Publications by authors named "Paul M Keller"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Inhibitors of LexA Autoproteolysis and the Bacterial SOS Response Discovered by an Academic-Industry Partnership.

ACS Infect Dis 2018 03 8;4(3):349-359. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Department of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics , University of Pennsylvania , 3610 Hamilton Walk , Philadelphia , Pennsylvania 19104 , United States.

The RecA/LexA axis of the bacterial DNA damage (SOS) response is a promising, yet nontraditional, drug target. The SOS response is initiated upon genotoxic stress, when RecA, a DNA damage sensor, induces LexA, the SOS repressor, to undergo autoproteolysis, thereby derepressing downstream genes that can mediate DNA repair and accelerate mutagenesis. As genetic inhibition of the SOS response sensitizes bacteria to DNA damaging antibiotics and decreases acquired resistance, inhibitors of the RecA/LexA axis could potentiate our current antibiotic arsenal. Compounds targeting RecA, which has many mammalian homologues, have been reported; however, small-molecules targeting LexA autoproteolysis, a reaction unique to the prokaryotic SOS response, have remained elusive. Here, we describe the logistics and accomplishments of an academic-industry partnership formed to pursue inhibitors against the RecA/LexA axis. A novel fluorescence polarization assay reporting on RecA-induced self-cleavage of LexA enabled the screening of 1.8 million compounds. Follow-up studies on select leads show distinct activity patterns in orthogonal assays, including several with activity in cell-based assays reporting on SOS activation. Mechanistic assays demonstrate that we have identified first-in-class small molecules that specifically target the LexA autoproteolysis step in SOS activation. Our efforts establish a realistic example for navigating academic-industry partnerships in pursuit of anti-infective drugs and offer starting points for dedicated lead optimization of SOS inhibitors that could act as adjuvants for current antibiotics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsinfecdis.7b00122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5893282PMC
March 2018

Safety of zoster vaccine in elderly adults following documented herpes zoster.

J Infect Dis 2013 Aug 30;208(4):559-63. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis, and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55417, USA.

Background: After completion of the Shingles Prevention Study (SPS; Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Number 403), SPS participants who had initially received placebo were offered investigational zoster vaccine without charge. This provided an opportunity to determine the relative safety of zoster vaccine in older adults following documented herpes zoster (HZ).

Methods: A total of 13 681 SPS placebo recipients who elected to receive zoster vaccine were followed for serious adverse events (SAE) for 28 days after vaccination. In contrast to the SPS, a prior episode of HZ was not a contraindication to receiving zoster vaccine. The SPS placebo recipients who received zoster vaccine included 420 who had developed documented HZ during the SPS.

Results: The mean interval between the onset of HZ and the receipt of zoster vaccine in the 420 recipients with prior HZ was 3.61 years (median interval, 3.77 years [range, 3-85 months]); the interval was <5 years for approximately 80% of recipients. The proportion of vaccinated SPS placebo recipients with prior HZ who developed ≥ 1 SAE (0.95%) was not significantly different from that of vaccinated SPS placebo recipients with no prior history of HZ (0.66%), and the distribution of SAEs in the 2 groups was comparable.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that the general safety of zoster vaccine in older persons is not altered by a recent history of documented HZ, supporting the safety aspect of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation to administer zoster vaccine to all persons ≥ 60 years of age with no contraindications, regardless of a prior history of HZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jit182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719896PMC
August 2013

Azepanone-based inhibitors of human cathepsin S: optimization of selectivity via the P2 substituent.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2011 Aug 17;21(15):4409-15. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

GlaxoSmithKline, King of Prussia, PA 19406, United States.

A series of azepanone inhibitors of cathepsin S is described. Selectivity over both cathepsin K and cathepsin L was achieved by varying the P2 substituent. Ultimately, a balanced potency and selectivity profile was achieved in compound 39 possessing a 1-methylcyclohexyl alanine at P2 and nicotinamide as the P' substituent. The cellular potency of selected analogs is also described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2011.06.045DOI Listing
August 2011

A real-time PCR assay to identify and discriminate among wild-type and vaccine strains of varicella-zoster virus and herpes simplex virus in clinical specimens, and comparison with the clinical diagnoses.

J Med Virol 2009 Jul;81(7):1310-22

Department of Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA.

A real-time PCR assay was developed to identify varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA in clinical specimens from subjects with suspected herpes zoster (HZ; shingles). Three sets of primers and probes were used in separate PCR reactions to detect and discriminate among wild-type VZV (VZV-WT), Oka vaccine strain VZV (VZV-Oka), and HSV DNA, and the reaction for each virus DNA was multiplexed with primers and probe specific for the human beta-globin gene to assess specimen adequacy. Discrimination of all VZV-WT strains, including Japanese isolates and the Oka parent strain, from VZV-Oka was based upon a single nucleotide polymorphism at position 106262 in ORF 62, resulting in preferential amplification by the homologous primer pair. The assay was highly sensitive and specific for the target virus DNA, and no cross-reactions were detected with any other infectious agent. With the PCR assay as the gold standard, the sensitivity of virus culture was 53% for VZV and 77% for HSV. There was 92% agreement between the clinical diagnosis of HZ by the Clinical Evaluation Committee and the PCR assay results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.21506DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4217208PMC
July 2009

Comparative immunogenicity evaluations of influenza A virus M2 peptide as recombinant virus like particle or conjugate vaccines in mice and monkeys.

Vaccine 2009 Feb 13;27(9):1440-7. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Department of Vaccine Basic Research, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA 19486, United States.

Immunization against M2 peptide, also called M2e, from influenza A virus is an innovative vaccine approach for induction of cross-strain protective immunity. Two promising M2 vaccine compositions reported to date are M2 peptide chemically conjugated to carrier proteins or M2 peptide recombinantly expressed on the surface of virus like particles (VLPs) of hepatitis B virus core antigen (HBVc). To conduct a head-to-head comparison of these approaches, we constructed two recombinant HBVc VLPs expressing M2 peptide and prepared two conjugate vaccines with M2 peptide chemically coupled to Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane complex (OMPC) or HBVc VLP, respectively. Here, we showed superior immunogenicity of M2 peptide conjugated to OMPC and M2 peptide expressed on the surface of HBVc antigen based on dose-titration responses in mice. Surprisingly, HBVc expressing M2 peptide was an inferior vaccine in rhesus monkeys, whether as a primary vaccine or as a booster vaccine, when compared with M2-OMPC conjugate vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.12.034DOI Listing
February 2009

Discovery of potent, selective sulfonylfuran urea endothelial lipase inhibitors.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2009 Jan 14;19(1):27-30. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Department of Chemistry, Cardiovascular and Urogenital Center of Excellence in Drug Discovery, GlaxoSmithKline, UW2430, King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA.

Endothelial lipase (EL) activity has been implicated in HDL catabolism, vascular inflammation, and atherogenesis, and inhibitors are therefore expected to be useful for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Sulfonylfuran urea 1 was identified in a high-throughput screening campaign as a potent and non-selective EL inhibitor. A lead optimization effort was undertaken to improve potency and selectivity, and modifications leading to improved LPL selectivity were identified. Radiolabeling studies were undertaken to establish the mechanism of action for these inhibitors, which were ultimately demonstrated to be irreversible inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2008.11.033DOI Listing
January 2009

A high-throughput screen for endothelial lipase using HDL as substrate.

J Biomol Screen 2008 Jul 19;13(6):468-75. Epub 2008 Jun 19.

GSK Screening & Compound Profiling, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA.

Endothelial lipase (EL) is a 482-amino-acid protein from the triglyceride lipase gene family that uses a Ser-His-Asp triad for catalysis. Its expression in endothelial cells and preference for phospholipids rather than triglycerides are unique. Animal models in which it is overexpressed or knocked out indicate EL levels are inversely correlated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). HDL-C is commonly referred to as the good form of cholesterol because it is involved in the reverse cholesterol transport pathway, in which excess cholesterol is effluxed from peripheral tissues for excretion or reabsorption. Thus, EL inhibition in humans is expected to lead to increases in HDL levels and possibly a decrease in cardiovascular disease. To discover inhibitors of EL, a coupled assay for EL has been developed, using its native substrate, HDL. Hydrolysis of HDL by EL yields free fatty acids, which are coupled through acyl-CoA synthetase, acyl-CoA oxidase, and horseradish peroxidase to produce the fluorescent species resorufin. This assay was developed into a 5-microL, 1536-well assay format, and a high-throughput screen was executed against the GSK collection. In addition to describing the screening results, novel post-HTS mechanism-of-action studies were developed for EL and applied to 1 of the screening hits as an example.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1087057108319738DOI Listing
July 2008

Solution state characterization of amyloid beta-derived diffusible ligands.

Biochemistry 2006 Dec 6;45(51):15157-67. Epub 2006 Dec 6.

Department of Vaccine & Biologics Research, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486, USA.

A growing body of evidence suggests that soluble oligomeric forms of the amyloid beta peptide known as amyloid-derived diffusible ligands (ADDLs) are the toxic species responsible for neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer's disease. Accurate biophysical characterization of ADDL preparations is hampered by the peptide's strong tendency to self-associate and the effect of factors such as ionic strength, temperature, and pH on its behavior. In addition, amyloid peptides are known to interact with common laboratory excipients, specifically detergents, further complicating the results from standard analytical methods such as denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. We have studied the solution behavior of various amyloid peptide preparations using analytical ultracentrifugation and size exclusion chromatography coupled with multiangle laser light scattering. Our results indicate that ADDL preparations exist in solution primarily as a binary mixture of a monomeric peptide and high-molecular mass oligomers. We relate our findings to previously described characterizations utilizing atomic force microscopy and electrophoretic methods and demonstrate that low-molecular mass oligomers identified by gel electrophoresis likely represent artifacts induced by the peptide's interaction with detergent, while atomic force microscopy results are likely skewed by differential binding of monomeric and oligomeric peptide species. Finally, we confirm that only the high-molecular mass oligomeric components of an ADDL preparation are capable of binding to subpopulations of primary hippocampal neurons in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi061850fDOI Listing
December 2006

Novel rotavirus VP7 typing assay using a one-step reverse transcriptase PCR protocol and product sequencing and utility of the assay for epidemiological studies and strain characterization, including serotype subgroup analysis.

J Clin Microbiol 2005 Dec;43(12):5876-80

Vaccine & Biologics Research, Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co. Inc., West Point, PA 19486, USA.

Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe dehydrating gastroenteritis in infants. To date, 10 different serotypes of rotavirus have been identified in human stools. While four or five serotypes dominate, serotype circulation varies with season and geography. Since our laboratory has been involved in the development of a multivalent rotavirus vaccine, it is important to identify the serotypes of rotavirus encountered during our clinical trials. We have developed methodologies for the molecular identification of rotavirus strains based on VP7 gene segment sequence. A 365-bp reverse transcriptase PCR product was generated from the VP7 gene segment using a pair of novel degenerate primers. All serotypes tested (both animal and human) yielded an identically sized product after amplification. Sequencing of these products is performed using truncated versions of the original primers. The sequence generated is compared against a database of rotavirus VP7 sequences, with the G type determined, based on the sequence homology. Using this assay, we have correctly identified human VP7 strains from a panel of available serotypes, as well as numerous animal strains. The assay was qualified using rotavirus positive stool samples, negative stool samples, and rotavirus-spiked stool samples. In addition, samples from cases of acute gastroenteritis collected at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have been evaluated and indicate that the assay is able to discriminate subtle differences within serotypes. The assay has been utilized in the testing of >3,000 antigen-positive (enzyme immunoassay) samples collected during clinical trials of a rotavirus vaccine (RotaTeq) and identified a serotype in approximately 92% of samples (3, 17, 19).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.43.12.5876-5880.2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1317171PMC
December 2005

A recombinant 63-kDa form of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen produced in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae provides protection in rabbit and primate inhalational challenge models of anthrax infection.

Vaccine 2006 Mar 21;24(10):1501-14. Epub 2005 Oct 21.

Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA 19486, USA.

Infection by Bacillus anthracis is preventable by prophylactic vaccination with several naturally derived and recombinant vaccine preparations. Existing data suggests that protection is mediated by antibodies directed against the protective antigen (PA) component of the anthrax toxin complex. PA is an 83-kDa protein cleaved in vivo to yield a biologically active 63-kDa protein. In an effort to evaluate the potential of yeast as an expression system for the production of recombinant PA, and to determine if the yeast-purified rPA63 can protect from a lethal inhalational challenge, the sequence of the 63-kDa form of PA was codon-optimized and expressed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Highly purified rPA63 isolated from Saccharomyces under denaturing conditions demonstrated reduced biological activity in a macrophage-killing assay compared to non-denatured rPA83 purified from Escherichia coli. Rabbits and non-human primates (NHP) immunized with rPA63 and later challenged with a lethal dose of B. anthracis spores were generally protected from infection. These results indicate that epitopes present in the 63-kDa from of PA can protect rabbits and non-human primates from a lethal spore challenge, and further suggest that a fully functional rPA63 is not required in order to provide these epitopes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2005.10.018DOI Listing
March 2006

Preclinical study of influenza virus A M2 peptide conjugate vaccines in mice, ferrets, and rhesus monkeys.

Vaccine 2004 Aug;22(23-24):2993-3003

Department of Vaccine and Biologics Research, Merck Research Laboratories, 770 Sumneytown Pike, P.O. Box 4, WP16-306, West Point, PA 19486, USA.

A universal influenza virus vaccine that does not require frequent updates and/or annual immunizations will offer significant advantages over current seasonal flu vaccines. The highly conserved influenza virus A M2 membrane protein has been previously suggested as a potential antigen target for such a vaccine. Here, we report systematic evaluation of M2 peptide conjugate vaccines (synthetic peptides of M2 extracellular domain conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) or Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane protein complex (OMPC)) in mice, ferrets, and rhesus monkeys. The conjugate vaccines were highly immunogenic in all species tested and were able to confer both protection against lethal challenge of either H1N1 or H3N1 virus in mice and reduce viral shedding in the lower respiratory tracts of mice and ferrets. The protection against lethal challenge in mice could also be achieved by passive transfer of monkey sera containing high M2 antibody titers. In addition, we showed that M2 antisera were cross reactive with M2 peptides derived from a wide range of human influenza A strains, but they failed to react with M2 peptides of the pathogenic H5N1 virus (A/Hong Kong/97). The data presented here will permit better understanding of the potential of an M2-based vaccine approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2004.02.021DOI Listing
August 2004

Quantitative adenovirus neutralization assays based on the secreted alkaline phosphatase reporter gene: application in epidemiologic studies and in the design of adenovector vaccines.

Hum Gene Ther 2004 Mar;15(3):293-304

Department of Virus & Cell Biology, Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc., West Point, PA 19486, USA.

Replication-defective recombinant adenoviruses (rAd) are used as vectors for vaccines as well as for gene therapy. To determine type-specific antibodies to adenovirus (Ad) serotypes 2, 5, 24, 34, and 35, we developed quantitative neutralization assays using recombinant adenoviruses with the secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) reporter gene. Among the standardized parameters, the concentration of infectious and noninfectious adenoviral particles used in the assay is critical for a reliable comparison of data from different studies. The usefulness of this assay was demonstrated in a pilot epidemiologic study of 40 healthy individuals. In this study, the highest prevalence of antiadenovirus antibodies was found for the Ad2 serotype (82.5%), followed by Ad5 (35%). The prevalence of antiadenovirus antibodies for the serotypes 24, 34, and 35 was low (7.5%, 2.5%, and 0%, respectively). In addition, epidemiologic parameters such as gender and age were statistically evaluated. A positive association was found between age and the presence of anti-Ad5 antibodies. The assay was also useful for evaluating the presence of antiadenovirus antibodies in the design of vaccines using a rhesus monkey model. In this animal model, it was possible to determine differential dose and time responses, and the specificity for the detection of neutralizing antibodies was assessed. The evaluation of serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies can be of both clinical and epidemiologic importance as a means of selecting the appropriate serotype adenovector(s).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/104303404322886147DOI Listing
March 2004

Decline in varicella-zoster virus (VZV)-specific cell-mediated immunity with increasing age and boosting with a high-dose VZV vaccine.

J Infect Dis 2003 Nov 17;188(9):1336-44. Epub 2003 Oct 17.

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado, USA.

The safety and immunogenecity of a booster dose of live attenuated varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccine was evaluated in 196 healthy subjects, >or=60 years old, who had already received a VZV vaccine >5 years before. This repeat booster dose was well tolerated. Cell-mediated immunity (CMI) to VZV was measured by an interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot-forming cell (ELISPOT) assay and a limiting dilution responder cell frequency (RCF) assay. Prevaccination responses decreased as a function of increasing age but were detectable in all subjects by use of the IFN-gamma ELISPOT assay. In most subjects, VZV-specific CMI was increased at 6 weeks postvaccination. The magnitude of the vaccine-induced IFN-gamma ELISPOT response was inversely related to prevaccination values. Although there was a significant correlation between the IFN-gamma ELISPOT and RCF assays, the ELISPOT assay had greater sensitivity and a wider dynamic range. A live attenuated VZV vaccine is safe and immunogenic in an elderly population, and the vaccine-induced immunity may be monitored by the IFN-gamma ELISPOT assay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/379048DOI Listing
November 2003

Indole naphthyridinones as inhibitors of bacterial enoyl-ACP reductases FabI and FabK.

J Med Chem 2003 Apr;46(9):1627-35

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, 1250 South Collegeville Road, P.O. Box 5089, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426, USA.

Bacterial enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI) is responsible for catalyzing the final step of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis and is an attractive target for the development of novel antibacterial agents. Previously we reported the development of FabI inhibitor 4 with narrow spectrum antimicrobial activity and in vivo efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus via intraperitoneal (ip) administration. Through iterative medicinal chemistry aided by X-ray crystal structure analysis, a new series of inhibitors has been developed with greatly increased potency against FabI-containing organisms. Several of these new inhibitors have potent antibacterial activity against multidrug resistant strains of S. aureus, and compound 30 demonstrates exceptional oral (po) in vivo efficacy in a S. aureus infection model in rats. While optimizing FabI inhibitory activity, compounds 29 and 30 were identified as having low micromolar FabK inhibitory activity, thereby increasing the antimicrobial spectrum of these compounds to include the FabK-containing pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis. The results described herein support the hypothesis that bacterial enoyl-ACP reductases are valid targets for antibacterial agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm0204035DOI Listing
April 2003

Isolation, structural characterization, and immunological evaluation of a high-molecular-weight exopolysaccharide from Staphylococcus aureus.

Carbohydr Res 2003 Apr;338(9):903-22

Departments of Virus and Cell Biology, Merck Research Laboratories, WP16-107, P.O. Box 4, West Point, PA 19486, USA.

Colonization of implanted medical devices by coagulase-negative staphylococci such as Staphylococcus epidermidis is mediated by the bacterial polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA), a polymer of beta-(1-->6)-linked glucosamine substituted with N-acetyl and O-succinyl constituents. The icaADBC locus containing the biosynthetic genes for production of PIA has been identified in both S. epidermidis and S. aureus. Whereas it is clear that PIA is a constituent that contributes to the virulence of S. epidermidis, it is less clear what role PIA plays in infection with S. aureus. Recently, identification of a novel polysaccharide antigen from S. aureus termed poly N-succinyl beta-(1-->6)-glucosamine (PNSG) has been reported. This polymer was composed of the same glycan backbone as PIA but was reported to contain a high proportion of N-succinylation rather than acetylation. We have isolated a glucosamine-containing exopolysaccharide from the constitutive over-producing MN8m strain of S. aureus in order to prepare polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines. In this report we demonstrate that MN8m produced a high-molecular-weight (>300,000 Da) polymer of beta-(1-->6)-linked glucosamine containing 45-60% N-acetyl, and a small amount of O-succinyl (approx 10% mole ratio to monosaccharide units). By detailed NMR analyses of polysaccharide preparations, we show that the previous identification of N-succinyl was an analytical artifact. The exopolysaccharide we have isolated is active in in vitro hemagglutination assays and is immunogenic in mice when coupled to a protein carrier. We therefore conclude that S. aureus strain MN8m produces a polymer that is chemically and biologically closely related to the PIA produced by S. epidermidis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0008-6215(03)00045-4DOI Listing
April 2003

Enhancement of alpha -helicity in the HIV-1 inhibitory peptide DP178 leads to an increased affinity for human monoclonal antibody 2F5 but does not elicit neutralizing responses in vitro. Implications for vaccine design.

J Biol Chem 2002 Nov 16;277(48):45811-20. Epub 2002 Sep 16.

Department of Virus and Cell Biology, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486, USA.

The synthetic peptide DP178, derived from the carboxyl-terminal heptad repeat region of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 GP41 protein is a potent inhibitor of viral-mediated fusion and contains the sequence ELDKWA, which constitutes the recognition epitope for the broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibody 2F5. Efforts at eliciting a 2F5-like immune response by immunization with peptides or fusion proteins containing this sequence have not met with success, possibly because of incorrect structural presentation of the epitope. Although the structure of the carboxyl-terminal heptad repeat on the virion is not known, several recent reports have suggested a propensity for alpha-helical conformation. We have examined DP178 in the context of a model for optimized alpha-helices and show that the native sequence conforms poorly to the model. Solution conformation of DP178 was studied by circular dichroism and NMR spectroscopy and found to be predominantly random, consistent with previous reports. NMR mapping was used to show that the low percentage of alpha-helix present was localized to residues Glu(662) through Asn(671), a region encompassing the 2F5 epitope. Using NH(2)-terminal extensions derived from either GP41 or the yeast GCN4 leucine zipper dimerization domain, we designed peptide analogs in which the average helicity is significantly increased compared with DP178 and show that these peptides exhibit both a modest increase in affinity for 2F5 using a novel competitive solution-based binding assay and an increased ability to inhibit viral entry in a single-cycle infectivity model. Selected peptides were conjugated to carrier protein and used for guinea pig immunizations. High peptide-specific titers were achieved using these immunogens, but the resulting sera were incapable of viral neutralization. We discuss these findings in terms of structural and immunological considerations as to the utility of a 2F5-like response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M205862200DOI Listing
November 2002

Discovery of a novel and potent class of FabI-directed antibacterial agents.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2002 10;46(10):3118-24

Microbial, Musculoskeletal and Proliferative Diseases Center of Excellence in Drug Discovery, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426, USA.

Bacterial enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase (FabI) catalyzes the final step in each elongation cycle of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis and is an attractive target for the development of new antibacterial agents. High-throughput screening of the Staphylococcus aureus FabI enzyme identified a novel, weak inhibitor with no detectable antibacterial activity against S. aureus. Iterative medicinal chemistry and X-ray crystal structure-based design led to the identification of compound 4 [(E)-N-methyl-N-(2-methyl-1H-indol-3-ylmethyl)-3-(7-oxo-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-1,8-naphthyridin-3-yl)acrylamide], which is 350-fold more potent than the original lead compound obtained by high-throughput screening in the FabI inhibition assay. Compound 4 has exquisite antistaphylococci activity, achieving MICs at which 90% of isolates are inhibited more than 500 times lower than those of nine currently available antibiotics against a panel of multidrug-resistant strains of S. aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Furthermore, compound 4 exhibits excellent in vivo efficacy in an S. aureus infection model in rats. Biochemical and genetic approaches have confirmed that the mode of antibacterial action of compound 4 and related compounds is via inhibition of FabI. Compound 4 also exhibits weak FabK inhibitory activity, which may explain its antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis, which depend on FabK and both FabK and FabI, respectively, for their enoyl-ACP reductase function. These results show that compound 4 is representative of a new, totally synthetic series of antibacterial agents that has the potential to provide novel alternatives for the treatment of S. aureus infections that are resistant to our present armory of antibiotics.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC128775PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/aac.46.10.3118-3124.2002DOI Listing
October 2002

Discovery of aminopyridine-based inhibitors of bacterial enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI).

J Med Chem 2002 Jul;45(15):3246-56

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, 1250 South Collegeville Road, P.O. Box 5089, Collegeville, PA 19426, USA.

Bacterial enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI) catalyzes the final step in each cycle of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis and is an attractive target for the development of new antibacterial agents. Our efforts to identify potent, selective FabI inhibitors began with screening of the GlaxoSmithKline proprietary compound collection, which identified several small-molecule inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus FabI. Through a combination of iterative medicinal chemistry and X-ray crystal structure based design, one of these leads was developed into the novel aminopyridine derivative 9, a low micromolar inhibitor of FabI from S. aureus (IC(50) = 2.4 microM) and Haemophilus influenzae (IC(50) = 4.2 microM). Compound 9 has good in vitro antibacterial activity against several organisms, including S. aureus (MIC = 0.5 microg/mL), and is effective in vivo in a S. aureus groin abscess infection model in rats. Through FabI overexpressor and macromolecular synthesis studies, the mode of action of 9 has been confirmed to be inhibition of fatty acid biosynthesis via inhibition of FabI. Taken together, these results support FabI as a valid antibacterial target and demonstrate the potential of small-molecule FabI inhibitors for the treatment of bacterial infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm020050+DOI Listing
July 2002

Replication-incompetent adenoviral vaccine vector elicits effective anti-immunodeficiency-virus immunity.

Nature 2002 Jan;415(6869):331-5

Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania 19486, USA.

Recent studies of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in humans and of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in rhesus monkeys have shown that resolution of the acute viral infection and control of the subsequent persistent infection are mediated by the antiviral cellular immune response. We comparatively assessed several vaccine vector delivery systems-three formulations of a plasmid DNA vector, the modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) virus, and a replication incompetent adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) vector-expressing the SIV gag protein for their ability to elicit such immune responses in monkeys. The vaccines were tested either as a single modality or in combined modality regimens. Here we show that the most effective responses were elicited by a replication-incompetent Ad5 vector, used either alone or as a booster inoculation after priming with a DNA vector. After challenge with a pathogenic HIV-SIV hybrid virus (SHIV), the animals immunized with Ad5 vector exhibited the most pronounced attenuation of the virus infection. The replication-defective adenovirus is a promising vaccine vector for development of an HIV-1 vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/415331aDOI Listing
January 2002