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Alessio Soggiu, Cristian Piras, Viviana Greco, Paola Devoto, Andrea Urbani, Luigino Calzetta, Marco Bortolato, Paola Roncada
The enzyme 5α-reductase (5αR) catalyzes the conversion of progesterone and testosterone into neuroactive steroids implicated in a wide array of behavioral functions. The prototypical 5αR inhibitor, finasteride (FIN), is clinically approved for the treatment of androgenic alopecia and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Recent evidence has shown that FIN, albeit generally well tolerated, can induce untoward psychological effects in a subset of patients; furthermore, this drug may have therapeutic efficacy for a number of different neuropsychiatric conditions, ranging from Tourette syndrome to schizophrenia...
October 6, 2016: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Sebastiaan Kuhne, Albert J Kooistra, Reggie Bosma, Andrea Bortolato, Maikel Wijtmans, Henry F Vischer, Jonathan S Mason, Chris de Graaf, Iwan J P de Esch, Rob Leurs
Developments in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structural biology provide insights into GPCR-ligand binding. Compound 1 (4-(2-benzylphenoxy)piperidine) with high ligand efficiency for the histamine H1 receptor (H1R) was used to design derivatives to investigate the roles of (i) the amine-binding region, (ii) the upper and lower aromatic region, and (iii) binding site solvation. SAR analysis showed that the amine-binding region serves as the primary binding hot spot, preferably binding small tertiary amines...
October 13, 2016: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
K Hadyńska-Klȩk, P J Napiorkowski, M Zielińska, J Srebrny, A Maj, F Azaiez, J J Valiente Dobón, M Kicińska-Habior, F Nowacki, H Naïdja, B Bounthong, T R Rodríguez, G de Angelis, T Abraham, G Anil Kumar, D Bazzacco, M Bellato, D Bortolato, P Bednarczyk, G Benzoni, L Berti, B Birkenbach, B Bruyneel, S Brambilla, F Camera, J Chavas, B Cederwall, L Charles, M Ciemała, P Cocconi, P Coleman-Smith, A Colombo, A Corsi, F C L Crespi, D M Cullen, A Czermak, P Désesquelles, D T Doherty, B Dulny, J Eberth, E Farnea, B Fornal, S Franchoo, A Gadea, A Giaz, A Gottardo, X Grave, J Grȩbosz, A Görgen, M Gulmini, T Habermann, H Hess, R Isocrate, J Iwanicki, G Jaworski, D S Judson, A Jungclaus, N Karkour, M Kmiecik, D Karpiński, M Kisieliński, N Kondratyev, A Korichi, M Komorowska, M Kowalczyk, W Korten, M Krzysiek, G Lehaut, S Leoni, J Ljungvall, A Lopez-Martens, S Lunardi, G Maron, K Mazurek, R Menegazzo, D Mengoni, E Merchán, W Mȩczyński, C Michelagnoli, J Mierzejewski, B Million, S Myalski, D R Napoli, R Nicolini, M Niikura, A Obertelli, S F Özmen, M Palacz, L Próchniak, A Pullia, B Quintana, G Rampazzo, F Recchia, N Redon, P Reiter, D Rosso, K Rusek, E Sahin, M-D Salsac, P-A Söderström, I Stefan, O Stézowski, J Styczeń, Ch Theisen, N Toniolo, C A Ur, V Vandone, R Wadsworth, B Wasilewska, A Wiens, J L Wood, K Wrzosek-Lipska, M Ziȩbliński
Shape parameters of a weakly deformed ground-state band and highly deformed slightly triaxial sideband in ^{42}Ca were determined from E2 matrix elements measured in the first low-energy Coulomb excitation experiment performed with AGATA. The picture of two coexisting structures is well reproduced by new state-of-the-art large-scale shell model and beyond-mean-field calculations. Experimental evidence for superdeformation of the band built on 0_{2}^{+} has been obtained and the role of triaxiality in the A∼40 mass region is discussed...
August 5, 2016: Physical Review Letters
Marco Bortolato, Consuelo Walss-Bass, Peter M Thompson, Jackob Moskovitz
OBJECTIVES: The enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), which catalyses the degradation of dopamine and norepinephrine, is posited to participate in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia. In support of this notion, rich evidence has documented that the severity of various BD and schizophrenia symptoms is moderated by rs4680, a single nucleotide polymorphism of the COMT gene featuring a valine (Val)-to-methionine (Met) substitution that results in lower catalytic activity...
July 26, 2016: World Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Elena Segala, Dong Guo, Robert K Y Cheng, Andrea Bortolato, Francesca Deflorian, Andrew S Doré, James C Errey, Laura H Heitman, Adriaan P IJzerman, Fiona H Marshall, Robert M Cooke
The association and dissociation kinetics of ligands binding to proteins vary considerably, but the mechanisms behind this variability are poorly understood, limiting their utilization for drug discovery. This is particularly so for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) where high resolution structural information is only beginning to emerge. Engineering the human A2A adenosine receptor has allowed structures to be solved in complex with the reference compound ZM241385 and four related ligands at high resolution...
July 14, 2016: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Ali Jazayeri, Andrew S Doré, Daniel Lamb, Harini Krishnamurthy, Stacey M Southall, Asma H Baig, Andrea Bortolato, Markus Koglin, Nathan J Robertson, James C Errey, Stephen P Andrews, Iryna Teobald, Alastair J H Brown, Robert M Cooke, Malcolm Weir, Fiona H Marshall
Glucagon is a 29-amino-acid peptide released from the α-cells of the islet of Langerhans, which has a key role in glucose homeostasis. Glucagon action is transduced by the class B G-protein-coupled glucagon receptor (GCGR), which is located on liver, kidney, intestinal smooth muscle, brain, adipose tissue, heart and pancreas cells, and this receptor has been considered an important drug target in the treatment of diabetes. Administration of recently identified small-molecule GCGR antagonists in patients with type 2 diabetes results in a substantial reduction of fasting and postprandial glucose concentrations...
April 25, 2016: Nature
Dahlia R Weiss, Andrea Bortolato, Benjamin Tehan, Jonathan S Mason
Virtual screening is routinely used to discover new ligands and in particular new ligand chemotypes for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). To prepare for a virtual screen, we often tailor a docking protocol that will enable us to select the best candidates for further screening. To aid this, we created GPCR-Bench, a publically available docking benchmarking set in the spirit of the DUD and DUD-E reference data sets for validation studies, containing 25 nonredundant high-resolution GPCR costructures with an accompanying set of diverse ligands and computational decoy molecules for each target...
April 25, 2016: Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling
Petr Hošek, Daniela Toulcová, Andrea Bortolato, Vojtěch Spiwok
We present a new simple extension of multiple walker metadynamics which makes it possible to simulate simultaneously multiple different molecular systems and to predict their free energy surfaces, named Altruistic metadynamics. Similarly to basic metadynamics, it uses a bias potential in the form of hills summed over the simulation. Each system adds a big hill to its "own" bias potential and smaller hills to bias potentials of other systems, hence, each system enhances sampling of other systems. This makes it possible to achieve either faster reaching of the stationary point or higher accuracy of the calculated free energy surfaces...
March 10, 2016: Journal of Physical Chemistry. B
B Bortolato, M Berk, M Maes, R S McIntyre, A F Carvalho
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a prevalent disorder defined by the presence of chronic widespread pain in association with fatigue, sleep disturbances and cognitive dysfunction. Recent studies indicate that bipolar spectrum disorders frequently co-occur in individuals with FM. Furthermore, shared pathophysiological mechanisms anticipate remarkable phenomenological similarities between FM and BD. A comprehensive search of the English literature was carried out in the Pubmed/MEDLINE database through May 10th, 2015 to identify unique references pertaining to the epidemiology and shared pathophysiology between FM and bipolar disorder (BD)...
2016: Current Molecular Medicine
Beatrice Bortolato, Kamilla W Miskowiak, Cristiano A Köhler, Michael Maes, Brisa S Fernandes, Michael Berk, André F Carvalho
BACKGROUND: Cognitive dysfunction in major depressive disorder (MDD) encompasses several domains, including but not limited to executive function, verbal memory, and attention. Furthermore, cognitive dysfunction is a frequent residual manifestation in depression and may persist during the remitted phase. Cognitive deficits may also impede functional recovery, including workforce performance, in patients with MDD. The overarching aims of this opinion article are to critically evaluate the effects of available antidepressants as well as novel therapeutic targets on neurocognitive dysfunction in MDD...
2016: BMC Medicine
Sean C Godar, Paula J Fite, Kenneth M McFarlin, Marco Bortolato
Drawing upon the recent resurgence of biological criminology, several studies have highlighted a critical role for genetic factors in the ontogeny of antisocial and violent conduct. In particular, converging lines of evidence have documented that these maladaptive manifestations of aggression are influenced by monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), the enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of brain serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. The interest on the link between MAOA and aggression was originally sparked by Han Brunner's discovery of a syndrome characterized by marked antisocial behaviors in male carriers of a nonsense mutation of this gene...
August 1, 2016: Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Shaquanna Brown, Paula J Fite, Katie Stone, Marco Bortolato
Internalizing difficulties are one of the most widely documented consequences of child maltreatment. However, there is a need for studies delineating the factors that account for this association. Despite research showing that alexithymia is associated with both child maltreatment and internalizing problems, the role of alexithymia in the link between child maltreatment and internalizing problems has not received much attention in the literature. The current study evaluated whether a history of child maltreatment was associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and loneliness in emerging adulthood, and whether alexithymia partially accounted for these associations...
February 2016: Child Abuse & Neglect
Beatrice Bortolato, Andre F Carvalho, Joanna K Soczynska, Giulia I Perini, Roger S McIntyre
Major depressive disorder is a highly prevalent, chronic and recurring disorder, associated with substantial impairment in cognitive and interpersonal functions. Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammatory processes play an important role in the etio-pathogenesis, phenomenology, comorbidity and treatment of MDD. Suboptimal remission rates and the persistence of cognitive deficits contribute to functional impairment in MDD inviting the need for the development of mechanistically novel and domain specific treatment approaches...
2015: Current Neuropharmacology
Andrea Bortolato, Francesca Deflorian, Dahlia R Weiss, Jonathan S Mason
The residence time of a ligand-protein complex is a crucial aspect in determining biological effect in vivo. Despite its importance, the prediction of ligand koff still remains challenging for modern computational chemistry. We have developed aMetaD, a fast and generally applicable computational protocol to predict ligand-protein unbinding events using a molecular dynamics (MD) method based on adiabatic-bias MD and metadynamics. This physics-based, fully flexible, and pose-dependent ligand scoring function evaluates the maximum energy (RTscore) required to move the ligand from the bound-state energy basin to the next...
September 28, 2015: Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling
Abdulmaged M Traish, Roberto Cosimo Melcangi, Marco Bortolato, Luis M Garcia-Segura, Michael Zitzmann
Steroids are important physiological orchestrators of endocrine as well as peripheral and central nervous system functions. One of the key processes for regulation of these molecules lies in their enzymatic processing by a family of 5α-reductase (5α-Rs) isozymes. By catalyzing a key rate-limiting step in steroidogenesis, this family of enzymes exerts a crucial role not only in the physiological control but also in pathological events. Indeed, both 5α-R inhibition and supplementation of 5α-reduced metabolites are currently used or have been proposed as therapeutic strategies for a wide array of pathological conditions...
September 2015: Reviews in Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders
Sean C Godar, Laura J Mosher, Hunter J Strathman, Andrea M Gochi, Cori M Jones, Stephen C Fowler, Marco Bortolato
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The D1CT-7 mouse is one of the best known animal models of Tourette syndrome (TS), featuring spontaneous tic-like behaviours sensitive to standard TS therapies; these characteristics ensure a high face and predictive validity of this model, yet its construct validity remains elusive. To address this issue, we studied the responses of D1CT-7 mice to two critical components of TS pathophysiology: the exacerbation of tic-like behaviours in response to stress and the presence of sensorimotor gating deficits, which are thought to reflect the perceptual alterations causing the tics...
July 2016: British Journal of Pharmacology
James Kean, Andrea Bortolato, Kaspar Hollenstein, Fiona H Marshall, Ali Jazayeri
Recent technical advances have greatly facilitated G-protein coupled receptors crystallography as evidenced by the number of successful x-ray structures that have been reported recently. These technical advances include novel detergents, specialised crystallography techniques as well as protein engineering solutions such as fusions and conformational thermostabilisation. Using conformational thermostabilisation, it is possible to generate variants of GPCRs that exhibit significantly increased stability in detergent micelles whilst preferentially occupying a single conformation...
2015: Scientific Reports
Laura J Mosher, Roberto Frau, Alessandra Pardu, Romina Pes, Paola Devoto, Marco Bortolato
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Sensorimotor gating is a perceptual process aimed at filtering out irrelevant information. In humans and animal models, this function can be operationally measured through the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex. Notably, PPI deficits are associated with numerous neuropsychiatric conditions characterized by gating disturbances, including schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome. Ample evidence has shown that dopamine plays a key role in PPI regulation and, in particular, rodent studies indicate that this neurotransmitter modulates PPI through D1 and D2 dopamine receptors...
July 2016: British Journal of Pharmacology
Roberto Frau, Federico Abbiati, Valentina Bini, Alberto Casti, Donatella Caruso, Paola Devoto, Marco Bortolato
BACKGROUND: Cogent evidence has shown that schizophrenia vulnerability is enhanced by psychosocial stress in adolescence, yet the underpinnings of this phenomenon remain elusive. One of the animal models that best capture the relationship between juvenile stress and schizophrenia is isolation rearing (IR). This manipulation, which consists in subjecting rats to social isolation from weaning through adulthood, results in neurobehavioral alterations akin to those observed in schizophrenia patients...
November 2015: Schizophrenia Research
Sean C Godar, Marco Bortolato, Sarah E Richards, Felix G Li, Kevin Chen, Cara L Wellman, Jean C Shih
BACKGROUND: Acute stress triggers transient alterations in the synaptic release and metabolism of brain monoamine neurotransmitters. These rapid changes are essential to activate neuroplastic processes aimed at the appraisal of the stressor and enactment of commensurate defensive behaviors. Threat evaluation has been recently associated with the dendritic morphology of pyramidal cells in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA); thus, we examined the rapid effects of restraint stress on anxiety-like behavior and dendritic morphology in the BLA and OFC of mice...
July 2015: International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
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