Scaffold-focused virtual screening: prospective application to the discovery of TTK inhibitors.
ABSTRACT: We describe and apply a scaffold-focused virtual screen based upon scaffold trees to the mitotic kinase TTK (MPS1). Using level 1 of the scaffold tree, we perform both 2D and 3D similarity searches between a query scaffold and a level 1 scaffold library derived from a 2 million compound library; 98 compounds from 27 unique top-ranked level 1 scaffolds are selected for biochemical screening. We show that this scaffold-focused virtual screen prospectively identifies eight confirmed active compounds that are structurally differentiated from the query compound. In comparison, 100 compounds were selected for biochemical screening using a virtual screen based upon whole molecule similarity resulting in 12 confirmed active compounds that are structurally similar to the query compound. We elucidated the binding mode for four of the eight confirmed scaffold hops to TTK by determining their protein-ligand crystal structures; each represents a ligand-efficient scaffold for inhibitor design.
Project description:Methods that can screen large databases to retrieve a structurally diverse set of compounds with desirable bioactivity properties are critical in the drug discovery and development process. This paper presents a set of such methods that are designed to find compounds that are structurally different to a certain query compound while retaining its bioactivity properties (scaffold hops). These methods utilize various indirect ways of measuring the similarity between the query and a compound that take into account additional information beyond their structure-based similarities. The set of techniques that are presented capture these indirect similarities using approaches based on analyzing the similarity network formed by the query and the database compounds. Experimental evaluation shows that most of these methods substantially outperform previously developed approaches both in terms of their ability to identify structurally diverse active compounds as well as active compounds in general.
Project description:This work describes a scaffold hopping exercise that begins with known imidazo[1,2-a]pyrazines, briefly explores pyrazolo[1,5-a][1,3,5]triazines, and ultimately yields pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidines as a novel class of potent TTK inhibitors. An X-ray structure of a representative compound is consistent with 1(1)/2 type inhibition and provides structural insight to aid subsequent optimization of in vitro activity and physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. Incorporation of polar moieties in the hydrophobic and solvent accessible regions modulates physicochemical properties while maintaining potency. Compounds with enhanced oral exposure were identified for xenograft studies. The work culminates in the identification of a potent (TTK K i = 0.1 nM), highly selective, orally bioavailable anticancer agent (CFI-402257) for IND enabling studies.
Project description:Molecular target identification is of central importance to drug discovery. Here, we developed a computational approach, named bioactivity profile similarity search (BASS), for associating targets to small molecules by using the known target annotations of related compounds from public databases. To evaluate BASS, a bioactivity profile database was constructed using 4296 compounds that were commonly tested in the US National Cancer Institute 60 human tumor cell line anticancer drug screen (NCI-60). Each compound was used as a query to search against the entire bioactivity profile database, and reference compounds with similar bioactivity profiles above a threshold of 0.75 were considered as neighbor compounds of the query. Potential targets were subsequently linked to the identified neighbor compounds by using the known targets of the query compound. About 45% of the predicted compound-target associations were successfully verified retrospectively, suggesting the possible application of BASS in identifying the targets of uncharacterized compounds and thus providing insight into the study of promiscuity and polypharmacology. Furthermore, BASS identified a significant fraction of structurally diverse compounds with similar bioactivities, indicating its feasibility of "scaffold hopping" in searching novel molecules against the target of interest.
Project description:We have used a combination of virtual screening (VS) and high-throughput screening (HTS) techniques to identify novel, non-peptidic small molecule inhibitors against human SARS-CoV 3CLpro. A structure-based VS approach integrating docking and pharmacophore based methods was employed to computationally screen 621,000 compounds from the ZINC library. The screening protocol was validated using known 3CLpro inhibitors and was optimized for speed, improved selectivity, and for accommodating receptor flexibility. Subsequently, a fluorescence-based enzymatic HTS assay was developed and optimized to experimentally screen approximately 41,000 compounds from four structurally diverse libraries chosen mainly based on the VS results. False positives from initial HTS hits were eliminated by a secondary orthogonal binding analysis using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). The campaign identified a reversible small molecule inhibitor exhibiting mixed-type inhibition with a K(i) value of 11.1 μM. Together, these results validate our protocols as suitable approaches to screen virtual and chemical libraries, and the newly identified compound reported in our study represents a promising structural scaffold to pursue for further SARS-CoV 3CLpro inhibitor development.
Project description:The wwLigCSRre web server performs ligand-based screening using a 3D molecular similarity engine. Its aim is to provide an online versatile facility to assist the exploration of the chemical similarity of families of compounds, or to propose some scaffold hopping from a query compound. The service allows the user to screen several chemically diversified focused banks, such as Kinase-, CNS-, GPCR-, Ion-channel-, Antibacterial-, Anticancer- and Analgesic-focused libraries. The server also provides the possibility to screen the DrugBank and DSSTOX/Carcinogenic compounds databases. User banks can also been downloaded. The 3D similarity search combines both geometrical (3D) and physicochemical information. Starting from one 3D ligand molecule as query, the screening of such databases can lead to unraveled compound scaffold as hits or help to optimize previously identified hit molecules in a SAR (Structure activity relationship) project. wwLigCSRre can be accessed at http://bioserv.rpbs.univ-paris-diderot.fr/wwLigCSRre.html.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Drug resistance and recurrence are main contributors to the poor prognosis of ovarian cancer. Cisplatin is a platinum compound which is widely used in the treatment of various solid tumors including ovarian cancer. Up to now, the mechanism of cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer is unclear. Threonine and tyrosine kinase (TTK), an integral part of the spindle assembly checkpoint, may be a potential new target associated with chemotherapy sensitivity.<h4>Results</h4>TTK was up-regulated in the cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cell line. Down-regulation of TTK could recover the sensitivity of cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin treatment. Mechanistically, the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway was activated in cisplatin-resistant cells, and this pathway would be affected by TTK expression. Furthermore, TTK was highly expressed in the tissues of ovarian cancer patients, especially those acquired resistance to cisplatin.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study revealed that TTK may be a promising therapeutic target for cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer.
Project description:Methods for the pairwise comparison of 2D and 3D molecular structures are established approaches in virtual screening. In this work, we explored three strategies for maximizing the virtual screening performance of these methods: (i) the merging of hit lists obtained from multi-compound screening using a single screening method, (ii) the merging of the hit lists obtained from 2D and 3D screening by parallel selection, and (iii) the combination of both of these strategies in an integrated approach. We found that any of these strategies led to a boost in virtual screening performance, with the clearest advantages observed for the integrated approach. On test sets for virtual screening, covering 50 pharmaceutically relevant proteins, the integrated approach, using sets of five query molecules, yielded, on average, an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.84, an early enrichment among the top 1% of ranked compounds (EF1%) of 53.82 and a scaffold recovery rate among the top 1% of ranked compounds (SRR1%) of 0.50. In comparison, the 2D and 3D methods on their own (when using a single query molecule) yielded AUC values of 0.68 and 0.54, EF1% values of 19.96 and 17.52, and SRR1% values of 0.20 and 0.17, respectively. In conclusion, based on these results, the integration of 2D and 3D methods, via a (balanced) parallel selection strategy, is recommended, and, in particular, when combined with multi-query screening.
Project description:Background:Bladder cancer (BC) refers to the malignant growth found in the cells and tissues of the urinary bladder. While many studies have researched the progression of BC, scientists are yet to fully understand the mechanism of BC. This research aimed to explore the role of miR-582-5p and its target gene TTK in BC pathogenesis. Methods:The evaluation of miR-582-5p and TTK mRNA expression in BC tissues or cells was performed using qRT-PCR. TargetScan was then used to predict the binding site of miR-582-5p on TTK mRNA. Subsequently, dual-luciferase reporter and RNA pull-down assays were employed to validate the binding relationship between miR-582-5p and TTK mRNA. CCK-8, BrdU, flow cytometry, and caspase-3 activity assays were later conducted to evaluate the viability, proliferation, cell cycle, and apoptosis of BC cells. Results:Investigations revealed that miR-582-5p was downregulated in BC tissues and cells. Meanwhile, miR-582-5p inhibited the viability and proliferation of BC cells while stimulating the apoptosis and cycle arrest of the cells. TTK, the target gene of miR-582-5p, was later found to be over-expressed in BC tissues and cells. TTK, however, was observed to exhibit an opposite effect on miR-582-5p. Simply put, it stimulated BC cell malignant phenotypes, and this stimulation could be directly reversed by miR-582-5p. Conclusion:This research confirmed that miR-582-5p could restrain bladder carcinogenesis by inhibiting TTK expression.
Project description:Inhibition of the spindle assembly checkpoint kinase TTK causes chromosome mis-segregation and tumor cell death. However, high levels of TTK correlate with chromosomal instability (CIN), which can lead to aneuploidy. We show that treatment of tumor cells with the selective small molecule TTK inhibitor NTRC 0066-0 overrides the mitotic checkpoint, irrespective of cell line sensitivity. In stable aneuploid cells NTRC 0066-0 induced acute CIN, whereas in cells with high levels of pre-existing CIN there was only a small additional fraction of cells mis-segregating their chromosomes. In proliferation assays stable aneuploid cells were more sensitive than cell lines with pre-existing CIN. Tetraploids are thought to be an intermediate between diploid and unstable aneuploid cells. TTK inhibitors had the same potency on post-tetraploid and parental diploid cells, which is remarkable because the post-tetraploids are more resistant to mitotic drugs. Finally, we confirm that the reference compound reversine is a TTK inhibitor and like NTRC 0066-0, inhibits the proliferation of patient-derived colorectal cancer organoids. In contrast, treatment with TTK inhibitor did not reduce the viability of non-proliferating T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells samples. Consequently, TTK inhibitor therapy is expected to spare non-dividing cells, and may be used to target stable aneuploid tumors.
Project description:The X-linked deubiquitinase, USP9X, is implicated in multiple cancers by targeting various substrates. Increased expression of USP9X is observed in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and is correlated with poor prognosis. However, the molecular mechanism for USP9X regulation of tumor cell survival and tumorigenesis in NSCLC is less defined. Methods: In this study, chemical labeling, quantitative proteomic screening was applied to analyze A549 cells with or without USP9X RNA interference. Functional in vitro and in vivo experiments were performed to confirm the oncogenic effects of USP9X in NSCLC and to investigate the underlying mechanisms. Results: The resulting data suggested that dual specificity protein kinase TTK is a potential substrate of USP9X. Further experimental evidences confirmed that USP9X stabilized TTK via direct interaction and efficient deubiquitination of TTK on K48 ubiquitin chain. Moreover, knockdown of USP9X or TTK inhibited cell proliferation, migration and tumorigenesis, and the immunohistochemical analysis of clinical NSCLC samples showed that the protein expression levels of USP9X and TTK were significantly elevated and positively correlated in tumor tissues. Conclusions: In summary, our data demonstrated that the USP9X-TTK axis may play a critical role in NSCLC, and could be considered as a potential therapeutic target.