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    Celastrol analogues as inducers of the heat shock response. Design and synthesis of affinity probes for the identification of protein targets. Klaić Lada,Morimoto Richard I,Silverman Richard B ACS chemical biology The natural product celastrol (1) possesses numerous beneficial therapeutic properties and affects numerous cellular pathways. The mechanism of action and cellular target(s) of celastrol, however, remain unresolved. While a number of studies have proposed that the activity of celastrol is mediated through reaction with cysteine residues, these observations have been based on studies with specific proteins or by in vitro analysis of a small fraction of the proteome. In this study, we have investigated the spatial and structural requirements of celastrol for the design of suitable affinity probes to identify cellular binding partners of celastrol. Although celastrol has several potential sites for modification, some of these were not synthetically amenable or yielded unstable analogues. Conversion of the carboxylic acid functionality to amides and long-chain analogues, however, yielded bioactive compounds that induced the heat shock response (HSR) and antioxidant response and inhibited Hsp90 activity. This led to the synthesis of biotinylated celastrols (23 and 24) that were used as affinity reagents in extracts of human Panc-1 cells to identify Annexin II, eEF1A, and β-tubulin as potential targets of celastrol. 10.1021/cb200539u
    Design, synthesis and antitumor evaluation of novel celastrol derivatives. Xu Manyi,Li Na,Zhao Zihao,Shi Zhixian,Sun Jianbo,Chen Li European journal of medicinal chemistry On the basis of the hybridization strategy of natural products, a total of 32 novel celastrol hybrids were designed, synthesized and evaluated for their antitumor activities. Most of these derivatives exihibited significant antiproliferative activities compared to celastrol, among which compound 29 displayed the strongest inhibitory capability [IC = 0.15 ± 0.03 μM (A549),0.17 ± 0.03 μM (MCF-7), 0.26 ± 0.02 μM (HepG2)], which exhibited equal or superior anti-cancer activities in comparison to 2-cyano-3,12-dioxoolean-1,9 (11)-dien-28-oic acid methyl ester (CDDO-Me). The mechanism of pharmacological research indicated that 29 possessed the ability to disrupt Hsp90-Cdc37 complex which was stronger than celastrol. Meanwhile, compound 29 could induce abnormal regulation of clients (p-Akt and Cdk4) of Hsp90 and cell cycle arrest at G/G phase in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, compound 29 could also induce cell apoptosis through the death receptor pathway on A549 cells. Taken together, our results demonstrated that 29 might be a promising novel candidate for further druggability research. 10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.04.050
    HSP90 inhibitor, celastrol, arrests human monocytic leukemia cell U937 at G0/G1 in thiol-containing agents reversible way. Peng Bin,Xu Limin,Cao Fanfan,Wei Tingxuan,Yang Chunxin,Uzan Georges,Zhang Denghai Molecular cancer BACKGROUND:Because some of heat shock protein 90's (HSP90) clients are key cell cycle regulators, HSP90 inhibition can affect the cell cycle. Recently, celastrol is identified both as a novel inhibitor of HSP90 and as a potential anti-tumor agent. However, this agent's effects on the cell cycle are rarely investigated. In this study, we observed the effects of celastrol on the human monocytic leukemia cell line U937 cell cycle. RESULTS:Celastrol affected the proliferation of U937 in a dose-dependent way, arresting the cell cycle at G0/G1 with 400 nM doses and triggering cell death with doses above 1000 nM. Cell cycle arrest was accompanied by inhibition of HSP90 ATPase activity and elevation in HSP70 levels (a biochemical hallmark of HSP90 inhibition), a reduction in Cyclin D1, Cdk4 and Cdk6 levels, and a disruption of the HSP90/Cdc37/Cdk4 complex. The observed effects of celastrol on the U937 cell cycle were thiol-related, firstly because the effects could be countered by pre-loading thiol-containing agents and secondly because celastrol and thiol-containing agents could react with each other to form new compounds. CONCLUSIONS:Our results disclose a novel action of celastrol-- causing cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase based upon thiol-related HSP90 inhibition. Our work suggests celastrol's potential in tumor and monocyte-related disease management. 10.1186/1476-4598-9-79
    Tough polyacrylamide-tannic acid-kaolin adhesive hydrogels for quick hemostatic application. Fan Xianmou,Wang Shaobing,Fang Yan,Li Peiyuan,Zhou Weikang,Wang Zhengchao,Chen Mingfeng,Liu Haiqing Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications Adhesive hydrogels for wet and dynamic tissues are important for biomedical applications in order to withstand cyclic loading such as in the case of hemorrhaging control on the curved skins and heart tissues. However, the fabrication of hydrogels with strong mechanical properties, high adhesion strength, and hemostatic efficiency remains a big challenge. Inspired by the great adhesive behavior of mussels and Arion subfuscus, novel adhesive and hemostatic polyacrylamide-tannic acid-kaolin (PAAm-TA-KA) hydrogels were reported in this work. The hydrogels displayed high strength and toughness due to their physical and chemical crosslinking structures. The abundant catechol groups on tannic acid endow the hydrogels with strong and durable adhesion strength of up to 500 kPa on porcine skin. When applied onto human skin, the hydrogels could be easily peeled off without leaving any remains and causing any damages. The kaolin nanoparticles incorporated in the PAAm-TA-KA hydrogels not only served as a physical crosslinking agent, but an activator of the blood clotting factor FXII for accelerating the formation of thrombus. The strong tissue adhesion and blood coagulant potential of the PAAm-TA-KA hydrogels imparted them high hemostatic efficiency. The free-standing, adhesive, tough, cytocompatible, and hemostatic hydrogels are highly promising for traumatic bleeding control materials. 10.1016/j.msec.2020.110649
    Pharmacogenomic approach reveals a role for the x(c)- cystine/glutamate antiporter in growth and celastrol resistance of glioma cell lines. Pham Anh-Nhan,Blower Paul E,Alvarado Omar,Ravula Ranadheer,Gout Peter W,Huang Ying The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics The x(c)(-) cystine/glutamate antiporter has been implicated in GSH-based chemoresistance because it mediates cellular uptake of cystine/cysteine for sustenance of intracellular GSH levels. Celastrol, isolated from a Chinese medicinal herb, is a novel heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor with potent anticancer activity against glioma in vitro and in vivo. In search of correlations between growth-inhibitory potency of celastrol in NCI-60 cell lines and microarray expression profiles of most known transporters, we found that expression of SLC7A11, the gene encoding the light chain subunit of x(c)(-), showed a strong negative correlation with celastrol activity. This novel gene-drug correlation was validated. In celastrol-resistant glioma cells that highly expressed SLC7A11, sensitivity to celastrol was consistently increased via treatment with x(c)(-) inhibitors, including glutamate, (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine, sulfasalazine, and SLC7A11 small interfering RNA. The GSH synthesis inhibitor, buthionine sulfoximine, also increased celastrol sensitivity, whereas the GSH booster, N-acetylcysteine, suppressed its cytotoxicity. Furthermore, the glioma cell lines were dependent on x(c)(-)-mediated cystine uptake for viability, because cystine omission from the culture medium resulted in cell death and treatment with sulfasalazine depleted GSH levels and inhibited their growth. Combined treatment of glioma cells with sulfasalazine and celastrol led to chemosensitization, as suggested by increased celastrol-induced cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and down-regulation of the Hsp90 client protein, epidermal growth factor receptor. These results indicate that the x(c)(-) transporter provides a useful target for glioma therapy. x(c)(-) inhibitors such as sulfasalazine, a Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, may be effective both as an anticancer drug and as an agent for sensitizing gliomas to celastrol. 10.1124/jpet.109.162248
    Hyaluronic acid-functionalized bilosomes for targeted delivery of tripterine to inflamed area with enhancive therapy on arthritis. Yang Hailing,Liu Zhenjie,Song Yonglong,Hu Changjiang Drug delivery Arthritis treatment has been challenging because of low drug exposure to the articular cavity. This study was intended to develop hyaluronic acid (HA)-functionalized bilosomes for targeted delivery of tripterine (Tri), an antiphlogistic phytomedicine, to the inflamed joint via ligand-receptor interaction. Tri-loaded bilosomes (Tri-BLs) with cationic lipid (DOTAP) were prepared by a thin film hydration method followed by HA coating to form HA@Tri-BLs. HA@Tri-BLs were then characterized by particle size (), entrapment efficiency (), and structural morphology. The drug release, hemocompatibility test and cellular uptake were performed to examine the formulation performances of HA@Tri-BLs. The pharmacokinetics and antiarthritic efficacy were evaluated in arthritic models, respectively. The obtained HA@Tri-BLs possessed a of 118.5 nm around with an of 99.56%. HA@Tri-BLs exhibited excellent cellular uptake and targeted delivery efficiency for Tri, which resulted in elongation of circulatory residence time and enhancement of intra-arthritic bioavailability (799.9% relative to Tri solution). The antiarthritic efficacy of HA@Tri-BLs was also significantly superior to uncoated Tri-BLs that gave rise to obvious inflammation resolution. Our findings suggest that HA-functionalized bilosomes are a promising vehicle for articular delivery of antiphlogistic drugs to potentiate their efficacy. 10.1080/10717544.2019.1636423
    Celastrol Alleviates Gamma Irradiation-Induced Damage by Modulating Diverse Inflammatory Mediators. Wang Hong,Ahn Kwang Seok,Alharbi Sulaiman Ali,Shair Omar Hm,Arfuso Frank,Sethi Gautam,Chinnathambi Arunachalam,Tang Feng Ru International journal of molecular sciences The present study aimed to explore the possible radioprotective effects of celastrol and relevant molecular mechanisms in an in vitro cell and in vivo mouse models exposed to gamma radiation. Human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and foreskin fibroblast (BJ) cells were exposed to gamma radiation of 20Gy, followed by treatment with celastrol for 24 h. Cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO) and glutathione (GSH) production, lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, inflammatory cytokine levels, and NF-κB pathway activation were examined. The survival rate, levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in blood, and p65 and phospho-p65 expression were also evaluated in mice after exposure to gamma radiation and celastrol treatment. The gamma irradiation of HaCaT cells induced decreased cell viability, but treatment with celastrol significantly blocked this cytotoxicity. Gamma irradiation also increased free radical production (e.g., ROS and NO), decreased the level of GSH, and enhanced oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation in cells, which were effectively reversed by celastrol treatment. Moreover, inflammatory responses induced by gamma irradiation, as demonstrated by increased levels of IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β, were also blocked by celastrol. The increased activity of NF-κB DNA binding following gamma radiation was significantly attenuated after celastrol treatment. In the irradiated mice, treatment with celastrol significantly improved overall survival rate, reduced the excessive inflammatory responses, and decreased NF-κB activity. As a NF-κB pathway blocker and antioxidant, celastrol may represent a promising pharmacological agent with protective effects against gamma irradiation-induced injury. 10.3390/ijms21031084
    Quinone methides and their prodrugs: a subtle equilibrium between cancer promotion, prevention, and cure. Dufrasne F,Gelbcke Michel,Neve Jean,Kiss Robert,Kraus Jean-Louis Current medicinal chemistry The importance of reactive drug metabolites in the pathogenesis of drug-induced toxicity has been investigated since the early 1950s, mainly to reveal the link between toxic metabolites and chemical carcinogenesis. This review mainly focuses on biologically active compounds, which generate reactive quinone methide (QM) intermediates either directly or after bioactivation. Several examples of anticancer drugs acting through the generation of QM electrophiles are given. The use of those drugs for chemotherapeutic purposes is also discussed. The key feature of those QM-generating drugs is their reactivity toward specific nucleophilic biological targets. Modulation of their reactivity represents a challenge for medicinal chemists because, depending on the reactivity of these QM intermediates, their interaction with critical proteins can alter the function of these key proteins and induce a wide variety of responses with functional consequences. Among the possible consequences, antiproliferative effects could be exploited for chemotherapeutic purposes. Information on how such QM-generating drugs can affect individual target proteins and their functional consequences are required to help the medicinal chemist in the design of more specific QM-generating molecules for chemotherapeutic use.
    Reactive oxygen species-responsive nanoprodrug with quinone methides-mediated GSH depletion for improved chlorambucil breast cancers therapy. Luo Cheng-Qiong,Zhou Yu-Xin,Zhou Tian-Jiao,Xing Lei,Cui Peng-Fei,Sun Minjie,Jin Liang,Lu Na,Jiang Hu-Lin Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society Prodrug-based stimuli-responsive vectors have emerged as highly promising platform. Inspired by the fact that antioxidant systems including glutathione (GSH) make cancer cells adapt to oxidative stress and play a role in the inactivation of alkylating agents like chlorambucil (CHL) inside tumor cells, while arylboronic acid could transform into GSH depleting agent quinone methide (QM) upon degradation by reactive oxygen species (ROS) over-expressed in tumor cells, a ROS-responsive nanoprodrug (denoted by PPAHC) of CHL was established by integrating CHL into diols-containing hydrophilic polymer with self-immolative linker 4-(hydroxymethyl)phenylboronic acid (HPBA). The prodrug could form core-shell nanoparticle and possess high stability during storage. Drug release profile of PPAHC nanoprodrug demonstrated that nature CHL could be quickly released from PPAHC nanoprodrug in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (HO). Moreover, PPAHC nanoprodrug showed improved therapeutic efficiency compared to CHL via anti-proliferative study and cell apoptosis assay. Further measurement of GSH content and ROS levels in tumor cells suggested that the synergistic impact resulted from QM-mediated GSH reduction and CHL-induced further oxidative stress insults to tumor cells. In vivo tumor suppression effect and biocompatibility indicated the superiorities of PPAHC nanoprodrug. Accordingly, PPAHC provides a new approach as a ROS-responsive CHL delivery system and has a great potential for cancer therapy. 10.1016/j.jconrel.2018.01.034
    Quinone-induced activation of Keap1/Nrf2 signaling by aspirin prodrugs masquerading as nitric oxide. Dunlap Tareisha,Piyankarage Sujeewa C,Wijewickrama Gihani T,Abdul-Hay Samer,Vanni Michael,Litosh Vladislav,Luo Jia,Thatcher Gregory R J Chemical research in toxicology The promising therapeutic potential of the NO-donating hybrid aspirin prodrugs (NO-ASA) includes induction of chemopreventive mechanisms and has been reported in almost 100 publications. One example, NCX-4040 (pNO-ASA), is bioactivated by esterase to a quinone methide (QM) electrophile. In cell cultures, pNO-ASA and QM-donating X-ASA prodrugs that cannot release NO rapidly depleted intracellular GSH and caused DNA damage; however, induction of Nrf2 signaling elicited cellular defense mechanisms including upregulation of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1) and glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL). In HepG2 cells, the "NO-specific" 4,5-diaminofluorescein reporter, DAF-DA, responded to NO-ASA and X-ASA, with QM-induced oxidative stress masquerading as NO. LC-MS/MS analysis demonstrated efficient alkylation of Cys residues of proteins including glutathione-S-transferase-P1 (GST-P1) and Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1). Evidence was obtained for alkylation of Keap1 Cys residues associated with Nrf2 translocation to the nucleus, nuclear translocation of Nrf2, activation of antioxidant response element (ARE), and upregulation of cytoprotective target genes. At least in cell culture, pNO-ASA acts as a QM donor, bioactivated by cellular esterase activity to release salicylates, NO(3)(-), and an electrophilic QM. Finally, two novel aspirin prodrugs were synthesized, both potent activators of ARE, designed to release only the QM and salicylates on bioactivation. Current interest in electrophilic drugs acting via Nrf2 signaling suggests that QM-donating hybrid drugs can be designed as informative chemical probes in drug discovery. 10.1021/tx3003609
    Identification of Boronic Acid Derivatives as an Active Form of N-Alkylaminoferrocene-Based Anticancer Prodrugs and Their Radiolabeling with F. Daum Steffen,Toms Johannes,Reshetnikov Viktor,Özkan Hülya Gizem,Hampel Frank,Maschauer Simone,Hakimioun Amir,Beierlein Frank,Sellner Leopold,Schmitt Michael,Prante Olaf,Mokhir Andriy Bioconjugate chemistry N-Alkylaminoferrocene (NAAF)-based prodrugs are activated in the presence of elevated amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which corresponds to cancer specific conditions, with formation of NAAF and p-quinone methide. Both products act synergistically by increasing oxidative stress in cancer cells that causes their death. Though it has already been demonstrated that the best prodrugs of this type retain their antitumor activity in vivo, the effects were found to be substantially weaker than those observed in cell cultures. Moreover, the mechanistic studies of these compounds in vivo are missing. For clarification of these important questions, labeling of the prodrugs with radioactive moieties would be necessary. In this paper, we first observed that the representative NAAF-based prodrugs are hydrolyzed in dilute aqueous solutions to the corresponding arylboronic acids. We confirmed that these products are responsible for ROS amplification and anticancer properties of the parent prodrugs. Next, we developed the efficient synthetic protocol for radiolabeling the hydrolyzed NAAF-based prodrugs by [F]fluoroglucosylation under the conditions of the copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition and used this protocol to prepare one representative hydrolyzed NAAF-based prodrug radiolabeled with F. Finally, we studied the stability of the F-labeled compound in human serum in vitro and in rat blood in vivo and obtained preliminary data on its biodistribution in vivo in mice carrying pancreatic (AR42J) and prostate (PC3) tumors by applying PET imaging studies. The compound described in this paper will help to understand in vivo effects (e.g., pharmacokinetics, accumulation in organs, the nature of side effects) of these prodrugs that will strongly contribute to their advancement to clinical trials. 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.9b00019
    Activity of aminoferrocene-based prodrugs against prostate cancer. Schikora Margot,Reznikov Alexander,Chaykovskaya Liudmila,Sachinska Olga,Polyakova Lubov,Mokhir Andriy Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters We tested cytotoxicity of aminoferrocene-based prodrugs towards human androgen-responsive and unresponsive prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP and DU-145 correspondingly. Two prodrugs were selected, which are both activated at elevated concentrations of ROS with generation of quinone methide (antioxidant system inhibitor) and iron-containing compounds (N-benzylaminoferrocene (prodrug 1) and Fe salts (2)). We observed that only prodrug 1 is active against the selected prostate cancer cells (IC50=11-27 μM) and its activity correlates with the high cell-membrane permeability and increased production of intracellular ROS. 10.1016/j.bmcl.2015.07.013
    Prodrugs Bioactivated to Quinones Target NF-κB and Multiple Protein Networks: Identification of the Quinonome. Pierce Emily N,Piyankarage Sujeewa C,Dunlap Tareisha,Litosh Vladislav,Siklos Marton I,Wang Yue-Ting,Thatcher Gregory R J Chemical research in toxicology Electrophilic reactive intermediates resulting from drug metabolism have been associated with toxicity and off-target effects and in some drug discovery programs trigger NO-GO decisions. Many botanicals and dietary supplements are replete with such reactive electrophiles, notably Michael acceptors, which have been demonstrated to elicit chemopreventive mechanisms; and Michael acceptors are gaining regulatory approval as contemporary cancer therapeutics. Identifying protein targets of these electrophiles is central to understanding potential therapeutic benefit and toxicity risk. NO-donating NSAID prodrugs (NO-NSAIDs) have been the focus of extensive clinical and preclinical studies in inflammation and cancer chemoprevention and therapy: a subset exemplified by pNO-ASA, induces chemopreventive mechanisms following bioactivation to an electrophilic quinone methide (QM) Michael acceptor. Having previously shown that these NO-independent, QM-donors activated Nrf2 via covalent modification of Keap-1, we demonstrate that components of canonical NF-κB signaling are also targets, leading to the inhibition of NF-κB signaling. Combining bio-orthogonal probes of QM-donor ASA prodrugs with mass spectrometric proteomics and pathway analysis, we proceeded to characterize the quinonome: the protein cellular targets of QM-modification by pNO-ASA and its ASA pro-drug congeners. Further comparison was made using a biorthogonal probe of the "bare-bones", Michael acceptor, and clinical anti-inflammatory agent, dimethyl fumarate, which we have shown to inhibit NF-κB signaling. Identified quinonome pathways include post-translational protein folding, cell-death regulation, protein transport, and glycolysis; and identified proteins included multiple heat shock elements, the latter functionally confirmed by demonstrating activation of heat shock response. 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.6b00115
    Enhancement of radiation sensitivity in lung cancer cells by celastrol is mediated by inhibition of Hsp90. Lee Ji-Hyun,Choi Kyu Jin,Seo Woo Duck,Jang Soon Young,Kim Mira,Lee Byong Won,Kim Jun Young,Kang Seongman,Park Ki Hun,Lee Yun-Sil,Bae Sangwoo International journal of molecular medicine The radiosensitizing activity of celastrol, a quinone methide triterpene was examined. We found that celastrol treatment of the NCI-H460 lung cancer cell line increased radiation-induced cell killing. The increased radiosensitivity was correlated with decreased levels of Hsp90 clients, such as EGFR, ErbB2 and survivin as well as with increased p53 expression. Celastrol inhibited the ATP-binding activity of Hsp90. Furthermore, celastrol treatment dissociated an Hsp90 client protein, EGFR, and this in turn resulted in degradation of the client protein. These results were not observed with another structurally similar triterpenoid, 6β-acetonyl-22β-hydroxytingenol (TG), suggesting that a specific structural feature of the triterpenoid is required for radiosensitization. Moreover celastrol treatment increased p53 levels by phosphorylating Ser15 and Ser20 residues as well as by inhibiting its proteasomal degradation. Celastrol may be considered an effective radiosensitizer acting as an inhibitor of Hsp90 and a p53 activator. The two activities could be applicable to a broad range of cancer cells with either wild-type or mutant p53 because either activity could be effective for the enhancement of radiation cell killing. Further analysis with other triterpenoids should identify the functional moiety of the structure and additional candidates for effective radiosensitizers, which can be used in combined radiotherapy. 10.3892/ijmm.2011.601
    Evaluation of connectivity map-discovered celastrol as a radiosensitizing agent in a murine lung carcinoma model: Feasibility study of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Jun Hong Young,Kim Tae-Hoon,Choi Jin Woo,Lee Young Hwan,Lee Kang Kyoo,Yoon Kwon-Ha PloS one This study was designed to identify potential radiosensitizing (RS) agents for combined radio- and chemotherapy in a murine model of human lung carcinoma, and to evaluate the in vivo effect of the RS agents using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI). Radioresistance-associated genes in A549 and H460 cells were isolated on the basis of their gene expression profiles. Celastrol was selected as a candidate RS by using connectivity mapping, and its efficacy in lung cancer radiotherapy was tested. Mice inoculated with A549 carcinoma cells were treated with single ionizing radiation (SIR), single celastrol (SC), or celastrol-combined ionizing radiation (CCIR). Changes in radiosensitization over time were assessed using DW-MRI before and at 3, 6, and 12 days after therapy initiation. The tumors were stained with hematoxylin and eosin at 6 and 12 days after therapy. The percentage change in the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value in the CCIR group was significantly higher than that in the SC and SIR group on the 12th day (Mann-Whitney U-test, p = 0.05; Kruskal-Wallis test, p < 0.05). A significant correlation (Spearman's rho correlation coefficient of 0.713, p = 0.001) was observed between the mean percentage tumor necrotic area and the mean ADC values after therapy initiation. These results suggest that the novel radiosensitizing agent celastrol has therapeutic effects when combined with ionizing radiation (IR), thereby maximizing the therapeutic effect of radiation in non-small cell lung carcinoma. In addition, DW-MRI is a useful noninvasive tool to monitor the effects of RS agents by assessing cellularity changes and sequential therapeutic responses. 10.1371/journal.pone.0178204
    Chemoenzymatic -Quinone Methide Formation. Doyon Tyler J,Perkins Jonathan C,Baker Dockrey Summer A,Romero Evan O,Skinner Kevin C,Zimmerman Paul M,Narayan Alison R H Journal of the American Chemical Society Generation of reactive intermediates and interception of these fleeting species under physiological conditions is a common strategy employed by Nature to build molecular complexity. However, selective formation of these species under mild conditions using classical synthetic techniques is an outstanding challenge. Here, we demonstrate the utility of biocatalysis in generating -quinone methide intermediates with precise chemoselectivity under mild, aqueous conditions. Specifically, α-ketoglutarate-dependent non-heme iron enzymes, CitB and ClaD, are employed to selectively modify benzylic C-H bonds of -cresol substrates. In this transformation, biocatalytic hydroxylation of a benzylic C-H bond affords a benzylic alcohol product which, under the aqueous reaction conditions, is in equilibrium with the corresponding -quinone methide. -Quinone methide interception by a nucleophile or a dienophile allows for one-pot conversion of benzylic C-H bonds into C-C, C-N, C-O, and C-S bonds in chemoenzymatic cascades on preparative scale. The chemoselectivity and mild nature of this platform is showcased here by the selective modification of peptides and chemoenzymatic synthesis of the chroman natural product (-)-xyloketal D. 10.1021/jacs.9b10474
    Biosynthesis, total synthesis, structural modifications, bioactivity, and mechanism of action of the quinone-methide triterpenoid celastrol. Lu Yun,Liu Yuan,Zhou Jiawei,Li Dan,Gao Wei Medicinal research reviews Celastrol, a quinone-methide triterpenoid, was extracted from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. F. in 1936 for the first time. Almost 70 years later, it is considered one of the molecules most likely to be developed into modern drugs, as it exhibits notable bioactivity, including anticancer and anti-inflammatory activity, and exerts antiobesity effects. In addition, the molecular mechanisms underlying its bioactivity are being widely studied, which offers new avenues for its development as a pharmaceutical reagent. Owing to its potential therapeutic effects and unique chemical structure, celastrol has attracted considerable interest in the fields of organic, biosynthesis, and medicinal chemistry. As several steps in the biosynthesis of celastrol have been revealed, the mechanisms of key enzymes catalyzing the formation and postmodifications of the celastrol scaffold have been gradually elucidated, which lays a good foundation for the future heterogeneous biosynthesis of celastrol. Chemical synthesis is also an effective approach to obtain celastrol. The total synthesis of celastrol was realized for the first time in 2015, which established a new strategy to obtain celastroid natural products. However, owing to the toxic effects and suboptimal pharmacological properties of celastrol, its clinical applications remain limited. To search for drug-like derivatives, several structurally modified compounds were synthesized and tested. This review focuses primarily on the latest research progress in the biosynthesis, total synthesis, structural modifications, bioactivity, and mechanism of action of celastrol. We anticipate that this paper will facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of this promising compound and provide constructive references for future research in this field. 10.1002/med.21751