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Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B ; (6): 862-880, 2018.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-775019


Mitochondrial targeting is a promising approach for solving current issues in clinical application of chemotherapy and diagnosis of several disorders. Here, we discuss direct conjugation of mitochondrial-targeting moieties to anticancer drugs, antioxidants and sensor molecules. Among them, the most widely applied mitochondrial targeting moiety is triphenylphosphonium (TPP), which is a delocalized cationic lipid that readily accumulates and penetrates through the mitochondrial membrane due to the highly negative mitochondrial membrane potential. Other moieties, including short peptides, dequalinium, guanidine, rhodamine, and F16, are also known to be promising mitochondrial targeting agents. Direct conjugation of mitochondrial targeting moieties to anticancer drugs, antioxidants and sensors results in increased cytotoxicity, anti-oxidizing activity and sensing activity, respectively, compared with their non-targeting counterparts, especially in drug-resistant cells. Although many mitochondria-targeted anticancer drug conjugates have been investigated and , further clinical studies are still needed. On the other hand, several mitochondria-targeting antioxidants have been analyzed in clinical phases I, II and III trials, and one conjugate has been approved for treating eye disease in Russia. There are numerous ongoing studies of mitochondria-targeted sensors.

Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B ; (6): 285-299, 2015.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-310024


The Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway is an important antioxidant defense mechanism that protects cells from oxidative stress and the Keap1-Nrf2 protein-protein interaction (PPI) has become an important drug target to upregulate the expression of ARE-controlled cytoprotective oxidative stress response enzymes in the development of therapeutic and preventive agents for a number of diseases and conditions. However, most known Nrf2 activators/ARE inducers are indirect inhibitors of Keap1-Nrf2 PPI and they are electrophilic species that act by modifying the sulfhydryl groups of Keap1׳s cysteine residues. The electrophilicity of these indirect inhibitors may cause "off-target" side effects by reacting with cysteine residues of other important cellular proteins. Efforts have recently been focused on the development of direct inhibitors of Keap1-Nrf2 PPI. This article reviews these recent research efforts including the development of high throughput screening assays, the discovery of peptide and small molecule direct inhibitors, and the biophysical characterization of the binding of these inhibitors to the target Keap1 Kelch domain protein. These non-covalent direct inhibitors of Keap1-Nrf2 PPI could potentially be developed into effective therapeutic or preventive agents for a variety of diseases and conditions.

Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B ; (6): 506-519, 2015.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-309999


Cysteine proteases continue to provide validated targets for treatment of human diseases. In neurodegenerative disorders, multiple cysteine proteases provide targets for enzyme inhibitors, notably caspases, calpains, and cathepsins. The reactive, active-site cysteine provides specificity for many inhibitor designs over other families of proteases, such as aspartate and serine; however, a) inhibitor strategies often use covalent enzyme modification, and b) obtaining selectivity within families of cysteine proteases and their isozymes is problematic. This review provides a general update on strategies for cysteine protease inhibitor design and a focus on cathepsin B and calpain 1 as drug targets for neurodegenerative disorders; the latter focus providing an interesting query for the contemporary assumptions that irreversible, covalent protein modification and low selectivity are anathema to therapeutic safety and efficacy.

Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-329700


Glutamate acting on AMPA-type ionotropic glutamate receptor (AMPAR) mediates the majority of fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. Dynamic regulation of AMPAR by post-translational modifications is one of the key elements that allow the nervous system to adapt to environment stimulations. S-palmitoylation, an important lipid modification by post-translational addition of a long-chain fatty acid to a cysteine residue, regulates AMPA receptor trafficking, which dynamically affects multiple fundamental brain functions, such as learning and memory. In vivo, S-palmitoylation is controlled by palmitoyl acyl transferases and palmitoyl thioesterases. In this review, we highlight advances in the mechanisms for dynamic AMPA receptors palmitoylation, and discuss how palmitoylation affects AMPA receptors function at synapses in recent years. Pharmacological regulation of S-palmitoylation may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy for neurobiological diseases.

Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B ; (6): 430-437, 2014.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-329705


In this study two genistein derivatives (G1 and G2) are reported as inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), and differences in the inhibition of AChE are described. Although they differ in structure by a single methyl group, the inhibitory effect of G1 (IC50=264 nmol/L) on AChE was 80 times stronger than that of G2 (IC50=21,210 nmol/L). Enzyme-kinetic analysis, molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were conducted to better understand the molecular basis for this difference. The results obtained by kinetic analysis demonstrated that G1 can interact with both the catalytic active site and peripheral anionic site of AChE. The predicted binding free energies of two complexes calculated by the molecular mechanics/generalized born surface area (MM/GBSA) method were consistent with the experimental data. The analysis of the individual energy terms suggested that a difference between the net electrostatic contributions (ΔE ele+ΔG GB) was responsible for the binding affinities of these two inhibitors. Additionally, analysis of the molecular mechanics and MM/GBSA free energy decomposition revealed that the difference between G1 and G2 originated from interactions with Tyr124, Glu292, Val294 and Phe338 of AChE. In conclusion, the results reveal significant differences at the molecular level in the mechanism of inhibition of AChE by these structurally related compounds.