Publications by authors named "Diego Fiorucci"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Computational drug repurposing for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors.

J Biomol Struct Dyn 2020 Jul 24:1-7. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Accepted 7 July 2020ABSTRACTSevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus responsible for the known COVID-19 disease. Since currently no definitive therapies or vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus are available, there is an urgent need to identify effective drugs against SARS-CoV-2 infection. One of the best-known targets available is the main protease of this virus, crucial for the processing of polyproteins codified by viral RNA. In this work, we used a computational virtual screening procedure for the repurposing of commercial drugs available in the DrugBank database as inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. Molecular docking calculations and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been applied. The computational model was validated through a self-docking procedure. The screening procedure highlighted five interesting drugs that showed a comparable or higher docking score compared to the crystallographic compound and maintained the protein binding during the MD runs. Amongst these drugs, Ritonavir has been used in clinical trials with patients affected by COVID-19 and Nelfinavir showed anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. The five identified drugs could be evaluated experimentally as inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease in view of a possible COVID-19 treatment. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07391102.2020.1796805DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7441760PMC
July 2020

Artemisinin Derivatives with Antimelanoma Activity Show Inhibitory Effect against Human DNA Topoisomerase 1.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2020 May 10;11(5):1035-1040. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Padova Distaccato presso il "Centro Linceo Beniamino Segre" Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Palazzo Corsini, Via della Lungara 10, 00165 Rome, Italy.

Artesunic acid and artemisinin are natural substances with promiscuous anticancer activity against different types of cancer cell lines. The mechanism of action of these compounds is associated with the formation of reactive radical species by cleavage of the sesquiterpene pharmacophore endoperoxide bridge. Here we suggested topoisomerase 1 as a possible molecular target for the improvement of the anticancer activity of these compounds. In this context, we report that novel hybrid and dimer derivatives of artesunic acid and artemisinin, bearing camptothecin and SN38 as side-chain biological effectors, can inhibit growth of yeast cells overexpressing human topoisomerase 1 and its enzymatic activity . These derivatives showed also anticancer activity in melanoma cell lines higher than camptothecin and paclitaxel. molecular docking calculations highlighted a common binding mode for the novel derivatives, with the sesquiterpene lactone scaffold being located near the traditional recognition site for camptothecin, while the bioactive side-chain effector laid in the camptothecin cleft.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.0c00131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7236541PMC
May 2020

In vitro characterization, ADME analysis, and histological and toxicological evaluation of BM1, a macrocyclic amidinourea active against azole-resistant Candida strains.

Int J Antimicrob Agents 2020 Mar 20;55(3):105865. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, I-53100 Siena, Italy; Lead Discovery Siena s.r.l., Via Vittorio Alfieri 31, I-53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga, Italy; Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, BioLife Science Building, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA.

Background: Candida species are one of the most common causes of nosocomial bloodstream infections among the opportunistic fungi. Extensive use of antifungal agents, most of which were launched on the market more than 20 years ago, led to the selection of drug-resistant or even multidrug-resistant fungi. We recently described a novel class of antifungal macrocyclic compounds with an amidinourea moiety that is highly active against azole-resistant Candida strains.

Objective: A compound from this family, BM1, was investigated in terms of in vitro activity against various Candida species, including C. auris isolates, interaction with the ABC transporter, CDR6, and in vivo distribution and safety.

Methods: In vitro assays (CYP inhibition, microsomal stability, permeability, spot assays) were used to collect chemical and biological data; animal models (rat) paired with LC-MS analysis were utilised to evaluate in vivo toxicology, pharmacokinetics, and distribution.

Results: The current research shows BM1 has a low in vivo toxicity profile, affinity for the renal system in rats, and good absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME). BM1 also has potent activity against azole-resistant fungal strains, including C. auris isolates and CDR6-overexpressing strains.

Conclusions: The results confirmed low minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) against several Candida species, including preliminary data vs. C. auris. BM1 has good ADME and biochemical characteristics, is suitable and safe for daily administration and is particularly indicated for renal infections. These data indicate BM1 and its derivatives form a novel, promising antifungal class.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2019.105865DOI Listing
March 2020

Design and synthesis of a novel inhibitor of T. Viride chitinase through an in silico target fishing protocol.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2017 08 10;27(15):3332-3336. Epub 2017 Jun 10.

Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, I-53100 Siena, Italy; Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, College of Science and Technology, Temple University, BioLife Science Building, Suite 333, 1900 N 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA; Lead Discovery Siena s.r.l, Via Vittorio Alfieri 31, I-53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga, Italy. Electronic address:

In the last ten years, we identified and developed a new therapeutic class of antifungal agents, the macrocyclic amidinoureas. These compounds are active against several Candida species, including clinical isolates resistant to currently available antifungal drugs. The mode of action of these molecules is still unknown. In this work, we developed an in-silico target fishing procedure to identify a possible target for this class of compounds based on shape similarity, inverse docking procedure and consensus score rank-by-rank. Chitinase enzyme emerged as possible target. To confirm this hypothesis a novel macrocyclic derivative has been produced, specifically designed to increase the inhibition of the chitinase. Biological evaluation highlights a stronger enzymatic inhibition for the new derivative, while its antifungal activity drops probably because of pharmacokinetic issues. Collectively, our data suggest that chitinase represent at least one of the main target of macrocyclic amidinoureas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.06.016DOI Listing
August 2017

Discovery of in vitro antitubercular agents through in silico ligand-based approaches.

Eur J Med Chem 2016 Oct 20;121:169-180. Epub 2016 May 20.

Dipartimento di Biotecnologie, Chimica e Farmacia, Università degli Studi di Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53019 Siena, Italy; Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research & Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, College of Science & Technology, Temple University, BioLife Science Building, Suite 333, 1900 N 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA. Electronic address:

The development of new anti-tubercular agents represents a constant challenge mostly due to the insurgency of resistance to the currently available drugs. In this study, a set of 60 molecules were selected by screening the Asinex and the ZINC collections and an in house library by means of in silico ligand-based approaches. Biological assays in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra ATCC 25177 strain highlighted (±)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-2-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)ethyl-4-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)piperazine-1-carboxylate (5i) and 3-(4-chlorophenyl)-5-(2,4-dimethylpyrimidin-5-yl)-2-methylpyrazolo[1.5-a]pyrimidin-7(4H)-one (42) as the most potent compounds, having a Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of 4 and 2 μg/mL respectively. These molecules represent a good starting point for further optimization of effective anti-TB agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2016.05.032DOI Listing
October 2016