A multiplasmid approach to preparing large libraries of polyketides. (1/942)

A three-plasmid system for heterologous expression of 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase (DEBS) has been developed to facilitate combinatorial biosynthesis of polyketides made by type I modular polyketide synthases (PKSs). The eryA PKS genes encoding the three DEBS subunits were individually cloned into three compatible Streptomyces vectors carrying mutually selectable antibiotic resistance markers. A strain of Streptomyces lividans transformed with all three plasmids produced 6-deoxyerythronolide B at a level similar to that of a strain transformed with a single plasmid containing all three genes. The utility of this system in combinatorial biosynthesis was demonstrated through production of a library of modified polyketide macrolactones by using versions of each plasmid constructed to contain defined mutations. Combinations of these vector sets were introduced into S. lividans, resulting in strains producing a wide range of 6-deoxyerythronolide B analogs. This method can be extended to any modular PKS and has the potential to produce thousands of novel natural products, including ones derived from further modification of the PKS products by tailoring enzymes.  (+info)

Modelling G-protein-coupled receptors for drug design. (2/942)

The G-protein coupled receptors form a large and diverse multi-gene superfamily with many important physiological functions. As such, they have become important targets in pharmaceutical research. Molecular modelling and site-directed mutagenesis have played an important role in our increasing understanding of the structural basis of drug action at these receptors. Aspects of this understanding, how these techniques can be used within a drug-design programme, and remaining challenges for the future are reviewed.  (+info)

A combinatorial approach to producing sterically stabilized (Stealth) immunoliposomal drugs. (3/942)

We have developed a method for producing sterically stabilized immunoliposomal drugs (SIL) readily applicable to a 'mix and match' combinatorial approach for the simple manufacture of a variety of ligand-targeted liposomal drugs. Ligands coupled to the terminus of polyethylene glycol (PEG) in micelles formed from PEG-lipid derivatives (mPEG2000-DSPE) could be transferred into preformed, drug-containing liposomes from the micelles in a temperature- and time-dependent manner. Antibody densities up to 100 microg antibody/micromol of phospholipid, and up to 3 mol% of mPEG2000-DSPE, could be simultaneously transferred from the ligand-coupled micelles into the liposomal outer monolayer with negligible drug leakage from liposomes during transfer and good stability in human plasma. Transfer of anti-CD19 into SIL resulted in a three-fold increase in binding of these liposomes to CD19+ human B cell lymphoma cells.  (+info)

Phagotopes derived by antibody screening of phage-displayed random peptide libraries vary in immunoreactivity: studies using an exemplary monoclonal antibody, CII-C1, to type II collagen. (4/942)

Antibody screening of phage-displayed random peptide libraries to identify mimotopes of conformational epitopes is promising. However, because interpretations can be difficult, an exemplary system has been used in the present study to investigate whether variation in the peptide sequences of selected phagotopes corresponded with variation in immunoreactivity. The phagotopes, derived using a well-characterized monoclonal antibody, CII-C1, to a known conformational epitope on type II collagen, C1, were tested by direct and inhibition ELISA for reactivity with CII-C1. A multiple sequence alignment algorithm, PILEUP, was used to sort the peptides expressed by the phagotopes into clusters. A model was prepared of the C1 epitope on type II collagen. The 12 selected phagotopes reacted with CII-C1 by both direct ELISA (titres from < 100-11 200) and inhibition ELISA (20-100% inhibition); the reactivity varied according to the peptide sequence and assay format. The differences in reactivity between the phagotopes were mostly in accord with the alignment, by PILEUP, of the peptide sequences. The finding that the phagotopes functionally mimicked the C1 epitope on collagen was validated in that amino acids RRL at the amino terminal of many of the peptides were topographically demonstrable on the model of the C1 epitope. Notably, one phagotope that expressed the widely divergent peptide C-IAPKRHNSA-C also mimicked the C1 epitope, as judged by reactivity in each of the assays used: these included cross-inhibition of CII-C1 reactivity with each of the other phagotopes and inhibition by a synthetic peptide corresponding to that expressed by the most frequently selected phagotope, RRLPFGSQM. Thus, it has been demonstrated that multiple phage-displayed peptides can mimic the same epitope and that observed immunoreactivity of selected phagotopes with the selecting mAb can depend on the primary sequence of the expressed peptide and also on the assay format used.  (+info)

Fibroblast growth factor receptor signalling is dictated by specific heparan sulphate saccharides. (5/942)

Signalling by fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) through FGF receptors (FGFRs) depends on the cell-surface polysaccharide heparan sulphate (HS) [1] [2]. HS has an ordered domain structure of highly diverse saccharide motifs that present unique displays of sulphate, carboxyl and hydroxyl groups [3]. These motifs interact with many proteins, particularly growth factors. HS binds both to FGFs [4] [5] [6] and FGFRs [7], and probably activates signalling by facilitating ligand-induced receptor dimerisation [8] [9]. Nevertheless, the extent to which specific HS saccharide sequences play a regulatory role has not been established. By screening a library of structurally diverse HS decasaccharides in bioassays of FGF signalling mediated by three different FGFR isoforms, we found that saccharides showed specificity for both ligands and receptors; some saccharides selectively activated FGF signalling through different FGFR isoforms, others acted as negative regulators. We conclude that HS saccharides play critical roles in dictating the specificity of ligand-receptor interactions in FGFR signalling. Controlled alterations in HS structures [10] would provide a mechanism for regulation of cellular responsiveness to growth factors that bind HS.  (+info)

Combinatorial catalysis: identification of potent chiral catalysts through fluorescent bead signaling. (6/942)

Simultaneous labeling of beads with a fluorescent sensor and a unique catalyst allows chemists to identify the most active catalyst within a mixture. This approach is a valuable addition to the protocols available in the growing field of combinatorial catalysis.  (+info)

A loop-mimetic inhibitor of the HCV-NS3 protease derived from a minibody. (7/942)

We have been interested for some time in establishing a strategy for deriving lead compounds from macromolecule ligands such as minibody variants. A minibody is a minimized antibody variable domain whose two loops are amenable to combinatorial mutagenesis. This approach can be especially useful when dealing with 'difficult' targets. One such target is the NS3 protease of hepatitis C virus (HCV), a human pathogen that is believed to infect about 100 million individuals worldwide and for which an effective therapy is not yet available. Based on known inhibitor specificity (residues P6-P1) of NS3 protease, we screened a number of minibodies from our collection and we were able to identify a competitive inhibitor of this enzyme. We thus validated an aspect of recognition by HCV NS3 protease, namely that an acid anchor is necessary for inhibitor activity. In addition, the characterization of the minibody inhibitor led to the synthesis of a constrained hexapeptide mimicking the bioactive loop of the parent macromolecule. The cyclic peptide is a lead compound prone to rapid optimization through solid phase combinatorial chemistry. We therefore confirmed that the potential of turning a protein ligand into a low molecular weight active compound for lead discovery is achievable and can complement more traditional drug discovery approaches.  (+info)

Oligonucleotide-conjugated beads for transdominant genetic experiments. (8/942)

Transdominant genetics using expression libraries can identify proteins and peptides that affect cell division. In conjunction with these libraries, oligo-nucleotide-conjugated beads and flow cytometry were used to test a strategy that potentially expands the range of such genetic studies. The experimental approach involved creation of tagged expression libraries, introduction of these libraries into cells, growth of the cultured cells for several generations and recovery on oligonucleotide-conjugated beads of sequences that encode growth-modulatory proteins or peptides. Experiments in Saccharomyces cerevisiae demonstrating the feasibility of the strategy are presented.  (+info)