- Spherical harmonics coeffcients for ligand-based virtual screening of cyclooxygenase inhibitors (2011)
- Background: Molecular descriptors are essential for many applications in computational chemistry, such as ligand-based similarity searching. Spherical harmonics have previously been suggested as comprehensive descriptors of molecular structure and properties. We investigate a spherical harmonics descriptor for shape-based virtual screening. Methodology/Principal Findings: We introduce and validate a partially rotation-invariant three-dimensional molecular shape descriptor based on the norm of spherical harmonics expansion coefficients. Using this molecular representation, we parameterize molecular surfaces, i.e., isosurfaces of spatial molecular property distributions. We validate the shape descriptor in a comprehensive retrospective virtual screening experiment. In a prospective study, we virtually screen a large compound library for cyclooxygenase inhibitors, using a self-organizing map as a pre-filter and the shape descriptor for candidate prioritization. Conclusions/Significance: 12 compounds were tested in vitro for direct enzyme inhibition and in a whole blood assay. Active compounds containing a triazole scaffold were identified as direct cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitors. This outcome corroborates the usefulness of spherical harmonics for representation of molecular shape in virtual screening of large compound collections. The combination of pharmacophore and shape-based filtering of screening candidates proved to be a straightforward approach to finding novel bioactive chemotypes with minimal experimental effort.
- Synthesis of szentiamide : a depsipeptide from entomopathogenic Xenorhabdus szentirmaii with activity against Plasmodium falciparum (2012)
- The synthesis of the recently characterized depsipeptide szentiamide (1), which is produced by the entomopathogenic bacterium Xenorhabdus szentirmaii, is described. Whereas no biological activity was previously identified for 1, the material derived from the efficient synthesis enabled additional bioactivity tests leading to the identification of a notable activity against insect cells and Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria.
- MPGES-1-derived PGE2 suppresses CD80 expression on tumor-associated phagocytes to inhibit anti-tumor immune responses in breast cancer (2015)
- Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) favors multiple aspects of tumor development and immune evasion. Therefore, microsomal prostaglandin E synthase (mPGES-1/-2), is a potential target for cancer therapy. We explored whether inhibiting mPGES-1 in human and mouse models of breast cancer affects tumor-associated immunity. A new model of breast tumor spheroid killing by human PBMCs was developed. In this model, tumor killing required CD80 expression by tumor-associated phagocytes to trigger cytotoxic T cell activation. Pharmacological mPGES-1 inhibition increased CD80 expression, whereas addition of PGE2, a prostaglandin E2 receptor 2 (EP2) agonist, or activation of signaling downstream of EP2 reduced CD80 expression. Genetic ablation of mPGES-1 resulted in markedly reduced tumor growth in PyMT mice. Macrophages of mPGES-1-/- PyMT mice indeed expressed elevated levels of CD80 compared to their wildtype counterparts. CD80 expression in tumor-spheroid infiltrating mPGES-1-/- macrophages translated into antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell activation. In conclusion, mPGES-1 inhibition elevates CD80 expression by tumor-associated phagocytes to restrict tumor growth. We propose that mPGES-1 inhibition in combination with immune cell activation might be part of a therapeutic strategy to overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.