All Publications

  • Comparative analysis of the anti-chikungunya virus activity of novel bryostatin analogs confirms the existence of a PKC-independent mechanism. Biochemical pharmacology Abdelnabi, R., Staveness, D., Near, K. E., Wender, P. A., Delang, L., Neyts, J., Leyssen, P. 2016; 120: 15-21


    Previously, we reported that salicylate-based analogs of bryostatin protect cells from chikungunya virus (CHIKV)-induced cell death. Interestingly, 'capping' the hydroxyl group at C26 of a lead bryostatin analog, a position known to be crucial for binding to and modulation of protein kinase C (PKC), did not abrogate the anti-CHIKV activity of the scaffold, putatively indicating the involvement of a pathway independent of PKC. The work detailed in this study demonstrates that salicylate-derived analog 1 and two capped analogs (2 and 3) are not merely cytoprotective compounds, but act as selective and specific inhibitors of CHIKV replication. Further, a detailed comparative analysis of the effect of the non-capped versus the two capped analogs revealed that compound 1 acts both at early and late stages in the chikungunya virus replication cycle, while the capped analogs only interfere with a later stage process. Co-dosing with the PKC inhibitors sotrastaurin and Gö6976 counteracts the antiviral activity of compound 1 without affecting that of capped analogs 2 and 3, providing further evidence that the latter elicit their anti-CHIKV activity independently of PKC. Remarkably, treatment of CHIKV-infected cells with a combination of compound 1 and a capped analog resulted in a pronounced synergistic antiviral effect. Thus, these salicylate-based bryostatin analogs can inhibit CHIKV replication through a novel, yet still elusive, non-PKC dependent pathway.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bcp.2016.09.020

    View details for PubMedID 27664855

  • Inhibition of Chikungunya Virus-Induced Cell Death by Salicylate-Derived Bryostatin Analogues Provides Additional Evidence for a PKC-Independent Pathway JOURNAL OF NATURAL PRODUCTS Staveness, D., Abdelnabi, R., Near, K. E., Nakagawa, Y., Neyts, J., Delang, L., Leyssen, P., Wender, P. A. 2016; 79 (4): 680-684


    Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has been spreading rapidly, with over one million confirmed or suspected cases in the Americas since late 2013. Infection with CHIKV causes devastating arthritic and arthralgic symptoms. Currently, there is no therapy to treat this disease, and the only medications focus on relief of symptoms. Recently, protein kinase C (PKC) modulators have been reported to inhibit CHIKV-induced cell death in cell assays. The salicylate-derived bryostatin analogues described here are structurally simplified PKC modulators that are more synthetically accessible than the natural product bryostatin 1, a PKC modulator and clinical lead for the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and HIV eradication. Evaluation of the anti-CHIKV activity of these salicylate-derived bryostatin analogues in cell culture indicates that they are among the most potent cell-protective agents reported to date. Given that they are more accessible and significantly more active than the parent natural product, they represent new therapeutic leads for controlling CHIKV infection. Significantly, these analogues also provide evidence for the involvement of a PKC-independent pathway. This adds a fundamentally distinct aspect to the importance or involvement of PKC modulation in inhibition of chikungunya virus replication, a topic of recent and growing interest.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b01017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000374915800002

    View details for PubMedID 26900711

  • Simplified Bryostatin Analogues Protect Cells from Chikungunya Virus-Induced Cell Death JOURNAL OF NATURAL PRODUCTS Staveness, D., Abdelnabi, R., Schrier, A. J., Loy, B. A., Verma, V. A., DeChristopher, B. A., Near, K. E., Neyts, J., Delang, L., Leyssen, P., Wender, P. A. 2016; 79 (4): 675-679


    Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus showing a recent resurgence and rapid spread worldwide. While vaccines are under development, there are currently no therapies to treat this disease, except for over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics, which alleviate the devastating arthritic and arthralgic symptoms. To identify novel inhibitors of the virus, analogues of the natural product bryostatin 1, a clinical lead for the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and HIV eradication, were investigated for in vitro antiviral activity and were found to be among the most potent inhibitors of CHIKV replication reported to date. Bryostatin-based therapeutic efforts and even recent anti-CHIKV strategies have centered on modulation of protein kinase C (PKC). Intriguingly, while the C ring of bryostatin primarily drives interactions with PKC, A- and B-ring functionality in these analogues has a significant effect on the observed cell-protective activity. Significantly, bryostatin 1 itself, a potent pan-PKC modulator, is inactive in these assays. These new findings indicate that the observed anti-CHIKV activity is not solely mediated by PKC modulation, suggesting possible as yet unidentified targets for CHIKV therapeutic intervention. The high potency and low toxicity of these bryologs make them promising new leads for the development of a CHIKV treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b01016

    View details for Web of Science ID 000374915800001

    View details for PubMedID 26900625

  • Computer-Guided Design, Synthesis, and Protein Kinase C Affinity of a New. Salicylate-Based Class of Bryostatin Analogs ORGANIC LETTERS Wender, P. A., Nakagawa, Y., Near, K. E., Staveness, D. 2014; 16 (19): 5136-5139

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ol502491f

    View details for Web of Science ID 000342719500043