Publications by authors named "Gaochao Tian"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Pharmacologic Characterization of JNJ-42226314, [1-(4-Fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone, a Reversible, Selective, and Potent Monoacylglycerol Lipase Inhibitor.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2020 03 9;372(3):339-353. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California.

The serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is the rate-limiting enzyme responsible for the degradation of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) into arachidonic acid and glycerol. Inhibition of 2-AG degradation leads to elevation of 2-AG, the most abundant endogenous agonist of the cannabinoid receptors (CBs) CB1 and CB2. Activation of these receptors has demonstrated beneficial effects on mood, appetite, pain, and inflammation. Therefore, MAGL inhibitors have the potential to produce therapeutic effects in a vast array of complex human diseases. The present report describes the pharmacologic characterization of [1-(4-fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone (JNJ-42226314), a reversible and highly selective MAGL inhibitor. JNJ-42226314 inhibits MAGL in a competitive mode with respect to the 2-AG substrate. In rodent brain, the compound time- and dose-dependently bound to MAGL, indirectly led to CB1 occupancy by raising 2-AG levels, and raised norepinephrine levels in cortex. In vivo, the compound exhibited antinociceptive efficacy in both the rat complete Freund's adjuvant-induced radiant heat hypersensitivity and chronic constriction injury-induced cold hypersensitivity models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain, respectively. Though 30 mg/kg induced hippocampal synaptic depression, altered sleep onset, and decreased electroencephalogram gamma power, 3 mg/kg still provided approximately 80% enzyme occupancy, significantly increased 2-AG and norepinephrine levels, and produced neuropathic antinociception without synaptic depression or decreased gamma power. Thus, it is anticipated that the profile exhibited by this compound will allow for precise modulation of 2-AG levels in vivo, supporting potential therapeutic application in several central nervous system disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Potentiation of endocannabinoid signaling activity via inhibition of the serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is an appealing strategy in the development of treatments for several disorders, including ones related to mood, pain, and inflammation. [1-(4-Fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone is presented in this report to be a novel, potent, selective, and reversible noncovalent MAGL inhibitor that demonstrates dose-dependent enhancement of the major endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol as well as efficacy in models of neuropathic and inflammatory pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.119.262139DOI Listing
March 2020

Bicyclo((aryl)methyl)benzamides as inhibitors of GlyT1.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2018 04 14;28(6):1043-1049. Epub 2018 Feb 14.

Medicinal Chemistry, Neuroscience, IMED Biotech Unit, AstraZeneca, Wilmington, DE, USA. Electronic address:

A series of isoquinuclidine benzamides as glycine uptake inhibitors for the treatment of schizophrenia are described. Potency, lipophilicity, and intrinsic human microsomal clearance were parameters for optimization. Potency correlated with the nature of the ortho substituents of the benzamide ring, and reductions in lipophilicity could be achieved through heteroatom incorporation in the benzamide and pendant phenyl moieties. Improvements in human CL were achieved through changes in ring size and the N-alkyl group of the isoquinuclidine itself, with des-alkyl derivatives (40-41, 44) demonstrating the most robust microsomal stability. Dimethylbenzamide 9 was tested in a mouse MK801 LMA assay and had a statistically significant attenuation of locomotor activity at 3 and 10 μmol/kg compared to control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2018.02.029DOI Listing
April 2018

Fragment-assisted hit investigation involving integrated HTS and fragment screening: Application to the identification of phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) inhibitors.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2016 Jan 11;26(1):197-202. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

CNS Discovery Research, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, 1800 Concord Pike, PO Box 15437, Wilmington, DE 19850-5437, USA. Electronic address:

Fragment-based drug design (FBDD) relies on direct elaboration of fragment hits and typically requires high resolution structural information to guide optimization. In fragment-assisted drug discovery (FADD), fragments provide information to guide selection and design but do not serve as starting points for elaboration. We describe FADD and high-throughput screening (HTS) campaign strategies conducted in parallel against PDE10A where fragment hit co-crystallography was not available. The fragment screen led to prioritized fragment hits (IC50's ∼500μM), which were used to generate a hypothetical core scaffold. Application of this scaffold as a filter to HTS output afforded a 4μM hit, which, after preparation of a small number of analogs, was elaborated into a 16nM lead. This approach highlights the strength of FADD, as fragment methods were applied despite the absence of co-crystallographical information to efficiently identify a lead compound for further optimization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2015.10.100DOI Listing
January 2016

Mechanism of inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase by sulfonamide-containing benzothiazoles: long residence time derived from increased kinetic barrier and not exclusively from thermodynamic potency.

Biochemistry 2011 Aug 22;50(32):6867-78. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, Delaware 19850, United States.

Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) has emerged as a potential target for developing analgesic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, sleep-enhancing, and anti-inflammatory drugs, and tremendous efforts have been made to discover potent and selective inhibitors of FAAH. Most known potent FAAH inhibitors described to date employ covalent mechanisms, inhibiting the enzyme either reversibly or irreversibly. Recently, a benzothiazole-based analogue (1) has been described possessing a high potency against FAAH yet lacking a structural feature previously known to interact with FAAH covalently. However, covalent inhibition of FAAH by 1 has not been fully ruled out, and the issue of reversibility has not been addressed. Confirming previous reports, 1 inhibited recombinant human FAAH (rhFAAH) with high potency with IC(50) ~2 nM. It displayed an apparently noncompetitive and irreversible inhibition, titrating rhFAAH stoichiometrically within normal assay times. The inhibition appeared to be time dependent, but the time dependence only improved potency by a small degree (from ~8 to ~2 nM). However, mass spectrometric analyses of the reaction mixture failed to reveal any cleavage product or covalent adduct and showed full recovery of the parent compound, ruling out covalent, irreversible inhibition. Dialysis revealed recovery of enzyme activity from enzyme-inhibitor complex over a prolonged time (>10 h), demonstrating that 1 is indeed a reversible, albeit slowly dissociating inhibitor of FAAH. Molecular docking indicated that the sulfonamide group of 1 could form hydrogen bonds with several residues involved in catalysis, thereby mimicking the transition state. The long residence time displayed by 1 does not appear to derive exclusively from great thermodynamic potency and is consistent with an increased kinetic energy barrier that prevents dissociation from happening quickly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi200552pDOI Listing
August 2011

Biochemical characterization and in vitro activity of AZ513, a noncovalent, reversible, and noncompetitive inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

Eur J Pharmacol 2011 Sep 1;667(1-3):74-9. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

CNS Discovery Research, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, 1800 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA.

Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) hydrolyzes several bioactive lipids including the endocannabinoid anandamide. Synthetic FAAH inhibitors are being generated to help define the biological role(s) of this enzyme, the lipids it degrades in vivo, and the disease states that might benefit from its pharmacological modulation. AZ513 inhibits human FAAH (IC(50)=551 nM), is 20-fold more potent against rat FAAH (IC(50)=27 nM), and is inactive at 10 μM against the serine hydrolases acetylcholinesterase, thrombin, and trypsin. In contrast to most other potent FAAH inhibitors, AZ513 showed no evidence of covalently modifying the enzyme and displayed reversible inhibition. In an enzyme cross-competition assay, AZ513 did not compete with OL-135, an inhibitor that binds to the catalytic site in FAAH, which indicates that AZ513 does not bind to the catalytic site and is therefore noncompetitive with respect to substrate. AZ513 has good cell penetration as demonstrated by inhibition of anandamide hydrolysis in human FAAH-transfected HEK293 cells (IC(50)=360 nM). AZ513 was tested in a rat spinal cord slice preparation where CB(1) activation reduces excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs). In this native tissue assay of synaptic activity, AZ513 reduced EPSCs, which is consistent with inhibiting endogenous FAAH and augmenting endocannabinoid tone. AZ513 has a unique biochemical profile compared with other published FAAH inhibitors and will be a useful tool compound to further explore the role of FAAH in various biological processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.05.052DOI Listing
September 2011

Identification of N-(2-(azepan-1-yl)-2-phenylethyl)-benzenesulfonamides as novel inhibitors of GlyT1.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2010 Aug 19;20(16):4878-81. Epub 2010 Jun 19.

CNS Discovery Research, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, 1800 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19850, USA.

A novel series of glycine transporter 1 (GlyT1) inhibitors is described. Scoping of the heterocycle moiety of hit 4-chlorobenzenesulfonamide 1 led to replacement of the piperidine with an azepane for a modest increase in potency. Phenyl sulfonamides proved superior to alkyl and non-phenyl aromatic sulfonamides, while subsequent ortho substitution of the 2-(azepan-1-yl)-2-phenylethanamine aromatic ring yielded 39 (IC(50) 37 nM, solubility 14 microM), the most potent GlyT1 inhibitor in this series. Favorable brain-plasma ratios were observed for select compounds in pharmacokinetic studies to evaluate CNS penetration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2010.06.085DOI Listing
August 2010

Application of fragment-based lead generation to the discovery of novel, cyclic amidine beta-secretase inhibitors with nanomolar potency, cellular activity, and high ligand efficiency.

J Med Chem 2007 Nov 7;50(24):5912-25. Epub 2007 Nov 7.

CNS Discovery Research, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, 1800 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19850-5437, USA.

Fragment-based lead generation has led to the discovery of a novel series of cyclic amidine-based inhibitors of beta-secretase (BACE-1). Initial fragment hits with an isocytosine core having millimolar potency were identified via NMR affinity screening. Structure-guided evolution of these fragments using X-ray crystallography together with potency determination using surface plasmon resonance and functional enzyme inhibition assays afforded micromolar inhibitors. Similarity searching around the isocytosine core led to the identification of a related series of inhibitors, the dihydroisocytosines. By leveraging the knowledge of the ligand-BACE-1 recognition features generated from the isocytosines, the dihydroisocytosines were efficiently optimized to submicromolar potency. Compound 29, with an IC50 of 80 nM, a ligand efficiency of 0.37, and cellular activity of 470 nM, emerged as the lead structure for future optimization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm070829pDOI Listing
November 2007

Neurokinin-3 receptor-specific antagonists talnetant and osanetant show distinct mode of action in cellular Ca2+ mobilization but display similar binding kinetics and identical mechanism of binding in ligand cross-competition.

Mol Pharmacol 2007 Mar 15;71(3):902-11. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Department of Lead Generation, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, 1800 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA.

Talnetant and osanetant, two structurally diverse antagonists of neurokinin-3 receptor (NK3), displayed distinct modes of action in Ca2+ mobilization. Although talnetant showed a normal Schild plot with a slope close to unity and a Kb similar to its Ki value in binding, osanetant presented an aberrant Schild with a steep slope (3.3 +/- 0.5) and a Kb value (12 nM) significantly elevated compared with its Ki value (0.8 nM) in binding. Kinetic binding experiments indicated a simple one-step binding mechanism with relatively fast on- and off-rates for both antagonists, arguing against slow onset of antagonism as the reason for abnormal Schild. This conclusion was supported by prolonged preincubation of antagonist that failed to improve the observed aberrant Schild. In ligand cross-competition binding, both talnetant and osanetant displayed linear reciprocal plots of identical slope when [MePhe7]neurokinin B (NKB) was used as the other competition partner with 125I-[MePhe7]NKB as the radioligand, indicating competitive binding of either antagonist with regard to [MePhe7]NKB. Similar patterns were obtained when talnetant was tested against osanetant, indicating competitive binding between the two antagonists as well. These results were reproduced when [3H]4-quinolinecarboxamide (SB222200), a close derivative of talnetant, was used as the radioligand. Taken together, these data strongly suggest binding of both talnetant and osanetant at the orthosteric binding site with similar kinetic properties and do not support the hypothesis that the aberrant Schild observed in functional assays for osanetant is derived from differences in the mechanism of binding for these NK3 antagonists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/mol.106.029868DOI Listing
March 2007

Mechanism of gamma-secretase cleavage activation: is gamma-secretase regulated through autoinhibition involving the presenilin-1 exon 9 loop?

Biochemistry 2004 May;43(20):6208-18

Department of Lead Discovery, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, 1800 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Delaware 19850, USA.

Maturation of gamma-secretase requires an endoproteolytic cleavage in presenilin-1 (PS1) within a peptide loop encoded by exon 9 of the corresponding gene. Deletion of the loop has been demonstrated to cause familial Alzheimer's disease. A synthetic peptide corresponding to the loop sequence was found to inhibit gamma-secretase in a cell-free enzymatic assay with an IC(50) of 2.1 microM, a value similar to the K(m) (3.5 microM) for the substrate C100. Truncation at either end, single amino acid substitutions at certain residues, sequence reversal, or randomization reduced its potency. Similar results were also observed in a cell-based assay using HEK293 cells expressing APP. In contrast to small-molecule gamma-secretase inhibitors, kinetic inhibition studies demonstrated competitive inhibition of gamma-secretase by the exon 9 peptide. Consistent with this finding, inhibitor cross-competition kinetics indicated noncompetitive binding between the exon 9 peptide and L685458, a transition-state analogue presumably binding at the catalytic site, and ligand competition binding experiments revealed no competition between L685458 and the exon 9 peptide. These data are consistent with the proposed gamma-secretase mechanism involving separate substrate-binding and catalytic sites and binding of the exon 9 peptide at the substrate-binding site, but not the catalytic site of gamma-secretase. NMR analyses demonstrated the presence of a loop structure with a beta-turn in the middle of the exon 9 peptide and a loose alpha-helical conformation for the rest of the peptide. Such a structure supports the hypothesis that this exon 9 peptide can adopt a distinct conformation, one that is compact enough to occupy the putative substrate-binding site without necessarily interfering with binding of small molecule inhibitors at other sites on gamma-secretase. We hypothesize that gamma-secretase cleavage activation may be a result of a cleavage-induced conformational change that relieves the inhibitory effect of the intact exon 9 loop occupying the substrate-binding site on the immature enzyme. It is possible that the DeltaE9 mutation causes Alzheimer's disease because cleavage activation of gamma-secretase is no longer necessary, alleviating constraints on Abeta formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi036072vDOI Listing
May 2004

The mechanism of gamma-secretase: multiple inhibitor binding sites for transition state analogs and small molecule inhibitors.

J Biol Chem 2003 Aug 28;278(31):28968-75. Epub 2003 Apr 28.

Department of Lead Discovery, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, Delaware 19850, USA.

Transition state analogs pepstatin methylester (PME) and L685458 have been shown to inhibit gamma-secretase non-competitively (Tian, G., Sobotka-Briner, C., Zysk, J., Liu, X., Birr, C., Sylvester, M. A., Edwards, P. D., Scott, C. W., and Greenberg, B. D. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277, 31499-31505). This unusual kinetics suggests physical separation of the sites for substrate binding and catalysis with binding of the transition state analogs to the catalytic site and not to the substrate binding site. Methods of inhibitor cross-competition kinetics and competition ligand binding were utilized to address whether non-transition state small molecule inhibitors, which also display non-competitive inhibition of gamma-secretase, inhibit the enzyme by binding to the catalytic site as well. Inhibitor cross-competition kinetics indicated competitive binding between the transition state analogs PME and L685458 and between small molecules arylsulfonamides and benzodiazepines, but non-competitive binding between the transition state analogs and the small molecule inhibitors. These results were indicative of two inhibitor binding sites, one for transition state analogs and the other for non-transition state small molecule inhibitors. The presence of two inhibitor binding sites for two different classes of inhibitors was corroborated by results from competition ligand binding using [3H]L685458 as the radioligand. Although L685458 and PME displaced the radioligand at the same concentrations as for enzyme inhibition, arylsulfonamides and benzodiazepines did not displace the radioligand at their Ki values, a result consistent with the presence of two inhibitor binding sites. These findings provide useful insights into the catalytic and regulatory mechanisms of gamma-secretase that may facilitate the design of novel gamma-secretase inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M300905200DOI Listing
August 2003

Linear non-competitive inhibition of solubilized human gamma-secretase by pepstatin A methylester, L685458, sulfonamides, and benzodiazepines.

J Biol Chem 2002 Aug 18;277(35):31499-505. Epub 2002 Jun 18.

Department of Lead Discovery, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, Delaware 19850, USA.

Cerebral deposition of amyloid beta-protein (A beta) is believed to play a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Because A beta is produced from the processing of amyloid beta-protein precursor (APP) by beta- and gamma-secretases, these enzymes are considered important therapeutic targets for identification of drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease. Unlike beta-secretase, which is a monomeric aspartyl protease, gamma-secretase activity resides as part of a membrane-bound, high molecular weight, macromolecular complex. Pepstatin and L685458 are among several structural classes of gamma-secretase inhibitors identified so far. These compounds possess a hydroxyethylene dipeptide isostere of aspartyl protease transition state analogs, suggesting gamma-secretase may be an aspartyl protease. However, the mechanism of inhibition of gamma-secretase by pepstatin and L685458 has not been elucidated. In this study, we report that pepstatin A methylester and L685458 unexpectedly displayed linear non-competitive inhibition of gamma-secretase. Sulfonamides and benzodiazepines, which do not resemble transition state analogs of aspartyl proteases, also displayed potent, non-competitive inhibition of gamma-secretase. Models to rationalize how transition state analogs inhibit their targets by non-competitive inhibition are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M112328200DOI Listing
August 2002

Modulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 by binding of magnesium (II) and manganese (II).

Biophys Chem 2002 Jan;95(1):79-90

Department of Molecular Biochemistry, GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.

All kinases require an essential divalent metal for their activity. In this study, we investigated the metal dependence of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). With Mg(2+) as the essential metal and MgATP being the variable substrate, the maximum velocity, V, was not affected by changes in metal concentration, whereas V/K was perturbed, indicating that the metal effects were mainly derived from a change in the K(m) for MgATP. Analysis of the metal dependence of initial rates according to a simple metal binding model indicated the presence on enzyme of one activating metal-binding site with a dissociation constant, K(d(a)), of 5 +/-1 mM, and three inhibitory metal-binding sites with an averaged dissociation constant, K(d(i)), of 12+/-1 mM and that the binding of metal to the activating and inhibitory sites appeared to be ordered with binding of metal to the activating site first. Substitution of Mn(2+) for Mg(2+) yielded similar metal dependence kinetics with a value of 1.0+/-0.1 and 4.7+/-0.1 for K(d(a)) and K(d(i)), respectively. The inhibition constants for the inhibition of CDK4 by MgADP and a small molecule inhibitor were also perturbed by Mg(2+). K(d(a)) values estimated from the metal variation of the inhibition of CDK4 by MgADP (6+/-3 mM) and a small molecule inhibitor (3+/-1 mM), were in good agreement with the K(d(a)) value (5+/-1 mM) obtained from the metal variation of the initial rate of CDK4. By using the van't Hoff plot, the temperature dependence of K(d(a)) and K(d(i)) yielded an enthalpy of -6.0 +/- 1.1 kcal/mol for binding of Mg(2+) to the activating site and -3.2 +/- 0.6 kcal/mol for Mg(2+) binding to the inhibitory sites. The values of associated entropy were also negative, indicating that these metal binding reactions were entirely enthalpy-driven. These data were consistent with metal binding to multiple sites on CDK4 that perturbs the enzyme structure, modulates the enzyme activity, and alters the affinities of inhibitor for the metal-bound enzyme species. However, the affinities of small molecule inhibitors for CDK4 were not affected by the change of metal from Mg(2+) to Mn(2+), suggesting that the structures of enzyme-Mg(2+) and enzyme-Mn(2+) were similar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0301-4622(01)00251-4DOI Listing
January 2002