorylation integrate multiple distinct signaling to realize signaling modulation, divergence, convergence, and specificity...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Alex Dickson, Pratyush Tiwary, Harish Vashisth
Ligand residence times and binding rates have been found to be useful quantities to consider during drug design. The underlying structural and dynamic determinants of these kinetic quantities are difficult to discern. Driven by developments in computational hardware and simulation methodologies, molecular dynamics (MD) studies of full binding and unbinding pathways have emerged recently, showing these structural and dynamic determinants in atomic detail. However, the long timescales related to drug binding and release are still prohibitive to conventional MD simulation...
April 14, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
José A Reyes-Darias, Tino Krell
In nature, bacteria can exist as single motile cells or as sessile cellular community, known as microbial biofilms. Bacteria within biofilms are embedded in a self-produced extracellular matrix that makes them more resistant to antibiotic treatment and responses of the host immune system. Microbial biofilms are very important in medicine since they are associated with several human diseases such as dental caries, periodontitis, otitis media, infective endocarditis, infectious kidney stones, osteomyelitis or prostatitis...
April 7, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Prachi Srivastava, Anshul Tiwari
The last couple of decades is witnessed that an amalgamation of multidisciplinary branches of science come together in the form of 'Bioinformatics' and made a substantial impact on the drug designing process. The applicability of Bioinformatics approaches has been able to reduce the overall cost and time of drug discovery and development. The computer aided drug designing system (CADDS) using extensive applicability of Bioinformatics has been recognized as one step ahead to carry out the primary high throughput virtual screening as an economically viable solution to the problem...
April 3, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Priyadarshini P Pai, Sukanta Mondal
Enzymes are biological catalysts that play an important role in determining the patterns of chemical transformations pertaining to life. Many milestones have been achieved in unraveling the mechanisms in which the enzymes orchestrate various cellular processes using experimental and computational approaches. Experimental studies generating nearly all possible mutations of target enzymes have been aided by rapid computational approaches aiming at enzyme functional classification, understanding domain organization, functional site identification...
March 29, 2017: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
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