Sheree Johnstone

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Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) is a lipid kinase that catalyzes the conversion of sphingosine to sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which has been shown to play a role in lymphocyte trafficking, angiogenesis, and response to apoptotic stimuli. As a central enzyme in modulating the S1P levels in cells, SphK1 emerges as an important regulator for diverse cellular(More)
The propagation of pluripotential mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells is sustained by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) or related cytokines that act through a common receptor complex comprising the LIF receptor subunit (LIF-R) and the signal transducer gp130. However, the findings that embryos lacking LIF-R or gp130 can develop beyond gastrulation argue for the(More)
The eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) plays a central role in the initiation of gene translation and subsequent protein synthesis by binding the 5' terminal mRNA cap structure. We designed and synthesized a series of novel compounds that display potent binding affinity against eIF4E despite their lack of a ribose moiety, phosphate, and positive charge(More)
Retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) transports retinol from the liver to extrahepatic tissues, and RBP4 lowering is reported to improve insulin sensitivity in mice. We have identified A1120, a high affinity (K(i) = 8.3 nm) non-retinoid ligand for RBP4, which disrupts the interaction between RBP4 and its binding partner transthyretin. Analysis of the RBP4-A1120(More)
NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) is a central component in the non-canonical NF-κB signaling pathway. Excessive NIK activity is implicated in various disorders, such as autoimmune conditions and cancers. Here, we report the first crystal structure of truncated human NIK in complex with adenosine 5'-O-(thiotriphosphate) at a resolution of 2.5 Å. This truncated(More)
Retinol-Binding Protein 4 (RBP4) is a plasma protein that transports retinol (vitamin A) from the liver to peripheral tissues. This Letter highlights our efforts in discovering the first, to our knowledge, non-retinoid small molecules that bind to RBP4 at the retinol site and reduce serum RBP4 levels in mice, by disrupting the interaction between RBP4 and(More)
In this Letter, we report the continued optimization of the N-acyl-2-aminobenzimidazole series, focusing in particular on the N-alkyl substituent and 5-position of the benzimidazole based on the binding mode and the early SAR. These efforts led to the discovery of 16, a highly potent, selective, and orally bioavailable inhibitor of IRAK-4.
Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) degrades the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Small molecule DPP-IV inhibitors have been used as treatments for type 2 diabetes to improve glucose tolerance. However, each of the marketed small molecule drugs has its own limitation in terms of efficacy and side effects. To search for an alternative strategy(More)
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