Publications by authors named "GianPaolo Fogliatto"

8 Publications

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Establish an automated flow injection ESI-MS method for the screening of fragment based libraries: Application to Hsp90.

Eur J Pharm Sci 2015 Aug 4;76:83-94. Epub 2015 May 4.

Oncology Business Unit, Nerviano Medical Sciences, Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano (MI), Italy.

ESI-MS is a well established technique for the study of biopolymers (nucleic acids, proteins) and their non covalent adducts, due to its capacity to detect ligand-target complexes in the gas phase and allows inference of ligand-target binding in solution. In this article we used this approach to investigate the interaction of ligands to the Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90). This enzyme is a molecular chaperone involved in the folding and maturation of several proteins which has been subjected in the last years to intensive drug discovery efforts due to its key role in cancer. In particular, reference compounds, with a broad range of dissociation constants from 40pM to 100μM, were tested to assess the reliability of ESI-MS for the study of protein-ligand complexes. A good agreement was found between the values measured with a fluorescence polarization displacement assay and those determined by mass spectrometry. After this validation step we describe the setup of a medium throughput screening method, based on ESI-MS, suitable to explore interactions of therapeutic relevance biopolymers with chemical libraries. Our approach is based on an automated flow injection ESI-MS method (AFI-MS) and has been applied to screen the Nerviano Medical Sciences proprietary fragment library of about 2000 fragments against Hsp90. In order to discard false positive hits and to discriminate those of them interacting with the N-terminal ATP binding site, competition experiments were performed using a reference inhibitor. Gratifyingly, this group of hits matches with the ligands previously identified by NMR FAXS techniques and confirmed by X-ray co-crystallization experiments. These results support the use of AFI-MS for the screening of medium size libraries, including libraries of small molecules with low affinity typically used in fragment based drug discovery. AFI-MS is a valid alternative to other techniques with the additional opportunities to identify compounds interacting with unpredicted or allosteric sites, without the need of any binding probes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2015.05.001DOI Listing
August 2015

Effective immuno-targeting of the IDH1 mutation R132H in a murine model of intracranial glioma.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2015 Jan 21;3. Epub 2015 Jan 21.

The R132H mutation of cytosolic isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1) is present in the majority of low grade gliomas.Immunotherapy in these tumors has an interesting, still unexploited, therapeutic potential, as they are less immunosuppressive than glioblastomas. Using site-directed mutagenesis we introduced the R132H mutation into the murine glioma cell line GL261,creating mIDH1-GL261. Presence of the mutation was confirmed by immunoblotting and production of the oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), demonstrated by mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) performed on cell supernatant. In vitro mIDH1-GL261 had different morphology but similar growth rate than parental GL261 (p-GL261). After intracranial injection, MRI suggested that the initial growth rate was slower in mIDH1-GL261 than p-GL261 gliomas but overall survival was similar. mIDH1-GL261 gliomas showed evidence of R132H expression and of intratumoral 2HG production (evaluated by MRS and LC-MS/MS). Immunizations were performed nine days after intracranial implantation of mIDH1- or p-GL261 cells by three subcutaneous injections of five different peptides encompassing the IDH1 mutation site, all emulsified with Montanide ISA-51, in association with GM-CSF. Control mice were injected with four ovalbumin peptides or vehicle. Mice with mIDH1-GL261 but not p-GL261 gliomas treated with mIDH1 peptides survived longer than controls; 25% of them were cured. Immunized mice showed higher amounts of peripheral CD8+ T cells, higher production of IFN-γ, and evidence of anti-mIDH1 antibodies.Immunizations led to intratumoral up-regulation of IFN-γ, granzyme-b and perforin-1 and down-regulation of TGF-β2 and IL-10. These results support the translational potential of immunotherapeutic targeting of gliomas carrying IDH1 mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-014-0180-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4359524PMC
January 2015

Fragment-based hit discovery and structure-based optimization of aminotriazoloquinazolines as novel Hsp90 inhibitors.

Bioorg Med Chem 2014 Aug 14;22(15):4135-50. Epub 2014 Jun 14.

Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences, Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano (MI), Italy. Electronic address:

In the last decade the heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) has emerged as a major therapeutic target and many efforts have been dedicated to the discovery of Hsp90 inhibitors as new potent anticancer agents. Here we report the identification of a novel class of Hsp90 inhibitors by means of a biophysical FAXS-NMR based screening of a library of fragments. The use of X-ray structure information combined with modeling studies enabled the fragment evolution of the initial triazoloquinazoline hit to a class of compounds with nanomolar potency and drug-like properties suited for further lead optimization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2014.05.056DOI Listing
August 2014

Discovery and optimization of pyrrolo[1,2-a]pyrazinones leads to novel and selective inhibitors of PIM kinases.

Bioorg Med Chem 2013 Dec 2;21(23):7364-80. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences, viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano (MI), Italy. Electronic address:

A novel series of PIM inhibitors was derived from a combined effort in natural product-inspired library generation and screening. The novel pyrrolo[1,2-a]pyrazinones initial hits are inhibitors of PIM isoforms with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. The application of a rational optimization strategy, guided by the determination of the crystal structure of the complex in the kinase domain of PIM1 with compound 1, led to the discovery of compound 15a, which is a potent PIM kinases inhibitor exhibiting excellent selectivity against a large panel of kinases, representative of each family. The synthesis, structure-activity relationship studies, and pharmacokinetic data of compounds from this inhibitor class are presented herein. Furthermore, the cellular activities including inhibition of cell growth and modulation of downstream targets are also described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2013.09.054DOI Listing
December 2013

Discovery of NMS-E973 as novel, selective and potent inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90).

Bioorg Med Chem 2013 Nov 19;21(22):7047-63. Epub 2013 Sep 19.

Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l., Oncology, Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano, MI, Italy. Electronic address:

Novel small molecule inhibitors of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) were discovered with the help of a fragment based drug discovery approach (FBDD) and subsequent optimization with a combination of structure guided design, parallel synthesis and application of medicinal chemistry principles. These efforts led to the identification of compound 18 (NMS-E973), which displayed significant efficacy in a human ovarian A2780 xenograft tumor model, with a mechanism of action confirmed in vivo by typical modulation of known Hsp90 client proteins, and with a favorable pharmacokinetic and safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2013.09.018DOI Listing
November 2013

NMS-E973, a novel synthetic inhibitor of Hsp90 with activity against multiple models of drug resistance to targeted agents, including intracranial metastases.

Clin Cancer Res 2013 Jul 14;19(13):3520-32. Epub 2013 May 14.

Department of Biotechnology, Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl, Nerviano (MI), Italy.

Purpose: Recent developments of second generation Hsp90 inhibitors suggested a potential for development of this class of molecules also in tumors that have become resistant to molecular targeted agents. Disease progression is often due to brain metastases, sometimes related to insufficient drug concentrations within the brain. Our objective was to identify and characterize a novel inhibitor of Hsp90 able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

Experimental Design: Here is described a detailed biochemical and crystallographic characterization of NMS-E973. Mechanism-based anticancer activity was described in cell models, including models of resistance to kinase inhibitors. Pharmacokinetics properties were followed in plasma, tumor, liver, and brain. In vivo activity and pharmacodynamics, as well as the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationships, were evaluated in xenografts, including an intracranially implanted melanoma model.

Results: NMS-E973, representative of a novel isoxazole-derived class of Hsp90 inhibitors, binds Hsp90α with subnanomolar affinity and high selectivity towards kinases, as well as other ATPases. It possesses potent antiproliferative activity against tumor cell lines and a favorable pharmacokinetic profile, with selective retention in tumor tissue and ability to cross the BBB. NMS-E973 induces tumor shrinkage in different human tumor xenografts, and is highly active in models of resistance to kinase inhibitors. Moreover, consistent with its brain penetration, NMS-E973 is active also in an intracranially implanted melanoma model.

Conclusions: Overall, the efficacy profile of NMS-E973 suggests a potential for development in different clinical settings, including tumors that have become resistant to molecular targeted agents, particularly in cases of tumors which reside beyond the BBB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3512DOI Listing
July 2013

Crystal structures of anaplastic lymphoma kinase in complex with ATP competitive inhibitors.

Biochemistry 2010 Aug;49(32):6813-25

Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l., Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano (MI), Italy.

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is a receptor tyrosine kinase involved in the development of several human cancers and, as a result, is a recognized target for the development of small-molecule inhibitors for the treatment of ALK-positive malignancies. Here, we present the crystal structures of the unphosphorylated human ALK kinase domain in complex with the ATP competitive ligands PHA-E429 and NVP-TAE684. Analysis of these structures provides valuable information concerning the specific characteristics of the ALK active site as well as giving indications about how to obtain selective ALK inhibitors. In addition, the ALK-KD-PHA-E429 structure led to the identification of a potential regulatory mechanism involving a link made between a short helical segment immediately following the DFG motif and an N-terminal two-stranded beta-sheet. Finally, mapping of the activating mutations associated with neuroblastoma onto our structures may explain the roles these residues have in the activation process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi1005514DOI Listing
August 2010

3-Aminopyrazole inhibitors of CDK2/cyclin A as antitumor agents. 1. Lead finding.

J Med Chem 2004 Jun;47(13):3367-80

Chemistry Department, Pharmacia Italia, Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano (MI), Italy.

Abnormal proliferation mediated by disruption of the normal cell cycle mechanisms is a hallmark of virtually all cancer cells. Compounds targeting complexes between cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) and cyclins, such as CDK2/cyclin A and CDK2/cyclin E, and inhibiting their kinase activity are regarded as promising antitumor agents to complement the existing therapies. From a high-throughput screening effort, we identified a new class of CDK2/cyclin A/E inhibitors. The hit-to-lead expansion of this class is described. X-ray crystallographic data of early compounds in this series, as well as in vitro testing funneled for rapidly achieving in vivo efficacy, led to a nanomolar inhibitor of CDK2/cyclin A (N-(5-cyclopropyl-1H-pyrazol-3-yl)-2-(2-naphthyl)acetamide (41), PNU-292137, IC50 = 37 nM) with in vivo antitumor activity (TGI > 50%) in a mouse xenograft model at a dose devoid of toxic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm031145uDOI Listing
June 2004