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Author: Prashant Desai (79)


Oct
2017

Here, we present a transformational approach to genome engineering of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which has a large DNA genome, using synthetic genomics tools. We believe this method will enable more rapid and complex modifications of HSV-1 and other large DNA viruses than previous technologies, facilitating many useful applications. Yeast transformation-associated recombination was used to clone 11 fragments comprising the HSV-1 strain KOS 152 kb genome.

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Nov
2017

In silico tools to investigate absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and pharmacokinetics (ADME-PK) properties of new chemical entities are an integral part of the current industrial drug discovery paradigm. While many companies are active in the field, scientists engaged in this area do not necessarily share the same background and have limited resources when seeking guidance on how to initiate and maintain an in silico ADME-PK infrastructure in an industrial setting. This work summarizes the views of a group of industrial in silico and experimental ADME scientists, participating in the In Silico ADME Working Group, a subgroup of the International Consortium for Innovation through Quality in Pharmaceutical Development (IQ) Drug Metabolism Leadership Group.

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May
2017

Self-assembly of herpesvirus capsids can be accomplished in heterologous expression systems provided all six capsid proteins are present. We have demonstrated the assembly of icosahedral Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) capsids in insect cells using the baculovirus expression system. Using this self-assembly system we investigated whether we could add additional capsid associated proteins and determine their incorporation into the assembled capsid.

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Dec
1969

Our laboratory was one of the first to engineer a live fluorescent tag, enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP), that marked the capsid of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and subsequently maturing virus as the particle made its way to the cell surface. In the present study we sought to increase the repertoire of colors available as fusion to the small capsid protein, VP26, so that they can be used alone or in conjunction with other fluorescent tags (fused to other HSV proteins) to follow the virus as it enters and replicates within the cell. We have now generated viruses expressing VP26 fusions with Cerulean, Venus, mOrange, tdTomato, mCherry, and Dronpa3 fluorescent proteins.

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Apr
2017

The delivery of large DNA vectors (>100 000 bp) remains a limiting step in the engineering of mammalian cells and the development of human artificial chromosomes (HACs). Yeast is commonly used to assemble genetic constructs in the megabase size range, and has previously been used to transfer constructs directly into cultured cells. We improved this method to efficiently deliver large (1.

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Nov
2016

We report development and prospective validation of a QSAR model of the unbound brain-to-plasma partition coefficient, K, based on the in-house data set of ∼1000 compounds. We discuss effects of experimental variability, explore the applicability of both regression and classification approaches, and evaluate a novel, model-within-a-model approach of including P-glycoprotein efflux prediction as an additional variable. When tested on an independent test set of 91 internal compounds, incorporation of P-glycoprotein efflux information significantly improves the model performance resulting in an Rof 0.

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Aug
2016

Cyclic peptide (CP) natural products provide useful model systems for mapping "beyond-Rule-of-5" (bRo5) space. We identified the phepropeptins as natural product CPs with potential cell permeability. Synthesis of the phepropeptins and epimeric analogues revealed much more rapid cellular permeability for the natural stereochemical pattern.

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Dec
1969

Transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) are a family of scaffolding proteins that regulate AMPA receptor trafficking and function. TARP γ-8 is one member of this family and is highly expressed within the hippocampus relative to the cerebellum. A selective TARP γ-8-dependent AMPA receptor antagonist (TDAA) is an innovative approach to modulate AMPA receptors in specific brain regions to potentially increase the therapeutic index relative to known non-TARP-dependent AMPA antagonists.

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Jan
2016

As part of a program aimed at the discovery of antinociceptive therapy for inflammatory conditions, a screening hit was found to inhibit microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) with an IC50 of 17.4 μM. Structural information was used to improve enzyme potency by over 1000-fold.

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Sep
2015

We conducted an evaluation of the phenoxyalkylbenzimidazole series based on the exemplar 2-ethyl-1-(3-phenoxypropyl)-1H-benzo[d]imidazole for its antitubercular activity. Four segments of the molecule were examined systematically to define a structure-activity relationship with respect to biological activity. Compounds had submicromolar activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis; the most potent compound had a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 52 nM and was not cytotoxic against eukaryotic cells (selectivity index = 523).

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Aug
2015

Candida albicans is a common commensal in the human gut but in predisposed patients it can become an important human fungal pathogen. As a commensal, C. albicans adapts to low-oxygen conditions and represses its hyphal development by the transcription factor Efg1, which under normoxia activates filamentation.

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Aug
2015

The objective of this study was to compare robotic-prostatectomy plus adjuvant radiation therapy (RPRAT) versus primary RT for high-risk prostate cancer (HRPCa).
A retrospective chart review was performed for the HRPCa patients treated in our institution between 2000 and 2010. One hundred and twenty-three patients with high-risk disease were identified.

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Jan
2015

Despite years of research dedicated to preventing the sexual transmission of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), there is still no protective vaccine or microbicide against one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the world. Using a phage display library constructed from a llama immunized with recombinant HSV-2 glycoprotein D, we identified a single-domain antibody VHH, R33, which binds to the viral surface glycoprotein D. Although R33 does not demonstrate any HSV-2 neutralization activity in vitro, when expressed with the cytotoxic domain of exotoxin A, the resulting immunotoxin (R33ExoA) specifically and potently kills HSV-2-infected cells, with a 50% neutralizing dilution (IC50) of 6.

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Jan
2015

Poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma (PDTC) and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) are considered the most aggressive cancers of the head and neck. The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare survival outcomes in PDTC and ATC in a large population-based cohort.
Patients with PDTC and ATC diagnosed from 1973 to 2008 were obtained from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End RESULTS database.

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Dec
1969

Herpesvirus capsids are regular icosahedrons with a diameter of a 125 nm and are made up of 162 capsomeres arranged on a T = 16 lattice. The capsomeres (VP5) interact with the triplex structure, which is a unique structural feature of herpesvirus capsid shells. The triplex is a heterotrimeric complex; one molecule of VP19C and two of VP23 form a three-pronged structure that acts to stabilize the capsid shell through interactions with adjacent capsomeres.

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Aug
2014

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) capsids can be produced in insect cells using recombinant baculoviruses for protein expression. All six capsid proteins are required for this process to occur and, unlike for alphaherpesviruses, the small capsid protein (SCP) ORF65 is essential for this process. This protein decorates the capsid shell by virtue of its interaction with the capsomeres.

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Jun
2014

We have shown that glycoprotein K (gK) and its interacting partner, the UL20 protein, play crucial roles in virion envelopment. Specifically, virions lacking either gK or UL20 fail to acquire an envelope, thus causing accumulation of capsids in the cytoplasm of infected cells. The herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) UL37 protein has also been implicated in cytoplasmic virion envelopment.

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May
2014

Nelfinavir (NFV) is an HIV-1 protease inhibitor with demonstrated antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and several other herpesviruses. However, the stages of HSV-1 replication inhibited by NFV have not been explored. In this study, we investigated the effects of NFV on capsid assembly and envelopment.

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Mar
2014

A new series of peptidomimetic pseudo-prolyl-homophenylalanylketones were designed, synthesized and evaluated for inhibition of the Plasmodium falciparum cysteine proteases falcipain-2 (FP-2) and falcipain-3 (FP-3). In addition, the parasite killing activity of these compounds in human blood-cultured P. falciparum was examined.

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Dec
1969

To evaluate clinically significant radiotherapy (RT) dose to draining lymph nodes (LN) in patients treated with SBRT.
Early stage non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with SBRT were selected for analysis. Patients received SBRT if they were not considered eligible for surgical resection.

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Dec
2013

The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans is able to undergo morphogenesis from a yeast to a hyphal growth form. Protein kinase A (PKA) isoforms Tpk1 and Tpk2 promote hyphal growth in a signalling pathway via the transcription factor Efg1.
C.

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Sep
2013

To facilitate high-throughput biochemical analyses of membrane proteins, we have developed a novel display technology in a microarray format. Both single-pass (cluster of differentiation 4, CD4) and multiple-pass (G protein-coupled receptor 77, GPR77) human transmembrane proteins were engineered to be displayed in the membrane envelop of herpes simplex virions. These viruses produce large spherical virions displaying multiple copies of envelop proteins.

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Apr
2013

All herpesviruses encode a complex of two proteins, referred to as the nuclear egress complex (NEC), which together facilitate the exit of assembled capsids from the nucleus. Previously, we showed that the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) NEC specified by the ORF67 and ORF69 genes when expressed in insect cells using baculoviruses for protein expression forms a complex at the nuclear membrane and remodels these membranes to generate nuclear membrane-derived vesicles. In this study, we have analyzed the functional domains of the KSHV NEC proteins and their interactions.

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Apr
2013

In silico tools are regularly utilized for designing and prioritizing compounds to address challenges related to drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) during the process of drug discovery. P-Glycoprotein (P-gp) is a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters with broad substrate specificity that plays a significant role in absorption and distribution of drugs that are P-gp substrates. As a result, screening for P-gp transport has now become routine in the drug discovery process.

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Dec
1969

To evaluate clinically significant radiotherapy (RT) dose to draining lymph nodes (LN) in patients treated with SBRT.
Early stage non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with SBRT were selected for analysis. Patients received SBRT if they were not considered eligible for surgical resection.

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Nov
2012

The requirement to cross a biological membrane can be a complex process especially if multidrug transporters such as P-gp must be considered. Drug partitioning into the lipid membrane and efflux by P-gp are tightly coupled processes wherein H-bonding interactions play a key role. All H-bond donors and acceptors are not equal in terms of the strength of the H-bonds that they form, hence it is important to consider their relative strength.

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Nov
2012

Self-assembly of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus capsids occurs when six proteins are coexpressed in insect cells using recombinant baculoviruses; however, if the small capsid protein (SCP) is omitted from the coinfection, assembly does not occur. Herein we delineate and identify precisely the assembly domain and the residues of SCP required for assembly. Hence, six residues, R14, D18, V25, R46, G66, and R70 in the assembly domain, when changed to alanine, completely abolish or reduce capsid assembly.

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Aug
2012

Mechanism-based inhibition (MBI) of cytochrome P450 (CYP) can lead to drug-drug interactions and often to toxicity. Some aliphatic and aromatic amines can undergo biotransformation reactions to form reactive metabolites such as nitrosoalkanes, leading to MBI of CYPs. It has been proposed that the nitrosoalkanes coordinate with the heme iron, forming metabolic-intermediate complex (MIC), resulting in the quasi-irreversible inhibition of CYPs.

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Apr
2012

We studied the presence of Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus sequences in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) isolated from the blood of patients with AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL). The use of paramagnetic beads linked to methyl-CpG binding domain protein allowed separation of virion and cell-derived DNA. Only virion DNA was detected in the blood of KS patients, whereas cell-derived DNA was detected in a patient with AIDS-related PEL.

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Oct
2011

Herpesviruses, which are major human pathogens, establish life-long persistent infections. Although the α, β, and γ herpesviruses infect different tissues and cause distinct diseases, they each encode a conserved serine/threonine kinase that is critical for virus replication and spread. The extent of substrate conservation and the key common cell-signaling pathways targeted by these kinases are unknown.

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Jan
2012

The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus nuclear egress complex is composed of two proteins, ORF67 and ORF69. In this study, we have recapitulated the KSHV complex by coexpression of these two proteins in insect cells using expression from recombinant baculoviruses. The proteins form a complex at the nuclear membrane as judged by live-cell analysis of protein fusions tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and mCherry.

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Dec
2011

Candida albicans lacks the ability to survive within its mammalian host in the absence of endogenous glutathione biosynthesis. To examine the ability of this yeast to utilize exogenous glutathione, we exploited the organic sulfur auxotrophy of C. albicans met15Δ strains.

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Dec
2011

VP23 is a key component of the triplex structure. The triplex, which is unique to herpesviruses, is a complex of three proteins, two molecules of VP23 which interact with a single molecule of VP19C. This structure is important for shell accretion and stability of the protein coat.

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Sep
2011

Kaposi's sarcoma is an angioproliferative tumor caused by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection of vascular endothelial cells. Fibulins, proteins that associate with extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, may have both tumor-suppressive and oncogenic activities. We found that the expression of fibulin-2 protein and mRNA were decreased 50-fold and 26-fold, respectively, in 10-day KSHV-infected dermal microvascular endothelial cells (DMVEC).

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Sep
2011

Cytochrome P450 enzymes are responsible for metabolizing many endogenous and xenobiotic molecules encountered by the human body. It has been estimated that 75% of all drugs are metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Thus, predicting a compound's potential sites of metabolism (SOM) is highly advantageous early in the drug development process.

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Jun
2011

SARS-CoV from the coronaviridae family has been identified as the etiological agent of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a highly contagious upper respiratory disease that reached epidemic status in 2002. SARS-3CL(pro), a cysteine protease indispensible to the viral life cycle, has been identified as one of the key therapeutic targets against SARS. A combined ligand and structure-based virtual screening was carried out against the Asinex Platinum collection.

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Oct
2011

The bioavailability, fraction of dose that reaches systemic circulation, of orally administered drugs is often limited by both physical barriers of the intestine (e.g., unstirred-water and mucosal layers, epithelial tight junctions) as well as biochemical barriers such as cytochromes P450 (CYP) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp).

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May
2011

The herpesvirus triplex is a key structural feature of the capsids of these viruses. It is composed of a hetero-trimer of one molecule of VP19C and two molecules of VP23. It acts to stabilize capsid shells by connecting the capsomeric subunits together.

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Oct
2010

Multiple cysteine proteases of malaria parasites are required for maintenance of parasite metabolic homeostasis and egress from the host erythrocyte. In Plasmodium falciparum these proteases appear to mediate the processing of hemoglobin and aspartic proteases (plasmepsins) in the acidic food vacuole and the hydrolysis of erythrocyte structural proteins at neutral pH. Two cysteine proteases, vivapain (VX)-2 and VX-3 have been characterized in P.

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Feb
2011

Redox pathways play a key role in pathogenesis. Glutathione, a central molecule in redox homeostasis in yeasts, is an essential metabolite, but its requirements can be met either from endogenous biosynthesis or from the extracellular milieu. In this report we have examined the importance of glutathione biosynthesis in two major human opportunistic fungal pathogens, Candida albicans and Candida glabrata.

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May
2010

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, forms an important part of the cellular regulation machinery. The Bcl-2 protein family, comprising of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic members, forms an important part of the cells internal apoptotic pathway. Overexpression of the antiapoptotic members of the family in a number of cancer cell lines renders them immune to apoptosis and the ability to survive under conditions of cellular stress.

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Mar
2010

Cysteine proteases are implicated in a variety of human physiological processes and also form an essential component of the life cycle of a number of pathogenic protozoa and viruses. The present review highlights the drug design approaches utilized to understand the mechanism of inhibition and discovery of inhibitors against protozoal cysteine protease, falcipain (a cysteine protease of P. falciparum which causes malaria), and viral cysteine protease, SARS-CoV M(pro) (a cysteine protease of severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus).

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May
2010

Galectins are a family of proteins that share an affinity for beta-galactoside containing glycoconjugates. In prostate, ovarian and breast cancer, downregulation of galectin-3 is associated with malignancy and tumor progression. Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is characterized as an angioproliferative tumor of vascular endothelial cells and produces rare B cell lymphoproliferative diseases in the form of primary effusion lymphomas and some forms of multicentric Castleman's disease.

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Jan
2010

A role for heparan sulfate in viral surfing.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2010 Jan 10;391(1):176-81. Epub 2009 Nov 10.
Myung-Jin Oh, Jihan Akhtar, Prashant Desai, Deepak Shukla
Heparan sulfate (HS) moieties on cell surfaces are known to provide attachment sites for many viruses including herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1). Here, we demonstrate that cells respond to HSV-1 infection by enhancing filopodia formation. Filopodia express HS and are subsequently utilized for the transport of HSV-1 virions to cell bodies in a surfing-like phenomenon, which is facilitated by the underlying actin cytoskeleton and is regulated by transient activation of a small Rho GTPase, Cdc42.

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Jan
2010

The malaria parasite thrives on anaerobic fermentation of glucose for energy. Earlier studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that a cytosolic malate dehydrogenase (PfMDH) with striking similarity to lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) might complement PfLDH function in Plasmodium falciparum. The N-terminal glycine motif, which forms a characteristic Rossman dinucleotide-binding fold in the co-substrate binding pocket, differentiates PfMDH (GlyXGlyXXGly) from other eukaryotic and prokaryotic malate dehydrogenases (GlyXXGlyXXGly).

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Aug
2009

Biliary tract lesions are comparatively rare neoplasms, with ambiguous indications for radiotherapy. The specific aim of this study was to report the clinical results of a single-institution biliary tract series treated with modern radiotherapeutic techniques, and detail results using both conventional and image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT).
From 2001 to 2005, 24 patients with primary adenocarcinoma of the biliary tract (gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts) were treated by IG-IMRT.

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May
2009

A conserved family of herpesvirus protein kinases plays a crucial role in herpesvirus DNA replication and virion production. However, despite the fact that these kinases are potential therapeutic targets, no systematic studies have been performed to identify their substrates. We generated an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) protein array to evaluate the targets of the EBV protein kinase BGLF4.

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Apr
2009

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a member of the Gammaherpesvirus family, primarily infects B lymphocytes and is responsible for a number of lymphoproliferative diseases. The molecular genetics of the assembly pathway and high-resolution structural analysis of the capsid have not been determined for this lymphocryptovirus. As a first step in studying EBV capsid assembly, the baculovirus expression vector (BEV) system was used to express the capsid shell proteins BcLF1 (major capsid protein), BORF1 (triplex protein), BDLF1 (triplex protein), and BFRF3 (small capsid protein); the internal scaffold protein, BdRF1; and the maturational protease (BVRF2).

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