Publications by authors named "Jonathan M Blevitt"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Coupling to Gq Signaling Is Required for Cardioprotection by an Alpha-1A-Adrenergic Receptor Agonist.

Circ Res 2019 09 20;125(7):699-706. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

From the VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA (B.-E.M., P.M.S., A.R., A.J.B., P.C.S.).

Rationale: Gq signaling in cardiac myocytes is classically considered toxic. Targeting Gq directly to test this is problematic, because cardiac myocytes have many Gq-coupled receptors.

Objective: Test whether Gq coupling is required for the cardioprotective effects of an alpha-1A-AR (adrenergic receptor) agonist.

Methods And Results: In recombinant cells, a mouse alpha-1A-AR with a 6-residue substitution in the third intracellular loop does not couple to Gq signaling. Here we studied a knockin mouse with this alpha-1A-AR mutation. Heart alpha-1A receptor levels and antagonist affinity in the knockin were identical to wild-type. In wild-type cardiac myocytes, the selective alpha-1A agonist A61603-stimulated phosphoinositide-phospholipase C and myocyte contraction. In myocytes with the alpha-1A knockin, both A61603 effects were absent, indicating that Gq coupling was absent. Surprisingly, A61603 activation of cardioprotective ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) was markedly impaired in the KI mutant myocytes, and A61603 did not protect mutant myocytes from doxorubicin toxicity in vitro. Similarly, mice with the α1A KI mutation had increased mortality after transverse aortic constriction, and A61603 did not rescue cardiac function in mice with the Gq coupling-defective alpha-1A receptor.

Conclusions: Gq coupling is required for cardioprotection by an alpha-1A-AR agonist. Gq signaling can be adaptive.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.314416DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6742539PMC
September 2019

Structural Basis of Small-Molecule Aggregate Induced Inhibition of a Protein-Protein Interaction.

J Med Chem 2017 04 16;60(8):3511-3517. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

Emerging Science & Innovation, Discovery Sciences, Janssen R&D LLC , Spring House, Pennsylvania 19477, United States.

A prevalent observation in high-throughput screening and drug discovery programs is the inhibition of protein function by small-molecule compound aggregation. Here, we present the X-ray structural description of aggregation-based inhibition of a protein-protein interaction involving tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). An ordered conglomerate of an aggregating small-molecule inhibitor (JNJ525) induces a quaternary structure switch of TNFα that inhibits the protein-protein interaction between TNFα and TNFα receptors. SPD-304 may employ a similar mechanism of inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b01836DOI Listing
April 2017

A Single Amino Acid Difference between Mouse and Human 5-Lipoxygenase Activating Protein (FLAP) Explains the Speciation and Differential Pharmacology of Novel FLAP Inhibitors.

J Biol Chem 2016 Jun 16;291(24):12724-12731. Epub 2016 Apr 16.

Discovery Sciences, Janssen Research and Development, San Diego, California 92121. Electronic address:

5-Lipoxygenase activating protein (FLAP) plays a critical role in the metabolism of arachidonic acid to leukotriene A4, the precursor to the potent pro-inflammatory mediators leukotriene B4 and leukotriene C4 Studies with small molecule inhibitors of FLAP have led to the discovery of a drug binding pocket on the protein surface, and several pharmaceutical companies have developed compounds and performed clinical trials. Crystallographic studies and mutational analyses have contributed to a general understanding of compound binding modes. During our own efforts, we identified two unique chemical series. One series demonstrated strong inhibition of human FLAP but differential pharmacology across species and was completely inactive in assays with mouse or rat FLAP. The other series was active across rodent FLAP, as well as human and dog FLAP. Comparison of rodent and human FLAP amino acid sequences together with an analysis of a published crystal structure led to the identification of amino acid residue 24 in the floor of the putative binding pocket as a likely candidate for the observed speciation. On that basis, we tested compounds for binding to human G24A and mouse A24G FLAP mutant variants and compared the data to that generated for wild type human and mouse FLAP. These studies confirmed that a single amino acid mutation was sufficient to reverse the speciation observed in wild type FLAP. In addition, a PK/PD method was established in canines to enable preclinical profiling of mouse-inactive compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M116.725325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4933458PMC
June 2016

Polypharmacology of Small-Molecule Modulators of the 5-Lipoxygenase Activating Protein (FLAP) Observed via a High-throughput Lipidomics Platform.

J Biomol Screen 2016 Feb 6;21(2):127-35. Epub 2015 Oct 6.

Discovery Sciences, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, La Jolla, CA, USA

Leukotrienes (LTs) and related species are proinflammatory lipid mediators derived from arachidonic acid (AA) that have pathological roles in autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. 5-Lipoxygenase activating protein (FLAP) plays a critical accessory role in the conversion of AA to LTA4, and its subsequent conversion to LTC4 by LTC4 synthase. Pharmacological inhibition of FLAP results in a loss of LT production by preventing the biosynthesis of both LTB4 and LTC4, making it an attractive target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases in which LTs likely play a role. Small-molecule (SM) drugs often exhibit polypharmacology through various pathways, which may explain the differential therapeutic efficacies of compounds sharing structural similarity. We have profiled a series of SM FLAP modulators for their selectivity across enzymes of AA cascade in human whole blood (HWB), using a recently developed LC/MS (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry)-based high-throughput lipidomics platform that monitors 122 eicosanoids in multiplex. Highly efficient data acquisition coupled with fast and accurate data analysis allowed facile compound profiling from ex vivo study samples. This platform allowed us to quantitatively map the effects of those SMs on the entire AA cascade, demonstrating its potential to discriminate structurally related compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1087057115607815DOI Listing
February 2016

Phenotyping drug polypharmacology via eicosanoid profiling of blood.

J Lipid Res 2015 Aug 28;56(8):1492-500. Epub 2015 May 28.

Discovery Sciences Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, CA.

It is widely accepted that small-molecule drugs, despite their selectivity at primary targets, exert pharmacological effects (and safety liabilities) through a multiplicity of pathways. As such, it has proved extremely difficult to experimentally assess polypharmacology in an agnostic fashion. Profiling of metabolites produced as part of physiological responses to pharmacological stimuli provides a unique opportunity to explore drug pharmacology. A total of 122 eicosanoid lipids in human whole blood were monitored from 10 different donors upon stimulation with several inducers of immunological responses and treatment with modulators of prostaglandin (PG) and leukotriene biosynthesis, including clinical and investigational molecules. Such analysis revealed differentiation between drugs nominally targeting different eicosanoid biosynthetic enzymes, or even those designed to target the same enzyme. Profiled agents, some of them marketed products, affect eicosanoid biosynthesis in ways that cannot be predicted from information on their intended targets. As an example, we used this platform to discriminate drugs based on their ability to silence PG biosynthesis in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide, resulting in differential pharmacological activity in an in vivo model of endotoxemia. Some of the observed effects are subject to variability among individuals, indicating a potential application of this methodology to the patient stratification, based on their responses to benchmark drugs and experimental compounds read on the eicosanome via a simple blood test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.M058677DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4513990PMC
August 2015

Identification of benzofuran central cores for the inhibition of leukotriene A(4) hydrolase.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2013 Feb 5;23(3):811-5. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

Leukotrienes (LT's) are known to play a physiological role in inflammatory immune response. Leukotriene A(4) hydrolase (LTA(4)H) is a cystolic enzyme that stereospecifically catalyzes the transformation of LTA(4) to LTB(4). LTB(4) is a known pro-inflammatory mediator. This paper describes the identification and synthesis of substituted benzofurans as LTH(4)H inhibitors. The benzofuran series demonstrated reduced mouse and human whole blood LTB(4) levels in vitro and led to the identification one analog for advanced profiling. Benzofuran 28 showed dose responsive target engagement and provides a useful tool to explore a LTA(4)H inhibitor for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.11.074DOI Listing
February 2013

Azabenzthiazole inhibitors of leukotriene A₄ hydrolase.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2012 Dec 17;22(24):7504-11. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Janssen Research & Development LLC, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, United States.

Previously, benzthiazole containing LTA(4)H inhibitors were discovered that were potent (1-3), but were associated with the potential for a hERG liability. Utilizing medicinal chemistry first principles (e.g., introducing rigidity, lowering cLogD) a new benzthiazole series was designed, congeners of 1-3, which led to compounds 7a, 7c, 12a-d which exhibited LTA(4)H IC(50)=3-6 nM and hERG Dofetilide Binding IC(50)=8.9-> >10 μM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.10.036DOI Listing
December 2012

A highly efficient, high-throughput lipidomics platform for the quantitative detection of eicosanoids in human whole blood.

Anal Biochem 2013 Feb 26;433(2):181-8. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

Immunology Discovery, Janssen Research and Development, La Jolla, CA 92121, USA.

We have developed an ultra-performance liquid chromatography-multiple reaction monitoring/mass spectrometry (UPLC-MRM/MS)-based, high-content, high-throughput platform that enables simultaneous profiling of multiple lipids produced ex vivo in human whole blood (HWB) on treatment with calcium ionophore and its modulation with pharmacological agents. HWB samples were processed in a 96-well plate format compatible with high-throughput sample processing instrumentation. We employed a scheduled MRM (sMRM) method, with a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer coupled to a UPLC system, to measure absolute amounts of 122 distinct eicosanoids using deuterated internal standards. In a 6.5-min run, we resolved and detected with high sensitivity (lower limit of quantification in the range of 0.4-460 pg) all targeted analytes from a very small HWB sample (2.5 μl). Approximately 90% of the analytes exhibited a dynamic range exceeding 1000. We also developed a tailored software package that dramatically sped up the overall data quantification and analysis process with superior consistency and accuracy. Matrix effects from HWB and precision of the calibration curve were evaluated using this newly developed automation tool. This platform was successfully applied to the global quantification of changes on all 122 eicosanoids in HWB samples from healthy donors in response to calcium ionophore stimulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2012.10.022DOI Listing
February 2013

Phosphoinositide 3-kinase gamma (PI3Kgamma) inhibitors for the treatment of inflammation and autoimmune disease.

Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov 2010 Jan;4(1):1-15

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA92121, USA.

Phosphoinositide 3-kinase gamma (PI3Kgamma) is a lipid kinase in leukocytes that generates phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate to recruit and activate downstream signaling molecules. Distinct from other members in the PI3K family, PI3Kgamma is activated by G-protein coupled-receptors responding to chemotactic ligands. PI3Kgamma plays an important role in migration of both myeloid and lymphoid cells. It is also required for other leukocyte functions such as neutrophil oxidative burst, T cell proliferation and mast degranulation. Mice with PI3Kgamma inactivated by genetic or pharmacological approaches are protected from disease development in a number of inflammation and autoimmune disease models. The function of PI3Kgamma depends on its kinase activity and therefore it has been suggested by many reports that small molecules inhibiting its kinase activity could be promising for the treatment of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Over the last five years, a number of pharmaceutical companies have reported a wide variety of PI3Kgamma inhibitors, of which several x-ray crystal structures with PI3Kgamma have been elucidated. The structural characteristics and selectivity profiles of these inhibitors, in particular thiazolidinones and 2-aminoheterocycles, and those disclosed in related patent applications are summarized in this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/187221310789895603DOI Listing
January 2010

A highly selective, orally bioavailable, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor has potent activity in vitro and in vivo.

Angiogenesis 2009 21;12(3):287-96. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

Cancer Therapeutics Research, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, LLC, Raritan, NJ, USA.

Angiogenesis is a complex process that relies on a variety of growth factors and signaling pathways to stimulate endothelial cell responses and establish functional blood vessels. Signaling through the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors is an important mediator of angiogenesis, a hallmark of tumor growth and metastasis. Inhibition of signaling through VEGF has been clinically validated with FDA-approvals of bevacizumab, sorafenib, and suntinib. Our goal was to discover an orally available, selective VEGFR-2 inhibitor. A novel oxime, 1-{4-[6-amino-5-(methoxyimino-methyl)-pyrimidin-4-yloxy]-2-chloro-phenyl}-3-ethyl-urea (JNJ-38158471), was identified as a potent and selective inhibitor of VEGFR-2. While JNJ-38158471 shares some structure features with sorafenib, unlike sorafenib, it lacks Raf kinase activity. JNJ-38158471 inhibits VEGFR-2 (IC50 = 40 nM) and closely related tyrosine kinases, Ret (180 nM) and Kit (500 nM); it has no significant activity (>1 microM) against VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-3. At nanomolar levels, it inhibits VEGF-stimulated autophosphorylation of VEGFR-2 in a whole cell assay and inhibits VEGF-dependent endothelial migration. Once-daily oral dosing of JNJ-3815871 to nude mice bearing human A431, HCT116, and A375 tumors resulted in up to 90% tumor growth inhibition. Strikingly, after termination of JNJ-38158471 monotherapy-treatment of A375 xenografts, tumor growth delay was significantly prolonged up to 4 weeks. Anti-tumor efficacy correlated well with the observed dose concentrations (on a mg/kg basis) necessary to inhibit VEGF-induced corneal angiogenesis in C57BL/6J mice. In addition, the compound inhibited spontaneous polyp formation in the APC min-mouse model. These data demonstrate that JNJ-38158471 is a well tolerated, orally available, highly selective VEGFR-2 inhibitor that may have therapeutic benefit in human malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10456-009-9151-7DOI Listing
January 2010

Dual binding site inhibitors of B-RAF kinase.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2008 May 4;18(9):2825-9. Epub 2008 Apr 4.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

Computer aided modeling guided the design of a series of diarylimidazole compounds (11-22) intended to interact with both the ATP and adjacent allosteric binding domains of B-RAF kinase. Their ability to inhibit the function of B-RAF kinase and intracellular ERK1/2 phosphorylation were evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2008.04.002DOI Listing
May 2008

A novel B-RAF inhibitor blocks interleukin-8 (IL-8) synthesis in human melanoma xenografts, revealing IL-8 as a potential pharmacodynamic biomarker.

Mol Cancer Ther 2008 Mar;7(3):492-9

Department of Immunology, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC, La Jolla, CA 92121, USA.

B-RAF mutations have been identified in the majority of melanoma and a large fraction of colorectal and papillary thyroid carcinoma. Drug discovery efforts targeting mutated B-RAF have yielded several interesting molecules, and currently, three compounds are undergoing clinical evaluation. Inhibition of B-RAF in animal models leads to a slowing of tumor growth and, in some cases, tumor reduction. Described within is a novel series of diaryl imidazoles with potent, single-digit nanomolar, anti-B-RAF activity. One compound from this series has been detailed here and has been shown to block B-RAF(V600E)-dependent extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation in SK-MEL-28 melanoma cells as well as soft agar colony formation and proliferation. Importantly, interleukin-8 (IL-8) was identified by quantitative real-time PCR and ELISA as a product of the elevated mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling in these cells. Plasma concentrations of IL-8 in mice bearing melanoma xenografts were significantly reduced following exposure to B-RAF inhibitors. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-8 could serve as a tractable clinical biomarker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-0307DOI Listing
March 2008

2-Aryl benzimidazoles featuring alkyl-linked pendant alcohols and amines as inhibitors of checkpoint kinase Chk2.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2007 Dec 4;17(23):6467-71. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

A series of benzimidazole compounds containing pendant alcohol and amine moieties was found to be active against checkpoint kinase Chk2. These compounds were prepared to examine a potential hydrogen bond interaction with an active site residue and to investigate replacement of a biaryl linker with an aliphatic system in an effort to improve solubility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2007.09.098DOI Listing
December 2007