Molecules2016, 21(5), 591; doi:10.3390/molecules21050591 (registering DOI) - published 5 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) is an important serine/threonine kinase with a self-protection function. The combination of Chk1 inhibitors and anti-cancer drugs can enhance the selectivity of tumor therapy. In this work, a set of 1,7-diazacarbazole analogs were identified as potent Chk1 inhibitors through a series of computer-aided drug design processes, including three-dimensional quantitative structure–activity relationship (3D-QSAR) modeling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulations. The optimal QSAR models showed significant cross-validated correlation q2 values (0.531, 0.726), fitted correlation r2 coefficients (higher than 0.90), and standard error of prediction (less than 0.250). These results suggested that the developed models possess good predictive ability. Moreover, molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations were applied to highlight the important interactions between the ligand and the Chk1 receptor protein. This study shows that hydrogen bonding and electrostatic forces are key interactions that confer bioactivity.
Molecules2016, 21(5), 590; doi:10.3390/molecules21050590 (registering DOI) - published 5 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is an emerging and promising technology in tissue engineering to construct tissues and organs for implantation. Alignment of self-assembly cell spheroids that are used as bioink could be very accurate after droplet ejection from bioprinter. Complex and heterogeneous tissue structures could be built using rapid additive manufacture technology and multiple cell lines. Effective vascularization in the engineered tissue samples is critical in any clinical application. In this review paper, the current technologies and processing steps (such as printing, preparation of bioink, cross-linking, tissue fusion and maturation) in 3D bio-printing are introduced, and their specifications are compared with each other. In addition, the application of ultrasound in this novel field is also introduced. Cells experience acoustic radiation force in ultrasound standing wave field (USWF) and then accumulate at the pressure node at low acoustic pressure. Formation of cell spheroids by this method is within minutes with uniform size and homogeneous cell distribution. Neovessel formation from USWF-induced endothelial cell spheroids is significant. Low-intensity ultrasound could enhance the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. Its use is at low cost and compatible with current bioreactor. In summary, ultrasound application in 3D bio-printing may solve some challenges and enhance the outcomes.
Molecules2016, 21(5), 589; doi:10.3390/molecules21050589 (registering DOI) - published 5 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Arginase, a drug target for the treatment of leishmaniasis, is involved in the biosynthesis of polyamines. Flavonoids are interesting natural compounds found in many foods and some of them may inhibit this enzyme. The MetIDB database containing 5667 compounds was screened using an EIIP/AQVN filter and 3D QSAR to find the most promising candidate compounds. In addition, these top hits were screened in silico versus human arginase and an anti-target battery consisting of cytochromes P450 2a6, 2c9, 3a4, sulfotransferase, and the pregnane-X-receptor in order to flag their possible interactions with these proteins involved in the metabolism of substances. The resulting compounds may have promise to be further developed for the treatment of leishmaniasis.
Molecules2016, 21(5), 588; doi:10.3390/molecules21050588 (registering DOI) - published 5 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common cause of heart attack and the leading cause of mortality in the world. It is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and increased level of reactive oxygen species production. According to the Ottawa Heart Genomics Study genome-wide association study, a recent research identified that Q688 spastic paraplegia 7 (SPG7) variant is associated with CAD as it bypasses the regulation of tyrosine phosphorylation of AFG3L2 and enhances the processing and maturation of SPG7 protein. This study aims to identify potential compounds isolated from Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs) as potential lead compounds for paraplegin (SPG7) inhibitors. For the crystallographic structure of paraplegin, the disordered disposition of key amino acids in the binding site was predicted using the PONDR-Fit protocol before virtual screening. The TCM compounds saussureamine C and 3-(2-carboxyphenyl)-4(3H)-quinazolinone, have potential binding affinities with stable H-bonds and hydrophobic contacts with key residues of paraplegin. A molecular dynamics simulation was performed to validate the stability of the interactions between each candidate and paraplegin under dynamic conditions. Hence, we propose these compounds as potential candidates as lead drug from the compounds isolated from TCM for further study in drug development process with paraplegin protein for coronary artery disease.
Molecules2016, 21(5), 594; doi:10.3390/molecules21050594 (registering DOI) - published 5 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. It can cause neuronal cell damage in the context of oxidative stress. BJ-1201 is a derivative of the compound aminopyridinol, which is known for its antioxidant activity. In this study, we examined the effect of BJ-1201, a 6-(diphenylamino)-2,4,5-trimethylpyridin-3-ol compound, on neuroprotection in HT22 cells. Our data showed that BJ-1201 can protect HT22 cells against glutamate-induced cell cytotoxicity. In addition, BJ-1201 upregulated heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) to levels comparable to those of the CoPP-treated group. BJ-1201 treatment induced phosphorylation of JNK, but not p38-MAPK or ERK. It also increased the signal in the reporter assay based on β-galactosidase activity driven by the nuclear transcription factor erythroid-2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) promoter harboring antioxidant response elements (AREs) and induced the translocation of Nrf2. These results demonstrate that BJ-1201 may be a good therapeutic platform against neurodegenerative diseases induced by oxidative stress.
Molecules2016, 21(5), 530; doi:10.3390/molecules21050530 (registering DOI) - published 5 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this study, a series of novel N-substituted 2-(2-(adamantan-1-yl)-1H-indol-3-yl)-2-oxoacetamide derivatives were synthesized, and evaluated for their cytotoxicity in human cell lines including Hela (cervical cancer), MCF7 (breast cancer ) and HepG2 (liver cancer). Several compounds were found to have potent anti-proliferative activity against those human cancer cell lines and compound 5r showed the most potent biological activity against HepG2 cells with an IC50 value of 10.56 ± 1.14 μΜ. In addition, bioassays showed that compound 5r induced time-dependent and dose-dependent cleavage of poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), and also induced a dose-dependent increase in caspase-3 and caspase-8 activity, but had little effect on caspase-9 protease activity in HepG2 cells. These results provide evidence that 5r-induced apoptosis in HepG2 cell is caspase-8-dependent.