- Design of dual ligands using excessive pharmacophore query alignment (2012)
- Oral presentation Dual- or multi-target ligands have gained increased attention in the past years due to several advantages, including more simple pharmacokinetic and phamarcodynamic properties compared to a combined application of several drugs. Furthermore multi-target ligands often possess improved efficacy . We present a new approach for the discovery of dual-target ligands using aligned pharmacophore models combined with a shape-based scoring. Starting with two sets of known active compounds for each target, a number of different pharmacophore models is generated and subjected to pairwise graph-based alignment using the Kabsch-Algorithm [2,3]. Since a compound may be able to bind to different targets in different conformations, the algorithm aligns pairs of pharmacophore models sharing the same features which are not necessarily at the exactly same spatial distance. Using the aligned models, a pharmacophore search on a multi-conformation-database is performed to find compounds matching both models. The potentially “dual” ligands are scored by a shape-based comparison with the known active molecules using ShaEP . Using this approach, we performed a prospective fragment-based virtual screening for dual 5-LO/sEH inhibitors. Both enzymes play an important role in the arachidonic acid cascade and are involved in inflammatory processes, pain, cardiovascular diseases and allergic reactions [5,6]. Beside several new selective inhibitors we were able to find a compound inhibiting both enzymes in low micromolar concentrations. The results indicate that the idea of aligned pharmacophore models can be successfully employed for the discovery of dual-target ligands.
- Bioassays to monitor taspase1 function for the identification of pharmacogenetic inhibitors (2011)
- Background: Threonine Aspartase 1 (Taspase1) mediates cleavage of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) protein and leukemia provoking MLL-fusions. In contrast to other proteases, the understanding of Taspase1's (patho)biological relevance and function is limited, since neither small molecule inhibitors nor cell based functional assays for Taspase1 are currently available. Methodology/Findings: Efficient cell-based assays to probe Taspase1 function in vivo are presented here. These are composed of glutathione S-transferase, autofluorescent protein variants, Taspase1 cleavage sites and rational combinations of nuclear import and export signals. The biosensors localize predominantly to the cytoplasm, whereas expression of biologically active Taspase1 but not of inactive Taspase1 mutants or of the protease Caspase3 triggers their proteolytic cleavage and nuclear accumulation. Compared to in vitro assays using recombinant components the in vivo assay was highly efficient. Employing an optimized nuclear translocation algorithm, the triple-color assay could be adapted to a high-throughput microscopy platform (Z'factor = 0.63). Automated high-content data analysis was used to screen a focused compound library, selected by an in silico pharmacophor screening approach, as well as a collection of fungal extracts. Screening identified two compounds, N-[2-[(4-amino-6-oxo-3H-pyrimidin-2-yl)sulfanyl]ethyl]benzenesulfonamideand 2-benzyltriazole-4,5-dicarboxylic acid, which partially inhibited Taspase1 cleavage in living cells. Additionally, the assay was exploited to probe endogenous Taspase1 in solid tumor cell models and to identify an improved consensus sequence for efficient Taspase1 cleavage. This allowed the in silico identification of novel putative Taspase1 targets. Those include the FERM Domain-Containing Protein 4B, the Tyrosine-Protein Phosphatase Zeta, and DNA Polymerase Zeta. Cleavage site recognition and proteolytic processing of these substrates were verified in the context of the biosensor. Conclusions: The assay not only allows to genetically probe Taspase1 structure function in vivo, but is also applicable for high-content screening to identify Taspase1 inhibitors. Such tools will provide novel insights into Taspase1's function and its potential therapeutic relevance.