Congratulations to Dr. William Devine and Professors Aaron Beeler and John Porco on their paper “Fine-tuning of macrophage activation using synthetic rocaglate derivatives” in Nature Scientific Reports, published April, 2016. This work, on novel activity identified for the rocaglates, was done in collaboration with the Beeler group, the CMD and with our collaborator Igor Kramnik, and coworkers, at the BU NEIDL.
Abstract: Drug-resistant bacteria represent a significant global threat. Given the dearth of new antibiotics, host-directed therapies (HDTs) are especially desirable. As IFN-gamma (IFNγ) plays a central role in host resistance to intracellular bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, we searched for small molecules to augment the IFNγ response in macrophages. Using an interferon-inducible nuclear protein Ipr1 as a biomarker of macrophage activation, we performed a high-throughput screen and identified molecules that synergized with low concentration of IFNγ. Several active compounds belonged to the flavagline (rocaglate) family. In primary macrophages a subset of rocaglates 1) synergized with low concentrations of IFNγ in stimulating expression of a subset of IFN-inducible genes, including a key regulator of the IFNγ network, Irf1; 2) suppressed the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and type I IFN and 3) induced autophagy. These compounds may represent a basis for acrophage-directed therapies that fine-tune macrophage effector functions to combat intracellular pathogens and reduce inflammatory tissue damage. These therapies would be especially relevant to fighting drug-resistant pathogens, where improving host immunity may prove to be the ultimate resource.
(CMD Publications #90)
Professor Porco speaks at The 33rd Herbert C. Brown Lectures in Organic Chemistry, Purdue University
Professor Porco spoke at The 33rd Herbert C. Brown Lectures in Organic Chemistry, Purdue University, on April 15, 2016. His talk was entitled “Chemical Synthesis and Biological Studies of the Rocaglates and Derivatives.”
Abstract: The plant genus Aglaia produces a number of secondary metabolites including the cyclopenta[b]benzofuran silvestrol. Cyclopenta[b]benzofuran natural products possess potent anticancer properties due to modulation of the activity of the RNA helicase eukaryotic initiation factor 4A (eIF4A), which is involved in loading ribosomes onto mRNA templates during translation initiation, a step frequently deregulated in cancer. In this presentation, we will describe our efforts to synthesize silvestrol and rocaglate analogues using photocycloaddition of 3-hydroxyflavones with various dipolarophiles, and evaluation of the rocaglates produced as inhibitors of eukaryotic protein translation.
CMD wishes to Welcome three new members to the team:
Ravi Chetree – Analytical Core Manager
Nandini Vallavoju – Postdoc
Wenqing Xu – Postdoc
After 2 years as a Visiting Researcher in our lab Mikayo is returning home to Japan to be a Team Leader at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. We thank her for her great research here in the CMD and wish her the best in her future endeavours.