FMP Publications

Our publications are recorded in a searchable database since 2010, updates will be added regularly.

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References
Direct assessment of substrate binding to the Neurotransmitter:Sodium Symporter LeuT by solid state NMR
Erlendsson(*), S., Gotfryd(*), K., Larsen, F. H., Mortensen(*), J. S., Geiger, M. A., van Rossum, B. J., Oschkinat, H., Gether(*), U., Teilum(*), K.; Loland(*), C. J.
Elife, 6
(2017)

Tags: NMR-Supported Structural Biology (Oschkinat)

Abstract: The Neurotransmitter:Sodium Symporters (NSSs) represent an important class of proteins mediating sodium-dependent uptake of neurotransmitters from the extracellular space. The substrate binding stoichiometry of the bacterial NSS protein, LeuT, and thus the principal transport mechanism, has been heavily debated. Here we used solid state NMR to specifically characterize the bound leucine ligand and probe the number of binding sites in LeuT. We were able to produce high-quality NMR spectra of substrate bound to microcrystalline LeuT samples and identify one set of sodium-dependent substrate-specific chemical shifts. Furthermore, our data show that the binding site mutants F253A and L400S, which probe the major S1 binding site and the proposed S2 binding site, respectively, retain sodium-dependent substrate binding in the S1 site similar to the wild-type protein. We conclude that under our experimental conditions there is only one detectable leucine molecule bound to LeuT.

Identification of a Novel Benzimidazole Pyrazolone Scaffold That Inhibits KDM4 Lysine Demethylases and Reduces Proliferation of Prostate Cancer Cells
Carter(*), D. M., Specker, E., Przygodda, J., Neuenschwander, M., von Kries, J. P., Heinemann(*), U., Nazare, M.; Gohlke(*), U.
SLAS discovery, 22:801-812
(2017)

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries), Medicinal Chemistry (Nazare)

Abstract: Human lysine demethylase (KDM) enzymes (KDM1-7) constitute an emerging class of therapeutic targets, with activities that support growth and development of metastatic disease. By interacting with and co-activating the androgen receptor, the KDM4 subfamily (KDM4A-E) promotes aggressive phenotypes of prostate cancer (PCa). Knockdown of KDM4 expression or inhibition of KDM4 enzyme activity reduces the proliferation of PCa cell lines and highlights inhibition of lysine demethylation as a possible therapeutic method for PCa treatment. To address this possibility, we screened the ChemBioNet small molecule library for inhibitors of the human KDM4E isoform and identified several compounds with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. Two hits, validated as active by an orthogonal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, displayed moderate selectivity toward the KDM4 subfamily and exhibited antiproliferative effects in cellular models of PCa. These compounds were further characterized by their ability to maintain the transcriptionally silent histone H3 tri-methyl K9 epigenetic mark at subcytotoxic concentrations. Taken together, these efforts identify and validate a hydroxyquinoline scaffold and a novel benzimidazole pyrazolone scaffold as tractable for entry into hit-to-lead chemical optimization campaigns.

Structural Characterization and Ligand/Inhibitor Identification Provide Functional Insights into the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Cytochrome P450 CYP126A1
Chenge(*), J. T., Duyet(*), L. V., Swami(*), S., McLean(*), K. J., Kavanagh(*), M. E., Coyne(*), A. G., Rigby(*), S. E., Cheesman(*), M. R., Girvan(*), H. M., Levy(*), C. W., Rupp, B., von Kries, J. P., Abell(*), C., Leys(*), D.; Munro(*), A. W.
J Biol Chem, 292:1310-1329
(2017)

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries), Computational Chemistry and Protein Design (Kühne)

Abstract: The Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv genome encodes 20 cytochromes P450, including P450s crucial to infection and bacterial viability. Many M. tuberculosis P450s remain uncharacterized, suggesting that their further analysis may provide new insights into M. tuberculosis metabolic processes and new targets for drug discovery. CYP126A1 is representative of a P450 family widely distributed in mycobacteria and other bacteria. Here we explore the biochemical and structural properties of CYP126A1, including its interactions with new chemical ligands. A survey of azole antifungal drugs showed that CYP126A1 is inhibited strongly by azoles containing an imidazole ring but not by those tested containing a triazole ring. To further explore the molecular preferences of CYP126A1 and search for probes of enzyme function, we conducted a high throughput screen. Compounds containing three or more ring structures dominated the screening hits, including nitroaromatic compounds that induce substrate-like shifts in the heme spectrum of CYP126A1. Spectroelectrochemical measurements revealed a 155-mV increase in heme iron potential when bound to one of the newly identified nitroaromatic drugs. CYP126A1 dimers were observed in crystal structures of ligand-free CYP126A1 and for CYP126A1 bound to compounds discovered in the screen. However, ketoconazole binds in an orientation that disrupts the BC-loop regions at the P450 dimer interface and results in a CYP126A1 monomeric crystal form. Structural data also reveal that nitroaromatic ligands "moonlight" as substrates by displacing the CYP126A1 distal water but inhibit enzyme activity. The relatively polar active site of CYP126A1 distinguishes it from its most closely related sterol-binding P450s in M. tuberculosis, suggesting that further investigations will reveal its diverse substrate selectivity.

Pharmacological restoration and therapeutic targeting of the B-cell phenotype in classical Hodgkin lymphoma
Du(*), J., Neuenschwander, M., Yu(*), Y., Dabritz(*), J. H., Neuendorff(*), N. R., Schleich(*), K., Bittner(*), A., Milanovic(*), M., Beuster(*), G., Radetzki, S., Specker, E., Reimann(*), M., Rosenbauer(*), F., Mathas(*), S., Lohneis(*), P., Hummel(*), M., Dörken(*), B., von Kries, J. P., Lee(*), S.; Schmitt(*), C. A.
Blood, 129:71-81
(2017)

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries)

Abstract: Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), although originating from B cells, is characterized by the virtual lack of gene products whose expression constitutes the B-cell phenotype. Epigenetic repression of B-cell-specific genes via promoter hypermethylation and histone deacetylation as well as compromised expression of B-cell-committed transcription factors were previously reported to contribute to the lost B-cell phenotype in cHL. Restoring the B-cell phenotype may not only correct a central malignant property, but it may also render cHL susceptible to clinically established antibody therapies targeting B-cell surface receptors or small compounds interfering with B-cell receptor signaling. We conducted a high-throughput pharmacological screening based on >28 000 compounds in cHL cell lines carrying a CD19 reporter to identify drugs that promote reexpression of the B-cell phenotype. Three chemicals were retrieved that robustly enhanced CD19 transcription. Subsequent chromatin immunoprecipitation-based analyses indicated that action of 2 of these compounds was associated with lowered levels of the transcriptionally repressive lysine 9-trimethylated histone H3 mark at the CD19 promoter. Moreover, the antileukemia agents all-trans retinoic acid and arsenic trioxide (ATO) were found to reconstitute the silenced B-cell transcriptional program and reduce viability of cHL cell lines. When applied in combination with a screening-identified chemical, ATO evoked reexpression of the CD20 antigen, which could be further therapeutically exploited by enabling CD20 antibody-mediated apoptosis of cHL cells. Furthermore, restoration of the B-cell phenotype also rendered cHL cells susceptible to the B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma-tailored small-compound inhibitors ibrutinib and idelalisib. In essence, we report here a conceptually novel, redifferentiation-based treatment strategy for cHL.

A Chemical Disruptor of the ClpX Chaperone Complex Attenuates Multiresistant Staphylococcus aureus Virulence
Fetzer(*), C., Korotkov(*), V. S., Thanert(*), R., Lee(*), K. M., Neuenschwander, M., von Kries, J. P., Medina(*), E.; Sieber(*), S. A.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl,
(2017)

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries)

Abstract: The Staphylococcus aureus ClpXP protease is an important regulator of cell homeostasis and virulence. Here we utilize a high-throughput screen against the ClpXP complex and identify a specific inhibitor of the ClpX chaperone that disrupts its oligomeric state. Synthesis of 34 derivatives revealed that the molecular scaffold is restrictive for diversification with only minor changes tolerated. Subsequent analysis of the most active compound revealed strong attenuation of S. aureus toxin production which was quantified via a customized MS-based assay platform. Transcriptome and whole proteome studies further confirmed the global reduction of virulence and unraveled characteristic signatures of protein expression in compound treated cells. Although these partially matched the pattern of ClpX knockout cells, further depletion of toxins was observed leading to the intriguing perspective that additional virulence pathways may be directly or indirectly addressed by the small molecule.

Small Molecules Targeting Human N-Acetylmannosamine Kinase
Hinderlich(*), S., Neuenschwander, M., Wratil(*), P. R., Oder, A., Lisurek, M., Nguyen(*), L. D., von Kries, J. P.; Hackenberger, C. P. R.
Chembiochem,
(2017)

Tags: Chemical Biology II (Hackenberger), Screening Unit ( von Kries)

Abstract: N-Acetylmannosamine kinase (MNK) plays a key role in the biosynthesis of sialic acids and glycosylation of proteins. Sialylated glycoconjugates affect a large number of biological processes, including immune modulation and cancer transformation. In search of effective inhibitors of MNK we applied high-throughput screening of drug-like small molecules. By applying different orthogonal assays for their validation we identified four potential MNK-specific inhibitors with IC50 values in the low-micromolar range. Molecular modelling of the inhibitors into the active site of MNK supports their binding to the sugar or the ATP-binding pocket of the enzyme or both. These compounds are promising for downregulation of the sialic acid content of glycoconjugates and for studying the functional contribution of sialic acids to disease development.

Neuronal Chemosensation and Osmotic Stress Response Converge in the Regulation of aqp-8 in C. elegans
Igual Gil(*), C., Jarius(*), M., von Kries, J. P.; Rohlfing(*), A. K.
Frontiers in physiology, 8:380
(2017)

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries)

Abstract: Aquaporins occupy an essential role in sustaining the salt/water balance in various cells types and tissues. Here, we present new insights into aqp-8 expression and regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans. We show, that upon exposure to osmotic stress, aqp-8 exhibits a distinct expression pattern within the excretory cell compared to other C. elegans aquaporins expressed. This expression is correlated to the osmolarity of the surrounding medium and can be activated physiologically by osmotic stress or genetically in mutants with constitutively active osmotic stress response. In addition, we found aqp-8 expression to be constitutively active in the TRPV channel mutant osm-9(ok1677). In a genome-wide RNAi screen we identified additional regulators of aqp-8. Many of these regulators are connected to chemosensation by the amphid neurons, e.g., odr-10 and gpa-6, and act as suppressors of aqp-8 expression. We postulate from our results, that aqp-8 plays an important role in sustaining the salt/water balance during a secondary response to hyper-osmotic stress. Upon its activation aqp-8 promotes vesicle docking to the lumen of the excretory cell and thereby enhances the ability to secrete water and transport osmotic active substances or waste products caused by protein damage. In summary, aqp-8 expression and function is tightly regulated by a network consisting of the osmotic stress response, neuronal chemosensation as well as the response to protein damage. These new insights in maintaining the salt/water balance in C. elegans will help to reveal the complex homeostasis network preserved throughout species.

Statin and rottlerin small-molecule inhibitors restrict colon cancer progression and metastasis via MACC1
Juneja(*), M., Kobelt(*), D., Walther(*), W., Voss(*), C., Smith(*), J., Specker, E., Neuenschwander, M., Gohlke(*), B. O., Dahlmann(*), M., Radetzki, S., Preissner(*), R., von Kries, J. P., Schlag(*), P. M.; Stein(*), U.
PLoS biology, 15:e2000784
(2017)

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries)

Abstract: MACC1 (Metastasis Associated in Colon Cancer 1) is a key driver and prognostic biomarker for cancer progression and metastasis in a large variety of solid tumor types, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC). However, no MACC1 inhibitors have been identified yet. Therefore, we aimed to target MACC1 expression using a luciferase reporter-based high-throughput screening with the ChemBioNet library of more than 30,000 compounds. The small molecules lovastatin and rottlerin emerged as the most potent MACC1 transcriptional inhibitors. They remarkably inhibited MACC1 promoter activity and expression, resulting in reduced cell motility. Lovastatin impaired the binding of the transcription factors c-Jun and Sp1 to the MACC1 promoter, thereby inhibiting MACC1 transcription. Most importantly, in CRC-xenografted mice, lovastatin and rottlerin restricted MACC1 expression and liver metastasis. This is-to the best of our knowledge-the first identification of inhibitors restricting cancer progression and metastasis via the novel target MACC1. This drug repositioning might be of therapeutic value for CRC patients.

Small-molecule inhibition of STOML3 oligomerization reverses pathological mechanical hypersensitivity
Wetzel(*), C., Pifferi(*), S., Picci(*), C., Gök(*), C., Hoffmann(*), D., Bali(*), K. K., Lampe, A., Lapatsina(*), L., Fleischer(*), R., Smith(*), E. S., Begay(*), V., Moroni(*), M., Estebanez(*), L., Kühnemund(*), J., Walcher(*), J., Specker, E., Neuenschwander, M., von Kries, J. P., Haucke, V., Kuner(*), R., Poulet(*), J. F., Schmoranzer(*), J., Poole(*), K.; Lewin(*), G. R.
Nat Neurosci, 20:209-218
(2017)

Tags: Molecular Pharmacology and Cell Biology (Haucke), Screening Unit (von Kries)

Abstract: The skin is equipped with specialized mechanoreceptors that allow the perception of the slightest brush. Indeed, some mechanoreceptors can detect even nanometer-scale movements. Movement is transformed into electrical signals via the gating of mechanically activated ion channels at sensory endings in the skin. The sensitivity of Piezo mechanically gated ion channels is controlled by stomatin-like protein-3 (STOML3), which is required for normal mechanoreceptor function. Here we identify small-molecule inhibitors of STOML3 oligomerization that reversibly reduce the sensitivity of mechanically gated currents in sensory neurons and silence mechanoreceptors in vivo. STOML3 inhibitors in the skin also reversibly attenuate fine touch perception in normal mice. Under pathophysiological conditions following nerve injury or diabetic neuropathy, the slightest touch can produce pain, and here STOML3 inhibitors can reverse mechanical hypersensitivity. Thus, small molecules applied locally to the skin can be used to modulate touch and may represent peripherally available drugs to treat tactile-driven pain following neuropathy.

Control of AMPA receptor activity by the extracellular loops of auxiliary proteins
Riva, I., Eibl, C., Volkmer, R., Carbone, A. L.; Plested, A. J.
Elife, 6
(2017)

Tags: Molecular Neuroscience and Biophysics (Plested)

Abstract: At synapses throughout the mammalian brain, AMPA receptors form complexes with auxiliary proteins, including TARPs. However, how TARPs modulate AMPA receptor gating remains poorly understood. We built structural models of TARP-AMPA receptor complexes for TARPs gamma2 and gamma8, combining recent structural studies and de novo structure predictions. These models, combined with peptide binding assays, provide evidence for multiple interactions between GluA2 and variable extracellular loops of TARPs. Substitutions and deletions of these loops had surprisingly rich effects on the kinetics of glutamate-activated currents, without any effect on assembly. Critically, by altering the two interacting loops of gamma2 and gamma8, we could entirely remove all allosteric modulation of GluA2, without affecting formation of AMPA receptor-TARP complexes. Likewise, substitutions in the linker domains of GluA2 completely removed any effect of gamma2 on receptor kinetics, indicating a dominant role for this previously overlooked site proximal to the AMPA receptor channel gate.

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Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP)
Campus Berlin-Buch
Robert-Roessle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
+4930 94793 - 100 
+4930 94793 - 109 (Fax)
info(at)fmp-berlin.de

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