Publications by authors named "Laurie Gordon"

83 Publications

Template-Hopping Approach Leads to Potent, Selective, and Highly Soluble Bromo and Extraterminal Domain (BET) Second Bromodomain (BD2) Inhibitors.

J Med Chem 2021 Mar 4;64(6):3249-3281. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Epigenetics Discovery Performance Unit, GlaxoSmithKline, Medicines Research Centre, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2NY, U.K.

A number of reports have recently been published describing the discovery and optimization of bromo and extraterminal inhibitors which are selective for the second bromodomain (BD2); these include our own work toward GSK046 () and GSK620 (). This paper describes our approach to mitigating the genotoxicity risk of GSK046 by replacement of the acetamide functionality with a heterocyclic ring. This was followed by a template-hopping and hybridization approach, guided by structure-based drug design, to incorporate learnings from other BD2-selective series, optimize the vector for the amide region, and explore the ZA cleft, leading to the identification of potent, selective, and bioavailable compounds (GSK452), (GSK737), and (GSK217).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c02156DOI Listing
March 2021

Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition).

Autophagy 2021 Jan 8;17(1):1-382. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

University of Crete, School of Medicine, Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Voutes, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Foundation for Research and Technology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996087PMC
January 2021

Lacritin proteoforms prevent tear film collapse and maintain epithelial homeostasis.

J Biol Chem 2020 Nov 13. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Cell Biology, University of Virginia, United States.

Lipids in complex, protein-enriched films at air/liquid interfaces reduce surface tension. In the absence of this benefit, the light refracting and immunoprotective tear film on eyes would collapse. Premature collapse, coupled with chronic inflammation compromising visual acuity, is a hallmark of dry eye disease affecting 7 - 10% of individuals worldwide. Although collapse seems independent of mutation (unlike newborn lung alveoli), selective proteome and possible lipidome changes have been noted. These include elevated tissue transglutaminase and consequent inactivation through C-terminal cross-linking of the tear mitogen lacritin, leading to significant loss of lacritin monomer. Lacritin monomer restores homeostasis via autophagy and mitochondrial fusion and promotes basal tearing. Here, we discover that lacritin monomer C-terminal processing, inclusive of cysteine, serine and metalloproteinase activity, generates cationic amphipathic α-helical proteoforms. Such proteoforms (using synthetic peptide surrogates) act like alveolar surfactant proteins to rapidly bind and stabilize the tear lipid layer. Immunodepletion of C-, but not N-terminal proteoforms nor intact lacritin, from normal human tears promotes loss of stability akin to human dry eye tears. Stability of these and dry eye tears is rescuable with C- but not N-terminal proteoforms. Repeated topical application in rabbits reveals a proteoform turnover time of 7 - 33 hours with gradual loss from human tear lipid that retains bioactivity without further processing. Thus, the processed C-terminus of lacritin that is deficient or absent in dry eye tears appears to play a key role in preventing tear film collapse and as a natural slow release mechanism that restores epithelial homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA120.015833DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7948570PMC
November 2020

Development of a Quantitative Immunoassay for Tear Lacritin Proteoforms.

Transl Vis Sci Technol 2020 08 6;9(9):13. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

School of Integrated Sciences, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA USA.

Purpose: Lacritin is a tear glycoprotein with pro-tearing and pro-ocular surface homeostasis activities that is selectively deficient in most dry eye tears. Proteoforms include an active monomer, inactive polymers, and a splice variant termed lacritin-c. Quantitation of the different proteoforms of tear lacritin may provide a diagnostic tool for ocular diseases. Here, we report the development of an immunoassay for the quantification of multiple lacritin proteoforms in human tear samples.

Methods: Basal tears collected on Schirmer test strips with anesthesia were eluted by diffusion and centrifugation under optimized conditions. Tear protein concentrations were determined, and 2.56 µg of each sample was separated by SDS-PAGE followed by western blot analysis. Blots were challenged with anti-Pep Lac N-term antibodies. Detection was with fluorescent secondary antibodies visualized by the LI-COR Odyssey CLx imaging system and quantified with standard curves of recombinant lacritin.

Results: The percent total lacritin (ng lacritin/100 ng total protein) ranged from 1.8% to 14.8%. Monomer, lacritin-c, and polymer proteoform percent total protein ranged from 1.1% to 6.3%, 0.3% to 5.4%, and 0.7% to 5.7%, respectively. Monomer lacritin was detected at concentrations of 6 to 176 µM, with lacritin-c and polymer proteoforms at 2 to 46 µM and 1 to 23 µM, respectively.

Conclusions: This assay greatly exceeds the power and sensitivity of our prior lacritin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that was not capable of distinguishing monomer from polymers and lacritin-c proteoforms.

Translational Relevance: A new method has been developed to quantitate multiple proteoforms of tear lacritin in preparation for analyses of samples from clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.9.13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442861PMC
August 2020

Biosynthesized Multivalent Lacritin Peptides Stimulate Exosome Production in Human Corneal Epithelium.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Aug 26;21(17). Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

Lacripep is a therapeutic peptide derived from the human tear protein, Lacritin. Lacripep interacts with syndecan-1 and induces mitogenesis upon the removal of heparan sulfates (HS) that are attached at the extracellular domain of syndecan-1. The presence of HS is a prerequisite for the syndecan-1 clustering that stimulates exosome biogenesis and release. Therefore, syndecan-1-mediated mitogenesis versus HS-mediated exosome biogenesis are assumed to be mutually exclusive. This study introduces a biosynthesized fusion between Lacripep and an elastin-like polypeptide named LP-A96, and evaluates its activity on cell motility enhancement versus exosome biogenesis. LP-A96 activates both downstream pathways in a dose-dependent manner. HCE-T cells at high confluence treated with 1 μM LP-A96 enhanced cell motility equipotent to Lacripep. However, cells at low density treated with 1 μM LP-A96 generated a 210-fold higher number of exosomes compared to those treated at low density with Lacripep. As monovalent Lacripep is capable of enhancing cell motility but not exosome biogenesis, activation of exosome biogenesis by LP-A96 not only suggests its utility as a novel molecular tool to study the Lacritin biology in the corneal epithelium but also implies activity as a potential therapeutic peptide that can further improve ocular surface health through the induction of exosomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7504496PMC
August 2020

GSK973 Is an Inhibitor of the Second Bromodomains (BD2s) of the Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal (BET) Family.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2020 Aug 6;11(8):1581-1587. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Epigenetics Discovery Performance Unit and Platform Technology and Science, GlaxoSmithKline Medicines Research Centre, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2NY, U.K.

Pan-BET inhibitors have shown profound efficacy in a number of in vivo preclinical models and have entered the clinic in oncology trials where adverse events have been reported. These inhibitors interact equipotently with the eight bromodomains of the BET family of proteins. To better understand the contribution of each domain to their efficacy and to improve from their safety profile, selective inhibitors are required. This Letter discloses the profile of GSK973, a highly selective inhibitor of the second bromodomains of the BET proteins that has undergone extensive preclinical in vitro and in vivo characterization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.0c00247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429977PMC
August 2020

Structure-Based Design of a Bromodomain and Extraterminal Domain (BET) Inhibitor Selective for the N-Terminal Bromodomains That Retains an Anti-inflammatory and Antiproliferative Phenotype.

J Med Chem 2020 09 3;63(17):9020-9044. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

GSK, Medicines Research Centre, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2NY, United Kingdom.

The bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) family of epigenetic regulators comprises four proteins (BRD2, BRD3, BRD4, BRDT), each containing tandem bromodomains. To date, small molecule inhibitors of these proteins typically bind all eight bromodomains of the family with similar affinity, resulting in a diverse range of biological effects. To enable further understanding of the broad phenotype characteristic of pan-BET inhibition, the development of inhibitors selective for individual, or sets of, bromodomains within the family is required. In this regard, we report the discovery of a potent probe molecule possessing up to 150-fold selectivity for the N-terminal bromodomains (BD1s) over the C-terminal bromodomains (BD2s) of the BETs. Guided by structural information, a specific amino acid difference between BD1 and BD2 domains was targeted for selective interaction with chemical functionality appended to the previously developed I-BET151 scaffold. Data presented herein demonstrate that selective inhibition of BD1 domains is sufficient to drive anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00566DOI Listing
September 2020

Fatal respiratory diphtheria caused by β-lactam-resistant Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Aug 9. Epub 2020 Aug 9.

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, QLD, Australia.

Background: Diphtheria is a potentially fatal respiratory disease caused by toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Although resistance to erythromycin has been recognised, β-lactam resistance in toxigenic diphtheria has not been described. Here, we report a case of fatal respiratory diphtheria caused by toxigenic C. diphtheriae resistant to penicillin and all other β-lactam antibiotics and describe a novel mechanism of inducible carbapenem resistance associated with the acquisition of a mobile resistance element.

Methods: Long-read whole genome sequencing was performed using Pacific Biosciences SMRT sequencing to determine the genome sequence of C. diphtheriae BQ11 and mechanism of β-lactam resistance. To investigate phenotypic inducibility of meropenem resistance, short read sequencing was performed using an Illumina NextSeq500 sequencer on the strain with and without exposure to meropenem.

Results: BQ11 demonstrated high-level resistance to penicillin (benzylpenicillin MIC ≥ 256 μg/ml), β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors and cephalosporins (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid MIC ≥ 256 μg/mL; ceftriaxone MIC ≥ 8 μg/L). Genomic analysis of BQ11 identified acquisition of a novel transposon carrying the penicillin binding protein Pbp2c, responsible for resistance to penicillin and cephalosporins. When strain BQ11 was exposed to meropenem, selective pressure drove amplification of the transposon in a tandem array and led to a corresponding change from a low level to high level meropenem resistant phenotype.

Conclusions: We have identified a novel mechanism of inducible antibiotic resistance whereby isolates that appear to be carbapenem susceptible on initial testing can develop in vivo resistance to carbapenems with repeated exposure. This phenomenon could have significant implications for treatment of C. diphtheriae infection and may lead to clinical failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1147DOI Listing
August 2020

Neonatal management and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic: an observation cohort study.

Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2020 10 23;4(10):721-727. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian-Komansky Children's Hospital, New York, NY, USA.

Background: The risk of vertical and perinatal transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19), the most appropriate management, and the neonate's risk of developing COVID-19 during the perinatal period are unknown. Therefore, we aimed to elucidate best practices regarding infection control in mother-newborn dyads, and identify potential risk factors associated with transmission.

Methods: In this observational cohort study, we identified all neonates born between March 22 and May 17, 2020, at three New York Presbyterian Hospitals in New York City (NY, USA) to mothers positive for SARS-CoV-2 at delivery. Mothers could practice skin-to-skin care and breastfeed in the delivery room, but had to wear a surgical mask when near their neonate and practice proper hand hygiene before skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, and routine care. Unless medically required, neonates were kept in a closed Giraffe isolette in the same room as their mothers, and were held by mothers for feeding after appropriate hand hygiene, breast cleansing, and placement of a surgical mask. Neonates were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by use of real-time PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs taken at 24 h, 5-7 days, and 14 days of life, and were clinically evaluated by telemedicine at 1 month of age. We recorded demographics, neonatal, and maternal clinical presentation, as well as infection control practices in the hospital and at home.

Findings: Of 1481 deliveries, 116 (8%) mothers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2; 120 neonates were identified. All neonates were tested at 24 h of life and none were positive for SARS-CoV-2. 82 (68%) neonates completed follow-up at day 5-7 of life. Of the 82 neonates, 68 (83%) roomed in with the mothers. All mothers were allowed to breastfeed; at 5-7 days of life, 64 (78%) were still breastfeeding. 79 (96%) of 82 neonates had a repeat PCR at 5-7 days of life, which was negative in all; 72 (88%) neonates were also tested at 14 days of life and none were positive. None of the neonates had symptoms of COVID-19.

Interpretation: Our data suggest that perinatal transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely to occur if correct hygiene precautions are undertaken, and that allowing neonates to room in with their mothers and direct breastfeeding are safe procedures when paired with effective parental education of infant protective strategies.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30235-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7377726PMC
October 2020

The Optimization of a Novel, Weak Bromo and Extra Terminal Domain (BET) Bromodomain Fragment Ligand to a Potent and Selective Second Bromodomain (BD2) Inhibitor.

J Med Chem 2020 09 30;63(17):9093-9126. Epub 2020 Aug 30.

IVIVT Cellzome, Platform Technology and Science, GlaxoSmithKline, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.

The profound efficacy, yet associated toxicity of pan-BET inhibitors is well documented. The possibility of an ameliorated safety profile driven by significantly selective (>100-fold) inhibition of a subset of the eight bromodomains is enticing, but challenging given the close homology. Herein, we describe the X-ray crystal structure-directed optimization of a novel weak fragment ligand with a pan-second bromodomain (BD2) bias, to potent and highly BD2 selective inhibitors. A template hopping approach, enabled by our parallel research into an orthogonal template (, GSK046), was the basis for the high selectivity observed. This culminated in two tool molecules, (GSK620) and (GSK549), which showed an anti-inflammatory phenotype in human whole blood, confirming their cellular target engagement. Excellent broad selectivity, developability, and in vivo oral pharmacokinetics characterize these tools, which we hope will be of broad utility to the field of epigenetics research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00796DOI Listing
September 2020

Design and Synthesis of a Highly Selective and -Capable Inhibitor of the Second Bromodomain of the Bromodomain and Extra Terminal Domain Family of Proteins.

J Med Chem 2020 09 20;63(17):9070-9092. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Epigenetics Discovery Performance Unit, GlaxoSmithKline, Medicines Research Centre, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2NY, U.K.

Pan-bromodomain and extra terminal domain (BET) inhibitors interact equipotently with the eight bromodomains of the BET family of proteins and have shown profound efficacy in a number of phenotypic assays and pre-clinical models in inflammation or oncology. A number of these inhibitors have progressed to the clinic where pharmacology-driven adverse events have been reported. To better understand the contribution of each domain to their efficacy and improve their safety profile, selective inhibitors are required. This article discloses the profile of GSK046, also known as iBET-BD2, a highly selective inhibitor of the second bromodomains of the BET proteins that has undergone extensive pre-clinical and characterization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00605DOI Listing
September 2020

GSK789: A Selective Inhibitor of the First Bromodomains (BD1) of the Bromo and Extra Terminal Domain (BET) Proteins.

J Med Chem 2020 09 4;63(17):9045-9069. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Molecular Discovery Research, GlaxoSmithKline, Cellzome GmbH, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.

Pan-bromodomain and extra terminal (BET) inhibitors interact equipotently with all eight bromodomains of the BET family of proteins. They have shown profound efficacy in vitro and in vivo in oncology and immunomodulatory models, and a number of them are currently in clinical trials where significant safety signals have been reported. It is therefore important to understand the functional contribution of each bromodomain to assess the opportunity to tease apart efficacy and toxicity. This article discloses the in vitro and cellular activity profiles of GSK789, a potent, cell-permeable, and highly selective inhibitor of the first bromodomains of the BET family.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00614DOI Listing
September 2020

Application of Atypical Acetyl-lysine Methyl Mimetics in the Development of Selective Inhibitors of the Bromodomain-Containing Protein 7 (BRD7)/Bromodomain-Containing Protein 9 (BRD9) Bromodomains.

J Med Chem 2020 06 29;63(11):5816-5840. Epub 2020 May 29.

GlaxoSmithKline R&D, Stevenage SG1 2NY, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.

Non-BET bromodomain-containing proteins have become attractive targets for the development of novel therapeutics targeting epigenetic pathways. To help facilitate the target validation of this class of proteins, structurally diverse small-molecule ligands and methodologies to produce selective inhibitors in a predictable fashion are in high demand. Herein, we report the development and application of atypical acetyl-lysine (KAc) methyl mimetics to take advantage of the differential stability of conserved water molecules in the bromodomain binding site. Discovery of the -butyl group as an atypical KAc methyl mimetic allowed generation of (GSK6776) as a soluble, permeable, and selective BRD7/9 inhibitor from a pyridazinone template. The -butyl group was then used to enhance the bromodomain selectivity of an existing BRD9 inhibitor and to transform pan-bromodomain inhibitors into BRD7/9 selective compounds. Finally, a solvent-exposed vector was defined from the pyridazinone template to enable bifunctional molecule synthesis, and affinity enrichment chemoproteomic experiments were used to confirm several of the endogenous protein partners of BRD7 and BRD9, which form part of the chromatin remodeling PBAF and BAF complexes, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00075DOI Listing
June 2020

Optimization of Potent ATAD2 and CECR2 Bromodomain Inhibitors with an Atypical Binding Mode.

J Med Chem 2020 05 6;63(10):5212-5241. Epub 2020 May 6.

WestCHEM, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Thomas Graham Building, 295 Cathedral Street, Glasgow G1 1XL, United Kingdom.

Most bromodomain inhibitors mimic the interactions of the natural acetylated lysine (KAc) histone substrate through key interactions with conserved asparagine and tyrosine residues within the binding pocket. Herein we report the optimization of a series of phenyl sulfonamides that exhibit a novel mode of binding to non-bromodomain and extra terminal domain (non-BET) bromodomains through displacement of a normally conserved network of four water molecules. Starting from an initial hit molecule, we report its divergent optimization toward the ATPase family AAA domain containing 2 (ATAD2) and cat eye syndrome chromosome region, candidate 2 (CECR2) domains. This work concludes with the identification of (GSK232), a highly selective, cellularly penetrant CECR2 inhibitor with excellent physicochemical properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00021DOI Listing
May 2020

The Lacritin-Syndecan-1-Heparanase Axis in Dry Eye Disease.

Adv Exp Med Biol 2020 ;1221:747-757

Departments of Cell Biology, Biomedical Engineering and Ophthalmology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Homeostasis and visual acuity of the surface of the eye are dependent on tears, a thin film comprising at least 1800 different extracellular proteins and numerous species of lipids through which 80% of entering light is refracted at the air interface. Loss of homeostasis in dry eye disease affects 5-7% of the world's population, yet little is known about key molecular players. Our story began as an unbiased screen for regulators of tearing that led to the discovery of homeostasis-restorative 'lacritin', a tear protein whose active form is selectively deficient in dry eye. Heparanase acts as a novel 'on-switch' for lacritin ligation of syndecan-1 necessary to trigger basal tearing, as well as pertussis toxin-sensitive and FOXO-dependent signaling pathways for healing of inflammation-damaged epithelia and restoring epithelial oxidative phosphorylation by mitochondrial fusion downstream of transiently accelerated autophagy. A phase 2 clinical trial has tested the applicability of this mechanism to the resolution of dry eye disease. Results are not yet available. With lacritin proteoforms detected in cerebral spinal fluid, plasma, and urine, the capacity of the lacritin-syndecan-1-heparanase axis to restore homeostasis might have wide systemic relevance to other organs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34521-1_31DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7398572PMC
July 2020

Discovery of a Bromodomain and Extraterminal Inhibitor with a Low Predicted Human Dose through Synergistic Use of Encoded Library Technology and Fragment Screening.

J Med Chem 2020 01 6;63(2):714-746. Epub 2020 Jan 6.

GSK , Gunnels Wood Road , Stevenage , Hertfordshire SG1 2NY , U.K.

The bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family of bromodomain-containing proteins are important regulators of the epigenome through their ability to recognize -acetyl lysine (KAc) post-translational modifications on histone tails. These interactions have been implicated in various disease states and, consequently, disruption of BET-KAc binding has emerged as an attractive therapeutic strategy with a number of small molecule inhibitors now under investigation in the clinic. However, until the utility of these advanced candidates is fully assessed by these trials, there remains scope for the discovery of inhibitors from new chemotypes with alternative physicochemical, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic profiles. Herein, we describe the discovery of a candidate-quality dimethylpyridone benzimidazole compound which originated from the hybridization of a dimethylphenol benzimidazole series, identified using encoded library technology, with an -methyl pyridone series identified through fragment screening. Optimization via structure- and property-based design led to I-BET469, which possesses favorable oral pharmacokinetic properties, displays activity in vivo, and is projected to have a low human efficacious dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b01670DOI Listing
January 2020

Cellular Target Engagement Approaches to Monitor Epigenetic Reader Domain Interactions.

SLAS Discov 2020 02 25;25(2):163-175. Epub 2019 Dec 25.

Medicine Design, Medicinal Science and Technology, GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK.

Malfunctions in the basic epigenetic mechanisms such as histone modifications, DNA methylation, and chromatin remodeling are implicated in a number of cancers and immunological and neurodegenerative conditions. Within GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) we have utilized a number of variations of the NanoBRET technology for the direct measurement of compound-target engagement within native cellular environments to drive high-throughput, routine structure-activity relationship (SAR) profiling across differing epigenetic targets. NanoBRET is a variation of the bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) methodology utilizing proteins of interest fused to either NanoLuc, a small, high-emission-intensity luciferase, or HaloTag, a modified dehalogenase enzyme that can be selectively labeled with a fluorophore. The combination of these two technologies has enabled the application of NanoBRET to biological systems such as epigenetic protein-protein interactions, which have previously been challenging. By synergizing target engagement assays with more complex primary cell phenotypic assays, we have been able to demonstrate compound-target selectivity profiles to enhance cellular potency and offset potential liability risks. Additionally, we have shown that in the absence of a robust, cell phenotypic assay, it is possible to utilize NanoBRET target engagement assays to aid chemistry in progressing at a higher scale than would have otherwise been achievable. The NanoBRET target engagement assays utilized have further shown an excellent correlation with more reductionist biochemical and biophysical assay systems, clearly demonstrating the possibility of using such assay systems at scale, in tandem with, or in preference to, lower-throughput cell phenotypic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2472555219896278DOI Listing
February 2020

Thermally-Responsive Loading and Release of Elastin-Like Polypeptides from Contact Lenses.

Pharmaceutics 2019 May 7;11(5). Epub 2019 May 7.

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

Contact lenses are widely prescribed for vision correction, and as such they are an attractive platform for drug delivery to the anterior segment of the eye. This manuscript explores a novel strategy to drive the reversible adsorption of peptide-based therapeutics using commercially available contact lenses. To accomplish this, thermo-sensitive elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) alone or tagged with a candidate ocular therapeutic were characterized. For the first time, this manuscript demonstrates that Proclear Compatibles contact lenses are a suitable platform for ELP adsorption. Two rhodamine-labelled ELPs, V96 (thermo-sensitive) and S96 (thermo-insensitive), were employed to test temperature-dependent association to the contact lenses. During long-term release into solution, ELP coacervation significantly modulated the release profile whereby more than 80% of loaded V96 retained with a terminal half-life of ~4 months, which was only 1-4 days under solubilizing conditions. A selected ocular therapeutic candidate lacritin-V96 fusion (LV96), either free or lens-bound LV96, was successfully transferred to HCE-T cells. These data suggest that ELPs may be useful to control loading or release from certain formulations of contact lenses and present a potential for this platform to deliver a biologically active peptide to the ocular surface via contact lenses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11050221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6572635PMC
May 2019

Development of lacrimal gland inflammation in the mouse model of herpes stromal keratitis.

Exp Eye Res 2019 07 19;184:101-106. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

Department of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA; Kresge Eye Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA. Electronic address:

Herpes stromal keratitis (HSK) is a chronic immunoinflammatory condition which develops in response to recurrent herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) infection of the cornea. Patients with HSK often demonstrate the concurrence of corneal desiccation and the loss of blink reflex. However, the relationship between severity of HSK, level of basal tears and inflammation of the lacrimal gland is mostly unexplored. In this study, we compared these variables in extraorbital lacrimal gland (EoLG) after corneal HSV-1 infection in the C57BL/6J mouse model. Our results showed a significant reduction in the volume of tears in infected eyes during the development of HSK. Extensive architectural damage to EoLG, presumably caused by a massive influx of interferon-gamma secreting T cells, was observed during clinical disease period of HSK. A positive correlation between the decrease in tear volume, severity of HSK and the damage to EoLG were evident in infected mice. The presence of infectious virus measured in EoLG during pre-clinical, but not clinical disease period of HSK, suggested that viral cytopathic effects are not the major contributors of extensive damage seen in EoLG. Furthermore, topical administration of lacritin peptide delayed but did not prevent the decrease in tears in HSV-1 infected mice, and had no significant effect in either reducing the severity of HSK or T cell infiltration in EoLG of infected mice. Together, our results showed an interplay between the severity of HSK, inflammation of EoLG, and the reduced level of tears after corneal HSV-1 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2019.04.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6570564PMC
July 2019

Discovery of Tetrahydroquinoxalines as Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal Domain (BET) Inhibitors with Selectivity for the Second Bromodomain.

J Med Chem 2018 05 3;61(10):4317-4334. Epub 2018 May 3.

WestCHEM, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry , University of Strathclyde, Thomas Graham Building , 295 Cathedral Street , Glasgow , G1 1XL , U.K.

The bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) family of proteins bind acetylated lysine residues on histone proteins. The four BET bromodomains-BRD2, BRD3, BRD4, and BRDT-each contain two bromodomain modules. BET bromodomain inhibition is a potential therapy for various cancers and immunoinflammatory diseases, but few reported inhibitors show selectivity within the BET family. Inhibitors with selectivity for the first or second bromodomain are desired to aid investigation of the biological function of these domains. Focused library screening identified a series of tetrahydroquinoxalines with selectivity for the second bromodomains of the BET family (BD2). Structure-guided optimization of the template improved potency, selectivity, and physicochemical properties, culminating in potent BET inhibitors with BD2 selectivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b01666DOI Listing
May 2018

TFOS DEWS II Tear Film Report.

Ocul Surf 2017 07 20;15(3):366-403. Epub 2017 Jul 20.

Centre for Contact Lens Research, School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo, Canada.

The members of the Tear Film Subcommittee reviewed the role of the tear film in dry eye disease (DED). The Subcommittee reviewed biophysical and biochemical aspects of tears and how these change in DED. Clinically, DED is characterized by loss of tear volume, more rapid breakup of the tear film and increased evaporation of tears from the ocular surface. The tear film is composed of many substances including lipids, proteins, mucins and electrolytes. All of these contribute to the integrity of the tear film but exactly how they interact is still an area of active research. Tear film osmolarity increases in DED. Changes to other components such as proteins and mucins can be used as biomarkers for DED. The Subcommittee recommended areas for future research to advance our understanding of the tear film and how this changes with DED. The final report was written after review by all Subcommittee members and the entire TFOS DEWS II membership.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtos.2017.03.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6035753PMC
July 2017

Prediction of intracellular exposure bridges the gap between target- and cell-based drug discovery.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 07 12;114(30):E6231-E6239. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala University, SE-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden;

Inadequate target exposure is a major cause of high attrition in drug discovery. Here, we show that a label-free method for quantifying the intracellular bioavailability (F) of drug molecules predicts drug access to intracellular targets and hence, pharmacological effect. We determined F in multiple cellular assays and cell types representing different targets from a number of therapeutic areas, including cancer, inflammation, and dementia. Both cytosolic targets and targets localized in subcellular compartments were investigated. F gives insights on membrane-permeable compounds in terms of cellular potency and intracellular target engagement, compared with biochemical potency measurements alone. Knowledge of the amount of drug that is locally available to bind intracellular targets provides a powerful tool for compound selection in early drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1701848114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5544291PMC
July 2017

Discovery of a Potent, Cell Penetrant, and Selective p300/CBP-Associated Factor (PCAF)/General Control Nonderepressible 5 (GCN5) Bromodomain Chemical Probe.

J Med Chem 2017 01 9;60(2):695-709. Epub 2017 Jan 9.

WestCHEM, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde , Thomas Graham Building, 295 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G1 1XL, United Kingdom.

p300/CREB binding protein associated factor (PCAF/KAT2B) and general control nonderepressible 5 (GCN5/KAT2A) are multidomain proteins that have been implicated in retroviral infection, inflammation pathways, and cancer development. However, outside of viral replication, little is known about the dependence of these effects on the C-terminal bromodomain. Herein, we report GSK4027 as a chemical probe for the PCAF/GCN5 bromodomain, together with GSK4028 as an enantiomeric negative control. The probe was optimized from a weakly potent, nonselective pyridazinone hit to deliver high potency for the PCAF/GCN5 bromodomain, high solubility, cellular target engagement, and ≥18000-fold selectivity over the BET family, together with ≥70-fold selectivity over the wider bromodomain families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b01566DOI Listing
January 2017

GSK6853, a Chemical Probe for Inhibition of the BRPF1 Bromodomain.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2016 Jun 9;7(6):552-7. Epub 2016 May 9.

Epinova Discovery Performance Unit, Quantitative Pharmacology, Experimental Medicine Unit, Flexible Discovery Unit, and Platform Technology and Science, GlaxoSmithKline , Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2NY, U.K.

The BRPF (Bromodomain and PHD Finger-containing) protein family are important scaffolding proteins for assembly of MYST histone acetyltransferase complexes. A selective benzimidazolone BRPF1 inhibitor showing micromolar activity in a cellular target engagement assay was recently described. Herein, we report the optimization of this series leading to the identification of a superior BRPF1 inhibitor suitable for in vivo studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.6b00092DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4904261PMC
June 2016

Cell Penetrant Inhibitors of the KDM4 and KDM5 Families of Histone Lysine Demethylases. 2. Pyrido[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4(3H)-one Derivatives.

J Med Chem 2016 Feb 15;59(4):1370-87. Epub 2016 Jan 15.

Epinova Discovery Performance Unit, Medicines Research Centre, GlaxoSmithKline R&D , Stevenage SG1 2NY, U.K.

Following the discovery of cell penetrant pyridine-4-carboxylate inhibitors of the KDM4 (JMJD2) and KDM5 (JARID1) families of histone lysine demethylases (e.g., 1), further optimization led to the identification of non-carboxylate inhibitors derived from pyrido[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4(3H)-one. A number of exemplars such as compound 41 possess interesting activity profiles in KDM4C and KDM5C biochemical and target-specific, cellular mechanistic assays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01538DOI Listing
February 2016

Cell Penetrant Inhibitors of the KDM4 and KDM5 Families of Histone Lysine Demethylases. 1. 3-Amino-4-pyridine Carboxylate Derivatives.

J Med Chem 2016 Feb 15;59(4):1357-69. Epub 2016 Jan 15.

Platform Technology and Science, Medicines Research Centre, GlaxoSmithKline R&D , Stevenage SG1 2NY, U.K.

Optimization of KDM6B (JMJD3) HTS hit 12 led to the identification of 3-((furan-2-ylmethyl)amino)pyridine-4-carboxylic acid 34 and 3-(((3-methylthiophen-2-yl)methyl)amino)pyridine-4-carboxylic acid 39 that are inhibitors of the KDM4 (JMJD2) family of histone lysine demethylases. Compounds 34 and 39 possess activity, IC50 ≤ 100 nM, in KDM4 family biochemical (RFMS) assays with ≥ 50-fold selectivity against KDM6B and activity in a mechanistic KDM4C cell imaging assay (IC50 = 6-8 μM). Compounds 34 and 39 are also potent inhibitors of KDM5C (JARID1C) (RFMS IC50 = 100-125 nM).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01537DOI Listing
February 2016

Introduction to Autophagy in the Eye (or "What's Eatin' You?").

Exp Eye Res 2016 Mar 5;144:1-3. Epub 2015 Sep 5.

Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2015.09.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777279PMC
March 2016

Direct Measurement of Intracellular Compound Concentration by RapidFire Mass Spectrometry Offers Insights into Cell Permeability.

J Biomol Screen 2016 Feb 3;21(2):156-64. Epub 2015 Sep 3.

Department of Chemical Sciences, Molecular Discovery Research, GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage, UK

One of the key challenges facing early stage drug discovery is understanding the commonly observed difference between the activity of compounds in biochemical assays and cellular assays. Traditionally, indirect or estimated cell permeability measurements such as estimations from logP or artificial membrane permeability are used to explain the differences. The missing link is a direct measurement of intracellular compound concentration in whole cells. This can, in some circumstances, be estimated from the cellular activity, but this may also be problematic if cellular activity is weak or absent. Advances in sensitivity and throughput of analytical techniques have enabled us to develop a high-throughput assay for the measurement of intracellular compound concentration for routine use to support lead optimization. The assay uses a RapidFire-MS based readout of compound concentration in HeLa cells following incubation of cells with test compound. The initial assay validation was performed by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and the assay was subsequently transferred to RapidFire tandem mass spectrometry. Further miniaturization and optimization were performed to streamline the process, increase sample throughput, and reduce cycle time. This optimization has delivered a semi-automated platform with the potential of production scale compound profiling up to 100 compounds per day.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1087057115604141DOI Listing
February 2016

Lacritin and other autophagy associated proteins in ocular surface health.

Exp Eye Res 2016 Mar 25;144:4-13. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA. Electronic address:

Advantage may be taken of macroautophagy ('autophagy') to promote ocular health. Autophagy continually captures aged or damaged cellular material for lysosomal degradation and recyling. When autophagic flux is chronically elevated, or alternatively deficient, health suffers. Chronic elevation of flux and stress are the consequence of inflammatory cytokines or of dry eye tears but not normal tears invitro. Exogenous tear protein lacritin transiently accelerates flux to restore homeostasis invitro and corneal health invivo, and yet the monomeric active form of lacritin appears to be selectively deficient in dry eye. Tissue transglutaminase-dependent cross-linking of monomer decreases monomer quantity and monomer affinity for coreceptor syndecan-1 thereby abrogating activity. Tissue transglutaminase is elevated in dry eye. Mutation of arylsulfatase A, arylsulfatase B, ceroid-lipofuscinosis neuronal 3, mucolipin, or Niemann-Pick disease type C1 respectively underlie several diseases of apparently insufficient autophagic flux that affect the eye, including: metachromatic leukodystrophy, mucopolysaccharidosis type VI, juvenile-onset Batten disease, mucolipidosis IV, and Niemann-Pick type C associated with myelin sheath destruction of corneal sensory and ciliary nerves and of the optic nerve; corneal clouding, ocular hypertension, glaucoma and optic nerve atrophy; accumulation of 'ceroid-lipofuscin' in surface conjunctival cells, and in ganglion and neuronal cells; decreased visual acuity and retinal dystrophy; and neurodegeneration. For some, enzyme or gene replacement, or substrate reduction, therapy is proving to be successful. Here we discuss examples of restoring ocular surface homeostasis through alteration of autophagy, with particular attention to lacritin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2015.08.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698016PMC
March 2016